Lauraine Leblanc: Getting more bangs for your bucks – Mad River Union

Posted: Sunday, June 18, 2017

Is it just me, or does it seem like everything is more expensive these days? I can’t put my finger on the reason for it, but lately it just seems that money drains from my bank account at an unprecedented rate, and not just because my debit card was hacked. So, I’ve redoubled my efforts to seek out do-it-yourself alternatives to household products.

One of the things my household goes though really quickly is hair products. Yes, the dreaded time has come for me to write about hair.

When the missus decided to grow her hair after wearing it short for years and years, we discovered to our astonishment that she  was blessed with a lush mane of ringlets. As this ravishing cornucopia of curls grew, so did its thirst for shampoo and conditioner.

At first, we purchased the excellent locally-made products available in many local stores’ bulk sections. This was a substantial savings over buying the same, or similar, prepackaged products, with the added benefit of being zero-waste, as we used our own plastic bottles over and over.

Still, though, at nearly a buck an ounce, the expense of moisturizing milady’s insatiable curly coiffure was tangling up our frazzled finances.

This capillary conundrum led me, as ever, to the tangle of the interwebs, where I found a plethora of hair care recipes.  And it’s not just fringe types like us; the DIY hair care field is a beehive of activity. I got to work, and here’s what I came up with:

DIY shampoo

I thought this would be the most problematic, but it was actually the simplest.

In a clean squeeze bottle, mix ¼ cup of Castile soap with ¼ cup of coconut milk. Shake.

Yup, that’s it.

Add a few drops of essential oil if you like to smell purty.

The shampoo will separate as it sits around. Just give it a good shake before using it.

This mixture has a higher pH than your skin and scalp, so if you’re sensitive, try following it up with the following rinse/conditioner or just a straight vinegar rinse.

DIY rinse/conditioner

In a small saucepan, bring two cups of water to boil. Turn off the heat and add a 3- to 4-inch branch of rosemary. Let this steep until the water cools back to room temperature.

Remove the rosemary and stir in ½ teaspoon of guar gum to dissolve. (Get guar gum in the bulk spice section of your local store.)

Pour the mixture into a clean squeeze bottle. Add one tablespoon of oil. I use hemp oil, though olive oil is fine. (You can use coconut oil too, but it may congeal in the bottle, requiring additional vigorous shaking.)

Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar; this balances the pH so your scalp won’t dry out. Again, put in a few drops of essential oil if you wish. The vinegar smell tends to overpower the rosemary, so I add lavender oil. Give it all a good shake, and voila, a creamy conditioner.

If you want to make a plain rinse, just leave out the guar gum, though we went though a lot of rinse before I figured out how to thicken the product.

I have fine hair, prone to frizzing, so I’m probably not the best advertisement for these products, though they are helping control the mess that is my coif. My better half, Mrs. Curly Locks, is certainly the spokesmodel and gets compliments all day long. Our hairs are happy, and we both get more bangs for our bucks.


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