Healthy ingredients for a natural shampoo – Mother Earth News
These lists will help you find the right organic oils and healthy ingredients for natural shampoo recipes.
by Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema
Renowned hairstylist and educator Mary Beth Janssen aims to help readers achieve harmony of mind and body with Naturally healthy hair (Storey Editions, 1999). Jansenn has long been a voice for the integration of health and beauty, and many of its recipes call for the use of organic ingredients and forgotten knowledge. These two charts, taken from Chapter 6, show that when it comes to choosing healthy ingredients for a natural shampoo, there are many splendid options. You can buy this book at NEWS FROM MOTHER EARTH the shop: Naturally healthy hair.
Healthy ingredients for natural shampoo
When creating your own hair care formulas (or buying them from the store), you want to make sure that the ingredients you choose to use are those that are right for your particular hair condition. Many recipes call for a generic oil. That means it’s up to you to decide what your hair needs. Some guidelines are below. Remember to look for natural and organic oils when choosing healthy ingredients for a natural shampoo.
normal scalp: Sunflower, almond, coconut, castor or olive oil
Dry or sensitive scalp: Sunflower, almond, coconut, castor or olive oil
Dry and brittle hair (including overstyled, permed or colored hair): Jojoba, sesame or almond oil
Oily scalp and hair: Canola, safflower, sesame or almond oil
To note: Those who suffer from dandruff will benefit, depending on their condition, from formulas designed either for dry scalps or for oily scalps.
Herbs and essential oils
Normal hair and scalp
- Beneficial herbs: Calendula, chamomile, horsetail, nettle, rosemary, sage
- Beneficial Essential Oils: Bergamot, carrot seed, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, neroli, orange, parsley seed, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, thyme, ylang-ylang
Dry hair and scalp
- Beneficial herbs: Aloe, bay leaf, calendula, chamomile, coltsfoot, horsetail, lavender, marshmallow, nettle
- Beneficial Essential Oils: Carrot seed, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, jasmine, lavender, neroli, orange, parsley seed, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang-ylang
Oily hair and scalp
- Beneficial herbs: Bay leaf, burdock, calendula, chamomile, horsetail, lemongrass, mint, nettle, thyme
- Beneficial Essential Oils: Basil, bergamot, burdock, cedarwood, chamomile, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemongrass, orange, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, thyme, ylang-ylang
Sensitive scalp (dandruff, dermatitis, inflammation)
- Beneficial herbs: Aloe, bay leaf, burdock, calendula, chamomile, horsetail, marshmallow, nettle, oregano
- Beneficial Essential Oils: Cedar, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, neroli, orange, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, tea tree, thyme
Hair loss or thinning
- Beneficial herbs: Aloe, basil, bhringaraj, burdock, nettle, parsley, rosemary, sage
- Beneficial Essential Oils: Laurel, carrot seed, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, lavender, lemon, rosemary, sage, thyme, ylang-ylang
Blond hair (improvement)
- Calendula, chamomile, lemon
dark hair (improvement)
- Rosemary, sage, black tea
Red hair (improvement)
- Henna, saffron (coppery tones), sandalwood (reddish brown)
Many recipes may also call for an unspecified essential oil, and in other cases you may decide to add a few drops of essential oil to a homemade or store-bought product. A few recipes even call for the herb of your choice. Your decision will be based on the desired effect, whether physiological or psychological, calming to stimulating or balancing to hydrating.
Use these lists as a way to evaluate the labels of products you buy from health food stores, department stores and pharmacies as well as hair salons for the healthiest ingredients possible. Note that many herbs and essential oils cross over into different categories, showing the incredible diversity and effective nature of plants in beauty care.
Learn more about Naturally healthy hair
• Make your own natural shampoo with soapwort
• Make your own natural shampoo with essential oils
• Make natural shampoos without chemicals
Reproduced with permission from Naturally healthy hair: herbal treatments and daily care for fabulous hair by Mary Beth Jansenn and published by Storey Publishing, 1999. Buy this book from our store: Naturally healthy hair.
Posted on December 15, 2021
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