Make Your Own Shampoo

When I was little, we used to go to the beach with my cousins.  It was a lot of fun, and sometimes we’d write or draw things in the wet sand.  One time, my cousin wrote that another cousin of ours makes his own shampoo.  For some reason my brothers and I found this hilarious.  Pro-tip: it’s because the word shampoo ends in poo.

Anyways, now that I’m making my own shampoo, I think about this story pretty regularly.

So, here are my two favourite shampoo recipes.  I’ll share them exactly as I make them, but bear in mind that I have very thick, brittle hair and a scalp prone to dandruff and itchiness.  I encourage you to tinker with them and find something that works for YOUR hair.  The measurements here make pretty small amounts so you can try them out and see what you think first.

1)   Peppermint Pick-me-up

This is my favourite.  The essential oils in this one are great for dandruffy scalps, but may be a little harsh for the rest of you.  It’s a wonderful scent to wake you up in the morning though!

You Will Need:

*1/4 cup of unscented liquid Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild)
*1/4 cup of filtered water
*1 tsp of Grapeseed Oil
*2 tsp of vegetable glycerin
*4 drops tea tree oil
*4 drops peppermint oil

Water not Pictured. You've seen it.

Mix all ingredients together.  These  recipes are much thinner than commercial shampoos, so I highly recommend using a spray bottle to apply them.  You’ll be impressed and surprised by how much just a misting lathers up though!

This is a great basic recipe, and easy to modify.  Try different combinations of essential oils!  I’m currently test-driving lavender instead of peppermint with nice results.  I also recommend citrus-y oils like lemon and orange if you’re looking for another peppy scent.

You can also replace the Grapeseed oil with Jojoba, Avocado, Sweet Almond, or whatever you like…each has it’s benefits!  Grapeseed is cheap though…thus it’s appeal in my house.  Try adding more oil and less glycerin if you need more intense moisturizing.  The Soap breaks it up enough to keep your head from feeling too greasy, but as I’ve mentioned, you should experiment to fit your needs.

UPDATE:  there’s a nice summary on Carrier (Base) Oils here.

2) Chamomile Calm

This is great for irritated, sensitive scalps.  Chamomile is soothing and has lightening properties, so don’t use it if you have something against radiant highlights.  This recipe is much easier on the moisturizing than the first one, so better for light cleansing.

*1/2 cup filtered water
*1/2 cup liquid Castile Soap
*3 Chamomile tea bags  (or about 3 tbsp of loose dried chamomile in a tea ball)
*2 tsp vegetable glycerin

Steep the tea bags in the water for 15-20 minutes on low heat.  Remove the tea bags and squeeze them out.  Allow to cool before adding the other ingredients.  Apply with a spray bottle as before.

This recipe is fairly easily modified by substituting other herbs for Chamomile.  Rosemary and Sage have restorative qualities, and are good for dandruff.  They’re better for enhancing dark colours though, so don’t go this route if your goal is platinum blonde.

Follow each shampooing with a hair rinse, or you may not like the results.  Real soap tends to leave hair dull looking and heavy.  I make the following simple recipe:

-1 cup of filtered water
-2-3 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
-4 drops Essential Oil (something to mask the Vinegar scent a bit…it’s pungent)

Mix it in a spray bottle and apply thoroughly.  The acidity will help restore your hair’s proper pH after shampooing, rinse out any residue, and leave your hair shiny!  You may want to use more of the Vinegar if your have thick, coarse hair, just to make sure you get through it all, but don’t overdo it…it can be harsh!

There you have it!  Simple, homemade shampoos.  Don’t forget to let me know how it goes if you try them out!

Recipes adapted from this Instructable.

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