Saturday, January 25, 2014

DIY Disappointment

I bravely entered the DIY craze this year.  I pored over the information on and ordered wonderful things like Shea Butter and Castor Oil and Cocoa Butter and Beeswax...and Castille Soap from a beautiful, easy to navigate, website,

I've made hairspray and toothpaste and cuticle cream and wipes.  I've made body powder and shaving creame and salt scrubs and even a body scrub with coffee and vanilla.  I was so happy re-purposing containers and making simple, homey labels with masking tape and a Sharpie.  I even put Henna in my hair.  Yes, I've spent hours surfing the internet looking for recipes and rejoicing in being non-toxic and environmentally-friendly and frugal.

And then I attempted to make shampoo.  Noticing that my daughter, aged 20, was getting low on her shampoo, I whipped up a batch of coconut milk shampoo from a recipe that I've found all over the internet containing coconut milk (I made it from scratch), Castille Soap, Water, a little Vitamin E and essential oils.

I gave her the shampoo to try and ran off to do some errands.  Upon my return I eagerly asked her how she liked the shampoo.  She hated it.  Upon further inquiry I was informed that it became a sticky mess and she had to use her regular shampoo to get it out.  I was crushed.

Back to the internet.  After more searching, I discovered that Castille Soap does not like hard water as it binds with the minerals in the water and gets sticky.  Castille Soap is named after soap originally from the Castille area of Spain made from olive oil.  Today it has a  broader definition and refers to vegetable-based soaps. 

I love my house.  I've been here since December, 1986.  We have over nine acres, six acres of it is wetlands, and we are near civilization.  I, however, have a love/hate relationship with my water.  We have a well which means that, while we don't have city water and the chlorine that comes with it, we have iron.  Lots and lots of iron.  Our water is so hard, you can get a concussion just standing in the shower.  We do have a whole-house water softener which helps but it's not a consistent level of softness and tends to get clogged.  We also have a reverse-osmosis water filter at the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking.

Back to the internet...again.  This time to see if I could find an alternative to Castille Soap, a different DIY shampoo recipe or a suggestion on anything I might add to the Castille to make it not do what it was doing.

I found many websites with the same or similar recipe. I found "no 'poo" recipes (washing the scalp with baking soda, rinsing and the ends of the hair with apple cider vinegar).  I won't knock this idea until I've tried it but, well, I'm pretty sure I'm not trying it.  I even found a few touting the advantages of honey shampoo (washing the hair with honey mixed with water).

So here I sit.  No viable alternative to Castille Soap, no alternative shampoo recipe, no way to refill my soap dispensers (Castille and water) and I just actually read the label of my current hand soap (Method) and it contains stuff I really don't want in my house, let alone on my hands....

We need to call for service on the water softener and that will happen soon, I hope.  I also hope that this will solve the problem.  In the meantime, I have a quantity of hand soap and I am stuck ordering my ready-made shampoo.  It IS mostly organic and person/earth friendly and I get a good price for it on but, compared to making it myself, it is still pricey.

Do you DIY your own shampoo?  What do you use?  Do you have any suggestions?  Follow me on my DIY Adventure!

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