Make Your Own Hair Conditioner
Beautiful Hair is as Close as Your Kitchen
I bet you have the ingredients for a great hair conditioner in your home right this minute! There are many natural products that can give your hair body and shine, detangle it, and help protect it from damage. The big difference between commercial hair conditioners and a conditioner you make yourself is price. Can you handle paying less for beautiful hair? I thought so...
Image: Degas pastel of bathing woman, 1883.
About Hair Conditioners
As you can tell from my photo, I have long hair. Except for one haircut back in 7th grade, I've always had long hair. Conditioner has been a staple in my shower for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I'd rinse my hair with diluted lemon juice or vinegar. I've tried using raw egg. I've used pureed fruit. How well do homemade conditioners work? Great! Natural conditioners smell wonderful and produce beautiful results. Now, I wouldn't use them every day... maybe once a week, but I highly recommend trying your own conditioner over paying for a deep conditioning treatment.
Hair conditioners are products that help improve the texture and appearance of your hair. There are several types of conditioning agents:
moisturizers and oils - humectants help your hair retain water while oils penetrate hair to help it remain soft and piable
acidifiers - strengthen the hydrogen bonds in hair protein and help seal the outer layer of the hair shaft (the cuticle)
detanglers - smooth the cuticle to make hair easier to comb and less likely to tangle
reconstructors - usually contain hydrolyzed protein which crosslinks with the hair to help strengthen it and temporarily repair damage
glossers - light-reflecting chemicals, usually polymers and synthetic oils, that help hair appear shiny
anti-static agents - you could use a dryer sheet! these agents help prevent fly-away hair
A conditioner can serve multiple purposes, so you don't have to go all-or-nothing with your haircare.
Conditioners for After You Shampoo
These conditioners are for use after shampooing. Apply them to freshly washed, damp hair.
Green Tea Conditioner
Steep 2 bags of green tea in 2 cups of boiling water. After the tea has cooled, remove the tea bags. Pour the green tea through your hair. Let it sit for 3 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Expect your hair to have a faint green tea scent.
Mix equal parts of honey and water. Work the mixture through your hair. Rinse with warm water. You may need to rinse your hair twice to remove all of the honey. This conditioner yields hair that is soft and silky.
Honey and Banana Conditioner
Mash a banana together with a half cup of honey. Apply the mixture to damp hair. Allow it to sit for about half an hour, then rinse your hair thoroughly.
Pour a beer through your hair, let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse it out. The proteins and sugars in the beer will help strengthen the keratin in your hair and give it shine. However, your hair will smell like beer, which can be a definite drawback.
Steep 2 mint tea bags or a handful of fresh mint in 2 cups of boiling water. After the water has cooled, remove the tea bags or strain out the mint. Use the mint tea as a refreshing hair rinse.
Did you know...?
Most shampoos and conditioners are slightly acidic, which helps protect the protein structure of your hair. This is one reason rainwater really is a good rinse for your hair. A little vinegar or lemon juice in a lot of water can give your hair a shine boost too.
Deep Conditioners for Before You Shampoo
These are deep conditioning treatments that you wash out of your hair.
Mayo and Avocado Deep Conditioner
Squish together a peeled ripe avocado and a small jar of real mayonnaise. Apply the mixture to damp hair. If you like, you can wrap your hair with plastic wrap or a warm towel to help the treatment penetrate hair better. Let the hair pack sit in your hair for at least 5 minutes, up to half an hour. Rinse your hair and then shampoo it.
Avocado and Coconut Conditioner
Mash together a peeled avocado with enough coconut milk to make a conditioner with a consistency that pleases you. Work the mixture into your hair and allow it to sit 10-15 minutes.
Lemon and Yogurt Conditioner
Mix together 1/4 cup plain yogurt, an egg yolk, and two pinches of minced lemon rinds. Massage the conditioner into your hair, rinse it out, and then shampoo.
Books with Natural Conditioner Recipes
Questions or comments about homemade conditioners? This is the place!