Sunday, March 03, 2013

Do-it-yourself shampoo

I've had several people ask about sharing our homemade shampoo ideas.  We have been making our own shampoo for several years and won't go back to buying it from the store.  Even the best organic natural shampoo may contain ingredients we don't want to put on our skin, not to mention that it's expensive. 

There are a few do-it-yourself shampoo options using ingredients you have in your kitchen - and all of these shampoos do not need to be used more than once or twice a week (it's a misconception that we need to wash our hair more often than that).  Give your hair a week or so to adjust to these new methods, as the natural oils needs to rebalance, but you will be amazed by the great results and shiny clean hair you get from these simple recipes:

1) Baking soda - yes, it can be as simple as this.  1/4 cup baking soda, mixed with 1 cup water.  Pour over your hair, massage gently, then rinse well for 2 minutes with cold water.  Occasionally follow with an apple cider vinegar rinse as a conditioner (1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup water).

2) Herbal liquid shampoo - 1/4 cup strong herbal infusion (chamomile for light hair, rosemary or sage for dark hair); plus 1/4 cup castile soap, and 1/2 tsp light oil (sweet almond oil).  Optional, adding a few drops of pure essential oil for scent and healing properties.  Pour small amount into your hand, lather and apply to hair.  Rinse well.

3) Herbal shampoo soap bars - there are some great recipes for making your own shampoo soap bars such as this one from Mother Earth News.  These bars are more portable if you are traveling, make nice gifts, and lather well if they are made using jojoba or castor oil.  They are made the cold-process soap method so you will need to learn to make soap first.  You can add herbal infusions or pure essential oils for additional healing properties.  Making shampoo soap bars is labour intensive and involves the most ingredients, but once you have made a batch you will have shampoo soap for a long time.  These bars last, and you only need a small amount per use.  Lather in your hand as you would a bar of soap, apply this to your hair and massage gently.  Then rinse well.


  1. I have found most recommendations for baking soda hair cleaning to be much too strong, resulting in hair that feels both brittle and greasy. (my hair is thin and fine; YMMV.)

    After some trial and error, I now use about one tablespoon of baking soda to 12 oz of water (the size of the last shampoo bottle I bought, 4 years ago), plus a few shavings from a shampoo bar I got at a Little City Farm holiday sale. The thin slivers of hard shampoo dissolve in the water.

    To wash my hair, I dole out about 1/4 cup of the watery liquid on my head and massage into my scalp, 2-3 times a week.

  2. Thank you for posting this!