DIY Leave-In Conditioner–Simple Green Beauty


One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to make 80% of my beauty products. As I run out of beauty products, I have been creating my own versus buying new items.  It has saved me so much money, and has been a lot of fun because I love a challenge.  One of my best recipes so far has been my leave-in conditioner.

I suggest using a small 2oz. spray bottle that you can buy at a drug store instead of a larger one.  This way your conditioner stays fresh and you are able to change the recipe if you decide without wasting products.

What you will need:

4oz. Spray Bottle

Aloe Vera Gel

Rosemary Essential Oil

Lemongrass Essential Oil

Jojoba Oil

Vegetable Glycerin (optional)

Purified Water

Fill up 50% of the bottle with aloe vera gel leaving space to add the essential oils, jojoba, glycerin, and water.  Next add 10 drops of rosemary and lemongrass essential oil and three to five drops of jojoba oil.  Add a very tiny amount of vegetable glycerin if you air dry your hair. I noticed that the vegetable glycerin wasn’t helpful when used with a flat iron.  Either use only a teeny bit or omit completely.  Lastly fill the rest of the bottle with purified water and shake up.

Aloe Vera moisturizes the hair and keeps it soft.  It is packed with vitamin B12, vitamin C, amino acids, minerals, and salicylic acid.  It has been used for general hair health, hair growth, and also as a hair shampoo and conditioner.

Rosemary Essential Oil stimulates hair follicles, therefore increasing hair strength, hair growth, and for dry and flaky scalps.  It has also been used as a remedy for mental fatigue.

Lemongrass Essential Oil stimulates hair follicles and also adds a refreshing citrus fragrance to the leave-in conditioner.  It has anti-bacterial properties and is calming and soothing to the body.

Jojoba Oil is the closest oil to skin’s sebum.  Therefore, is extremely healing and moisturizing for the hair.  It is a non-greasy oil absorbing immediately into the hair.  This will help with hair frizz and dryness.

Vegetable Glycerin is known for being a humectant.  It is an amazing ingredient to add when air drying hair.  It is amazing for curly hair and really dry hair.  It should be used very sparingly so that it doesn’t create a sticky film.

I have used some of these same ingredients in other DIY beauty products that I have made.  By creating my own beauty products I am not concerned about what is in my cosmetics.  I find it best to use only 100% essential oils and organic ingredients if you can.   This leave-in conditioner is great as a hair refresher and has a wonderful refreshing fragrance.  I love it most when I have my hair in two strand twists as it is perfect as a daily moisturizer and scalp refresher.

If you enjoyed this simple recipe, you may also love the DIY Curl Conditioning Serum!  Let me know if you try it.

(Image by Dawn Michelle 2012)

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  1. Stefanos Fashion and Beauty Tips says

    i may not have concluded this was cool quite a few years ago however it is crazy the way in which time changes the method by which you understand many ideas, many thanks for the blog post it happens to be pleasurable to look over some thing smart now and then instead of the general trash mascarading as blogs and forums on the web, cheers

  2. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tammi,
    Thank you so much for your offer! I do truly appreciate it, although there are a few ingredients in the products that I are on my list of chemicals to avoid. Please do consider Minimalist Beauty for any other products that do fit our specifics and again thank you for thinking of us.
    Best Wishes,
    Dawn Michelle

  3. says

    If you are short of time Organic Jojoba Oil on its own makes a lovely conditioning treatment for hair. Just a couple of teaspoons and leave over night.

  4. Edna says

    Hi Dawn Michelle, I am a new fan of your blog!! Can you please tell me if you keep your leave-in conditioner refridgerated or not? Also, approximately how long does this 4oz. batch last for your hair length? Thanks and have a wonderful day : )

  5. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Edna,

    I can use from 2-4oz in one use with my hair length now. Because of that I do not worry about refrigerating this leave-in spritz. I also do not use it everyday. If you are concerned with not using it as often or as much, definitely refrigerate this conditioner spray. You can also add a few drops of rosemary extract or grapefruit seed extract to preserve this. You can find both at Mountain Rose Herbs.

    Sometimes I will only use water to refresh my curls. This is the leave-in conditioner that I used daily when I was wearing two strand twists constantly. I will write a current hair regimen article soon.

    Peace,
    Dawn Michelle

  6. says

    Can you use any type of Aloe Vera gel? I have seen people using the Fuit of the Earth brand, but can I use any type of Aloe Vera gel? Thanks.. I love your blog BTW – discoveringnatural.blogspot.com

  7. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sawah, I use and prefer aloe vera juice with this recipe, although you could use aloe vera gel. So glad you love the blog! That means a lot! Peace

  8. REGINA says

    DAWN I JUST WENT NATURAL ABOUT 4 MONTHS AGO. I DO SEE YOUR UPDATED REGIMEN BUT I’M A LIST TYPE OF PERSON. LOL I HAVE TO SEE THINGS WRITTEN. YOUR HAIR LOOKS BEAUTIFUL AND I NOTICED YOU SAID YOU DON’T USE THE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER EVERYDAY. SO WHAT WHAT BE YOUR ROUTINE IF YOUR WERE TO USE THE LEAVE IN AND WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ROUTINE FOR THAT DAY IF YOU DIDN’T USE THE LEAVE IN CONDITIONER? THANK U.

  9. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Regina,
    I co-wash my hair 2-3 times a week. On those day I leave conditioner in my hair topped off with flax seed gel. Once my hair dries I may add some shea butter with or without an oil. If my hair gets frizzy and I’m not planning on washing it, I just add more flax seed gel to dry hair. Hope that helps.
    Best,
    Dawn Michelle

  10. Karina says

    Hey Dawn,

    Great site! Was curious if this leave-in is weightless in terms of thin curly hair? I’d like some volume and having a hard time finding natural ways that won’t weight down my hair yet keep it together and healthy!

  11. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Karina,
    This DIY conditioner is weightless. Experiment with it by putting very little vegetable glycerin or none. Glycerin can weigh down hair if you use too much. Another recipe you may want to try is the DIY Moisturizing Hair Detangler. That is another favorite. Let me know how it all works out for you.
    Best,
    Dawn Michelle
    PS Glad you like the site! Thank you.

  12. Regine says

    Hi DM. I recently started using your leave in conditioner as a curl refresher between Cowash days (sat and wed) on my medium short 4a
    hair. I LOVE it. I use the entire 4 oz recipe while in the shower then shake
    hair to loosen the curls. I do twice the recipe for 2 days worth of curl refresher so I do not need to refrigerate. Thanks so much. Also I have been adding a bit of glycerin to the 4oz formula – maybe 1/4 tsp but I will experiment with 1 tsp next time.

  13. Regine says

    A question for u regarding your use of pure Shea butter as a curl definer. I confess I am very skeptical but would love to try it on my 4a medium short curly Afro hair. Could you please tell me how to go about it. Right now I use Shea moisture coconut and hibiscus style milk and 2 tsp of their curling souflee. On cowash day i am thinking of trying your leavein conditioner and then finger rake the pure Shea butter to see if I get curl definition. Your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

  14. Jaimie-Lyne says

    Hey Doll,

    I’m currently rocking yarn braids, do you think I can use this recipe as my light moisturizer?
    Thank you, I LOVE YOUR BLOG, I learned so many things here!

  15. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Jaime-Lyne, This mix would be perfect for your braids. This is also great for twists. If you use the essential oils in it is well it will keep your hair feeling fresh and smelling so good too! Let me know how it works out. Best wishes!

  16. Leta says

    I found your web site by searching for DIY leave in conditioners as I want to make my own spritzer to use before going swimming in pools. Currently I just wet my hair in the shower before swimming and use a cap, but the cap is porous so I am sure my hair is still exposed to the chlorine. Aveda sells a pre-swim conditioner to spray on your wet hair before swimming, but the ingredient list is evil. Have you any thoughts on adapting this as a pre-swim spritzer? I was thinking of just trying the aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, and water.

    I have been using only Aubrey shampoo since 1989 and have had a hard time finding other equally natural shampoos. I saw your list of the good guys and will look for them at Whole Foods today.

    I love your web site!

  17. Dawn Michelle says

    Thanks so much Leta! Saturating your hair with water then an oil prior to swimming under your swim cap should be extremely helpful for blocking out the chlorine. It could also act as a deep conditioning oil treatment. Just make sure that you rinse and cleanse your hair flowing your swim. I love the summer!

  18. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Rachael, Yes this would need to be refrigerated. Any DIY product that contains water, aloe, or other similar liquids would need to be refrigerated without a preservative. <3

  19. Tracey says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of months, and really enjoy it. But I have been a bit intimidated by the idea of making my own products, until now. So I wanted to start with this DIY Leave-in conditioner, but my question is can I substitute argan oil for the jojoba? I too have been a long time customer of Mountain Rose products but I just bought an argan oil, and cannot afford a bottle of jojoba right now.

  20. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Tracey, Yes you can use argan oil instead. This is a simple hair spritz that will help to keep your hair moisturized, and the essential oil blend will create a beautiful fragrance. Let me know how it works out!

  21. Christina says

    You’ve probably explained this already and I just can’t find it:

    Do I need to have my hair damp or soaked before applying, or can I spray this on dry hair? I’m hunting for various solutions to battle my constant frizz (even when my hair is soft and generally healthy, short frizzy hairs everywhere!!).

  22. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Christina,
    I’ve used this DIY leave-in on damp and soaked hair before as well as twists and loose hair. It is mainly about finding what works best for your hair, and what style you are trying to achieve to determine how you decide to use it. Is it possible that the frizz you are experiencing could be from what you are washing your hair with. High alkaline hair cleansers open up the hair cuticle causing dryness, frizz, and brittle hair especially if not followed up with an acidic rinse. Also most shampoos strip the hair of its natural oils which also can cause frizz. If this is a possibility here are some simple hair cleansers to at least read about. Best wishes!

  23. ayanna says

    Hello i am addicted to (minimalistbeauty.com) i discovered it last week and became obsessed with your natural hair remedies. i did the henna treatment with coconut milk last week and wanted to know if i can use coconut oil oppose to the hemp seed oil? also can i use flax-seed gel in place of the aloe gel when making the leave in treatment? thanks in advance

  24. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Ayanna,
    I’m so glad you are enjoying the site! Feel free to modify any of these recipes to your liking. I’m also happy the henna/coconut milk combo worked well for you. Best wishes with everything!