Learn How To Make Homemade Natural Shampoo

This post may contain affiliate links.

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.

instagram
Made this recipe?

Mention @diynatural or tag it #diynatural!

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.

*******

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.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

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. stuti says

    wht if like we put heena(mehendi,tea leaves,methi powder,aamla powder)on our hair on wednesday n after tht on sunday we wash our hair with home made shampoo.means will it work on the in which we hd put heena hai wed,actually my mom wants a mild shampoo so as i read reviews i liked this shampoo so i suggested her 4 this shampoo bt i jst have this confusion so pls ans. me tht will this shampoo will work on my mother’s hair???

  2. maria says

    I had to experiment with the amount of baking soda in the mix. Google “no-poo” and you’ll find a group that discusses different methods, blends and combinations. Everyone’s hair is different, so everyone’s results will be different. On that site people discuss what worked for them based on their hair type (thick/curly/fine/short/long, etc) and scalp type, and frequency of use. So find the discussion thread that most suits your hair and scalp type.
    Some people will have an adjustment period when weaning their hair off commercial products. Some will have a lot of extra oil produced for the first while, but don’t give up, it does make it worth it once you’ve figured out what works for you! 🙂

  3. Jessica says

    Can someone tell me are they using vinegar in this mix and how much of each. I am tempted to make this and try it, but I am a little scared. I have very long hair and 5 other people in my house, so I want to get it right before I try it on others in my household! Thank you!

  4. Laura says

    Just wanted to share that ive found that if I think of this as shampoo and conditioner and adjust the formula some the same as I would have with bought stuff I get better results. If my hairs oily I might have washed twice with shampoo before and now would make more baking soda and do two rinses. If my hair seems dry then maybe cut back on the baking soda but more vinegar. Just saying what works best for me is not thinking of this as a one size fits all formula, but tweaking it a bit based on my how my hair feels that day. Hope that makes sense, its kinda hard to explain 🙂

  5. threeicys says

    Just wanted to mention – this method of washing hair takes more time than a quick lathery shampoo. For me it is well worth it. I have been using this method for close to a year now.
    Tip: to balance out the PH I rinse with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.

    Awsome post Matt. Your recipes look great too!

  6. Amber says

    I love this shampoo! About every other time I make it I add tea tree oil, I have dandruff issues (most likely brought on by commercial shampoos!) and have noticed a significant improvement in the condition of both my hair and scalp. I also keep a spray bottle with an apple cider vinegar and water mixture in my shower for use after I rinse the baking soda out, it leaves my hair softer than any conditioner I have ever used!

  7. Laura says

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with using this with chemical free hair colors such as Manic Panic? I think that the baking soda would make the color come out faster but ive heard of vinegar rinses to help set the color. So Idk how they would work together. I do know I only wash my hair once or twice a week this way but with reg shampoo/conditioner my hair is so oily I need to wash it every other day.

    • Melissa says

      Hi Laura,

      I’m not too sure about the baking soda being and issue, but I do know that oil (like olive oil) can be used to help strip hair colour from hair. I know that is not your intention, but I more say this to advise avoiding any of the oil combinations.

      Cheers!

    • Sarah says

      Laura, I am a licensed cosmetologist (for 13 years). A common tick in my profession is to use baking soda to help lift color out. I definitely would not recommend using baking soda on colored hair, especially after using manic panic. That color is already a semi-permanent, no-developer product and adding baking soda will ensure you lose more color than you would during a normal shampoo. However, vinegar is great for color! It seals down your cuticle locking in moisture and shine; and it is great for preserving color! Perhaps there are other alternatives for people with colored hair. I haven’t found them yet, as I am new with the natural hair products. Good luck!

  8. Jeanette says

    Has anyone else noticed that there hair is a bit.. umm weighed.. I have thick curly hair and although I was VERY surprised that when it dried it really did look fine.. it seems to “weigh” down during the day… as if you added to much conditioner when really I have washed my hair with water GRIN

    Thoughts… or should I wait more weeks

    • Loryn says

      I’ve been using baking soda and water for a few days now and I have noticed my hair feeling heavier since ditching commercial shampoos. I’m not sure if it just because the oil production in my scalp is still mellowing out and it’s something that’ll get better with time, or if this weighted feeling is what is normal for hair and I’ve just not experienced it since I’ve always used commercial shampoos. Either way, it’s not something that personally bothers me near enough to go back to using regular shampoo. I’d give it another week or two and see if the condition improves.

  9. debbie says

    i am loving your website so much…getting addicted to it and is starting to go naturals all the way..i started with the conditioner =) i just so loooved the effect and keeps me amazed with the no-vinegar-smell.
    i thank God for Christians like you who happily shares their knowledge and skills…i would love to be an advocate…i will be! debbie (from the philippines)

  10. Valerie Petschulat says

    I’ve been washing my hair with this baking soda/water blend for about 2 months and I love it. I originally found the idea in the book about caring for curly hair. My hair is soft and I have no feeling of residue after washing. I also make a lavender spray with distilled water and lavender oil (also from book on curly hair) and if my scalp feels itchy or hair gets flat, I massage this mixture onto my scalp between washings. It feels great, and I’m only washing my hair once every two weeks. I know, it sounds gross, but I promise, you’d never know by looking at my hair and my curls are so much nicer now! Plus no yucky chemicals going down the drain. I’m a believer.

  11. Carol says

    Great lesson on making homemade shampoo. Thank you for making a difference by sharing your knowledge with the world.

  12. Madison says

    I’ve tried many of your homemade recipes and generally like them. The shampoo and hair conditioner, well, not so much. They made my hair feel like there was a residue left in, even after rinsing very well. I guess you can’t win ’em all.

  13. Isabel says

    Hi Lisa,

    I’ve been trying out stuff too (going back to commercial shampoo just wasn’t working either), and found that a mix of aloe, castile soap, castor oil and olive oil works pretty well.

    I thought of castor oil because people use it to cleanse the face in the Oil Cleansing Method. It apparently helps to dissolve sebum. If it works on the face, why not the scalp? Castor oil is also apparently really good for your hair, but it is a bit sticky and may leave a residue on your hair, leaving it heavy and sticky. Castile soap does the trick of washing it out. I was initially worried that the pH of castile soap is also too high, but so far so good – the itching hasn’t come back, and greasiness also seems to be under control. If used diluted, and with some aloe, I think it should be fine.

    Be careful with the oil – a little goes a long way. My first mix was 2 Tbsp castile soap, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup aloe gel, 1 tsp oil (1/4 castor, 3/4 olive), some drops of essential oil. There was quite alot of oily residue left on my hair and I had to rinse off with watered down castile soap. I will add more soap to the mix and hope it works better next time. I do have quite an oily scalp so it may be different for you. Some people actually just use aloe gel and some jojoba/olive oil as a shampoo, but that is never going to work for me.. at least not right now! Maybe when my scalp is more balanced I may be able to cut out the soap and castor oil.

    But for now, I think the mix of aloe and oils is very nourishing and is exactly what I need. My scalp actually feels healthy now, hair loss is drastically reduced, and the oils leave my hair quite silky and shiny. A stark difference from when I was using just baking soda! My opinion is to leave baking soda out of the equation totally. Use it for hard cleaning, but not on your hair!

    Good luck, and I hope you find something that suits you!

    • lisa says

      Thanks Isabel,
      I am just starting out in the “shampoo department” alternatives, so I appreciate your tips !
      Blessings, Lisa 😀

  14. lisa says

    I have read all the comments and wondered if the aloe vera juice could be used in the original formula instead of water, or perhaps 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup aloe juice… in order to balance the Ph of the baking soda. It would be a little more cost, but I’m looking for a healthy homemade alternative (so that is not such an issue.)
    Also, perhaps a little oil in the formula (olive or coconut oil) would also protect scalp from drying out…Just some ideas, think I may play around with the formulas and see what happens. …

  15. Isabel says

    Update on previous comment: Aloe vera juice works wonders! I slathered it on my scalp, plain, without mixing it with the baking soda shampoo, and immediately felt relief from the itchy scalp which persisted even after washing it off. Hair loss was also SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. Phew! Greasiness is still an issue, but I’m hoping a few more aloe sessions will sort it out.

    Researching a little revealed that aloe has a low pH of about 4, while baking soda has a pretty high pH of about 8-9, some sources even say 12! On the other hand, the ideal pH of our skin and scalp is around 5.

    All this leads me to think that the high pH of baking soda may be the cause of all my woes – my originally oily scalp loved it initially, but then continual use made my scalp DRY, resulting in itchiness and causing it to overcompensate by producing excessive amounts of sebum. Eek. (But this is just an uneducated guess – I’m not an expert!) I did consistently use the vinegar rinse as advised, but it may have been the case of too little too late.

    All in all, I have to say I’m really for the philosophy behind simple living and eliminating chemical products from our household. However, all-natural is not necessarily the best! Maybe this is why we have experts who devote time and expertise in creating products that are safe to use. Sure, they may contain a ton of stuff that we don’t like or even know about. But I have to say, in all my years of shampoo-ing, I’ve never had an experience as terrible as this one.

    Not wanting to put too much of a damper on this method of washing hair – I just want to advise everyone out there interested in trying this out that everybody’s hair and scalp is different, and you have to be prepared to have some hiccups along the way before finding something that suits you. Bear in mind pH balance – might be useful to have some test strips at hand to test your mixture and make sure you have a good balance before applying it.

    Will I go back to commercial shampoo – probably. I will try and bring my scalp back to ‘normal’ before dousing it with the stuff though. Don’t want it to go nuts again! I think I’ve had enough of experimenting on myself. In any case, this was a little experiment that was very instructive in itself. I certainly have learned a lot in the process! Good luck to all!

  16. Isabel says

    Hello Matt & Betsy! Thank you so much for your website. I tried using the baking soda shampoo and in the beginning it felt GREAT. I was thrilled with the results and was pleasantly surprised that there was no ‘transition period’ for me. Unfortunately I was too happy too soon…3 weeks in and my hair is greasy 12 hours after washing, lots of breakage, itchy scalp, and it really doesn’t feel very healthy. Any hopes of washing my hair less are continually being dashed. In fact it seems like I have to wash my hair more than ever before! I want to be optimistic but maybe this doesn’t work for everyone? I am thinking of adding aloe vera juice to the mix. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Emily says

      Isabel,

      It sounds like the baking soda is making your hair dry… it happened to me too! I’ve been no-poo for about 10 months now, and it’s taken this entire time to perfect the proportions of what I use.

      I use a little less than one tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 cups of water. Since it makes my ends feel dry, crispy and brittle, I usually try and keep all of it at my scalp to only absorb excess oil.

      Then, I use one tablespoon on apple cider vinegar and 1.5 cups of water as a conditioner and rinse with that.

      Apparently, the baking soda/apple cider vinegar mix balances the pH of your hair.

      I also use either pure argon oil or jojoba oil (both found at Whole Foods), and apply a few drops to my ends once or twice a week…. don’t apply too close to your scalp, or you’ll look REALLY greasy!

      Hope this helps!
      Emily

  17. Ghie says

    Sir matt,, can i get the complete date you wrote this article.. i just need it for in completing my bibliography,.,,, thanks a lot sir… God Bless. and more power

  18. Nikki says

    I did about a Tbsp or 1 1/2 Tbsp for the 12oz of water and the 1 1/2 Tbsp baking soda. I didn’t measure the honey but I am guessing it was around that… I added everything and shook it. I wonder if I had put it in the blender and blended it altogether if that would have helped the oatmeal-y pieces and/or if by tomorrow maybe they will have dissolved more in the mixture. I used it within 30 minutes of making it… I will report back next time to see if the oatmeal sitting and/or blending it better helps.

  19. Kim says

    Thanks for the great post! I just stumbled upon this site but I have been washing my hair with baking soda and water for almost a year. I discovered a helpful tip that I thought I would pass on to other people with extremely oily scalps like I have. In order to avoid the greasy feel after your hair dries, rinse the baking soda mixture out with cold water. In the summer when the water coming out of the shower isn’t as cold, I actually add ice to a water bottle to squirt on my hair to rinse it out. I follow up the baking soda rinse with a mixture of 1 T apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. My hair holds a style better than it ever did with shampoo and conditioner!

Leave A Reply

Recipe Rating




Notify me of followup comments via e-mail, or subscribe without commenting.