Effective DIY shampoos for dull, dry and over-processed hair

When it comes time to lather, rinse and repeat, there are many gentle shampoos based on old formulas for every type of hair, be it dull or dry — without chemicals and side effects.

Effective DIY shampoos for dull, dry and over-processed hair

A mild, neutral shampoo from the pharmacy is a good starting point for many nurturing or fortifying formulas. After washing, let hair air dry — and if you must use a hair dryer, avoid the hot setting. And when it comes to healthy hair, what you put on your tresses isn't the only thing that counts — your diet matters, too. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin B2, biotin and zinc from foods such as salmon, dark leafy veggies and legumes.

Dull, lifeless hair

Chemical hair treatments can render hair limp and lank, without a healthy sheen.

  • Make a nurturing shampoo that will give your hair lustre by mixing 10 millilitres (two teaspoons) of wheat germ oil and 10 millilitres (two teaspoons) of honey. Dissolve one tablespoon (15 millilitres) of olive oil soap flakes in 100 millilitres (3 1/2 ounces) of hot water and mix in five millilitres (one teaspoon) of lemon juice. Pour the ingredients into a bottle and shake before use.

Dry, over-processed hair

If the glands in your scalp secrete too little oil, your hair will become dry and brittle. Too much sun, salt water, chlorine, frequent blow-drying and chemical hair treatments can ramp up the damage. A dry hair shampoo generally contains substances such as egg yolk or oils that boost your hair's moisture level and bring back the shine.

  • Make an egg shampoo by beating together two egg yolks with two shot glasses of rum, 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Massage the shampoo into your wet hair and your scalp, let it work briefly, then rinse thoroughly.
  • For a dry hair regenerating shampoo, mix 25 grams (3/4 ounces) of powdered iris root, about 75 grams (2 3/4 ounces) of talcum powder and 10 drops each of lemon and rosemary oil. Store in a well-sealed container.
  • Olive oil has been both consumed and used for hair care in the Mediterranean for thousands of years. One old trick involves preparing your scalp before washing your hair to prevent the shampoo from drying it out. Rub a little olive oil into your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then wash hair with an easy-to-make, moisturizing shampoo composed of two eggs and 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of avocado oil.
  • Make dry hair soft and silky by soaking a washcloth in whole milk and rubbing it into your washed, damp hair. Rinse thoroughly after 15 minutes.
  • Treat dandruff with an infusion of rosemary and thyme. Place 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) of dried rosemary and 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) of dried thyme in a bowl and add 150 millilitres (2/3 cup)  of boiling water. Cover the bowl and allow to steep for 15–20 minutes. Strain into a 300 millilitres (10 ounces) clean plastic bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Add 150 millilitres (2/3 cup) cider vinegar and shake before each shampoo.
  • Make a dry shampoo with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) cornstarch or finely ground oatmeal. Apply to your hair and rub it through to absorb as much oil as possible. Comb hair to remove tangles, then thoroughly brush until all excess cornstarch or oatmeal is removed.
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