Homemade Shampoo Recipes

Natural shampoo recipes you can make at home

Making your own homemade shampoo is healthy for your pocketbook and your planet. It's good not to be pouring nasty chemicals onto your head and down the drain.

That said, it's a lot harder to make an effective natural shampoo than you might think. If you have fine hair, you may find that homemade shampoo recipes weigh it down or dry it out. If you have oily hair, your homemade shampoo may leave it looking greasy and heavy.

I'm sad to say this, but after months of research, experimentation and growing frustration (not to mention feeling ugly) I went back to using commercial shampoo - I can't for the life of me make a natural shampoo that works for my fine, frizzy hair.

Commercial Versus Natural Hair Shampoo

The main thing commercial shampoos get right is the balance of ingredients to get your hair clean without weighing it down or drying it out. This is a lot harder with a pure soap shampoo.

There's a BIG difference in the way homemade shampoo feels compared to drugstore or salon shampoo.

Commercial shampoos generally add chemicals to create a lot of foamy bubbles so the experience feels more effective. But the sensation of lather isn't really related to the amount of cleanliness.

So when you start using natural shampoo recipes, give yourself a little time to get used to them - at least a week - so you can see the results and assess the change in texture. You'll find that homemade hair shampoo works best if you follow it with a vinegar hair rinse to reduce product buildup and balance your hair's pH.

Also, be aware that too-frequent washing strips your hair of its natural defenses (natural hair oil is necessary in small amounts!) If your hair isn't prone to oiliness, once every couple of days is probably enough.

Basic Homemade Shampoo Recipe


1/2 cup (120ml) liquid Castille Soap

1/2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin

Optional: 1/4 tsp Vitamin E (1 capsule)

Optional: 2 tablespoons (30ml) Aloe Vera gel


Combine all the ingredients in a dark glass or PET plastic bottle. Shake before using.

Follow with natural conditioner and vinegar hair rinse.

Homemade Shampoo Recipes with Essential Oils

You can boost the cleaning power of your shampoo - and make it smell delicious - with essential oils. Try the following:

Dry Hair

5 drops lavender, 1 drop each chamomile, clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang

Oily Hair

5 drops rosemary, 4 drops juniper OR lavender, 1 drop cedarwood

Thin Hair/ Hair Loss

5 drops rosemary, 3 drops peppermint, 2 drops bay


5 drops tea tree, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops rosemary

Caution: Don't use peppermint and rosemary essential oils if you have high blood pressure or epilepsy. Use essential oils with caution on skin during pregnancy.

Click here to see the best essential oils for your hair color.

Herbal Homemade Shampoo Recipes

Adding a herbal infusion to your homemade shampoo will enhance the color and healthy appearance of your hair. Here's how to make one:

  1. Combine 1/4 cup (60ml) distilled water with 1 tablespoon each of the appropriate herbs in a small pot and bring to a boil on the stove.
  2. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Strain out the herbs and add to the basic shampoo recipe above, along with 5 drops of grapefruit seed extract (a natural preservative). Click to buy grapefruit seed extract.

Blonde Hair

Dried Calendula, Chamomile, Lemon Peel

Red Hair

Dried Calendula, Hibiscus, Cinnamon Bark

Dark Hair

Black Tea, Dried Rosemary, Cloves

Gray Hair

Dried Sage, Rosemary, Thyme

Note: The infusion for gray hair smells pretty "herbal", but lots of people say it really does bring back your original hair color if you use it daily.

What Next?

Don't stop with homemade shampoo recipes! Complete your natural hair care routine more healthy, fun to make natural hair recipes. Enjoy!

Natural Hair Conditioner

Vinegar Hair Rinse

Natural Hair Color

Natural Hair Loss Products

Natural Hair Remedies

Natural Hair Products Main Page

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Homemade Shampoo Recipes