How To Make Your Own Organic Shampoo

Natural shampoo never even crossed my mind for more than two decades. Over the past couple years, as my family has tried to eat healthier, enhance our wellbeing with pure supplements and cut back on toxic chemicals in our house, I have experimented with all sorts of organic and “all natural” shampoos. Sadly, all left me a little closer to broke and with greasy, waxy hair. Not good.

In an effort to seal my “crunchy” status, I even tried the whole ‘no poo thing hoping to rid myself completely of a need for any sort of “product.” After two months of trying, I learned that with my hard water it just wasn’t going to happen. (Sigh) I was beginning to think I was doomed to harsh chemicals and cleaners in order to feel like I could show my face (or head) in public again. Surely there was a natural shampoo that would work? Anyone? Anyone?

In one last attempt, I adapted a few recipes until I came up with this beautiful, homemade, DIY, all natural shampoo of GLORY! (Yes, I love it that much!)

Why get rid of your shampoo?

For starters, many shampoos have lots questionable ingredients (like carcinogens in baby shampoo). But if we move beyond the “toxic” discussion and just talk beauty, there is another reason to reconsider switching to a different approach.

Most commercial shampoos strip the scalp of its natural oils. The body, in its infinite wisdom, tries to balance itself back out by producing more oil. This of course translates into hair that gets really greasy really fast — a reason why most people feel like they need to wash their hair every day or two. Because they do. Because our shampoos are destroying our natural balance. The product we need to feel less greasy is making us… well, more greasy.

This natural shampoo recipe below is a great alternative. It’s easy, smells good, lathers good (yes!), and is much less harsh on your head. I find I only need to wash about twice a week now and my hair doesn’t get NEARLY as gross as it used to (even by day 4). Of course everyone’s hair is different, and the water in your shower can also make a huge difference. Be sure to give your scalp at least two weeks to adjust before giving up. You’ll probably feel a little more greasy for the first couple of days while your body’s natural oil production balances back to normal.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: I now use this pH balanced shampoo recipe which has been much kinder to my scalp than the natural shampoo recipe below.

 

You could easily double or triple this recipe. Just make sure you have a bottle large enough. You should be able to find all of these ingredients at your local health foods store or they are easily found online**.

You can do a quick ACV or lemon juice rinse to help balance the pH of your scalp. You may find that you want less or more ACV for your “perfect” hair conditioner. (ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar if you are new to the “crunchy” world of acronyms.)

The best part? This shampoo can also be used as a body wash!

A word about making the switch to natural shampoo:

You must be patient when it comes to switching your hair care from commercial to natural. There is often a “detox” period where you hair may feel stiff, sticky, oily, heavy, or dry. The myriad of synthetic products that are so often in our commercial shampoos and conditioners artificially coat the hair with plastic or protein polymers to make it look and feel undamaged. The more damaged the hair, the more porous it becomes; the more porous the hair, the more it absorbs these synthetic “protein” polymers (e.g. soy, wheat or oat proteins – that are NOT edible foods), plastic polymers such as PVP (petrochemical polyvinyl pyrrolidone) and gum coating agents.

Until the residues of protein and plastic polymers have been completely removed your hair will take some time to heal from all the chemicals… leaving it feeling a little less than “ideal.” But if you’re patient, the end result is worth the wait! As new hair grows in to replace old damaged hair, you’ll probably be amazed at the difference. Then again, for some folks with very chemically damaged hair, you may not like the way your hair feels after the detox, because this natural shampoo contains none of the vinyl or protein plastic polymers to coat their hair to make it feel or look undamaged. Just a heads up.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Looking for simple, healthy ways to enhance your wellbeing? I thought so.

The internet is full of health-boosting, tips, products, foods and supplements nowadays. The only problems is finding the tried-and-true ways that actually enhance your health and wellbeing at an affordable price.

That’s why I got in touch with my friends at VitaMonk. They create pure, cutting-edge, science-backed supplements that enhance your health and wellbeing.

Their supplements cover everything you need to help you reach and maintain optimal health, wellbeing and performance.

Needless to say, it’s super handy to give your health that little boost.

5 Simple Workout Routines For Beginners

When you’re out of shape, starting a new fitness routine can be hard. You might feel embarrassed by your body, or perhaps you don’t even know where to begin. Don’t let your lack of experience or know-how prevent from adopting a healthier lifestyle, though. Getting into shape will not only increase your life expectancy and ability to tackle day-to-day activities with ease, but it will also improve your overall quality of life and leave you feeling confident and happy.

Believe it or not, taking that first step toward a healthier you is easier than you think. We’ve created a quick workout that is designed for absolute beginners. Not only are these moves simple enough to perform in the comfort and privacy of your own living room, they don’t require any sort of equipment, and they can easily be modified to meet any fitness level. Remember, it is always a good idea to get a doctor’s permission before starting any new fitness program. Take that first step today!

Equipment Needed: yoga mat

What to Do: Review the videos below and perform each exercise for the amount of reps  suggested.

5 Quick and Easy Workout Moves for Absolute Beginners:

1. The Modified Plank The plank pose is a personal trainer favorite because it is simple enough to perform anywhere, and it works your body’s entire core. It also can help to elongate the spine, strengthen the arms and wrists, and increase balance. Hold the pose for 15 seconds, and then release. Repeat 2x.

Looking to target those abs some more? Try our At Home Beginner Ab Routine.

2. The Superman Pose The Superman Pose targets the three main muscles that run along the spine and helps to prevent injuries, improve posture, and eliminate back and neck pain. Repeat the exercise 5 times.

3. Side-Lying Leg Lifts Side-lying leg lifts are easy for anyone to perform and target the hips and outer thighs. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.

4. Assisted Squats This beginner move is a modified version of traditional squats and targets the muscles of the lower body, including the thighs, hips, and butt. It is also effective at building core strength and strengthening the bones, ligaments, and tendons of the lower body. Repeat 10-15 times.

As you increase the strength of your lower legs, you might also like to try our Sexy Legs Workout for Beginners

5. Modified Pushups– Like traditional pushups, modified pushups target the arms, chest, shoulders, and core.  Repeat 10-15 times.

Modified Plank

Superman Pose

Side-Lying Leg Lifts

Assisted Squats

Modified Pushups

In order to reach your healthy goals, you will also need to incorporate cardiovascular and flexibility exercises in addition to the above workout moves. Our Running Tips for Absolute Beginners and our Yoga Workout for Beginners can help get you started.

11 Healthy Smoothie Ideas

Healthy? Check. Easy? Check. Portable? Check? Yup: Smoothies are pretty much ideal if you’re looking for a speedy, nutritious breakfast on the go. And then there’s their versatility. Once you spend a little time with your blender, you start to realize that there are just about endless smoothie combinations. These 11 recipes represent a good mix of options and feature not just the standard fruit, milk and yogurt, but also avocado, kale, coconut water, chia seeds and rolled oats.

Lauren Salkeld

Strawberry cheesecake smoothie

Most of the recipes rely on frozen fruit, which is widely available in supermarkets, and blends up beautifully. You can use fresh fruit instead — just add four or five ice cubes to get that frothy smoothie texture. Frozen bananas are used in several of the recipes. Sticking whole, unpeeled bananas in the freezer works perfectly fine, but if you take the time to peel and slice the bananas into 1/2-inch pieces before you freeze them, your smoothie prep will be even easier. Greek yogurt is another common ingredient. Feel free to use a low- or fat-free version. Regular yogurt can also be swapped in, but your smoothie may be slightly thinner. The final ingredient for most of these recipes is honey or maple syrup. You may find your smoothie is sweet enough without the additional sugar, so taste first and add the honey or maple syrup gradually.

These recipes each make about 16 ounces, which is one to two servings, depending on whether your smoothie is a snack or a meal.

1. Strawberry cheesecake (pictured above): In a blender, combine 2 cups frozen strawberries, 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup skim milk, 2 tablespoons light cream cheese and the zest of 1 lemon. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Lauren Salkeld

Blueberry, banana and chia smoothie

2. Blueberry, banana and chia: In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 3/4 cup skim milk and 2 tablespoons chia seeds. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

3. Ginger peach: In a blender, combine 2 1/2 cups frozen peaches, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk and 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Lauren Salkeld

Cucumber, avocado and mint smoothie

4. Cucumber, avocado and mint: In blender, combine 1 avocado (peeled and pitted), 1/2 large cucumber (peeled, seeded and cut into chunks), 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, the zest of 1 lime and 4-5 ice cubes. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

5. Banana, almond and cocoa: In a blender, combine 2 frozen bananas, 1 1/4 cups unsweetened plain almond milk, 1/4 cup almond butter and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Lauren Salkeld

Cherry, almond and date smoothie

6. Cherry, almond and date: In a blender, combine 2 cups frozen pitted cherries, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk, 1/4 cup almond butter and 2 dates (pitted and chopped). Blend until smooth and frothy.

7. Tropical fruit: In a blender, combine 2 cups different frozen tropical fruit (such as mango, pineapple and banana), 3/4 cup light coconut milk and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy. Add ¼ cup toasted coconut and pulse briefly to combine.

Lauren Salkeld

Raspberry, cocoa and banana smoothie

8. Raspberry, banana and cocoa: In a blender, combine 2 cups frozen raspberries, 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup skim milk and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

9. Berries and rolled oats: In a blender, combine 2 cups different frozen berries (such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries), 1 1/2 cups skim milk and 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

Lauren Salkeld

Pineapple, kale and mint smoothie

10. Pineapple, kale and mint: In a blender, combine 2 cups frozen pineapple, 1 cup packed fresh kale (stems removed), 3/4 cup coconut water and 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves. Blend until combined. Taste the smoothie and sweeten as needed with 1-2 tablespoons honey. Blend until smooth and frothy.

11. Banana, peanut butter and date: In a blender, combine 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup skim milk, 5 tablespoons peanut butter and 2 dates (pitted and chopped). Blend until smooth and frothy.