Homemade Shampoo + Conditioner

In my journey to rid our home of nasty toxins, I’ve now added shampoo, conditioner and face wash to my ever growing list of homemade things. Today I’ll spill the dish on my homemade shampoo and conditioner, but stay tuned for a post about homemade face wash coming up soon.

This is my first attempt at homemade shampoo and so far I really like it.  I don’t even need to use conditioner!  But wait, this post is about homemade shampoo and conditioner.  I know and I thought I needed conditioner, which I probably did when I was using commercial shampoo which really just strip away the good with the bad, leaving hair feeling dry.  During my switch to all natural products, I actually made this conditioner before the shampoo, since I ran out at home first.  Then once I got around to making the shampoo, it never even crossed my mind to ditch the conditioner.  Well, last weekend the spray bottle for my conditioner broke and there I was in the shower with nothing to do about it.  Turns out, my hair dried beautifully and soft anyway.

So why did I even include the conditioner recipe?  Maybe your hair is different than mine and requires a little extra something after washing.  Or maybe you just like using some form of conditioner.  Whatever your reason, if you want it, the recipe is below for the taking.

But, there is a small catch that I didn’t notice right away with the shampoo.  It requires a more tedious rinse out than my old commercial shampoo, otherwise I notice teeny tiny white specks once my hair is dry that I believe to be the coconut milk.  I actually noticed it while brushing my dry hair before taking a shower.  The brush had a powdery almost film looking substance after brushing, similar to brushing hair with hair spray in it.  I’ve never had this problem before and no, I do not have dandruff.  After noticing this, I rinse my hair more thoroughly and it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

One last thing about this shampoo.  The original recipe calls for the addition of oil (sweet almond, olive or vitamin e).  I used sweet almond in my first batch, but it left my hair too oily.  My second and current batch doesn’t have the oil (just the castile soap and coconut oil), which works better for my hair.  If I were you, I would try it first without the oil, and add the oil in if you feel you need it.  It’s easier to add than it is to take out!

But now I’ve got a question for you:  have you heard of the no ‘poo method and are you ‘poo free?  I had heard about this a while ago, but ran into it again while researching all natural shampoos.  I’m not going no ‘poo since I definitely prefer a hair cleanser that lathers.  But I am intrigued and would be very interested to get your feedback.

As far as conditioner goes, this is my second attempt at using natural ingredients to detangle and soften my hair.  My first attempt was a major fail, but that may have to do with my hair type (I have long straight hair, that tends to get dry near the ends and oily at the roots).  Out of ease, I tried using pure olive oil (coconut works too), but it left my hair too oily.  Maybe I just used too much and added it too close to my roots, I’m not sure.  In any case, I didn’t even give that one a second chance.

After that, I decided to go a completely different path.  Instead of fat (i.e. oil), I went acid (i.e. vinegar).  More specifically, apple cider vinegar.  If you haven’t used this for anything yet, I urge you to purchase some organic, raw, unfiltered, ACV (I like Bragg).  It’s a miracle substance!  Great for aiding relief and recovery from colds, good for baking, cooking and cleaning, and what do you know, it makes a great hair conditioner.  But be warned, this recipe is not your run of the mill, thick and creamy conditioner.  It’s literally water and apple cider vinegar, plus the optional essential oils for scent.  And since this isn’t your average conditioner, it doesn’t make your hair feel as soft and smooth while wet, but once towel dried and brushed, my hair feels and works the same as it did when I used store bought conditioner.  I could have made something thick and creamy, but to be honest, I don’t want to use non-food ingredients in my blender and I don’t want to purchase a second blender just to emulsify my cosmetics.  It seems the recipes I found for thicker and creamier conditioners required some sort of high speed blending.  Everyone has their own preferences.

But, like I said before, I don’t even need conditioner so I haven’t been using it.  You may wish to try washing your hair without the conditioner to see if you need it before you make it.  In any case, if you make it and end up not needing it, just clean your bathroom instead!


Adapted from One Good Thing By Jillee

coconut milk shampoo - tiffany lane

2 cups coconut milk (homemade or canned, I used a whole 13.5 oz can)
2 2/3 cup liquid castile soap, scented or unscented (I like Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap – Almond*)

2 tbsp sweet almond*, olive, or vitamin e (I used and love Sweet Almond Oil*) optional


Combine all ingredients in a shampoo bottle or jar (I cleaned and reused the bottle from the commercial shampoo I had been using).  Shake well to mix before each use.  Store in your shower for up to one month.


Sourced from DIY Natural

ACV detangler - tiffany lane

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup water

8-10 drops essential oil (I use a combination of tea tree and eucalyptus)


Combine in a spray bottle and shake slightly to combine before each use. After cleansing, spray into hair roots and ends and allow to sit for a minute or two before rinsing well.  If you rinse properly, your hair will not smell like vinegar once dry.

READER FEEDBACK: Have you tried any natural/homemade shampoos or conditioners/detanglers?

*Tiffany Lane Handmade is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


Filed under Eco-Purpose, Health, Beauty, Skin Care

34 responses to “Homemade Shampoo + Conditioner

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  4. Pam Fuller

    I used the no poo method and my hair got really dry, it has taken a long time for it to recover

  5. Ruby Feliciano

    In response to yournrequest regarding no poo shampoo: I did the no poo and vinegar conditioner for six months. I found that for my type of hair ( I have normal black, very curly, long length – approx 30in from base to tip, it can be very drying throughout my hair. This method is great for oily hair but not for normal Or dry hair. However it is great to use the no poo shampoo as A cleansing shampoo when you know you used lots of styling products and need to remove build up. So I haven’t ditched it all together. I just use it once a month to give my hair a fresh start. I’m currently using a no sulfate shape and conditioner but I want to go more natural with my hair products. I’m going to give the above shampoo recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Aimee

    Just a tip to those of you either using or considering baking soda for your hair, I have considered this also and read so many articles of people using this. It works for a while but then they are having problems with extremely dry hair so just be aware of this. Apparently the PH of the baking soda is higher than your hair.

  7. sara

    its not the coconut milk leaving a film. dr bronners leaves loads of residue, ive been using it for a yr.

  8. Jess

    I know I’m a lil late hopping on the all natural train, but I gotta say that I absolutely love this recipe! It makes my hair feel so much healthier and the coconut shampoo smell is to die for! I was a lil wary of trying the apple cider in my hair, but I’ve never had an easier time combing my wet hair after using it! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

  9. Erika

    I’ve been doing the no poo method for more than three years now and I’ve loved it! My hair is oily so I was thrilled with the results of only having to wash my hair every three days instead of every single day like I did before with regular shampoo. However, I’ve found that even using the apple cider vinegar rinse that my ends are still super dry. Even my hair stylist has noticed and keeps commenting about my split ends. Since coconut oil (and I assume other oils as well) do not wash out with the baking soda I have been on the search for a new shampoo. I am also really tired of having to mix up my “shampoo” and “conditioner” every time I need to wash my hair.
    That being said, I am excited to try this recipe. I think it is time of a change and I hope that this one will be a winner! I definitely need some moisture in my ends and I do miss the suds from a regular shampoo. My hair is really thick and I have to clip half of it up in order to get the baking soda mixture only all of my roots!

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  12. sylvie

    I would like to know where to purchase the pure castile soap please.
    thank you very much.

  13. I did no poo several years ago and really liked it. It worked well, cleaned nicely and my hair was really soft. But I did miss suds….so I started making one similar to the one above.

  14. Tonya

    Hi! I currently use the Aveda Madder Root shampoo and conditioners for red hair. I’m interested in this natural shampoo and conditioner, but love the extra oomph the Aveda Madder Root gives my red hair. Do you know of any natural ingredients that could safely and effectively be added for the red oomph? Thanks!

    • Hi Tonya! I’m not sure about anything to add to the shampoo itself, but I use natural dry shampoo in between washes which helps add volume. I got it at Sprouts and pretty sure Whole Foods and Mothers would also carry something similar for red hair. Short of that, corn starch or arrowroot powder are thickeners and work well to add volume, the only issue is they are white so youd need to find a natural powder/spice to mix in for red color. Good luck!

  15. Madelena

    I’m wondering how is it ok to leave the coconut milk out for a month? Doesn’t it go bad or start to smell sour? I’ve seen many homemade shampoo recipes recommend storing it on the fridge when not using. But I know the full fat coconut milk hardens. Suggestions?

    • Hi Madalena!

      There’s not too much coconut milk and mixed with the castille soap and essential oils I never had a problem with it. As far as the coconut milk hardening, I akways shake the bottle a bit before using it to get everything mixed up again and hopefully break apart the coconut milk if it clumped. My house stays pretty warm, especially in the summer when its really hot so that keeps the coconut milk from hardening up too much. Also, there’s tons of recipes out there, I like to try different things, and not every recipe will work with everyone’s hair. If the coconut milk isnt working out, try another recipe. Right now, I’m using a mix of castile soap, water, arrowroot powder, with a touch of essential oils and almond oil.

  16. Sam

    I see this apple cider rinse a lot….does it not make ur hair smell like vinegar?!

  17. Grimm

    As a no-poo gal I think it needs to be said that for a while after you switch from a commercial product to a natural or no-poo cleansing your hair and scalp will detox. It needs to find its natural balance of sebum to produce so it will feel oily or waxy to start.

  18. shanna cole

    Try Doterra Essential oils shampoo & conditioner ! They are amazing!!

    I also use the no- poo as well. But I have been using doterra for 8 months now. I love essential oils!

  19. Pam

    I’ve been using the shampoo recipe you provided for nearly two weeks.
    I didn’t add the almond oil and I haven’t been using the vinegar detangler either since my hair is short and very easy to comb through after using this shampoo. It is also very easy to style with the straightening iron. However, I really don’t like the feel of my hair since I started using this shampoo, it feels as though I have a styling wax or paste in my hair. It is really quite gross to touch. I love the idea of getting away from commercial shampoos but I’m not sure I’m willing to have my hair feel like it does right now. From reading other blogs I have read that it takes two weeks for your hair to adjust so I’m hoping it will improve in the next few days. I make sure to rinse really well so I know that isn’t the issue. I will try add a little baking soda as suggested in Jill’s comment above, hopefully that will help. Jill, how much baking soda do you recommend?


    • Interesting. The baking soda may help. My hair doesn’t feel as soft, but if I use conditioner or the vinegar detangler, it helps with it feeling like you have product stuck in it. Everyone’s hair is different. I tried a few homemade shampoo recipes before I decided on this one. If in the next couple of days your hair doesn’t feel any better, I’d try a different recipe. Hope this helps!

  20. Cyndi

    I am currently trying to move from commercial products in my home as well. I came across your recipe on Pinterest and gave it a shot. I LOVE the smell! Today was the fist day I used it and I fell like my hair isn’t as soft or as clean as with the commercial stuff. It feels like there’s a build up in my hair.Did you have the same issue when you started using this? Do you think that this is because there was a build up from the commercial stuff & it just needs time to get out? Or did I do something wrong? I read your instructions and made sure to rinse thoroughly, so I know there’s nothing left. I’m going to continue to use it for at least another week or so to really give it a shot. Your thoughts? Either way, Love the idea and may try the conditioner soon! Thanks you! 🙂

    • I did feel a little buildup at first, so I started rinsing longer/more thoroughly. I’ve noticed my hair is not as soft, but I am also not currently using conditioner. Your hair may not work well with this shampoo, or magnet you need conditioner as well. Everyone’s hair is different, what works for me, may not work for you. Good luck!

      • jill

        I am a hairdresser. The build up you are probably feeling in your hair is from the store baught shampoos and conditioners. Most often they are loaded with yucky things. You can keep using the homemade stuff and eventually it will be washed away. You can also try using baking soda to help. (just mix some with the shampoo and apply to hair….shampoo and rinse as normal)..Think of it like trying to remove clorine from your hair.

  21. Anita

    I am currently doing the poo free with my hair . I’ve been doing it for almost three months now and i am beginning to get frustrated. My hair used to be so light and soft and i could run my hands through it no problem. I have very similar hair to what you describe yours to be and i am thinking i will try your shampoo recipe. I have been using the apple cider vinegar rinse as well and i am thinking it is actually part of the reason. my hair feels like it has so much build up. Here’s to hoping it works!!

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  23. julie

    this is so great! using clean healthy products on our bodies. I am still looking for my apple cider vinegar and have on my list to try your great recipes. Thank you.

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