A couple of days ago I shared a picture on the networks of the herbal infusion I was making to go into my batch of shampoo. Many of you requested the recipe, so here I am!
Over the years, I've had various different hair types. I dyed my hair shades of red for 7 years, and then used natural things to lighten my hair (lemons, food grade hydrogen peroxide, tons of sun) for about 7 years. At one point a few years ago, my roots kept seeming so much darker than I remember them being, and I finally decided to make the plunge and get the rest of my hair matched to my roots. I also chopped most of it off within the same couple of weeks of doing so. The whole experience was a major energy and identity shift for me, and was part of the beginnings of my saturn return experience, so the timing was all meant to be.
Any who, before making my own shampoo, I used the Living Libations shampoo and conditioner for many years, and I highly recommend this combination (and entire line of products) to anyone who is not going to make their own. You can find their hair care products here. If you care about what goes in to your body, I can't stress enough how important it is to also care what is going on the outside of your body. From the water you are bathing in, to the detergent you wash your clothes in, to the lotions or products used on your body, it is all getting absorbed even more than the food you intake into your body. I've been a huge fan of the Living Libations products for many years (I am pretty sure 9 years?) and completely trust every ingredient and process used in their line.
Since I've been homesteading and growing my own medicinal plants here on the land, I've gotten more and more into creating my own products to use on my body. In all the different things I put on my body, I currently use a blend of my own homemade products and the Living Libations products. Some would even say I am fanatical about this. But that's pretty much my style to be fanatical about most things in life. ;-) My only exception to this is if someone gifts me a homemade body care product that they made and I can totally trust all of the ingredients in it. The same goes for what I put on my child's skin and hair, and what my husband uses on his body. Our bathrooms are their own unique apothecaries in our home.
And now for my recipe! I first experimented with the recipe in Rosemary Gladstar's Book: Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health, which was wonderful! I absolutely love this book and highly recommend it to anyone. I've changed the recipe quite a bit since the first time I made her recipe, so I am sharing my current formulation.
I start with an herbal tea infusion as my base. In this tea, you can use a variety of different herbs.
Herbs I always use: calendula, horsetail, nettle
Herbs I used in this batch: pineapple sage, rosa rugosa, lemon verbena, anise hyssop, marshmallow flowers, and all 3 herbs from above.
A pinch of each herb to make the quart of infusion is plenty.
To make an infusion, you can either pour simmered hot water over the herbs in a quart mason jar, or you can have the herbs and water in a pot, and just bring to a simmer. Then turn off the heat and cover with a lid. I go back and forth between these two techniques to keep life interesting, and I am also making tea infusions every day for drinking. Make a quart of this herbal infusion to create your base. I always let my infusions sit for 6-8 hours to get the full extraction. These herbs are all aerial parts and flowers of the plants, so they do not need to be decocted. A decoction is when you simmer or boil the water with the ingredients for longer periods of time to fully extract the medicine from the plant (roots, barks, and medicinal mushrooms usually require a decoction).
Once you've let your infusion sit, strain it out into either a narrow bowl or mason jar.
I use plain baby unscented liquid castille soap from Dr. Bronner's, and buy it in bulk (we use in the hand soap pumps in our house with added essential oils). For 1 quart of infusion, it's usually down to about 28 ounces after straining the herbs. I add 4 ounces of the castille soap liquid to my quart jar.
Last ingredient - I use an herbal infused olive oil that has been infused with st. john's wort that I harvested in the summer. I have it in a hand dispensable pump bottle, so I will 4 pumps of this oil to my shampoo mixture, about 1 teaspoon in total. You could also just use jojoba oil or plain olive oil instead. Something that is completely liquid at any temperature.
And that's it! I put the lid on the jar and shake it up really well. I keep a smaller squeeze bottle in our bath/shower and refill whenever we need it. Since I started using my own shampoo I have not noticed a need for conditioner so I have pretty much dropped that from my routine all together. I do shake the shampoo bottle before using it when I'm in the bath as it is all natural and might settle a bit.
The consistency won't be what you're used to with store bought shampoos, it's a much thinner liquid. I will use the squeeze bottle directly on top of my scalp instead of putting in my hand first. I still lather my whole head as I would with any other shampoo.