Homemade Shampoo

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Homemade Shampoo from NourishingJoy.com


Not only is making your own homemade shampoo a great way to save money, but it's healthy for your family and you've got control over the ingredients, so you can choose how the shampoo makes your hair feel.

I have toyed with many homemade shampoo recipes through the last few years as I have gotten into soapmaking and making other natural family care products, but this is the one that has become our family favorite and the staple in our bath.

One recipe lasts our family of four 3-4 weeks and rings in at about $1.64 per batch. I still prefer to use a separate conditioner afterward, but my husband and my kids find that it conditions sufficiently all by itself.

Oh, and this recipe works as hand soap, body wash, and baby shampoo too!

Conditioner Update – 15 January 2013: I have received lots of requests for a homemade conditioner, and unfortunately none of my experiments have resulted in anything desirable yet. (Heh.) However, my friend, Heather, the Mommypotamus, has preceeded me and published six conditioner recipes in her fan-TAB-u-lous e-book, DIY Organic Beauty Recipes, along with natural hair color, hair spray, and some delicious sounding shampoo recipes (Sweet Orange and Honey Shampoo, anyone?), so hopefully you'll find at least one recipe that will work for you and your family.


Homemade Shampoo

1/2 cup pure liquid castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronners, Trader Joe's, etc)
1/4 cup water
1/2 – 1 tsp. olive oil
10-40 drops of essential oil or therapeutic oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in a jar or squeeze bottle and shake vigorously to combine. (I find a peri bottle left over from postpartum care or purchased from a medical supply pharmacy works like a charm, as it holds exactly the full recipe with room to shake and has the measuring increments printed right on the bottle.)

For oils, if you're using the oil merely for the purpose of adding a lovely scent, such as lavender, sweet orange, cedar, or almond, start with 10 drops and then add according to preference. However, if you have dandruff or are struggling with other scalp and skin issues, like ringworm or fungus, use a therapeutic oil such as tea tree oil, oil of oregano, or neem oil, and use at least 30 drops.

And of course, change things up according to your family's preferences – that's the beauty of making things at home!


UPDATE December 19, 2012 – In the comments, at least one person has asked for a thicker recipe. After a few new experiments and after switching a few ingredients around, I've come up with one that I hope will satisfy the craving. It doesn't lather upquite as nicely, but it's still decent. As always, feel free to adjust for your family's needs!

Homemade Shampoo – Thicker Recipe

1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. olive oil
10-40 drops of essential oil or therapeutic oil (optional)
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 cup pure liquid castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronners, Trader Joe's, etc)

Place the water and oils in a blender and turn it on (any speed will do). With the motor running, add in the xanthan gum and mix until thickened, about 5 seconds.

Turn off the motor and add the castile soap. Replace the cover and quickly pulse 3-4 times to thoroughly emulsify. Don't overdo it or you will have copious amounts of bubbles on your hands! (Speaking strictly from experience, of course…)

Pour into a pump bottle and use as desired.


This post has been included in the Real Food Wednesday carnival for “Natural Body Care Products for Real Foodies, and Simple Lives Thursday.
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  1. Looks like a great recipe! I ‘m tired of chemical shampoos and all ready make my own soap. One thought about the essential oils though, oregano essential oil can (and does) burn the skin, I would limit to one or two drops instead of 30 if using in this shampoo, I can only imagine rinsing that off and having it burn the heck out of your eyes!

    1. That’s very true!!! I use ONE drop in my toothpaste and that’s about all I can handle. πŸ™‚ The tea tree oil can be used at that concentration, but oregano oil should be used much more sparingly. In fact, to treat a fungal infection on the scalp, it might work best to put 2-3 drops of oregano oil directly on the scalp, then add the shampoo to wash.

      Thanks for your great comment.

      1. Please, please, do not put oregano essential oil undiluted on the skin! Much too strong! Most essential oils should be diluted before using. Use a 2-5% dilution.

  2. Ive been trying to move on to a more natural money saving lifestyle and this seemed like a good thing to do. I used lavender Castile soap with orange essential oil. It seemed to clean my hair so much better then store bought shampoo and my hair smells amazing!! Thank you for the recipe.

    1. You’re so welcome! I’m glad it worked for you. The lavender and orange combo sounds really yummy!

    1. Y’know, I’m not sure. I’ve only ever used olive oil because it’s a fairly traditional oil that’s been used for centuries as a personal care product. Coconut oil would certainly be lovely for moisturizing and as an antifungal for the scalp, but it would solidify under 76 degrees, so that might be more frustrating that it’s worth. πŸ˜‰

      I use apricot kernel oil and avocado oil in soapmaking sometimes – perhaps try one of those if you’re wanting something different, as they would both nourish the hair and the scalp well.

      I’d love to hear what works for you if you try anything different! πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you! I was thinking about coconut oil, but I don’t know if I want to deal with heating it up every time I need to use it. It might work right now since it’s warm out anyway, but in the winter time that might get annoying, haha.

        1. If you are worried about coconut oil solidfying, see if you can find it in a fractionated form. Fractionated means it simply has separated the light parts from the solid parts. This form stays longer (non rancid) and will not solidify, perfect for shampoo and body wash!

          1. coconut oil doesn’t go rancid for years, but still, since your not eating it fractionated would work well.

      2. If you mix solid coconut oil with a hand mixer for almost 10 mins it stays in a whipped form. I use it in a body scrub and leave it in my shower. I have to mix it up each use, but not reheat it. I imagine it would work the same way if you just shake the shampoo bottle quickly before each use. That’s what I plan on trying. Coconut is the only oil I use in anything.

      3. Avacado oils works wonderfully for my hair as an ingredient in just about any home made hair care product.

  3. hello! love this! just out of curiosity, what kind of conditioner do you find goes well with this shampoo without making your hair oily? thanks! anja

    1. Oddly enough, I find that I don’t need a conditioner with this shampoo. I said “oddly enough” because I’ve been a life-long absolutely-need-conditioner-or-my-hair-will-be-uncontrollable person, but since we’ve switched to using this shampoo two years ago, I have found I can skip the conditioner without losing control of my hair.

      However, if you do want or need a conditioner, I suggest baking soda. (I know it sounds weird, but it does work!) Squeeze as much water as possible out of your hair after rinsing out the shampoo, then rubbing a liberal amount of baking soda into it. Rinse it out and your hair will be soft and sleek.

      1. hello! thanks so much! i may have to try that…but i do have concerns about it. i’ve tried using diluted baking soda as a shampoo before i found your recipe and it horribly dried out my hair and scalp.

        since using this shampoo, though, i’ve discovered that equal parts white vinegar and water lightly sprayed in after shampooing and then rinsed works very nicely as a “conditioner”. without it, i get very, um, ?fluffy flyaway unruliness. my hair is long, thick, fine and curly, so the fineness needs *something* to keep it to a dull roar… thanks again! blessings! anja

  4. I’m confused about the olive oil.. Dr. Bronner’s pure Castile soap already has olive oil, jojoba oil, coconut, palm, and hemp oils in it. Is it necessary to add more oil?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Yes, it is necessary to still add a bit of olive oil.

      All the lovely oils in Dr. Bronners have already been saponified, which is the process that takes oils and turns them into soap through a chemical reaction. The bit of olive oil that is included in this recipe forms a nice moisture barrier on the hair shaft and the skin to help keep moisture in.

  5. If using the Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castille soap, is it the Unscented Baby/Mild soap? Just trying this for the first time and wanted to order the right one. The other ones that I found were all scented so i thought that would limit the fragrances that I could come up with in the finished shampoo. Thanks for your help!

    1. You can use any liquid castile soap you’d like – unscented would be advantageous for exactly the reason you suggest, but you can use any that you’d like. We usually only have various scents on hand, like lavender or eucalyptus, so I just use whatever we have.

    2. Hi kresha, exciting recepie…waiting to make it….where will we get in India the Liquid Castilw Soap ( can we get this in any medical store)…thanks for your help…

  6. I made a batch of this last night and used it for the first time this morning. I like everything about it with one exception that maybe you could help with. The stuff smells great ( used Dr. Bronners eucalyptus ), lathers nicely, is not nearly as ” heavy ” as commercial brands, hair is much more manageable & feels clean for a change and I find that I also have no more need for conditioner. However ; since the consistency is more like water, as opposed to ” syrupy ” commercial brands, It’s just a bit awkward to pour into the palm of my hand without wasting most of it. What could you sugest to solve that ? Thanks !

    1. I’m so glad you’ve liked it so far! πŸ™‚

      For that exact reason, we make our batches in a squeeze bottle so that we squirt it directly onto the hair. I imagine a spray bottle could work well too, although it might gunk up over time (I’m not sure, I haven’t tried). Otherwise, I totally agree – it’s frustrating to pour it in your hand only to have it drip out or run off the sides.

      I hope that helps!

      By the way, does anyone else have creative methods of applying this shampoo?

      1. If you are not opposed to plastic, how about a ketsup or mustard container with a flip top or squirt lid? I don’t use store bought mysef, however I do know a lot of people who do, so I assume you would too. I am all about reusing what is out there.

    2. I’ve been playing around with adjustments to the recipe to get it thicker and I’ve posted a second recipe above! I hope it helps. πŸ™‚

  7. I’m just going to play around with it on the next batch by adding a bit of vegetable glycerin. That might help . Thanks again !

    1. Oh, what a great idea! Please let us know how it turns out.

      It also occurs to me that one might be able to use xanthan gum or gelatin in this context, but I’ll have to play around with that to see if it could actually work.

      Thanks for a great comment!

  8. Thank you for posting this recipe! I have been using it for the past 4 days, and for the most part, I really love it! It lathers up great, and I love the smell! The only problem is that when the bottom of my hair dries, after using the shampoo, it has sort of a waxy feeling, and it’s very hard to brush. My hair near the roots however feels nice and soft and great. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this, or knows what might be causing it. I am using your recipe exactly, with tea tree oil and lavender oil. Thanks!

  9. I make my own shampoo, too. I use 1/4 cup of Dr. Bronner’s, 2 tsp avocado oil, 1 tsp vegetable glycerin, 1/8 tsp of tea tree EO and 1/8 tsp of peppermint EO. I love avocado oil and vegetable glycerin for my hair. It really makes it feel great! I will be trying the xanthan gum to thicken it up a little! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. I’ve heard that the avocado oil and the glycerin are especially good for “extreme” hair types – extra dry, extra oily, extra thick, extra kinky… I’ve always wanted to try it, but never have. Thanks for sharing the recipe and how it works for you! πŸ™‚

  10. Hi, I was wondering if anyone tried using one of those foaming squirt bottles. It turns the liquid into foam. and if that would work for the shampoo. I just found this site, the shampoo recipes sound great I am going to try them. Where can I get the liquid Castile soap?

    1. Oh, that’s a fun idea! If it works with the shampoo, that could be a great solution to the problem! πŸ™‚

      You can get liquid castile soap at any health food store or natural aisle of a supermarket. It’s quite common and shouldn’t be difficult to find.

  11. Hi, I just found your site and LOVE it! A question re the shampoo…do you use organic high quality oils or cold pressed grocery store variety? Also, do you have a recipe for conditioner?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy the site. πŸ™‚

      As for oils, I’m assuming you’re asking about the essential oils, since there’s less than a teaspoon of olive oil in the recipe. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) For essential oils, I use whatever I have on hand. I purchase various oils for various purposes and typically have various samples on hand, so the quality definitely varies. For certain things, like using a diffuser or making a vapor rub, I try to only use the highest quality oils I have, but for this shampoo, I wouldn’t worry about using the best of the best unless you’ve got serious scalp issues like severe dandruff or eczema. Organic might be more important, since essential oils are so concentrated, but those are expensive and sometimes difficult to find, so do what works for you. Anything your local health food store carries should be of high enough quality for this application. πŸ™‚ Is that what you were looking for?

      As for conditioner, as I mentioned to another commenter above, I actually have stopped using conditioner since I started using this shampoo. I used to HAVE to use conditioner to have any control of my hair, but this shampoo seems to do it all and I haven’t used conditioner in years. The commenter above said that a half/half mixture of white vinegar and water spritzed onto the hair seemed to work very well, and perhaps others have other suggestions?

    1. Not specifically, but theoretically as this shampoo doesn’t strip the hair and scalp of its moisture, and as you eat nourishing foods, your body *should* balance out its own pH so that the dandruff takes care of itself. Doesn’t really help in the short-term though. πŸ™‚

      Can anyone else here suggest any natural dandruff remedies?

  12. Hi Kresha,
    I love your site and your recipes inspire me! A couple of questions:
    1. I noticed that the Dr. Bronner’s bottle said that the product could be used as a body wash or shampoo just as it is. As you said, it already contains shea butter. I tried using it as a shampoo yesterday and it seemed to work very well. I think I will still try your recipe, but I’m wondering what you think of just using the product as is for shampooing?
    2. You mention early on that this can be used as a baby shampoo. Have you tried that? I sometimes get blepharitis, which is treated by washing the eyelids with baby soap, and I’m wondering if I can use your shampoo for that and not irritate my eyes.
    Thanks for your ideas and inspirations!

    1. Hi, Rene.

      Thank you for your kind words. πŸ™‚

      Here are a few thoughts:

      1. Absolutely castile soap may be used on its own as a shampoo. I tend to add other ingredients to it just to add other properties – olive oil, for example, to provide a moisture barrier (which is especially lovely for those of us who fight frizz regularly) and tea tree oil to help combat scalp issues. Definitely do whatever works best for you!

      2. I would NOT recommend using castile soap to clean your eyes or your eyelids, as it can burn. We do indeed use this recipe on our babies, but for some reason, it’s never been an issue. Perhaps because none of our children can stand having water anywhere near their face, so we tend to rinse out shampoo fairly quickly. (It seems no one has taught them how fun it can be to twirl and swirl shampoo-lathered hair…) I don’t know of any other recommendations to make for an eyelid wash, but I’ll definitely think more deeply on it and post here if I come across any seemingly helpful ideas!

    2. I use the Baby-Mild Castile soap in my eye make up remover and it never burns! (1 C distilled water, 1/4 t baby mild castile soap, 1 t EVOO)

  13. Is Sulfate in the castille soap? It causes breage, so I’m told, and I am fighting that problem as we speak. thanks

    1. No – pure castile soap has no sulfates or sulfites. Of course, double check your labels to make sure a specific brand hasn’t added anything, but if it’s pure soap, it will just be soap. πŸ™‚

  14. With the addition of water into the shampoo, is it well preserved bc of the essential oils? I tend to use recipes that don’t contain water bc I don’t like preservatives,unless that are natural, of course, from EOs ,etc. is there a shelf life?

    1. I have no idea of the shelf life, honestly. Our typically batch lasts us between 2-4 weeks and I made a triple batch once that was used up within 2 months. Beyond that, I don’t know!

      It’s totally fine, too, to make the recipe without the water. The water is just to stretch it a bit.

      1. It’s kinda silly not to put water in the mix when you’ll be showering with that same water… but maybe try distilled water if it makes you more comfortable?

        1. Yes, but per the original commenter’s comment, shower water is fresh while water in the recipe will be sitting around, so she was asking about the shelf life.

  15. Hi Kresha. Thank you so much for researching and sharing your findings on your website! I am going to try to make this recipe soon. I have all of the ingredients except for the liquid Castile soap. I do however have a bar of Kirk’s Castile soap that I bought from Cracker Barrel :). I was wondering what your thoughts were on grating and melting a portion of the bar of soap to yield the 1/2 cup of liquid soap that your recipe calls for. Thank you again. So glad I stumbled upon your website. I will definitely be reading more πŸ™‚

    1. You could certainly try it – I’m sure it would work just fine. My only hesitation is that every time I’ve grated bar soap to make liquid soap, the final product ended up a bit ropy. I would assume that would happen in this case as well, although that wouldn’t affect the function of the shampoo, just its texture and how it pours out of the bottle. πŸ™‚

      1. Hi Kresha – Thank you for that tip! That is good to know. I actually had a similar problem when I melted soap down to make a liquid hand soap (which is now more solid and flubbery than liquid now!). I think I will try to find some of the liquid castile soap to make this recipe. Thanks again πŸ™‚

  16. Hello, I have tried every kind of homemade shampoo, including the “No Poo” formula. I tried this in a small batch just in case it didn’t work out. I put a few drops of sweet orange oil too. Well, it lathered very well but while rinsing it feels so heavy and I can’t run my fingers through without pulling my hair. While blow drying, it was hard to get the brush through my hair and it is not as shiny as when I use Aubrey Organics wich is very expensive. Any ideas would greatly be appreciated!

    Thank you,


    1. Well, that would depend on what kind of hair you have – is it straight and fine or is it kinky and curly? The first two things I would suggest are to cut the soap in half in the recipe and try adding 1 teaspoon of liquid glycerin. The shampoo will be thinner, but your hair may be more manageable. Also, the olive oil in this recipe is to give a bit of that shine, but I would hesitate to add much more or you may end up feeling extra greasy. So, hopefully the glycerin will do the trick!

      Also, keep in mind that even name brand natural and organic brands use a plethora of lab-created ingredients, which are often what give uber-gloss, so you may not be able to replicate it exactly with a more natural shampoo.

      Perhaps other readers could chime in? Have any of you had this problem? How have you solved it?

      1. Hi Kresha, My hair is thick and for the most part more kinky than wavy. If I let is dry naturally, it would be a wavy kinky mess. Not like an afro though, I am 1/2 American 1/2 Mexican. Many years ago a hair stylist said I had beaded hair. If you ran your fingers across a hair strand, you would feel bumps.

        Adding glycerine might help but I though that was bad stuff too? I really want something to work for me. My hair always looks so dull. I wear bangs and they look horrible with regular shampoo or natural shampoo.

        Thanks for getting back to me.

        1. Wow – your hair sounds beautiful. πŸ™‚

          Glycerin is undesirable in toothpaste (by and large), but I haven’t found it to be undesirable in shampoo. It’s a byproduct from the fats in the soapmaking process, so it’s basically just a pure, glossy, lathering agent that coats whatever it touches to seal in moisture. In fact, just to double check my memory, I typed “Glycerin in shampoo” into google, and the first several links that showed up for me verify that, stating that it’s often used in leave-in conditioners to add gloss and shine and in shampoos – including one by Aubrey Organics – to balance the hair. So, definitely give it a try!

          If that doesn’t work, try replacing the water in the recipe with raw honey, as that is known to soften hair as well.

          So… there are a few ideas. If they don’t work, let me know and we’ll put our heads together to figure out something else. πŸ˜‰

        2. Hi again, oh my gosh, it’s worse today. I added more water and put vegetable glycerin in it. It feels like straw and not managable at all. If I bent it, it will stay that way, bent. Hope something will work.



          1. Well then, that wasn’t what we were looking for! πŸ™‚

            Out of curiosity, how often do you normally wash your hair? Could some of the extra dryness come because you’re washing often trying to find a shampoo that works? Or are you washing on your regular schedule?

            Also, have you tried the honey yet?

            And as another idea, do you still have the bottle left from one of the store-bought shampoos you love? If you flip it over, go through the ingredients one by one to figure out what each one does, you might be able to reverse engineer it by looking for natural ingredients that do the same thing to come up with a shampoo that you know will work for YOUR hair. The Skin Deep cosmetics database can help in this regard: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php?nothanks=1

            Good luck! πŸ™‚

          2. I use apple cider vinegar (raw, with the mother) to condition my hair. It works miracles! It smells funky in the shower, but I can’t smell it after my hair is dry! (I use this with the no ‘poo method… I’m here researching for my sister πŸ™‚ ) Use 1 T acv with 1 C water.

  17. Hi Kresha, I only wash my hair every other day. I can go without washing for 2 days then I can feel the oil. My hair is usually dry. I have tried honey I will check that website. I really really want something to work.

    Thanks again,


  18. Is this batch a waste now that I have created bubbles of foam!? How can I save it?? Wait for the bubbles to go down is all I can think to do. Please help!

    1. You can use it even with all the foam – so no worries. Over the course of a few hours, it will also settle, so by the time you use it next, the bubbles will have gone away.

  19. Thanks for posting such a great recipe! This works great on my fine hair while several other homemade shampoos didn’t, including the no-poo baking soda method. I tried putting the shampoo in one of those foaming hand soap dispensers that a few people asked about in the comments and it works perfectly! I used an empty foaming hand soap bottle from bath and body works, cleaned it out completely and put the shampoo mix in. It comes out with a nice foam that is easy to hold in your hand long enough to get it on your head.

  20. Hello Young Lady,

    I simply cannot tell you how stoked I am about finding your site. To make a very protracted story short, I’m retired due to multiple physical injuries, surgical recoveries, and illness. Consequently, I’m now a stay at home ‘Dad.’

    Having spent just a wee bit of time at your site, I am quite impressed and grateful to have stumbled across this well spring of information. Praise God and pass the taters.

    Thank you. And, may Yahweh bless you and your family.

  21. Hello! This looks like a great recipe but I’ve had troubles with it…wondering if it is because of our hard well water. Castile soap seems to make the minerals cling to the hair and then the hair is very icky feeling…like it doesn’t rinse away. Any thoughts?

    1. Yes, that does sound like the symptoms of hard water!

      Perhaps try a balancing rinse afterward to balance the pH of the hard water. Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup water (in your case, use filtered water) with 10-12 drops of peppermint, rosemary, or euchalyptus essential oils in a shakeable container. Shake well, then after shampooing, pour the entire cup of liquid over your scalp and hair and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Rinse with cool water.

      Also, you could tweak the recipe a bit to minimize the castile soap, feel free to cut the castile soap amount in half and just make up for it by adding in that amount of water.

      I hope that helps!

    1. Definitely! Perhaps leave out the olive oil if you find it a bit greasy for your skin type, but I use it all the time as a body wash and it works really well.

  22. With regard to using oregano eo, since you’re already adding it to your recipe which has olive oil in it, it should not irritate your skin. If you use it alone, then you would always want to use a fractionated oil like coconut or olive. The same holds true for any essential oil that can irritate the skin. Using a fractionated oil also does not decrease the effectiveness of the eo (essential oil).

  23. Hi, Kresha! Thank you so much for all the hard work and research that you do for your blog. I love reading your blog. For this recipe, I was wondering if I could use this to thicken up a baby shampoo. The olive oil ingredient concerns me for babies. Can this thicker shampoo recipe work for baby body wash/shampoo without the olive oil? I’m planning to use this as a gift for my niece’s unborn baby. Eventually I will use it for my kids’ shampoos. Also one of my kid’s has thick, oily, straight hair. What oil would you recommend? I have been reading the comments, but have not seen any answers to these type of questions. That said, if it is something you have already commented on, I’m sorry for asking a repetitive questions.

    1. Hi, Doreen!

      Yes, you can certainly use it as a baby shampoo, but know that it’s not a tear-free formula (castile soap can sting), so if you plan to mix it with a No More Tears type shampoo, it still should be kept out of babies’ eyes.

      And yes, you can leave the olive oil out, but it is the ingredient that provides moisture in the recipe – or rather, coats the hair shaft in order to keep moisture in. In the ratios in this recipe, it doesn’t leave the hair oily at all and actually is good at balancing naturally oily hair. Out of curiosity, what concerns do you have with olive oil, especially since you mention that it concerns you for babies?

      And thanks for your encouraging words! I’m so glad you find the site helpful. πŸ˜‰

      1. Thank you for answering so promptly. I’m planning to send a basket of homemade baby and mommy care goodies to my niece who is having her second baby. I am concerned about a possible allergic for a newborn’s skin. Thank you so much for your reply.

    1. Hmmm…. not really, as it’s the base of the shampoo. Perhaps if another reader has successfully made a substitution they could share! πŸ™‚

  24. Hi, Thankyou so much for all the info on this site. I was wondering if I could use Shea Butter instead of an oil in my mix, I think that it may have a similar issue as coconut oil yet I would think it would stay liquid in a mix! I’ve been told Shea butter is good for your hair and body and I have really really dry hair. Have you ever tried this? Or any idea if it would work? Thankyou for your help Sam

    1. Well, I’ve never had shea butter stay as a liquid at room temperature, so unless you have it in some form with which I am not familiar, I would recommend NOT using it in the shampoo. HOWEVER, some people have had good experience rubbing coconut oil on their hair BEFORE washing as a sort of “pre-conditioner” and yes, shea butter is excellent for skin and hair, so if you really wanted to, you could certainly try putting shea butter on your hair before shampooing. It is quite oily, though, so I would think you may need to wash your hair more than once to wash it off. I haven’t tried it, but shea butter is so lovely, it’s certainly worth a try! πŸ™‚

  25. Do these shampoo recipes require shaking up before using? I use a mounted to the wall, 3 compartment, refillable unit for shampoo, conditioner, and body wash so shaking is not an option…small shower leaves little room for bottles.

    1. If you use the first, original recipe, yes, it does need to be shaken before each use.

      But if you use the second, thicker recipe with xanthan gum, it doesn’t need to be shaken as long as you use it with in 2-3 weeks. I find after that it slowly comes out of its suspension.

      I hope that helps!

    1. Well, that sort of depends on your pH. They’re not developed specifically for that, but if you use the full amount of tea tree oil, they should keep dandruff at bay.

      That said, if you find you DO suffer from dandruff even after switching to this shampoo for a number of weeks, try rubbing coconut oil on your scalp BEFORE shampooing and see if that helps.

      And do any other readers have any experiences they’d like to share in regards to this shampoo and dandruff control?

  26. I am so thankful to have come across your shampoo recipe, Kresha. I have been searching for a gluten free recipe we could count on , so I am excited to try this. I’m already a fan of Dr. Bronner’s. I would like to throw my 2 cents in regarding the conditioner discussion. The “no-poo” method did not work for me. I gave it up after nearly a year of trying, but it did keep their conditioner idea! I have long, think, wavy hair, and the apple cider vinegar really works! I simply buy the least expensive gallon of ACV and leave it in my tub. I also leave a large plastic cup in there and simply mix about 1/3 cup of vinegar to about 3/4 cup water. I “fan out” my hair and pour it on all over as best I can. As others have mentioned, the smell is strong at first, but diminishes to no smell at all as the hair dries. I used to spend quite a bit of money monthly on conditioner. With 2 daughters who have equally tangly hair, we were going through a lot! Now we’re looking at about $3 a month. And it really works, plus, it makes our hair so beautiful and shiny! It truly brings out all the natural highlights. Thanks again! I am delighted to have found your site :0)

  27. Fabulous texture with the xanthan gum. This recipe fits perfectly into the Wilton condiments container, and with the pointed tip, I can get the shampoo directly to the roots! Love this.

  28. I was wondering if this would work on colored hair, or if it would remove the coloring? Having a difficult time finding a shampoo without chemicals for colored hair.

  29. Found this blog through Pinterest. Went right out and bought the ingredients for your shampoo.

    When washing out the shampoo, my hair (which is fine) feels waxy. I am using ACV wash after and leaving it in a couple minutes which helps, but it still came out a little to greasy after blow drying. I wanted to go back in and wash again.
    After reading the other comments, is this mixture’s success dependent on just finding the ph balance that works for your hair?
    Is the waxy feeling a sign of to much soap or oil in the mix?
    Thank you!

    1. The waxy feeling is a result of leftover oils and products that were already on your hair. Have you been using other homemade shampoos recently or was this the first time you’ve used one that not store-bought? I ask only because the waxy feeling may stick around for a few days or weeks if you’ve been using store-bought shampoos recently, but if you’ve been using other homemade recipes, the waxy feeling will likely go away after 1-2 more washes.

      And yes, pH can affect this too, although I find a “waxy” feeling tends to be more related to build-up from haircare products (which is why the ACV helps, as it assists in stripping those off), while “oily” or “brittle” feeling hair is more directly related to pH.

      So, I would say just keep using the shampoo as it is (meaning, no, you don’t have too much soap or too much oil) and if it’s still not the way you’d like in a couple of weeks, then start tweaking the recipe.

      I hope that helps!

  30. Any suggestions for something else to use in place of castile soap? I’m highly allergic to saponified olive oil and will get hives if I use soap that is made with it, but I really want to make my own shampoo. All the recipes I’ve seen online have casile soap as an ingredient.

    1. Hmmm…. that’s a great question. You’ll need something that will strip your hair of oils and residues without frying it….. let me do some experimenting and see what I come up with. In the meantime, do any other readers have any suggestions?

      (By the way, are you allergic to all saponified oils – say avocado oil or palm kernel oil – or just saponified olive oil?)

  31. Hi! I made the shampoo with Dr. Bonner’s Tea Tree Soap and we all love it. It works well for my husband’s dandruff and for our daughter’s thick oily hair. My hair is really dry, so I condition afterward, but my family is able to only use ACV rinse with the shampoo. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  32. My husband was skeptical when I first made this shampoo/body wash several months ago. I loved it right away and use it on my little ones as well. Despite my love for the product he only finally tried it on our camping trip this past weekend and he LOVES it! He hasn’t used his usual store-bought shampoo since!

  33. Pingback: 13 in 2013: I went No 'Poo (and you can too!) | Smiles Go With Everything
  34. Pingback: Homemade Shampoo | OnlineBottles.com
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  36. Dear Kresha,

    i hope my message finds you well, i am living in KSA which our market are lacking from either liquid or bar castile soap. However, we got a liquid moroccan soap, and from my searching castile soap its made from olive oil and little coconut milk, the ingredient of moroccan soap is olea europaea, olive oil and mix of Koh and Naoh.
    my question now, can i use liquid Moroccan soap to make homemade shampoo instead of liquid castile soap?

    sorry for my inappropriate English language πŸ™‚

    sincerely πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, it sounds very much the same – in fact, castile soap doesn’t have coconut milk in it, unless it’s mixed in as an additive, but it’s not one of the ingredients in the making of castile soap itself. So yes, the Moroccan soap sounds great for making homemade shampoo!

      Good luck!

  37. This is so awesome and so helpful, especially for those who love DIYs and knowing what ingredients are in their beauty and skincare. Keep up the great work!

  38. How I use conditioner (even tho nobody cares lol) :
    1) wring out hair as best I can. (Water actually dilutes conditioner and it doesn’t work as well if diluted)
    2) Massage conditioner in. Focus on ends. Conditioning your scalp actually makes hair look greasy
    3) Use a wide tooth comb and work out tangles (this is so important, because it detangles it so well not even kidding! I don’t even have to comb hair after shower if I do this step.)
    4) Leave in for a bit, so other shower steps

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