How to Make Your Own Organic Shampoo: 5 Easy Recipes

Natural cosmetics with lavender for skincare, body and hair care. Composition with bottles cleansing moisturizer and brush for skin cleansing and massage.
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If your commercial shampoo has your locks looking lifeless, or you’re interested in diving into the world of clean beauty, it might be time to try making your own organic shampoo at home.

Commercially made shampoos may contain ingredients that are harsh on your hair and may strip it of protective oils and moisture. And that sudsy lather that forms when you shampoo your hair? Those bubbles are caused by chemicals called surfactants. They basically trap oil and remove it from your hair.

Each of the DIY shampoo recipes below features natural ingredients that contain nourishing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fats that will keep your hair clean and nourished while helping out the environment. You may not get a head full of suds, but we’re pretty sure you won’t miss them.

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Basic Shampoo

Olive oil, cotton pads and wooden hairbrush. Ingredients for preparing homemade hair mask. Natural beauty treatment recipe and zero waste concept. Top view, copy space.
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This recipe is a favorite of Janice Cox, author of the Natural Beauty at Home blog. According to the clean beauty expert, "homemade shampoo contains fewer ingredients and won’t have the same foaming action you may be used to, but it cleans your hair and scalp just as effectively. Plus, a homemade option is more cost-effective.”

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup mild liquid soap (Castile soap works well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon light vegetable or canola oil

Directions

Gently stir all of the ingredients together, being careful not to beat the mixture, as this will cause it to foam up. Pour the shampoo into a clean plastic container.

To use, shampoo as you normally would, then rinse well with cool water.

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Olive Oil Shampoo

Pouring extra virgin olive oil in a glass bowl
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Another one of Cox's favorites, this olive oil shampoo uses only three ingredients to achieve clean, naturally moisturized hair.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup liquid soap (Castile-style vegetable soap works well)

Directions

Stir together all ingredients and pour in a clean bottle with a tight-fitting lid. You may need to shake this shampoo before using to remix the ingredients.

Consider adding your favorite essential oils to this recipe and practice a bit of aromatherapy as you cleanse your hair. If your hair is oily, cut back on the amount of olive oil.

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Calming Shampoo

High angle view of Chamomile Tea in cup by spoon on table
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Calming chamomile in this shampoo recipe will help soothe your scalp and your senses.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unscented organic Castile-style vegetable soap
  • 5-6 organic chamomile tea bags
  • 1.5 tablespoons of organic cold-pressed coconut oil

Directions

Boil the water. Steep the tea bags in water for 15 minutes and remove. Add remaining ingredients and stir until blended.

You may need to warm up this shampoo if the coconut oil has solidified to remix the ingredients before using it.

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Dandruff Shampoo

cosmetic bottle and fresh organic coconut for skincare, natural background
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic Castile-style vegetable soap
  • 2 tablespoons distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Directions

Stir together the first three ingredients and pour in a clean bottle with a tight-fitting lid.

Carefully melt coconut oil and shea butter and add to mixture. Shake to stir. Add essential oil and shake again.

To use, shampoo as you would normally and rinse well with cool water. Be sure to shake the shampoo before using it, as ingredients may settle.

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Dry Shampoo

A jar of organic non-toxic chemicals free dry shampoo. DIY project for healthy low toxic living. Simple shampoo powder containing just natural ingredients, cocoa powder, cornstarch and essential oil.
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Dry shampoo is ideal between washes to absorb the natural oils and give your hair volume.

Ingredients

For light hair:

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary, lavender, or another fragrant herb or 24 drops of organic essential oil of your choice

For dark hair: 

  • 1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup kaolin clay
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary, lavender, or another fragrant herb of your choice or 24 drops of your favorite organic essential oil

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small container with a lid that seals tightly. Apply a small amount to roots with fingers or a powder brush until it blends in. Repeat as needed. 

Originally written by
Lambeth Hochwald
Lambeth Hochwald is a lifestyle writer and editor and an adjunct professor of journalism at NYU.
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