I was continually on a quest to find the perfect, most natural products I could find and in the past this led me to attempt to make my own shampoos. Those original attempts were fruitless as I ended up with a product that left a dullness to my hair that I could not live with, a kind of residue despite rinsing with cider vinegar in the water.
I make all my own 'products' and treatments with only natural ingredients. I used various Indian herbs to make a traditional paste which cleansed and conditioned and turned my dry frizzy hair around! I began using Amla, Brahmi and Shikakai in February 2005 after much research and deliberation, and all these years later I still use Shikakai on it's own! I used only the herbs, cooked into a thick gravy-like consistency much like a conditioning treatment, solely for six years, then at the start of 2011 I had been finding the resin that henna leaves behind to be too much (velcro-ness for a couple of weeks!) so I have started to relax a bit and have fun with shampoos and conditioners. I still scrutinize the labels, and I won't let anything that seems unduly harsh near my scalp or hair, but this has made life a lot easier for me.
I also use fresh Aloe Vera from my own plant or if not practical I use a 99.9% aloe gel or pure powdered aloe. I tend to use this for taming flyaways, although lately not so much.
Catnip leaves and buds brewed into a tea (approx 1 teaspoonful to 300ml boiled water) in a covered pot, left to brew till cool and then strained, makes a delightful conditioning rinse, leave it on the hair for an hour if possible, and then rinse out. Leaving it in is fine, but it can seem a bit 'coated' once dry. Thankfully the cats don't seem interested in climbing in my hair afterwards!
Oils - these are excellent for removing henna staining from the scalp, which I do on the 2nd or 3rd day after hennaing, and for relieving dryness. I have a webpage about oils still in the pipeline, I found it in my archive! I will put it up soon. My current oils of choice are Bhringraj oil (herbal in a Coconut Oil base), Coconut Oil and Castor Oil (blended with one of the former) and also use Castor on it's own at my hairline as it encourages growth.
For those who don't like the idea of herbs only washing I will add some reviews and suggestions. For now here is my old review pre-2005!:
avalon organic botanicals mint thyme shampoo and conditioner
I tried the lavender version in the range which was good but not as moisturising as the mint thyme variety. This conditioner doesn't contain silicones so there is no buildup. The shampoo doesn't contain SLS and is therefore less harsh than many other shampoos. it worked well for a while, and even the Conditioner worked well for a while as a conditioner only wash, but I must admit I grew tired of it after a while due to dullness and irritable scalp.