I have tried many many different hair products throughout my natural hair journey with mixed results. The common denominator between all of them was the hefty ingredient list on the back. Even the ones that claimed to be completely natural and paraben-free had some chemical looking names toward the end of the list.
I wanted to simplify my hair regimen, so I started looking for recipes made from a few inexpensive ingredients. The first one I tried was a leave-in conditioner I found here along with a few other lovely recipes I have yet to try.
Coconut Aloe Leave-In Conditioner
1. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle.
2. Place the sprayer onto the bottle and gently shake to mix all the ingredients together.
3. Store in a refrigerator until ready for use. Best used on damp, freshly washed hair.
I also used it on dry hair to redistribute moisture. I feel like sometimes it left a slight grittiness to my hair, but I was also trying out flax seed gel at the same time, which may have added to the grit factor. I have since simplified the recipe to aloe vera juice and any essential oil of choice (my favorite is lemongrass oil, perfect if you don’t mind smelling like lemons all day). This modified recipe has helped me retain moisture throughout the day and significantly helps with my detangling process.
The next recipe I tried was a deep conditioner. I can’t find the website where I originally discovered the recipe but Naptural85’s video on the process helped make this next homemade hair product one of my favorites.
Avocado and Banana Deep Conditioner
1 cup water
1/2 of 1 Banana
1/2 of 1 Avocado
- Slice up half of one banana for smoother blending. Add to a blender cup with 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Strain the banana puree into a clean bowl. (Do not skip this step, otherwise you will have bits of banana stuck in your hair. Trust me, it happened to me the first time before I watched the video. I do not have a strainer, so I used cheap pantyhose I got on sale from RiteAid, 2 for $1; a trick I learned from Naptural85’s Flax Seed Gel video.)
- Slice up half of one avocado. Add to the blender cup with 1/2 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Strain into the same bowl with the strained banana puree.
- Use a spoon to mix the banana and avocado together.
- Apply the mixture to clean hair (I used a condiment bottle I got from the dollar store for easier application). Cover hair with a plastic cap for at least 15 minutes.
- Rinse hair thoroughly.
- Condition and style as desired.
(If you’re a fan of avocado and banana, try mixing the rest of your ingredients together with a little water to make a simple smoothie. It’s pretty delicious and nutritious.)
The last of the staples I’m currently using is another recipe that I found on Naptural85’s Youtube channel. I use it to seal in moisture and define my curls. The process can be found here. I did not follow her recipe exactly, but the general idea is to use liquid oils to soften the shea butter.
Whipped Shea Butter
5 oz Raw, Unrefined Shea Butter
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Sweet Almond Oil
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Optional- A few drops of your favorite essential oil
- Bring the Shea Butter to room temperature, so it is soft and easy to manipulate but not runny.
- Sit the shea butter in a bowl and use a mixer to get it to a creamy consistency.
- Slowy add the other oils while continuing to mix the shea butter until you have added all the remaining ingredients
- The finished result should be smooth, fluffy and lump free. (The consistency of mine was kind of gritty, but when I rubbed it between my palms, it became completely smooth and translucent.)
- Apply over leave-in conditioner to seal in moisture and help add definition to your style.
- Keep in a cool, but not cold place. The mixture will harden in cold temperatures, but can be resoftened and rewhipped if need be.
I hope to add to this list over time. I have also tried a coconut milk deep conditioner, but it was too runny and flax seed gel, but it left my hair with a dry crunchy feeling. I will probably revisit these two recipes and modify them to suit my natural hair needs.
Do you have any hommade hair recipes you have tried and like? Tell me about them and I will try them out. Thanks for reading.
Model: Charlie Dorrie (me)
Photo Credit: Charlie Dorrie