10 Shampoo Recipes You Can Make at Home

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Consider this instructable your ultimate guide to making homemade shampoo! Here are ten easy shampoo 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.

Keep reading to learn how to make your own shampoo at home!

Step 1: Basic Shampoo Recipe

This shampoo is great for normal hair, or as a base to add your own scents.

Basic Shampoo Ingredients:

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 to get it out.
I am really impressed with how much lather I get from it though!

Step 2: Stimulate Shampoo Recipe

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!

Ingredients for Stimulate Shampoo:

Mix all ingredients, then store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Step 3: Moisturizing Shampoo Recipe

This shampoo is best for dry hair!

Moisturizing Shampoo Ingredients:

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 Shampoo Recipe

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

Soothe Shampoo Ingredients:

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: Dandruff Shampoo Recipe

Dandruff can affect 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 DIY shampoo!

Dandruff Shampoo Ingredients:

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 Shampoo Recipe

Fragrant and lively, try this shampoo recipe to add shine to your hair!

Shine Shampoo Ingredients:

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: Tea Tree and Rosemary Shampoo Recipe

This is a great shampoo for any hair type. It smells amazing!

Tee Tree and Rosemary Shampoo Ingredients:

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: Coconut Shampoo Recipe

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

Coconut Shampoo Ingredients:

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

Step 9: DIY Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo recipe is a great in-between treatment for hair. It can also come in handy 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 is unavailable.

Dry Shampoo Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or cocoa powder for dark hair
  • 1 tsp crushed lavender or other fragrant herb

Sprinkle enough of the mixture to cover all hair, and comb well through hair. You can use an old spice bottle with a sprinkle top for even application!

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

Step 10: No Poo Shampoo Recipe

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. No soap required!

No Poo Shampoo Ingredients:

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!

From time to time, I'll provide Amazon affiliate links to help me continue to contribute awesome Instructables.

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    324 Discussions

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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

    6 replies
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    CarineGPeterP4

    Reply 11 months ago

    You may try to put some salt into a small amount of it...

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    melpymelpersonPeterP4

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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

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    emelinesmelpymelperson

    Reply 2 years ago

    Castile Soap (at least Dr. Bronner's) is concentrated. If you are using it on your skin or hair it is wise to dilute it up to 50% (half water, half soap). Otherwise it can be overly drying or too harsh on your skin and hair. The Dr. Bronner's website for dilutions also instructs this. I've use it both ways and I have very dry skin and eczema. Diluting the soap makes my skin and hair much happier

    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!

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    ruoksgirlmelanie.klar

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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'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!

    1 reply
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    rocketboyroger

    8 years ago on Step 2

    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

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    rocketboyrogerscoochmaroo

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    ...also, do you think this is suitable for using as hand wash...after all, it's got the tea tree oil's antiseptic qualities :)

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    rocketboyrogerscoochmaroo

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 2

    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

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    shampo282

    Question 1 hour ago on Introduction

    since this is a mixture with water, does it need a preservative?

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    amarkarhh

    Question 2 months ago on Step 2

    Hello, I started making castile soap +aloe Vera shampoo for commercial purposes but noticed there’s a gradual color change from white to brown.

    How can I preserve the color of the shampoo and the extend it’s shelflife

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    FairishF

    1 year ago

    hi..i am very interested with organic stuff lately. i have very thick hair so i have to use conditioner. If i use this do I still need a conditioner or it already good enough?

    thank you

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    NymphadorableM

    2 years ago

    I think what everyone forgets is that our hair is part of our body that we use chemicals on at least sometimes. Making a new shampoo might not be the best first step. Maybe making a good conditioner should be first, then a great conditioner. Then a shampoo you want to try on the tips of your hair. Or to test if your boyfriend really loves you. Then if it works maybe you try it. Like maybe after he proves he loves you like a week and swears by your shampoo. But start small. I mean if I told you I spent the last two years growing my hair out, but saw this post where this chick posted how she folded her scarf over her head and pulled a ponytail through it and just cut off the rest and it gave her the most awesome cut ever and I saw the after cut would you cut your hair off? Course not. Test in tiny batches first. Always!

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    melanie.klar

    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.