Solid Conditioner DIY! I’m never switching back to liquid.

I’m more than a little obsessed with my solid conditioner + shampoo. But let me tell you a bit more about why I went through the effort…

I haven’t really posted a lot about the fact that I live nomadically at the moment. Me and Andrew left from Sarasota, FL in April and we’re almost to San Diego, CA! Knowing that I’d be showering at camp sites and YMCAs between destinations, I wanted to keep my toiletries a bit more compact than I did on previous road trips.

This time around, I challenged myself to fit everything I needed into THIS hanger.*

Hanging Toiletry Bag
Not my stuff pictured. Who brings like 20 make-up brushes on the road?

(*This does not include cosmetics or manicure items, which I do use for special occasions. Those are in another, similarly sized pouch. This is just showering and daily hygiene things. I’m not quite ultralight yet, but I’ll get there.)

My biggest concern, by far, was hair care. I have… a lot… of hair. It’s really long, and really thick. It requires specific care. See a picture of the craziness here.

After a bit of research, I decided one of the first steps in downsizing would be to switch to solid shampoo and conditioner. Solid shampoo is easy enough to find at Lush, or online. For a while I even took to using a common Dr. Bronner’s castille soap bar for shampoo. I switch it up. I am not loyal to any brand of solid shampoo so far, and I will probably try to make some myself when I get a chance.

While solid shampoo is fairly common, the reviews for Lush’s solid conditioners aren’t so good. I never even bothered trying them. Plus, the ones on amazon are quite pricey. I looked around and eventually found this really great guide on how to make your own solid conditioner. It seemed easy, so I went for it. The linked guide is straightforward, but I have some additional tips for this recipe!

Solid Conditioner Ingredients
As you can see, I left the coconut oil laying on its side in a hot car.

If you follow the recipe on Her Packing List, the ratios are pretty precise. If you followed them exactly for this size of a batch you’d wind up with a bunch of leftover ingredients. Well guess what, I just dumped all this shit together and it turned out perfectly. Also, I want to smell pretty, so to hell with the recommended 20 drops of essential oil, I included a full 1.5 ounces of peppermint essential oil. These ingredients cost a good $30, so I felt like I should get my money’s worth!

Melting together the Solid Conditioner ingredients!
This is like a 50% melted state. Almost there.

As soon as the ingredients had melted into a homogenous liquid, I carefully poured the mixture into a 6-count muffin tin, and let cool. As it was cooling, I added some rosemary and flowers from my mother’s garden to make them pretty and filled with good spirits.

My Solid Conditioner!The best part about these solid conditioner bars is that they last a LONG time. I made this batch on March 17th and have used up only 2 (as of June 13th) of them. They leave my hair detangled and nourished, and they take up approximately 3 square inches. I simply love them. I’m eager to make my next batch and experiment with different scents, but that probably won’t be necessary until the end of the year!

This whole process started out as a “travel hack” but, honestly, I can’t see myself using shitty consumer-grade conditioner ever again. Once you understand what the active ingredients in most conditioners do for your hair, you’ll realize you’re paying for 95% water. There are so many additional benefits: Less plastic waste? Customizable scents? Completely organic?!? AND the fact that it takes up hardly any space in your bag? I’m so glad I did this.

Sarasota Photoset Details [ Vol. 2 ]

This is yet another color-edited photoset of a few locations in downtown Sarasota, FL. This is the most recent of numerous photosets I’ve collected from my shots that have similar light and hue. Be on the look out for more!

Caitlin Burns Sarasota Photography


Same as my previous photoset, this composition is now available in my shop! It’s printed on 65lb. holographic, glossy paper. It fits in a standard 7”x7” frame, similar to this one. I think these shots would look great individually framed, which can be arranged with a special order.

Locations in Sarasota

top-left — Top of the Sarasota Main Plaza.
top-right — The Sarasota Herald-Tribune Building.
bottom-left — Lido Key’s North Towers.
bottom-right — Spooky roof of the 7th St. 7/11.

Here is a Google Map of where I took these photos.

Blogging yet again!

Hey sup internet! I’ve always been on-and-off with my blogging habits, but I’ve started again! These days I make my living customizing WordPress sites, among other things, so I wanted to start up my own again, this time utilizing what I’ve learned with my clients.

In general, I aim to have a blogging style that is colorful but clear, informative but playful. I want to share things I love without being a total shill, and I want to document the exciting projects I’m working on!

The theme I’m currently using is just a highly edited child theme of the default WordPress theme TwentySixteen. This is going to be a sort of playground where I experiment with CSS doodads, questionable SEO tactics, and attempt to wrap my head around more complex web functions.

Feels nice to have an outlet once again!

Interested in blogging?

Hire me for web or graphic design, check out my portfolio! I can help you discover exactly how to maximize your brand’s online potential.

Some recent projects I’ve worked on: — Not only did I design the website for this new app, but I headed the art direction the entire project, from initial logo ideation, to UX, all of the icons and assets, and more. This product will help countless mothers streamline their weaning timelines, resulting in happy babies everywhere! — Adrian is such a cool guy! His extensive CV required some pretty specific organization. As a teacher, performer, and composer, he has a large body of work that speaks for his different skills. I love this e-card he did with American Greetings, it’s so great!! — Some close friends of mine founded an art collective to bring together Florida’s Gulf coast-based artists. It’s so nice to see everyone combine their different skills together to further this project. Once a quarter we release a web-zine, and we frequently have shows and other events.