uncle harry’s – product review!

when a reader asked about uncle harry’s products, they immediately caught my eye. they claimed their shampoo contained a mix of apple cider vinegar AND castile soap. in the same bottle. mixed… hold up!

castile soap is nothing but saponified oils… vinegar UNsaponifies these, taking away the cleaning power, and making it look curdled. so naturally, i was so confused.

i emailed them inquiring about the mix and wondered if there was any curdling going on. the reps quickly got back to me, assured there was no curdling AND offered to send me samples.

YES please, of course!!! and they sent me a really nice package of samples! i was pleasantly surprised! i got to try their soapless wash, their shampoo, and their hair oil. hence this product review! and as always, my reviews are ALWAYS honest, at all expenses 🙂

uncle harrys

about uncle harry’s:

taken from their website “Uncle Harry’s Natural Products is a family run adventure in innovation, dedicated to making earth-friendly products at people-friendly prices. We are extremely proud to offer some of the cleanest and most affordable body care products available. All of our formulations are hand-made using only the finest quality botanicals, including local, organic, and sustainable raw materials… For the past 20 years we have built a reputation for integrity and outstanding value, while maintaining our roots in family, traditional healing, and Earth-consciousness.”

and now…. the products!!

soapless shampoo:

remember the soap nuts i mentioned briefly awhile back for use in no-poo alternatives? well, here’s a soapless shampoo that has them! cool, huh?

i tried this product on the ends of my hair to not upset my water-only routine. it wasn’t drying on my hair at all!

and the 2 best parts – it can be used in hard water (YAY!), and it can double as your body wash!

ingredients: soap nut powder (sapindus mukorossi), reverse osmosis water, grapefruit seed extract, essential oils of eucalyptus, orange, rosemary, and tea tree

shampoo (both aromatherapy and organic):

as with the soapless shampoo, i tried these on the ends of my hair. they lathered up nicely for an organic shampoo and smelled very hippie-like (not in a bad way, haha). i’m strictly a floral scented person, but they weren’t bad!! i did like the lavender aromatherapy shampoo smell. and the smell didn’t linger in my hair barely at all after it was dry.

i didn’t notice a film on my hair after using it (as expected from the vinegar/castile mix), and am still very perplexed about this…. must be magic.  i also didn’t get to try this in hard water, but i will very safely assume it will leave a film on your hair if you have hard water (because it’s a castile soap). if you have hard water, go for the soapless shampoo  🙂

as with the soapless shampoo, you can definitely use this shampoo as a body wash!!

ingredients: organic african black soap, organic castile soap, organic apple cider vinegar, reverse osmosis water, organic jojoba oil, organic lemon, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree essential oils.

herbal coconut oil:

this is a hardcore moisturizer! it smells like an all-natural store (if you can think of that unique smell), and a little of it goes a LONG way! it’ll add a great punch of shine, too!

ingredients: organic coconut oil, organic hemp oil, sage, burdock, nettles, lavender, lemon, tea tree, rosemary, geranium oil
(i’m assuming they at least partially used fractionated coconut oil since mine didn’t solidify up too much in the cold. or maybe the amount didn’t affect it.)

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i hope you guys get to try uncle harry’s! it’ll be gentler on your hair and skin, compared to other castile soaps that aren’t mixed with herbs and oils. i’d normally advise a diluted acidic rinse still if you use the organic or aromatherapy shampoos, to ensure the ph of your hair is in the range it should be in after using the castile shampoos, but there’s acv in them already.  you should be good to go! just remember if you notice more tangling than normal, or a “film” on your hair, reach for your acidic rinse and use it a couple times after shampooing.

has anyone tried this brand? what do you think??

THANK YOU to uncle harry’s for the great samples!! the shampoos are currently being used by my mom, who i’m sure will be the next biggest fan! she’s been searching high and low for the perfect organic shampoo for her, and i think these are perfect!

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DIY no-‘poo alternative shampoos & conditioners

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

as we know, no-‘poo can be pretty difficult to master. i did “no-‘poo week” in hopes i’d help a lot of people. but there’s still one huge thing i wanted to address & publish…

diy natural shampoos and conditioners

for some people, baking soda/acv isn’t the route to go. neither is castile soap. but what do you do when those no-‘poo methods don’t work for your hair, but you don’t wanna go low-‘poo?

try these homemade alternatives i’ve gathered up! these do require more time, but you should be washing your hair much less, so no big deal, right? 🙂

as with any no-‘poo/low-‘poo method, there is a transition period when you first switch from regular shampoo/conditioner. and with these following recipes, using hair products is not advised since there’s nothing in these mixes that will clean the products back out of your hair.

also, these methods won’t lather (unless you add soapwort). that doesn’t mean it’s not getting your hair clean!
also also, these mixes are okay for both hard and soft water.

lastly, these ingredients can be found at your local organic store and local health food store. call & check! if not, there’s always online!

shampoo

lemon shampoo

  • mix 1/3 cup lemon juice with 2/3 cup water for oily hair OR 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1 cup water for normal hair
  • *you can add 1 tbsp acv for those with dry hair
  • put into container and use as shampoo
  • this might lighten hair over time if you’re in the sun a lot

hibiscus shampoo Dried hibiscus flower

  • place either 2 fresh or 2 dried hibiscus flower petals and leaves into small blender
  • add 1/2 cup water
  • blend into paste
  • use as regular shampoo
    *you can also use powdered hibiscus for homemade blush/eyeshadow!

powdered shikakai shampoo (for sensitive scalps, hair growth, and hair root strengthening) Shikakai-powder_250x250

  • in a sauce pan, mix 1 tbsp shikakai powder, 1 tbsp amla powder and 1 tbsp reetha powder into 1 1/2 cups water
  • heat till almost boiling, and turn the heat to low
  • let simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • strain and use the liquid as shampoo

soapwort shampoo

  • chop 1 1/2 tbsp dried soapwort
  • bring 2 cups water to a boil
  • add soapwort to boiling water, and stir a couple minutes
  • cover and let simmer for a 1/2 hour
  • strain, put in container, and use as regular shampoo
    *this WILL be sudsy! (for those that miss bubbles!) fullers earth

fuller’s earth shampoo

  • mix enough fuller’s earth with water to make a watery paste
  • apply mix to hair and rub on scalp as you would regular shampoo
  • rinse very, very well

castile shampoo mixes- a gentler castile method (use distilled water)

  • mix 1 part liquid castile soap to 8-10 parts distilled water (or even diluted further if you can)
  • mix with: aloe vera; raw honey; argan oil; jojoba oil; avocado oil; coconut milk; vitamin e oil; a few drops of various essential oils; etc.
  • keep in container and use as regular shampoo

*tea shampoo (for added color & gray coverage)

  • for added color and gray coverage benefits, use tea instead of water in ANY of the shampoo mixes that have waterred-rooibos
  • black teawill help darken hair over time (3-5 bags steeped for 1 hour)
  • chamomile tea will help lighten hair over time (3-5 bags steeped for 1 hour)
  • red or rooibus tea will help add red to hair (3-5 bags steeped for 1 hour)
  • add 1 tbsp sage (or equal parts if you’re goin hardcore coverage) to help cover grays
  • …remember to strain before you add to your mixes 😉

shikakai & soapnut shampoo

  • here’s a great tutorial on it. & she claims it takes out oil treatments from your hair too. that’d be great! … if anyone wants to test that claim and get back to us here at AE, more power to ya!

you can add steeped mint leaves and/or various essential oils to ANY of these mixes

**if you want a sudsy lather, steep soapwort and add it to any shampoo mix (soapwort instructions above)

conditioner

these conditioners are geared towards no-‘poo-ers. these will rinse out with your regular no-‘poo routine 🙂

coconut oil (dry, damaged hair… but it’s golden for everyone)

  • mix 1/3 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon melted organic unrefined coconut oil
  • you can add a few drops of any essential oil- lavender, orange, rose, etc. mmm!
  • keep in container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)20130616_134007

raw honey

  • mix 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey into 2 cups very warm water (not hot) until honey is thoroughly dissolved
  • put into container and use as you would a regular conditioner

avocado oil (frizzy hair)

  • mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon avocado oil
  • put into container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)

vitamin e oil

  • mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil  
    almond
  • put into container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)

sweet almond oil

  • mix 1/2 cup warm water with 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • put into container and use as regular conditioner (shake each time)

coconut milk

  • apply as much coconut milk as needed to cover the length of your hair (if you choose to use canned, make sure there are no added sugars or preservatives. you don’t want a sticky mess in your hair)
  • use as regular conditioner
  • the best coconut milk is homemade. no sugar, no preservatives, etc.  and the best part? you can drink it! so delicious & healthy! yay!
    – i’m not sure what i did wrong with this one, but it left my hair dull and limp. i know it’s supposed to be amazing! i’ll try it again someday

other deep conditioners

*obviously water and oil don’t mix. shake mix vigorously before applying. the water is there to help to keep the oil from “sticking” in no-‘poo hair, but will still give hair moisture.

2-in-1

only 1 mix needed for these bad boys!

eggs

  • whip up a couple egg YOLKS
  • use as shampoo, let sit 10-15 minutes, and rinse well!
  • *there is a such thing as too much protein in your hair! please don’t use this more than once a week. and even that is still too much for some people’s hair. you’ll know you have too much protein in your hair when it starts to break/snap easily. sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true! that being said, eggs are GREAT for hair. don’t let the protein thing scare ya off

aloe

  • use as much pure, organic aloe vera juice or gel as you need to cover all your hair from roots to ends
  • let sit a 10-15 minutes (shave/bathe?) and rinse well!

cucumber/lemon

  • blend 1 peeled cucumber and 1 peeled/de-seeded lemon in a blender
  • use mix as shampoo

coconut milk/aloe combo

  • see my recipe here

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please keep in mind some of these shampoos/2in1’s will expire quickly. use common sense 😉 i suggest making only what you need, and keeping extras in the fridge! the conditioners listed do NOT need to be kept in the fridge.

any shampoo/conditioners YOU love? let’s hear it!

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organic alternative to shampoo & body wash

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as you all know if you follow my blog, i have been shampoo and conditioner free for almost 9 months now!

for those of you who appreciate organic body care instead of slathering your skin with chemicals, i have come up with a gentle alternative! also, for those that aren’t too keen on completely going ‘poo-less, this can be used as a shampoo alternative as well. WIN! the organic oils will strip away dirt and grease like none other!

what i used:

  • dr. bronner’s liquid soap, 8 oz from official website for about $8 (any fragrance you like)
  • pura d’or organic argan oil (optional yet suggested!!)- snagged on grupon for $24…. you could use extra virgin olive oil, too, if you have that!
  • squeezy bottle from walmart – under $1
  • water from the sink (bottled/distilled water might be preferred, especially if you have hard water)

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(detailed instructions below)

soap mixture

1. fill 4/5 of the squeezy bottle with warm water from the sink (or more if you’re already no-‘poo)

2. fill the remaining 1/5 of the bottle with liquid soap (for those who are ‘poo less, use less! i definitely use less…about 1:8 soap to water mix)

3. (optional yet HIGHLY suggested) add 10-12 pumps of argan oil for added moisture for your skin and extra moisture/shine for your scalp/hair (OR about a teaspoon of olive oil!)

4. gently shake

5. use directly on scalp for shampoo (a small amount goes a looooong way); put on loofa/washcloth for body wash.

*6. if you need/want to, follow up with putting some organic coconut oil or argan oil on your hair, focusing on the ends. it helps frizz and dryness 🙂

hair length(hair’s still damp, but you can see it’s almost down to my belly button now! woohoo!!)

IF YOU HAVE HARD WATER: the minerals in the hard water WILL react to the castile soap and leave a soap scum on your hair/skin. you HAVE to mix castile soap with distilled water. some people have found that their water is really hard and they have to rinse with distilled as well. i have hard water and mixing with distilled/rinsing with shower water worked for me. if your hair looks dull, feels heavy/waxy/gross after using this mix, chances are you have hard water.

how to fix the hard water problem if you’ve already got the nasty hair: double rinse with ACV (1 tablespoon acv mixed with 1 cup distilled water). rinse once, let it sit a few minutes, wash/gently massage out & repeat. that should take care of the soap scum issue 🙂

UPDATE: i had my boyfriend use the citrus mix (i made sure to not emasculate him too much with my rose one haha) and he said it cleaned his hair better than store-bought shampoo. he did use conditioner afterward because his hair was SO squeaky clean that it was dry feeling. he used about a 1:6 ratio of soap to water.  for me, the soap/water mixture alone was really drying, even with 1:6 ratio of soap to water.  i’ve switched to 1:8 and it feels so much better! and if you choose to add oil like i did, it will add moisture for your scalp and skin.

ENJOY!!

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goin no-‘poo!

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

(content from my old blog! i’m now a water-only washer, and haven’t used ANY hair products in a year and a half, so ask me any questions you may have! i have a no-poo troubleshooting post here, too!)

my inner hippie and i have decided to cut out typical shampoo and conditioner. sound gross? well, yea, kinda. this doesn’t mean i’m not washing my hair…it means i’m gonna have to start making my shampoo and conditioner at home. no chemicals? SCORE! way less money spent? DOUBLE SCORE!

so what am i going to be using instead of shampoo and conditioner? why, baking soda and apple cider vinegar, my dears!

the recipes for my homemade haircare:

shampoo:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

conditioner:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (with the mother. yes, i said mother.)

what to do:

  • mix up your “shampoo” and place in container of your choice. it should feel “slippery.” you’ll know what i mean when you feel it!
  • mix up your “conditioner” and place in container of your choice. it’ll smell while you’re using it, but it will NOT smell once you rinse it out!
  • use the baking soda mix as you would normal shampoo. i found it’s best to squirt a little on one part of your scalp, rub gently but firmly, and move to the next spot. only use this on your scalp! then, once you’ve rubbed your whole scalp, rinse really, really well!
  • use the acv rinse from the scalp to the ends of your hair. it’ll rebalance the pH and make  your hair feel softer! rinse really, really well!

i have two plastic squirt bottles (not spray ones) that i’m using to hold the mixes.

and of course you can change the mixture, according to your hair. scalp is too dry? you can lessen the baking soda. etc. *remember* to let your hair have a few weeks to adjust to your new homemade haircare before you change the mixture ratios. the dryness and/or oiliness you might experience might be the simple fact that you’re hair isn’t being stripped of its natural oils then coated with waxes anymore! 🙂

couple tips:

clarify before you switch (clarify ONCE. then wait 3, 4, 5 or more days before your next wash!)
deep condition often. “often” is based on your hair. if it’s dry, condition it. if it’s not, don’t. 🙂

20130430_144845(about halfway through my transition. see?! NOT pretty. but worth it!!)

UPDATE:

i love the condition my hair is in. it’s shiny, holds curls better (without product, of course!) and really soft!

 

(sorry the pictures are dark. it’s after 3am and matt’s asleep so i don’t have too many lights on.)

these pictures were taken 19 hours after i took my flexi-rods out of my hair AND after 6 hours of being tossed around in study-mode….there’s still so much body and bounce! love it! and no, not washing my hair every day isn’t making my hair gross…it’s doing the exact opposite 😀 overall, it’s so low maintenance and combined with the no-heat overnight way i curl my hair, my hair care routine is SO incredibly easy now.

so how long does the mixture last?

the mixture i posted above lasts me about 3 uses. considering a big box of baking soda was a litte over a dollar and the unfiltered ACV was a few dollars…let’s do the math:

– $5 for baking soda and ACV
– $1 for a gallon of distilled water
– 1 tablespoon each of the bs and acv with 2 cups of water— i’m washing my hair for PENNIES a week!!

now that’s what i call wallet cheap and beauty chic! SCORE!

UPDATE 2:

i’ve officially been ‘poo free for about 1 1/2 years! this post is really old and from my old blog, but still has great info!

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ROUTINE? see this post

NEED SOME NO-‘POO HELP? see this post

and there’s always the no-‘poo resource page! 🙂

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