DIY No Shampoo Cleansing and Conditioning for Green Purists

Since developing and making formulas for this book, I have been testing and using all kinds of different shampoo bars.

But before I started all the shampoo bar fun in earnest, I washed my hair with mud – and nothing but mud – for over 3 years.


Rhassoul Clay - Perfectly Clean Mud

Rhassoul clay is nature's gift to both sensitive skin and hair. Even though it's admittedly a bit more fiddly to use than a shampoo bar, rhassoul travels just as well as a shampoo bar because, like a shampoo bar, it isn't activated until you add water.

It's the ultimate cleanser for green purists (and makes for a fabulous deep-cleansing face mask as well).

You do need a bit of 'equipment' to use rhassoul, but I've been working with it long enough to where I think I have developed the most painless method of use. All you need is the right kind of bottle: a squeezy bottle with an applicator cap thingy (such as you see pictured above). A narrow spoon that will fit into the bottle neck is also handy for mess-free dosing.

Washing Your Hair With Mud

Using rhassoul to wash hair is quite simple. Add a few grams of rhassoul to bottle (approximately a teaspoon for short hair and up to a tablespoon for longer hair), add warm water, place on cap, shake, and voilá, you're all-natural purist 'shampoo' is ready to go.

The liquid is a little reminiscent of 'slip' -- a runny, brown, muddy-looking liquid. What it lacks in the looks department, it makes up for in the gentle-and-effective cleansing department (especially if you happen to have a sensitive or itchy scalp).

Now, Get Fancy and Add Your Own Herbal Tincture

And since I've been exploring different methods and uses of herbal vinegar tinctures (explained in detail in this book), it became a bit of a no-brainer to combine everything into a DIY naturally conditioning, scalp-and-hair-balancing-cleansing combo that is as easy to make and use as you please (purist style).

This is the combo I've been using in between testing out shampoo bars this past year, and my head and hair are thrilled with the addition of herbal tincture.

DIY Shampoo Free How To

If you can get past the fact that there is no lather anywhere in sight and are willing to give this combo a try, here's how.

Bottle size: 50 ml - 150 ml depending on your hair length (my hair is short and the bottle pictured here holds 50 ml)

  1. Add desired amount of rhassoul to bottle (teaspoon to tablespoon is more than plenty and will even wash out pre-cleansing oil treatment (read more about DIY pre-cleansing treatment here).
  2. Fill bottle 3/4 full with warm water
  3. Fill up remainder with herbal vinegar tincture of choice
  4. Cap, shake, and apply to wet scalp/hair. 
  5. Massage mixture around scalp (just as you would a normal shampoo) taking care to not let the liquid get into your eyes (just as you don't with normal shampoo)
  6. Rinse thoroughly
  7. Dry and set as usual
TOP TIP: Rinse out the bottle and cap and let air dry between uses

Which Tinctures Are Best

This is obviously going to be a question of personal preference, hair type, scent faves and more, but these herbs might be worth considering if you want to make your own vinegar tinctures:

  • Rosemary 
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Lemon Balm
  • Nettle
  • Horsetail
  • Amla
  • Gooseberry

You can also make your own hair-strengthening or scalp soothing tincture by combining your herbs of choice. The possibilities are almost limitless.

Pictured above is a double-charged (twice-infused) lavender vinegar tincture that is potently fresh and smells absolutely fabulous.

Do Tell

Have you ever used rhassoul to wash your hair? Which vinegar tinctures would you add to your rhassoul hair wash? Please share in a comment below.

More Vinegar Tincture Stuff

There's a how-to vinegar tincture using pomegranate seeds and coconut vinegar right here on the blog, and this book has a whole section on how to make vinegar tinctures with calculation charts and step by step examples. You can also add your own vinegar tinctures to shampoo bars for an extra herbal boost.

Want to make your own solid shampoo bars? Check this publication!


Lucy said…
What other type of ingredient other than rhassoul clay
created an almost identical result?
LisaLise said…
Hi Lucy, I haven't come across any other ingredient quite like rhassoul clay. It really is unique.
suki-san said…
I agree with Lise that Rhassoul is a very unique ingredient & there are no other materials i know of that are quite like it.
However, if you cannot lay hands on it (or if you have a sensitivity to it), some other suggestions (that are also completely surfactant-free), & as Lise said, the possibilities are limitless, but here are a few.
Kelp granules, leave them coarse for a scalp exfoliating experience, or finely grind & sieve them for mixture with water (or a hydrosol or aloe vera juice or witch hazel distillate for a greasy scalp) or a vinegar tincture. Many may find the scent off-putting, but i quite like it because it smells like the ocean.
Also, one could sub fullers' earth clay for rhassoul (especially if you have very light colored hair) or even plain kaolin or rose kaolin, maybe with some finely ground botanicals added? I think i might not sub bentonite for a number of reasons (mostly because it seems impossible to establish its provenance), but also because it has a 'pulling' sort of mechanism that might not be appropriate for regular use.
Activated charcoal (especially one with a neutral pH), to which one might add, again either a vinegar tincture or if you just want a dry powder-type thing to travel with, you could add just a pinch of citric acid crystals to.
This is totally a theoretical option because i've no idea how it might work, but you know how coconut oil has a substantive sort of conditioning effect on hair? Well, i was shopping at a local import market (i think Thai?), & found several powdered coconut 'cream' mixtures. Obviously, you'd want to choose one without a sticky sugar (although some sugars would be effective humectants!), preferrably as close to coconut oil as possible? I really don't know, but i'm going to give it a try soon.
Anyways, those were just a few things that popped into my head when i saw your question. As Lise said, there's really nothing else quite like Rhassoul.
Muchlove, suki