Last week I made a wonderful clarifying shampoo to keep your hair cleaner for longer. But shampoo alone is not enough to keep your hair looking beautiful. You need to learn how to make homemade hair conditioners as well.
So here’s a thick & creamy hair conditioner recipe that’s best suited to a pot or squishy bottle. It should give you around 5 applications depending on hair length. It’s a simple conditioner with 6% BTMS-50 and 93% distilled water. I’ve also factored in a 1% preservative.
Have a look at the ingredients below, and if you can’t get hold of something you can leave it out (apart from BTMS-50 and of course the water). But keep in mind these ingredients will make the condition very powerful. And it will compete with any store-bought alternative.
For it to be deeply moisturizing, repair damaged hair, and detangle at the same time, you’d need to use it as a mini treatment. However, if you have never made a homemade conditioner before it’s a good place to start.
The BTMS-50 should be kept at 9g. After that, whatever you remove will need to be replaced with water. So if you remove the 6grams of glycerine, you will need to increase the water by 6 grams.
Benefits Of The Ingredients I’m Using
Hydrosols (Floral Water)
Rosemary hydrosol is a lovely hair refresher. It can help to stimulate the scalp and give hair a healthy glow. Definitely, something we could all use in our conditioner.
Peppermint is known to increase circulation and encourage new hair growth. It’s also very cooling so it’s a good choice for an itchy scalp.
Both the rosemary and mint hydrosol can be replaced with distilled water if you wish. You can also make an infusion with fresh/dried leaves, or even tea bags. Have a look at my herbal infusions page on how to do this.
This will make our conditioner thick and creamy. It’s such a good e-wax to use for a recipe like this. It’s probably one of the best, if not the best emulsifying wax that you can use in a DIY conditioner. It’s also one of the easiest emulsifying waxes to work with.
Hydrolyzed Proteins (Silk & Oat)
These are fantastic moisture grabbing ingredients. They build a protective barrier around the hair by trapping moisture within.
Both the silk and oat proteins increase the elasticity of the hair, helping to reduce breakage and split ends. With regular use, both of these proteins will work on giving the hair a fuller and softer appearance over time.
If you can only use one, choose the oat for oily, curly or frizzy hair and the silk for dry and dull hair. Before long, your hair will look radiant!
I always try to add this to my hair products. It protects and strengthens hair and adds volume, shine, and texture. It also adds great de-tangling properties to our homemade conditioner, as well as helping to calm down unwanted frizz. Nobody wants frizzy hair!
This comes as a powder or liquid. I’m using the liquid one here but you can use either in this recipe.
Cetyl Alcohol & Argon Oil
Adding a little wax and oil will increase the moisturization of the finished DIY conditioner. This is going to hydrate those dry ends, giving them a glossy look and feel. Similar to the d-panthanol, they will help with frizz and tangles. Cetyl alcohol also adds to the viscosity so the conditioner. Without it, it would be a little thinner.
Whenever water and oil are mixed, it’s extremely prone to microbial growth. To prevent this, you will need a preservative to protect it.
There are many preservatives on the market, so it can be difficult to know which one to use. You can learn a bit more about them on our Preservative page.
The important thing here is to make sure you choose one that is broad-spectrum and soluble in your product. Different preservatives have varying recommended usage rates, so always follow the manufacturer guidelines.
One of the most commonly used preservatives is liquid Germall Plus which should be used at 0.5 % (0.75g) in this recipe.
This is a thick homemade conditioner that is best suited to a pot or squeeze bottle. It should give you around 5 applications depending on hair length.
Homemade Hair Conditioner Recipe
- 60 grams Peppermint Hydrosol
- 60 grams Rosemary Hydrosol
- 6 grams Glycerine
- 3 grams Hydrolyzed Silk Peptides
- 3 grams Cetyl Alcohol
- 9 grams BTMS-50 Emulsifying Wax
- 3 grams Argan Oil
- 3 grams Liquid D-Panthenol (powdered also fine)
- 3 grams Hydrolyzed Oat Protein
- preservative (follow manufacturer guidelines on measurments)
- 1.5 grams Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Place the peppermint and rosemary hydrosol into a heat proof container. Stir in the glycerine followed by the hydrolyzed silk.
- In a separate heat proof container, add the Btms 50, cetyl alcohol, and argan oil.
- Place both beakers into a water bath and turn on the heat. I find a wide, shallow saucepan is perfect for this. Gently heat the water until simmering. Continue to simmer until all the BTMS 50 and cetyl alcohol has melted and the hydrosols containing the glycerine and silk have heated through. This can take around 20mins
- Whilst the waxes and waters are heating and melting, it’s a good time to prepare our cool down ingredients. In a small container mix together the hydrolyzed oat, D-panthenol and preservative. Then, set it aside for later.
- Once the Btms 50 and cetyl alcohol has melted, remove both containers from the heat and pour the hydrosols/waters immediately into the melted waxes. Don’t hang around with this bit as the BTMS will start to cloud and solidify quickly. If this does happen place both the containers back into the water and remelt.
- Give the container a good stir with a plastic or silicone spatula. As I'm going to be using an electric blender from this point I usually transfer the conditioner into a larger container or jug. Take your hand blender and give the conditioner a few short blasts. You need to be careful here as the conditioner is still very thin and can spray everywhere. Continue to give the conditioner short blasts until it has started to thicken. Once the conditioner has begun to thicken, you can give it for a few minutes between blasts.
- As the conditioner cools below 45c we can add hydrolyzed oat D-panthenol and preservative that you prepared earlier. Then give it a final blast to incorporate them into the conditioner.
- Now it's time to add the essential oil. As we are using such small amounts I find it easier to remove a tablespoon of the conditioner and place it into a small container. Then, Pop it onto the scales, press tare, and weigh the essential oil into it. I then give it a good stir before incorporating it back into the rest of the conditioner.
- Once the conditioner has cooled it should be of a good thick consistency, that’s ready to be transferred into a squeezable bottle or pot.
- Your homemade hair conditioner will have a shelf life of around 12 months.
There we have it, how to make homemade hair conditioner, its an amazing partner to go with my gorgeous clarifying shampoo. I just love how it makes my hair feel, even after only one application.
But hair is like skin in the sense that it takes some time to really get going. These ingredientes will nourish your hair, and after around a month you will see big results.
I know, I know. Sometimes it’s hard to be patient. But you’ve just gotta be when it comes to skin and hair care products. It’s easy to discard a product after a couple of tries. But if you stick with it, you’ll totally thank yourself.
For the complete package, don’t just use this DIY conditioner and clarifying shampoo. Take a look at my skin loving liquid castile soap. It’s great to use in the shower. But if you prefer a soak in the tub, any of my hard soap bars will work wonders for your skin.
Here’s how to make homemade shampoo from scratch in four different ways.
It’s a great way to start experimenting with using essential oils and the healing properties of natural organic ingredients. Learn how to make these shampoo recipes here…
Simple Conditioners & Rinses
From chamomile and rosemary to beer and vinegar, the kitchen and garden have always provided ingredients for homemade hair conditioners and rinses needed for a healthy head of hair.
You’ll probably pay a lot more for these ingredients when they appear in commercial products, so why not use them in their natural state? With the information below, you can make your own hair conditioner, reap the full benefit and pamper yourself with time-tested recipes to give your hair extra shine.
Homemade Herbal Rinse
This herbal rinse is a traditional way to add shine and to bring out the color of every hair type.
Traditional Favorites Are:
- Chamomile for fair hair.
- Pot Marigold for red or chestnut hair.
- Marjoram or rosemary for dark hair.
- For dry hair elderflower, calendula, camomile or marshmallow.
- For greasy hair mint, rosemary, sage or lavender.
These herbs can all be found on my organic herbs and spices guide
- Make herbal tea, using 2 tsp of your chosen dried herbs or 6 tbs of fresh to 1 pint of freshly boiled water.
- Allow to stand for 15 minutes, and then strain twice.
- Shampoo and rinse your hair as normal, before rinsing with the herbal rinse of your choice.
You can also make this herbal rinse using herbal tea bags, just pop 2 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water and stand for 15 minutes before rinsing.
Egg Prewash Conditioner
Eggs were what our grandmother used to make her hair shine. They’re best used as a prewash homemade conditioner, to bring out the shine of dull and damaged hair.
- Dampen your hair and then beat a large egg until it is foamy.
- Massage into the hair and cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap.
- Leave for 20-30 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as normal.
Beer Hair Conditioner
Did you know that the proteins found in the malt and the hops of beer can strengthen and repair damaged hair. Try rinsing with a cup of warm beer once a month and see the difference.
Simply wash your hair with your usual shampoo then rinse and towel dry. Then pour 1 cup of warm beer over your hair and leave to soak in for 5 minutes then rinse clean.
Or for extra shine body and hold, pour some beer into a spray bottle and spray onto damp hair. The smell usually disappears once your hair is dry, however depending on your hair texture and the make of beer, your hair may feel a little sticky so make sure you have a trial run.
Warm Oil Remedy
This hair rescue recipe is warm and sticky but does wonders for dry, damaged hair and split ends. It relies on the oil being hot, warm damp towels and plenty of time. Olive oil suits all hair types, but you can try sunflower oil for fair hair and wall nut oil for dark.
- Place 2 tablespoons of oil into an egg cup and warm it ether in the microwave, or by standing the egg cup in a cup or basin of hot water.
- Work the oil into the hair and scalp and comb through with a wide tooth comb.
- Warm a small damp towel in the microwave, dryer or hot water (wring out throughly.)
- Wrap the towel around your head and cover with cling film/plastic wrap.
- When it cools quickly reheat the towel and repeat the process(you may need to do this about 3 times.)
- After 40-60 minutes wash your hair with a mild shampoo, using 2 applications, and rinse until your hair is squeaky clean.
Adding essential oils to the warm oil treatment will increase its affect and leave your hair with a wonderful smell.
Pour 3 floz (100ml) of Olive Oil into a clean bottle or jar, add the chosen oils to suit your hair color then shake well. Once this oil treatment has been made up it can be kept for up to 6 months.
- For dark hair – 15 drops Rosemary, 10 drops Lavender, 5 drops Geranium
- For light hair – 5 drops Rosemary, 10 drops Lavender, 8 drops Chamomile
- All hair types – 10 drops Rosemary, 5 drops Lavender
Fenugreek Infused oil
By Terrie (Fort Worth, TX)
- 2 to 3 tbsp Fenugreek powder
- Good quality Oil of choice*
- Glass jar with lid**
- Add the fenugreek powder to glass jar and cover with oil leaving 3/4 to 1/2 inch space at top of jar.
- Stir slightly to mix and warm bath jar on low heat for an hour.
- Remove from bath, allow to cool and cap jar with lid.
- Macerate in pantry for two weeks (or longer if desired), shaking jar daily.
- Strain oil throught coffee filter and store in dark bottles for use.
I’m not a cook that measures, so when I started making infused oils and homemade salves, etc. I didn’t measure and The notes below reflect that.
* Depending on the use of the final oil, I use different ratios of the following oils: safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba, olive, mustard, coconut or walnut.
For example, I use fenugreek infused oil recipe on my hair so I want the final oil to be light. Based on that, I blend light oils with hair related properties together, then infuse the fenugreek powder in the following blend and order – jojoba (50%), coconut (30%), sunflower (10%)and olive oil (10%).
** I use the Kerr 16oz regular mouth mason jars to make oil infusions in.
Conditioning Scalp Massage
By Karen (Maine)
I wanted to share my homemade conditioning scalp massage with others who maybe suffering from a sensitive and itchy scalp, its a massage you can do yourself and it also relieves tension in your head, neck and encourages the flow of blood to your brain to perk you up.
Use a few drops of essential oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil (olive oil or almond are good.) Choose an essential oil to suit your hair condition and mood.
Rosemary – For an itchy and flaky scalp, its also very invigorating.
Lavender – For greasy hair and to help you relax.
Geranium – To sooth and moisturize dry hair.
Rub a little of the blended oil of your choice into your hands. Make a fist with each hand and then extend your fingers slightly, keeping them braced.
Starting with the nape of your neck, massage your scalp in sections, working methodically round your head. You may find that you need to shampoo your hair twice to remove the oil so try use a mild shampoo.
Swimmers Hair Treatment
By Nikki (Austin, Texas)
This conditioning treatment works wonders on dry damaged hair, it has been a staple in my routine for years. Enjoy!
- 3 oz Aloe vera juice
- 1 ripe Avocado
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 ripe Banana
- 5 drops Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops rosemary essential oil
- Combine honey and oils, gently warm oils (Do Not Warm Essential Oils!)
- In a blender, blend together aloe vera juice, avocado, banana and warm oil mixture, add essential oils while mixture blends. If needed ad 2oz distilled water while blending.
- After cleansing hair and scalp, apply the creamy mixture to hair and scalp, allow treatment to sit 5 minutes, rinse with cool water.