The benefits of homemade shampoos

Brighton bristles with crafts and hand made items. You can find things such as beeswax candles and homemade soaps that are good for your skin. If you are feeling crafty, why not consider making your own shampoos?

There are hundreds of shampoos on the market and each one of them promises to leave your hair shinier, softer and more beautiful than the rest. Realistically though, these shampoos rarely live up to their lofty promises, and in fact, for a number of reasons that we’ll go into, by far the best option is to simply make your own natural shampoos at home. While the vast majority of us grow up believing that using store-bought shampoos is the only option, it’s never too late to understand that there is actually a better alternative. After thoroughly investigating store-bought shampoos, I highly recommend you give making your own toxin-free, natural homemade shampoos a try, as these products are far better for your hair, your health, and the environment.

You’re probably wondering why you should spend the extra time and energy to make your own shampoos when you can easily grab a bottle off the shelf in your local supermarket? Well, here’s a rundown of facts that will help you understand why homemade shampoos are most definitely better than the store-bought variety!

1. Natural homemade shampoos take fantastic care of your hair.

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t necessary to wash our hair with chemical shampoo every day. The reason for this is that over-shampooing strips the hair of it’s natural oils, and due to their harshness, this is particularly true of store-bought shampoos. However, when you begin using homemade shampoos you’ll notice that your hair will look healthier and that the right amount of protective natural oils will remain intact.

2. You can make natural homemade shampoos in small amounts and keep them in non-polluting, reusable containers until you need them.

Most shampoos can be stored in the fridge for at least a few days, and up to a couple of weeks, saving you from having to regularly make new batches. Although a regular shampoo container can be used to store your homemade shampoos, the best way of storing them is in glass containers. The reason for this is that glass is inert meaning no chemicals can leach out into your shampoos. As these containers are reusable and made of non-toxic material you’ll also have the peace of mind that you’re not just doing what’s right for your hair, but also what’s right for the environment!

3. Store-bought shampoos are often full of potentially cancer-causing chemicals.

As we are all well aware, cancer is a truly awful disease! Therefore it’s important that we do whatever we can in order to reduce the risk of ever suffering from this terrible condition. Cocamide DEA, a chemical found in nearly a hundred types of store-bought shampoos in the USA, has a proven link to the formation of cancerous cells in humans. Most shampoos also contain vast amounts of sulfates and parabens that may poison the scalp and the kidneys, and could also play a part in the onset of allergies. When you’re using store-bought shampoos, you’re exposing yourself to a vast array of chemical nasties, and in so doing you’re putting yourself at risk of potentially damaging your body’s tissues and organs.

Other chemicals to beware of include:
•Formaldehyde. Yes, that’s the same formaldehyde used for embalming the dead! While it may be OK for the dead, it’s certainly not something we want to be introducing into our bodies while we’re still alive! Formaldehyde can play a part in cancer formation and can reportedly cause our body’s organs to stiffen. This in turn may contribute to the onset of organ damage.

•Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This chemical slowly damages the hair by breaking down it’s natural protein structure. An additional downside is that it can in some cases lead to lung or eye irritation.

•Polyoxyethylene, Sodium Chloride, and other Thickening Agents. These chemical agents are used to help shampoo lather easily. However, they can actually cause your scalp to become dry and itchy as they remove the natural oils which work to keep the hair and scalp healthy.

•Synthetic Colors. These chemicals can cause irritation of the scalp and skin.

•Siloxane, Dimethicone, Silicone and other Hair Sealants. These ingredients are reported to make the hair shiny, but due to their harsh chemical nature they can actually prevent the scalp from being able to coat hair with it’s natural oils. This in turn can lead to dry, frizzy and hard-to-manage hair.
•Mineral Oil, Petroleum, and Lanolin. While these products claim to moisturize your hair, they actually have no proven benefits. Like most chemicals in commercially available shampoos, they can strip away the natural oils and moisture from the hair and in extreme cases may even cause the hair to thin or, at worst, fall out!

•Propylene Glycol or Anti-Freeze Agents. You may be wondering “Why on earth would there be anti-freeze in my shampoo!?” Well, quite simply it’s used in order to stop the shampoo from freezing while in transport. This is the same anti-freeze that you might use in your car and, needless to say, it`s NOT something that you want to be rubbing into your scalp! Anti-freezing agents may cause allergic reactions as well as skin irritation.

•Alcohol. The relatively high amounts of alcohol found in some of the shampoos available on store shelves may dry the hair and make it heavy and brittle. As you can see, there are a wide range of potentially harmful ingredients in some store-bought shampoos. If we really care about the health of our hair and our bodies, perhaps we should think twice about using them and give alternative options a chance.

4. Natural homemade shampoos are packed full of natural goodness.
A lot of people are going organic these days when it comes to their diets. While it’s important to be concerned about what we eat and drink, it’s also important to think about what we are applying to other parts of our bodies. When we use natural products on our hair, we don’t only look good, we can also be sure that we’ll feel good, too.

Some of the wonderful ingredients that we can use in our natural homemade shampoos include:
•Apricot. A natural nourishing agent that’s not only good for soothing the skin, it’s actually great for the hair too.
•Avocado. Avocado contains lots of great natural fats and proteins that can play a big part in helping to keep our hair looking healthy and lustrous.
•Chamomile. Chamomile is not only soothing, it also smells great and revitalizes the hair!
•Honey. Honey acts as a natural hair softener and gives the hair a beautiful shine.
•Coconut Milk. Coconut milk has been used by people for centuries to help keep their hair looking and feeling soft and smooth.
•Fenugreek. A very powerful Indian herb which has anti-fungal and revitalizing properties. This ingredient could be a little difficult to find, but if you decide to take the time to source it you can be sure that it will definitely be worth the effort!
•Rosemary. Because of it’s great smell and its calming properties, rosemary can help to relax us. For this reason it’s used in numerous recipes within this book. Luckily, it’s super easy to find in almost any supermarket and it combines well with almost any of the other ingredients.
•Peppermint. Peppermint can leave your hair and scalp feeling fresh and cool. It’s also said that peppermint can play a part in helping hair grow faster.
•Mint. Has similar revitalizing and cooling effects to peppermint.
•Strawberry. Strawberries contain natural compounds that are extremely nourishing for both the hair and scalp, so adding a few strawberries to your homemade shampoo a sure way to create a shampoo which will leave your hair lustrous and healthy!
•Tea Tree Oil. This amazing, natural antibiotic is a marvel of nature! It leaves the hair with a silky shine and can even act as a natural insect repellent, driving away bugs such as mosquitoes! A truly brilliant ingredient for your homemade shampoos and for your bathroom cabinet if you ever have cuts or blemishes!
•Arrowroot. The hair needs protein to grow and Arrowroot will help provide this protein via the scalp. Also said to strengthen the hair.
•Shikakai. This Indian ingredient is sure to bring your crowning glory back to life due to it’s invigorating qualities.
Making your own shampoo is a good skill to learn when you are younger. Take a look inside one of the craft shops in Brighton, or sign up for a course and you will find that it will be more than worth it!