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You’re a whiz in the kitchen and love sprucing up your home décor. Now, it’s time to add hair-care products to your homemade recipe book.
“Not only is it extremely cost-effective, it’s easy to mix up a natural remedy up if I'm in a pinch,” says Jenny Strebe, the hair professional behind the popular website Confessions of a Hairstylist. “If your hair is feeling dry, you can easily grab some coconut oil to re-hydrate your locks in minutes. Craving beach hair without the beach? You can easily make a batch of salt spray in a flash."
Best of all, when you whip up your own shampoos, conditioners and styling products, "they don't have all the additives and toxic chemicals that normal salon products may have,” Strebe says.
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Here are nine treatments you can make at home — saving you money to splurge on a fabulous haircut instead.
Mixing up your own shampoo is actually quite simple. Grab an empty bottle and fill it with equal parts distilled water and unscented liquid castile soap. Then add in a few drops of essential oils (rosemary, lavender and mint are popular), and get ready to lather. Experiment with adding other ingredients — honey, jojoba gel, aloe vera, dried herbs, even beer! Depending on where you shop, a four-ounce bottle of your finished concoction can set you back less than a buck!
Whether you just ran out or are looking for a natural substitution, DIY conditioner is a snap: Start by raiding your fridge for the base ingredient (think plain yogurt, avocado or even banana), then mix in a few drops of olive or coconut oil to fight tangles, adding in a squeeze of honey, if you like. As with DIY shampoo, play around with extra ingredients like milk, herbs and essential oils. That’s it!
Strebe says this is a great recipe to use once or twice a month to get rid of hair product or pollutant build-up: Mix 1 to 2 cups warm water with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. “Apply to your hair in the shower and let it sit for few minutes to let the baking soda and vinegar do its magic,” she says.
“Not only can you eat coconut oil to help your hair and nails, you can directly apply it on the hair,” Strebe says. “After shampooing, apply 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon from mid-shaft to the ends." Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing. One caveat: "It’s important to stay away from the roots, as sometimes the oil can lead to weighing the hair down," warns Strebe who recommends repeating the treatment once or twice a week to keep hair healthy.
When you’re short on time, a dry shampoo is a great way to help soak up unwanted hair oils. Strebe says that coconut milk powder, cornmeal, baby powder and baking powder will all do the trick. “It’s all about personal preference or what you have readily in your cabinet,” she says. “Just lightly dust your roots with the powder of your choice for an instant matte look that will keep your locks looking freshly washed.”
“In a bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of shea butter,” Strebe says. “Apply 1 tablespoon daily by twisting the product around each curl for definition.”
Need something to smooth flyaways? Strebe points to coconut oil and olive oil. “Use a dime size amount on your palms and lightly rub from the midshaft to the ends of your hair to help fight frizz,” she says.
“Shampoo and condition like always, and then take a room temperature beer and pour it over your hair,” Strebe says. “Leave it in for a few minutes and lightly rinse. This will give your hair loads of body. The hops in the beer give a little bounce to your hair.”
Strebe says to add 8-ounces of water, 1 teaspoon gel and 2 to 3 teaspoons of salt to a spray bottle. “Shake it up and spray it on for instant beach texture,” she says. When applying, spray lightly, scrunching the hair to allow your waves to form. “You can also blow dry it in for fullness and lift at your roots.”
This story was originally published Aug. 27, 2014 on TODAY.com.