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Make Your Own Hair Conditioner

Updated on June 13, 2010

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.

Honey Conditioner

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.

Beer Conditioner

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.

Minty Conditioner

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!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Well I tried the banana and honey on my daughter today and while it smelled great, I spent a lot of time combing banana chunks out of her hair. :) I think if I ever did this again, I would blend it together. We ended up with nice smelling hair but the 30 minutes it took to comb out all of the banana wasn't worth it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thank u a lot it really helped me look nicer and my hair

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


      If we don't get the conditioner of the brand we are using.. is it preferable tat we can use conditioner of another brand???

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      I used to use homemade conditioners regularly. Thanks for the recipes, i will definitely try them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info. I rememeber ironing my hair and then using wallops of a mayonnaise and beer concoction to repair the damage.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A bit of chamomile essential oils is GREAT in conditioner, it helps keep your hair healthy & cleanses the scalp too. I add 2-5 drops into my shampoo and have had great results.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello thanks for the great tips ,Here in Asia coconut milk has been long used for hair conditioning purposes , it keeps our hair moisturized and our jet black hair shiny

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      I love all homemade products.

    • profile image

      laura-wolfhart 5 years ago

      Very nice information :) I've been writing them down like crazy! I'm a junkie for all these natural hair things, even though I admit to buying store bought conditioner! I'm using this Pro Naturals line and I defend it because it uses argan oil without the silicones, sulfates, parabens or other strong chemicals. It's really improved my hair and I love it :) Natural products are best!

    • profile image

      melissa-taylor 5 years ago

      Excellent article! So far I've preferred Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner because it deeply hydrates and heals my hair which is no longer dry, instead it's healthy and shiny :)

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      I have a book on making soaps and shampoo's but I haven't tried any yet.

    • Thrinsdream profile image

      Thrinsdream 6 years ago

      Now I am definitely hooked on your lenses! Honey and Banana conditioner, so I not only make my smoothie in a morning I use some of the ingredients to make my hair ace too. Love it.

    • Clipperguy profile image

      Clipperguy 6 years ago

      Neat-O as well... Looked at both lenses! Ivan

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi, what would be an anti static agent to use in natural hair conditioner?

    • Bella Stella profile image

      Bella Stella 6 years ago

      I will try the one with the green tea and that with banana and honey for sure! Just one question: I have long hair and I always use conditioner cream in order to make them smooth for brushing, otherwise they get really hard to brash. So, can I use the green tea or the other mixtures you have proposed, after my conditioner or it is not necessary at all? Do the natural conditioners smooth hair on their own?

    • Mix Mafra profile image

      Michelle Mafra 7 years ago from Corona CA

      Great Lens. I am going to have to try them out!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      I'm looking for a way to strip my scalp from the build up of shampoos...I have shampoos for it but doesn't work well...I have used vinegar and baking soda as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      the acid in beer actually strips the hair and damages hairs keratin. se Dr. Oz's website

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Wicked things well done squidoo!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Mayo is just an emusion of egg and olive oil - you can make your own!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      cool the egg thing rlly works and so does mayo and avacodo for sure

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thanks for all the great ideas i have some honey in my cabinet so i think i am going to try the honey one today!

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      The mint tea solution sounds great to me.

      Will give it a try.


    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I've read all the hair recipes and will try them. Very interesting and natural.

    • CoolFoto profile image

      CoolFoto 8 years ago

      I'm going to try the lemon juice in water the next time I wash my hair. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great information about the conditioners that can be found right in the kitchen. I never would have thought that beer could be used as a after shampoo conditioner. Interesting. But I would hate to smell like a drunk all day.

      Natural Black Hair

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I used the easy to make base shampoo recipe with some lavender oil for a clean smell. This worked great!! I absolutely loved it.