There are some products that I use a lot of that I find far easier to make myself. Body scrub often falls in to that category as do DIY facemasks, but today I thought I would share with you an easy DIY hair and scalp oil you can use as a pre-shampoo treatment. Feeding your hair and scalp with natural plant oils rather than silicone laden alternatives will do wonders for the condition of your hair. If you are trying to grow your hair, have heat damaged hair or you are simply trying to maintain healthy hair using a pre-shampoo treatment will be great for you. I suffer from a dry, itchy scalp and this method is definitely the thing that has helped me the most over the years because it gives your scalp much needed moisture and calms the itching.
Unlike some hair oils on the market that are sold as finishing products, I use my hair oil generously, leaving overnight where possible and then wash out. I find the longer I leave the oils, the better the results, but if you have less time I suggest applying less product to make it easier to rinse out. The great thing about making your own is that it is incredibly cost effective compared to bought hair oils. It also enables you to use up oils you already have at home because the recipe works with many different plant oils.
DIY Hair and scalp oil ingredients:
For the base oils I use equal parts fractionated (liquid) coconut oil, jojoba oil and argan oils. I don’t measure precisely (it simply isn’t needed for this recipe) but rather just pour roughly. For years I persisted with using solid coconut oil because I had it in my head that fractionated wasn’t as good, but it is a nightmare to remove. Fractionated oil in contrast is lighter in texture and easily absorbed by the hair and scalp so it is a perfect option. It also means that you can blend easily with other liquid oils and you can prepare more than one application. Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax and is another oil that is easily absorbed. Argan oil is a popular oil for use in haircare, but you generally find very little argan in commercial products, so this is a nice way to use it. Argan oil is rich in fatty acids and Vitamin E, making it a great choice for this kind of product.
To my base oils I add some essential oils for scent and their therapeutic properties. In this blend I have used peppermint, because it is antibacterial and the slight cooling sensation it provides is really pleasant. I also like to use grapefruit essential oil, which has a nice fresh scent and rosemary oil which is a herb well known for boosting circulation. For very sensitive skin, or if you simply don’t have any to hand you can leave the essential oils out of the blend, the plant oils will work well by themselves. Whilst you can be relaxed about the quantities of your base oils, when it comes to the essential oils it is important that things are a little more precise. For the peppermint oil I use no more than 20 drops per 200 ml bottle of hair oil made, this gives it a nice refreshing feel on the scalp and a pleasant minty scent. Ideally you will have some precise scales and you can measure exact quantities of your essential oils to avoid sensitisation.
As this recipe doesn’t contain any water it doesn’t require any additional preservatives, just make sure you pour your oil in a dry, sterilised container, I use a glass bottle with a pipette because I find that easiest for application. Although you don’t have to worry about preservatives, plant oils can go rancid (they often will start to smell unpleasant if this is the case), so you can if you choose add some Vitamin E. Personally as I use this blend up quite quickly I don’t add it, but you can always make smaller batches and ensure you keep your ingredients out of direct sunlight to prevent spoilage.
Other oils that work well for a hair and scalp blend are avocado oil, squalane and castor oil. You can experiment with what you have to hand, even using oils that you might have in the kitchen, such as olive oil blended with some lighter oils to make it easier to remove.
If you struggle to remove hair oils when you wash your hair, an easy tip is to apply your shampoo to dry hair rather wet. Simply add a small amount of water to the shampoo in the palm of your hand and create some lather, using this method for the first wash really helps remove the oil. The second wash (you are always going to need two washes for removing oils in my experience) you can carry on as normal.
Do you use a pre-shampoo treatment? Do you make your own?