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How to Make Your Own Shampoo With Ingredients You Have in Your Kitchen

Good Housekeeping logo Good Housekeeping 7/11/2018 by Jean Nick
a tattoo on his face: Clean up your shampooing routine with homemade shampoo and these other natural hair care recipes. © Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock Clean up your shampooing routine with homemade shampoo and these other natural hair care recipes.

No one wants to go around with an oily mop, but some of the products designed to clean said mop can take a toll on your scalp, or cost a premium at the drugstore. The solution? Homemade shampoos made with natural ingredients you already have in your house.

Before you write off the idea of homemade shampoo as the domain of hippies, rest assured that these DIY recipes really do get your hair clean and shiny, whether your hair is oily, dry, or somewhere in between. See below for our easy, homemade shampoo recipes.

Basic Homemade Shampoo

a close up of a bottle: homemadeshampoo-1000 © xuanhuongho/getty homemadeshampoo-1000
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup castile vegetable-based liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s (available on Amazon)
  • 1 teaspoon light vegetable oil or glycerine (omit if you have oily hair)
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)

Combine ingredients, mix well, and put in a recycled shampoo bottle. Use a palm-full of the shampoo or less to lather once, and then rinse with warm water. This homemade shampoo is thinner than commercial shampoo and it won’t suds as much - but it will eliminate oil and grime just as well as the over-the-counter stuff.

Herbal Homemade Shampoo

For a naturally scented shampoo, opt for a scented castile soap, or substitute ½ cup strong herbal tea - chamomile, lavender, and rosemary are good choices - for water in the Basic Shampoo recipe.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

a glass of orange juice on a table: apple cider vinegar shampoo © HeikeRau/getty apple cider vinegar shampoo

If you want to know the real secret to truly healthy hair, grab a box of baking soda and some apple cider vinegar. Note that the mixture works well, but it can take a while for your hair to adjust (i.e., it might be very oily at first).

Put a few tablespoons of baking soda in the bottom of a repurposed squeeze bottle, top it off with hot water, and shake it well. (You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, too, for scent.) After it settles for a few minutes, apply ¼ cup to wet hair, work it through with fingers, and rinse it out. There are no suds, but this homemade mixture leaves hair clean and shiny. Follow that with this basic rinse recipe: Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice with two cups water. Pour it through your wet hair and rinse with cool water.

Egg Yolk Conditioner

a bowl of fruit: egg yolks © Patrick Chondon / EyeEm/getty egg yolks
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup warm water

Right before you wash your hair with your homemade shampoo, beat the egg yolk until it’s frothy, add oil and beat again, then add water slowly while beating. Pour the mix through wet hair, working it in with your fingers. Allow it to set for a few minutes then rinse it out with warm water.

Deep Conditioner

a close up of a bowl of soup on a clear day: making avocado shampoo © Babe Parker making avocado shampoo

For dry or damaged hair, using a deep conditioner once a week can make a huge difference. You can use any of the following in combination or alone: olive oil, coconut oil, beaten egg, yogurt, mayonnaise, mashed banana, or mashed avocado.

Massage any of these into wet hair, wrap it all up turban-style in an old towel for 20 minutes, and rinse well.

Herbal Color-Modifying Rinses

lavender tea © ChamilleWhite/getty lavender tea

While none of these will turn blond hair black or black hair strawberry blonde, using them on a regular basis can add highlights and even tone down some graying strands.

To lighten hair: Soak in strong chamomile tea, diluted lemon juice, or tea made with fresh rhubarb. For more pronounced results, allow rinse to dry in hair - outside in the sunshine if possible.

To darken hair and mellow out graying strands: Strong sage, lavender, or cinnamon tea.

To add reddish highlights and tint: Hibiscus flower tea.

Citrus Natural Hair Spray Recipe

a glass of orange juice: citrus natural hair spray © HeikeRau/getty citrus natural hair spray
  • ½ orange
  • ½ lemon
  • 2 cups water

Chop fruit finely, simmer the pieces in water until they are soft and the liquid is half gone. Strain liquid into a small spray bottle and store in refrigerator between uses. Spray finished hair lightly; dilute with water if sprayed hair is stiffer than you desire.

Easy Anti-Static Treatment for Dry Hair

Put a small dab of natural hand lotion in one palm, rub hands together to coat both evenly, and run your fingers through your hair.

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