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

Buy lavender, chamomile, clary sage, geranium, ylang ylang

Oily Hair

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

Buy rosemary, juniper, lavender, cedarwood

Thin Hair / Hair Loss

5 drops rosemary, 3 drops peppermint, 2 drops bay

Buy rosemary, peppermint, bay


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

Buy tea tree, lavender, rosemary


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.

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:


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.


Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes to an hour.


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

Buy calendula flowers, chamomile flowers, lemon peel

Red Hair

Dried Calendula, Hibiscus, Cinnamon Bark

Buy calendula flowers, hibiscus flowers, cinnamon chips

Dark Hair

Black Tea, Dried Rosemary, Cloves

Buy black tea, rosemary leaves, cloves

Gray Hair

Dried Sage, Rosemary, Thyme

Buy sage leaves, rosemary leaves, thyme leaves

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.

Where to Buy Homemade Shampoo Supplies

My favorite supplier for aromatherapy recipe ingredients like vegetable glycerin and aloe is Mountain Rose Herbs. Their prices are excellent and their quality is good. Here's some quick links to the ingredients you'll need for these homemade shampoo recipes...

Another supplier I really like is doTerra. They only supply oils though, not the base ingredients like emulsifying wax or carrier oils.

I switched to doTerra's oils a while ago when I tested them against the other brands in my stockpile. I found I got better results, and I never got headaches or skin irritation, which sometimes happened with other brands.

I was pretty resistant to trying them because their prices are higher than a lot of other brands, but when I saw and felt the difference on my skin, I was won over.

I find that because they're so effective, I can get away with using fewer drops per recipe, which helps even out the cost. So if you want high quality, ultra-effective oils, these guys are for you.

You can buy doTerra's oils at retail prices by clicking the Shop button at the top. Or click Join & Save to become a wholesale customer and get a store-wide 25% discount. Message me if you want more details on the wholesale deal - it's well worth it.

Amazon has epic variety - if you're a browsing kinda person, go nuts! Just remember, you get what you pay for. Please, please don't buy the cheapest oils - I promise you they'll be diluted with synthetic ick you don't want on your skin.

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

Target hair care treatments to your specific hair type - without unhealthy chemicals or synthetic additives.

Vinegar Hair Rinse

For shine, overall health and managability, and dandruff prevention. Oh, and as a side benefit, it also helps promote hair growth.

Natural Hair Color

Make your own natural hair dyes for healthy, chemical-free, all natural hair color.

Natural Hair Loss Products

Harness the restoring power of herbs and essential oils - and protect yourself from harmful chemicals and synthetic additives.

Natural Hair Remedies

Restore healthy shine, relieve dandruff and even reduce gray hair with these recipes.

Natural Hair Products Main Page

Lots of easy, inexpensive, natural hair recipes you can cook up in your kitchen... and then take into the bathroom.

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Homemade Shampoo Recipes

Still Looking?

Want to find more recipes for your hair color? Simply use the Search Box below.

For example, type in "dark hair" (without the quotes) and hit Search. Every page on this website that includes the words Dry Skin will pop up. Poke through them and decide which recipe to try next.