I love making homemade beauty products, but it can be hard to find ones you love and will stick with. While most have come easy to me, finding a homemade herbal shampoo that I loved took some time. I have very long and very curly hair so I needed a DIY shampoo that wasn’t going to leave me a greasy, frizz filled mess. I’m going to be honest and tell you when I first heard the idea to wash hair with coconut milk, I was pretty skeptical. In the end, I loved it though. What followed was taking the time to learn how to make shampoo from scratch and eventually, this homemade coconut milk shampoo.
Using a homemade herbal shampoo is a bit different than using the shampoo you pick up at the store. For one, even though this is a homemade shampoo with castile soap, it won’t create a suds when you use it. Conventional shampoos have SLS in them and this coconut milk shampoo does not. SLS is what creates those suds you’re so used to, but they do not help clean your hair and are really unnecessary in DIY shampoo.
Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo
When you make this homemade shampoo with castile soap and coconut milk, you’ll also be using essential oils to help customize it to your hair type. It doesn’t matter which brand of essential oils you use as long as they are pure essential oils. Despite common beliefs, there is no such thing as a therapeutic grade oil and there is no federal grading system to back that – very common – claim. This means you can buy a more affordable brand and get the same thing as long as it is pure oil and not cut with anything. I personally prefer to buy Plant Therapy essential oils. They are incredibly affordable and are just as good as the more expensive brands.
Why Wash Hair with Coconut Milk?
If you are looking for healthy hair, getting into the habit of washing it with coconut milk is a great idea. Coconut milk is full of the nutrients your hair needs to be healthy. This can promote growth, fewer split ends, shine and more. When you make a DIY shampoo with coconut milk, you make it easy to wash hair with coconut milk and to “feed” your hair without making a huge mess.
Homemade shampoo with castile soap
Castile soap is one of the purest soaps on the planet so by making a homemade herbal shampoo with castile soap, you’re giving yourself a way to get your hair clean while nourishing it without chemicals. I personally buy my castile soap at Grove Collaborative. I love their prices on things like castile! If you’re new to Grove, they will also give you a free 5-piece Mrs. Meyers cleaning set with your first $20 order when you click THIS link. As long as you’re using pure castile soap in your homemade coconut shampoo, it doesn’t matter where you purchase it from though.
It is an incredibly versatile soap and I use it in almost all of my homemade beauty recipes and homemade cleaning products including my homemade shave cream recipe and my homemade dishwasher detergent. If you’re looking to save money on castile soap, you can also make homemade liquid castile soap very easily. My liquid version is made from bars of castile. Bars of castile soap are far cheaper than the pre-made liquid soaps.
DIY Shampoo with Essential Oils
For those that are learning how to make shampoo from scratch to address a specific hair issue, this homemade shampoo with castile soap and coconut milk can address those issues. At the end of the post I will give you the essential oil combinations to use when you make your homemade coconut milk shampoo to help you treat those specific problems.
I often change the essential oil combinations I am using based on what my hair currently is doing. As you’ll see at the end of this post, each EO combo helps to address a specific issue. If I am having a dull hair kind of month, I make a batch of homemade shine boosting shampoo. If I am dealing with oily hair, I make up an oil reducing batch. That is the main reason I adore my coconut milk shampoo recipe so much; it’s so easy to customize!
Homemade shampoo with castile soap and coconut milk
I have had people ask whether there is an adjustment period for your hair when you start to use a homemade herbal shampoo over a commercial shampoo. The best answer I can give to that question is this; I did not personally have any issues switching, however everyone has different hair. I have naturally curly and very dry and frizzy hair normally. What I would suggest is if you’re concerned about an adjustment period to use it the first time over the weekend. That will give your hair a bit of time to calm down if needed.
How to make shampoo from scratch
You will Need:
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ⅔ cup unscented Castile soap (or make your own homemade Liquid Castile soap)
- 2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
- 1 tsp. Jojoba oil
- 15-20 drops essential oil of your choice
To begin making your homemade coconut milk shampoo, grab a quart sized mason jar, combine all of the ingredients except your essential oils and stir gently to combine. If you have an empty shampoo bottle or two, you can mix it up in them instead. Doing it that way can make it easier to use in the shower. I often use empty shampoo bottles that I’ve saved since they are one of my favorite things to reuse to save money.
Next, add 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil – or use one of the combinations below – and stir gently again to mix the oils well into the DIY shampoo mixture. Seal with a lid and ring and shake the jar well to combine. The next time you wash your hair, wash it with your homemade coconut milk shampoo! Just remember to give it a good shake before each use.
If after making this homemade coconut milk shampoo, you find that it is too thin, you can thicken it by making a salt water solution. Add .5 oz regular table salt to 1.5 oz warm distilled water and stir until it is dissolved. Then, in very small amounts (1 ml or less), add to your soap and stir. Continue adding the salt water solution to your soap until you’ve got the consistency that you want. It’s easiest to control the amount of salt water solution you are adding if you use a plastic pipette.
Why you should rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar
To use, apply a generous amount to your hair beginning at the ends and work your way up to the roots. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes then rinse away completely. For an added shine and extra conditioning boost, rinse with apple cider vinegar after shampooing. There are quite a few different ways to use apple cider vinegar and conditioning and adding shine to hair is one of them.
Coconut Milk Shampoo with Essential Oils
Have a specific hair issue you need to solve? Use these essential oil combos in your DIY shampoo when you make it. As always, be careful with essential oils if you’re pregnant. Some are not safe for use by pregnant women. To mix these into your homemade shampoo from scratch, you’ll take the 15-20 drops mentioned above and split them between each oil. I’ve listed the counts below but you can always mix it up if you would like.
Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo for Dry Hair
Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo for Oily Hair
- 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 5 drops Cypress Essential Oil
- 5 drops Basil Essential Oil
Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo for Dry Scalp
- 5 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 5 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
- 5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo To Add Shine
- 10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 10 drops Chamomile Essential Oil
- (or make our homemade shine boosting shampoo recipe)
Originally published in 2015/Updated June 2018.