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All-Natural Essential Oil Shampoo Recipes

Last updated: June 20, 2022

Rinse away the toxins.

Despite sounding like a positive affirmation, this should be a literal call to action. It's time to wash your current shampoo down the drain.

Why? Many store-bought shampoos contain a laundry list of chemicals. Sulfates, silicones, paraben, ammonia, and formaldehyde may be hiding in your bottle, just to name a few. Many of these agents trigger irritation or allergic reactions. Yet, in extreme cases, these same chemicals have been linked to cancer and other severe health problems.

But there's no need to work yourself into a lather. Essential oil soap blends and shampoos can still achieve the desired volume, texture, and sheen without all the unnecessary risk. With this in mind, we shower you with several DIY essential oil shampoo recipes worthy of a slow-motion hair flip.

The Ingredients

Start with the basics. Any essential oil shampoo recipe likely begins with these key ingredients.

Many store-bought shampoos contain a laundry list of chemicals. Sulfates, silicones, paraben, ammonia, and formaldehyde may be hiding in your bottle, just to name a few. Many of these agents trigger irritation or allergic reactions. Yet, in extreme cases, these same chemicals have been linked to cancer and other severe health problems.

Castile Liquid Soap

Named for the Spanish region where it originated, Castile soap is a gentle, vegetable-based product. Often made from olive oil or coconut oil, this soap offers natural anti-bacterial properties that fight off skin infections and imperfections. It's ideal for sensitive skin.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk contains high concentrations of lauric acid. This strengthens the hair follicles, effectively reducing hair loss. As an added bonus, this gives a tropical smell to your concoction. (Yet its scent is easily masked by the essential oils if this isn't your thing.)

Jojoba Oil

This oil has it all. It moisturizes, is absorbed easily, and won't clog your pores. For hair, jojoba oil protects against dry, flaky dandruff since it's rich in many vitamins and nutrients. Known as a carrier oil, this is just one of several ingredients that will help disperse the essential oils evenly. Fractioned coconut oil, argan, grapeseed oil, or sweet almond oil are also alternatives.

The Essentials

Picking the right essential oil blend isn't just about finding your signature scent. Each oil may offer specific benefits to your hair. While there are literally thousands of options, here are some of the most popular choices.

Lavender

Fans of thick, following locks of strong hair absolutely love lavender. Countless studies have concluded that lavender produces more hair follicles. Because of its floral scent, the fragrance promotes feelings of calmness while reducing stress too. And it's versatile. It pairs nicely with most other essential oil soap blends, especially citruses like orange or lemon.

Rosemary

Rosemary is another top choice for preventing hair loss. It also treats both dry and overly oily hair simultaneously. There are a variety of rosemary scents on the market, ranging from herbaceous to woody. For this reason, it goes well when mixed with several oils also featured on this list, such as lavender, cedarwood, and peppermint.

Tea Tree

This oil may not be everyone's "cup of tea." More than most, it exudes a sharp, medicinal aroma. Yet it relieves itchy, dry scalps. While it's commonly used in facial products, tea tree oil can also protect against lice.

Cedarwood

This scent has become a staple in most masculine-leaning products. This is due to its smoky, woodsy fragrance. It instantly evokes feelings of the rugged outdoors. But the benefits go beyond smell. Cedarwood increases circulation to the scalp, combating hair loss.

Peppermint

Peppermint isn't just regulated to your toothpaste or chewing gum. When used topically, it soothes irritated skin with its refreshing, cooling scent. Yet it also stimulates hair growth.

The Recipe

Once you've gathered your ingredients, crafting essential oil soap blends and shampoos is pretty straightforward. You'll be ready to hop in the shower in no time.

You'll need:

1/2 Cup of Castile liquid soap (unscented)

1/4 Cup of canned coconut milk

2 Tablespoons of jojoba oil (or other carrier oil)

Assorted essential oils (between 20-50 drops depending on personal preference)

8-Ounce mason jar (or another recycled or repurposed bottle)

Instructions:

1. Add the ingredients into a glass jar or container.

2. Drop in essential essentials, as needed.

3. Shake or blend thoroughly.

4. For the best results, store the mixture in the refrigerator.

The FAQs

Why should you make your own essential oil soap blends and shampoos?

The answer is simple: you and your hair deserve the best.

Essential oil shampoo recipes strengthen and support hair growth. By comparison, traditional shampoos actually strip the scalp of oils that prevent damage and breaking. According to a growing volume of research, over-the-counter shampoos may also contain carcinogens and other irritants.

Is essential oil shampoo safe?

Yes. In fact, as mentioned above, they are much safer than most mass-produced products. These essential oil shampoo recipes work for all types of hair too. Experimentation is encouraged to maximize the benefits for your individual hair.

How should I use essential oil shampoo?

Making the transition might take some time. Your hair will need to adjust.

Conventional shampoos will alter the pH levels of your scalp. When the body's naturally-produced oils are depleted, it will make more to compensate. Over-washing can make this worse.

As you start washing your hair less while using an essential oil shampoo, your hair may feel more greasy and flat at first. Over time, your natural oil levels will start to balance out. Between washes, dry shampoo can be your new friend.

What if you don't have time for DIY?

Making essential oil shampoo isn't a difficult process. But you take some shortcuts to save some time if you need the labels carefully.

Even if you aren't following these essential oil shampoo recipes, you might be able to juice up some existing products. Grab a toxin-free hair care brand and add some drops of your favorite essential oil. Pro tip: Add about 8-10 drops per ounce of product. Or, you can still find a wide range of ready-to-use products that are already available and are both vegan and cruelty-free

And this doesn't just apply to shampoo. Check out our guides for responsible and sustainable deodorant, sunscreen, and makeup.


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