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I’ve been patiently waiting for my commercially purchased shampoo to run out so I could make this one! As most of my readers are aware, I am fiercely DIY and love a new project.  Not to mention that is one more step on our journey to self sufficiency and homesteading.


Herbal shampoo DIY


I tried the “no-poo” thing for a while and I just couldn’t make it work. Even with the apple cider vinegar my hair was a dried out old mess. Then I tried co-washing for a while (washing with conditioner only). While this method might work well for someone with curly hair, I ended up with a greasy mess. So I went back to shampoo but vowed that once the opportunity presented itself I would make it myself.


I still use some of the ‘no-poo’ and ‘co-washing’ philosophies when possible:


  1. Wash your hair less
    • Each time we wash our hair with shampoo (of any kind), it stripes out the natural oils in our scalp. Our body responds to this by producing more oil to replace what was lost. So over time your hair will actually get oily.  I only wash my hair every 3-4 days (2-3 in the summer). It took a few weeks but my hair’s natural oil production balances out and I’m only slightly greasy by day 4!
  2. Only wash your scalp
    • If you have long hair this is a good tip for you! The oil that our scalp produces doesn’t really make it’s way down to the rest of your hair. Frequent washing of all your hair will eventually lead to oil scalp and super dry ends. So unless all of your hair is dirty you can get away with just a scalp wash. My usual routine is a scalp wash every 3-4 days and then after doing that twice I’ll wash all my hair.
  3. Use silicone free conditioner
    • Silicones are found in most commercial brands of conditioner and when used on a regular basis can start to coat your hair and weigh them down. Do your google research and you will find some readily available brands that are silicone free. My personal favourite is the Live Clean brand. They are affordable and environmentally friendly.  Another alternative are apple cider vinegar rinses.
  4. Dry hair with a t-shirt and very thin towel
    • I read this somewhere when I was co-washing. I have found this to be way less damaging on my hair and even though I don’t have curly hair, if I dry my hair this way I find it has a bit of a wave to it.





Recipe: Herbal Infused Shampoo



  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2 tbsp of dried herbs (see herb list below)
    • I used rosemary and calendula
  • 1/4 cup of castile soap (I used Dr. Bronners)
  • 1/2 tsp of apricot or grapeseed oil
    • You can try coconut, almond or olive but because I have oily hair I stayed away from the heavier oils.
  • 20-30 drops (total) of essential oils (see essential oils list below)
  • A bottle
    • Being frugal I reused an old washed out shampoo bottle
    • Edited: if you have a squeeze bottle use it! This shampoo is watery 🙂



  • Put your herbs in a measuring cup and pour 1 cup of boiling water over them. Just as a tip, place a metal knife in the measuring cup before you add the boiling water; this will help to absorb the heat and prevent the glass from cracking. Let this steep for a few hours. Once your infusion cools, strain out the herbs, squeezing the herbs well.
  • Combine your herbal infusion with all other ingredients in a bottle.
  • Shake before use but not too much! Although the shampoo is watery it lathers up very well.


Herbs to Use in Shampoo


Normal Hair

  • Basil, calendula, chamomile, horsetail, lavender, nettle, rosemary, sage

Dry hair/scalp

  • Burdock root, calendula, chamomile, comfrey, horsetail, lavender, marshmallow root, nettle, sage

Oily hair/scalp

  • Bay leaf, burdock root, calendula, chamomile, horsetail, lemon balm, lavender, lemon peel, lemongrass, nettle, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, witch hazel bark, yarrow


Essential Oils to Use in Shampoo




Normal Hair

  • Carrot seed, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, orange, petitgrain, rosemary, sage sandalwood, thyme, ylang ylang


Dry hair/scalp

  • Carrot seed, cedarwood, chamomile, clary safe, geranium, jasmine, lavender, myrrh, orange, petitgrain, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang ylang


Oily hair/scalp

  • Basil, bergamot, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, orange, patchouli, peppermint, petitgrain, rosemary, sage, tea tree, thyme, ylang ylang



  • Cedarwood, eucaplytus, lavender, lemongrass, lime, patchouli, rosemary


Hair loss/thinning hair

  • Basil, clary sage, tea tree, ylang ylang