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Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I am a big no ‘poo fan. I’ve been no ‘pooing for over 2 years now and I will never stop.
While I promote no ‘pooing with great enthusiasm, I realize that some of you can’t or don’t want to no ‘poo.
Maybe it just didn’t work with your hair or water type. Maybe you would like to do a no ‘poo version for your children but know that vinegar and squirmy kids do not mix. Maybe you can’t stand the smell of vinegar.
Perhaps you are like my husband who can stand the smell of vinegar but not when your beard gets wet from the rain and you have to smell it all day at work.
As I said, I’m perfectly happy with my baking soda and vinegar routine. My husband however is not. He does use baking soda for his “shampoo” but he just couldn’t stand the previously mentioned vinegar reaction so he has been using store bought conditioner.
We try to get the more natural conditioners but they are hard to locate and generally cost an arm and a leg! Recently he ran out of his conditioner and instead of buying another somewhat natural bottle of conditioner (which I wasn’t thrilled with some of the ingredients despite it being better than some other brands) I decided to search for a homemade conditioner.
I finally came up with a homemade conditioner that is easy to make and works great. My husband has been using it for a week now and we are pretty certain that it’s working even better than his old conditioners.
Now, I know that some of you are wondering how it works on girl hair so I took the plunge and gave it a try myself. I’m happy to report that my hair did just fine with it. Granted, I still prefer vinegar for my conditioner but this is a great homemade conditioner for those who want something else.
2/3 cup Water (boiled or distilled is best as it will have less contaminates)
1 tsp. Coconut Oil –melted
½ tsp. Guar Gum
Essential oils – optional
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend away. It will only take a minute or so.
Transfer to an old conditioner bottle or any sort of squeeze bottle. Can be kept in the shower.
This recipe should last about a month, as it has no preservatives.
I use tea tree essential oil and rosemary essential oil in my husband’s conditioner as he deals with dandruff and both are great for it. Peppermint is another great essential oil.
Really any essential oil that you love should be great in this conditioner.
You can add more coconut oil if you have dry hair or less oil if you have oily hair.
You can also get creative and use cold tea instead of plain water.
What is guar gum, and where did you find it? 🙂
Carolyn – Guar gum is a thickener much like arrowroot, cornstarch, etc. I bought mine from vitacost.com (bob's red mills) but you can probably find it at any natural store.
doesn't the coconut oil leave hair greasy??
It would if you added a lot but this is such a tiny amount that it doesn't. You can always tweak the recipe and add even less coconut oil if you want but the oil is what helps condition.
I've tried no 'poo and it just didn't work for me so I was excited to come across an alternative. This is for the rinse, but what about in place of shampoo? Any ideas? Thanks!
Can't wait to try this!
You could still use just the baking soda part of no 'poo. However if you actually want something more shampoo like then you can use just castile soap (although some have waxy issues with it and it seems to prefer an acidic rinse) or there's this shampoo that looks promising from Crunchy Betty.
ok, yesterday I blended (very well) about one third of a cucumber (peeled) and one small lemon (peeled) in my vitamix and used it to clean/condition my hair. it felt like conditioner and I could feel it working into my scalp and through my hair. it rinsed out very well but left tiny flecks of the fruit which I was easily able to blow dry out. and it was nice! my hair didn't have that greasy/starchy after feel of the baking soda. I think I may try alternating between it and the baking soda.
Could you use cornstarch instead of guar gum or would the outcome be bad?
I suppose you could give it a try (although I generally do not recommend cornstarch as it's likely a GMO unless organic. Arrowroot is the usual cornstarch alternative but I hear it's not stable enough for conditioner so perhaps the same would be true of cornstarch)
It can't hurt to try it with cornstarch especially if you have all the ingredients already. If it works then great, if not then go out and buy the guar gum. 🙂
Thank you! I've been trying to find the guar gum without ordering online, but haven't been able to, so I wasn't sure. Thanks again!
Do you need to rinse it?
We rinse it. I have heard that you can leave it in however, I also hear it works as a good hair gel so leaving it in may not be the best plan.
This did the opposite of condition my hair, it turned my ends into a fused knot and grew mold after 4 days. 🙁 Back to the chemical filled crap from the super market I guess.
That's too bad. I don't think this conditioner is for everyone and it definitely has a short lifespan. An alternative would be no 'poo (or vinegar).
Thank you. My 9 yo daughter tried it tonight and her hair was beautiful, dense and shiny. I ever imagined that the texture would be so creamy and thick, just by blending such a little amount of coconut oil and guar gum in water! Thanks again. 🙂
To help keep from molding, I suggest purified (boiled) water or distilled water. That might help.
Yes! I just realized that was something I should probably add!
I read that this recipe doesn't last very long. About how long does it last? If it only last a few days I do not feel like I will be saving that much money or time if it goes bad that quickly.
While it doesn't last as long as a conventional bottle of conditioner would, if you use distilled or boiled water it should last for a month.
I made this and it was nice and thick at first, but after less than a week the guar gum separated from the rest and the conditioner became liquid. Did anyone else have this problem? Any ideas on how to keep it thick?
I have not experienced anything like that. I do make sure to shake the conditioner bottle every now and then but that's more to do with keeping things from getting stagnant and such. I've never had it completely separate however. You could add more guar gum I suppose but if it's separating that really won't help. Make sure you blend it for a good while.
Why would it go bad or mold? The coconut oil and essential oils don't go bad by themselves, do they?
I believe it's the guar gum that has the real issues. Coconut oil can go bad…eventually…like 2 years! Making sure your water is boiled first or distilled will help it not mold.
Oh yeah, I am making this tonight! I have been no 'poo for about two years as well and, like you, I will never go back. My kinky-haired, 18yo daughter uses conditioner only, (no 'poo, no baking soda, no vinegar) so this ought to be perfect for her needs. My 16yo uses various methods from bs/acv to castille soap to store-bought dandruff shampoos, depending on how her hair and scalp are responding. I think she will like this one as well.
The men in our home (13, 14 and 56) use whatever they can scrounge, from the
sisters trial run and discarded shampoos to castille soap and they will be happy for some conditioner, especially if I put it into an empty store-bought brand bottle!
I would think that the tea tree and rosemary oils would act as a lovely preservative to keep this from going south. Peppermint and eucalyptus as well as citrus oils would work toward that end as well. I'm thinking rosemary/lemon or rosemary/peppermint (my favorite Aveda shampoo, from back in the day, was the rosemary mint!)
Has anyone had luck doing this recipe with cornstarch rather then guar gum?! I have cornstarch on hand and would like to try it! Also, how many ounces does this recipe make?! Thanks 🙂
I have not tried using any other starches but it's worth a shot I suppose. As far as ounces goes, I think it's probably around 4-6 oz… basically the amount of water you use is how much you end up with.
What about glycerin – would that act like a thickener instead of the guar gum?
Hmmm glycerin does thicken but I'm not sure if it would be enough. Worth a try if you have some on hand though!
Could I used Xanthum Gum rather than Guar Gum? I bought some Xanthum Gum for a shampoo recipe and would prefer to use that rather than purchasing another ingredient. Thanks! 🙂
Yes you could use xanthum gum. I have never tried it personally but I have seen other conditioner recipes use it so I'm sure it would work.
Cedar essential oil works really well for dry, itchy, flaky scalp as well.
I LOVE this one! Not just a hair conditioner, but all over body conditioner as well. I haven't yet achieved a balance yet with my no-poo/vinegar regime, so I thought I'd try this after the vinegar rinse. It's fantastic! I used xanthum gum as that's what I have on hand from my gluten-free baking. Works wonderfully. I added 4-5 drops of lavender/lemon essential oil. I used boiled water when making it, and it's lasted two weeks so far. I also use it all over my body at the end of the shower to ease the dry "winter skin". Also, it makes a GREAT no rinse shaving "gel"! Thanks for the recipe!!!
I've been using this recipe for a few weeks and I must say its AMAZING!! I've been experimenting with different scents and measurements and for my very curly, thick hair I use 1.5 t of coconut oil instead and my hair comes out perfect. I use the "no-poo" baking soda recipe for shampoo. My favorite scent combo is rosemary and mint tea (I use the mint tea in substitution for water). I also comb some through my hair after towel drying and it works really good as a gel! I love your blog and its my go-to for all things crunchy! I actually used your blog to learn all about cloth diapering and I always refer it to others who are curious about CDing. Thank you for the great information!!
That's great to hear! Rosemary and mint tea is my go-to variety as well.
Can you use xanthan gum instead of guar gum??
Yes, while I have not tried it personally, I have heard that you can use xanthan gum instead.
I use a homemade shampoo with castile soap as the main ingrediant and ACvinegar rinse. I am looking for another conditioner because I think the AC vinegar is stripping my color. Would this work with the castile soap? Sometimes if I don't use enough vinegar my hair is greasy from the castile soap.
A few things… first, it's not likely that the vinegar is stripping the color from your hair. (no 'poo in general is like using "regular" shampoo/conditioner. It'll fade faster than if you used "for colored hair" products but not strip color). Secondly, usually it's the vinegar that causes greasy hair (or rather, it's too much vinegar) but castile soap does weird stuff to hair so who knows.
Now as for if this conditioner will work after a castile shampoo… it will work but it's not as acidic as you'd probably like after a castile shampoo. My hair did ok after a no 'poo (I use baking soda) but it wasn't as soft as if I had used vinegar. That said, my hair likes high acidity so it's possible that your hair will like this conditioner just fine. It won't hurt to try it.
Does the vinegar rinse dry out your hair??
No, as odd as it seems, vinegar doesn't dry out hair. In fact, too much vinegar and your hair will look greasy (which is why a vinegar rinse is diluted with water)
can you use the guar gum in the baking soda mix? I have a hard time spreading it in my hair with just the watery mix
The baking soda mixture?… of normal no pooing? I suppose you could but that mixture really should be basically baking soda water and you just pour it evenly on your head. I've not tried adding a thickener to the baking soda mixture though so I can't say how it would react.