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Natural Homemade Shampoo Recipes – How to Make Organic Hair Shampoo

Have you ever thought about making your own shampoo?

I know, I know. With the dozens, if not hundreds, of commercial shampoos available to us, why bother making our own, right?

Well, before I get into exactly how to make your own shampoo, I want to stress the reasons why you should consider this option in the first place:

Benefit #1: Saving Money

Like with most things, homemade shampoo is far cheaper than commercial bought shampoo. Especially if you have a larger family, making your own shampoo is going to save money for you.

Benefit #2: Better for You

Do you know what all those chemicals are in your commercial shampoo and conditioner?

Me neither. The FDA doesn’t regulate what companies put in personal care products, which means most of us have no idea what the chemicals are or how they could be affecting us. The majority of large companies like Suave, Pantene, and Aussie use chemicals that have been linked to cancer, immunotoxicity, allergies and more. You can find out more by checking out this Skin Deep page and looking up your own shampoo.

Making your own shampoo is safer for you and your family because you’re using natural ingredients.

Benefit #3: Works Better

This is going to be highly subjective. Some people claim that their homemade shampoo works far better than commercial brands. Other people say they’d buy commercial shampoo any day.

How well your shampoo works is going to depend on the recipe you use as well as your hair type. But there’s a good chance it will blow your store-bought shampoo out of the water…in a good way.

Benefit #4: Better for the Environment

When you use natural shampoo what goes down the drain? Natural ingredients.

Commercial shampoos and conditions contain tons of chemicals, which go right into the water system (especially if your greywater isn’t treated). So, natural shampoos are better for the environment.

Benefit #5: Better for Your Home

Natural ingredients are way better for your pipes. The harsh chemicals in these shampoos can cause major damage to your pipelines which will ultimately cost you big-time financially.

Homemade Shampoo Recipes

So how can you make your own shampoo? Fortunately there are tons of great homemade shampoo recipes out there. Here are two that I really like:

1. Castile Shampoo from

Instructables is one of my favorite sites because you can learn how to make just about anything here. And they’ve got a great recipe for homemade shampoo. This recipe uses liquid Castile soap.

You need:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s, which you can find cheaply on Amazon; you can also get awesome, organic Castile soap from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil (like jojoba, olive oil, or grapeseed)

Mix all the ingredients into a plastic or glass bottle and you’re good to go!

As far as the results, it’s a mixed bag with this recipe. Some people love this combination; others says it leaves a film on their hair. Again, a lot will depend on your hair type and your water type (hard water seems to leave more film).

2. Baking Soda Shampoo

The awesome ways to save money with baking soda extend to shampoo as well. Baking soda is the household product that I buy in gigantic, 5 lb. bags from Costco and boy does it go fast. I use it for everything, including shampoo!

The biggest benefit to using baking soda is that it really helps get rid of the buildup that settles on your scalp from other hair care products. But, you have to rinse with vinegar if you want your hair feeling as light and fluffy as it always does. Alone, baking soda has a tendency to dry hair out.

Here’s what you do:

  • Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 3 cups water (this will make enough for several washings). Store in a plastic or glass container. You can also make it one serving at a time. Mix 1 Tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of warm water.
  • When you’re ready to use, shake and apply to your scalp, scrubbing it in.
  • After you’ve scrubbed your scalp with the baking soda, rinse with 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (or regular white vinegar for a lighter smell). You can also use 1 Tablespoon of vinegar mixed with 1 cup of water for a lighter mixture.

Keep in mind that there are as many natural shampoo recipes as there are people experimenting. You might need to play with proportions before you find a combination that works great for your hair.

Tip: It might take two weeks or more for your hair to “settle in” to being washed with baking soda and vinegar. The reason is because right now, your commercial shampoo (and daily washing) strips your scalp of natural oils. When you go natural, your hair might feel greasy or thick as your body adjusts. Stick it out! It’s also best not to wash your hair every day, whether you’re using natural shampoo or not. Washing every other day will help keep your hair and scalp healthy.

If you want to learn more, here are some other tips on making your own shampoo.

Have any of you used experimented with making your own shampoo? How did it work out?

(Photo credit: TedsBlog)

Heather Levin
Heather Levin is a writer with over 15 years experience covering personal finance, natural health, parenting, and green living. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband and two young sons, where they're often wandering on frequent picnics to find feathers and wildflowers.

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