Natural Recipe – Make DIY Herbal Shampoo
I’m making my own homemade shampoo today. You might think I’m crazy and asking why you should bother, since a bottle of shampoo sells for .99 cents at the local grocery. Several reasons actually –
- -Even thought the shampoo at the grocery is cheap, it has chemicals in it, really bad chemicals. It’s basically as artificial as you can get. Maybe you want to be able to control what goes in and on your body and limit the exposure your family has to these harsh chemicals. If you do find a shampoo that isn’t full of bad chemicals, it doesn’t fit into a frugal budget very well.
- -Making homemade shampoo will save you money, and who doesn’t want to save money these days? With just a few ingredients – ones you probably already have on hand – you can make a batch of shampoo for pennies.
- -It is a preparedness skill that you need to have. You could store a years worth of shampoo in bottles (if you have the space) or wash your hair with bar soap (good idea if you are making shampoo bars, otherwise FRIZZ!!) If there is an economic challenge for your family, you will be glad you have the skills and supplies on hand.
Ingredients for Homemade Shampoo: Yield: 16 ounces
16 oz herb infused distilled water
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
6 tsp of Castile Soap
15-20 drops essential oil
Plastic Bottle Flip Top bottle
Directions for making DIY Homemade Shampoo
1. Heat 16 oz of distilled water and let your herbal infusion steep for 10-15 minutes so you have a strong tea. Cover it with a plate or plastic wrap while it’s infusing, so you keep the herb properties in the water. You can heat your water and pour it into a bowl, add the tea bags and cover it, or use a French Coffee Press like I do. It makes it easy to strain out the loose herbs when you’re done.
You might as well get some of the beneficial properties of herbs as long as you are doing this, but it’s not necessary. You can use plain distilled water and skip the herbs all together.
Which herbs could you use? The possibilities are endless, but here are some suggestions.
Chamomile Calendula, Lemon, Sunflower petals will lighten fair hair. To make a rinse, pour 2 cups boiling water over 1/4 cup of herbs. Cool; strain before using.
Rhubarb: This also will lighten hair. Use 1/4 cup chopped, fresh rhubarb to 2 cups boiling water. Cool; strain before using.
Sage, Lavender, Cinnamon, Black Tea, Black Walnut hulls (crushed or chopped), Comfrey root, Nettle, and Rosemary will darken hair. Use 1/4 cup herbs (or 3 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces) to 2 cups boiling water. Cool; strain before using.
Hibiscus flowers, Calendula, Henna, Red Clover flowers, Rose hips, and Red Rose petals will give red highlights to light or dark hair. Use dry flowers or herbal tea containing hibiscus flowers. Steep the flowers in boiling water to the shade you desire. Cool; strain before using. Remember you can always go darker, so start out with a weak mixture.
2. Once the water is infused to your liking, pour it into a glass bowl and add 3 teaspoons of baking soda – stirring until it is completely dissolved. The infused water should still be hot. The baking soda, which is an excellent cleaner, will help break down any grease in your hair.
3. While your water is still hot, whisk in 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, a little at a time. Whisking small amounts at a time is the key here – it will clump up into a big gooey ball if you put it all in at once, and will not thicken your whole batch. You will be left with little bits of xanthan in your shampoo, which is not pretty. (Have you ever done that in gravy? I have!)
You can find xanthan gum at most places that sell baking ingredients, it is used as a thickening agent and forms a kind of gel. A thickening agent is not really necessary, but does make your homemade shampoo seem like store shampoo. Thickness is perceived as “richness”.
There are several ways to make a shampoo thick. Other effective thickeners are gums including guar and cellulose gum. Gums have the advantage to act also as a foam stabilizer and suspending agent able to keep insoluble particles like pigments or anti-dandruff additions in suspension. Gums do not penetrate the skin as do other thickeners. You could also experiment with cornstarch or glycerin to see how that works.
4. Once you have finished with the whisk, add 6 teaspoons of castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s is famous and they make heavenly scents. I used an unscented soap that I purchased from Liberty Natural Products.
5. Once your shampoo is cooled, add an essential oil of our choice. If you wait until the shampoo cools, it will retain more of the scent. You might need more essential oil if you are using unscented castile soap.
6. Put your awesome homemade herbal shampoo into your flip top bottle and enjoy!
Moneycrashers.com has several recipes that look interesting, here is another variation with castile soap and they also have a recipe for dry shampoo.
Yield: 4 ounces.
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup liquid soap, such as castile
1/2 teaspoon light vegetable oil (omit if you have very oily hair.)
Mix together all ingredients. Pour the shampoo into a clean squeeze bottle or empty shampoo bottle. Shampoo as you normally would and rinse well with cool water.
Naturopathic Control has an interesting Aloe Vera Shampoo that you might want to try.
Now that I have created my own homemade shampoo, I’m hooked! I love the small batches, money saving and the possibilities of all the different scents and herbal infusions. My only problem may be space in the shower for all my creations. Have you ever created your own herbal shampoo? Share a recipe in the comments below.
You might want to see what other herbal ideas we’ve found on our Pinterest Board DIY Soaps, Lotions & Creams
Yasmina Mulji says
I love whatever I have read so far.
Kapil Baga says
Hi.. very good post. Can we add preservatives in this shampoo? In other words can we make this shampoo for selling purpose?
Hi Kapil, you can certainly experiment by adding preservatives and see what you come up with!
Thank you for the informative post. I was wondering if this shampoo will lighten hair because of the soap? What type of soap can you use that won’t lighten hair? How can you make one with the essential oils that won’t change hair color?Do you have any advice on how to make a natural version of Paul. Mitchell Special Tea Tree Shampoo? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you
Hi Ann, it has not had that effect on me.
I love this DIY! Definitely going to try it, and very soon, too. Hopefully I like it just as much as you did and I do not doubt that it will. Thanks!
Do you have to shake before each use? I have a wall mounted dispenser so I am looking for a recipe that doesn’t separate. Thanks!