Simple Homemade Shampoos Without Castile Soap

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Toss your chemical-filled shampoos for no-soap versions you make yourself.
Toss your chemical-filled shampoos for no-soap versions you make yourself. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Thanks to the popularity of the “no poo” method of hair cleansing, many people are looking for ways to make their own natural shampoos. The most common recipes use liquid Castile soap, which is an olive oil-based, gentle soap, but you may want to avoid soaps altogether, either because of allergies or from personal preferences. You still have many choices for your natural shampoos that will keep your scalp and hair healthy without drying chemicals.

Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

The simplest way to clean your hair without commercial shampoo uses baking soda and vinegar. Begin by mixing a tablespoon of soda with just enough filtered water to make a paste. Rub the paste at the roots of your hair and scrub lightly with your fingers to clean your scalp. Rinse the paste off. Next, mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 2 cups of filtered water and rinse your hair with the blend. You may also use lemon juice in place of the apple cider vinegar.

Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera

In Sanskrit, coconut is called kalpa vriksha, or the tree that gives all that is necessary or living. Coconut milk, made by combining the meat of the drupe with water, adds beneficial fats to your shampoo, while aloe vera gel helps lock in moisture and add shine.

You can use canned coconut milk, if you prefer, but making your own milk is a simple process. Begin by heating 1 1/2 cups of filtered or distilled water to just below boiling. Add 2 1/2 ounces of unsweetened coconut flakes. You can grate your own, but packaged flakes are OK, as long as they don’t have sugar added. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before pouring it into a food processor and blending thoroughly. Filter the blend through a colander and cheesecloth to remove the coconut milk.

Mix equal parts of coconut milk and aloe vera gel. To make enough for several weeks, use 1 3/4 cups of each, or one can of commercial coconut milk to 1 3/4 cups of gel. Add four or five drops of essential oil if you want your shampoo to have fragrance. Pour the shampoo into ice-cube trays and place them in the freezer. When the shampoo is frozen, pop it out of the trays and put it in zippered plastic bags to store it in the freezer. Take one cube out the night before you plan to use it. Massage a quarter-sized bead into your hair before rinsing it out. Follow with a cider vinegar rinse.

Aloe Vera and Glycerine

Glycerine helps to carry the aloe vera gel deeper into your hair, and it helps moisturize your hair, as well. Use pure aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerine for the best results.

Mix 1 part aloe vera gel, 1 part vegetable glycerine and 2 parts of water thoroughly. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray your wet hair. Rub the mixture into your scalp and hair, and then rinse it away. For a leave-in conditioner, lightly spray your now-clean hair with the mixture.

Natural Honey Shampoo

Honey is a natural antibacterial and antifungal, so it helps keep your hair and scalp healthy. Honey’s pH level is the same as that of your hair, and it doesn’t strip away the natural oils that keep your hair shining. For this shampoo, you need raw honey and filtered water, along with any essential oils that you want to add.

Because water may cause honey to develop mold quickly, make this shampoo as you need it. Mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey, 3 tablespoons of filtered or distilled water and 2 to 4 drops of your favorite essential oils.

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