Introduction: A Homemade Herbal Shampoo

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

I never had to worry about my hair until I moved to the Southwest. In the 70's I used to buy Yucca Dew shampoo which made my hair so manageable but it was discontinued and I could no longer find it. I started using other brands with great disappointment! I have used Tea Tree shampoo but was not fond of the fragrance. If I knew then what I know now, I would have made my own! The recipe has 2 ingredients and the method is quick and easy! 

The yucca shrub grows abundantly here in the Southwest. The American Indians used the perennial shrub containing saponins for soap, the leaves and trunk fibers for starting fires,andleaves were made into cordage for basket weaving. To read more:
Follow through and I will show you how to make a herbal shampoo using the root of the yucca plant.

Step 1: Additional Information

I have been interested in natural products, herbs, and vitamins for many years. I am not an expert on the subject of soap making and this information is based solely on my personal experience, so please do the necessary research to discover what method will meet your needs. Everyone has different types of hair because of the food and water we eat and drink and where we live. It is important to do the research on this plant because it is toxic. Some people are allergic to yucca. I would not use this product on small children. Kids have such sensitive skin. Perhaps using baking soda would be a better option for parents with small children.

I tried to use the root of a larger yucca shrub and the root was very hard and the soap did not produce much liquid. So I assume  younger plants would yield more Sapiens.  This shampoo works for cleaning, washing clothes, bathing, and as a personal shampoo. Another beauty about this shampoo is you can make it in the wild by placing a yucca leaf over a flat rock and  pound the length of the leaf with another rock to release the suds. Then rinse the leaf in the river and roll the leaf between your fingers to form a cord, bending the cord in half a couple of times and use the cord for a wash cloth filled with suds! 

Switching from a commercial product to an herbal one will be a challenging experience. This shampoo does lather nicely when you are making the shampoo, however it did not lather as much when I washed my hair. It cleaned my hair without stripping the natural oils and left it shiny and manageable. This has a natural woodsy herbal kind of smell. Not overly strong. My husband noticed a difference in the texture of my hair. He said that my hair smelled clean and natural with no perfume odor. I liked the simplicity of this recipe. I experimented with this recipe and found a way to make the shampoo in a gel form and add some colors and still keep the recipe simple.

I made some  of the shampoo adding 1 package of Knox unflavored Gelatine and some fresh rose petals to the mixture and poured the mixture into an ice cube tray, and placed it in the refrigerator.  It helped reduce the amount of shampoo that I used.  The shampoo is very good but it did not have many suds.

When I was young I used to wash my hair everyday. Not anymore. I have learned that it damages the hair. Natural oils are removed when we wash our hair too often. The body has a natural acid mantle which is a protective layer that protects the skin and is removed when using strong soaps. If you are interested in more information here is a good link:

Switching is going to be a challenge for many and should be done with patience. It takes about 2 to 4 weeks for some to begin to notice the benefits of using a natural product. One should . . .  ever so often . . .  use a different product for a week or so because the body will not react the same if used over a long period of time. In some cases doctors will change the patients prescriptions so the patient does not become immune to the medication. 

Beauticians will experience negative results with hair dies and perms if the customer has well water, eats a lot of eggs, consumes certain medications, or uses a vinegar hair rinse. 

Yucca root can be purchased through a health food store in a root powder if you do not have access to the yucca plant. Soap-wart or tea tree oil can be used for making shampoo. The soap-wart has an offensive odor but a person can add different ingredients to change the odor.  There are many recipes online for homemade shampoo. I wanted mine to be as natural as I could make it and limit the ingredients. I am happy with it so far. I may add jojoba oil to my recipe later on. I recommend applying the shampoo to the dry scalp working it into the hair then add water and massage the scalp. Rinse the scalp and finish off with 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar added to a 1 cup water solution.
Because this shampoo is not concentrated or does not contain additives it takes more shampoo than commercial brands. When I make this again I will reduce the amount of water I add to the blender and try to make a paste. I will also find something natural that I might add to produce a few more suds. 

Here is an awesome collection of homemade shampoos from the editor of the living Chanel:

Step 2: Ingredients and Utensils

4 cups tap water or distilled water ( 4 cups of water is what I listed because that is what I used, but I think if you reduced it to 2 cups it may be thicker and better.) I will try and make some more and update this instructable.
1/2 cup of yucca root or 2 medium size roots yields approximately 1 cup shampoo
Serrated knife and sharp knife
Glass Bottle (with lid or use a cork) or plastic bottle if you choose
Cutting board
Potato peeler optional
I stored my shampoo in the fridge and stored the extra root in a glass of water. I am treating the root like I would a potato. I stored a few roots in the freezer also. I will update this tutorial after I have used the shampoo for a month or so. I want to try to make it lather better and just play with it! I might add lavender oil because I love nice smelling shampoos. Please remember not to store in an aluminium container. 

Step 3: Gather and Wash

Wash hands thoroughly.
I apologize for not having a picture of us digging the root.
Basically you carefully dig a section of the yucca's root and remove only the top section of the root, being careful not to touch the open end of the root, leaving the bottom section to be replanted.  
You replant the yucca so it will continue to grow, this is good for the plant because it stimulates the roots.
Wash your hands before cutting the yucca,body oils will react with the root and it won't work as well.
Trim off the outside bark of the cut root, using a knife.

Step 4: Cut

Wash hands again.
Cut the roots into chunky pieces.

Step 5: Dice

Dice into small pieces. The pulp is quite stringy so small pieces work best in a blender.

Step 6: Blend

Add the water to the blender.
Add the yucca root.
Blend thoroughly to yield as much of the soap as possible.

Step 7: Strain

Strain to remove the liquid and separate the solids.
Reserve the pulp for the garden or make some paper!

Step 8: Bottle

Using a funnel pour the liquid soap into the bottle. 
 I always have to give my homemade stuff the Sunshiine flair! 
I made a cord from the yucca and tied it around the bottle and attached small tag.
If you want a gel formula add 1 packet Knox gelatin to a small amount of very hot water and stir until dissolved.
Add this mixture to the pure yucca liquid and mix thoroughly.
Lightly oil an ice cube tray. 
Pour the mixture into the molds.
Chill until set.
Remove the cubes and store in the refrigerator or freezer in a sealed container.

Step 9: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts

More and more people are concerned about the chemicals that are in commercial products. The solution is to make your own and grow your own!  I think the end results are more often beneficial than not! Care and research should be thorough because mixing products can be dangerous! Always test a small sample of shampoo on your skin to be sure you have no skin reactions. 

I am planning on making more tutorials using the yucca so please visit again soon!   

I wish to thank Instructables, our sponsors, and loyal readers for making this a great place to share!
Thank you for stopping by and may your soap making experience be perfect!

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