shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Homemade Shampoo

Jamuary 11, 2016

It started with laundry detergent, quickly followed by toothpaste. Once we started making our own products, we were hooked. So when I found a great recipe for homemade shampoo, I copied it down, my enthusiasm waning with every new ingredient. Not only did I not have most of the ingredients, but with few exceptions, I wasn't even sure where to find them. It's not like you can go into your local grocery store and buy avocado oil. Or can you?


Ironically, we were in a town of 6,000 people when I found the recipe online. I added the necessary ingredients to my wish list which happens to be on my iTouch which is a rarely out of my sight any more than most people's phones, so when we went to the local IGA that day, by chance, I had my list with me. Lucky me.

Walking down the aisles, adding homemade tortillas, exceptionally cheap produce, and over-priced butter to our cart, I wandered into the cosmetics area. When we were in Central America I had a favorite hand lotion that I haven't been able to locate since, so every time we're in a town where people of Europeans decent are a minority, I look for it. No luck on the hand cream, but my disappointment was short lived when I found avocado oil sitting right there on the shelf. I checked my electronic list and verified that, yes indeed, that was one of my "never to be found" ingredients on my wish list. On that same shelf I found vegetable glycerin, peppermint essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and about a dozen other ingredients I was sure to need for some not-yet-discovered beauty product recipe.

I found the following shampoo recipe on Cure Joy, so I was reasonably sure that I would like it, but still, experience cautioned me to make a small batch first, though my initial thought was to double the recipe so I would only have to make it half as often. It is so simple, however, I still recommend starting with this recipe and see how you like it.

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup liquid Castille soap
2 tsp avocado oil
1/8 tsp tea tree oil
1 tsp vegetable glycerin
1/8 tsp peppermint essential oil

I mixed the ingredients in a glass measuring cup and filled two travel bottles with the final product. After several weeks of using it, here are some observations.

Use this shampoo for the first time on relatively clean hair. What I mean is, don't wait several days to shower, then try out your new recipe. The benefits of this shampoo include not stripping your hair of its natural oils, thereby eliminating the need for conditioner, so really greasy hair will take several washings to clean. It may also take your hair a few days to realize that it can stop trying to compensate for the chemicals you have been blasting it with for the past several decades. Until that time, it will continue to produce oils at a faster rate than your shampoo may be able to combat. Be patient. Give your body a few days to relax, and it will decrease its output of oils. Because this shampoo does not strip your hair, you will also not get that squeaky feeling after you shampoo. That's OK, your hair is still getting clean, just not stripped.

If you have the patience to outwait your body's unnatural oil production, the results are nothing short of astounding. My thinning hair has more body and looks fuller than it has in months. Some of its natural wave has even returned, slowly replacing the straight, stringy mop I've been sporting lately. Not only is my hair and scalp happier, but I know the rest of my body appreciates not being drenched with a chemical bath every time I shampoo. Of course, there's always the added financial benefit and sense of well-being that comes with using beauty products that you have made yourself.

Make a small batch, be patient, and you may be surprised at how your hair thanks you. Now if only fighting the grey were so easy.

MONDAY a guest-poster shares some intriguing information about Mother Ocean.

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