You can make your own spray-on leave-in conditioner easily and cheaply at home, and because you can customize the mix, what you make may even be better quality than what’s available at the stores. This is a great way not only to save money, but to create a “custom” product that really meets your hair’s needs.
The basics of leave-in conditioner
Basically, a leave-in conditioner is just a watered down version of a regular conditioner. It’s thin enough to flow through a spray bottle, and also light enough to give some conditioning to your hair without weighing it down.
I recommend starting out with this very simple recipe:
- Put some regular conditioner in a spray bottle.
- Add a small amount of distilled water (you can use tap in many areas, but if you have hard water, it might be better to used distilled – and you won’t need much).
- Shake it or stir it – just get it mixed thoroughly.
- If it’s still thick or goopy, add more water.
It’s a great idea to add an ounce of water at a time, and note both how much water you used and how far you filled your spray bottle with conditioner. This makes it easier to follow the recipe the next time without guesswork.
With some conditioners, this method gives you a bottle of conditioner with floating bits of goop that refuse to break down in the water. If this happens, there are a couple of possibilities. The obvious one is to use a different conditioner, so if that’s acceptable to you, it’s probably the quickest and simplest solution.
But if not, there are some things you can add to your homemade leave-in conditioner that might break down the goopy bits and make the mixture smooth. The trick with each of these is to use a very small amount, because all you really want them to do is break down the goop, and it shouldn’t take much to make that happen:
- Jojoba oil. Not every head of hair likes oils, but jojoba is lightweight and similar to the oil our body produces naturally, so it can work for a lot of people.
- Other oils. Various people have preferences for lots of different oils, depending on their hair types and what they’re looking for: extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, etc. You may need to do some research or trial and error to find what works for you.
- Glycerin. Vegetable glycerin can also break the goop down, and again, it takes very little.
- Aloe Vera [from a commenter]. You can also add aloe vera gel, which is a great hair conditioner, to your mixture.
Another option is to add a few drops of essential oils. This is a great way to fragrance the product – and note that lavender is great for making slightly dirty hair smell clean again. That dirty hair smell is not an unclean or unhealthy thing at all, and since hair stylists now recommend washing your hair as infrequently as you can, lavender can help you extend the time between washings, which can make your hair more healthy.