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Picture of Homemade Shampoo
Your ultimate guide to homemade shampoo! Here are ten easy recipes you can use to find the perfect formula for your hair.

The benefits are that you can use all natural ingredients, avoid all of the fillers and irritants commercial makers use, scent it any way you want, and customize it to suit your hair's needs.
What more do I need to say?

I love my homemade shampoo. It smells great and leaves my hair feeling light and soft.
 
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Step 1: BASIC

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IMG_1399.jpg
For normal hair, or as a base to add your own scents, use

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use.
This mixture isn't as thick as commercial shampoos - you'll need to just tilt the bottle over your head.
I am really impressed with how much lather I get from it though!

Step 2: STIMULATE

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To wake up your scalp and your senses, try tea tree and peppermint oil!
This one's my personal favorite, and the one I use daily. It's so refreshing!

Combine
Mix all ingredients, then add 1/4 cup distilled water
Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Step 3: QUENCH

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For dry hair, try this:

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle and always shake well before using.

Apply to hair and allow to sit for a few minutes. Rinse well with cool water.

Step 4: SOOTHE

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Chamomile makes this 'poo a calming treat. Chamomile also has natural lightening properties, so combine this with lemon juice if you want to lighten your hair!

Steep the teabags in 1 cup of boiled water for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add castille soap to the tea. Stir in glycerin until well blended. Keep in a dark, cool place in a sealed bottle.

Step 5: DE-FLAKE

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Dandruff can affect many different people in every age group. Dandruff can manifest as either very dry and flaky scalp or very oily scalp with flakes. Contrary to popular belief, dandruff is not caused by a dry scalp or from improper hair care. It can be caused by increased oil production, hormonal fluctuations, stress, and illness.

To banish a flaky scalp, try this simple recipe:
In a small grinder or blender, mix all ingredients on low for 30 seconds.

Wet the hair with warm water and shampoo the mixture into the hair well. Rinse with warm water.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Discard after 3 days!

Step 6: SHINE

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Fragrant and lively, try this recipe to add shine to your hair
.
Boil distilled water, add rosemary and steep until fragrant.
Strain leaves and let cool. Mix all ingredients and add to water and stir well.
Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Step 7: REJUVENATE

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This is a great shampoo for any hair type.

Boil distilled water, add rosemary and and lemongrass (in tea strainer if you have it) and steep until fragrant (about 20-30 minutes)..
Strain leaves and let cool. Mix all ingredients and add to water and stir well.

Mix the tea tree oil and vanilla into the water. Add soap.

Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Let the shampoo cool, and then place the top on tightly.

Step 8: YUMMY

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I can't resist the alluring smell of this luxurious shampoo.

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.
Dry not to drink this one. It smells tooooo good. . .

Step 9: DRY

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This is a great in-between treatment for hair, if you're helping someone who can't wash their hair on their own, or for removing dirt and oil from the hair when fresh water in unavailable

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp crushed lavender or other fragrant herb
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Grind these together with mortar and pestle, small grinder, or place in a baggie and crush with a rolling pin.

Sprinkle enough of the mixture to cover all hair, and massage for five minutes before it it brushed out

This could be made in bulk and stored in a cool, dry environment.

Step 10: NO 'POO

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Though there are already plenty of instructables that cover this topic, I thought my list wouldn't be complete without including the simplest way to get clean, healthy hair.

  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz Water

Put 1 tsp baking soda in a cup or mug to take into the shower with you.
In another cup, pour about 1 oz (~1/8 cup) apple cider vinegar.

When you get into the shower, fill the baking soda cup with about 1/4 c water.
Apply this to your roots only; work it in and let it sit for a minute.

Then begin to gently scrub your scalp, stimulating blood flow and cleaning out your pores.
This will actually stimulate hair growth.

Lastly, scrub the back of your skull and your temples/sideburns. This will result in less grease and more growth.

Rinse!

Follow by adding about 1/4 c water to your vinegar cup.
Pour the apple cider vinegar over the ends of your hair, let it sit for a minute and then rinse it out.

No 'Poo Troubleshooting

There may be a transition period from two weeks to two months depending on the person. Here are a few tips:

" If your hair becomes frizzy, try using less baking soda or leaving it on for a shorter period of time. Adding honey may also help.
" If your hair becomes greasy, try using less apple cider vinegar, switching to lemon or lime juice, leaving out the honey, and/or using a comb instead of a brush. Also, make sure youre applying the apple cider vinegar just to the ends of your hair.
" If your scalp itches, try the following essential oils; tea tree, lavender, rosemary. If your hair becomes dry, try a tiny bit of oil (any oil, I use olive) smoothed on bottom of hair.

Have fun and enjoy!




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I do not know if someone else has made this comment but if you would like to thicken up the shampoo so it is not quite so runny you can add 1/4 tsp. of xanthum gum powder that you can get from a local health food store to every cup of the shampoo. It will thicken up quite nicely the direction on the package normally say 1/2 tsp per cup but that makes it really thick start out at 1/4 and go up from there if you feel the need. I've been using it for years to double bottles of commercial body soaps and it does not leave a film or residue. Hope it helps

Wow I don't know why it doesn't leave residue on you. Maybe you have more acidic water than our well water has? It leaves horrible sticky residue on my skin. I tried it one time and threw it away!

I had the same issue I used it for the first time last night and I felt like my hair was sticky as well as my hands and I had a horrible time trying to brush it out I used a wide tooth comb and that even felt sticky! I let my hair dry thinking maybe it was just while it was wet and I looked like I did when the stylist fried my hair it was nasty looking and felt awful!

I wonder if you can use baking soda to thicken it a bit?

Just don't add water to it. The castile soap is already liquid, so adding water to it really isn't necessary.

I've tried homemade shampoos before (worked alright but smelled awful --I am excited about these ones!) and what I found effective was to store it in a spray bottle rather than a jar. I would mist it over my head and then massage it into a lather. Pouring it on always ended up with using too much!
scoochmaroo (author)  espohranderson4 years ago
That is a brilliant suggestion!
Firstly, thanks for this instructable scoochmaroo, it's been very eye-opening for me :) Secondly, I have a question about the water...do you know if it's OK to use deionised water instead of distilled? I bought a big container of deionised after a shop assistant assured me they were the same, only to get home and google it to find that actually, they are slightly different. Do you have any idea if it will do the job? Cheers R
scoochmaroo (author)  rocketboyroger5 years ago
De-ionized water is great. Go for it!
...also, do you think this is suitable for using as hand wash...after all, it's got the tea tree oil's antiseptic qualities :)
scoochmaroo (author)  rocketboyroger4 years ago
I use this as my everything wash. Tea tree oil is great for my acne-prone skin!
That's brilliant! I am planning to use it the same way (I've just refilled all my hand wash dispensers and shower gel bottle with a batch) It just smells so damn nice :D Thanks again
Excellent! Thanks for letting me know :D

another question...if I use the "scented" liquid castile soap do I need the essential oils also?

Well you can add different scents that go with your castile soap or just leave it. I don't bother with other scents because i am happy with the smell of my castile soap :)

PamD223 days ago
varocketry25 days ago

@FaithRawks:

Hahahahaha .... Baking Soda followed by vinegar.

I bet you got your jollies thinking you'd mess with people with that one. Shame.

It takes a while to adjust to this kind of shampoo. Because it's so runny, you need to use enough, to really get a lather up. I had an extreme reaction to hair dye, about 6 years ago, which has left me unable to use, even the mildest of shampoos. I HAD to make this work, and I'm really happy with the results. I have waist-length hair, & I only need to wash it, once a week.

I found a recipe on eHow, that uses chamomille tea, instead of water. After a bit of tweaking, my recipe is: 1 cup of castile soap, 1 tsp of almond oil,1 cup of tea, made with 2 Tbsps (or 8 teabags) of chamomile flowers, & lately, I've added 1 Tbsp of bicarb to it, and that's sorted a lot of the bugs out.

Just wondering about the tea, so you add 1 cup of water to boil and add 8 teabags to it? Same with the flowers but 2 tbs? Thanks
jodajj.banks2 months ago

Can you use normal soap?

It takes a while to adjust to this kind of shampoo. Because it's so runny, you need to use enough, to really get a lather up. I had an extreme reaction to hair dye, about 6 years ago, which has left me unable to use, even the mildest of shampoos. I HAD to make this work, and I'm really happy with the results. I have waist-length hair, & I only need to wash it, once a week.

I found a recipe on eHow, that uses chamomille tea, instead of water. After a bit of tweaking, my recipe is: 1 cup of castile soap, 1 tsp of almond oil,1 cup of tea, made with 2 Tbsps (or 8 teabags) of chamomile flowers, & lately, I've added 1 Tbsp of bicarb to it, and that's sorted a lot of the bugs out.

It takes a while to adjust to this kind of shampoo. Because it's so runny, you need to use enough, to really get a lather up. I had an extreme reaction to hair dye, about 6 years ago, which has left me unable to use, even the mildest of shampoos. I HAD to make this work, and I'm really happy with the results. I have waist-length hair, & I only need to wash it, once a week.

I found a recipe on eHow, that uses chamomille tea, instead of water. After a bit of tweaking, my recipe is: 1 cup of castile soap, 1 tsp of almond oil,1 cup of tea, made with 2 Tbsps (or 8 teabags) of chamomile flowers, & lately, I've added 1 Tbsp of bicarb to it, and that's sorted a lot of the bugs out.

trixie233 months ago
If vinegar corrects the pH, can I use vinegar instead of water when mixing for dry hair shampoo?

I have read on the Dr. Bronner's website that vinegar and castile soap cancel each other out. Just like vinegar and baking soda cancel each other, too. That's why you see a foaming acting when you combine the 2. Once the foam is gone, it's useless.

I have found that castille soap works great for me. I simply dilute it 3 1/2 - 4 parts water to 1 part soap. Takes around 2 oz to wash my hair (below the shoulder) and entire body. I condition my hair with vinegar water (about 1 vinegar to 1 water, adjust until your hair is soft and tangle free). When I first tried castille soap, my hair was awful. If it leaves a residue, you need to dilute it more. It took my hair a week or two to adjust to no chemicals, now it is soft and dandruff free!

Hello everyone! Can I use lavender oil in place of the peppermint or tea tree oil and will it make a difference? Thank-you!!!

i live in england and ive never heard of castile soap , so what can i use instead ? :)

amazon.com

about 20 a bottle (US dollars) but you dilute it to use for most purposes. Lasts a long time.

Castile soap is actual, TRUE soap, not detergent. Though real soap can also be made the same way castile is but with an animal fat like lard. Basically castile is the only real soap available to us that is not a chemical detergent (like what they use to degrease engines with). So when you hear of "soap making" or something along those lines you can be sure it's castile. I am allergic to detergents so I am now only using castile but since it's so expensive here in the US I have to be mindful not to overuse it, which is hard as I also have to use it to wash my clothes and bed sheets.

I recommend you either buy it from Dr. Bronners website, or find a local retailer: https://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/category/BABYMILD.h...

Castile (cas-teal) soap is the original basic soap made from 100% plant based oils (originally it was made only from olive oil, but coconut oil is very popular due to its thick creaminess lather) Dr Bronners site also has a list of about 18 different uses for the liquid castile soap, In short, there really is not substitute for it. :)

aohlmann1 year ago

Does anyone know if this can be used for body wash or hand soap?

works great as a body wash!! not as drying as regular soap!

I dilute it to 2-3 water to 1 castille soap. Lasts forever, does not take more than a couple tablespoons to get a loofah full of suds.

I use Dr Bronners for hand soap, in dispensers, diluted with water to prevent the dispenser from getting stopped up. I have also used it in the past for bathing, currently I am using something else though.

I am here cause my go-to shampoo has a new improved formula with lots of additives that will no doubt trigger allergies. Knew I needed a rinse to adjust the PH and needed info on a formula. I guess its 1/4 cup vinegar/ 8 oz water.

cnp03226 months ago

I cannot believe this. I tried the first shampoo mixture and it left my hair feeling the WORST it ever has in my life!!!! I am SO upset it looks and feels HORRIBLE, rough, i cant even get a comb through it and when it dried it looked totally waxy. I almost felt like crying!!! The castile soap was so DAMAGING i dont know what to do and am considering going back to shampoo for the horrible condition this mixture left my hair in. I'M SO UPSET DO NOT TRY THIS CASTILE SOAP MIXTURE!!!!!

Sadly, I did not read this comment before trying this ( not from this post, but the same formula from another) I am in this exact same situation right this minute. Googling anything I can to find a solution! I Believe it is because we have hard water... maybe? I trying rewashing with baking soda and doing and apple cider vinegar rinse but it only helped a bit.My hair looks and feels waxy.

At first the castille soap did the same for me. I simply diluted it more because it was too much oils for my hair. I use at least 3 water to 1 castille soap when I use it for shampoo and body wash. I bought the organic baby kind and added peppermint oil to it. It works well, but you must let your hair and scalp adjust over several weeks to the lack of chemicals and such. I follow up with a half and half apple cider vinegar and water rinse. My hair comes out soft and tangle free.

KristenB16 months ago

Do you also have a recipe for conditioner?

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