How to Make Homemade Shampoo

With a handful of herbs and some key ingredients (many of which you probably already have in your kitchen), making your own plastic free natural homemade shampoo is easy. We show you how.

Unless you’ve embraced the ‘no poo’ method (where you eschew shampoo), you’ll be regularly pouring hair products onto your head. 

Shampoo, conditioner, perhaps a hair treatment mask every now and then, texturising spray, styling pomade, colour treatment… 

All of these add up, not only in cost and precious shower space, but in increasing your environmental footprint. A lot of energy goes into making and transporting even the smallest of plastic bottles, with most not being able to be recycled after their use. 

Many of the products on the market also expose you to nasty chemicals such as propylene glycol (which has been linked to headaches and kidney problems), triclosan (a hormone disrupter) and parabens (which can cause skin irritation), and the majority have been tested on animals. 

Yet with only a handful of herbs and some key ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your kitchen, you can easily make your own natural homemade shampoo. 

So grab some empty jars, assemble your ingredients and follow our recipe for making your own homemade shampoo. 

homemade shampoo

Plastic Free Natural Homemade Shampoo Recipe 

Your herb garden will come in handy with this recipe, as will those blooming flower beds. You can use pretty much any herbs or flowers; just experiment and see what works best for you. 

You can make your own liquid Castile soap by mixing olive oil, water and sodium hydroxide. There are many recipes online which step through this process. Make sure you’re careful when working with sodium hydroxide, as it can burn your skin and eyes if it comes into contact with them. 

If that’s too much hassle, you can purchase liquid Castile soap in big bottles from health food stores (Dr Bronner’s have a wide range of scented and unscented varieties out there), wholesale soap shops, farmers markets’ or online from a site such as Aussie Soap Supplies. 

While it can be more expensive at the outset to buy a bottle of liquid Castile soap than a bottle of shampoo, it can come in handy for many purposes. It can be diluted for use as a body wash, hand soap, dish detergent, laundry rinse, window cleaner and a fruit and veggie rinse, to name just a few. It’ll also give you clean hair!

plastic free shampoo


  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/8 cup of liquid Castile soap* 
  • 2 tbsp of dried herbs and/or flowers (suchassage, rosemary, lavender, calendula, hibiscus, etc) 
  • 5 drops of jojoba oil

* To make liquid castile soap, grate one solid bar of castile soap with a cheese grater, heat in a saucepan on low and add two cups of boiled distilled/filtered water. Heat for five minutes, stirring regularly. Pour into a bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to cool for 24 hours.


Place dried herbs into a jar.

Heat the water so that it simmers, and then pour it over  the herbs into the jar. Cover with a lid and steep for an hour.

Use a sieve to strain the herbs and pour into another jar. Add Castile soap and jojoba oil, stirring to mix together.

In the shower, pour onto your hair, rub through and rinse. 

Would you like more plastic free beauty recipes? Try our recipe for plastic free deodorant. And in Issue #15 of Pip Magazine, we show you how to make your own plastic free toothpaste, moisturiser, and face and body coffee scrub. Grab your copy today for all these recipes and more!

You can find the full version of this article in Issue #10 of Pip Magazine, which is available here.

Like more articles like this one? Subscribe to Pip Magazine’s print or digital editions here.

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