How to Make Homemade Shampoo

I have a confession to make…I don’t use regular shampoo.

I don’t like all the ingredients in there, like surfectants, detergents, sls. Don’t even get me started on the foaming agents! The chemicals in the common shampoo are not good for your body at all. Since your skin (scalp) is the largest organ of your body, and it absorbs whatever you put on it, why would you do that?

Of course, you could give the argument that you rinse it out quickly and that the absorption is minimal.  But, even minimal is too much for me. Yeah, I’m crunchy that way.

Besides, the chemicals also strip your hair of natural oils and your body works twice as hard to keep up, and  thus hair gets greasier if you don’t wash it every day.

There is also the argument of less trash. Reusing bottles and having ingredients that you already use for other stuff? Totally green! I have reused the same shampoo bottle for about 3 years now.

When I tried the baking soda/ACV method,

I could never get the vinegar rinsed out completely and always smelled like someone was coloring eggs or something.  So, I gave that up.  Then, I found out how to make my own homemade shampoo!

This recipe took my hair about 3 weeks to really adjust and not be all “dry and fly-away” and NOT be overly greasy. My normally wavy, frizzy, dry, fine hair is now much easier to manage.

So, here’s my homemade shampoo recipe:

Pour all ingredients into a bottle, and gently swish to mix. Use 1-2 Tablespoons each time.

I don’t use conditioner, as my baby fine hair would get weighed down.

Just a touch of coconut oil on the ends once or twice a week is good.  And, of course, I never brush my hair when wet, just gently comb.  You don’t want to stretch or pull your hair when it’s wet, as it’ll break much easier. (learned that one in beauty school!)

Do you make homemade shampoo? What do you put in yours? Be sure to pin this for later!

24 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Shampoo”

  1. I didn’t care for the no poo either. I’m a little afraid of homemade because I heard of the “detox” period where the hair is really gross! This one has more oil than some other recipes I’ve seen. plus castile soap is oil based. My hair tends to get on the greasy side. I need to try some of these out though!

    1. > plus castile soap is oil based.

      All soap requires oil as an input, because the only way to make soap is to take oils and mix them with lye. That causes a chemical reaction between the oil and the lye and turns it into soap, which is a totally different compound. The chemical properties of soap don’t mirror the chemical properties of oil any more than it does lye. It’s sort of like how sodium catches fire in water, and chlorine will poison you, but the combination of the two (sodium chloride, aka table salt) does neither of those things.

      It is possible to leave some extra oil behind after the chemical reaction, that’s called superfatting the soap, but nobody would do this for liquid soap because the free oils would cause the soap to go rancid. If a soap is making your skin oilier, it’s not because it contains some stuff that used to be oil, but because it’s stripping too much of the natural oil away and causing your body to produce extra oil to compensate. Ironically this is why most soapmakers won’t use a castile base for their shampoo bars. Castile soap is so drying that some people use it as an acne treatment. You’d probably be better off finding a shampoo that has more oils in it, not less.

  2. With my hair type, I require frequent chemicals. I don’t wash much because it just makes my crazy curly (and prone to frizz) hair harder to manage, but I do end up basically shellacking it with conditioner, mousse, and gel on a daily basis.

    1. I say, just let it all be natural. I have had a mop of hair my whole life, and at the age of 25 I said “f*ck it, I’m embracing my hair”. And I have never looked back since.

  3. Patrick @ Survival at Home

    First – HAH! Great pic!!
    Second – I’ve thought numerous times about leaving shampoo, conditioner, body wash and toothpaste behind for alternatives… maybe one day.

  4. I use Bi Carb soda… a teaspoon in a cup of water. Just tip it over and massage your scalp. It took about 2 weeks to adjust. Now if I go to the hairdressers I have an itchy scalp after they wash it…
    I have crazy curls, frizz, and a LOT of hair. Think Merida from the Brave movie.
    Much better and not as brittle now that i don’t use shampoo. I went back to using a bit of conditioner on the ends

  5. if i spill my guts, will you have me committed? lol…ok, here goes….i started making my own dog shampoo a couple weeks ago because my little pomeranian has such dry skin…well, after just one shampoo, she stopped scratching…well, since i have extremely dry hair and scalp, i thought, maybe i should try it too…it’s just liquid clear hand soap, white vinegar and baking soda…it’s not like it’s real dog shampoo from petsmart or something…well, i itch no more!!! i can’t believe it….so, now my dog and i share the same shampoo…do you think i’m crazy? i say, if it works, go for it!

      1. Thanks! I’ll have to try your recipe out. For the past month or so, I’ve been trying a “sorta-poo” recipe with coconut milk, dr bronners, coconut oil and essential oils, with ACV rinse, but I’m not really liking how greasy and sticky my hair has felt (I think the coconut oil isn’t the greatest idea for me). I have quite fine hair, but a lot of it. I’m pushing through the adjustment period (lots of “hair up” days) to hopefully get my natural oils on track. What mix of eo’s do you think would smell the nicest of what I have (lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, lemon, chamomile, tea tree, eucalyptus)? 🙂

        1. has anyone ever heard of morrocan oil? i’ve been using it for a couple yrs…it’s great stuff…it’s for people who blow dry or iron their hair ( which i do ) so your hair doesn’t get damaged…you can put just a small amount on your hand and apply on your hair before drying, or you can put a tiny bit on after drying…works really well…do not make the mistake of buying argon oil, which is sally’s brand of morrocan oil…it left my hair really greasy…walmart has a few brands that are good, but if you go to the morrocan oil website, you can order the real thing….a small bottle is about $15.00, but it lasts a long time..with me and my dog, it lasts a year…let me know if anyone tries it and if you like it…

  6. I will have to try this homemade shampoo recipe. I’ve been able to cut back on washing my hair to once maybe twice a week so I’m seeing the benefits on my scalp already. I haven’t had any luck with no-poo so I’ll give this a shot! I love using coconut oil on my hair as an anti-frizz helper, it works great!

  7. Dawn @Oh Sweet Mercy

    I’ve had trouble with castille soap and hard water before, it was a nightmare for my hair. Now that we have soft water, I’d like to give it a try again, love your recipe! Rosemary and mint is my favorite combination.

  8. I have been trying a homemade shampoo with similar ingredients. I don’t wash my hair very often, maybe once a week, sometimes once every two weeks. Every time I used this shampoo it was leaving behind so much greasiness. From your experience, do you think it is because I did not wash very often and the grease was actually what was being removed from my scalp, but not fulling washed away? I tried doing the lather rinse repeat cycle three times, and it was a bit better. But, if I have to wash my hair three times in one shower, that’s going to be a looong shower.

    Just curious on your thoughts, and experiences.

    1. it might be that your hair isn’t getting rinsed fully? It’s honestly hard to say…I have baby fine hair that would rinse with just a cup of water 😉 Try rinsing your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar and see if that helps?

  9. I’ve done no-poo baking soda/ACV for a few years, as a desperation move to keep my hair from falling out. It started not looking so good recently so now i use rye flour – which is kind of messy in the shower – and alternate with soda/ACV. Don’t like ACV on my skin when I rinse it out but not sure what else removes all the soda, and also afraid of some rye flour buildup on my scalp if I don’t rinse with something like that. Would rosemary work? I have a huge plant..
    Rye flour option is a watery paste . My hair feels & looks great. I’ll probably continue to use baking soda has a slight lightening effect that helps my grays blend in, making them more silvery and I’d be terrified to use dyes after my previous hair loss.
    If I get very brave I may try henna.

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