Tag Archive | xanthan gum

Homemade Shampoo Part Two


Since my homemade shampoo recipe is by far the most popular post on my blog, I decided it was time for a part two! I have had many questions on here, and facebook that I wanted to address and I also have some new ideas to share as well.

First of all, I know some of you may be hesitant to buy a whole bag of xanthan gum just to try my shampoo recipe and I don’t blame you one bit! The good news is they sell little tiny packets of it! I found these in the baking aisle for less than 50 cents each! One packet has enough to make a gallon of shampoo, perfect for making a test batch :) I have to tell you I was so excited when I saw these lol. Seriously who gets excited over xanthan gum? I don’t blame my husband for occasionally shaking his head at me haha.

Probably the most common question I get asked is if there is a way to make the shampoo thicker. I know it can be a little hard to adjust when you are used to the products in the store. I have been able to make it thicker but still not as thick as commercial shampoo. I will share the recipe to make it slightly thicker at the end of this post. I am sure you could get it even thicker if you wanted, but part of the reason I make this is to save money. If you are trying to make it thicker you will be using more ingredients, which means it will cost you more money. It will also take you more time to make it. I would love to experiment even more but I make no money from this blog and can not afford to waste supplies I need. Yes it is rather thin, but it still works great for us. Just put it in a squirt bottle and apply it directly to your head and you are good to go :)

A couple of people have mentioned to me that their hair did not feel quite clean after using this. There are a few reasons why you might have this problem. This shampoo will not strip your hair like the harsh detergents in store-bought shampoo. You may need to massage this into your scalp a little more than you would with your old shampoo, it is meant to be more gentle on your hair and scalp. I have also read about your hair/scalp having an adjustment period when you stop using store-bought shampoo. You can add a little extra castile soap and slowly cut back on the amount you use while your hair gets used to the new shampoo. If it is used to being stripped of oils, it is used to making extra oil to compensate. You may need a few weeks to adjust to this, but please don’t let this discourage you. If your hair looks greasy on the second day, simply brush some cornstarch through it. This will help absorb the oil and you can even add a little essential oil to the cornstarch first for a nice scent :) I do not wash my hair every day, it is bad for your hair and frankly a pain. No matter what I use I still have the problem of my hair being a little greasy looking on the second day. Sadly some of us are just “blessed” that way. No store-bought product ever helped me with that issue either but my homemade shampoo does still get my oily hair clean.

Another fairly common question is “How long does it keep?”  I don’t think there is any set answer to this question. Honestly I think this really depends on how you make it and store it. If you boil your water first, use an essential oil that is anti-microbial and then store your extra shampoo in a dark, cool place I am sure that will help it last longer. I have kept mine under my bathroom sink for 3 months before it went bad. If you are concerned about this I would make a half recipe at a time, and I would also suggest smelling it before refilling your shampoo bottle for the shower. You will definitely be able to tell if it has gone bad or not.

I wanted to add that it is NOT necessary to use tea.  Since my original shampoo post I have made it with just plain water and prefer to make it that way now. It is easier, cheaper and works just as great. If you use water and unscented castile soap (like Dr. Bronners Baby Mild) it is better for children or individuals with sensitive skin :) I have also made homemade liquid castile soap since my original shampoo post that you can use if you don’t want to buy or can’t find Dr. Bronners.

I hope this information has helped clear up any questions you may have. If anyone has any other questions please feel free to post a comment and I will do my best to help you. I would also love to hear more reviews as well :) This is still the only shampoo that we use and I don’t foresee us switching back to store-bought anytime soon! We have been very happy with it and I hope you will give it a try if you haven’t already.

<3 Ashley

Homemade Shampoo – Thicker Formula

  • 13 cups water or tea
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup castile soap
  • 30 drops essential oils (optional)

Add 13 cups of water to a large pot. In a seperate bowl mix together the remaining cup of cold water and cornstarch, whisk until no lumps remain. Pour cornstarch mixture into large pot with the water. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly for several minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat, whisk in baking soda, xanthan gum and castile soap. Let cool completely, mix in essential oil.

 

Edit added on 08/06/2012 ~ After using the thicker formula a few times I have noticed that it does not foam up as much as my original shampoo recipe. It still works to get your hair clean but I will be sticking with the original or skipping the cornstarch and just using less water :)

Homemade Shampoo


I have tried so many recipes for homemade shampoo. I am going to share a little bit of my experiences with you, then let you in on my shampoo recipe. This is probably going to be a pretty long post, but please bear with me… you will learn a lot I promise :) After reading about the chemicals in store-bought shampoo I was determined to find an alternative.

When I first started researching going “poo free” as they call it. I heard about using baking soda and vinegar. I wasn’t quite ready to make that dramatic of a switch, so I started off with Crunchy Betty’s “Sorta Poo”  (I love her blog btw!) Now I absolutely LOVED how this stuff made my hair look and smell. It was heavenly! It is made with castile soap and coconut milk. There were 2 downsides though…. One my hair felt like it had a little bit of a residue but that could have been from the coconut milk I was using. Two you have to make a new batch each time you shower, or store it in the fridge. A few times I forgot to make it, or didn’t have time so I had to reach for the store-bought shampoo as back up. So I decided to make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge. A few times I jumped in the shower only to remember my shampoo was in the fridge, not fun. It also is REALLY cold when you do it that way, my 4-year-old was not a fan of really cold shampoo lol. So I decided that it just wasn’t working for me. But if you have castile soap you should really try this at least once, your hair will look amazing! If you do try it, I would not recommend using peppermint castile soap, unless you like a really strong tingly feeling.

So after sadly giving up my “sorta poo” I decided I was ready to try “no poo”. This is by far the best information I found on “no poo”. I loved how cheap and easy this was, and you don’t have to store it in the fridge. You wash your hair with baking soda, and use an apple cider vinegar afterwards to soften your hair. It was fantastic for my daughter’s hair, and for my roots. The problem with this for me was… my hair has been processed so many times. There is no pretty way to put it, its fried! lol. So unfortunately this just did not work for me either. My ends needed a little more lovin! I am in the process of growing my natural hair out now, so maybe I can go back to this one day :) I have also seen people complain about their hair not smelling yummy like with regular shampoo and conditioner, which is true. But to fix that all you have to do is spray your favorite body spray on your brush when you brush your hair, problem solved!

So after experimenting a little bit I finally came up with my own homemade shampoo recipe. I am extremely excited to share it, because well it’s just awesome! lol. It leaves you hair clean, smelling good and really shiny. Best of all NO chemicals!  :) It also does lather a little bit unlike the “no poo” method. I read that chamomile tea was a natural way to gradually lighten your hair (if it is naturally fair to begin with) I am not sure if this is true but it got my mind going. So I thought… I will take the castile soap from the “sorta poo” and the baking soda from the “no poo”, use tea instead of water and add in some essential oils. But then it got even better! I had bought some xanthan gum for a conditioner recipe I tried out so I added that as well. I was amazed with the results and I am happy to share. So you will need:

  • 1 gallon of brewed tea or water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup castile soap
  • 3 tsp xanthan gum
  • essential oils (about 30 drops-optional)

For the shampoo I made this time I used regular tea, almond castile soap (I absolutely love Dr. Bronners), and tea tree oil. If you have never heard of xanthan gum don’t worry, I found it right at Wal-Mart in the baking aisle. If you can’t find it at any stores there is always the internet! It is a little expensive I think I paid around 12 dollars for this bag. BUT a little goes a long way, and you can use it for gluten-free baking too. You can buy castile soap at Target, Whole Foods, GNC. It is also a little pricey up front (This bottle was 4-5 dollars) but you can use it for SO many things. I use it in my all-purpose cleaner, you can use it to wash your dog, car, walls, etc. It really is amazing stuff. {Or you can make your own!! Find my recipe here :) }

So first, brew your tea. I put the tea bags right into the cold water, then heat the water just to where it’s steaming and you see little bubbles on the bottom. Then I take it off the heat and let the tea steep for about 5-10 mins.

Next, remove the tea bags and stir in your baking soda. It will fizz up for a minute like this:

At this point you can let it cool off some before adding in the rest of the ingredients if you would like. You will want to whisk in your xanthan gum next, a little at a time. Then stir in your castile soap and essential oil. I keep forgetting to add the xanthan gum before the castile soap, silly me. So I ended up with a foamy top on my mixture while stirring in the xanthan gum. Not a big deal except it causes little clumps and its hard to see when it’s all mixed in. It doesn’t affect the end result, its just a little bit of a pain. This is what happened to me, lol.

Here is what it will look like when its done. I had little clumps because of my oopsie, but they mostly dissolve anyways so its nothing to worry about.

After it cools completely stir in your essential oil then just pour some into an empty bottle for the shower and store the rest under the sink in an old milk or water jug. Use just like regular shampoo, and enjoy your clean, pretty smelling, shiny hair :) There are so many variations you could do with this as well. The first batch I made was chamomile tea, with lavender castile soap and lavender essential oil. You could also do green tea, with citrus castile soap and lemon essential oil, or coffee with almond, etc.

I am still trying to find a conditioner recipe that I am happy with, so for now I am using a sulfate and paraben free kind called “Simply U Conditioner” (Color Shine formula) along with this shampoo.

Please please please try this and let me know what you think! I hope you will love it as much as we do.

<3 Ashley

(Please check out Homemade Shampoo Part Two for answers to some frequently asked questions and a recipe for a slightly thicker formula)