Black shampoo bottle on marble bathroom countertop.

DIY Shampoo Without Castile Soap: 5 Nourishing Recipes

DIY shampoo is becoming increasingly popular as people seek natural and chemical-free alternatives to traditional hair care products. While castile soap is a common ingredient in many DIY shampoo recipes, some people may prefer to avoid it due to its high pH level and potential for stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Fortunately, several alternative ingredients can be used to make DIY shampoo without castile soap. Castile soap is all-natural and an amazing ingredient overall, but if you have color-treated hair or are looking for a no-poo hair cleansing method, there are plenty of additional ways to nourish your hair and scalp while also removing dirt and excess oil.

DIY Shampoo: Only Natural, All the Time

DIY shampoo is a natural alternative to commercial shampoos, which are often filled with harsh chemicals. Making your own shampoo at home can be enjoyable, but it’s also so much better than exposing your scalp and hair to harsh synthetic ingredients. Additionally, you can customize your shampoo to your specific hair type and needs.

Natural shampoos typically include ingredients such as baking soda, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil (or other natural oils), and essential oils. These ingredients can help to cleanse the scalp and hair without stripping away natural oils, leaving your hair feeling soft and healthy. DIY recipes could also include glycerin, castile soap, liquid soap base, or something similar when soap is used.

When making DIY shampoos, it’s important to remember that not all ingredients are suitable for all hair types. For example, baking soda can be too harsh for some hair types, while coconut oil may be too heavy for others. Experimenting with different ingredients and ratios is important to find what works best for your hair. That’s the beauty of DIY: it’s entirely customizable.

Why Some Avoid Castile Soap in Shampoo

Castile soap is a popular ingredient in many DIY shampoo recipes due to its natural properties and ability to create a rich lather. However, some people may choose to avoid using castile soap in their shampoo for various reasons.

One reason is that castile soap can dry the hair and scalp. This is because it has a high pH level, which can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause it to become dry and brittle. This is especially true if the castile, oil, and water ratio isn’t ideal in the DIY recipe you’re using.

This can lead to breakage and split ends, making it difficult to maintain healthy hair. While that problem can easily be avoided when using a suitable homemade shampoo recipe that incorporates natural moisturizers and other ingredients, some still prefer to stay away from castile soap altogether.

Another reason to avoid castile soap is that it may not suit all hair types. While it can work well for those with oily hair, it may not be as effective for those with dry or damaged hair. It may even exacerbate existing hair problems, such as dandruff or an itchy scalp.

Lastly, liquid castile soap may contain other ingredients that some people with allergies want to avoid, such as certain essential oils or other natural fragrances.

While castile soap can be a great natural ingredient alternative (one that we love) to commercial shampoos, it’s not the best choice for everyone. It is important to consider your hair type and any existing hair or scalp problems before using castile soap in your DIY shampoo recipe.

Natural Ingredients for DIY Shampoo

When it comes to making your own shampoo without castile soap, numerous natural ingredients can be used to cleanse and nourish your hair. Here are some common and key ingredients to consider when making a shampoo from scratch:

Essential Oils

Essential oils add a pleasant scent to your DIY shampoo and have many beneficial properties for your hair and scalp. Some popular essential oils for shampoo include:

  • Lavender: known for its calming properties and ability to promote hair growth
  • Peppermint: has a cooling effect and can help stimulate hair growth
  • Rosemary: studies demonstrate that it can be as effective as chemical hair-growth treatments
  • Cedarwood: has a woodsy scent and can help reduce dandruff and hair loss
  • Tea tree: has antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it great for treating scalp issues
  • Lemongrass: Incredibly, lemongrass essential oil can reduce dandruff significantly after 7-14 days, according to this study
  • Other floral essential oils: There are endless fragrance opportunities when you consider the many floral-scented essential oils available. Pair them with a drop or two of citrus essential oil, and you’ll have an amazing shower or bath experience.

Natural Oils

Natural oils are a great way to nourish and moisturize your hair without using harsh chemicals. Some popular natural oils for shampoo include:

  • Olive oil: can help strengthen hair and reduce frizz
  • Coconut oil: has moisturizing properties and can help prevent hair breakage
  • Jojoba oil: closely resembles the natural oils produced by the scalp and can help regulate oil production
  • Castor oil: can help promote hair growth and prevent hair loss
  • Almond oil: contains vitamin E and can help nourish and strengthen hair
  • Shea butter: a natural emollient that works to moisturize dry and fragile hair

Other Key Ingredients

In addition to essential oils and natural oils, there are a variety of other natural ingredients that can be used in DIY shampoo, including:

  • Apple cider vinegar: can help balance the pH of your scalp and remove buildup
  • Coconut milk: has moisturizing properties and can help prevent hair breakage
  • Rosemary: can help stimulate hair growth and prevent dandruff
  • Peppermint: has a cooling effect and can help stimulate hair growth
  • Honey: has moisturizing properties and can help prevent hair breakage
  • Baking soda: can help remove buildup and balance the pH of your scalp
  • Raw honey: has moisturizing properties and can help prevent hair breakage
  • Aloe vera gel: has moisturizing properties and can help soothe the scalp
  • Green tea: contains antioxidants and can help stimulate hair growth
  • Cornstarch: can help absorb excess oil from the scalp
  • Vegetable glycerin: can help add moisture to the hair and scalp.

Now that you have an idea of the many available ingredients that can be used in DIY shampoo recipes, the real fun can begin. If you want a “no poo,” no soap shampoo, no problem. You can use some baking soda and water or even just vinegar. If you want to utilize the benefits of essential oils in addition to a nourishing oil like shea butter, that’s easy, too.

It’s all about your personal preferences, hair type, scalp skin type, and the result you’re aiming for overall. One bit of advice: experiment with different ingredients and recipes until you’ve found the perfect combinations. Personally, we like using castile soap, essential oils, water, and other oils to make a balanced shampoo.

Choosing Ingredients Based on Hair Type

When making DIY shampoo without castile soap, it’s important to choose ingredients that are suitable for your hair type. Here are some suggestions based on different hair types:

Oily Hair

People with oily hair may want to avoid heavy oils (like shea butter, olive oil, etc.) in their DIY shampoo. Instead, they can use ingredients that help to regulate the production of sebum, such as:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Lemon juice
  • Tea tree oil

Dry Hair

Dry hair needs extra moisture to prevent breakage and frizz. Some ingredients that can help to moisturize dry hair include:

  • Coconut milk
  • Honey (manuka honey is fantastic)
  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter

Damaged Hair

Hair that is damaged or breaking needs extra care to help repair and strengthen it. Here are some ingredients that can help:

  • Argan oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Yogurt

Color-Treated Hair

If you have color-treated hair, it’s important to choose ingredients that won’t strip the color or cause fading. Some ingredients that are gentle on color-treated hair include:

  • Chamomile tea
  • Hibiscus powder
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Silk amino acids

By choosing ingredients tailored to your hair type, you can create a DIY shampoo that meets your specific needs and helps you achieve healthy, beautiful hair.

Understanding pH Level in DIY Shampoo

pH level is an important factor to consider when making your own shampoo. Did you know that pH stands for “potential of hydrogen”? It measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution on a scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while anything below 7 is acidic, and anything above 7 is alkaline.

  • The ideal pH level for shampoo is between 4.0 and 6, which is slightly acidic. This is because the natural pH level of our scalp is also slightly acidic, and using a shampoo with a similar pH level can help maintain the health of our scalp and hair.
  • When making DIY shampoo, it’s important to measure the pH level of the final product using a pH testing strip or meter. This can help ensure that the shampoo is safe to use and won’t cause any damage to the scalp or hair.
  • Some ingredients commonly used in DIY shampoo, such as baking soda, can be highly alkaline and may disrupt the natural pH balance of the scalp if not used properly.
  • It’s important to use overly acidic or alkaline ingredients in moderation and dilute them properly with other ingredients to avoid any negative effects. We suggest this when using castile soap as well.

Understanding the pH level in DIY shampoo is crucial for creating a safe and effective product that can help promote the health of your scalp and hair. And again, it only takes a few seconds to test your final batch with a pH test strip.

How to Make DIY Shampoo (Liquid)

Making your own shampoo without castile soap is easier than you might think, especially with all the ingredients we listed earlier. Here are a few simple recipes to get you started:

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with Lemongrass Oil:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 15 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 10 drops of tea tree essential oil

Mix the coconut milk and aloe vera gel. Then, add the apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Shake well before each use. Apply to the scalp and hair, massage gently, and rinse thoroughly.

Shampoo for Curly Hair:

  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice
  • 1/4 cup of distilled water
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable glycerin
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake well. The glycerin and honey are humectants that help moisturize curls and reduce frizz.

Shampoo for Straight Hair:

  • 1/2 cup of distilled water
  • 1/4 cup of liquid aloe vera
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil

Dissolve the baking soda in water, and add the aloe vera, honey, and rosemary oil. This mixture can help add shine and keep straight hair sleek.

Shampoo for Sensitive Scalp:

  • 1/2 cup of oat milk (homemade by blending and straining oats with water)
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera juice
  • 1 tsp of avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp of sweet almond oil
  • 10 drops of chamomile essential oil

Mix all ingredients and shake well. Oat milk and chamomile are soothing for a sensitive scalp.

Volumizing Shampoo for Fine Hair:

  • 1/2 cup of rose water
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of vodka (optional, helps to remove product buildup)
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil

Combine the rose water, aloe vera gel, and lemon juice. Add vodka if using, which can help to de-grease and add volume by removing residue. Stir in the peppermint essential oil for a refreshing scent and to stimulate the scalp.

For all recipes, shake well before each use, apply to your hair, and massage into the scalp. After washing, finish with a thorough rinse. After rinsing, apply a natural conditioner as needed.

Making your own shampoo and conditioner is a great way to save money and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. These simple recipes allow you to enjoy nourished, beautiful hair without breaking the bank. Feel free to incorporate some of the other ingredients listed earlier in our post and test the pH of your customized homemade shampoo.

Dry Shampoo Recipes for Light, Dark, and Red Hair

For a quick hair refresh without without the water, DIY dry shampoo is a practical and simple alternative. It’s easy to make with ingredients you likely have in your pantry, and it’s perfect for those times when a traditional wash isn’t possible or desired.

Below, find three simple recipes for homemade dry shampoo tailored for light, dark, and red hair, helping you keep your hair looking fresh and clean on non-wash days.

Dry Shampoo for Light Hair:

  • 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil

Simply mix the arrowroot powder or cornstarch with the lavender essential oil for a calming scent. Apply to the roots of your hair with an old makeup brush or applicator brush, wait a few minutes, and then brush out thoroughly.

Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair:

  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (add more if needed for darker hair)
  • Optional: Add 2-3 drops of any essential oil of your choice for fragrance (rose, lavender, or sandalwood are great choices

Combine the dry ingredients, adjusting the cocoa powder according to the darkness of your hair. Add the essential oil if desired. Apply to the roots and brush out.

Dry Shampoo for Red Hair:

  • 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • Optional: 2-3 drops of an essential oil of your choice for fragrance

Mix the arrowroot powder or cornstarch with the cinnamon and cocoa powder to achieve a color that matches red hair. Add the essential oil if desired for scent. Sprinkle on the roots, wait a few minutes, and then brush through the hair.

Preservation and Shelf Life

When making DIY shampoo without castile soap, it’s important to consider preservation and shelf life. Without the use of preservatives, homemade shampoo can quickly spoil. Therefore, it’s best to make your shampoo in typical batch sizes, just enough to last you for a few weeks.

To extend the shelf life of homemade shampoo, use a natural preservative like grapefruit seed extract, vitamin E, or rosemary essential oil. These natural preservatives can be added to your shampoo recipe in small amounts to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

It’s important to note that even with the use of natural preservatives, homemade shampoo may not have the same shelf life as store-bought shampoos, but for good reason: no chemicals.

Lastly, exposure to heat, sunlight, and moisture can cause the shampoo to spoil more quickly. With that in mind, storing homemade shampoo in a cool, dry place will further help extend its shelf life.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re looking to mix up your hair care routine with a DIY approach, you might find that skipping castile soap in your homemade shampoo recipes can be a refreshing change. Castile soap is a fantastic natural cleanser for those who love it (like our family), but it’s not the only path to clean, healthy hair.

For those of you who prefer not to include it in your homemade shampoo concoctions, you can easily see that’s more than possible with the plethora of other natural ingredients that can be used instead.

Going the natural route with DIY shampoo means ditching the harsh chemicals and keeping it simple. It’s perfect if you’ve got a sensitive scalp or if you like knowing exactly what’s going into your hair care. Plus, you get to handpick every ingredient to ensure it’s just right for your hair. At the end of the day, you have a shampoo made by you and for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make 100% natural shampoo?

To make 100% natural shampoo, you can use ingredients such as aloe vera gel, coconut milk, essential oils, apple cider vinegar, vegetable glycerin, castile soap, etc.

As we wrote about in this blog post, natural DIY shampoos can also be made without castile soap. Natural ingredients are free from synthetic chemicals and can be combined in different ratios to create a shampoo that suits your hair type.

How do you make natural shampoo from scratch?

There are many ways to make a natural shampoo from scratch. Key steps would include selecting your base ingredients, mixing them together, and then testing the resulting pH level, which would best be between 4.0 and 6.0 on the pH scale.

Base ingredients could be one or a combination of any of these: water, castile soap, vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar, oil (olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, etc.), along with additional ingredients like essential oils, honey, baking soda, etc.

How do you make homemade PH-balanced shampoo?

To make homemade pH-balanced shampoo, you can use ingredients such as aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, and honey. These ingredients can help balance the pH of the scalp and hair, thus preventing damage.

If you find your shampoo is either too acidic (less than 4.0 pH) or too alkaline (over 7.0 pH), you can use vinegar to lower it or water, baking soda, or other ingredients to increase it. The idea is to get an ending pH between the ideal 4.0 and 6.0 levels.

What can I use instead of Castile soap for homemade shampoo?

You can use ingredients such as baking soda, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, or even water to clean the hair of impurities, as an alternative to Castile soap.

Many recipes are available for different applications, including recipes for dry shampoos on no-wash days (see the above recipes earlier in the post).

What’s a good beard wash recipe without Castile soap?

To make a beard wash recipe without Castile soap, you can use many of the same ingredients mentioned earlier in this post. Here’s a simple and effective DIY beard wash recipe that doesn’t use castile soap:

DIY Beard Wash Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (such as tea tree for its antibacterial properties or peppermint for a refreshing scent)

Test the final pH with a pH strip since it can vary depending on whether you have soft or hard water.

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