Instructables
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

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

Picture of STIMULATE
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

Picture of QUENCH
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.
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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 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)  espohranderson3 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)  rocketboyroger4 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

Very nice alternative. Thanks

Castille soap is not shampoo. It is soap. It is highly alkaline and only suitable for virgin, healthy hair. When I tried it my hair felt all gummy and then when dry it was like straw. Shampoo has surfactants and is pH balanced and mild. Soap is absolutely terrible for damaged or color treated hair! I'm glad at least the one person above is rinsing with apple cider vinegar-that will help bring the pH back, but high alkaline causes damage that can't be totally reversed.

aohlmann5 months ago

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

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.

mufary5 years ago
Dandruff is also often caused by a fungal infection of Malassezia furfur or the yeast Pityrosporum ovale. However, guess what's been shown to treat that fungus pretty well? Tea tree oil! A 5% solution of tea tree oil makes a great antifungal. Would your recipe tolerate tea tree oil at 5% -- would it still lather well? I'm going to try it!!

{source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12451368 and *blush* Wikipedia}
MadelineR1 mufary3 months ago

How did it work out for you? I'd like to try it.

scoochmaroo (author)  mufary5 years ago
Go for it. I use the tea tree/peppermint combination because I have scalp troubles too. It's been great! Tea tree oil is great for a variety of skin irritations/problems.
Just be careful, some people are quite sensitive to tea tree oil; there have been a number of reported cases of dermatitis related to tea tree oil. Your best bet for a liquid soap are those made from vegetable oils and potassium hydroxide using a superfatted recipe. This means either looking for the specific oils and potassium hydroxide, or looking for ingredients like potassium olivate and potassium cocoate. Sodium hydroxide creates a much harder soap that then has to be diluted with water. Dr. Bronner's soap doesn't state the caustic agent used, whether it is sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide (neither of these two ingredients can be certified organic as far as I know) or using organic potash water created from burning organically harvested palm leaves and soaking the ashes in soft rainwater until the potassium leaches from the ashes into the water. It is safe to assume that the chemicals were used unless otherwise promoted.
Dr. Bronner's is certified organic. I highly doubt he would have added chemicals if he could have used a natural alternative. If nothing else, mufary, you could use Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil soap.
Being a soapmaker myself, I know that it's cheaper for me to get industrial grade sodium hydroxide than to grow and collect palm oil trees, harvest the leaves, burn them in a manner accepted by the local fire and environmental authorities, leach the potassium into collected and filtered rainwater, and test the pH level until it's caustic enough to make soap. I was unable to find "certified organic lye" anywhere. Dr. Bronner's soap is probably organic in the sense that any ingredient that can be certified organic is (like the vegetable oils and the essential scent oils).
This is very funny! I often have this attitude as well!
AWESOME!!!

TY for posting
scoochmaroo (author)  mufary5 years ago
I used to use selenium disulfide shampoos to treat the same condition. I didn't realize it was Malassezia that I was treating, but it was the only thing that worked. Your comment helped me figure that out!
liam71 year ago
Hi!

The amount of each ingredient used, does it not depend on how many oz bottle your trying to fill?
bdun liam73 months ago

Well the Quench recipe above ends up to 1 cup + 1 teaspoon. 1 tsp I think is 5ml and 1 cup is 8oz which is 240ml so 240+5 = 245ml which is 8.16666oz or 8.2oz so you need a bottle that is 9oz for this recipe. :)

BojanaJ3 months ago

I've used Dr. Bonner's castile soap for my hands, and I noticed it felt a little sticky as I was rinsing. I would assume it could cause some problems with my hair (it is insanely curly). any advice/recommendations?

bdun BojanaJ3 months ago

I use Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap and do not notice any kind of odd feeling when washing my hands or hair with it. Though my hair frizzes very easily so I have to also use ACV+water as a rinse after shampooing to get rid of the frizz. Since your hair is very curly, I recommend looking up "The Curly Girl Method" for hair care. Mine is a 2A wavy hair but my hair frizzes like crazy so I may start looking more into that method again. Good luck.

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

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. :)

marymac4 months ago

Long, long time ago I had added an envelope of Knox gelatin to 16 oz bottles of inexpensive shampoo to give it another benefit of the shampoo. Well, doh!! It makes the shampoo thicker and might help to keep this version from being separated and make it a bit easier to apply. My "refill" will include the gelatin this time.

Oh, I didn't have a bottle handy to reuse so I bought a bottle in the kitchen department. I was looking for a ketchup dispenser but this time, it is clear plastic and I like it better than anything else I could find.

FaithRawks4 months ago

The most all natural shampoo and rinse that I have used is Baking soda for washing and ACV or white vinegar for rinse rinse. Wet hair and sprinkle 1/4 cup of baking soda massage it all through your hair.. It feels terrible as if you have stripped everything from your hair. (Don't panic) After rinsing that out of your hair take 1/4 cup of vinegar add it to a glass of water and rinse your hair.. Your hair will feel normal ;) You can rinse the vinegar rinse out or leave it.. Once your hair is dry you don't smell the vinegar at all.. I was told that this wash keeps the level of ph in your hair at it's proper level. I have been using this about 3 months and love it. My use to be dry hair is now soft and manageable. FYI note: soap suds is not a requirement for getting things clean. Chemicals have been added to make things suddy because of the propaganda that we all have been fed. ;)

horse poop7 months ago

brilliant!

lplayford8 months ago

Love the Peppermint shampoo!

renina9 months ago

Hi! May I ask how long I can keep this QUENCH shampoo recipe? Thank you!!! :)

Thanks so much for this! I have a question, I have castor oil on hand, could I use that instead of jojoba oil? I've heard its good for thickening and growing hair. Also peppermint gives me a headache so I was wondering if I could use any essential oil or if peppermint oil does something specific in the shampoo.

The peppermint essential oil is a matter of preference, not a requirement. Im sure castor oil would work fine since http://health.india.com/beauty/8-amazing-haircare-...

Also you can try using canola oil instead of jojoba, which usually comes out feeling less greasy than the latter.

Minnie5811 months ago
what homemade shampoo would you recommend for color treated hair?
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