Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo

homemade coconut milk

I have been wanting to make my own homemade shampoo for SUCH a long time! I have searched far and wide!

At first I considered the “No ‘Poo” method which MANY people swear by…but it just didn’t seem like it was for me. So my search continued. Eventually I found two very similar recipes I liked from Crunchy Better and Wellness Mama. Both contain what I consider to be the “magic ingredient”….coconut milk!

While I didn’t MAKE my own coconut milk (I think I will try it next time I make this shampoo), Crunchy Betty has a good tutorial on how to do so.


So here is my version of…..

Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo

homemade coconut milk

1/4 cup coconut milk (Like I said, you can either make your own, or use store-bought)

1/3 cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s)

1 tsp vitamin E, olive or almond oil

10 to 20 drops your choice of essential oils (I used lavender. Next time I think I’ll do something citrusy just for fun. :-)


homemade coconut milk

Combine all ingredients in a shampoo bottle or jar and shake well to mix. (I bought the squeeze bottles above at the dollar store.) You can keep it in the shower for up to one month…just shake before use.

Use about a teaspoon every time you shampoo. (I used a little more, but my hair is pretty long right now!)

I loved pretty much everything about this shampoo. It smelled good…it lathered up nicely (which I feel strongly about)…and after washing, rinsing and drying…my hair felt soft and smooth. No fly-aways.



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  1. flssgrl says

    Just finished making this can't wait for my shower tonight! I used Dr. Bronner's almond castile with vanilla essential oil. My hubby loves all things almond so possibly I can get him on board!

  2. Anonymous says

    Great blog. I just want to caution you that citrus oils are very harsh. I would not use them in shampoo. Orange oil will strip paint. Lavender is much milder and I was told by an excellent aromatherapist one of the few essential oils you can put directly on your skin uncut. I think rose oil would be neat with the coconut for a change up.

      • sarah says

        I use lemon juice, aloe vera gel and a small dab or regular shampoo. I have soft water that makes my hair a grease ball and the recipe i just said is the only thing to make my hair soft and dry but not overly dry.. So that being said, i dont think citrus is all that bad..

        • Danielle says

          Citrus isn’t bad in your case Sarah because it isn’t a concentrated oil. Essential oils are VERY strong. Undiluted they are actually harmful in some cases. If you were to use limonene or any other extract of citrus, it would, like stated above strip your hair. So in the case of essential oils a little goes a VERY long way. :) Your recipes sound lovely tho!

          • CJ says

            Not true about citrus at all. I have used citrus essential oils in shampoo bars for years – never had a complaint. Citrus essential oils can actually help to increase circulation and are anti-microbial!

            • T.J. says

              The fact that you use them does not make it untrue. It just means that you and your customers have been lucky up to this point in time (most likely because they are using it in a rinse-off product rather than a leave-on product). The phototoxicity of certain essential oils is well-documented. Bergamot, lemon, lime, mandarin, and orange.

              Do a google image search on “bergapten phototoxicity” or “phytophotodermatitis” to see what they can do to a person.

    • Kimberly B says

      I had the exact same problem so I made up another batch and left out the vitamin E. It works wonders on my hair now. I love cinnamon so I used the cinnamon essential oil and almond Dr. Bronner’s and it smells fabulous. People have been complimenting me on how silky my hair looks and I smell great, as well :-)

        • Heather says

          I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I have tried other “natural” shampoos and you rinse with an apple cider vinegar / water mix. Have you tried that at all? You just do a tablespoon of ACV to a cup of water and either just pour it on your hair or spray it from a spray bottle. You can also add essential oils to that. And then rinse with plain water. Something to try.

        • Anonymous says

          You probably have hard water, and after using the castile soap mixed with the oil, you’re left with soap scum in your hair. I suggest using only a tiny bit of castile and add baking soda to the recipe.

        • Chrissy says

          I made this today using the citrus bronners liquid Castile soap and olive oil. My hair felt so heavy and oily. Next time I am not going to add the oil. I already use a homemade conditioner that has jojoba oil in it. Plus, the bronners soap has some oils in it already too. I will try to update.

          • Lar says

            Chrissy, that is exactly what I tried and had the same result! Lots of comments say that this may be from the switch to the no poo method, but I have not been using normal shampoo for some time. My hair is naturally oily but not as soon as my hair dries like it is now. Did you have any success with not using olive oil?
            I really want this shampoo to work, it is so simple, clean, and it suds well!

        • ana says

          You can buy castile soaps bonners at many stores now I’ve seen it at sprouts health food stores trader Joe’s and even target! I like target because they have every kind I loooove the almond one

    • says

      We have been doing intensive hair conditioning with just coconut oil straight out of the jar and seriously a little drop can go a long way. I’ve noticed that its better to do this at night when I am going to shower the next morning or if I am just doing a short shower conditioning (like apply and wait five minutes) I need to rinse a few times to get it all out. As for this shampoo recipe, Vitamin E oil also has a variety of concentrations and thicknesses, so I suggest that you limit the volume of it and don’t add other oils such as olive. OO also comes in a variety of grades and a lot of them don’t work well on my skin and hair. You will also notice that the healthier your hair is becoming the less you need to really intensify the times and volume of shampooing…like what crunchy Betty says. Okay, last tip I have to pass along…I have been adding a tiny bit of coconut oil to my eyelashes once a week and they are getting extremely long. Coconut oil is awesome!

    • says

      Do you have a filter for your showerhead? If not, they cost about $25 and last for about 3 months. Also, try using an apple cider vinegar & water rinse, and/or add a teaspoon of baking soda to your wash a few times a week. I have tried a million homemade recipes and shampoo bars, and my hair gets dingy and drab no matter what, unless I throw in the baking soda every few washes. I can’t use it every time because it dries out my hair, but I’ve found that every few times works okay for me. I

      • Stephanie says

        Your hair is detoxing from additives in hair styling products or your store bought shampoo. Check out this article.
        http://yournaturalwellness.com/2008/06/08/3-ways-to-detox-your-hair/ I made this shampoo minus the coconut milk a couple weeks ago and have used it since. My hair was dull, tangly and felt tacky. I used the detox methods listed in the article and a vinegar rinse after shampooing. 1 cup warm water mixed with a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar. you can rinse it out or leave it in. It took about 2 weeks. Now my hair is softer than it has ever been, back to being shiney and more manageable.

      • Linda says

        Um, and in my case, it’s not detox: castille is what I went back to when I couldn’t stand not having lather anymore on the No Poo method, after 8 months No Poo. It’s just the hygroscopy.

  3. Southernsweetie says

    Just made this, after two trips to the store. Coconut milk beverage and coconut milk are NOT the same thing… On the bright side I now have coconut milk beverage for my morning protein shake… I;m thinking just add pineapple and I'm set!
    My 9 yr old is as excited to try it as I am. :)

      • Leslie says

        I think what they meant, is what I was wondering once upon a time… You can buy coconut milk in the can (as pictured above) and coconut milk in a milk carton. Most recipes do not differentiate between the two, and (as it did for me) can cause confusion. I now operate on the premise that whenever coconut milk is mentioned in a recipe, use the canned type. I find it in the Asian foods section of my grocery store.

  4. krunchy bits says

    Hmmm… This didnt work for me. My hair came out oily and gross. Same way as when i tried no poo method. Any suggestions to fix this? I rinsed with acv, and even added some baking soda to the shampoo thinking it was the hard water, but got the same results. Any tips ladies?

    • Meghan says

      In the no poo method your supposed to let it be greasy for a couple of weeks, it’s your hair’s way of letting go/detoxing. It sounds weird but I and some other websites I’ve visited say the same thing. :)

    • Leila says

      Your hair will always come out oily/greasy after making the switch from normal shampoos. It’s your body trying to normalize its oil production. With regular shampoo, you’re stripping your scalp and hair of it’s natural oils. When you take that stripping shampoo (the ones with sulfates and parabens) away, you’re hair has to find the right balance in oil production and that can take anywhere from two weeks to a few months. If you don’t like how greasy it looks or is getting, try using some dry shampoo to absorb the oil. :)

    • Lori says

      I can’t do it either. I get greasy and stringy and it bleaches out my colors. It also gives me dread locks… If it didn’t do that, I could probly stand to wait…Castile soap is sweet if you want all natural no teased dreads!!

    • Heather says

      As far as the baking soda map of cleansing your hair I found that if you get a shaker bottle and put a tablespoon of baking soda to about 2 cups of water shake it, and then apply to various parts of your hair at the scalp. Then go back and scrub your entire scalp with little circles. Rinse really really well then I had a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a huge half gallon size container like a pitcher, pour on your hair wait a couple minutes and rinse really well.

  5. Shelley in STL says

    Great concept, but didn't exactly work on my hair like I thought. I have fine hair, and maybe it's too porous. Or maybe I should try a lighter oil like Argan (I used straight Vitamin E, which is THICK). My hair came out, well, sticky. Once dry, it looked like I had put mousse in and scrunched it (which I hadn't). This is not totally unwelcome, as I sometimes do scrunch my hair. So maybe I'll use this on those days instead of $20 DevaCurl :) Anyway, without adjusting it to rinse cleaner, I can't use this as my regular shampoo. But I'm going to try it with a lighter oil next time and see what happens. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Leila says

      Castille soap has that effect on me regardless of where I use it. I figure it’s either the hard water or just my natural body chemistry that causes that.

      Regardless, try doing the apple cider vinegar rinse with some essential oils mixed in. That has always helped me to soften the stickiness.

      Also, decrease the amount of oil you use. And you should only use a couple of drops of vitamin E in anything you use. Too much can aggravate the skin. Grapeseed oil would be a very good alternative, as it is naturally high in vitamin E (which is a natural preservative) and is a naturally thinner oil.

      Another thing to consider is that you might be using a tad too much castille soap. Finding the right concentration can be a hit or miss thing for people. What might work for one person is waaaay too much for another person.

      • says

        I hated this recipe when I first used it, but found out it was my extremely hard water. We have since gotten a water softener and it works just fine now. It is funny to tell people that I got a water softener for my house just to be able to use my homemade shampoo, but in reality we were planning on getting one anyway, were just procrastinating :)

  6. Stephanie says

    First of all I love your blog!!!

    Second of all OMG HELP ME. I just made a batch and used it for the first time (first sign something went awry, I had to use practically half the batch to get a decent lather and get all of my hair, 1 teaspoon was like seriously not even close to enough), and my hair is like it's coated in wax! It's dried but in clumps, almost like dreadlocks! The only thing I varied was I used jojoba oil instead of the other kind, and the only reason I did this is because I was all set to make another recipe (http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Shampoo/) which is just castile, jojoba and water. I figured hey it's basically the same except instead of water it's coconut milk. Is the oil seriously making this happen? What is going on!!?? I must have done something very wrong. Even though everyone's hair is different, there's no way this is normal. What did I do?

    • Gabriel says

      I was actually surprised that this tutorial said you can you store bought coconut milk. I was told via another tutorial that most store bought coconut milks contain additives that make this shampoo fail. I was also told it is important to use an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition after rinsing out the shampoo. Maybe making it with homemade coconut milk will work better for you? Just a thought.

    • Liz says

      My first thought when you said waxy and jojoba oil was that jojoba oil is actually a wax instead of oil (totally misnamed). I have no idea what your hair type is or if that is really what caused the problem, but I suppose it might have.

  7. Anonymous says

    This one was a no go for me. I was super excited to try, but no bueno. I used the remainder as body wash. I followed the instructions to the letter, so???. But I must say I love everythinv else one this blog.

  8. Anonymous says

    I think for a lot of people that are finding this leaving your hair oily, you are experiencing what most people who go no poo experience at the beginning. You are stuck in the cycle of stripping your hair with shampoo, and your body responding by producing more oil to replace it. If you could survive using this for a week or two, the oily would probably go away. Easier said than done, I know. But I just wanted you to know that this is a normal reaction. It takes a bit for your body to realize that you aren't stripping all the natural, healthy oils off of your scalp on a daily basis.

    • says

      No, I think people are experiencing actual hair stickiness. (I’m a no-poo veteran, too, and this is not normal greasiness). As soon as the hair is dry, it feels like gel has been poured on it. There’s no way scalp oil can reach the ends of my hair in an hour – it is something in the shampoo. Possibly guar gum from store bought coconut oil, possibly too much castile oil, with its hygroscopic (water-attracting) properties. Either way, waiting it out is NOT going to help this particular breed of stickiness, the recipe just needs to be tweaked/thrown out for some of us!

  9. Patsy says

    I just made some of this and tried it tonight. So far, I love it. My hair is very coarse and thick and has a bad tendency to frizz at the slightest humidity. After using the shampoo, it's soft, manageable and absolutely no frizz. I didn't even have to use any smoothing serum when I dried it. Will be interested to see how it behaves tomorrow based on everyone's comments.

  10. Anonymous says

    There are several different recipes for using castile soap as a shampoo. I think the thing that people need to remember is it takes time for adjusting. If your scalp is use to chemicals stripping the oil away, it will naturally produce more oils. Also make sure when you mix with water that you are using distilled water in the bottle to prevent bacteria, vitamin E is often used as a preservative in products and yes essential oils can help with that as well. Some good ones for that is lavender & tea tree both of which are easy to find at health food stores. I know from other recipes I tried the castile blend even if using castile soap by itself will cause some of these lumpy oily dreadlock looking clumps in your hair. It's not from the coconut milk. Try decreasing the amount of castile soap.

    I love your site! I'm an amoratherapist and have my own business as a massage therapist & herbalist. I make my own line of products as well. I think this product is really good with a few tweaks. Thanks for sharing <3

  11. Anonymous says

    I have been using the shampoo for 4 day's now and love it, because I chose Dr, Bronners soap with almond oil and hemp in it, I left out the vit.E.
    Never doing anything like this before i was waiting for my hair to squeek when it was rinsed..no squeek, and lovely soft and clean hair!!! I also have started washing my face with it, love the almond coconut smell, and last night i lathered it up on my scrubbie in the shower and used it all over body wash, it was wonderful, fluffy lather and a wonderful rinse and I did not need lotion after, also no bad smell and it is keeping just fine in the shower. Thank you so much for this recipe, it has changed my mind about store bought shampoo, and body washes and that thrills me! warm hugs from Vermont

  12. Joy M B says

    Hi. Just wanted to comment – I'm from the Philippines where we have always used coconut milk for the hair but not as a shampoo. When I was very young, some of the older ladies in the village would let fresh coconut milk stand for hours (room temperature in a tropical climate) until the oil would separate from the milk. We would use the oil as a pre-treatment to shampoo and only in minimal amounts (like the ends and some drops on the scalp). We leave this treatment on the hair for 30 minutes to an hour; and then we shampoo it off. It's very effective for scalp problems and prevention of falling hair.

  13. Shannon Williams says

    Just tried this tonight – loved the smell, lots of great lather…however, my hair is now dry and dull, mucky feeling and very static-y. I have fine hair, but lots of it, and it is pretty straight. I will try this again tomorrow with less castile soap – wonder if that will make a difference…

    ***FYI – If you live in Canada, you can get Dr. Bronner's soaps at Loblaws, other grocery stores in the health/organic foods sections, or at your local health food store***

  14. karen says

    Just use Dr. Bronners by itself. They have a lavendar scent so no need to add more oil. You can use his product as a hair, face, body, laundry and car wash if you so desire. It doesnt need any improvement.

    • says

      I’ve tried Dr. Bronner’s on its own and it strips my hair and leaves it feeling too dry the day of the shower. The day after, it is very greasy and often it seems weighted down and dull/grey. I end up with a lot of grey-white residue on my hairbrush as well either from my scalp or from our really hard water. I can’t tell, but it’s gross. Castille soap was just not meant for washing hair. I’d go no-poo but my last try at that was a disastrous greasy dandruff-y mess!

      I was hoping this shampoo didn’t require an ACV rinse (I want to be able to shampoo and go; rinsing is a time-consuming extra step and an extra bottle to keep in the shower)… but it seems like a rinse is essential for a lot of people. I’ve tried rinses with the castille soap too, and they just don’t seem to make a difference. Maybe I’m not doing it right? Why does hair care have to be so complicated?

      • Stephanie says

        I also hate washing my hair with straight castille soap and the after effects. I end up with the same problem you have here and my hair is oily, flat, and lifeless at the same time as being dry and frizzy. I tried this homemade shampoo last night (actually I used equal parts castille soap and coconut milk) and today my hair is awesome! Worth it to give this one a chance!

  15. Nyci says

    Another thing you all may want to note is that “lather” does not equal “clean”. Lather is what you get with a bunch of soap. You don’t need a bunch of soap to get clean. Think about it like this: The side of a bottle of Lysol or other concentrated cleaner says to add a small amount to a bucket of water for mopping. That generally provides the right amount of cleaning solution for the job. Adding more than that because there aren’t a ton of bubbles is overkill and will more than likely damage the surface you are cleaning. Do you want more soap or more nutrients? Nutrients don’t lather. Soap does.

  16. Melissa says

    I have been using this for a few weeks. I am loving this idea, but my hair is still oily. Not a big deal since I normaly put my hair in a pony tail, but I read somewhere about an egg wash to get rid of the excess oil. Can’t find where I read that though. Does anybody know?

    I was also wondering if anyone knows about freezing the coconut milk. There is a lot leftover in the can, and I was wondering if I could just freeze it in 1/4 cup in a freezer bag so all I would have to do is defrost it for the next batch as needed.

    Also, if you get the bars of castile soap, you can grate them and dilute to make your own liquid soap and save tons! This calls for kirks castile, but I am going to use dr bronner’s because I read the kirks has some chemicals in it, which would defeat the purpose of all this.

  17. azure jones says

    I would love to add to the comments on this shampoo. Personally I LOVE it just the way it is and because I am mixed and wear my hair in an afro its perfect for me!!! I live in the desert and was having so many issues with my hair being so dry and breaking. I have tried many products and nothing really works. This shampoo leaves my hair soft and manageable and I can now “wash” my hair several times a week because the good oils are not being stripped from my hair. My afro thanks you !!!

    • Teah says

      Thank you for the input Azure…this is EXACTLY the info I needed. I recently relocated to Nevada & my poor ‘fro, while far from being luscious at the best of times, now resembles a cactus!! I will definitely try this now knowing from another Sista that it’s worked for her!! <3<3<3

      • Niki says

        Nevada! Me too. My hair is very oily, though. It’s straight and relatively thin, but I can’t seem to control the oil no matter what I do.
        Recently, I’ve been trying out the no ‘poo method. Still oily with the added filminess from the ACV. When I leave off the ACV (I don’t use much to begin with) it gets dry on the ends. Lose-lose, I guess.
        I want to try this! Coconut milk is now on my shopping list. I love castile soap, also a recent discovery. I use it as a body wash but was hesitant to use it on my hair. I’ve been pretty dedicated to the no’poo thing. Will washing with castile soap “undo” my month and a half of progress? I don’t want to start all over, but I’m considering pulling my hair out, literally.

        • Andrea says

          I’m a hairstylist who lives in Nevada too.. IV found unless you’ve got a good filtration and water softening system, the hard water full of minerals coats the hair shaft and leaves most hair dull and dry, you need to either buy a shower filter, or use distilled water, or always first use a stripping shampoo before using anything or most products just coat the hair and never penetrate properly,that even goes for all the professional products to be able to work properly..Nevada water is horrible in the Vegas area…and it causes baking soda to stick to yr hair and never rinse out unless you change the water like IV mentioned…Doterra shampoo which is an all natural essential oil shampoo, works awesome for gently stripping out the hard water minerals from yr hair,after that, this recipe might work amazing

        • Krystal F. says

          I did the baking soda/AVC and it worked well for awhile, but started to dry out the ends of my long hair. I switched to the DB castile soap for a few weeks, but it’s not working out for me. I also have fine, straight hair. I have soft water though. I am going back to “no ‘poo” and my hair is in shock again, so I will just have to wait it out for a few of weeks. I am thinking of trying an avocado, honey & milk recipe, though. Maybe the distilled water idea would work for you.

    • Maria says

      Glad to hear positive results from ladies with ethnic hair. I had a feeling this would work great on thick, curly, dry hair since so many caucasian ladies seemed to have a “too oily” effect. I am multi racial and hispanic in ethnicity so as you can imagine my hair is super thick, curly and frizzy, my daughters have an african american father to add to all the mix that is me so they have all different hair types. I have heard about the antifungal and atibacterial properties of coconut oil, wonder if this is true for the milk as well, I did add tea tree oil to mine to keep dandruff away as this is a fungus and Tea tree oil is also antifungal and the commercial dandruff shampoos seem to do nothing for my daughters’ hair which is prone to dandruff as I only wash it twice a week. So far so good, to add extra moisture to our hair I use organic extra virgin coconut oil, mine can air dry into natural curls and for my girls I blow dry and straighten, this way they can manage their own hair independently till I repeat the process. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  18. Sondra says

    Ok, I am a total curly girl, and have been a no~poo girl for a while. Coconut is my favorite anything! I am ever grateful…maybe I can retire earlier to that Island thanks to you! Of course I will send you a postcard!

  19. Jadie says

    Made this tonight… I used Burt’s bees baby wash and home made coconut milk,olive oil and honey it smelled so good I didn’t add any essential oils. Best at home shampoo I have used and I have tried many, my husband even liked it:)

  20. Cindy says

    I just mixed this up and haven’t used it yet, but… I used “classic” coconut milk, which has 10 grams saturated fat per 1/4 cup serving, which is what I happened to have in my cabinet. Wondering whether I should have bought “light” coconut milk. Could this be why there are complaints that it is leaving hair oily? Did you use light coconut milk in your original recipe? I’m thinking I might have been better off leaving the almond oil out, but won’t know until I try it in the morning. By the way, I’ve been no-poo for a couple of years, but my hair is too dry now, since I’m going through menopause and everything is out of whack. I was hoping this would be a good compromise.

  21. Shautel says

    We just ran out and I am about to make some more with store bought coconut milk, bc I have tons on hand for making stuff..I have used it on everyone in my family and it works just fine, including for myself….We have different types of hair, my husband has dreadlocks, my boys have short cuts and me and the 2 girls all have different types of hair from straight to kinky..We love it..I did not use vinegar after and it lathers pretty good for me..I did double and will triple the recipe this time as my teenager washes his hair everyday..Thanks for all the great post..

  22. Emily says

    I have hennaed Caucasian hair and have been using bar shampoo for two years now. I like this better, and had two actresses try it to get good 19th century hair, because they had ironed and siliconed the humanity out of their hair and it just slipped out of pins and everything. They hated it- and I think they weren’t using it properly because the top of their heads were great and the undersides were very oily. Oh well. I think they were used to detergent based shampoos spreading from the top to the bottom instead of performing a proper shampoo.

    I also got a terrible haircut, put in skin tape extensions to remedy until it grows out enough to even fix, and this shampoo works great on stripped and re-dyed human hair extensions as well as my hennaed hair. The oils don’t mess with the glue, and there isn’t a major difference between my hair (henna paste thickens the shaft) and the add-ons (which are essentially naked cortexes because it is #33, which is considered a “light” color- stripped down from Indian black and brown).

    • Brenda A says

      Whitney, I’ve been using this shampoo for a couple of months now. I use the almond scented castille soap and I noticed after about a week, the scent was gone from the shampoo and it didn’t lather as well. I now keep mine in the refrigerator. It’s a pain, I know, but it’s better for my hair and better for the environment. Does anybody else have the same problem with the shelf life?

  23. cheri says

    Hi..I’ve not been using store bought shampoo for a few yrs. I made one once with coconut milk, and it was fine. I usually use castile soap with tea or other variations, and I get great results. But when I 1st started, my hair had to go through some major changes. I stuck it out and am so glad I did. After reading through the posts of those that had bad results with it, I wonder if that was why? When I first used something other than commercial shampoo on my hair, I didn’t like the way my hair felt either, but it was well worth the switch =)

  24. Marissa says

    I put my homemade shampoo in one of those soap foam dispensers. The shampoo comes out in an unbelievably rich lather. I use this recipe as an all over body wash and shampoo. It’s AMAZING.

  25. Delia says

    I’m excited to try this recipe. I’ve been using a similar castile soap recipe and it’s been great. The first couple weeks coming off regular shampoo were rough. I wore hats and large headbands to cover up the greasy mess that was my hair. I stuck with it and now my hair is adjusted! It feels sticky if I use this on my ends though. I have pretty fine hair and it weighed it down. Now, I squirt a little bit at my roots and rub it in to get a nice lather, keeping it at my roots. Then I follow with a apple cider vinegar rinse (which is crucial if you want to get a comb through it!) and it feels great!

    • Wendy says

      I’m just reading this now and while I haven’t started a No-poo regimen, I have tried using Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse. I am wondering if anyone else has had trouble with their hair smelling of vinegar even after rinsing well… mine has for a day or so after – not terribly, just enough to bother me :).
      I have found that my hair (which is long and fine, but I have a lot of it) is shinier than it used to be, so I’d like to keep at it…
      Thanks for any input you can give me.

  26. Anonymous says

    I make and sell natural and organic skin and hair care products and although I don’t want to be controversial, I can tell you that this is NOT shampoo and it will not in the long term be good for your hair.

    I make olive oil liquid castille soap, but I sell it as hand or body wash, NOT for hair. The pH of our hair is between 5.5. and 6.5 and the pH of even the mildest liquid soap is around 9.5. This is way too alkaline for hair and will open the cuticle, which is why hair can feel straw-like after washing with soap. If you use this often you risk damage and breakage to the hair shaft. With the coconut milk what you are doing is adding oils to your liquid soap to make it milder. It will do that to a certain extent but more than a small percentage of oils will dull your hair and weigh it down, and will also dilute the cleansing power of your “shampoo”. You may be ok if you have what is called “virgin” hair, but with all the colouring, styling, curling and straightening we do these days, not many of us are that lucky …

    I am not sure why you want to make this “switch” from ordinary shampoo … there are many small maufacturers now who are making natural and organic shampoos with very gentle plant-based surfactants (and yes, many are coconut-derived) rather than the dreaded “sulphates” and which also contain plant extracts such as nettle, horsetail and burdock root which have been proved to strengthen and protect the hair cuticle and add shine.

    I know it is fun to play about with making things, but I should just tell you that it took me ten years of soapmaking experience and two years of making creams and lotions etc before I felt I was ready to make a decent shampoo – and even then I threw away my first few trials!

    • says

      I like your comment. I do think what you say makes sense. I haven’t had success with these so called safe homemade shampoos. I had read about the PH level in another blog. My father is a chemical engineer and he just told me to be careful with the PH levels so I wouldn’t mess up my skin and hair. I haven’t been able to switch to a shampoo that has milder or organic ingredients because where I live those alternative products are not found easily. Anyway I was having this feeling I shouldn’t be experimenting so much specially with shampoo and you helped me understand why I wasn’t feeling it was a good idea to use castille soap as an alternative to shampoo. Do you think I could use castile soap as a body wash? nature-like.blogspot.com

    • rusty22 says

      I tried this recipe today, followed it exactly, including the vinegar rinse, and conclude that you are right. When I was drying my hair, it was dry and tangled, and had this greenish/ gray cast to it. I was horrified and jumped back in the shower, washed & conditioned it (using build up remover first), and my hair is still dry and tangled with a weird, patchy grayish cast in spots. I am going to do a coconut oil treatment tomorrow & rewash with a clarifying shampoo again. Horrible experience, I totally regret it..

  27. tiffany says

    Question: I looked at crunchy betty’s recipe which is similar minus the essential oil, and her recommendation was to refrigerate the shampoo if you chose to make more than one wash amount at a time. You say you can keep it in the shower. What’s the difference? Personal preference or is the structure of the shampoo changed as it sits either cool or room temp. Just curious. About to make it and need to decide how much to make at a time. If it has to go in the fridge I KNOW i’ll forget about grabbing it in the morning BEFORE I hop in the shower, LOL.

  28. tiffany says

    Janice…doing a apple cider vinegar rinse after washing should help tremendously with the straw feeling. You just put about 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 3 cups water and use it to rinse your hair after you wash. Leaves it super shiny and soft.

  29. DRK says

    Back in the day, before there was much of anything to wash hair with except soap, the advice books were full of vinegar rinses you could use on your hair to get the soap film out.

    The fact is, if you wash your hair with soap, more than likely it’s going be dull and sticky; that’s why they invented shampoos with detergent in them. Because they rinse out. Unlike soap.

    If you have very coarse or curly hair, washing your hair with soap might work, but for the rest of us, no. If you are just determined to do this, than be prepared to rinse your hair frequently with apple cider vinegar, etc.

    • Val says

      Exactly. Which is the same reason that it was a common thing for our grandmothers to use rain water to wash their hair – rain water is ‘soft’ water. Those of us even now who live in rural areas and use well water (instead of *usually* soft ‘city’ water) will almost always experience the terrible soap film ickyness when using any type of real soap as a shampoo. The bad thing is that, the more natural oils your scalp produces, the worse it is!
      This same thing goes for homemade laundry detergent … recipes for it abound on the internet, and they may work well for those on city water or with water softeners, but when using ‘hard’ well water, it’s a no-go. Same icky build-up results on the clothes … and no, sorry, the clothes don’t just ‘have to get used to it.’

  30. renee says

    has anyone tried this using a sudsing pump? i usually mix castille and water to wash my son’s hair. wondering if i can modify it adding moisturizing ingredients and coconut milk to use for my daughter as well. i need some conditioning/detangling on her long hair.

  31. susan says

    Two things help with the oily feeling: 1:4 apple cider vinegar to water rinse AND a 1/3 cup of water in the shampoo with a teaspoon of baking soda.

    The water in my city is hard, and this shampoo was only moderately successful, the water at my cabin is SSSSsssoft and the shampoo worked as well as commercial shampoo.

  32. says

    So I was super excited to try making this tonight. I whipped it up using tea tree oil and some cold pressed olive oil. I put my two youngest children in the bath. My son has beautiful shoulder length blond hair, that is some what thick but naturally soft and lays like he’s spent 3 hours in the salon. My youngest daughter has baby fine light light blond hair.

    I washed both their hair and it felt…sorta of sticky and ‘too clean’. I’ve used natural shampoo on them before, so it wasn’t something new. Put a pea sized amount of conditioner in, rinsed that out, dried them off and their hair looks fantastic! It smells really fresh and they loved it!

    My oldest took his shower. He’s got very ver thick dark hair. He remarked that he loved how it smelled and lathered up. His hair is still damp but it looks great.

    As for me…I wasn’t so lucky. My hair was NOT happy with the shampoo at all. It felt very very sticky no matter how much I rinsed it. I put my usual store bought conditioner in afterwards and it still felt gross, for lack of a better word. I assume that my hair is just not used to it, and its going to take a bit for it to warm up to it.

    I combed it out and I’m now letting it air dry. We’ll see in the morning how it feels. I won’t give up though! Its working great for the kids, and THAT makes me happy. Thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  33. Lori says

    I’ve been co-washing my hair (washing hair with conditioner) with Suave Coconut Conditioner. I started it to help with my unmanagable hair, my hair is thick, long and curly. It has helped a lot and it eliminates using some of the harsh chemicals in shampoos. It’s not nearly as frizzy. The conditioner is also very cheap and I also use it for shaving legs. Was considering making my own shampoo, but this is much easier and not that expensive. More info at http://www.long-healthy-hair-advisor.com/conditioner-washing.html

  34. Michele DeGaetano says

    This is off the subject, but the other day I was in Tuesday Morning and saw a really awesome hanging bag for jewelry. Came home and kept looking at it and took all my spools of threads for sewing and filled it up. The plastic is see thru and each little cubby holds one late or 2 small ones. I put each one with same colors. Hung it on the wall over my sewing machine. My friends love it. Badlucy

  35. Elizabeth says

    I also had bad results with this shampoo. I’m not sure it’s a “detox” thing because I have been extremely careful about what I use in my hair (and on my body in general) for years now. The detoxing happened back when I first started using only natural products. I tried this simply to save some money and, from the first use, it left my hair very heavy and greasy–worse than before I washed it. I tried to stick with it and used it for a full 9 days, but my hair and scalp were miserable for it. For those who were wondering about refrigeration–I didn’t refrigerate it and it seemed to do fine until we got to about the 1-month mark (I still occasionally used it for body wash) and then it got stinky, so I tossed it. The person who left the comment about pH concerns may be on to something–I think I’ll leave shampoo making to the professionals.

    • Stacey says

      Hello Elizabeth,
      Did you also try the vinegar rinse after the shampoo? The oils in the shampoo will deposit oil/greasy feeling to your hair, but the vingar rinse should relieve that. If that does not work add a little bit of baking soda to your shampoo mix, or try just using baking soda and water as the shampoo. The baking soda will wash out the extra “heavey” oil/grease from your hair. Hope this helps.

  36. says

    This sounds great – I am going to try it! TSM!

    Just a comment about the lather part – I know you “feel strongly about” about it but I wonder why? I think I remember you saying in the homemade detergent post about the lack of suds, that suds were not a sign of cleaning. I wonder why you don’t think the same with shampoo – it is just logical that if detergent can clean our clothes without suds that shampoo can clean our hair without suds.

  37. Ali says

    I just made a batch and I’m super excited to use it! Do you use this every day? By itself? I’ve always used conditioner in my hair too and I’m just not sure how to properly use this so my hair doesn’t get dry.

  38. Cat says

    Have you considered mixing baking soda in with the mix? Supposedly it helps remove buildup, and might help with the castile soap buildup problem. Also, I’ve heard that rinsing with a mild acid, like diluted apple cider vinegar helps with the buildup problem… I’m gonna try both of these ideas, but thanks for the basic recipe!


  1. [...] All you need are two ingredients to make the best shampoo ever.  It lathers wonderfully, has a lovely perfume-free fragrance and rinses clean.  It also makes a fabulous body wash.  I love it for my kids because I don’t have to worry about the toxic chemicals that are in the supposedly-natural ”baby shampoos” out there.  The recipe was adapted from One Good Thing by Jillee. [...]

  2. [...] Combine all the ingredients in an empty shampoo bottle or jar and shake. I used a funnel to pour ingredients in the empty bottle. You can keep it in the shower for one to two months. Shake well before each use. Recipe from one good thing by Jillie [...]

  3. [...] 1. I swear by coconut oil. When I’m at college, I’ll take a 30-minute bus ride to the international store for the sole purpose of getting my favorite pure coconut oil, and I save it for those special days when my hair has to be on its best behavior (one day, when I’m out of college and have money again, I may even have the luxury of using it every day — a girl’s gotta dream, right?) 2. I’m obsessed with new shampoos; just ask my uncle from Arkansas who came to visit the other day and spent a good 10 minutes lecturing me about the clutter in and around my bathtub. I enjoy trying all sorts of new things, but I have a soft spot in my heart for things that make my hair look, feel, and smell amazing, and coconut oil does all of that. Now, yes, coconut oil and coconut milk are two different substances with different modes of extraction and a plethora of different uses, but they’re both derived from the same source and they’re both excellent for keeping your hair looking healthy and shiny. Now, without further ado, here are the instructions for making your own coconut milk shampoo, courtesy of One Good Thing by Jillee: [...]

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