With an increase in ingredient consciousness for the curly-haired consumer, there has been a wave of more women looking into their kitchen pantries and refrigerators for DIY hair care methods. How exciting it is to mix up a bowl of honey and lemon juice to create an itchy scalp eliminator or blend avocados, our favorite oils, and mayonnaise for the ultimate moisturizing deep conditioner. The creative juices start flowing and mixing with unlimited options. You no longer have to get annoyed because commercial products did not deliver on their promises, but there are a few things you do need to be cautious about when making your own products.

Sterilization

Always sterilize your containers, even though you may think that they are pre-sterilized when coming from the company. First, wash the containers using an eco friendly soap, proceed to boil the containers, and then allow them to completely dry before adding any product to them. It is important to be cautious when making your own products.

Preservation

Whether you have concocted an Ayurvedic tea rinse or whipped up a moisturizing shea butter recipe, your homemade mixes will have this in common—they need to be properly stored and preserved. It is exciting to create and blend your own conditioners and moisturizers—it is not so exciting if their potency declines and they become overridden with bacterial growth or mold. There are several methods to storing and preserving your rinses and mixes so that you can maintain the longest shelf life possible and protect yourself against harmful bacteria. One common method is to refrigerate your mixture for five to seven days (and then discard any remaining portion). Just as if you were storing food, storing your mixture in this manner will help preserve it for a few days. If you are looking to make larger batches that last a few months, you will need to add preservatives such as ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), grapefruit seed extract, and essential oils that are known to be antibacterial and antiseptic. Before adding preservatives, you will need to research and find the proper ratios of preservative to batch mix.

Lumps and Chunks

As you explore new foods and ingredients to mix and create, you may learn the hard way that not everything mixes very well. Avocado, banana, and many veggies do not turn into a creamy rich texture. All the elbow grease in the world will not save you from the horrible nightmare of removing banana chunks or avocado fibers out of your hair for the next few weeks. The best way to avoid lumps and chunks in your hair is to use a blender.  This will allow for your ingredients to blend together better, creating a rich and creamy texture that will evenly coat your hair and rinse off with ease. For extra measure, use a rice strainer to catch any remaining lumps that are not visible.

Is it Worth It?

Your homemade products can be a healthier alternative to commercial products, if you are smart about how you use and store them. For me, the ultimate goal is not to replace every commercial product with a new one; it is about simplifying my life so that all I need are a few essentials. I can make room in my fridge, work in small batches, and be sure to add some natural preservatives to keep them safe, but at the end of the day, I am not able to make every single thing that my hair needs.