By going the DIY route, you think you are saving some dollars, getting a healthier all natural product, but if you are not careful you may be putting yourself at risk. In particular, if you are using water in your formulations and no sort of preservatives bacteria could be inhabiting your product.
Water is the ultimate moisturizer which is why you may feel the need to include it in your hair product. However, as soon as you have added water to the mixture, you have created an environment where bacteria can grow, which greatly limits the life span of your product. You can safely use the product for a few days maybe even up to a week in a refrigerated environment, after that point it may become contaminated, if you have made no attempt to preserve it in some way.
When some people hear the word preservatives they think that they are a bad thing. Preservatives in and of themselves are not bad because they keep us safe. Some preservative choices are better than others which is why people have made the choice to avoid parabens for example, but overall they shouldn’t be looked at in a negative light. Some bacterial growths can cause sickness, blindness and even death so trust me you want to make sure you are doing what you need to do to protect your product.
Here are some ways to keep your DIY natural hair products safe, healthy and bacteria free:
- You can choose not to include water in your mixture at all. This makes things really easy and gives your DIY product longer lasting shelf life without the need for all the extra stuff or the worry of growths.
- Always keep your products in a cool dark place like your cabinets or your refrigerator, if the product contains water or any other perishable use it quickly.
- Make your product in smaller batches if it contains water so you can use it up within a week’s time or less.
- Use Vitamin E oil, lemongrass oil, or tea tree oil to ward off radicals. These are not preservatives but these oils can help fight off some types of bacterial growth.
- Willow bark extract and Aspen bark are all natural preservatives, that may extend the shelf life your product. If you would like to make a water based product in bulk or sell your product, you should be researching the best preservative to ensure effectiveness.