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Let me start at the beginning. This past year, I’ve been on a crazy hippie journey to eliminate toxic products from my life. Now, I’m excited to say that all of my body care items are homemade and non toxic. This includes: toothpaste, deodorant, body moisturizer (a blend of coconut oil, emu oil and essential oils), facial oil, and facial toner. I tried numerous types of DIY shampoos, including the no ‘poo method, but I was never happy. They irritated my scalp or dried out my hair. As a matter of fact, the no ‘poo method (baking soda + vinegar hair care) actually damages hair!
Why Wash Hair with Honey Shampoo
I’ve been washing my hair with this DIY honey shampoo for the past month and I LOVE the results! First, my embarrassing and persistent dandruff is clearing up. My hair is soft, shiny and it has become even more curly/wavy than usual. Finally, it is significantly less frizzy and I have no need to use an anti-frizz product. My scalp’s oil production has normalized and I can go 4 days between hair washing.
The pH of the scalp is between 4 and 7, and the pH of honey is about 4. The slightly acidic nature of the honey balances the scalp and fights dandruff
Raw honey is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so honey washing can help treat a bacterial/fungal issues on the scalp
Honey won’t strip the scalp and hair of the protective oils. As a result, hair will be less oily over time because the scalp will stop over-comensating with oil production (which happens when shampoos strip the scalp of all oils)
Honey moisturizes the hair, and, since it doesn’t strip the hair of natural
oils, hair will be softer with less frizz
You will be able to go longer and longer between washings as your scalps oil production normalizes. Now, I only need to wash my hair every 4 days (and I’ve even gone a week between washing)!
Honey washing is easy and fast!
DIY Honey Shampoo
Use only raw honey. Regular honey is processed with damaging levels of heat and is actually cut with corn syrup. I recommend making it on a “single serving” basis, so just mix up a little bowl of the shampoo before you plan to use it. Here’s the basic ratio, but you can adjust it as desired: 1 Tbs. raw honey and 3 Tbs. filtered water. If necessary, slightly heat the mixture over very low heat to help dissolve the honey. Yes, this is really watery… that is how it is supposed to be.
If desired, add a few drops of essential oil. To the mixture above, I add about 2 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of rosemary oil, and 2 drops of carrot seed oil. The essential oils add a light fragrance and also help with any flaky scalp issues. The carrot seed oil, especially, is very nourishing to the hair.
Wet hair, then massage a few tablespoons of the honey shampoo on the scalp. Massage well to distribute over the scalp. Don’t worry about getting the mixture on the ends of the hair, just the scalp area. Rinse well. No need to follow with any conditioner.
How to store the honey shampoo
UPDATE: I had one reader tell me her shampoo grew mold after one week. I have not had this happen to me, but I don’t want anyone else to have this experience. That is why I have updated the post suggesting that you make it as you need it. It’s super quick to mix together right before you wash your hair.
Dun dun dun… The Transition Period
Nobody likes the term “transition period” but I have to mention it. When you switch from any type of sudsing shampoo (which is very stripping and drying to hair) to honey washing, your hair will probably be oily and dull after the first couple times of honey washing. It may even take a month or two for your scalp oil production to normalize when you switch from regular shampoo to honey washing. So for the first week, you may need to honey wash every day. Then you will find you can go every other day, then every second day, etc.
Updates and FAQs
After this post clocked in at the 350 comments mark in early September, I figured it was time for a follow-up. In my Honey Shampoo: Updates and FAQs post, I address some common questions and explain my new hair care routine. I also give a couple of tips to make the transition period easier. Finally, I explain that natural hair care varies greatly from person to person and offer some other non-shampoo options to try if you don’t like Honey Shampoo.
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