Ever feel mesmerized in the shower by the fun graphics and clever copy on shampoo bottles? Those breathless product descriptions telling you how your hair will be be forever changed after just one lather-up probably keep you from spending too much time looking over the ingredient list. Because once you do, you're going to have questions.
What is glycol distearate? What about pthalates and SLS? What exactly are these chemicals doing to your hair? FYI, glycol distearate is only there to give shampoo that opaque and shimmery look that we hope will actually rub off on our hair. Pthalates hide in artificial fragrance, and SLS helps shampoos create big, fluffy suds.
Basically, all those ingredients are the chemical equivalent to smoke and mirrors—you don't need any of them to get clean, shiny hair. If you want a natural alternative for your tresses, try this recipe for your own sublime-smelling, super moisturizing DIY shampoo. The vitamin E and fats in the organic coconut milk will replenish your hair and scalp and promote hair growth.
Pure herbal aromas will perfume your shower with herbaceous rosemary—no faux-sweet smell like regular shampoos. It’s the perfect scent to complement the peppermint liquid soap, which will get that head of yours squeaky clean without all the funky additives. A little bit of jojoba oil gives your hair some extra moisturizing love.
Combine ingredients into a squeeze bottle or jar and shake it up before every use. Lather from roots to ends for at least 30 seconds, then rinse. This shampoo is good for up to a month.
Not ready to commit to DIY shampooing? You still don't have to settle for mass-market brands loaded with chemicals. Check out the options for natural shampoos out there.
Illustration by Karley Koenig