4-Month DIY Shampoo Journey: The Good, The Bad & Mostly The Ugly

This post definitely needs to be written.  I had wanted to keep posting all along the last 4 months of hair adventures, but, as you shall see, there wasn’t much I was excited to write about!

Before embarking on my experimental DIY Shampoo/Conditioner, No-Poo, Co-Washing journey, I did a bunch of research and felt relatively prepared for the process.

Obviously, no one’s hair and scalp are the same, everyone’s clarifying needs are different, and not all DIY recipes are safe for all.  Though the task of finding the right blends would be a long journey, I was comforted by all the happy bloggers who were so successful! If they could do it, so could I.

And thus, my journey began at the beginning of March, 2018.

Attempt #1

I began with a promising, clarifying, Ph balancing DIY shampoo recipe I created from a few suggestions I found online.  Like all of my DIY body care recipes, I try to stick with things I wouldn’t mind eating.

Check out my other DIY recipes: Lipstick and Eyeliner, Mouthwash, and Toothpaste/Deodorant.

This particular blend contained honey, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil.  I fumbled a bit with the awkwardness of having a jar and scooping bits out on my hair, but after scrubbing and rinsing, I was optimistic.

My optimism soon melted away as I took to blow drying my hair.  Hmmmm.  It was taking longer than usual to dry…and what’s that caramel, burning smell I’m noticing?

Well, come to find out, coconut oil caked in one’s hair doesn’t ever give you a “dry” look, and honey indeed caramelizes.


Attempt #2

Then I decided to integrate some baking soda into the mix.  My next attempt was baking soda with olive oil.

Though my scalp felt extremely clean and moisturized, my hair was quite the grease ball.  You can catch a glimpse of what it looked like in the video in this post.  Oh, and again I burned my hair because I couldn’t tell the difference between wet and oily.

That towel that protected my pillow would have to remain there a bit more…

Attempt #3

As I pondered my predicament, I remembered how a friend of mine taught me to clean ovens simply with a flour, water and baking soda paste.  Why wouldn’t the same concept help remove grease from my hair?  Without fielding any advice from my fellow DIY friends (which I soon regretted), I threw an arrowroot powder paste in my hair.

Let’s just say, that stuff took about a month to come out.


Attempt #4

My social network helped me realize that starchy things are never a good idea, but google was saying otherwise.  Cocoa powder seemed to be a key ingredient in loads of DIY shampoos, so why wouldn’t it work for me?  Yeah, the cocoa powder paste was just as awful as the arrowroot powder and took forever to come out.

But still, I pressed on without giving up and using regular shampoo (bless my husband’s heart).

Attempt #5

Baking soda, wild orange and lavender essential oils plus ACV (diluted in water) was my poor hair’s next experiment.  Still, the buildup kept building up.  Also, are those split ends and bits of hair breaking off?  No more baking soda for me!

Attempt #6

Aloe Vera, wild orange and lavender essential oils with ACV (diluted in water) was the straw that broke this camel’s back.  I finally caved and washed my hair with regular products the day before my cousin’s wedding.

Then I pressed on.


Attempt #7

At this point, my friends started chiming in a bit more to help.  Water-ONLY washing has been successful for a few.  Why not for me?

Two words.  Greasy & Dandruff

Attempt #8

Water wash only PLUS an ACV rinse with wild orange and lavender essential oils.

Two words.  Dry & Dandruff


Attempt #9

Another friend recommended a scalp mask of coconut oil and Thyme essential oil.  When it was time to rinse it out, I used an ACV rinse.  My scalp was oh-so clean!  The bad news was that my hair was extremely oily and in later days, the oil turned into stiff crud.

I have a note from 4/17/18 saying, “Just washed again regular”.  I guess that means I caved.


At this point, I stopped taking notes since I pretty much stuck to washing and rinsing with my ACV rinse (1TB of ACV to 4 cups water for the right Ph, the same Ph gardeners use on their plants I learned!).  My dandruff was a constant problem, but I’ve had MINIMAL success with rubbing in a TINY BIT of olive oil on the scalp afterward.  My hair was always up, and the hat went on to cover up the extra bad days.

Yes, my DIY shampoo days were coming to an end due mostly to my dandruff problems.

Finally, I friend gave me a sample of her favorite, healthy shampoo from Monat just in time for my Anniversary trip.  Weeee!!!! I was so happy again!  My hair looked fabulous during our whole camping trip: no washing or brushing needed.

I totally recommend them.  In fact, here is my fab friend’s FB page (consult is recommended before shopping 🙂 ), and here is her website!  Sheila gives you a hair-type questionnaire to make sure you are matched with the products best for you.

My search continued, however, due to my many skin sensitivities to botanicals, and another friend suggested I try Beauty Counter.  I absolutely love their mission and stance on toxin-free ingredients, but I knew I would be sensitive to the same plant-based ingredients that were issues with Monat.  Nevertheless, here is her site!  Sabrina is extremely crunchy and understands the life and land of detox living.  I recommend contacting her as well through her site so she can answer your questions about ingredients and match you with the best products.


Where My DIY Hair Journey Ends, And My Search For All-Natural, Ready Made Products Begins

Finally, a week ago today I landed on an all-natural shampoo and conditioner from the brand 100%Pure that works with my sensitivities and dandruff issues.  I’m really happy, and though I plan on trying other brands and maybe a DIY recipe here and there, this last week has been hair-tastic!  No more towels on my pillow at night, no more up dos, and no more sadness in our household.



If any of you have tips, tricks, fun hair experiences, or you just want to say “hi”, comment below!


2 thoughts on “4-Month DIY Shampoo Journey: The Good, The Bad & Mostly The Ugly

  1. Heather Martin

    Try cedar wood for the flakey issues. I’ve seen a “mermaid spray” blend that looks nice, though I’ve only personally tried the cedar wood 🙂

    1. Mrs.C.

      Thanks for the tips! Flakey issues can be a bummer. I’ll keep this in mind 😀

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