DIY diaries

Natural beauty products are easy to make and good for your skin and hair and the environment

More stories from Erica Jones

The Book Report
May 3, 2018

Photo by Erica Jones

Coconut milk shampoo can be made with four or five ingredients and takes very little time to complete.

Buying shampoo is hard. First you have to figure out if it’s made for oily or dry hair, then you have to pick a smell you like, and then, if you’re like me, you’ll take it home and find out it doesn’t work well for you and you’ll be mad at yourself for buying an $8 product that makes your hair feel funny.

I just emptied a shampoo bottle I’ve had for a very long time, and I was dreading making a new purchase. So, I decided to just make my own product instead.

I found a really easy recipe for a coconut milk shampoo on Pinterest, so I stopped at Woodman’s to buy castile soap, coconut milk and rosemary essential oil. Other products needed were lavender essential oil and coconut oil, which I already had at home. The recipe called for sage or chamomile essential oil, too, but I couldn’t find either at the store, so I substituted tea tree oil because I knew about its clarifying properties.

Mix half a cup of castile soap — I chose Dr. Bronners Organic Castile Liquid Soap simply because I know you can refill the bottle at Just Local Foods — with one-third cup organic coconut milk to get the base. Then, heat up two teaspoons of coconut oil so it’s liquid rather than solid and add it for moisture.

Finally, mix in ten drops of rosemary essential oil, eight drops of lavender essential oil, and six drops of sage or chamomile essential oil — this is where I subbed out tea tree oil.

Then, just kind of shake it up to mix it and put it in whatever container you’d like it in. I funneled mine into an empty pump bottle I had lying around. I thought the pump was convenient and I like the idea of reusing things instead of throwing them away.

I haven’t tested the shampoo out yet, but I have high hopes. However, it was kind of expensive to make considering how much it yields. All the products I bought cost me $13, and I only made about eight ounces of shampoo. With that being said, I do have extra coconut milk and an almost-full bottle of rosemary oil left over. You also have to remember, you’re paying for more natural, high-quality products (especially the castile soap).

In addition to the shampoo, I made face wash with honey and apple cider vinegar. This recipe is really easy, and I’ve been using this product for months now, so I already know it makes my skin feel great. It’s specifically meant as an acne face wash, but the website I used has mixes for all kinds of skin.

Combine half a cup of raw honey — you might have to melt it down — with one-fourth cup apple cider vinegar. The recipe I found calls for five to ten drops of tea tree oil, but I chose to instead add five drops of lemon oil and five drops of lavender oil.

I would only recommend using this face wash in the shower, as the honey does make it sticky. If you use it as just a routine face wash, it will get in your hair and stay there until you thoroughly rinse it out. Also, be careful with it. The apple cider vinegar and lemon oil make this really painful if you accidentally get it in your eyes.

All in all, I’m happy with my DIY products. I feel good about using natural, simple products on my skin and hair and also reusing empty bottles and jars. Next up: Maybe conditioner?