DIY Natural Shampoo with Castile Soap

Using natural ingredients like castile soap and essential oils to make your own shampoo is a great way to nourish your hair and scalp. Natural shampoo with Castile soap takes less than 5 minutes to make and costs less than store-bought alternatives.

Shampoo bottle filled with homemade castile soap shampoo. Bottle of unscented dr bronners castile soap in the background.

By using a natural shampoo made with Castile soap and beneficial essential oils, you can nourish your hair and scalp and stimulate hair growth. 

Having used many natural shampoos in the past, this DIY recipe is based on my favourite store-bought one. It’s cheaper and it doesn’t have any extra ingredients, which is why I prefer this homemade shampoo. Plus, it’s so fun to make!

Making natural beauty products like my exfoliating coffee scrub, lip sugar scrub, and natural hand soap is surprisingly simple. Most of them only require a few pantry staples and a few drops of essential oils. I can’t promise you won’t get hooked!

This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.

All-Natural Shampoo Ingredients

Castile soap – Castile soap is a natural, versatile soap made from organic vegetable oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil. It’s great for sensitive skin types and brands like Dr Bronner’s are made with ethical, organic ingredients. Castile soap, combined with xanthan gum, helps make this shampoo lather like store-bought products. 

I like to make my own homemade shampoo using unscented liquid castile soap, so I can add essential oils such as rosemary and peppermint. If you intend to make more natural beauty and cleaning products, you can purchase this in bulk. 

Jojoba Oil – Helps strengthen and moisturise dry, damaged hair. You can also use castor oil in your shampoo to help stimulate healthy hair growth. 

Xanthan Gum – Used to make thicker, emulsified shampoo like store-bought options, more thickening options are given below. 

Essential Oils – I like to add a few drops of my favourite ones. See below for options and what ones I like to use. 

Mason jar filled with shampoo solution made using unscented castile soap which can be seen in the background. There are fresh rosemary sprigs and a linen cloth next to the jar.

Best Essential Oils for Natural Shampoo

Rosemary – Commonly used to help stop hair loss, Rosemary oil is an excellent oil to use. It may help nourish scalp problems like dandruff and to balance oily or dry hair. 

Peppermint – Peppermint is a calming, invigorating essential oil that can help promote hair growth. My favourite essential oil to add to shampoo because it’s relaxing and makes me feel like I’m at a spa!

Lavender – Soothing for headaches and stress. Lavender essential oils can help soothe scalp and skin problems like dandruff.  

Ylang Ylang – Can help stimulate new hair growth.

Cedarwood – Often recommended to help prevent hair loss. You should try it if you have dandruff! It helps balance too oily hair and scalps.

My top choices for adding to hair care are these, but here are some other great essential oils to try: 

  • Eucalyptus 
  • Lemongrass
  • Grapefruit
  • Thyme
  • Blue Yarrow 
  • Lemon
  • Juniper Berry 
  • Cypress
Close up of shampoo in a small clear plastic shampoo bottle. Perfect for storing homemade shampoo.

Best Essential Oils for Hair Type

Oily Hair – Rosemary, Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Lemongrass.

Dry Damaged Hair – Ylang Ylang, Rosemary, Cedarwood.

Dandruff – Rosemary, Lavender, Cedarwood, Lemongrass.

Ingredients for Natural Shampoo

¼ cup Castile soap
¼ cup Distilled water (tap water can grow mould so using bottled is best)
½ teaspoon Jojoba oil (oily hair try castor oil)
½ teaspoon Xanthan gum 
10-12 drops Essential oils (I use a mix of rosemary and peppermint)

How to Make Natural shampoo with Castile soap 

  1. Add the water, jojoba oil (if using) and essential oils to a jar. Shake to combine.
  2. Add in the xanthan gum and shake until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add in the castile soap and shake just enough to mix but not let the soap bubble. 
  4. Pour into a shampoo bottle or keep stored in the jar.
Mason jar sitting on a small light wood board filled with shampoo solution that has just been mixed together.

How to Use Natural Shampoo

It’s easy to use, just pump a small amount into your hands and lather up for a few seconds before coating your hair with it. Scrub the scalp and all over the hair, then leave in for a few minutes. 

If your hair feels knotty after washing and you have thick hair, rinse it with apple cider vinegar. 

This recipe makes 250ml (1 cup) and will last about a week. If you want it to keep for longer, add 1 teaspoon of pure Vitamin E oil, which is an antioxidant and natural preservative. 

Mans hands lathered with natural shampoo showing how thick and covering it is

How To Swap To Homemade Shampoo

If you are changing from store-bought shampoo, it will take your hair a little while to get used to natural shampoo. Wash your hair every other day to allow the natural oils to balance out again. 

After your hair’s natural oils are balanced again, you won’t have to wash it as often. 

Homemade shampoo poured into a small clear bottle with spuirt nozzle. There is fresh rosemary sprigs and a bottle of unscented castile soap in the background.

All hair types are different, so try a variety of oils and essential oils to see what works for you. Once you find what works for you, you’ll be overjoyed. See my essential oils list above for ideas about what oils may be best for your hair.

I have been testing this natural shampoo for a few weeks now and I love it! It gets lathered and coats my thicker hair well. Its super invigorating and relaxing with the blend of peppermint and rosemary essential oils.

Make sure you have a good number of supplies on hand so you can easily make it when needed.

How to Thicken Shampoo

Natural thickeners can be used in homemade beauty products. Some popular options are Xanthan gum and arrowroot powder.  

Xanthan Gum – This is a thicken agent often used in the keto diet, it can be used to thicken homemade shampoo. I use this in my shampoo and its works well to thicken it up. 

Arrowroot Powder – Can absorb skin and scalp oils as well as calm irritated skin. Adding this powder to your shampoo will thicken it up as well. 

Small wooden teaspoon with Xanthan gum next to a mason jar filled with castile soap, water and essential oils.

Types of Oils to Add to Shampoo for Hair types

Since every hair type is different, you should test this recipe and make adjustments to suit your hair type. I like to use castor oil in my shampoo to help stimulate healthy hair growth. You can add Jojoba oil if you have really dry, brittle hair.

Jojoba oil is highly nourishing for all skin types and because it has anti-bacterial properties it’s great for helping irritated or inflamed skin. It works well to recondition dry hair. 

Find More Natural Recipes:

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Yield: 250ml Bottle

Natural Shampoo for Hair with Castile Soap

Shampoo bottle filled with homemade castile soap shampoo. Bottle of unscented dr bronners castile soap in the background.

Using natural ingredients like castile soap and essential oils to make your own shampoo is a great way to nourish your hair and scalp. Natural shampoo with Castile soap takes less than 5 minutes to make and costs less than store-bought alternatives.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost 2.50

Materials

  • ¼ cup Castile soap
  • ¼ cup Distilled water
  • ½ teaspoon Jojoba oil (oily hair try castor oil)
  • ½ teaspoon Xanthan gum
  • 10-12 drops Essential oils (I use a mix of rosemary and peppermint)

Instructions

  1. Add the water, jojoba oil (if using) and essential oils to a jar. Shake to combine.
  2. Add in the xanthan gum and shake until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add in the castile soap and shake just enough to mix but not let the soap bubble.
  4. Pour into a shampoo bottle or keep stored in the jar.
  5. It’s easy to use, just pump a small amount into your hands and lather up for a few seconds before coating your hair with it. Scrub the scalp and all over the hair, then leave in for a few minutes then rinse.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 250ml (1 cup) and will last about a week. If you want it to keep for longer, add 1 teaspoon of pure Vitamin E oil, which is an antioxidant and natural preservative.
  • If your hair feels knotty after washing and you have thick hair, rinse it with apple cider vinegar.
  • If you are changing from store-bought shampoo, it will take your hair a little while to get used to natural shampoo. Wash your hair every other day to allow the natural oils to balance out again.
  • Natural thickeners can be used in homemade beauty products. Some popular options are Xanthan gum and arrowroot powder.

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