The journey of a Christian wife, stay-at-home mom, quasi-tree-hugger, and cheapskate to find ways to "CHanGE" her life to be Cheaper, Healthier, Greener, and Easier. Constructive feedback always welcome!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cheaper: Homemade Leave-In Conditioner

Looking at Dot now, if you hadn't known her as a baby or had never seen a picture of her as a newborn, you would never guess that she was born with dark, straight hair. Not tons of it, but enough that I thought maybe she'd take after me in the hair-color department.
Dot, 3 days old
Nope. By 6 months old, she was bald.

By the following year, it became obvious that she was going to take after Huz and be a blondie.
Dot, 18 months old
So, ok, I thought, she's going to have straight blond hair like he does, maybe a little wave here and there.

Wrong again.

In the past year or so, and especially in the past few months, she has shown that she is taking after me in the hair department in one way--the curliness. The longer her hair gets, the more curl is invading it--just like my hair does. If it's short, it looks much straighter. On the Naturally Curly scale, I'd say I'm a 3a (big, loose curls), whereas Dot might be more of a 2b (wavy, medium-textured, prone to frizz). As her hair gets longer, it may go less wavy and more curly like mine does.

So, what's the point of all this?

I'm discovering that just shampooing Dot's hair and not putting anything else into it just isn't cutting it anymore. She needs more to accentuate those beautiful curls without her hair looking like a frizzy, out-of-control mess. But at the same time, she's 3 years old. I don't want to overdo it at this age--just want it to look cute and groomed.

My first step was to try and put conditioner on it after her shampoo and rinse it out. That definitely helped weigh down her hair enough so that it didn't look so wild, but it would still start looking unkempt by the end of the day, and especially by her next bath day 2-3 days later.

Here's what she looked like this morning before I tried anything with her hair. I last washed it Monday night.
Dot's hair before leave-in conditioner
So I looked into detanglers or leave-in conditioners that I could put into her hair on a daily basis. I didn't want to fork out gobs of money for the more natural, organic hair detanglers or leave-in conditioners, but at the same time, I didn't want to go "cheap" and deluge Dot's hair with a bunch of unhealthy chemicals. That's when I did a little Internet searching for "make your own kids' leave-in conditioner."

This recipe is what I found. Super simple and uses things I already have around the house. So this fits into all 4 of my "CHanGE" criteria: it's Cheaper than commercial organic leave-in conditioner, it's Healthier because I can control what's in there and leave out the harsh chemicals (I used Burt's Bees Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Conditioner), Greener because I'm reusing and repurposing items that I already have versus buying new ones, and Easier because I don't have to search everywhere for something Cheaper and Greener. I labeled this in the title as "Cheaper" because that was my main motivation for doing this--to save money.

Here is what Dot's hair looked like after I spritzed the homemade leave-in conditioner in her hair, turned her ends under with a round brush, parted her hair, and scrunched up her ends a bit with my hand:
Dot's hair after leave-in conditioner
(Wow, she looks like she's much older than 3 from the back here!)

As the day has gone on and the conditioner has dried, her hair has lightened back up and the curls aren't quite as pronounced, but they're holding in place much better than they were when I was just spritzing with water. I'm sure after her nap I'll have to touch it up again before we head out, but so far I'm quite pleased. Maybe I need to try this solution on my own mess of brown curls!

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