Make Your Own Coconut Milk and Coconut Milk Shampoo!

coconut milk shampoo

WELCOME to “Save My Sanity Saturday” at One Good Thing By Jillee….where I attempt to avoid having a nervous breakdown by actually giving myself a day off from blogging once a week!

So pull up a chair and sit back and enjoy an “oldie but goodie” from the One Good Thing By Jillee archives.


–Originally posted March 19, 2012–


Awhile back I posted a “recipe” for Coconut Milk Shampoo that proved to be VERY popular! Apparently I wasn’t the only one looking for an alternative to store-bought shampoo.

While this was a much-viewed (and tried) idea…judging by the comments…it was met with mixed reviews. Even my own initial opinion of the mixture changed the more I used it. I found that I couldn’t use it every time I shampooed because it left my hair feeling too “coated”.

For the last several days I haven’t been able to get this out of my mind. While I don’t expect every single one of my posts to be a “homerun”…this one had enough people that weren’t satisfied with the results that I knew I had to do some more research. That’s how much I love you guys! ;-)

Saturday I spent HOURS searching for an answer. It wasn’t proving as easy as I thought it would be! My suspicion was that the castile soap might be the culprit in this recipe…but almost EVERY SINGLE homemade shampoo formulation I found had castile soap as the base.

Many, many recipes later…I have come up with the following semi-homemade version of Coconut Milk Shampoo that while not completely “natural” is still a vast improvement over typical grocery store brands.


coconut milk shampoo



Semi-Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (you can either make your own [see below], or use store-bought)
  • 1/3 cup organic baby shampoo or wash (the closest I could get to organic was Aveeno)
  • 1 tsp vitamin E, olive or almond oil (I used olive oil)
  • 10 to 20 drops of your choice of essential oils (I used my go-to EO…Lavender)

Since I was anxious to try this new formulation and was out of canned coconut milk…I decided I might as well try my hand at making my own. After seeing how easy it was to make Almond Milk last week, I figured I could handle coconut. And I just happened to have a whole bag of shredded coconut that I recently purchased to use in my sister’s homemade granola recipe. So I was set. I turned to Crunchy Betty’s instructions and got started.

As I suspected….it was super easy!


coconut milk shampoo

Put the shredded coconut into the blender (or food processor) with 1 cup HOT water. PULSE approximately 20 times. (Don’t run continuously.)


coconut milk shampoo

Strain “milk” through a fine sieve or some sort of cloth. Push down on the coconut to make sure you get all the liquid out.


coconut milk shampoo

Put coconut back in the blender with another cup of HOT water and repeat 3 more times.


coconut milk shampoo

You will end up with approximately 4 cups of lovely coconut milk!


NOW we are ready to make the SHAMPOO! :-)


coconut milk shampoo

Add 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/3 cup baby shampoo, and 1 tsp olive oil, vitamin E oil or almond oil to the bottle of your choice. I used one of these squirt bottles I picked up at Walmart. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients. Then add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. (Rosemary and Lavender would be a nice combo!)

Go jump in the shower and try it out!


coconut milk shampoo



Personally, I like this version a LOT better than the first. Unfortunately, the castile “soap” in the first recipe reacts with the minerals in the water we wash our hair with and can form a film or residue. That is why some of us experienced a “coated” feeling on our hair….and why most shampoo is made with “detergents”, because detergent reacts less to minerals in water and doesn’t leave this residue. Of course detergents contain OTHER ingredients that are less than desirable. But that’s another post for another time. :-)


Have you tried making your own shampoo before?




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  1. Amethyst says

    What about homemade conditioner with the coconut milk? I know “conditioners” are simple to make but don’t work well for curly hair. At least not mine. A nice thick, rich conditioner would be magnificent!

    • Patsy says

      Imogene, go to the very top of this newsletter, click on the “Homemade Solutions” tab, then go to the “Health and Beauty” section. You will find lots of recipes and info for making your own solutions. There is one for making a body lotion that has coconut oil as the main ingredient. It might not be on the first page of recipes but at the bottom of the page is a tab for “older posts”, just click on it for more solutions. Good luck, hope this helped.

    • Ila says

      Coconut oil is the only thing that I use for my skin since I found it about 4 months ago. It is amazing! I use it for everything now! I eat it, I feed it to my dogs, I use it as a hand lotion at work daily, a deep conditioning treatment for my hair, it is in my deodorant, laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste, I replace butter in most all recipes with it, and countless others! I have talked about this amazing stuff so much that 5 of the women that work with me have begun using it as well! Do your own research and you will see just how amazing 100% raw, organic, unrefined, & cold pressed coconut oil is for you & all of it’s countless benefits and uses!

  2. Carla says

    Sounds fantastic; I’m soooo fed up with commercial shampoos! Just one wee question: does using coconut milk mean it has to be refrigerated?

    Thanks for this and the duvet-stuffing–and all of the other super hints, come to think of it!

    Carla Downunda

  3. says

    Dear Jillee, soap is soap. Some more naturally made, but still soap. One way to avoid the soap build up is to do a final rinse of 1 litre water with a tablespoon of vinegar or if you prefer lemon juice. I have been known to steep dried rosemary & put the vingar or lemon in with this. Rosemary is wonderful for your hair.Soap is akaline & lemon & vinegar are acidic. They cancel each other out & thus eliminate each other. With that no soap build up. That’s is why adding vinegar to soap based cleaning products (& lemon) is counter productive. You can use them afterwards to remove the last of a cleaning product but can never put them together. People make these cleaning products with added vinegar or lemon & end up with lumps, that are in fact the oil or fat that is essential to the soapmaking process. Sometimes people end up with the itchy scalps which usually can be put down to soap build up. If this vingar, lemon rinse is used it is almost always eliminated. Learnt of a lot of this the hard way.

    • Ste LKF says

      I totally support everything the last commenter (PETA) said.

      Also, you can use just about any citrus fruit juice instead of lemon or vinegar. I really like the combination of coconut milk with lime juice, but grapefruit juice is super clarifying too. And I definitely support a sprig of rosemary in the mix!

      Btw, I’ve been using a ratio of a tablespoon of acid with a cup of water but I’ll try more dilute like PETA suggests.

      Also: The coconut milk shampoo definitely, definitely needs to be stored in the fridge. Really.

  4. Stacy says

    I use baking soda & water (1 Tbs bs to 1 cup water) & am liking it. But I wonder if mixing the baking soda in coconut milk would work. Hmm. Also, what do you use as a conditioner? I am loving trying new homemade body & cleaning products. Thank you for putting them all together :-)

  5. Renee says

    The only thing with using store bought coconut is it is loaded with sugar! So, if you do this process above you are going to have tons of sugar in your “coconut milk” AND IN YOUR HAIR. If you watch this process on this site it will show tell you the sugar that comes out when you rinse it.

    The best thing is to buy the organic unsweetened coconut flakes at health food stores or online and then do the process to make the milk. No added sugar to your hair!

  6. Kiki says

    Back in the day we used a vinegar rinse to get rid of the soap curd left on hair. Use about a tablespoon of cider vinegar in a pint or so of water. Pour over the wet shampooed hair and let set for a few minutes and then rinse with plain water. Leaves your hair fresh smelling and so shiny. Great for dandruff or itchy scalp, too.

  7. Wendy says

    I tried the castile soap shampoo, it didn’t work for me. I also tried washing my hair with baking soda and apple sider vinegar as a conditioner; my hair was so dry that I had to cut it because the ends looked horrible. Now I’m using the Nourishing Spa Shampoo from Trader Joe’s and apricot oil and my hair is looking better.

  8. STACEY says

    LOVE COCONUT OIL………..use for face moisturizer (day and night), in cooking, baking and I give to my cat and chickens but, best of all, I use it for brushing my teeth……….it’s the best feeling in my mouth except for getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist……………Just straight coconut oil(about a 1/2 a tsp.on your toothbrush. Now when I use regular toothpaste (on rare occassion ) It tastes nasty and leaves a film in my mouth……………..YUCK…………Oh, by the way, I get my coconut oil at a health food store by the gallon bucket at about 28.00………….Lasts about 4 months………..

  9. cat says

    Jillee, I didn’t see what size bag of coconut?
    I adore you, thank you for all your posts everyday. When someone sees something new go up in my house ( daily ) they just smile and say, “Jillee?” : )
    You’re a gem!
    Have a great day, everyone, oh, and thank you!

  10. Leslie says

    Does coconut oil need to be refrigerated? I have some Dr. Bonners that was solid when I first opened the jar, but is now liquid if I don’t refrigerate it. But if I refrigerate it, it is rock hard. So confused….

  11. Mary says

    I bought a cheap brand coconut oil from Wal-Mart. It was off the shelf so I don’t refrigerate mine. May not be as good for you as other brands but it’s a start. It will liquify at higher temps. I’m thinking it’s 76 degrees. If you do store in the fridge you can pop it in the microwave a few secs or just rub it in your hands to liquify. I use baking soda for shampoo and Apple cider vinegar for conditioner. I use the same recipe Jill told us about. My tweak is I read to try resolving the itchy dry scalp problem with aspirin. I just dissolve 1 tablet in with the baking soda. It’s perfect now. Been using it since May 2013. When the vinegar sets it doesn’t have a vinegar smell. It’s fresh and clean. I don’t miss all those fruity smelly conditioners either because my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been. Well, and the fact I have been drinking a ton more water probably helps too.

    • Monica Swift says

      Please don’t put your coconut oil in the microwave to liquefy it, the microwave kills all the natural enzymes, and you are defeating the purpose of using a natural good for you oil. In fact the microwave kills all the enzymes and vitamins in anything you put in it, if you are spending good money on organic produce and grass fed meats and then you radiate it in the microwave, not only are you killing your food but the effects are residual and the microwaves go into your stomach doing all kinds of damage! Google it for more information!

  12. Liza says

    I am going to have to try this recipe. Last year after about 6 months or so of trying to make my own shampoo, I just gave up. I tried to go no poo and that was a no go as well. It didn’t seem to matter what formulation, routine or recipe I followed my hair was either straw dry or overly greasy. I was never able to find a happy medium. However, I never did consider trying something other than castille soap so maybe I will give it another go.

  13. Katie England says

    I tried this with the original post. Here is what I have learned. It also left my hair very sticky, oily, nasty kinda mess. I have used castile to wash my hair before and did not have this porblem then. So i added some baking soda and some more water and bought a filter for my shower and that helped but still wasnt good. I was also using the vinegar rinse. So I looked for hours on every blog I could read and then started over. 1. If you use store bought coconut milk get the kind with NO GUAR GUM in it. The only brand I found was kroger brand. 2. Cut down on the amount of soap. It may not lather but it still cleans. 3. add a dash of baking soda. 4. Use the vinegar rinse. Spray your hair til you have it running every where!! Rinse well and do a final rinse with cold water. Here is the amounts I used. 2 TBS castile soap, 1/4 cup coconut, 1/2-1 tsp baking soda and a cup of water. I put mine in a spray bottle and just spray it on then rinse. i hope this helps and just remember if it donesnt work for you then try different amounts. I also use a homemade shampoo with castile soap and aloe vera juice.

  14. Val says

    I make shampoo using baking soda & water… 1c hot water, 1Tb baking soda, mix, dissolve, bottle. Squeeze a little on wet hair, rub in, rinse out.
    Conditioner is 1 Tb apple cider vinegar in 1c water. Mix, bottle add a little to clean hair & rinse out. Works really well.

  15. Tracy says

    Just a heads up. When I was in hairdressing school they said that baby shampoo had the harshest chemicals ex sulphates because most parents have to do a quick shampoo on kids. Not sure about the Aveno just wanted to let you know.

  16. Heidi says

    I Love this shampoo..I just whipped me up a small batch as a test..I used a cheaper brand of hair/body wash for babies..and Coconut milk from a can..and I added Love Spell fragrance oil.and the almond oil also…I found the love spell fragrance at Hobby Lobby!!!.It is wonderful…smells so good!!.making a large batch for my girls to use..then making the vanilla whipped homeade lotion again..Thanks for this recipe..I been finding all kinds of wonderful ideas on here!!

  17. says

    I have been making soap since 1996 and also make all my house hold cleaners etc. I make shampoo bars some I make into liquid and others I leave as bars because my husband likes the bars better. I like the idea of adding coconut milk to my liquid shampoo it will make a great addition to it. thanks for sharing.

  18. Amy says

    I have a Nutribullet and thought about making my coconut milk in it. You can mix the coconut flakes and water together to form milk without losing any vitamins and straining any flakes. My vet recommended rubbing coconut oil directly onto my dogs skin instead of feeding it to then. She said it is better to add Fish oil to their food for dry skin.

  19. crystal says

    Love your site by the way but just wanted to say that I mixed up castile soap coconut milk and instead of olive oil I used safflower oil it has many good properties for the body. After I washed my hair I did feel a film but then I conditioned with my regular conditioner and my hair has never felt softer or had more volume so far I love this stuff

  20. says

    Hi Jill…
    I simply love that shampoo, made for my shelve and my grown daughters, the oldest have too children, 2 & 4 years old, and we all love it, i use half castille and half baby shampoo, and for a little extra softness i used 1 tsp glycerin.. I dont think that we we come to use an original bought shampoo again, me and my oldest daughter have hair down to the bottom of the back, and the youngest daughter have very spoil hair, she lightens it way to often, but after our beginning of this shampoo, eider of us use conditioner as we use to in big style…
    Kind regard from Eva
    P.S. Love your blogs..
    P.S P.S. Sorry for my bad English, im from Denmark and dont use English often ;)

  21. jumara e says

    The easiest way to get rid of the “coated” feeling us to use rinse like Dr. Bronners conditioning hair rinse. I use Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap as a shampoo and the rinse makes a huge difference.

  22. says

    I’m just starting out making my homemade beauty products and your website is the one I use the most! I love all you ideas. I have a question. Can African Black Soap ( I bought ALAFFIA Fair Trade Shea butter AUTHENTIC AFRICAN BLACK SOAP) be used instead of Castile Soap? On the bottle itself it says its good for body wash, shaving soap, shampoo and more. I was just thinking if using it with the Coconut Milk Shampoo if it would work better than the castile in regards to the ‘coated’ feeling. One last thing: I made a body butter that contained coconut oil, raw shea butter, raw cocoa butter and EO, I think Vit E too. Anyway, when I apply on my body(all over) it works great but for some reason my arms and legs start to sting and itch real bad for a while. I’m trying to figure out what is causing this? Any suggestions?
    Thank you!


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