So I learned that here in Poland stinging nettle has apparently been used traditionally for homemade shampoo/hair cleaners. I did a bit of digging and found a few websites with some various recipes- some all natural, others with different additives (like xanthan gum) or a complicated saponification process (using lye).
One recipe by a Polish man actually involved putting the nettle through a kielbasa (sausage) machine to grind it up- not quite what I was looking for, but very creative and entertaining to see
Anyways, I collected some yesterday and did a first test run- I made a homemade shampoo with stinging nettle, dandelion flowers, and chamomile. It’s very watery without the additives, but it seems to be working okay!
I want to test it out a bit more and also experiment with it a bit, so I thought I’d call on the wisdom of the coven!
→ Have you ever used stinging nettle for beauty care?
→ Have you ever made a homemade all-natural shampoo? (If so, what ingredients did you include?)
Oh! I haven’t used Stinging Nettle for shampoo or anything & also have never made one.
I did however, when my friend was coming over to do my hair & it was colored blue & purple… she told me what kind of shampoo to use & had said that all natural shampoo or shampoos that aren’t sudsy are better for your hair.
I haven’t done either… but I wonder if the recipes for a shampoo bar might work with your ingredients? I don’t know if a shampoo bar is more complicated than just normal shampoo, but I thought I might mention it! I just got some apple cider vinegar shampoo that I am eager to try this evening! Let us know how it goes!!
@MeganB Thank you, Megan! An allergy tea sounds like a very smart way to use stinging nettle, it sure is loaded with nutrients! I’m sorry your stomach didn’t care for it- I’m afraid I can’t drink it as a tea either, my blood pressure is already so low that nettle makes it plummet and I get really dizzy So I figured if my body can’t have it, maybe at least my hair could!
@Heav3n Thank you, Heav3n! And yes- it did give me quite a chuckle to see too Here is the video- if you’d like to take a peek, he starts grinding things up around 2:33
@Siofra_Strega Really! That’s very interesting to hear- so many of the recipes I looked at were trying to find a way to get the suds (I don’t really understand how it works, but it seemed to be by adding some kind of soap or chemical). It’s heartening to hear that it might be better to just keep it simple and all-natural!
@Artemisia Stinging nettles can be a gardener’s bane (the stingers drive me crazy! I always get zapped ) but they are a witch’s bounty! Here in Europe they use them for a whole bunch of things- tea, tinctures, dishes, healthy and beauty care. Many years ago in Italy we would collect them and stir fry them in butter- very tasty! It seems in Poland it’s more popular as a tea or used for homemade shampoo. No matter what you choose to do with your nettle, you have a treasure trove of possibilities in your garden, Artemisia!
@AileyGrey Thank you for the idea of the shampoo bar- I’ll definitely look into it! I used one once while I was backpacking- it lasted forever and smelled really good. I wonder if it’s something that can be made at home (ideally without the tricky saponification process). And ohhh! That’s exciting! Good luck with your cider shampoo- I’d love to hear what you think of it!
I died laughing, if that was me I would not have even wasted time cutting and just threw all the stuff in the grinder, lol. I have a blender and I know I can diffuse with it but have not tried it yet. Going to have to go thru my books and some of these spells to see what I can come up with, lol.
I’d imagine if it’s actually the additives causing the thickness & suds then it would be better for you overall without them in there.
Since then I have noticed that now there’s a lot more hair products that are listed as Sulfate Free &/or Phosphate Free… I believe it’s Phosphate
She had also said that when washing your hair that’s been colored, not only to use the Sulfate Free shampoos but to use cold water to wash & rinse or less than lukewarm. The color will last longer & in my case it lasted quite a while.
In November 2022, (which was 2 1/2 years after I had started coloring it blue &/or purple), I wound up having to cut out the rest of it out well after I stopped with those colors because it just stayed Luckily it was only about 8 inches off the bottom. I was astonished that it was still there though & still most definitely blue.
(I had actually stopped coloring my hair altogether & those colors just wanted to hang around)
Hahaha I’m glad it gave you a chuckle too! It is definitely a curious decision to chop everything up first by hand, only to then put it in the machine… to each their own, I suppose!
Good luck in your search- I hope you’re able to find some fun spells!
Oh I’ve also hear about using cold water to preserve the dye! I just never did it, back when I was dyeing my hair- need me my hot showers They bring me more joy than the hair color did haha
I do want to start taking better care of my hair, though- it’s a good and healthy goal to work towards! I’m going to try to be more mindful of what is in the shampoo/conditioners I use and (hopefully) will find some homemade recipes I can incorporate from time to time
It’s been almost one week and I’ve been using it pretty much every day and I think my hair is a bit thicker! Full disclaimer though, one day I was lost in my thoughts and accidentally used the store shampoo bottle out of habit, so that may have messed things up
Aside from being a bit thicker, I don’t see too much of a difference, although it may still be too soon to tell. I’ll keep using it and see where it goes!
That’s awesome! And yes, it definitely helps- it’s proving to be a very interesting plant with lots of possible uses, but I’m not finding too many sources (in English) about using it for beauty work. It sounds like nettle has worked really well for your hair/skin! Thank you, @Mistress_Of_Herbs
I ran out! I wasn’t sure how long it would be shelf-stable for, as the mixture is mostly water, so I didn’t make too much for the first batch. Haven’t gotten around to making a new batch yet (although I should soon- the nettle will be there all summer, but the dandelions are already starting to turn into puff balls!)
In terms of short-term results, I think it helped to make my hair thicker and possibly a bit shinier.
I wasn’t a big fan of the watery consistency- I think I lost quite a bit in the shower, it just runs right off your hands and head When I do it next time I think I’ll look into natural ways to get a thicker consistency. I’m also not sure how long it can sit around for- a lot of water-based mixtures with no preservatives run the risk of growing bacteria, which doesn’t seem like an attractive thing to be scrubbing into your hair
All in all, it was a good first run and I’d definitely use stinging nettle for hair care again in the future, but this first recipe wasn’t perfect- it’s going to take some more experimentation and research!
Thanks for the update! I’ve wanted to try something like this because I’ve got naturally fine/thin hair and I lose quite a bit in the shower on a regular basis. I’ve always been on the hunt for something that can help thicken my hair and keep it healthy.
For future uses, I wonder if you could use it as a leave-in? There is this weird gel thing that I’ve seen people make out of flaxseed that’s supposed to be really good for hair. Maybe a nettle-infused flaxseed leave-in could work? I haven’t done this yet either because the consistency kinda freaks me out but the video here is someone that used it for a week and showed her results!
I used to make bath and body products and used Xanthan Gum as a thickener so you might want to try that! However, I had the hardest time finding a consistency for a shampoo so it never made it into our shop when I was running it. Always too liquidy so I’d love to know if you end up finding something you like!
And for preserving it, I used Grapefruit Seed Extract.
Just some ideas if you make it again But this makes me want to get back to it so much! I loved knowing exactly what was in what I was using and being able to change the smell or alter ingredients as needed. I’m excited to see how this works for you if you try again, especially as I’ve never used stinging nettle.
Thank you for the update! I just realized that part of my Tamed Wild box (now quarterly) has a botanical hair rinse recipe in it… but it’s not a shampoo, you use it afterward & let it basically rinse your hair with it. I thought of this post, as of right now I’m not entirely sure of all of the herbs in it, but when I get the box I will have more information & can see if maybe they have something in there about natural thickening or the rinse itself