DIY Shampoo for healthy, strong hair


This easy, DIY shampoo is free of toxic ingredients and promotes healthy, strong hair.

My journey to natural hair care began 5 years ago, after the birth of my 3rd child.

I had just discovered I was gluten-intolerant, and it sparked a “get rid of all the junk in my life” phase. As I was cleaning out my kitchen cabinets of gluten, refined/prepackaged foods, and pretty much anything with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, I decided to give the bathroom cabinets a good going-through, too.

DIY Shampoo

My normal shampoo was whatever happened to be the cheapest (usually Suave) or Costco’s version of Head & Shoulders for the dry winter months. But reading the back of my shampoo bottle was almost enough to give me a newbie health-nerd heart attack!

Just look at the ingredients in this common brand’s shampoo:

“Water (Aqua), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Distearate, Dimethiconol, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Carbomer, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Citric Acid, PPG-9, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG-45M, Prunus Amygdalus Dulc
is (Sweet Almond) Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (19140).”

Not only could I only pronounce 3-4 of the ingredients, and I wasn’t sure shampoo needed more than 3-4 ingredients! And food coloring, in shampoo? Seriously?

I threw it away.

natural homemade shampoo


In the years following, I went through phases of washing my hair with different “no-poo” methods. For the most part, I stuck with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. But after moving to the south a few years ago my hair changed for the worst. It not only became an awful, oily mess, but it was simultaneously brittle! And after another pregnancy, all the hair around my scalp fell out, leaving short, stubby hairs that were awful to manage and took forever to grow.

I’m not sure if it was the change in atmosphere, the difference in the water, the fact that I’m getting older (aka hormone changes), or a combination of it all, but no-poo was not working for me anymore.

So I set out to try to make my own shampoo. And after about a year, and a few trials with coconut oil and coconut milk (which make my hair greasier), I finally settled on a gentle one using castile soap and essential oils.

essential oils for healthy hair

If you’re frustrated with slow-growing hair, or struggle with an oily mess, give this shampoo a try! It uses a combo of essential oils that are helpful for promoting healthy hair:

Lemon and melaleuca (tea tree) are great for dealing with oily hair (melaleuca has also been known to strengthen hair). Rosemary and peppermint may stimulate blood flow to the scalp and help your hair grow strong and healthy.

DIY shampoo is a great option for most people as you can easily change the essential oils used to fit your hair type and needs!

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

DIY Shampoo for Healthy Hair

A basic DIY shampoo recipe with natural ingredients.



  • Combine all ingredients in a liquid measuring cup.
  • Pour mixture into a 16 oz. bottle with a squirt-lid and store in the shower.
  • Makes 12 ounces.
  • Can easily be halved if you can't find a 16 oz bottle.


Raia lives in the south with her husband/best-friend, five wonderfully crazy kids, six free-range chickens, and a gazillion mosquitoes. In between being a full time wife, mom, and homeschool teacher, she blogs over at, where she shares all her gluten-free and allergy-friendly food.
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  1. Ferial

    This is great! I’m curious as to what you use for conditioner, or if you use conditioner at all? Thanks!

    • Raia

      At the moment I don’t use any conditioner at all. I have used a water and apple cider vinegar mixture in the past, though.

  2. Jess Benoit

    I would love to know about conditioner as well. I have very fine, thin, oily hair and so conditioner is only put at the very ends of it. Do you feel like you need it after using this DIY shampoo though?

    I am definitely interested in trying this DIY shampoo myself. I don’t have melaleuca essential oil though. Is there a way to make it w/out that?

    It’s crazy to think that combating oil WITH oil works. I’ve used a facial oil cleanser before and it worked. I have very oily skin, too.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Raia

      I don’t feel like conditioner is necessary with this shampoo. 🙂 And yes, you can definitely leave out the melaleuca oil, if you need to. I would suggest investing in some, though. Not just for the hair benefits, but melaleuca is a wonderful natural healer and topical anti-biotic, as well. 🙂

  3. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    This is great Raia! I need to start making my own. Love the EOs you used too.

    • Raia

      Thanks, Emily! It’s so easy and I love being able to choose what’s in it. 🙂

    • Raia

      Thanks, Chandice!

    • Raia

      Thank you, Rebecca! 🙂

  4. Deborah Davis

    Who can resist a natural homemade shampoo made with all of my favorite ingredients! I am so delighted that you shared your healthy, easy, DIY shampoo with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party!Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! All the best, Deborah

    • Raia

      I’m glad to share, Deborah! Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂

  5. Amanda

    Great idea! I am just starting to use essential oils and I love he idea of making my own shampoo!

    • Raia

      Thanks, Amanda! You should definitely try it – it’s super easy!

  6. Elle @ Only Taste Matters

    Oh I have been on a mission to sort this out as well. Thanks for the recipe. BTW I smell a business idea here.

  7. Debi

    I have a dry scalp and hair, what essential oils would you recommend for that?

  8. Alisa Fleming

    I really need to try something new for my hair, and this may be it. Our climate is super dry and so is my scalp! I’m curious on the essential oils for that, too. I’m thinking tea tree, but wondering if there are other options.

  9. Novi

    Hi Raia, thank you for this recipe. I wonder can this shampoo be used to treat dandruff? My husband has oily hair and he suffers dandruff for years. Thanks

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