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View Full Version : Dilute the shampoo? Seriously?



selderon
March 24th, 2011, 02:58 PM
I have heard a couple times that shampoos can be diluted and still offer great cleansing while saving money. One source claims that shampoo is too concentrated the way it comes in the bottle.

Do you dilute your shampoo?
What shampoo do you use?
HOW do you dilute it (proportions, quantity mixed at one time, method of mixing, special concerns)?
What do you notice is different since you started diluting?
Do you think most or all people can get good results with diluted shampoo?

pariate
March 24th, 2011, 03:08 PM
I "dilute" my shampoo with coconut oil and have had great results since I started doing this four months ago. In the past I have also diluted it with water. I've tried this with many brands.

When diluting with oil (I use melted coconut and you can read about it in my blog if you're really bored...) I mix up a small batch and keep it in an airtight tub. It lasts me about 4 washes. I have no problems doing this, as long as I don't get water in there. When I used to dilute with water, I'd take a cup/similar into the shower with me, put a little shampoo in the cup (less than I would use undiluted) and mix it with some water before applying to my hair.

Diluting shampoo allows me to use shampoo on my scalp without the drying effects I usually experience with shampoo. I have wurly hair and shampoo has caused me many problems in the past! :p

I see no reason why diluting shampoo with water wouldn't work for most people. Many shampoos contain surfactants which are strong enough to stand a little dilution. The only way to see if it works is to give it a try! If it doesn't work for you it'll be easy to undo - simply go back to washing with undiluted shampoo next time.

If you'd like to look into diluting shampoo with oil, take a look at the Movie Star shampoo thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=57025), which has recently been replaced by the Discuss Oil Shampoo thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=65063) after the original thread was closed.

HintOfMint
March 24th, 2011, 03:14 PM
I tried diluting and all it did was leave my scalp not as clean as I would like it. I do however, add a little bit at a time to different parts of my scalp to evenly distribute it instead of glopping a palmful onto the middle of my scalp and spreading it from there. But that is just to make sure I don't go through my bottle unnecessarily quickly.

SimplyViki
March 24th, 2011, 03:18 PM
Sometimes I dilute my shampoo, sometimes I don't.

I use whatever shampoo in my (finally shrinking) stash I take a fancy to. Currently I'm alternating between Herbal Essences Body Envy and Garnier Sleek and Shine, because I happen to have both in my shower.

To dilute the shampoo, I squirt a small amount into a sports bottle and add water, then shake it up. I don't measure. I would estimate that I use a quarter-sized blob of shampoo, but I can't really see it at the bottom of the sports bottle all that well. Probably use somewhere around a half a cup or so of water.

I don't have any cumulative effects that I could directly attribute to diluting, since I rarely wash my hair the same way twice in a row. However, when I dilute my shampoo, I find that it's easier to distribute the lather throughout my scalp. Much, much easier. At my current length, the weight of my wet hair seems to cause the hair by my scalp to stick so tightly to my head during a wash that it can be pretty tricky to work a lather down behind my ears and around the nape area. Diluting solves that problem, as I can squirt the lather where ever I need it, and since it's runnier, it seems to distribute itself over the scalp somewhat on its own.

I think it's a matter of preference. I don't have issues with scalp dryness, but I imagine that diluting my shampoo would help if I did. I just dilute to help with the actual washing process.

papillion
March 24th, 2011, 03:20 PM
I put about 1cm of shampoo in an old shampoo bottle, and fill it up with water. It generally lasts me for around four washes.

My hair is still just as clean as it always was, I just have to make sure I thoroughly work the diluted shampoo through it properly. I think my hair is in better condition than it was before I started diluting the shampoo, though there probably isn't a great deal of difference. And there's also the added bonus that I spend less money on shampoo than I used to.

In2wishin
March 24th, 2011, 03:25 PM
I guess you could say I dilute my shampoo but I do it the cheater's way. I put my shampoo on my hair, then dip my head under the shower to get more water mixed in so it distributes better.

NorCal
March 24th, 2011, 03:31 PM
I dilute my shampoo sometimes with conditioner.

proo
March 24th, 2011, 03:35 PM
I have always diluted any shampoo greatly, a squirt in a big plastic pitcher I keep in the shower - straight shampoo is waay too harsh for me.

summerjade
March 24th, 2011, 04:18 PM
I dilute mine the same way In2wishin does hers. I put shampoo on my scalp and dip my head back and let water run on it in the shower and then lather up.

Athena's Owl
March 24th, 2011, 04:19 PM
when I shampoo in order to clarify I dilute my shampoo with water on a 1:1 ratio.

I find that when it's watery like this the solution actually gets to my scalp, but it doesn't when it's still thick. but I don't normally shampoo my hair at all.

Hylia
March 24th, 2011, 04:22 PM
I always dilute my shampoo, I use the rainforest one from the body shop and bought it when it first came out(maybe 4 months ago?). I find it is too harsh to use by itself because it feels kind of sticky anyways. To dilute it I dont really measure the amount of shampoo to water, I just put it underneath the tap and put however much I think I need :P Very unconventional but it seems to work for me.

teela1978
March 24th, 2011, 04:24 PM
I find that when it's watery like this the solution actually gets to my scalp, but it doesn't when it's still thick. but I don't normally shampoo my hair at all.

This is why I dilute. I have a little plastic cup that I fill with warm shower water, add some shampoo (very dilute... a "normal use" squirt in a cup or so of water), stir with my finger, and then pour strategically over my head.

When not diluted I need to use a lot more product to get the underneath of my hair clean, and usually need to apply twice. I do think I use less shampoo this way, but I've never measured.

DTsgirl
March 24th, 2011, 04:26 PM
I dilute my shampoo in a Roots Only dye bottle, about 3/4 an ounce shampoo to 4 ounces water. It cleans just as well, and I can get the mixture all over my head, including the nape, which, as a iii, can be pain to get to otherwise.

selderon
March 24th, 2011, 04:35 PM
So I tried a 7:1 (water:shampoo) mixture of Aveda's Rosemary Mint shampoo. I noticed the following:
1) It was easier to distribute over the scalp. Really extra nice because I was washing in the sink.
2) It was easier to rinse out.
3) I didn't have any problem with tangles, despite skipping conditioning.
4) There's a ton of volume... not usually a problem for me anyway, but it looks like my hair is now about a V. :P
5) Shine seems equal to the results I get with shampoo and conditioner undiluted.
6) There seemed to be less shedding than usual. This may be due to reduced handling or may simply be delayed until hair is totally dry or whatever.

I used about 1/2 inch of the mixture in the bottle. I have no idea what this means as far as how much I actually used compared with normal.

Lianna
March 24th, 2011, 04:39 PM
I don't think it would work for me. I wash with shampoo everyday, and if I skip a day I need to wash it twice. The first time barely lathers, and this is using SLES so I might be a very dirty girl. ;)

pariate
March 24th, 2011, 04:39 PM
So I tried a 7:1 (water:shampoo) mixture of Aveda's Rosemary Mint shampoo. I noticed the following:
1) It was easier to distribute over the scalp. Really extra nice because I was washing in the sink.
2) It was easier to rinse out.
3) I didn't have any problem with tangles, despite skipping conditioning.
4) There's a ton of volume... not usually a problem for me anyway, but it looks like my hair is now about a V. :P
5) Shine seems equal to the results I get with shampoo and conditioner undiluted.
6) There seemed to be less shedding than usual. This may be due to reduced handling or may simply be delayed until hair is totally dry or whatever.

I used about 1/2 inch of the mixture in the bottle. I have no idea what this means as far as how much I actually used compared with normal.

Fab! Will be interested to hear what you think once your hair is dry. I love experiments... :stirpot:

QMacrocarpa
March 24th, 2011, 04:53 PM
I don't generally dilute it, though with the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle I've been using I do add a bit of water to the whole bottle because it's so stiff I find it difficult to squeeze out of the nozzle otherwise.

Islandgrrl
March 24th, 2011, 04:59 PM
I have always diluted any shampoo greatly, a squirt in a big plastic pitcher I keep in the shower - straight shampoo is waay too harsh for me.

When I bother to use shampoo, this is how I do it, too.

spidermom
March 24th, 2011, 05:00 PM
I use an empty conditioner bottle, put in about 1/2 cup warm water, add 3-4 pumps of shampoo, shake well, and squirt this all over my wet scalp hair, then stroke with my fingers from front to back until I think my entire scalp has been stroked. Sometimes I don't get any suds, but my scalp and hair always come clean. This makes my shampoo last for a long-long time. I like that. I sure go through a lot of conditioner, though. (PS - I wash CWC style, and this even removes heavily oilings, which I think can be attributed to the conditioner on my oiled length.)

Macaroni
March 24th, 2011, 05:32 PM
I guess you could say I dilute my shampoo but I do it the cheater's way. I put my shampoo on my hair, then dip my head under the shower to get more water mixed in so it distributes better.

I do, too. I use Suave Kids 2-1 Cowabunga Coconut and it's very creamy. One second under the shower head after it's on my hair is just fine to make it easily shampooable :). I only do the roots, though, not the length. Whatever drifts down the length gets it clean and then I condition from the ears down.

Zefyra
March 24th, 2011, 05:44 PM
Well I decided to start diluting my shampoo when I was about 1/3 of the way through a bottle of herbal essences long term relationship. So I filled the rest of it up with water... I recently added a bit more water to it. Not sure what the ratio is but it works. I used to just dunk my head under the water though, for the same reasons as others have stated.
I started diluting because I usually a very small amount of shampoo (about the size of a nickle or less) but it was difficult to get it all over my head. Diluting has made that much easier. I also havent noticed any negative affects...

Madora
March 24th, 2011, 05:45 PM
Yes, I've always diluted my shampoo. I've been using the george michael pink shampoo for years..one tablespoon to 8 oz warm water. stir well, then apply slowly to scalp and massage it in well.

Rinse, then repeat. I've never had any problems with buildup or problems with lathering.

Amelia
March 24th, 2011, 06:28 PM
I only dilute SLS shampoo(Klorane). I do it in the palm of my hand,with a lot of guess work :P and i use cedar water to do it.

venus_in_furs
March 25th, 2011, 07:58 AM
I usually mix my SLS-free shampoo with water in a bottle with a foaming pump. This way I can apply bubbles directly on my scalp, without even touching the length. Using a foaming pump is also quite economical - now I need only 1-2 tablespoons of shampoo to wash my almost-BSL hair.

selderon
March 25th, 2011, 09:35 AM
Once my hair was dry, it was shinier than usual, still had tons of body and volume. The only thing I wasn't thrilled with was that the ends felt a bit harsh.

After my oil treatment today I will wash with diluted shampoo and condition just the very ends and see how that goes.

teela1978
March 25th, 2011, 11:06 AM
I always condition from about my ears down. My hair is far too tangly otherwise!

selderon
March 25th, 2011, 03:24 PM
Washed hair with diluted shampoo after oil treatment this morning and let it dry naturally. No conditioner. Hair is quite shiny, but not the shiniest it has ever been, and soft, but not silky. Ends feel goooood!

pariate
March 25th, 2011, 04:07 PM
Washed hair with diluted shampoo after oil treatment this morning and let it dry naturally. No conditioner. Hair is quite shiny, but not the shiniest it has ever been, and soft, but not silky. Ends feel goooood!

Good result! If I may ask, how do you usually wash your hair? You say you didn't use conditioner and I wondered if you have been using shampoo and conditioner to date.

Aredhel77
March 25th, 2011, 04:49 PM
I often dilute my shampoo, depending on how dirty my hair feels, to about a 40/60 ratio (shampoo/water). I shake it in a little plastic screwcap jar I have, it froths up and I apply the froth to my scalp, rinse and repeat if I feel my hair needs it. Or I just mix it in my hand with water, but I agree with the others who have stated it covers the scalp better when it's more of a foam. I have also used the C-COW-C washing method (sorry, I forget which member invented that!), shaking up my shampoo/conditioner/water ('COW cocktail') in the jar. That also worked great and was more moisturing :-)

SimplyViki
March 27th, 2011, 03:23 AM
Washed hair with diluted shampoo after oil treatment this morning and let it dry naturally. No conditioner. Hair is quite shiny, but not the shiniest it has ever been, and soft, but not silky. Ends feel goooood!
Cool! I always use conditioner, though. My hair would get dry and tangly otherwise.

enfys
March 27th, 2011, 05:01 AM
I mix about 50:50 water and shampoo shaken into a foam. The foam is easier to spread. If I am using a shampoo I'm trying to get rid of I won't dilute; I'll just use more.

I always always always condition though!

River_Tam
March 27th, 2011, 12:04 PM
I dilute my shampoo by squirting about 2 1/2 quarter sized amounts into a fairly large plastic container, then halfway fill the container with warm water and swish it around. The first wash I just pour it on my scalp and massage it in then rinse. The second wash I poor it on the length of my hair. BTW I use Creme of Nature shampoo the one for dry and damaged hair.

telegraph64
March 27th, 2011, 12:14 PM
Depends on the shampoo. I usually don't dilute, however when I do it's almost always half and half and I dilute it right before I use it, within an hour at least.

RadiantNeedle
March 27th, 2011, 12:20 PM
If I use shampoo (which I do occasionally with a sls/als free kind) I dilute it, 1:10 at the very least. It gets distributed better and is less harsh on my sensitive scalp. If my ends are particularly dry I coat them in conditioner before I apply the shampoo solution.

skydancer7
March 27th, 2011, 12:25 PM
I use Kiss My Face: Miss Treated shampoo, diluted 50/50 with water.

I use a bottle that has a cap which allows me to squirt the mixture evenly onto my roots. Then I work it GENTLY around my roots, only going over the length as I am rinsing it out. This way my roots are clean, my ends are not overly dry, AND I am better able to distribute the shampoo to all the roots (instead of trying to spread thick shampoo from one spot).

I also get dry scalp, and diluted shampoo is much gentler to my scalp while still getting everything clean.

If my hair is really getting build-up, or I have been adding lots of oils, or it has been a few days, I will do a full-strength shampoo. I also do a full-strenght shampoo before Indigo so that the indigo will stick better.

Hope that helps!

princessp
March 27th, 2011, 12:37 PM
Yes I dilute. I use Goth Rosary Nothingness shampoo. I originally ordered a sample size of the shampoo and I kept the little bottle. I then bought a large size. So what I do is pour some from the big bottle into the sample bottle 1/4 - 1/2 full of shampoo (I'm not scientific about it) fill the rest of the bottle with water shake it up and that is what I use to shampoo my hair. I could likely dilute it even more. When I was a kid I definitely diluted more than that (out of necessity) and it worked fine. I have heard you can dilute your conditioner too, but I don't.

ETA: I do this even when I am washing henna out of my hair and it works fine. I CWC, so the conditioner does most of the work anyway.

squiggyflop
March 27th, 2011, 12:52 PM
i dilute every time..
what ive noticed..

i dont have to go to the grocery store as often
my head is less itchy
i need less conditioner
less frizz near the scalp
less of my dad moaning about me using a lot of shampoo
less dandruff
shampoo suds up better
shampoo spreads better


i use cones so i always use sulphatey shampoos.. they can be heavily diluted.. and i NEVER pay more than a dollar for shampoo unless its medicated.. i see no reason to since it gets washed out (thats how its different from conditioner which i will pay 3-4$ for).. so vo5 clarifying shampoo, or unscented suave (either clarifying or 'regular').. i follow my shampoo with suave professionals.. then when my hair is dry i use some coconut oil and/or detangler..

how do i dilute? um, im sitting in the bath, ive got a plastic cup (quart size chinese food soup container) i pour the shampoo in, then i put in some water then i pour it on my head and rub.. on days when ive washed my hair the day before its nearly all water.. im not some kind of alchemist, i dont measure anything.. it can be diluted a lot and still eat through all the grease on my hair be it coconut oil or my natural wax like grease..

i almost never actively shampoo my length.. its really only the roots that get yucky.. if i lived in a dirty city with smog i might wash the length but as i live in a nice small town my length generally only smells of coconuts..

LadyG
March 27th, 2011, 01:16 PM
I use 50/50 shampoo and water, but then add a bit of coconut oil. The shampoo works better, and the coconut oil keeps my scalp from drying out and itching. Undiluted, the shampoo is too thick to get through my hair, even with respritzing it under the shower.

Pixna
March 27th, 2011, 02:44 PM
Diluting shampoo is one of the best tricks I've learned on LHC. Shampoo straight out of the bottle is difficult to lather and difficult to spread on my head or get underneath the canopy. I use about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of shampoo in plastic bottle with a pointy removable top (that I got at Sally's). Then I fill the bottle about 3/4 of the way with very warm water, and shake it carefully to dissolve the shampoo. Then I slowly pour the mixture all over on my head when I get in the shower. It lathers beautifully, and I can get my fingers under the canopy to massage and clean my scalp. Works like a charm!

I do a thorough rinse, and follow with conditioner. Using diluted shampoo doesn't cause me to need less conditioner, however. It just makes cleaning my head and scalp a whole lot easier and more efficient.

islandboo
March 27th, 2011, 03:36 PM
I don't dilute but I suppose my application style dilutes it a bit. I add a small amount of shampoo to my palm and then rub my hands together to spread it thin. I dip my head under the shower and pat my hands on my my head, do a bit of massaging to foam it up, and then rinse. I'm F/i so getting down to the roots or washing it all out isn't an issue at all. (And I condition before and after)

jojo
March 27th, 2011, 04:10 PM
I use an empty conditioner bottle, put in about 1/2 cup warm water, add 3-4 pumps of shampoo, shake well, and squirt this all over my wet scalp hair, then stroke with my fingers from front to back until I think my entire scalp has been stroked. Sometimes I don't get any suds, but my scalp and hair always come clean. This makes my shampoo last for a long-long time. I like that. I sure go through a lot of conditioner, though. (PS - I wash CWC style, and this even removes heavily oilings, which I think can be attributed to the conditioner on my oiled length.)
same here but I only shampoo once a week and use sulfate free, CO the rest of week daily

selderon
March 27th, 2011, 08:28 PM
Good result! If I may ask, how do you usually wash your hair? You say you didn't use conditioner and I wondered if you have been using shampoo and conditioner to date.

I usually shampoo and conditioner.

I found on the second day that I had a lot of flyaways, which I don't normally see with conditioner. Next wash will be diluted shampoo and minimal conditioner to see if that works better.

BittSweetCherry
March 29th, 2011, 07:05 AM
I'm usually a CO washer, but when I clarify I use about a 3:1 mix of water:shampoo for mild shampoos and about 5:1 mix of water:shampoo for cleansing or chelating shampoos. It's not because the shampoo is concentrated, per se, as that I have trouble distributing it just on my scalp and end up using an awful lot which completely strips my hair and scalp. This way I can apply about a quarter a shotglass of shampoo effectively to the scalp with the remainder of the solution distributed along the length, which doesn't need as much cleaning.

ETA: I should probably add that I dilute and distribute my shampoo with a squeezy condiment bottle as I find the nozzle invaluable for applying stuff on the roots. Just a heaped teaspoon of generic shampoo like Pears shaken up with about 1-2 shotglasses of water creates a lot of foam, and it gets even bigger with massaging onto the scalp, and after lathering the roots there's still enough left over to smooth down the length. Shampoo goes a really long way - it's just not easy to do so with a blob in the palm of your hand.

Fethenwen
March 29th, 2011, 08:54 AM
I really should start doing this, when I use shampoo I find it mostly to be really harsh and I might also end up using too much shampoo, even if I use milder shampoos than the usual ones.

I just haven't come around doing this dilute thing yet.

punkcatknitter
March 29th, 2011, 10:41 AM
I think I'm going to have to try this! I use the Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo currently which I've been using minimally (bought it like 6 months ago and still have 1/3 of a bottle left) but I've been noticing lately that the middle of my hair has been oily. Not the scalp, definitely not my fried ends, but the section around the back of my neck. Am thinking it's highly probably I'm not getting enough shampoo to the back of my scalp.

Thanks for all the great advice guys!

selderon
March 29th, 2011, 11:06 AM
Yesterday I did an oil treatment, washed twice with diluted shampoo and used a normal amount of conditioner. Hair is soft, insanely shiny and happy.

SimplyViki
March 29th, 2011, 12:23 PM
Yesterday I did an oil treatment, washed twice with diluted shampoo and used a normal amount of conditioner. Hair is soft, insanely shiny and happy.
:thumbsup: Sounds like it's clean and moisturized to me!