Hey, it is what it is: we all have hair, be it on our chins, chest or head, and to some degree, we all have to deal with it, whether that means simply keeping it at a reasonable level of cleanliness or spending hours in front of a mirror sculpting a follicle-driven work of art. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of doing up the do, you’ll undoubtedly be on the market for some sort of hair care product.

Now, there are a lot of choices of styling mousse out there, loads of shampoos and a bevy of shaving creams, but you’d be surprised how many of those products—the sensitive skin, moisturizing, yadda yadda—are actually not so good for you. Many of them may even have carcinogenic ingredients, unhealthy chemicals, and things fundamentally opposed to sensible hair care. That’s why it might be worth looking into doing it the DIY way.

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Here’s a guy’s guide to doing his hair, his way:

Cleaning It

The basics of hair care bubbles down to shampoo and, in a fluffier world, conditioner. Even gentlemen with buzz cuts have to give the scalp a scrub. But, all those added ingredients for creating foams and scents aren’t really necessary, and even worse, they are often quite harmful. Fortunately, DIY shampoo is an easy product, so much so that you’ll wonder why you were buying the big brands to being with. If you are looking for that silky smooth finish, conditioner is as easy as apple cider vinegar and water. Dandruff an issue? There are natural remedies out the yin-yang.

  • My rugged, borderline caveman method is as simple as  a quarter-sized dollop of baking soda in my palm, a drop or two of peppermint essential oil, and a bit of water. I have dry scalp issues, so I always do a second rinse with just a squirt of apple cider vinegar and water.

Grooming It

Well, fellas, the beard train is charging full-fledged through the countryside, but whether you’ve gone burly or keep yourself baby-face smooth, at some point, a razor is going to have to come out. You’ll want some shaving cream and soothing aftershave to help with that. Again, don’t buy the chemical concoctions. Making your own is a cinch: It’s literally just a mixing up simple natural ingredients, and you can go the fancy foaming route if you like. Afterwards, you may want to dab a little smell’em/skin revitalizer (though this won’t be necessary), so here’s an aftershave spray that’ll do the job.

  • It’s a bit brutish I guess, but fed up with frostily named gels, splashes and foams, I just ditched them all for a bit of castile soap for before the shave and coconut oil for after. No other strings attached.

Styling It

With those things sorted, all that remains is whipping that mop into something presentable. Now, some of us go old school with hair pomade, a la Dapper Dan, and that’s doable DIY style (Note: many recipes tend to require beeswax, which might not work for many vegans, including this one.) Otherwise, there are a plethora of DIY hair gels (a bit more cookery involved) to choose from, as well as a surprisingly sweet, alcohol-free hairspray. Whatever the concern, rest assured that, without a consortium of chemical crispers, your hair will be able to stay in place.

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  • Again, convinced that the simpler I go, the better, I’ve opted for the number one guard head shave to keep my locks low and neat, ready to roll when I roll out of bed. Luckily for me, I’ve got a smoothly shaped head.

Gentlemen, it’s that simple. And, won’t you look like the handy craftsman, throwing together your own hair care system from scratch. What hasn’t been mentioned is how much cash you’ll be saving, which makes it worth the few extra minutes it takes to make them. Do it for yourself, do it for the environment, do it for the do.

Image Source: Kim Piper Werker/Flickr