Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo

Coconut Milk Shampoo

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

Coconut Milk Shampoo

  • 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. :-)

Coconut Milk Shampoo

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.

Coconut Milk Shampoo

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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. Juls says

    I found the cheapest castile soap at Kroger in their organic and health food section. ALL KINDS of all natural cleaners and soaps!

  3. Anonymous says

    mine was too. But when I mixed it it blended well. JUST now used it. Hair is wet but I will report tomorrow.

  4. 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.

    • says

      So glad I just read that. it’s amazing how we have to regear our thoughts on shampoo after years of using so many harsh chemicals.

      • 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!

      • Courtney says

        In the case of using citrus EOs, they are only harmful if not mixed with a carrier oil. Using almond, olive oil or vitamin e makes it ok. This is the case with pretty much every EO you buy.

      • Amanda says

        I have super sensitive skin but I’ve been using this exact recipe with orange oil and I haven’t had any problems. Unless you count smelling mildly like oranges a problem! :) My hair is super soft and clean, no irritation at all.

      • Linda says

        Citrus oils do make your skin photosensitive, though. They are banned by IFRA (along with just about everything else) because the effect is so strong. The photosensitivity issue is pretty well documented.

      • Heather says

        Ooooooo! I’m going to try orange and vanilla. I will smell like a creamsicle! Yum!

      • 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.

    • Mary says

      You can use rosemary eo…just a couple of drops…it’s excellent for hair growth and your scalp. I use a combo of rosemary and peppermint eo…smells divine!

  5. Anonymous says

    Hi, I recently tried the coconut milk shampoo. I love your recipes and site. But this leaves my hair looking dull and dirty feeling. Is this something that will go away?

    • 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 :-)

      • Janice says

        I had the same problem, my hair feels terrible.. I used olive oil and I used the citrus Castile soap, would that make any difference?

      • 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!

      • Heather says

        It is probably your water, if you have hard water. Castile soap and hard water do not go together very good.

      • 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

      It’s the castille. It’s hygroscopic and continues to attract moisture. I can’t use it on my hair because it feels absolutely grimy if I use it, but other people swear by it.

      • 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.

  6. 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. :)

    • Sami says

      Oh no, just made this, scanning for comments & I see I too have coconut milk beverage!!! Should I throw this out (what I just made)??

      • 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.

  7. 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. :)

      • TERESA says

        you are absolutely right leila, that is the same as your skin changing from commercial made soap to a NATURAL blend. works for some doesn’t for others.

    • 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.

  8. Anonymous says

    Hey Doll:
    I just love your all your posts…It's like you read my mind about what I want to know about or try.
    Keep up the great job.
    love, love love

  9. 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!

    • CLC0930 says

      I have fine hair as well and had product in it – when I washed it with Castile soap, my hair was sticky afterwards too!

    • 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 :)

  10. 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.

      • Miranda says

        The store brought coconut milk, Thai, does have one additional ingredient – guar gum. This probably has some effect on the outcome of the shampoo!

    • Lori says

      Me too!! It’s the castile soap. The baking soda method doesn’t do the waxy thing near as bad…but it bleaches out my dyed hair. :(

    • 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.


  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. […]