Learning how to make shampoo can be a very rewarding experience. It can also save your hair and skin from coming into contact with questionable ingredients often found in commercial shampoos. For instance, a chemical commonly found in store bought shampoo is sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), which acts as a wetting agent to help the shampoo lather. Aside from being classified as a mutagen that can damage cellular DNA, SLS breaks down lipid fats, leaving the skin unable to retain moisture.
It isn't difficult to make shampoo at home. You can also save quite a bit of money when you make your own shampoo. Of course, you’ll want to use all-natural ingredients, such as distilled water, organic herbs, and Castile soap. Castile soap is made from plant-based sources, such as olive, coconut, hemp, soy, almond or jojoba. Most health food stores carry this type of liquid soap, as well as a supply of fresh and dried herbs.
You will also need a few additional supplies and equipment on hand to make shampoo, including the following:
- 8-ounce (226.8 grams) container to dispense the shampoo from. This could be a previously used and rinsed shampoo bottle.
- Medium saucepan or Dutch oven (not made from aluminum).
- Tempered glass bowl
- Mesh strainer
Since herbs lend different properties, you can customize your own formula to make shampoo according to your hair type and color. Lavender and rosemary are suitable for all hair types. Oily hair responds well to peppermint and lemongrass and dry hair is nurtured by shampoo made with comfrey or elder flowers. Sage and nettle add gloss to dark hair, while chamomile is ideal for light hair. If dandruff is a concern, try using comfrey, white willow bark, or peppermint.
To make shampoo at home, first decide on two or three herbs to use according to your hair type and color. Then proceed as follows:
- Bring 7 ounces (198.4 grams) distilled water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat.
- Add about 6 tablespoons (88.7 milliliters) of herbs to the saucepan and cover. Allow the herb mixture to steep for 30-45 minutes.
- Strain off the herbs, reserving the liquid in a glass bowl. Let the liquid cool completely.
- Add 4 tablespoons (59.15 milliliters) of liquid Castile soap to a prepared shampoo bottle.
- Funnel the strained herbal liquid into the shampoo bottle and cap. Shake gently before each use.
Keep in mind that when you make shampoo at home, it may not lather up to the same degree that commercial shampoo does since yours is chemical-free. However, that doesn’t mean that your homemade shampoo is any less effective at cleansing and conditioning. In fact, you’ll likely find your hair in better condition after using your homemade shampoo than it was before.