Make Your Own Shampoo

by Merissa on April 3, 2013

in Featured, Make Your Own

Make Your Own Shampoo - Little House Living

Make Your Own Shampoo

Judging by the ingredients list on a bottle of shampoo, I expected it to be difficult or impossible to make your own shampoo. However, a quick Google search promptly made me realize that, yet again, store-bought items are full of too many unnecessary chemicals, especially beauty products. All you really need for homemade shampoo is some liquid castile soap, with apple cider vinegar for the rinse. Castile soap is made with only vegetable oils, and it is very mild. It is a really great item to have on hand; I use it to clean the kitchen floor (3 tablespoons in a gallon hot water), store-bought produce (half water and half soap), and my baby (3/4 water to ¼ soap)! I also use it as hand soap in the bathrooms, and dish soap when my regular stuff unexpectedly runs out.

The apple cider vinegar softens your hair, helps balance its pH (which can help fight dandruff and itchy scalp), and is a natural detangler. As a woman with curly hair, those are all very important issues for me. I have seen recipes that dilute it a lot and some not at all. Personally, I like to use about 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water, but you can play around with it and decide what is best for your hair. (You can find more uses for Apple Cider Vinegar here)

It’s been almost two years since I’ve purchased shampoo, and my hair is softer, healthier, less frizzy, and much more manageable. I encourage everyone to at least give it a try, regardless of hair type!

make your own shampoo

Homemade Shampoo

What You Need:

  • 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap (Where to Buy)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Oil (optional, can use olive oil or coconut oil) (Where to Buy)
  • 4-5 drops essential oil (optional) (Where to Buy)

Combine all ingredients. Shake before each use.

For the homemade rinse:

Combine the water and vinegar (and oils, if using). Store in a small spray bottle. (You can get bottles for as low as $0.60 from Mountain Rose Herbs)

make your own shampoo

If using dried herbs or flowers, you will need to make an infusion. Measure out your desired amount of water into a saucepan and add the dried herbs. I made a double batch for my husband and I using 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a light simmer. Cover and let steep for 30-45 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain out the herbs/flowers and combine with the vinegar (I used 1 cup). Some say you will need to store infused water in the fridge, but I keep mine in the shower with no issues. Do whatever you feel comfortable with.

Use this shampoo just like any other. Squirt a small amount onto your head, lather and rinse. Then spray some of the vinegar solution onto your hair, massage, comb through (if you have curly or thick hair), let it soak for a few minutes if you wish, then rinse. Some people don't rinse the vinegar, as it can act as a leave-in conditioner. (The vinegar smell should dissipate after a few minutes.) Enjoy!

If you loved this recipe you might also want to try to make your own Dry Shampoo or try this simple Coconut Oil Hair Conditioner.

Find even more DIY  and Make Your Own projects on Little House Living!

Would you ever try and make your own shampoo? What essential oils and herbs would you add?

amanbio

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tiffanie of Truly Skrumptious April 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I’ve been looking for something like this and finally gave up and bought something from Trader Joe’s. Maybe this will finally be the solution!! Is it some much to ask for something natural that doesn’t make your hair look and feel hideous? I’m hoping this is it!

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2 jane M. April 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm

I use the castille soap too, but also peppermint with coconut milk.

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3 Amanda April 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I have heard many wonderful things about coconut milk and hair, I will have to give it a try!

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4 lisalynn April 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

sounds lovely..
coud you make this with the Kirks castile bar soap ?

I think tho.. that Castile soap is 100% olive oil.
soapteacher.blogspot.com
Thanks again for posting..
lisa

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5 Amanda April 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I have never made it with bar soap, so I’m not sure how that would work. If you do try it, though, let us know!

Many centuries ago, the term ‘castile’ referred to soaps made in the Castile region of Spain from local olive oil, but it is now used for any vegetable oil-based soap.

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6 Serenity de Clare April 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Hi! Great recipe and just what I needed. It is not only very frugal but healthy and organic too. But where do you buy castile soup? I haven’t seen it at WalMart nor CVS or RiteAide or our local grocery stores and most of the time I don’t have money to order it online. We don’t have any of those health food stores around here so where else would I find it? Thanks.

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7 Valerie Z April 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I get mine at Target. If yours doesn’t stock it, Amazon does.

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8 Heatherh November 16, 2013 at 11:36 pm

If your grocery store has a health food section, it might be there. Dollar Tree often carries bars of Kirk’s Castille soap. Dr Bronner’s is the brand you’re most likely to find any other place. I’ve used it most of my life and we love it. If you have a GNC around, they may have Dr Bronner’s. Or you can always ask your grocery store to get it. Azure Standard carries Dr Bronner’s, if you have access to them.

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9 Angel December 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I make & sell my own handmade Castile soap.
http://bit.ly/shopriety-aw2

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10 Carrie March 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Yes Target has a decent variety. I got some on Amazon for the same price.

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11 Sharon July 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm

google Dr Bronner for great castile soap! Many different scents. :)

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12 Catherine April 4, 2013 at 7:38 am

Hi, I recently added a few dreadlocks to my hair and am looking for some natural residue free shampoo. Do you know if this is residue free?

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13 Tiffanie of Truly Skrumptious April 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

What ratio do you use for the vinegar and water mix?

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14 Amanda April 5, 2013 at 7:06 am

I use 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water, but you could also use 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 1 cup of water.

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15 Tiffanie of Truly Skrumptious April 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Thanks!

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16 MARSHA April 5, 2013 at 7:44 am

I tried this & it feels like I have a residue on my hair. It still feels that way after using the rinse & airdrying. Did I do something wrong?

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17 Amanda April 10, 2013 at 7:35 am

Do you have hard water? As Tiffanie pointed out below, that can sometimes have a negative effect and prevent soaps from rinsing completely.

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18 MARSHA April 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

I am so glad to hear it’s not just me :-). We have city water but no water softner. So, that could very well be the problem. Thank you

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19 Jill April 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I’ve started making a lot of my own beauty products, but shampoo isn’t one of them…yet. Thanks for all the great tips!

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20 Tiffanie of Truly Skrumptious April 9, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Okay, I’ve officially given up on this, and different combinations. I tried no vinegar, apple cider and white vinegar, and after 5 months of searching for natural, the search goes on. Everything homemade leaves a disgusting residue, and natural, store bought either strips my hair of everything or leaves it like straw, dull and colorless (takes away most of my natural red) and blah. It may just be our horrible, super hard water, but still no solution for me…

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21 Sheila April 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

Have you tried using vitamin C (ascorbic acid) diluted in water as a final rinse? It’s just a thought, but it does neutralize hard water. It doesn’t cost much either. You could read more here: http://archive.longhaircommunity.com/archive/index.php/t-51184.html

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22 Cheryl S April 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm

I made a variation of the shampoo this weekend and really like it. Mine has Castile, Water, Olive Oil, and Honey. I will try the rinse as well. Thank you for this post.

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23 Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen April 10, 2013 at 7:44 am

I love making personal care products! As soon as my hubby runs out of what he has, I’m going to make this.

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24 Carrie April 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I’m looking forward to trying this. I tried the whole wash your hair with baking soda, rinsing and then rising with vinegar. I didn’t particularly care for that. But I have everything to give this shampoo a try. :-) Thanks for sharing it!

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25 cheryl April 12, 2013 at 5:04 am

I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I just bought a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s unscented castle soap. Now I see that it says baby mild. Do you think this will be strong enough to clean my very oily hair? Was also planning to use it to make household cleaner. Now worried it will be too mild. I can exchange it as I haven’t opened it yet.

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26 Amanda April 12, 2013 at 8:20 am

Personally, I have used both the baby mild and the regular versions for cleaning/shampoo and did not notice a difference, so I think it would be fine. If anyone else has an opinion, please feel free to chime in!

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27 'Becca April 12, 2013 at 11:55 am

I have used the Baby Mild soap, and I think mostly what’s mild about it is that it doesn’t have the added fragrance of the other Dr. Bronner’s varieties, so it doesn’t have the tingling or eye-stinging qualities that some of them do. It seems to me that it cleans just as well.

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28 'Becca April 12, 2013 at 11:56 am

I love castile soap, but it did not work well on my hair.I wash my hair with vinegar only. It works really well for me!

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29 Michelle April 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I have been searching for a homemade shampoo recipe. I can’t wait to try this!
Thanks.

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30 Sonia May 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I’ve been using just a baking soda & water mix for a shampoo, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse, but been wanting to try something different. I think I’ll start alternating with your castile soap shampoo recipe. Thanks!

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31 Joyce June 13, 2013 at 8:09 am

I love my homemade shampoo and have been using it exclusively for 2 years. I use 1/3 c of the Unscented Baby Mild liquid castille soap by Bonners, 1/4 c. coconut milk (you can find it canned at Walmart) 1 t. Vitamin E, olive or almond oil, and if you want it scented, add about 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Love it! My DH also uses it.

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32 tammy December 18, 2013 at 6:28 am

Do you have to refrigerate your recipe due to it having coconut milk? Just wondering. Thanks!

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33 cdv July 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this “recipe”. I really appreciate this; regular shampoo makes my hair super oily, and I am concerned about the animal testing/cruelty involved with commercial shampoos. I received my (animal testing free!) almond castille soap today – I’m ready to try this!

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34 Liam August 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

The recipe you gave, the AMOUNTS of each ingredient to use, does it not depend on how many oz bottle your trying to fill?

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35 Amanda August 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I’m not sure I understand your problem…if you want to make more, just increase the recipe as needed.

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36 D December 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Well I went out and got all the ingredients and I’ve tried it a few different ways now including not putting any extra olive oil and only a very small amount of essential oils but my hair still always comes out feeling dirty :(
My hair is normally kind of oily at the roots. Is there another way to tweak this recipe so it does not leave any oily residue ? I really like the idea of using my own home made shampoo, but this isn’t really working.

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37 Merissa December 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Maybe add a little baking soda to this mix? Or try only shampooing every other day?

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38 Amanda December 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

If you are coming off of regular shampoo, your hair will sort of ‘detox’. Commercial shampoos contain harsh sulfates that strip the hair of its natural oils every time you wash, causing it to over-produce oil to compensate (this is also why commercial shampoos also require a conditioner, to re-moisturize the hair). When you switch to a gentler natural shampoo, your hair will continue over-producing oil until it returns to its natural state. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and no, it’s not fun or pretty. But stick it out! Many people who think they NEED to wash their hair everyday are able to go 4-5 days between washings once their scalp normalizes. Hope this helps! :)

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39 Kim Frazee December 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I use about 1/4 baking soda to 3/4 water to wash my hair, then to rinse, 1/3 -1/4 ACV to 2/3-3/4 water, with about 8-12 drops of essential oils. I mix them into those dollar ketchup bottles at the store to squirt the ” shampoo” right on my scalp. I leave the ” conditioner” on for a few minutes before rising.

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40 valeria December 29, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I have a question about the Castile soap…what is your favorite brand? Also, anyone who has tried the peppermint castile soap…is it tingly?

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41 Merissa December 29, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I prefer Dr Bronners for castile soap. I’m not sure about the Peppermint…we mostly use the Baby Mild.

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42 Valeria December 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Just got back from Kroger where I found a bar of Kirks Castile Peppermint soap and a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Almond liquid castile soap. I washed my face with the peppermint bar, and I really like it. It does have a pleasant tingle! Going to mix up the shampoo and try it in the morning.

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43 Lisa February 15, 2014 at 5:28 am

There has not been any mention about using any of these combinations on color treated hair. And how about a homemade conditioner?

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44 Merissa February 15, 2014 at 6:40 am

I have not tested this on colored treated hair so I’m not sure how it would work. For homemade conditioner we use this: Homemade Conditioner.

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45 Laura February 15, 2014 at 7:14 am

Thanks for putting the recipe up! I use one very similar to this, but substituting the water for coconut milk. Next time, I’m thinking of making one with oat water or green tea. Mmm!

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46 Laurab930 February 15, 2014 at 9:34 am

I had been wondering how difficult it would be to make homemade shampoo. Thanks, Amanda, for posting this recipe! Will be getting the ingredients very soon to make my very first homemade shampoo!!! :-)

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47 Gigi February 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

My hair has some type of residue. I used coconut milk but not from a can, it came in a carton, does that make a difference? Also I have hard water so is very possible that’s the problem. I’m gonna have my hubby install a softener. Also the ACV rinse, is it safe to use everyday?

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48 Merissa February 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

I would use the rinse maybe every other day, depending on your hair type. The coconut milk from the carton has different ingredients than the can (a can should only have coconut cream in it) so there could be something from that giving your hair a residue.

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49 Hayley February 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

Wondering If The Rinse Is Necessary?!?!?!

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50 Merissa February 26, 2014 at 11:31 am

It’s not but it will help balance the ph of your hair (it may get to greasy otherwise) and it helps soften hair as well.

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51 Meghan July 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm

So glad I found this post. I’ve tried the shampoo recipe and it made my hair pretty greasy. Do you know why that is? Is that what the rinse is for?

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52 Merissa July 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Yes, the rinse will help balance the ph levels in your hair.

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