Homemade Conditioner – Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal makes an excellent homemade conditioner, at least for me. I never used it before, but when I tried it on my hair, I was awed by the way it worked. I keep colloidal oatmeal on hand for my bath and Misty’s dog shampoo and rinse and now I use it as a homemade conditioner. I love this stuff. It has so many uses and is so very good for my skin, but I couldn’t believe how soft and shiny it made my hair. My hair is fine, long and straight with an assortment of broken ends. It all started when I noticed how soft and shiny Misty’s hair is after her bath, I wondered if it would work on my hair.

What I did to make this homemade conditioner

What did I have to lose? I knew it wasn’t going to do my hair any harm. The worst case scenario I figured I could always wash it out and chalk one homemade conditioner off my list. I wanted to give it a real test so I didn’t add anything to the conditioner (I usually add a few drops of lemon essential oil to my homemade hair concoctions.) After I washed my hair, I added about ¼ cup of the colloidal oatmeal to a two quart pitcher. I then filled the pitcher to about the one quart mark with warm water. After dissolving the oatmeal into the water, I poured it through my hair making sure every hair was covered as well as my scalp.

I wrapped my hair in a towel for maybe three or four minutes then rinsed thoroughly. I could feel the difference immediately and suspected my homemade conditioner might just be a success because my hair felt silky, but only when it was dry would I know for sure. I could hardly wait. I could have rushed things with a hair dryer, but I don’t normally use a hair dryer so I decided to be patient. (Not one of my virtues.)

Once my hair was dry, I brushed it out as usual and was delighted with the results. It was unbelievably soft and shiny. Colloidal oatmeal is now my homemade conditioner of choice. I’m anxious for all you goddesses out there to try it and report back. It might be the perfect homemade conditioner for me, but unworkable for you depending on the type of hair you have. Come on now, I know you have to be braver than I am and, like I said, the worst that can happen is you have to rewash your hair.  You’ll at least come away with a great scalp treatment. However, I suspect you’ll end up making colloidal oatmeal your hair conditioner of choice too.

Oh, I forgot to mention when you mix the oatmeal with water, the solution will feel slippery. It’s supposed to feel that way and that slipperiness rinses out of your hair. What this homemade conditioner does is coat the hair shaft.

Like I said, please comment on your experience with this homemade conditioner; make sure you tell us about your hair. Is it long, short, curly, straight, coarse or fine? Lori’s going to give it a try too and she’ll comment on her experience.

P.S. Colloidal oatmeal is easy to make for this conditioner. You can grind up regular oats into oat flour, purchase colloidal oatmeal in specialty stores (some carry it in bulk) or buy it online. If you grind your own like I do, you’ll save some money.

To make colloidal oatmeal at home:

  • Put raw uncooked oats into a grinder or blender. A coffee grinder works well for this.
  • Grind the oats until they have the consistency of flour.

To make sure that the oats have been ground to the correct fineness, add a teaspoon of the ground oats to a glass of water and mix. The oats should absorb the water quickly giving it a milky look. If the particles sink readily to the bottom of the glass, grind them a bit longer and retest.

Now go have fun and relax.

Related articles:

Colloidal Oatmeal – A Really Really Simple Bath for Dry Itchy Skin

The Best Colloidal Oatmeal Mask

General Hair Care Information (includes more recipes)

26 thoughts on “Homemade Conditioner – Colloidal Oatmeal

  1. I can’t wait to try this tonight. I am just getting over shingles on half of my scalp and now it’s VERY itchy and flaky. I might even mix some oatmeal into my shampoo as one of the commenters mentioned. My scalp is already saying thank you!

  2. From dandruff and contact dermatitis to increased exposure to dry air, there are many reasons your scalp can feel itchy and irritated. Aside from being uncomfortable, a dry, itchy scalp is embarrassing and something you want eliminate as quickly as possible. Colloidal oatmeal is a finely ground oatmeal and used to soothe dry, itchy skin. Combine natural ingredients and colloidal oatmeal to create your own natural shampoo.

  3. Hi,
    This sounds great……I am wondering if I can just add colloidal oatmeal powder to my organic hair conditioner… if yes, how much would I add? Thanks

  4. I love OATMEAL but I have kinky curly hair (what peoople called type 4) so I cannot use the colloidal powder cause it will stick up in my hair, what I do is boil the rolled oats in water until the water has become slippery, then I strain it because I want to eat my oat after (No wastage woman lol), then I use the water and rinse my hair with it and should I say GLORIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS, I will tell any and everybody USE OATMEAL.

  5. I make homemade lye soap and I use “oatmilk” in my oatmeal bars. You make this by boiling water and adding oats and letting it sit away from the heat for 15-20 minutes. Then strain the water off and it is the silky oatmilk left. I am going to use this as my conditioner base and go from there if I need to add anything else. I will let you know the results. I have naturally curly, medium length hair and I am using my homemade pomade on it after I towel dry it. I have made a shampoo with some of my homemade soap and water but I think I need a conditioner as well, so I am hoping this oatmilk is the answer. Thanks for your tips and I enjoyed reading the results. I am not surprised that everyone likes it on their hair, the feel of it on my hands when I make it for my soap is so soft and silky, I thought it would be good for hair as well.

    1. Hello there guest,

      My hair is straight and fine like Lori’s and I love the oatmeal rinse. We all look forward to hearing about your experience using it on your curly locks.

      You may want to consider using a glycerin based shampoo versus one that is lye based. Just a thought.


  6. Can I use Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal sold in drug stores? It’s already ground to a fine powder. Says it’s 100% oatmeal, nothing else. Also has a warning not to ingest.

    1. Hi Guest,

      Sure, Aveeno would be fine to use. It’ll cost you a lot more, but that’s a budget matter.

      It probably, and I’m guessing here, states not to ingest because there are some pretty stringent rules food packagers must follow that aren’t required for products to be used externally.

    1. Hi there,

      The short answer is yes you can use rolled oats. However, to maximize the benefits, grind them. Test this yourself. Grind two tablespoons of rolled oats, add water as per recipe above. Now take two tablespoons of rolled oats and simply add water. Note the difference in consistency.

      Your friend,


  7. Hi. My hair is to my shoulders, and it’s really dry. The reason being I perm my hair AND dye it, AND use TONS of heat. I murder my hair. I have locked away all heat tools and dyes, and home perms. I CANNOT damage my hair ANYMORE. It’s frizzy, crispy and dry. I am white, (no racism!) so my hair is suppose to be soft, and silky. I hate my hair now. So today I’d had it! I was going to get on the internet and find SOMETHING to benefit my hair. When I heard about this oatmeal thing, I thought “hmm, I have the items, so let’s get to it.” after doing it, my hair was SO soft. It felts like baby hair. I loved it.

    1. Thank you so much for your report.
      Lori and I also think colloidal oatmeal is pretty awesome stuff for our hair. I use it on Misty, my Yorkie, and it makes her hair silky too.

  8. can we make this in a bigger quantity ahead of time and store it in the fridge to use for later times. I m just wonddering as i m a busy mom of a super active toddler who rarely gets anytime to herself.

    1. Sorry, but I didn’t see this comment. You can grind the oats in advance and store them. Then all you have to do is add warm water.

  9. I’m back…the lady with the ‘ex-thyroid hair’…and I have to say, my hair has improved in leaps and bounds since using my own homemade colloidal oatmeal rinse.

    I also stopped using all forms of shampoo (‘organic’ or otherwise) about a month ago, and now just ‘wash’ my hair with cheap, light hair conditioner.

    Yes, that’s right; cheap, light hair conditioner. No shampoo. And then my colloidal hair rinse to finish (homemade, of course – forget the commercial junk with their fancy packaging and toxic cocktail of preservatives).

    It’s far more viable to use cheap conditioner to wash your hair with, because you’ll use a lot more of it than you would shampoo. Also, hair conditioners have cleansing chemicals in them anyway (just nowhere near as much as shampoos do).

    My hair has always grown faster than average when healthy, but now, I’m so happy to advise that it’s not only returned to fast growth once again, but seems to be growing like wild fire, and I’m blown away.

    I never did cut it – I stubbornly refused to cut my waist-length locks, no matter what damage the medical world’s drugs imposed upon it…I knew there was a way to heal it, if I could just find it. And I did.

    I’m still sick with a hyperactive thyroid, but I stopped taking all the drugs, refused any more radioactive iodine treatments, refuse surgical removal, and yet, my hair is now healthier than it’s ever been.

    All thanks to no shampoo and homemade colloidal oatmeal rinse!

    For those who’d like to try it, just a couple of tips.

    Tip #1: When you grind up your organic oats in a coffee grinder (or whatever you use), sift it through a very fine sieve after grinding, to remove any big ‘bits’.

    Tip #2: I add around half a cup of finely ground (colloidal) oats to one litre of cool water (which I think is called a ‘quart’ in U.S. measurements) and then I pour the dissolved ground oats through a fine sieve again – twice – to further remove any left over bits.

    What’s left, is pure, silky colloidal oatmeal water, with no need to worry about having to pick bits of oat out of your hair later.

    After ‘shampooing’ with conditioner (and making sure to rinse very well with cool water), I pour the colloidal oatmeal water through my hair, making sure to saturate every strand, from root to tip, and massage my entire scalp gently for a few minutes before rinsing it out very well with cool water.

    Hair has a lovely, natural ‘slip’ to it after this rinse, and a wide tooth comb glides through it almost as easily as using anything containing silicons.

    My hair now takes much longer to dry naturally, which speaks volumes; it tells me that my hair is no longer literally dying of thirst and that it’s now receiving the nutrition it was being starved of.

    It’s just perfect. Takes around 10 minutes or so to make, but for me, the end results are worth more than all the gold in the world.

    Happy grinding 🙂

    1. Hello Goddess,

      What a great report. Thank you for sharing with us.
      Isn’t it great to discover something natural and inexpensive that works so well?:)

    2. Thank you for sharing your experience! I’ll have to try this!! Also, one of my friends has an over active thyroid that she was able to get under control by just eliminating soy (it seems to be a common ingredient in a lot of foods today) from her diet. Just a thought 🙂

  10. As I’ve tried this and already commented on another site, I’ll add it here because what colloidal oatmeal has done for my hair (and body) is nothing short of miraculous.

    My hair is long and, after having been forced to have Radioactive Iodine for a runaway thyroid condition, my entire body felt as though it had been ‘burned’ from the inside out; you can imagine what that meant for my hair. R.A.I. also made me look as though I’d aged 30 years overnight within just a few weeks, according to friends 🙁

    Prior to the radioactive iodine treatment, I didn’t have any problems with dry, itchy skin or scalp, but after the treatment, disaster. My hair began to fall out by the handful (thank goodness it was ridiculously thick to begin with!) and I now have a bald patch at the nape of my neck, which is thankfully hidden. No amount of ‘thyroid storms’ EVER had such a devastating effect on my body or hair!

    I’ve gone through all the natural remedies I could think of; virgin coconut oil, shea butter oil, glyerin, extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, caster oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, and even a mix combining many of these, all to no avail. I even altered my diet to one that’s predominantly alkaline, but that hasn’t seemed to help either (well, not yet, it’s only been a few months, perhaps it takes longer).

    The only thing I found that helped rather noticeably, was to make a liter of tea using a big handful each of dried thyme and sage (didn’t have any fresh and my hair is very dark brown) and into that, I added just a half a teaspoon of cider vinegar and then rinsed the mix through my hair (though acv tends to be a little harsh for me at this stage). I’d massage it into my scalp and through the ends of my hair and leave it in for a good 5 minutes before rinsing out with cool water. It felt a little softer when dried, but sadly didn’t last until the next day.

    We’re talking a ‘Southern-Fried-Chicken-Crispy-Crunchy’ kind of dry hair here…so damaged from radioactive iodine, it seemed that nothing would ever help and I was beginning to look at my sharpest kitchen knife with an unhealthy amount of attention, if you catch my drift.

    No idea what made me google ‘uses for colliodal oatmeal’ but who cares, right? I found the information, put it to use and will never use anything else again.

    It STAYS SOFT – especially when I wake up the next morning…! It also STAYS LOOKING FRESH AND CLEAN for up to 5 days later, without me having to subject it to washing every second day (which isn’t good for it, given the condition I’ve been in). What’s more, it’s instantly stopped the dreadful skin itchiness over my entire body that has plagued me since having the radioactive iodine treatment a year and a half ago now.

    So incredibly thankful I found this info/ I’ve found something that no drug company or commercial beauty company could ever create that has dramatically helped remarkably and soothed both my hair and my skin!

    What I’m wondering now is why isn’t anyone discussing the possibility of drinking colloidal oatmeal, if it’s just organic, raw oats finely ground into a powder? Why is it that the only information I can find on the subject seems to be about shampooing dogs, for goodness sakes?

    Well, I’m going to take the plunge and add a tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal to my daily smoothie; it surely can’t hurt and I’m hoping the internal benefits will meet up with the external benefits so that I can hopefully be normal once again.

    1. Thank you so much for the comment. We’re delighted that you reported your experience. Lori and I both use the colloidal oatmeal rinse for our hair and love the results.

      Now to answer your question regarding eating raw oats. The main advantage to eating raw oats is the retention of vitamins and the anti-fungal ingredient chitinase enzyme (an anti-fungal) both of which are destroyed by heat. If you want to eat raw oats, you will need to purchase groats (the raw whole kernel oat) or steel cut oatmeal (Irish oatmeal). The other varieties you purchase have all been steamed prior to rolling.

      Since this is an important subject, we’ll be doing a post covering oats. We’ll even provide a couple of ways to prepare it. Watch for it.

      1. Oats are extremely high in phytic acid (even compared to other grains). This antinutrient interferes with mineral absorption and may even steal additional minerals from the body. Make sure you soak your oats before consumption (regardless of whether you intend to cook them) to disable the phytic acid.
        Phytic acid is found in grains, nuts/seeds, and beans.
        For more info about phytic acid and how to neutralize it check out this article from the Weston A Price Foundation:https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/vegetarianism-and-plant-foods/living-with-phytic-acid/

  11. I love this conditioner! My hair is fine and straight. Usually by the end of the day my hair is flat and starting to get oily. I followed the instructions above and was amazed. After using the conditioner my hair was soft and had lots of volume. The volume held for a whole day!

    Notes: The first time I tried the conditioner, I made it using a coffee grinder. This worked very well except there were particles of oatmeal about the size of cornmeal in the rinse. I was shaking pieces of oatmeal out of my hair all day. The next day I ran the liquid through a coffee filter and it worked perfectly. Also, something else I discovered was that if you slosh the liquid on your face and body, it leaves your skin feeling soft all day.

    A++ for this one.

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