Commercially available shampoos are often filled with synthetic chemicals that that can cause reactions in sensitive people, as well as some chemicals being potentially environmentally harmful. As a result, many people have turned to homemade recipes for cleaning their hair, utilizing simple and naturally derived ingredients.
Aloe vera, succulent plant prized for its skin-soothing properties, is used as the base of one such classic homemade shampoo recipe. Learning how to make aloe vera shampoo will allow you to exercise complete control over what goes into your hair-cleaning products.
- Assemble the ingredients. Making aloe vera shampoo requires only four ingredients: Liquid castile soap, aloe vera gel, glycerin, and vegetable oil. All of these ingredients can be purchased at health food or natural medicine stores. The aloe vera gel can either be purchased in bottles or harvested directly from the leaves of the plant, from which it can be scooped out with a spoon. In addition, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the shampoo. This will add fragrance to the shampoo; some herb oils, such as rosemary, will also help alleviate specific problems like dry, damaged hair.
- Mix the four ingredients together. Measure out 1/4 cup (60 ml) each of castile soap and aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of glycerin, and 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) of vegetable oil. Add each of these ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir them gently together with a spoon or whisk. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired. This mix makes about half a cup (120 ml), but the amounts can be altered to make more or less shampoo.
Always shake the bottle well before using the shampoo, as the ingredients can settle out over time.
- Reuse bottles from other products to store your shampoo.
- Aloe vera shampoo works particularly well for dry hair, and it can help relieve dry, itchy scalps and dandruff.
- Because of the chemical nature of soap (versus synthetic detergents), you may find that a film is left on your hair after shampooing even after thorough rinsing. This film can be easily removed with an acidic rinse such as lemon juice (for blonde hair) or apple cider vinegar (for all other hair colors).
- Check the ingredients on the brand of liquid castile soap carefully–some brands contain paraben preservatives that slowly leach formaldehyde to stop the soap from spoiling, and others even contain detergents instead of pure saponified oils.