Learn How To Make Homemade Natural Shampoo

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Homemade Shampoo

Homemade shampoo can be made with just two common and natural pantry ingredients. It’s also cheaper than store-bought and works just as well.

Note: this homemade shampoo tutorial also includes answers to frequently asked questions.

If you’ve been around DIY Natural long then you’re aware of our mission to help you make more of your own natural products. It’s often easy and beneficial on many levels, which is why we’re dedicated to doing it and to teaching others to do the same. Today we’ll learn how to make a natural homemade shampoo that works, is inexpensive, and is so easy you won’t believe it! (Don’t want to make your own? Check out a hair care line we trust here.)

Why Homemade Shampoo?

Do shampoo manufacturers have your best interest at heart? Perhaps you believe they do, but since you’re here reading this article we’ll assume you’re at least becoming skeptical.

It’s simple. No one cares more about your pocketbook or your hair than you. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you want to make your own homemade shampoo. And that’s why you want to make more of your own products. So do we!

Homemade Shampoo 2
Homemade Shampoo

Homemade Shampoo

5 from 2 votes

Homemade shampoo can be made with just two common and natural pantry ingredients. It's also cheaper than store-bought and works just as well.

Prep Time
5 minutes
Active Time
5 minutes
Total Time
10 minutes
Servings
1 cup
Estimated Cost
$1

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients together.
  2. We mix ours in double batches into a clean, repurposed shampoo bottle. Feel free to use whatever container you like, doubling up on ingredients until it's full.

How to Use Your Homemade Shampoo

  1. Simply shake the bottle before each use and squirt directly onto the scalp and hair. Gently massage into the scalp hair for a minute or two and rinse well.

  2. For best results, follow with a homemade conditioning rinse. The homemade conditioning rinse is imperative for restoring the pH of your hair and smoothing the hair cuticle. It will also keep your hair from feeling greasy/sticky after using homemade shampoos.

Recipe Video

Notes

This shampoo is not intended for daily use, as the baking soda can potentially be drying to hair and scalp. We recommend using it as a clarifying shampoo. It’s perfect for those times when you got a little carried away with hair products and need to remove some buildup, or when you’re first switching over to homemade shampoos and need to remove some of the buildup commercial shampoos can leave behind.

This homemade shampoo will give the best results when used with soft water.

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To make this shampoo, commonly referred to as “no-poo,” you will only need 2 ingredients. Never mistake simplicity for ineffectiveness. I double-dog dare you to make, use, and compare this shampoo. After you’re convinced I want you to share the information with everyone you know.

Safe for All Hair Types

This homemade shampoo is completely safe for all hair types and will not strip your hair of its natural oils, unlike most commercial shampoo.

Be sure to question the safety of store-bought shampoos, along with any other products you buy – and always understand the ingredients of the products you use. (If you don’t want to make your own homemade shampoo, here is a brand we absolutely love – made with VERY pure, natural ingredients.)

If you have questions read the comments below or ask anew… and share this recipe with everyone you know!

Tips for Controlling Static

Especially if you’re heat styling, you may notice some static when using this homemade shampoo in the colder months. You can troubleshoot the static by trying some of the following tips:

  • Be sure you’re trimming your ends every 6-8 weeks, fewer split ends = less static.
  • Try shampooing less often (every other day or 3x/week).
  • Use fewer heating elements (blow dryers, flat/curling irons, etc.).
  • Try massaging in a Tbsp of olive oil once a week then rinsing.
  • Melt a small amount of coconut oil in your hands and rub through the ends of your hair, avoiding your scalp.
  • Another treatment to try is avocado w/lemon juice – mix, smash into hair, let sit 30 mins and rinse.

Tips for Controlling Oily Hair

  • Do occasionally – mix 2 egg yolks with 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar. Work it into hair and let sit a few minutes while showering.  The egg binds with oils in the hair. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Add 6-8 drops of citrus essential oil to your shampoo. Try lemon, lime, or sweet orange for controlling oil. (Find 100% pure essential oils here.)
  • Be sure to shake your homemade shampoo vigorously to ensure the baking soda is completely dissolved into the water.
  • Massage baking soda shampoo into your scalp for at least 2 minutes.
  • Give your hair a few weeks to adjust to the change (could take 2-3 weeks or more).

Tips for Thickening Homemade Shampoo

  • Blend up some whole oats in a good blender (like a Vitamix) then mix with baking soda and water. Different people prefer different consistencies so add oat flour slowly until desired thickness is reached.
  • Mix cornstarch or arrowroot powder with the baking soda and water (add enough for desired thickness).
  • Use both oats and cornstarch. Try this mixture: 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and equal parts cornstarch and oatmeal flour to thicken (approx. ¾ tablespoon of each).

How Much Does it Cost?

This is one of my favorite parts of this homemade shampoo recipe:

  • cost = approximately $0.06/ounce depending on how much you pay for your baking soda.

If an average bottle of shampoo is a 16-ounce bottle this shampoo will cost you less than a dollar. Not too shabby.

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Sources

About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

Comments

  1. Nikki says

    I just tried this again (tried it in the past but wanted to give it a go again after reading about ways to thicken it). Unfortunately, I don’t think my blender was strong/sharp/fast enough because I got teeny crumbs of oatmeal left in my hair LOL So, I may spring for oat flour from the store until I replace my blender because I loved how my hair felt afterwards (minus the oat crumbs). I also added cornstarch and some honey and loved it!

    • Hannah says

      I had that same problem with the oatmeal. I also added cornstarch to mine but it didn’t thicken up like I expected to. I would think that honey would make the shampoo sticky. How much honey do you put in? I do a 1:1 ratio.

  2. Janine says

    Hi! I have been using this shampoo/conditioner combo for about a month now. I LOVE it! I have more curly and body and my hair has honestly never been so managable. I brush it the way I want it to look and it stays there! (And I smell like peppermint 🙂 )
    SO, I forgot to make a new batch before I got in the shower the other day and had to use the old shampoo. Oh my goodness was my hair a mess. All day it was flying away and it totally lost it’s curl. I’m making so much from scratch now thanks to your site, but this is by far my favorite DIY.
    Thanks so much!

  3. Rob says

    Will this control dandruff? I’m using T-gel right now, but would like to go homemade.

  4. Diane says

    WOW! Very excited to try this. If I would like to add a scent, such as mint, would you suggest an extract, oil, fresh herbs? Thanks for any suggestions!

    • Barbara says

      I use lemon juice more often than vinegar for rinsing because I can’t stand the vinegar smell. Even after it dries, I can still smell it. I love adding a few drops of pink grapefruit essential oil. It smells awesome, leaves my hair soft and detangled, and does not make my hair oily. If you prefer fresh herbs, you can steep them in the water and then strain them out and use that water for mixing. I would not suggest extracts.

  5. Kathi Bourg says

    Been using the BS shampoo for a week & was shocked at how well it’s worked…with regular shampoo/conditioner, I was washing my waist-length about once every 6-7 days (I’m 49 & it really doesn’t get that oily until the last day or two). With the BS, the wash is still lasting 3 or 4 days! When I first tried this, I was at my in-laws, who have a water-softening system…with that and diluted white vinegar, I had absolutely no tangles, which is nearly miraculous! Back at home with my hard well-water and ACV, I may have to experiement with diluting the ACV a little more, and perhaps adding some herbs to it (the smell is just awful!) but am still gettting that 3-4 days of clean hair! I may also try going back to the diluted white vinegar. The point is, no more commercial shampoo for me (and no more 30 minutes of ripping tangles out of my hair, either!!!)

  6. Rachel says

    I’ve been using BS and regular distiller white vinegar and my hair is soooo dry!! Is it because I’m not using ACV? My hair is normally really oily (with commerical shampoos) but now it’s not at all. I like to wash my hair every day since I style it and end up with hairspray in it. Any suggestions?? I read about the coconut oil, but does it have to be organic or can I use my coconut cooking oil??

    • Barbara says

      A couple weeks after I started this, the top of my head was super oily the day after shampooing and the rest of my hair was very dry and brittle. It seems to have adjusted better now. Coconut oil is awesome as a deep conditioner. I only tried it once, but I love coconut oil for everything. I believe any coconut oil will work. I used unrefined because I love the smell. Put just a little bit throughout your hair, cover (shower cap, saran wrap, whatever), and let sit for a while (at least half an hour, but you can leave it overnight if you wish). It may take an extra shampooing to wash it out thoroughly, but should leave your hair softer and more moisturized. Good luck.

    • Steph says

      Bekah, I haven’t tried it but my guess is no. Baking soda is an alkaline substance that, when used in baking, reacts with an acid to bubble up and rise your food. Baking powder contains both the alkaline and the acid together. It doesn’t react until it gets wet. If you tried it I doubt it would do any harm really, but you might get fizzy. Actually, the vinegar rinse is the acid that is neutralizing the alkaline baking soda after it gets to do its thing. You should go ahead and experiment in the kitchen! Fun stuff.

  7. Renee' W. says

    I had been dealing with an extremely itchy scalp for a while (no dandruff – just really itchy), so I decided try something other than the store-bought shampoos and conditioners. Sometimes I use a Castile soap based shampoo and other times I use the baking soda and water. I also use the ACV conditioner instead of store-bought. I’ve noticed a significant decrease in the itch. My skin has gotten very sensitive over the last few years, so I know there must be something I’m allergic to in the store-boughts. Now, I plan on trying the deodorant recipe on this site. Thanks!

  8. Jenifer Harrod says

    Thank you for posting about how to thicken up the mixture I have been thinking about this for a long time. I even stopped making my shampoo because it frustrated me so. I will try this and see what happends. Come by and see me ont he blog.

  9. Tass says

    I tried this recipe and absolutely can say I will NEVER do it again, I have baby fine, oily hair. I just have ALOT of it and after using this *shampoo* I found myself with even a worse fly-away baby fine tangled up mess of hair that took DAYS to get back to normal. it left my hair feeling worse then before I washed it.

    • Marion says

      How often have you used it? I heard there is a transition period which takes some patience.

  10. Carol says

    How does this work for really, really dirty hair? I bike, hike, horseback ride, and clean horse stalls (sometimes all in the same day).

  11. Hannah says

    This is Hannah again, it has has been 2 1/2 months now that i am using bs/acv and loving it. I put oatmeal in it this time to thicken it but its still very watery. On the cornstarch do you add a little hot water to make it into a thick cosistancy or you just add add the powder? My hubby is not convinced since it doesn’t lather like comerial shampoo.

  12. Ryan says

    Hi all,

    I noticed in the description for this recipe that it tends to strip color from your hair. I don’t like chemical dyes at all, so I dye my hair with henna every few months. Does anyone know what the effects of Baking Soda shampoo are on henna-dyed hair? Thanks!

    Ryan

  13. Sal says

    Hi! I love this so much! You have no idea how much time I’ve put into finding all natural hair care products, this practically saved my life! All my other recipies have “gone bad” before I finished using them or included something sweet that would attract ants. I have one question though, about how much corn startch and/or oats would you recommend to have it be the same consistancey as comercial brand? That’s the thinkness I’m used to.
    Thank you! =)

  14. Amy B says

    I have been using the BS & ACV for about 7 weeks now. I think I finally got it right! I found that my baby-fine oily blond hair does best when I add a little citrus Castile soap and a few drops of tea tree oil to the mix. I also have to make sure I thoroughly wash and rinse. I’m getting compliments on my hair from friends who know what I’ve been doing. They have seen a difference. I used to have to wash my hair almost every day. I can now go 2-3 days between washings.

    • Helen says

      Amy–

      I also have very fine but oily long hair and I’ve been struggling with getting my hair clean with this shampoo. It is often still greasy after I dry it, even though I feel like I am using plenty, rubbing it in and rinsing pretty well. Did you find that there was a transition period?

  15. Amy says

    I didn’t read all of the posts so I may have missed it. I am going to try the bs shampoo but I really need a conditioner. It brings tears to my eyes when combing otherwise. I see people are using acv mix. But what is the mix? Also can I use distilled white vinegar?

    Amy

  16. Dawn says

    I’ve been using this shampoo for several years on my daughter’s blond hair after swimming. The baking soda neutralizes the copper found in swimming pool algaecides and keeps her hair from turning green — even with daily swimming.

  17. Laura says

    I am totally loving this, the conditioner, your book, your whole site @ that 🙂 thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. I have found that after using this about a month my hair is actually softer and shinier than with anyrhing I ever bought and the color is better somehow. Cant really explain, its brighter maybe?! I will say I only like to mix up what I’m going to use right then though cause no matter how much I love it, pouring cold anything over my head is just not pleasant 🙂 oh and I also use cheap condiment containers to get a little control pouring it over my hair. God bless you both 🙂

  18. Hannah says

    I have been using BS/AC for 3 weeks now and love it. It is so easy to make and cheap to say the least. My problem is that it gets oily quickly is that normal due to the transition period? On some days I use a little cornstarch to rub at roots where its greasy and im good to go till next time I wash my hair. I have my husband trying out now.

  19. Shelley says

    I found a BS shampoo recipe sent by a friend on Facebook, which came just in time since I was having trouble with allergies to traditional shampoos that left my scalp very itchy. I have been using this for about a month now. My daughter, who had very bad dandruff has been using it too. We also use the ACV rinse. We both love it, itchiness and dandruff are virtually gone. The only mistake we were making was using too much – didn’t realize until reading this article that it only takes a little bit – we were using 8 oz squirt bottles from Target for each solution and using all of it per application. We’ll try using less and see if we still get the good results – it sure will save a lot of time in the morning.