Homemade Shampoo with Essential Oils

If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would one day whip up recipes for homemade shampoo, I would have laughed at you and said, “No way.” But a funny thing happens when you become interested in living more naturally.

Homemade shampoo with essential oils

First, you start reading … a lot. (After some time, your husband dreads what you’ll say after you start off a sentence with, “so I was reading …”)

Then you start implementing. Slowly at first, with simple things like all-purpose cleaner and making real food switches.

Next you start making your own laundry detergent.

And then you move into the world of natural bath and body products and herbal-infused everything. Oooooh, fun.

One thing leads to another and the next thing you know, you’re excitedly mixing up your own shampoo on the unfinished kitchen counters of the school bus you inhabit with your husband and four kids.

Because you’ve moved past washing your hair with baking soda and water and just plain water and now you’re convinced that you’re a mad scientist confident do-it-yourselfer who can make anything she wants. Which is probably true. (Though, you probably learn some lessons the hard way.)

And that’s how I came to this recipe.

This homemade shampoo is really a combination of two recipes:

First, I was reading about this delightful homemade body wash.

And then one of my awesome readers posted her shampoo recipe on my Facebook page (it’s in the fifth comment if you want to give it a try). Then I had the lightbulb moment – what if I took my favorite parts of each recipe (which happened to be what I had on hand) and mixed them together.

Turns out it was a good move, because I love the results.

First, it makes my normally dry hair super soft and I haven’t had any issues with flaky scalp since I started using it. I can also still go a few days between washings, which I really appreciate.

Second, it makes my husband’s normally oily hair super soft and non-greasy. Which is huge, as none of the recipes we’ve tried have been able to do that. Other people who have tested this recipe also loved how it made their hair feel. Hurray for successful recipes!

Homemade Shampoo with Essential Oils

Homemade shampoo with essential oils. Super easy, natural recipe that can be customized for different hair types/scalp problems.

Ingredients

Directions

Mix all of the ingredients in a container with a lid (like this squeeze bottle). Put on the lid and shake to combine. Shake before using and use as you would any commercial shampoo.

Be sure to check out this page before you buy essential oils to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Essential Oil Combinations

Now, to figure out which essential oils to use. You can use just one if you’d like, but I typically make a combination for specific properties (and delicious smells).

For yummy smell:

  • 20 drops lavender essential oil & 30 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil & 30 drops lavender essential oil (or wild orange if you don’t want to use lavender)
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil, 25 drops lemongrass essential oil & 10 drops lemon essential oil

For dandruff: 10 drops each lemon, lavender, melaleuca and rosemary essential oils

For fragile hair: 20 drops clary sage, 15 drops lavender & 15 drops wild orange essential oils

For hair loss: 10 drops each rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood and lavender essential oils

Do you make your own shampoo? What do you use?

123 Comments

  1. Since there are so little essential oils compared to the rest of the ingredients, no.

  2. The castile soap used isn’t tear-free. But. When my youngest two were babies I used a baby shampoo with castile soap in it and was just careful not to get it in their eyes. So the short answer is yes, but you still have to be careful around the eyes.

  3. This is a wonderful recipe! I gave up shampoo cold turkey three weeks ago and started using this with an ACV rinse after. My hair is softer, brighter, and shiny.

    The only thing I’ve noticed, however, is that my hair has a stringy, oily feel. Could this be part of the ‘transition’ to chemical free shampoo, or could I have too much coconut oil in my batch? Thanks!

  4. Do you know of a good substitute for coconut in this recipe? I’m interested in making my own shampoo, but I have a family member with a contact allergy to coconut. It is very, very hard to find coconut free (or coconut derivative free) shampoo.

  5. You know, I think if I found this recipe and couldn’t use coconut, I’d make it without the coconut milk and use avocado oil or almond oil instead (and I’d use a wee bit less of that.

  6. Awesome, I know I can find avocado oil locally. Thanks!

  7. Im so excited to try this! What is the difference between fractionated coconut oil and virgin?

  8. Fractionated coconut oil stays liquid at any temperature, whereas the other kind does not.

  9. Hi.
    mam
    I went To made sampoo, so please give some tips ,
    I went talk you..
    7053411628
    I am in India

  10. Hi Nina, I have also started making my own cosmetic products, the shampoo is next! You are mentioning that your husband uses this shampoo successfully on his oily hair, mine is really oily too. I have a short haircut simply because I have to wash it every day, that’s a lot of shampoo I use in a year. In the comments I read that citrus oils work great for oily hair. Can you please give me the details on what essential oils you used and in what amounts for your husband’s shampoo? Thank you!!

  11. Hi Claudia. For my husband’s hair, I use 10 drops melaleuca, 20 drops wild orange and 5 drops cedarwood.

  12. Can this shampoo be used as a 2 in 1 without following with conditioner?

  13. Does this shampoo create a lather?

  14. Not much of one, Donna.

  15. Can you substitute the Vit E oil for Jojoba?

  16. Hi Nina, Do you happen to have a rough estimate of what it costs to make a batch of this and approx how many ounces it makes? I’m weighing weather it’s worth buying a natural shampoo from a supplier ($25 for 8 oz) or making mine own. Thanks!

  17. Hi Nina! I love this recipe! It’s my favorite DIY shampoo recipe yet! I especially liked the tip for saving all the extra coconut milk. I was wondering where you get the glass bottles that you have shown in your photos. All the glass bottles I have are too large and dangerous to have in the shower so I’m stuck using plastic bottles to store this shampoo in. Thanks again for this wonderful recipe!

  18. Thanks, Alice! Those are just small amber glass bottles. So you could re-use a 15 mL essential oil bottle or check Mountain Rose Herbs. Their bottles with the droppers might work really well.

  19. I made this shampoo and my hair is extremely oily and feels super dirty. I tried washing with it 3 times with same results. What could be causing it? I haven’t used store bought shampoo for about 3 month so I think my hair have detoxed already. Thank you.

  20. How do you store the shampoo? The coconut milk would turn rancid if just left out. also how long have you used this and have you had any ill effects on the scalp? I have terrible dandruff and I am worried that it will make it worse due to the harshness of the castile soap.

  21. I’ve kept it in the shower up to six weeks with no problems, Leeann. I had no ill effects on my scalp while I was using it.

  22. Thank you so much for the reply! I am going to make a batch and see how it does. :-)

  23. I’m new to using coconut milk. Are you talking about the liquid or the thicker cream part that separates? Or do you mix the entire can together and use that? It was stated that this worked well for oily hair which my husband has. I however, have very dry hair. Would this still be a good option for me? Thanks.

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