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DIY Shampoo and Conditioner

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One of my hobbies is smelling hair products, especially shampoos. Some of them are just pure heaven! But that's usually the only thing nice about commercial shampoos. They smell nice, but they hide chemicals that can be harsh for your skin, scalp, and hair.

So, since not washing my head is not an option, I decided to try my hand at a DIY shampoo, and so far so good!

Reasons to Make Your Own Shampoo

  • It is less expensive.
  • Homemade shampoo contains fewer harsh chemicals.
  • Commercial shampoos are toxic to the environment.
  • Some chemicals in commercial shampoos are absorbed by your skin. Those that are not absorbed remain on top of the skin, preventing toxin elimination and breathing.
  • Homemade shampoos are of better quality than commercial shampoos.
  • Even some shampoos that claim to be all natural and organic are not. The only way to know your shampoo is truly all natural is to make it yourself.

There are many recipes out there to make a decent DIY shampoo. Lately, the no 'poo method has been all the rage, and it works wonders on some people. Some DIY shampoos don't lather, but for those who just can't do away with the sudsy feeling of commercial shampoo, there is also a lathering option.

Let's explore our cabinets and see how we can make a shampoo that suits our needs.

A Note on Essential Oils

Essential oils smell heavenly! But too much of a good thing can be bad. Too much essential oil can cause allergic reactions. When adding it to your shampoo (or anything else), don't overdo it. Use just a few drops.

Ingredients for DIY Shampoo With Baking Soda

Ingredients for DIY Shampoo With Baking Soda

DIY Haircare With Baking Soda and ACV

The simple no 'poo method consists of three main ingredients: baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water. While most people who have used this method love it, others have complained that their hair ends up feeling stringy and dull. If you are one of those people, you might benefit from trying this variation.

You will need:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or almond, avocado, sunflower, or any other moisturizing oil you please)
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (to add a wonderful smell to your hair)

To make the shampoo:
Mix baking soda, water, and a few drops of essential oil of choice.

To make the "conditioner":
Mix the ACV, olive oil, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

To use:
Use this shampoo and conditioner as you would use your regular, store-bought shampoo. However, be careful if you just shaved your legs, as the ACV can make it sting a little.

The shikakai fruit has been used to years as an all-natural shampoo.

The shikakai fruit has been used to years as an all-natural shampoo.

Homemade Shampoo With Shikakai Powder

Shikakai is a shrub-like tree that grows in central India. Shikakai powder and water make a wonderful DIY shampoo. Let me tell you why.

The shikakai bark has saponins, which foam up like shampoo does. So when you mix the powder with water, you get a paste that you can apply to your hair and use as shampoo. This paste will foam up like shampoo and leave your hair super clean without stripping it of its natural oils.

Shikakai has also been used for years in some Eastern countries to make hair grow fast and to promote long, shiny, healthy hair. But that's not all—there are many different ways you can use shikakai!

Who would have known that you could make shampoo with eggs?! Mind blown!

Who would have known that you could make shampoo with eggs?! Mind blown!

DIY Shampoo With Eggs

So it turns out washing your hair with egg can work wonders on your hair. Eggs are full of protein and vitamins A, D, and E, which work together to give you shiny, healthy hair. There are several recipes for egg shampoo, but they all share the same basic concept: mix the egg yolks with a moisturizing ingredient. Let me give you some examples.

Word of Caution When Using Egg-Based Shampoos

Always rinse your egg shampoo with warm or cold water. Never use hot water. You could end up with scrambled eggs on your head. The hot water can actually cook the egg on your hair and you can end up looking (and smelling) like breakfast.

Olive Oil and Egg Shampoo

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • Water

Mix together and use as shampoo.

Yogurt and Egg Shampoo

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup yogurt

Mix together and use as shampoo.

Aloe Vera Juice and Egg Shampoo

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup aloe vera juice

Mix together and use as shampoo.

As you can see, the base will always be the egg, and then you add whatever moisturizing agent you wish to add. If you want a sudsy feeling, you may want to add castile soap.

DIY Hair Mask With Egg for Dry Hair

Eggs can also be used on dry hair to improve your hair's health. Simply whip two eggs, rub them into dry hair, cover with a shower cap, and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm or cold—never hot—water so as not to cook the egg mixture.

What About the Smell?

Your hair won't really smell like eggs once you rinse it, but you need to rinse it well. But if you don't want to take any risks, use an apple cider vinegar rinse.

You will need:

  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water

Mix ingredients together and apply to hair after shampoo. The ACV smell will disappear once your hair is dry.

Castile soap is all-natural and gives you the suds you might miss when changing to a DIY shampoo.

Castile soap is all-natural and gives you the suds you might miss when changing to a DIY shampoo.

DIY Castile Soap Shampoo

For those who miss the sudsy feeling of commercial shampoo, castile soap could be an option. Castile soap is made with oils and is 100% natural. The most famous brand of castile soap is Dr. Bronner's. According to its site, Dr. Bronner's castile soap contains:

Ingredients: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils**, Citric Acid, Vitamin E.

Castile soap also comes in many different, lovely smells. It can be used by itself as shampoo, and you won't even need a conditioner since the soap itself has more oil than any commercial conditioner.

But if you want to get fancy and add something else, here's a recipe you can follow.

Castile Soap and Aloe Vera Shampoo

  • 1/2 cup castile soap
  • 1/4 cup of natural aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tbs. glycerin
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix all ingredients together. You can keep it in your shower, but make sure you shake it well before each use.

Which Essential Oil Is Best for My Hair Type?

I usually choose my essential oils based on smell (I'm vain like that), but if you're interested in how they could help your hair, here are some quick tips:

  • Lavender and rosemary are good for any hair type.
  • Mint and lemon are perfect for oily hair.
  • Oil infused with comfrey flower is great for dry hair.

Have fun making your own shampoos, and play with it a little until you find the perfect combination to achieve healthy, lustrous hair!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Silver Q


Silver Q (author) on April 12, 2015:

Hi Carol:

Yes, you can. Essential oils are just to give it a pleasant smell.

Carol on March 19, 2015:

Can I do this without using essential oils?

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 08, 2015:

Clever tips on how to do it at home. I would love to have your hobby. I would love to smell perfumes, candles, shampoos, anything that has to do with fragrances and scents, if I can't find the job for it. Voted up!

Becca Leighann on December 31, 2014:

This is a great idea! I was wondering if this would work well on African American hair. I have a couple friends who are African American and they are constantly talking about how hard it is to find a product for their hair that isn't loaded with chemicals. Do you have any ingredient ideas that you could add to this recipe to cater more for them?

Joyce on November 13, 2014:

Mayonnaise is a great conditioner Apply to hair cover with shower cap Wet and heat bath tower cover and let set shampoo hair

Silver Q (author) on August 01, 2014:

Hi fpherj48:

I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub! Thank you for reading and commenting!

Suzie from Carson City on July 30, 2014:

I can't thank you enough for these fantastic recipes! These are wonderful DIY products....I'm very impressed. I'm also sure I'll be gathering all the necessary supplies and trying my hand at these tomorrow.

I truly enjoy making my own products whenever possible. And I definitely appreciate the savings! Always looking for money-saving ideas!

Again, this is an excellent hub....Up+++

Silver Q (author) on November 06, 2013:

Hi beeskneez:

I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe. I love DIY projects as well. They're a huge money saver!

Thanks for reading!

BEEZKNEEZ on November 06, 2013:

I love making things on my own and saving money. Thanks for the easy to do DIY. I will be using this shortly.

Silver Q (author) on November 04, 2013:

Hi Kristen:

So far the Castile soap, with all kinds of mixes, has been my favorite one. I'm sure you will love the aloe Vera and Castile soap mix.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Kristen Haynie from Scotia, CA on November 03, 2013:

I've been looking everywhere for a decent recipe for homemade shampoo and conditioner. I really like the last one: castille soap and aloe vera gel. I just bought myself an aloe plant and have been looking for new ways to put its health benefits to good use! This hub is fabulously informative and a huge help!

Silver Q (author) on November 03, 2013:

Hi melbel:

I've never heard that about mayonnaise or stale beer, but it's always nice to learn new tips. Thanks for the tip!

Melanie Palen from Midwest, USA on November 03, 2013:

What a cool idea! I've never really thought of making my own shampoo! I've heard that mayonaise or stale beer also make great conditioners.

Great hub, thanks!

Silver Q (author) on November 01, 2013:

Hi cuttler:

It is indeed a great money saver! I haven't encountered any serious side effects. I think once I developed a little bit of dandruff, but I think that was partially my fault for using too much baking soda. The trick is just playing with different shampoo combinations until you find the right one for you.

Thank you for commenting and reading!

Cuttler from HubPages on November 01, 2013:

This is a great money saver. Wish I could have known this earlier. Are there any side effects that may be accrued from its use???