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There are many options when it comes to hair conditioner, even natural conditioners. Although I like to use this deep conditioning molasses hair mask, it is good to have something simple on hand for everyday use. This homemade conditioner is simple, comfortable and moisturizes dry hair naturally.
What does the conditioner do?
Before we start making our own conditioner, it will help to understand what is going on here. Our hair follicles produce sebum that moisturizes and repairs damaged hair and split ends. But there is too much sebum and we have a greasy hair look.
Some people can go through the water washing their hair or baking soda, but most of us rely on shampoo. While shampoo is needed to keep hair and scalp clean, it also removes the necessary oils. The conditioner helps to add them again.
The best way to condition your hair
Here are some tips to get the most out of your natural conditioner:
- Focus on the ends of the hair. Adding too much to the scalp can make your hair look greasy. Remember that the scalp is where the sebum is made, but it can be difficult to get to the ends of the hair.
- Apply generously and leave on for a few minutes before rinsing. This gives the conditioner time to work its magic.
- It conditions more than the shampoo, especially with textured and curly hair. Excessive shampooing is not healthy for the hair, that’s why me do not shampoo every day. A good DIY conditioner can help keep your hair healthy and strong throughout the week.
Choose a good natural conditioner
Anyone who has ever walked into the shampoo aisle at the local department store knows how many conditioner options there are. And that doesn’t even count everyone who sells online or in specialty stores. Even home conditioner options can be overwhelming.
The typical conditioner purchased in the store has a thick consistency and lotion. Homemade conditioners can range from apple cider vinegar to coconut oil, to spreading avocado puree in your sauces. While none of these DIY options are bad, they are neither that easy nor stable. Avocados don’t last a week on the counter before they turn brown, they sure won’t last as a conditioner in my bathroom.
Some ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter are good for hair, but are hard to incorporate into a homemade conditioner recipe. Some homemade options can cause buildup in the hair cuticles and make the hair feel greasy. While I use coconut milk on my own homemade shampoo, its short lifespan and volubility are why it is not found in this natural hair conditioner.
Homemade natural conditioner
I wanted to create a recipe that didn’t need to be replaced every few days or composed in situ. I wanted something that would stick a little in my hair and work with the strands, so no herbal hair rinse. Most importantly, I wanted something simple but that worked.
Customize your DIY conditioner
Obviously, we don’t all have the same hair. Thin hair needs a different treatment from thick or textured hair. This recipe can be customized to meet your specific hair needs. It may take a little modification to find the perfect recipe, but the template is the same. We first examine the ingredients used, for whom they work, and possible substitutions.
The best oils for home conditioner
Since the shampoo removes oil from the hair, we need to add a little more. Rubbing a little oil on your hair, however, can quickly become messy … and then we become too greasy again. While I like to use direct oil for a deep conditioning treatment, it is too intense for daily use.
This homemade conditioner uses oils in the recipe, but not too much. Which oils we choose are so important. Here’s a breakdown of some of my favorite healthy hair oil options for use in a DIY conditioner.
castor oil is one of the best ways to grow stronger, longer and healthier hair. It is ideal for the scalp and helps with hair loss, breakage and dandruff, among other benefits. Castor oil has antioxidants that help make hair softer with less frizz. I use diluted castor oil as an overnight hair treatment, but it is also an easy addition in a DIY conditioner.
This oil is believed to balance the pH of the scalp and can help restore the health of the hair and scalp after using hard hair care products. Many people have seen impressive hair growth with this one.
Avocado oil it is a bad mayo, but it is also ideal for the health of hair and skin. Saturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil and avocado, sink more into damaged hair.
Argan oil has become a trend a bit lately, but it has a long history of use in certain cultures. Argan oil it is a rare oil that is not as cheap as some other options, but it is worth it. I like to mix some of them with hair care products, because here’s a little way.
While conventional conditioners also have other ingredients I want to avoid, it’s easy to add argan to a homemade conditioner. Argan helps repair dry and damaged hair and reduces curly hair. It works by softening the hair shafts and provides shine.
Argan oil is full of:
- Vitamins A and E.
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- Linoleic acid
Technically jojoba it is a wax, not an oil. It works perfectly on hair and skin care, because it closely mimics our own sebum. This helps you hydrate without leaving an overly greasy feeling. Jojoba helps reduce frizz and is full of nutrients that our hair and scalp need. You will find:
- Vitamin E.
- B-complex vitamins.
Although coconut oil is very popular, it is not really my favorite for hair. Because coconut oil helps hair retain protein better, it does not work for all hair types. Some people you find it very dry and makes them break their hair.
Then there is the issue of temperature. Virgin coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but begins to melt as the temperature rises. It is possible that certain DIY products become solid in winter and too torn in summer with coconut oil.
That said, if you have thinner hair and want to add healthy coconut oil, it can be done. The little coconut oil added to this DIY conditioner shouldn’t be enough to really affect the consistency.
How to make a custom DIY conditioner
I have thinner hair and run on the greasy side, so I don’t need to add too much oil. Those with thicker, textured or dry hair can increase the amount of oils used. I recommend trying jojoba regardless of hair type as it mimics both our own tallow. Other oils can be changed for what you have on hand or for what sounds good.
Microbes love water
I don’t use a lot of water in my skin care recipes as they start to grow faster. Bacteria and fungi love moisture and the home conditioner definitely has moisture. Because this recipe uses water, it must be clean and free of germs. Distilled and bottled water is ideal, but boiled filtered water is the next best option. Hydrosols will also work and have a slightly longer shelf life. There are many different hydrosol options that work well for hair, such as lavender, tea tree or rose.
You can use hydrosols for the entire portion of water in the recipe or simply add it to the distilled water.
This recipe uses a broad-spectrum natural preservative to improve shelf life. If you want to make a new batch every week and store it in the fridge, maybe you can skip the preservative. Keep in mind that touching a conditioner jar in the shower will be a breeding ground for microbes.
Using a pump bottle or an expression bottle removes the touch with the hand part. Even if you use a preservative, I think bottles are better options than one can here.
The best natural preservative
I used Leucidal Complete because it is easy, easy to get and has natural ingredients. It must be used between 2 and 4% to be effective, so I have included it with 4% here. Leucidal is ECOcert approved for certified organic products and is on the list of ingredients approved by Whole Foods.
Because you probably won’t send the home conditioner to a lab for stability testing, we can’t know exactly how long it’s stored. However, adding a natural preservative and following the usual hygienic measures (such as not using dirty hands or leaving it in a hot car) means that it should last at least a few months.
Some of my DIY recipes are based on emulsifying wax. This material magically lets you mix oil and water to create a creamy consistency. Although I love the natural beeswax for candles and hello, he won’t do the job here. Emulsifying wax also helps to thicken the product.
There are several different types available, some more natural than others, so be sure to check the product labels before you buy.
Addition of essential oils
Essential oils are another great way to personalize your conditioner and they also smell good. For this recipe I used a blend of tea tree essential oil, rosemary essential oil and lavender essential oil which are nourishing for hair and scalp. Here is a more complete list of the different options and which ones essential oils are best for hair.
Homemade conditioner recipe
This natural homemade conditioner can be easily customized for different hair types. Use your favorite essential oils for the skin to create your favorite scent.
Place the oils, glycerin and wax in a non-calorific glass bowl. Place the bowl on top of a pot full of water to make a double boiler and bring the water to the prick.
Stir occasionally until completely melted and remove the bowl from the heat.
Incorporate water and / or hydrosol. Once the mixture is hot but no longer hot, incorporate the Leucidal Complete and essential oils if used.
Continue to stir frequently until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. The fridge can help speed up the process, but make sure everything is well combined.
Transfer the conditioner to an expression bottle or pump and store away from sunlight and excess heat. For an even longer shelf life, store it in the refrigerator.
No time to do DIY?
That’s why I created my own line of natural hair care products … try mine Wellness conditioner for soft and naturally manageable hair.
How will you customize this DIY conditioner? Leave us a comment and let us know!