More Recipes (allergy alternatives)

This page will be added to when I find or invent more recipes. If you have allergies to preservatives, nuts, seeds, fragrances or anything else in shampoos, conditioners and body washes, you're left with few choices and many of the "hypoallergenic" products are anything but - not to mention they cost a lot more and seem to be sold in smaller bottles. These recipes are great to have in your anti-allergy "toolbox" and, of course, lead to healthy, lustrous hair and skin.

None of these recipes replace the advice of a doctor and if you have severe allergies, you should check with a doctor first. You may wish to "patch test" any ingredients by placing a smear of the finished product in the inside of the elbow or behind an ear and leaving it in place for 24-48 hours. Better safe than sorry.

First off, let's re-think the purpose of soap and shampoo, cleansers and detergents. Skin and hair evolved without any of these. Dermatologists tell us to avoid soap, avoid hot water and so on. Why? Because skin needs it's protective "acid mantle" created by sebum, bacteria (yep) and other factors. This keeps the pH at a place in which nasty infections are kept in check, and forms a protective barrier for skin against wind, sun, water and whatever else it's up against. If you wash this off daily, your skin is left to hurry up and repair itself before the next cleaning. If you use hot water, the sebum rinses off more easily and the skin is left both unprotected and irritated by the heat of the water. In some sensitive people, heat-dialated blood vessels release histamine which is itchy. This aggravates everything from acne to rosacea to ezcema. Some people have sensitivities to detergents and other ingredients in shampoos and "anti-dandruff shampoos" (this is more common than you might think) and don't even realize it.

Daily washing with detergents for hair causes it to swell, creating the potential for dehydration and loss of protein. It strips hair of the sebum that traveled down the hair shaft, leaving it unprotected.

Consider your skin and hair as "delicates" and you'll find them becoming radiantly healthy.

Just give me some recipes already! Yes, we want to be clean, but you can get clean without detergent. Most of us can just rinse most of our bodies (save the detergents for the smelly areas), most of the time. Some of us have oily scalps (which is made worse by too much washing and with harsh detergents) and we don't want greasy hair. So what can you use when you can't use a lot of things?

Hair wash recipes:
Aloe hair wash: In a cup or bottle with a cap, whisk or shake 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (the edible kind) with 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin. (Those with nut/seed allergies be wary, glycerin is made from nut and seed oils). Apply this mixture to the scalp and massage the scalp (under the hair) gently in small circles (don't scrub vigorously!). Comb the mixture through the length of your hair and gently squeeze the hair to distribute. Rinse well.
* Aloe has enzymes, acids, amino acids, saponins (saponin=soapy) and anti-inflammatory compounds which cleanse gently and moisturize the hair and scalp. Some aloe preparations are quite acidic. If you use this recipe often, buy some pH test strips at your local drugstore or pet store and make sure the pH of your mixture is between 4.5 and 6. Mildly acidic preparations are suitable for skin and scalp, but if it stings, dilute with half water.
* Glycerin can cause frizz for some people, but it helps moisturize and detangle. Leave it out if you don't like the results.

Yucca hair wash: Southwestern Native Americans used yucca root to wash their hair. This adds gloss and a little "weight" to the hair. It cleanses gently without stripping.
Use about 2 teaspoons yucca root powder (you can buy capsules and open them). Place this in a square of old t-shirt and tie it up well with a rubber band or string. Warm about 1 1/2 to 2 cups water and pour into a large bowl. Dunk the yucca root bag and swish and stir it around vigorously until the water is foamy. Set the bag aside and use this foamy water for a shampoo, using half for the scalp, then the other half for scalp and hair. Rinse well.
You can add oils or glycerin to the water as you mix, you will wash your hair with half or less of this mixture and refrigerating the rest.
* Yucca root contains saponins (saponin=soapy) which foam and trap oils and dirt like a very gentle detergent.

Clay hair and body wash: Get ready to rinse the shower well! You need some good-quality clay. Clay is a super-gentle exfoliant, grabs dirt and excess oils for clean skin and hair. White cosmetic clay is gentle, so is bentonite clay. Green, red and yellow clays can be more astringent (skin-drying). Start with about a tablespoon clay (the amount will be up to you, how much hair you have, and whether you want a bodywash too). In a bowl, slowly mix in water (or herbal tea if you like, or some oil) until the clay is a thin, smooth mixture. The thinner it is, the easier to spread. Too watery will be difficult to apply. Dip your fingertips in the clay mixture and apply to scalp (go under the hair). Massage gently. Add more clay and work (with fingers) through the length of hair and squeeze gently. Rinse and rinse again.
For a bodywash, use circular motions to spread the clay on your skin (out of the shower spray), then rinse well. Rinse the shower too or you'll be scrubbing it later on.
I find this to be a little drying (scalp feels tight afterwards) but including some oil or glycerin or honey in the mixture might be good for dry scalps or scalps in dry climates. Clay can also be added to a gel like my flax-free hair gel recipe or humectant curl-boosting jelly recipe for easier application (see the recipes tab for links to those recipes).


Herbal Tea hair washes: Good herbs for hair washes are lemongrass, nettle, rosemary (great shine), chamomile (shine and golden highlights), thyme and sage (mild antibacterial/antifungal), yarrow (astringent, good for oily scalp), calendula (soothing), bay leaf, lavender, horsetail, hops, even peppermint. If you have allergies, some of these herbs may cause itching, so use with caution. Herbs are full of all the nutrients in the plants and can help gently cleanse hair, and add body. Most of the vitamins and minerals will not be absorbed by your hair or skin, but the macronutrients - sugars and some of the proteins, will.
Use 2-3 teaspoons dried herbs in 1 cup boiling water. Allow the "tea" to steep for at least 15 minutes, strain the herbs out and cool before using. Use as a scalp and hair cleanser or a final rinse.
These give cleaner hair than you might expect, smell nice and add shine.

My picks for oily scalp: Clay wash (unless your hair is very fine and too easily weighed down), yarrow herbal wash, peppermint or lavender herbal wash, or sage and thyme herbal wash, yucca root hair wash.
Dry scalp washes: Aloe vera wash, lemongrass or calendula herbal wash.


Scalp and skin scrub: Skin needs exfoliating. Even if you have a skin condition. Atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, ezcema - all cause an increase in skin turnover, meaning your irritated skin is producing and shedding skin cells faster than it otherwise would. All that dead skin accumulating with sebum is a perfect home for fungi and bacteria to grow more than you'd like and this adds to the itchy situation. The key to exfoliating sensitive skin is to know how gentle to be. Clay is the gentlest exfoliator because the particles are 1-5 microns in diameter.
Sugar scrub: Mix equal parts oil and white or brown sugar (it should be a little on the oily side) in a bowl. Olive oil is good, as is avocado oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, even canola oil. If you have nut or seed allergies, you might use mineral oil, olive oil, avocado oil, evening primrose oil, or jojoba oil.
Stand in the shower or over a towel! For your scalp, apply the scrub to the dry scalp in small sections, massage very, very gently. Leave this on for 10 to 20 minutes or so (wrap a towel around your head so you don't drop oily sugar blobs on the rug), then shampoo out.

For your body, apply liberally, massage in big circles, then shower.
If you like, you can add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil for it's mild antifungal and antibacterial effect (for the scalp), but do a patch test with diluted tea tree oil on your inner elbow or behind an ear a day in advance to make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to this oil.

This scrub can transform flaky, scaly, itchy, ashy skin into smooth, supple skin. If you experience redness or sore skin, you probably scrubbed too hard or used something too abrasive for your skin.

34 comments:

  1. Your blog is a delight to read. May you please discuss topic of oil treatment, how it is done , which oils to use. Would be grateful for that you are so knowledgeble

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  2. Mai-Melissa,
    There is a post at this address: http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/oil-pre-shampoo-or-pre-wash.html which describes how to use oil treatments. It is usually in the "Popular Posts" list to the right of the page also. Thank you for reading! WS

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  3. I tried a scalp scrub the other day. I used sea salt and coconut oil. I used the salt instead of sugar because i was afraid the sugar would melt and leave my roots sticky, and i wasnt planning on shampooing. ( which in its self was a mistake because the oil). It really upset my scalp condition (that i believe to be psoriasis but im not sure). My scalp ended up 3 times itchier than before and covered in red sores. Do you think that maybe the sea salt was too abrasive? Or maybe the salt itself being salt was to harsh for my dry itchy irritated skin ?

    Also i was wondering if i do it again with sugar, would stickiness be an issue?

    And lastly, do you have any advice on figuring out whats causing my scalp issuses? I can not afford to see a dermetologist, i have a literal pile of expensive medical bills

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    1. Hello Chouko,
      Sugar scrubs are for flaky scalps. Even sugar and oil scrubs absolutely must be washed out. First of all, if you put oil on an already irritated scalp, you are likely to get a lot more irritation. Oils can act as irritants and they can feed fungi on your scalp that create irritation.
      Salt instead of sugar is not only more abrasive than sugar, it's very drying to the skin. And drying is irritating. When you leave salt on your skin, it can damage your skin. When skin is dried out, it becomes irritated, it's protective functions cannot work properly, it cannot defend itself from irritants and bacteria and fungi well.
      The oil and salt mixture was harsh and damaging to your skin.
      Even if you use a sugar and oil scrub, *you need to wash it off* after 5 or 10 or 15 minutes or the oil and sugar will "feed" fungi and bacteria and create a lot of irritation and your scalp will probably be worse. On all already-sensitive scalp like yours, sugar is probably much too abrasive right now.

      There are 2 posts on this blog for remedies for scalp conditions. Copy and paste these links:
      http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-ideas-for-itchy-scalp.html
      and
      http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/itchy-scalp-some-easy-remedies.html

      And there are medicated shampoos and non-shampoo products you can use for scalp problems such as Scalpicin (U.S.). Regular strength is salicylic acid for exfoliation. Maxiumum strength is hydrocortisone for itch.
      Tar: Psoriasin gel (U.S.) - A coal tar gel you could apply to scalp before showering, leave on 5-10 minutes, then rinse or cleanse. Or mix 50:50 with a cleanser and use like a "dandruff shampoo."
      Zinc pyrithione: DermaZinc cream or spray
      Noble Formula cream or spray with zinc
      Miconazole cream typically used for vaginal yeast infections may work - ketoconazole is usually used in seb. dermatitis studies.

      Seborrheic dermatitis can appear as bumps or cysts, flakes or scales (either greasy or powdery), red patches of skin. Unless you do have an autoimmune disease like psoriasis, most dermatologists (in the U.S.) will tell you to use Nizoral shampoo or Head and Shoulders or Selsun, or T-Sal shampoo. For itching, Scalpicin Maximum strength can be very helpful.
      Don't leave oils or salts or sugars - or even most medicated treatments - on your scalp very long. Sensitive scalps often can't cope with that. And avoid products with fragrances and herbal ingredients while your scalp is so irritated.

      You may have to try a number of treatments until you find one that works and an application frequency that works. Often even when you have one that works, you need a second treatment to rotate between.
      Best of luck to you - this is frustrating to deal with.
      If all else fails, you may need to see a doctor, but unless there is a very complicated problem, a general practitioner can probably help you - though they may tell you to use the products mentioned above. There is an online service, dermatologistoncall.com which charges $60 for online consult if you cannot solve your problem yourself and cannot afford a clinic visit. I have not used this service and I cannot vouch for it's accuracy - but it does exist.

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  4. Nizoral has been great for controlling the itching and flaking from seborrheic dermatitis, but I find it dries my already dry natural kinky hair. I would like to try a shampoo alternative or a moisturising shampoo, but I am afraid of the itch returning. Would you recommend one of your picks for oily scalps for me?

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    1. Hello BB,
      Nizoral is strictly anti-fungal, so you might want to focus on anti-fungal treatments. I have 2 posts specific to troubled scalps (copy and paste the links):
      http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/itchy-scalp-some-easy-remedies.html
      http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-ideas-for-itchy-scalp.html
      You can buy tolnaftate liquid and apply it to your scalp, leave it on for 10-20 minutes, then cleanse your hair. Miconazole nitrate cream can work, sold for yeast infections, apply to the scalp, leave on for a little while, then cleanse. Both of these are commercial topical anti-fungal medications.
      In the "DIY" category, you can mix 1-2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon (3-6 drops per tablespoon) of a carrier oil like grapeseed or jojoba or olive oil, or per teaspoon of a milder shampoo, or per teaspoon of a clay wash or whatever cleanser you like. You could even make a "gel" with cornstarch or xanthan gum and add the essential oil to that. The amount is about 5-10% essential oil if you are making larger amounts of a mixture. Essential oils which work for seborrheic dermatitis are tea tree oil, rosemary oil, thyme or cedarwood. Essential oils have much more concentrated "active ingredients" than a rinse made from leaves of herbs. They can act as anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and may promote skin healing and healthy skin-barrier function.
      Sulfur is anti-fungal and also anti-inflammatory and exfoliating. It can be a little more effective when you are dealing with an oily scalp. Sometimes our scalps get oily because they're working so hard to try to keep the skin from drying out due to inflammation-provoked damage. So that may be beneficial.
      In my opinion, all these treatments can be very helpful for some people, but they do take time to prepare and apply and sometimes that's their major drawback when you're tired or in a hurry. I understand that Nizoral is drying to the hair - I've used it! But in a pinch or if you find that nothing works as well as Nizoral, it may help to do a deep conditioning or an oil pre-wash treatment to your hair before washing with Nizoral to protect your hair from the shampoo.
      Dermatologists sometimes prescribe a ketoconazole (the active ingredient in Nizoral) treatment that is in a peanut oil base (or it used to be peanut oil) instead of a shampoo base if you have access to a dermatologist. If you have a friendly pharmacist, you might be able to discuss with them whether or not they can compound a ketoconazole shampoo into a milder shampoo for you. Pharmaicsts occasionally do prepare medications like this when a doctor orders a formulation they do not carry pre-made.
      Good luck! WS

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    2. This was extremely informative. Thank you!

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  5. Hello, you blog is fantastic!

    I found your blog while researching sulphate, alcohol, paraben free, shampoos and conditioners for my low porosity, baby fine, wavy (curly with the right moisture).

    I was considering baking soda/apple cider vinegar, and after reading your blog, I’m so glad I haven’t done it.

    I was also looking at Shikaki or Aritha powder, but now I’m wondering if they will be too harsh too.

    I’m trying to find something suitable for washing and conditioning once or twice a week.

    I use a semi permanent hair color about every 10 weeks and pre-condition with coconut oil.

    Do you have any suggestions? I am getting a haircut (to collarbone length) and want to start fresh with a new hair care regimen that is kind to my scalp and to my curls.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Thank you.


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  6. Hello CG,
    Shikaki and Aritha powder are not too harsh, they can be a nice cleansing treatment. These plants do contain natural saponins, but it is not "soap." Soap is made from oils reacted with lye (extremely high pH). Natural saponins come straight from the plant and don't have anything with a high pH added - so they are not harsh like soap. Some of these herbal treatments can irritate a very sensitive scalp, so be wary if you tend to react badly to products.
    You don't need to avoid fatty alcohols (cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol). These are not drying alcohols, they are creamy-feeling thickeners that make hair soft.
    With very fine hair that I'm assuming gets weighed down easily, you might try mixing a small amount of conditioner with a larger amount of water when you condition your hair. It allows for good distribution of conditioner with the least weight - plenty of coverage for detangling.
    If you have that fine, almost invisible, flyaway hair - protein might be beneficial for hydrating your hair and supporting your wave.
    There is a page on this blog (see the tabs at the top) with Products by Ingredient Category, including conditioners for people who get build up easily (lighter conditioners). You'll find protein-containing products there too.
    I hope that helps!

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  7. That is helpful, thank you! The alcohol explanation will make my search easier!

    I look at the list of conditioners again and see if I can find one that is mild, light weight and might help with volume and doesn't have parabens. I think a big part of my problem is I'm new to this and can't tell yet what's what with the chemicals and it takes me hours to research the various ingredients!

    Thank you again! I feel much more confident about moving forward.

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  8. Hi. I use a rosemary/thyme/mint rinse and an aloe/water rinse. Is there a way to preserve them so that I don't have to keep them in the fridge? Theyre really cold! :)

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    1. Hello DP,
      To preserve an herbal tea is quite a challenge. You need a commercial preservative. First of all, you would need to make sure that all your utensils and containers have been wiped down well (until they are wet) with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). Use distilled water. You would also need to heat the herbs in boiling water for at least 1 minute - longer if you can to try to destroy mold spores (which is difficult to do). If you don't need more than a week shelf life you could use 0.3% potassium sorbate and enough citric acid to bring the pH down to about 5. That could be about 1/16 teaspoon of citric acid per 2 cups liquid - and that might put you on the low end for pH, but if your hair is healthy, it shouldn't be a problem.
      Potassium sorbate and citric acid might inhibit the growth of molds and bacteria for a short while, it's not a long-term or extremely broad-spectrum option. A powder preservative like gluconolactone and sodium benzoate (sold together) might work, or "Optiphen plus." Molds and bacteria really love to grow in herbal teas and even when refrigerated, they tend to go bad within 2 weeks or so.
      If you see any change in turbidity (cloudiness, anything settling out that wasn't before), or color or odor, do not use it, throw the product out. It might contain something that could make you sick or cause a difficult-to-treat skin or eye infection. Maybe not - but we have no way of knowing just from looking or smelling.

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  9. Hello. The I have low porosity, wirey textured 4b/4c type hair and suffer from seborrheic dermatitis. One problem I have is excessive shedding everytime I wash and/or moisturize my hair daily. I recently tried going product free and doing just water rinsing only. My hair shedded less, but after 2 weeks the build up of sebum just became too much.
    Do you think your recommended clay wash above would help? Can this be used as a weekly wash or is it just for clarifying? And what do you recommend for conditioning and daily moisturizing? I apologize if you already answered this and for the lengthy post.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Stephanie,
      The clay wash *might* work. It does help remove oils and with a little gentle massaging, should gently exfoliate your scalp. But for some people (like me), the clay ends up making the scalp itchy. I always had to use a diluted shampoo to wash it off my scalp. Some clays are more drying and that can leave a tight feeling also.
      If you add oils to the clay, that would help with the drying, but for some people's seborrheic dermatitis, adding oil to the scalp increases itching or can cause irritation.

      It's definitely worth a try. If there are any herbal teas your skin can cope with, those can help and can be used to mix up the clay - calendula and yarrow can be good choices for sensitive scalp.

      Clay washes are mild and could be used weekly. Clay removes excess oil, but I think most people find it much milder to the hair than shampoo.

      There is also a page on this blog with non-shampoo treatments for itchy scalp/seb. dermatitis - conditioners, co-washes, topicals and sprays. If your scalp can tolerate conditioner-washing, one of those might be an option. Some people with seb. dermatitis absolutely cannot conditioner-wash.
      http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/medicated-shampoos-and-conditioners-for.html
      Good luck and I hope the clay works well for you.

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  10. Hello, I am just discovering your fascinating blog. I have 2B/2C fine hair and was a happy camper using DevaCurl products for about 4 months before developing a very itchy scalp and breaking out with pimples all over my jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, and back. I am desperate for a solution to the acne and itching that still lets me make the most of my hair texture. I don't have any actual flaking on my scalp, just irritated and itchy. Any thoughts?

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    1. Hello chitownchica,
      It sounds like you may have developed a sensitivity to an ingredient in the DevaCurl products. Sensitivities to products can be an irritation or an actual allergy - but in either case you can have all those symptoms and the remedy is to stop using all those products until your skin clears up. Go back to products that you know do not cause you problems for a while. Then introduce one product (from DevaCurl) back at a time. Maybe it is just one of them that causes a problem - this is how you find out.

      Hydrocortisone cream or Benadryl cream are good for soothing itchy, irritated skin if you have localized patches that are especially irritating.

      Look at whcreviews.blogspot.com for products reviewed by people with wavy hair for product options. So sorry this happened to you; I hope it is relatively easy to sort out and your skin feels better soon.

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  11. Do I prepoo before doing a tea wash too?

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    1. You have to trial-and-error this. Your hair will be having some oils from your scalp spread through it in the process of a tea wash. A prepoo (with oils) might be helpful sometimes if your hair is feeling inflexible, starting to spread out on the ends, tangling too much, or seems quite dry. The tea wash won't remove a lot of oil, though - so you'll have to see how different amounts of oil turn out after the tea wash and go from there. Good luck!

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  12. Hi, I just recently found your blog and I am really loving it. Thank you for posting scientific based information with its sources (so much more credible when you can look at the source yourself). I am new to the whole natural hair care regimen and I was overwhelmed with all the information/advice out there and trying to decipher fact from fiction. So, thank you so much for this! My question is: how do herbal rinses/herbal tea shampoos work? I understand the saponins in other plants is the cleansing agent, but I am so confused as to how the herbal teas cleanse? What in them or how do they clean your hair from oil and dirt? Also, since I am very interested in trying them, could I just use tea bags from my pantry? Or would I need to go out and buy "fresher" herbs? How do you feel about egg washes and DIY flour shampoos? How do those work (if they do)? I believe I have dry hair. My hair is long, thick and curly but it is so frizzy and puffy that I dont know what else to do other than to just shave it off and start fresh. (yes, it's extreme, but that is how I feel when it comes time to style my hair...) Any insight would be really appreciated.

    Thank you for your blog and all you're doing!!

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    1. Hello Maria,
      In herbal teas or rinses like aloe, yucca root, "soap nuts" - the higher concentration of saponins do have a mild cleansing action via formation of micelles. Other herbal teas don't have such high saponin content, but they can have other "ingredients" that make hair feel thicker, fuller or look more shiny (nettle, horsetail, rosemary). The manipulation of the hair in water with the rinse itself can be very cleansing of all but lots of excess oils and really resistant soil (I mean clay). I have not studied all these plants' pharmacology well enough to know which chemicals have which effects.
      Sage and thyme rinses will help oily hair look less oily. They are considered astringent, which is not the same as detergent, but the effect can be quite remarkable. Yarrow and calendula teas have a similar, but less strong effect and can be calming to the skin, despite having rather low concentrations of the active constituents.

      There is a point at which a person wants some shampoo or a hair cleanser, but herbal teas help between washes. I cannot remove clay from my hair (nor lots of road dust) with herbal rinses. Excess oil needs an excess of micelles - that would be a job for soapnuts or yucca root or shampoo.

      You can use old herbs or fresh ones. If they're 5 years old, better to get new. Some people prefer new, I'm not that fussy or well-stocked. Flour shampoos, I haven't figured these out yet. Rye flour probably does contain enough ability to pull off dirt and some oil to make a noticeable difference, but it also seems difficult to rinse out. I can get behind a flat beer wash, though. That should clean very mildly and it can add lots of shine and body and smoothness. Though there is protein also, which can be difficult for some hair types (coarse hair). Egg washes can be drying on behalf of the egg white, it is possible for there to be interaction with the whole egg and the oils on your hair (and the cholesterol in egg yolks is good for hair). My feeling is that the egg is better for your hair if you eat it.

      Clay hair washes can be fantastic when they work. I have a really hard time getting the clay rinsed out well enough.

      Some people have good luck with Ayurvedic herbal rinses - those often do contain soap nuts or herbs which are high in saponins. I hope that helps!

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  13. Hi! Is there a way I can email you? I would really love to figure out a way to do a hair assessment and figure out what my hair needs. This blog is amazing but I am overwhelmed and not sure where to start. I'm at femirita21@gmail.com.

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    1. If you click the link at the right with the green background that says "GoosefootPrints" it takes you to my shop for hair analysis.

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  14. For the skin can using a towel or t-shirt exfoliate just as well as sugar?

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    1. Hello Fret fire,
      A terry cloth towel is rougher than a t-shirt, so it will exfoliate more. A sugar scrub exfoliates more than either a t-shirt or towel because it's more abrasive - even with the oil added. W

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  15. Hi, do you have a recipe for a ph balanced clarifying shampoo for those of us who don't use ph strips. For example using black soap or castile soap? If so thank you.

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  16. Hello WS. I'd like to ask: when using a hair wash or co wash do you still need to do a pre-oil treatment or deep conditioner, or does that only apply when shampooing or clarifying since they're more harsh? Thanks

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    1. Some people do oil treatments who also co-wash, others don't. Some people who co-wash also occasionally use shampoo. It's definitely something to experiment with. If you co-wash your hair, you don't want to use so much oil for an oil treatment that your hair looks "wet" or greasy with oil. Just enough for some weight and smoothness.

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  17. I do oil treatments and co-wash my dry dyed hair with no problems. For some co-wash is enough and for others not. I barely get any sebum from my scalp anyway so co-wash works fine for me. I also believe that dyeing hair once a month is like clarifying hair, so you do not get build up (expect if you use silicones which I'm not)

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  18. My hair is heavy, relatively thick, straigh-ish, and low porosity. It gets oily (clumpy and dull or extra shiny) only a day or two after a wash. I use bananas and a mix of Ayurvedic herbs to condition and cleanse once a week and I rinse my hair with tea or water in between but it stays oily. I really want to wash my hair as little as possible. Do you have any suggestions for a natural homemade wash and conditioner?

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    1. Hello Nami,

      You might try a clay wash - it's better at removing oils. If the oiliness is new, your scalp might be irritated or inflamed.

      The aloe hair wash recipe on this page is pretty good for hydrating, and it does seem to remove a little oil, but I don't know how well it would do with excess oils.

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  19. Hi,

    I've been researching a lot of DIY recipes for hair and body and one big question I keep running into is the sourcing of ingredients. Even buying coconut/jojoba or argan oil there is a huge price difference between brands and websites. How to you decide which one to buy? I'm trying to go for organic but there is still often a 25% difference. IT gets very overwhelming/confusing.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Venusgirl,
      What you buy depends partly on what's most important to you. For things like coconut oil, some of the studies done with coconut oil were using deodorized coconut oil - that is quite heavily processed. But it worked anyhow. So for coconut oil - choose by whether you like the smell, organic vs. not, based on the size of the container or whatever you like.
      For argan oil, I would want 100% argan oil rather than a blend containing argan oil.
      I usually buy oils from NOW brand from iHerb - I like the quality, the price is usually very good, the packaging is good, you can buy different sizes. If you are looking at 2 products and can't decide - read reviews. Read the ingredients.
      I pick up oils like sunflower oil at the local grocery store.
      Organic vs. not organically grown may not change the oil very much - if you value the benefits of organic growing for the environment and workers - then buy organic.
      Keep your oils in the refrigerator! It will keep your oils fresh longer so you get more value for your dollars.
      Best wishes! W

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  20. This is my first visit to this site. Your detailed responses to each question tells me that you truly care about the content and the readers. This builds trust which is hard to come by these days. Thanks for all you do. :-)

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