How to make your own natural homemade shampoo

There is life outside the supermarket! Learn today how to create your own homemade shampoo and start discovering all its benefits.
Cómo hacer tu propio champú casero natural

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Do you know what kind of ingredients they make the shampoos you buy in the supermarket? What are the big differences between washing your hair with a commercial shampoo versus doing it with a homemade one? How can you make your natural soap at home easily and effortlessly?

If you want to limit your exposure to potentially toxic chemicals, a good starting point is your health and beauty products. Commercial shampoos, soaps, and shower gels tend to contain a long list of unknown and unpronounceable ingredients that can contribute to allergies, respiratory problems, skin irritation, or a variety of unexplained long-term health problems.

When you make your own shampoo at home, you know exactly what it contains. You can choose all natural ingredients and experiment with different blends to create the perfect shampoo tailor-made for your hair type.

What's in commercial shampoos?

Next we will talk about some ingredients that are in most of the shampoos on the market and that in one way or another cause damage to your scalp.

Take your shampoo off the shelf and try to read the fine print on the back. You will probably find some of the following ingredients on the list:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a widely used detergent and foaming agent in cleaning products. It is an important ingredient in most brands of shampoo, used to create a good lather. Although there are also sulfate-free shampoo in the market.

Research has shown that SLS is a skin irritant that causes an inflammatory response. In fact, it is even used as an irritant to test products used to treat skin conditions. Laboratory tests have shown that SLS inhibits DNA synthesis in human thymus cells, weakening the immune system.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

Propylene Glycol (PG) is a humectant and solvent used in antifreeze and aircraft deicing fluid. It is also used as a moisturizer in cosmetic products. The FDA classifies propylene glycol as GRAS (generally regarded as safe). However, there have been numerous cases of propylene glycol toxicity in humans.

A review article lists reported adverse effects, including central nervous system toxicity, cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, and lactic acidosis.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG)

Polyethylene Glycol, usually listed on shampoo labels as PEG, is a petroleum-based chemical with a wide variety of industrial and commercial applications. Adheres to water, dissolves oil, lubricates and thickens products. In shampoos, it is used to create a smooth and creamy texture. Many cases of allergic reactions to PEG have been reported. It can cause contact dermatitis and even severe anaphylactic reactions.


Dimethicone, also known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), is a silicon-based polymer with viscoelastic properties. Many people are more familiar with the fact that it is the main component of the squid. When used in shampoos, it forms a lubricating layer around each strand of hair, adding shine and making it easier to style.

PDMS is known to cause contact dermatitis. Most concerning, PDMS is produced from cyclotetrasiloxane (often referred to as D4) and may contain residual amounts. Cyclotetrasiloxane is a known endocrine disruptor and can have harmful effects on the body's hormonal system.


Fragrance seems to be an innocent enough ingredient, but toxic substances could be lurking behind this name. If a shampoo derives its fragrance from plant extracts or essential oils, it will most likely display this fact prominently on the label. If not, the fragrance can often be derived from phthalates.

This group of chemicals is present in hundreds of products. Their effects on human health have not been tested and the US labeling laws do not require them to be listed. According to the CDC, exposure to phthalate is widespread in the United States population. Adult women have higher levels of urinary metabolites than men with the use of soaps, soaps, body washes, shampoos, and cosmetics that contain phthalates.

The 5 best recipes for Homemade and Natural Shampoos

Next, I leave you the most recommended naturals and that you can do yourself from home:

Aloe Vera Shampoo - Dry Hair

This recipe combines Aloe Vera gel, instead of water, mixed with Castile soap. Aloe vera nourishes the hair and makes it more elastic. Almond oil penetrates the hair and helps retain moisture.

  • ½ cup of liquid Castile soap
  • ½ cup of aloe vera gel
  • 2 teaspoons of almond oil
  • 6 drops of clary sage essential oil
  • 6 drops of Melissa essential oil (lemon balm)
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Combine according to the basic method described at the end of this article.

Rosemary Shampoo - Rejuvenating

In traditional herbalism, rosemary is believed to help stimulate the scalp and hair follicles to stimulate hair growth and prevent thinning or premature baldness. It is also commonly used to enhance brown hair and darken gray hair.

Pour ½ cup of boiling water over ½ cup of chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then strain.

  • ½ cup of liquid Castile soap
  • ½ cup of rosemary infusion
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Combine the liquid infusion with the other ingredients of the shampoo according to the basic method.

Orange Shampoo - Oily Hair

Oranges contain a compound called limonene that is widely used in cleaning products and cosmetics for its fragrance and its ability to dissolve oils. Petitgrain oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the orange tree, while orange oil is extracted from the rind of the fruit.

Argan oil has been shown to reduce sebum levels in the skin. In one study, a cream containing argan oil reduced areas of oily skin by 42%.

  • ½ cup of liquid Castile soap
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of argan oil
  • 6 drops of petitgrain essential oil
  • 6 drops of orange essential oil
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Combine the ingredients according to the basic method.

Tea Tree Shampoo - Dandruff

Tea tree oil has antifungal properties and is effective in fighting the fungus Pityrosporum ovalefungus, which believed to be a cause of dandruff.

In one study, participants who used a tea tree oil shampoo daily for 4 weeks showed a 41% improvement in dandruff severity.

  • ½ cup of liquid Castile soap
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of argan oil
  • 12 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Combine the ingredients according to the basic method. Leave the soapy shampoo on your head for five minutes before rinsing it off to allow the tea tree to work against the dandruff fungus.

Chamomile Shampoo - Blonde Hair

Chamomile is a rich source of a yellow flavonoid called apigenin. Chamomile flowers have traditionally been used as a natural yellow dye for wool. Chamomile shampoo intensifies the glow of blonde hair and enhances golden highlights.

To make a chamomile infusion, place five chamomile tea bags in a cup, cover it with ½ cup of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes.

  • ½ cup of liquid Castile soap
  • ½ cup of chamomile infusion
  • 1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil
  • 5 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 5 drops of lemon essential oil
  • ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

Combine the ingredients according to the basic method.

Basic Method: Preparing your first natural shampoo ...

Mix ½ cup of liquid Castile soap, ½ cup of water and 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a plastic jug.

Add 1/4 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon for a thicker consistency) of xanthan gum powder and beat vigorously until dissolved and the liquid begins to thicken.

Mix in a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Pour the mixture into a used shampoo bottle. Ingredients can naturally separate, so be sure to give the bottle a good shake before each use.

Some Precautions About Homemade Shampoo

  • Castile soap can remove color from colored hair and may not be suitable for use on permed, chemically treated or damaged hair. When making your first batch of homemade shampoo, test it on a small section of hair first before using it all over your head. Some people find that Castile soap is too harsh and works best for them in a dilution of 2 parts water to 1 part soap.
  • Castile soap shampoo is slightly alkaline. To rebalance your hair's pH levels, use a vinegar rinse. Dilute the apple cider vinegar with the same amount of water. Transfer to a spray bottle.
  • After shampooing and rinsing, towel dry hair to remove excess water. Spray the vinegar solution all over your hair, then style. The vinegar smell will dissipate as your hair dries.


Use the recipes above as a starting point. Experiment with different variations of the basic recipes until you find a shampoo with a fragrance that you like and leaves your hair silky, soft and vigorous.

You can vary the ratio of soap to water, try different types of oils, infuse herbs, or combine different essential oils for their various fragrances or health benefits to find the one that works best for you.

Other ways to do it easily

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