It’s been 2 years since I blogged about hair washing, but my journey into DIY has continued.
The big push for further experiments came when Terressentials changed the recipe for their hair wash. I loved their hair wash. Loved, loved, LOVED it. It kept my hair clean and my scalp healthy. It was perfect! How could they change it?!
Now, they never announced any changes. But between one bottle and the next, how it performed on my hair changed. My hair had been clean, silky, and smooth after a wash. Now it was developing a slightly sticky build-up. Yuck! The longer I used the hair wash, the stickier my hair got.
It still looked fine. But it felt funny, and getting a comb through it grew difficult. I found I could use baby shampoo every four or five washes to get rid of the residue, but it would always build up again.
This was not satisfactory!
I’m pretty sure I know what they did, because of an early thing I did with the Terressentials hair wash.
In the days when it still worked for me, the hair wash was really thick and sometimes hard to squeeze out of the bottle. The directions cautioned that one should not add water to the bottle, because there were no preservatives in the formula. Adding water would allow bacteria to grow.
The one liquid ingredient in the formula was aloe juice. So I got some pure aloe juice and added it to the bottle. That did make the hair wash easier to pour. But guess what? It also caused my hair to develop a sticky residue!
So I went back to using the hair wash unadulterated. It was not that hard to squeeze out.
I bet that the Terressentials people added more aloe juice to their formula. And maybe it isn’t a problem if the water in your area is softer than in mine. But I had a problem on my hands…er, hair.
I re-read a book of recipes for homemade toiletries and tried an egg-based shampoo. It worked fairly well, but it was a pain to make every time I needed to wash my hair. (It wasn’t something you could store.) Plus, my hair got oily after three or four washes. So then I had to resort to a baby shampoo again.
After months of alternating between the Terressentials hair wash, home made egg shampoo, and baby shampoo, I had an idea.
The active cleaning ingredient in the Terressentials product was bentonite clay. What if I made my own hair wash based on bentonite clay?
I took to the internet and discovered that several DIY folk had been before me on this. There were recipes! Although, really, it doesn’t take a recipe. Got bentonite clay? Available from Amazon. Got water? Runs out of my faucet very nicely!
But I did learn that one specific type of bentonite clay gives a better result: rhassoul clay. And it was reassuring to know that other people were making this work.
So I mixed up a batch, used it, and was delighted. I had those old stellar results back: clean hair, healthy scalp, and no residue.
Although a recipe is not really necessary, I’m going to give you mine, mostly because it’s helpful to get the proportions right. I mix up enough to fit in the travel bottles I take to the gym.
Rhassoul Clay Hair Wash
1/3 cup water
2 heaping tablespoons rhassoul clay
1 • Fill a spouted measuring cup with the water.
2 • Sprinkle a third of the rhassoul clay into the water and stir really well with a fork to break up clumps.
3 • Sprinkle another third of the rhassoul clay into the water and stir really well with the fork.
4 • Sprinkle the last third of the rhassoul clay into the water and stir really well with the fork.
5 • Pour the clay mixture into your shampoo bottle. You will have to use your fingers (or maybe a rubber scraper—I use fingers) to get the last of it.
6 • Cap the bottle and use. Store in the fridge.
I’ve never tried storing my hair wash in the shower cubby. It might be okay. I’ll confess that when my Terressentials bottles got down to the dregs, I would add water (against the instructions), and leave the hair wash in the shower niche for a week, and no mold ever did grow.
But since I store my lemon rinse in the fridge, I figure I may as well store my hair wash there also. Besides, I’ve gotten used to cool hair wash and cool hair rinse being poured on my head. It’s refreshing!
And, yes, I do still use my homemade lemon rinse. That’s a solution that continues to work.