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DIY is all the rage these days, but if you’re on your feet all day, sometimes the last thing that you want to do is put extra effort into things that you could simply buy at the store. Luckily, there are some incredibly simple DIY solutions that are easy to add to your arsenal — and shampoo is one of them.

This might surprise you, because mainstream shampoo isn’t so easy to DIY. But there are lots of ways to cleanse your scalp beyond traditional shampoo.

Most store-bought shampoos contain both a cleansing and a foaming agent. They’re chock-full of complicated, unpronounceable ingredients. These types of products didn’t exist until the 20th century, which means that prior to modern shampoo, people used all sorts of substances to clean their hair — and many people still do!

All you really need to cleanse your scalp is a product that will remove dirt, oil and buildup from your scalp and strands. You can use everything from a simple oil-based soap to baking soda to more exotic ingredients like beer.

The DIY Shampoo All-Star Ingredient

One of my favorite ingredients for natural shampoo is clay. Two types are commonly used: bentonite clay and rhassoul clay. Both have been used for hundreds of years to detoxify the skin and hair. They’re also known for reducing frizz, which is an added bonus!

You can buy either type of clay in a large jar in powdered form. This makes it easy to use a couple spoonfuls at a time to make your very own shampoos. You can even make a large batch at a time and store it in containers. You’ll find that one jar of clay lasts for a long time.

Making Your Own Shampoo

To make your own clay-based shampoo, simply combine a portion of the clay with apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, or water. I prefer to use vinegar since it provides some extra moisture.

Find a plastic or wooden spoon and container to mix your shampoo in — not metal. Metal will reduce the beneficial properties of the clay.

Mix the two ingredients until you arrive at a pasty consistency. If you use vinegar, you’ll notice the clay bubbling a bit — that’s normal. You may have to play around with the portions to find the amount that works for your hair length. I use a heaping spoonful of clay for my scalp.

Then apply the paste to your scalp; you can also apply it to the length of your strands. Leave it on until it dries and then rinse it out, carefully removing all of the clay from your hair.

You’ll find that your hair feels clean, clarified, and super-defined.

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