Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

Homemade Shampoo

Another step to simply my life and make it more chemical-free, I decided to make my own shampoo.  Surprisingly I found a lot of information about this, here's the recipe I decided to use:

Shampoo Recipe:
·         One quart water
·         Herbs
·         4 ounces castile soap flakes
Bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and pour over herbs.  Steep at least 20 minutes.  Strain herbs & pour tea over the soap flakes. Stir until the soap flakes dissolve. Once the mixture has cooled, store it in a bottle.

On the left is 4 ounces of shredded castile soap.  Shredding the soap is important because it will dissolve easily in the water.  On the right is 4 grams of lavender which was about 1/8 cup.  Most recipes I found didn't specify how much herbs to use so I used up all the leftover lavender from 3 years ago.  In the end, I found it to be the perfect amount. 

I forgot to take a picture of the next step, but it's pretty straight forward: pour boiling water over the lavender flowers.  After the lavender steeped in the boiling water for 20 minutes, I strained out the lavender buds using a funnel with a cloth filter.  A strainer would do just fine, but I don't have one. 

 After the lavender buds are strained, I add the shredded castile soap.  Notice I am using a wooden spoon to help dissolve the soap.  This is the same wooden spoon I use for making soap--it is not used for food.  If you don't have a designated wooden soap spoon, then I suggest using a plastic or metal spoon. 

Once all of the soap flakes are dissolved (be patient, this make take 15 minutes), pour into containers.  I used empty bottles I had in the cupboard.  I would like to use glass instead of plastic but I have this horrifying image of broken glass in the batch tub.  Homemade shampoo has a water consistency at first, but give it a few weeks and it will thicken up.  In the meantime though, use a small plastic cup (I used the cap from a Pepto Bismol container), fill it up half way, and then dump it over your head.

How well does it work?  GREAT!!  I was able to use this homemade shampoo for a couple months before I needed a boost of Nature's Path brand every 2 weeks.  The homemade stuff doesn't thoroughly strip the hair like the commercial stuff, so I need an extra boost every now and then.  And for those who are curious,  I take a shower every other day.  

What about homemade conditioner?  Don't worry, I will be making that once my store-boughten bottles are gone.  Stay tuned!  

Below are different hair types and recommended herbs to use:
Normal Hair: Horsetail, red clover, crushed lavender flowers, rosemary
        -if blond:  chamomile & marigold
Oily: Rosemary, mint, nettle leaves, sage, crushed lavender flowers, indigo root, burdock, tea tree leaves, lemon grass, orris root, comfrey leaves
       -add to shampoo base: jojoba oil
Dry: Comfrey root or leaf, red clover, crushed orange flowers, crushed lavender flowers, elder flowers,
        -add to shampoo base:  jojoba oil  
        -if blond: chamomile & marigold
Light Hair: Use light colored herbs like marigold & chamomile,
Dark Hair: Rosemary
Gray Hair: Nettle, sage, rosemary, plus any herbs recommended for your hair type
Make hair bright: Chamomile
Make hair shiny: Rosemary
Hair loss: Rosemary, crushed lavender leaves, tea tree leaves, sage, nettle, basil
Dandruff: Nettle, comfrey leaves, birch and/or white willow barks, peppermint, lemongrass


Dedi November 17, 2011 at 5:51 PM  

So glad you left you blog address on the email. I have been saving bottles for a few years intending to try making my own soaps and lotions. This past summer I grew bunch of herbs for this purpose. And, now, thanks to you I have a recipe without having to wade through all the online ones. Thanks.
Maya's mom

Moon Mama May 4, 2012 at 8:09 AM  

Great recipe! We usually buy our bar shampoo soap from Lush but we'll be trying this one soon.


About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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