Free Homemade Hair Conditioner

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free hair conditioner

Free Homemade Hair Conditioner

Boy, I bet that title got everyone’s attention! We love free and we especially love homemade. It’s funny– I remember when I was younger how the word homemade made everyone turn their noses up and gasp in horror. Things really have a way of coming and going with different generations.

Anyway back to the hair conditioner. There is one type of hair conditioner I rarely hear mentioned and I love it for my long hair. Of all of the products I have tried in my 60 plus (ouch) years this still makes my hair feel silky and soft like nothing else and the added bonus is, it’s free!

What is it? Rain water. Yes you read me right. When we have a downpour, I will either stick my head out and let it get rained on and/or I will set bowls out to catch the rain water for me and then I will put in a pitcher to use it.

Here are a couple of things to note about this hair conditioner:

1. Wider shallow bowls work best to catch the rain water, even something like a 9×13 pan because it is spread out over more surface area. Set out more than one container because you really don’t catch that much in one bowl. You don’t really need a huge amount because you are just coating your hair with it.

2. Use this as your very last rinse. Don’t re-rinse with regular water after you use this because it will defeat the purpose.

3. You can use this free hair conditioner in the winter too. It is even easier to use in the winter because I scoop large bowls of snow and let it melt to use later. When you use snow you can just pack it into a pitcher and let it melt in the pitcher.

4. You can save it. Just leave it in the pitcher after you’ve collected it and save it for your next shampoo.


Photo By: Scott Robinson


  1. Bea says

    Sounds so nice and refreshing. I also read that rubbing cold snow onto your face is a nice facial that shrinks pores and feels nice.

  2. says

    Now that’s kind of interesting. It doesn’t rain often here in my part of California…doesn’t matter. I’ll give this a try :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • Suzanne says

      Just an idea – try using distilled water. I think the idea of the rainwater is that it doesn’t contain any minerals because it’s just pure hydrogen and oxygen gas which combines to make water – H2O. Distilled water would be the same thing. Water is a universal solvent – everything dissolves in water, and it has a solubility capacity. Therefore, starting with pure H2O whether in the form of rainwater OR distilled water should work. Try it and let us know if it works. It will cost a bit more, but for those who don’t have rainwater to collect, it could be an option.

  3. Rachel says

    My hair has become so dry, and I am trying to get chemicals out of my home, as well as saving money. I read a lot, and in the historical novels women are always rinsing their hair with rainwater. I honestly just never thought to do it! Thanks for the idea.

  4. says

    I grew up using water from the cistern – same thing! We always loved the way our hair felt when we switched the water over to the cistern. If we were using regular well water, we sometimes used water from the rain barrel to wash our hair (as long as it hadn’t sat too long and gotten dirty and full of mosquito larvae). It really does work great.

  5. Bea says

    I collected about a quart of rainwater over the weekend during a downpour and used it as a last rinse after washing hair. Felt great pouring on my head, smelled fresh, and made my hair so soft!

  6. Bea says

    It’s been raining heavy the last couple of days, so I collected a good quantity of rainwater to use as conditioner. YIPPY! Now when it rains I don’t mind it as much because I can get some good from it. The rainwater does make your head feel nice, soft, and refreshed.

  7. ArizonaWolf says

    Ok I am from Arizona desert we do not get a lot of rain per year I wish we got more and trust me when we do get rain I run out in my back yard be it monsoon season or not and I play in it. However the issues here is I have come to find that I have allergies to sulfate and sulfa drugs however the past month It now has come down to anything that contains sulfate and sulfa in it’s active ingredients causes me to break out in hives as well. This includes shampoos conditions soaps and so on. I am trying to figure out what I can do to make my own shampoo, conditioner and soap. I live on a EXTREMELY limited income I get $718 per month from My Disability benefits my rent and utilities are $685 per month and my food stamps are $200 that is all the money I have per month. Then I have to pay about $13 guaranteed for my prescription drugs then if I need others cause I get sick it could go up to $25 so when I mean limited income I mean limited. So if anyone has a none griddie feeling shampoo(I tried baking soda and water it is not going to work) please give me the cheapest way to make shampoo, conditioner and soap. Thank you

    • says

      I just know about the soda shampoo but recently I have been trying something different for soap that I take a shower with. My dermatologist said people take way to many showers and I have known that for years so cutting back on showers helps with how much soap you have to spend money on but recently I was talking to my mom and she said her doctor said people should never use soap on any part of their body but just use the water. You can use soap on the arm pits and crotch area. Then the next week I was watching a thing on TV and a famous model was selling her skin care line which is just this pure kind of oil and said that using like on like is what cleans things and we should only use oil to bathe with.

      She is right. I often will use vegetable oil to clean residue left from a sticker and things like that. Anyway I couldn’t afford the expensive oil she was selling so I have been using cheap baby oil for almost 3 weeks now and I love it. My skin has never been better. I will use a sugar scrub every so often for exfoliation but that is it.

    • Jeanne says

      AirzonaWolf, I did a quick search for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) (assume this is what you mean by “sulfate and sulfa drugs) in shampoo and came across these comments: “The absolute best is Organix. It has organic active ingredients and is sulfate free so it wont dry out your hair, plus…it smells awesome! Organix has different collections for different hair types all with amazing scents! You can get Organix at Target, CVS, Walgreens, Bed Bath & Beyond, Wal-Mart, etc.” Here is a link to the shampoo at Amazon; it’s priced at $6.49 for 13 fluid ounces:

      Here’s a link at Amazon for other sulfate-free shampoos, at a variety of prices. I know this is a quick search, but hope this helps you and that you can find something within your budget!

    • Deborah Guthrie says

      Hi, I was reading a blog last week, (sorry can’t remember which one) and they offered a wonderful homemade body wash…. A bar of your favorite soap (either freeze it and then grate it, or if it’s a softer soap cut it into small chunks) and start with 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Warm it up until the soap dissolves, let it cool. See if it’s thick enough for you. If it’s too thick, turn on the heat and add another cup of water. After it cools again, take your mixer and mix it on high speed. This way you can use a bar of soap that you know is safe for your skin. Hope that helps, and good luck to you… I am allergic to sulfa drugs, but thankfully it doesn’t extend past that. :)

    • says

      You know Bea I have just been rubbing it on with my hands and that seems to be working really good but I had thought about maybe using my scrubby puff or a washrag. It really makes sense though what that gal said about like cleaning like. I know my mom use to use butter to get grease off of my dad’s work clothes and I never could figure out how that worked but it always cut the grease.

  8. Bea says

    Since winter is coming and I usually get dry skin because of lower humidity I think I will try this baby oil in place of soap idea. It may help. Good idea.

  9. says

    My daughter, when young, hated to have the tangles combed out of her hair after washing. And yes, I did start combing from the bottom up. A friend told me I wasn’t getting all the shampoo rinsed out and to use vinegar, then rinse again. So, I put cider vinegar in a spritz bottle and spritzed her hair all over, then rinsed again. The tangles combed out like a dream, and she didn’t smell like a pickle, either!

  10. Veronica Tidd says

    In winter my hair is usually unmanageable from static electicity.
    This year we have had humidifiers going and it has been much better. Cutting the washing down to twice a week helps too.

  11. Joan says

    Arizona Wolf – you say baking soda shampoo doesn’t work for you. I used it all the time. I dissolve 1 tbsp of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water and after wetting my hair I pour some on my head and then massage it into my scalp with the pads of my finger tips. I use the rest of the cup of soda water and massage again. I rinse my hair with tap water and then I mix 1/2 tbsp of white vinegar with 1 cup warm water and scrub it onto my head and hair then rinse. My hair is soft, clean and doesn’t smell of vinegar.

  12. Judy (Jory) Hayward says

    Please note that mineral oil is better than baby oil as it is pure and has no perfume. Works best when applied to skin while still damp.
    Also plain homemade lye soap made with lard is extremely mild and great for skin care.
    Also regular store bought hand bar soap lasts much longer if you take it out of the wrapper and let it dry, works the same just lasts longer, also makes your linnen closet smell nicw

  13. Sue says

    Bea, my daughter, 18, and I just started washing with oil. We’ve been doing it for about a week now and both love it! She is using jojoba oil because we read that it is supposed to be good for acne. I have tried the jojoba and coconut oil. We massage it on our face for a few minutes, then use a hot washcloth to gently wipe it off. Then rinse out the cloth and wipe again. I’ve found that it leaves my face clean feeling, (not greasy) and soft. I’m even experimenting with not using moisturizer afterwards with good results so far. Apparently you can use other oils such as sweet almond oil or even olive oil. The baby oil sounds like a good choice too, a lot cheaper than some of the others! I will have to try that.

  14. Pam says

    I like these ideas because I really struggle with dry skin, but I wonder – if you are using the oil in the shower in place of soap, don’t you end up with a slippery tub/shower floor? Thanks for all your helpful tips!

    • says

      I have a non skid floor so I really don’t have any problems at all. It may depend on the type of floor you have you could maybe carefully try it once and see what happens.

  15. Sheri says

    Food stamps will buy olive oil or coconut oil for washing. When my 17-year-old was a baby, the doctor told me NOT to use soap on his skin! He had never seen baby skin so dry! A friend of mine has such curly hair, she struggled to wash it, until she read that she should just skip the shampoo and wash her hair with conditioner. It works! When my hair and scalp get so dry it hurts, I do that too! I have used conditioner for scrubbing the drier parts of my body too, but I think oil might be even better!

    I’m just concerned that I might be oiling my clothes! There’s probably a way to do it that doesn’t get my clothes dirty.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      Sheri you don’t have to worry about it getting on your clothes. You put the oil on in the shower like you would soap, let the water run on your body rinsing it while you finish washing any other areas of your body, towel dry and by this time there isn’t a thick layer of oil like it does when you just directly apply it to your skin. That is why I like doing it this way. I feel less greasy usually then what I do with some regular lotions. Doesn’t bother my towels either.

  16. Deb Vaughn says

    I have to agree with us being “overly clean”. Sounds weird, but I have stopped showering every day also. I’ve let my hair grow out so it only needs to be washed every couple of days and unless I’ve been out working in the garden, etc. I bath every other day, or sponge bath. It has helped tremendously with my dry skin and hair.

    With the drought in our area and the fear of our well running dry, our whole family switched to less showering. There are exceptions to everything of course, but it is working for us. I think I will try getting some oil to bathe with. I do have to ask, is baby oil a natural product? I can’t remember?

  17. judy says

    Baby oil has added perfume. some people are sensitive to perfumes and added fragrances, babies smell so sweet though don’t they.

    • says

      I don’t know. I have never used it but I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. I tend to use things like baby oil or olive oil because it is often a little cheaper and seems to work really well.

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