Simple Soapwort shampoo - Fairley's take on this recipe, when I ask her advice, is a little discouraging. "It's tricky, and it's hard to get it to foam," she admits, "but it should leave your hair clean, which is the point." The foaming agent in most shampoos is sodium lauryl sulphate, which creates a great lather but can irritate sensitive skin. With this in mind, I start grinding up dried soapwort root with a pestle and mortar. Eventually it's ready to be steeped, along with rosemary and a few drops of essential oil, in boiling water. Once cooked, it is sieved and poured into a sterilised glass bottle that once contained cough medicine. The shampoo certainly leaves my hair clean, but it's strange having no froth, and the fact it only lasts a week makes me wonder if it's worth the effort.
Photography by Annie Hanson