My DIY shampoo recipe

BreegletBreeglet Posts: 14Registered Users
Hi guys. I'm a 2b/c lopo and I really like making my own products when it's convenient.

Recently I got into making shave gels & hand soap out of Dr. Bronner's castille soap and when I ran out of shampoo decided to replace it with that. The thing is using straight castille soap on your hair - even though my hair still came out really soft, it was coming out squeaky-clean and was a bit too drying. The truth is that I was being really lazy about replenishing some of my other DIY ingredients until recently, so now that I had a fun shopping trip at the co-op here is my shampoo recipe I came up with:

1/2 cup castille soap (I used Dr. Bronner's lavender)
1/2 cup almond oil (for lopo, can substitute with other oils)
3/4 cup green tea (I used 3 teabags, celestial brand - it's a blend of green tea and white tea)
2tbsp honey
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
2tbsp aloe gel (straight from the plant in my case - not sure how it works for people without plants)
15 drops tea tree oil
15 drops peppermint oil
15 drops rosemary oil
1tsp xanthan gum dissolved in 2tsp vitamin e oil

I just used it today with nice results - I always have a bit of a fear of my hair coming out greasy if I don't get it clean enough because that has been my experience in the past. As a result I end up neglecting to moisturize my hair properly and have had to adjust my view on shampoos. I have to say I was afraid this would leave my hair incredibly greasy since it's basically 1/3 oil.

This shampoo left my hair looking clean and healthy. Since I don't put products in my bangs (I have bettie bangs) I usually use them as a frame of reference for shampoo/conditioner performance - my bangs are feeling really soft and shiny.

The shampoo is really watery - I reused my old shampoo bottle as a container but it may be wise to invest in one of those ketchup bottles with the cone tips for more control over where it comes out. I am going to see if there are any easy ways to thicken the solution without interfering with performance. Probably going to nab some xanthan gum and go with that. Will report back with results & update recipe if necessary.

Update: I added xanthan gum to my shampoo and it is currently sitting in the freezer cooling off because I also decided to combine it with the leftover teabags (hisbiscus black tea fyi) & flaxseeds from making my FSG. In the future I'll probably reuse my flaxseeds while I'm boiling the tea for my shampoo instead of boiling all of the contents together, for convenience and to diminish loss of product.

When adding xanthan gum I had to do reserch - basically you want about .5-1% of your solution to be xanthan gum. With a 16oz container this works out to about 1tsp of xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is best added when dissolved in an oil or glycerin. I just bought vitamin e oil for my FSG yesterday and decided to use that since the shampoo was lacking it. I dissolved the xanthan gum and then added it to my shampoo solution after it had cooled down. My shampoo is much more viscous now, which is what I like. And it has some of the benefits of flax & hisbiscus and black tea added in.


  • anne01anne01 Posts: 10Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thank you for the shampoo recipe :-) Will try it out..
  • fihefihe Posts: 101Registered Users
    Thank you for the recipe. I actually just washed my hair and body with a DIY shampoo with castile soap (ended up also using it as a body wash). I didn't use any measuring cups or spoons, just the proportions in the bottle. I filled an empty trial-sized shampoo bottle halfway with lavender castile soap, then an additional quarter with water, the last eighth with agave nectar (as a humectant, for my low porosity hair), and added several drops of argan oil. I honestly didn't like it very much as a shampoo. Of course it was very liquidy, but it was also very sticky, probably from the agave nectar. It was so runny that I ended up just squirting it directly on my head. I had to use quite a bit of my normal VO5 Strawberries & Cream conditioner after shampooing, including some near the roots, which I never do since I have oily roots. I then used my Ion Anti-Frizz Solutions leave-in conditioner after washing, which I only use once in a while, then my normal LA Looks Define & Shine gel. Right now, my head is a bit itchy. If it persists, I will apply some leave-in conditioner to my roots.

    Next time, I will try using different ingredients, in different proportions. I was afraid to use too much oil since I have oily hair. However, I think just water may not have been enough to dilute the castile soap and make it suitable for use on the hair.

    Thanks for the tip on xanthan gum! Apparently dissolving it in oil or glycerin helps: How (not) to dissolve Xanthan gum (and other gums) - heureka!
    Check out my new blog:
    My Type 2 Hair
  • fihefihe Posts: 101Registered Users
    OK, I just tried making my shampoo recipe again. This time, I used about half of the small bottle with the same lavender castile soap, and a little bit less each of the water and agave nectar. I also added xanthan gum mixed with olive oil, and also some vitamin E oil. The mixture was, of course, thicker, and seemed more moisturizing on my hands. I will try it on my hair when I wash it again in two days.

    My hair is just about dry and looks pretty good, but my head really itches now! Despite having oily roots, I may need oil on my scalp rather than just leave-in conditioner. Oh no!
    Check out my new blog:
    My Type 2 Hair

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file