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Natural Essential Oil Shampoo Recipes

Last updated: May 23, 2022

Today, toxic chemicals are found in nearly every household product, including your hair care products. More and more research is showing how long-term exposure to toxins such as parabens, silicones, ammonia, and phthalates can cause serious health problems. Many of these chemicals act as carcinogens, which studies show can increase your risk of cancer. 

Don’t you want the products that go on your hair and scalp to be safe and chemical-free? Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives to common self-care products, including your shampoo. You can make your own natural essential oil shampoo recipes at home using just a few ingredients. This simple DIY solution is cost-effective, free of toxins, and keeps your hair healthy and smooth. 

What’s Wrong with Traditional Shampoo?

Go to the drug store and look at the labels of any shampoo brand on the shelves. Chances are, you’ll find a list of unnatural ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens, synthetic fragrances, formaldehyde, and ammonia. These chemicals have known side effects, including allergic reactions, skin rashes, headaches, and cold-like symptoms. While the dosage may be low when applying shampoo to your scalp, studies show that long-term exposure could lead to negative health side effects, especially considering all of the other toxic chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. Choosing an all-natural shampoo is just one way to reduce chemical exposure to your skin.

Traditional shampoo can also disrupt the natural pH levels in your scalp. As you wash your hair, shampoo actually removes the natural oils from your scalp that keep your hair smooth and free from damage/breaking. As you transition to a homemade essential oil shampoo, your oil levels will balance out and you won’t have to wash your hair as often.  

Essential Oils To Use in Shampoo Recipes

Essential oils are highly potent, all-natural ingredients with numerous health benefits. As with any essential oil, they should not be applied directly to the skin or used in large quantities. That’s why when making your own essential oil shampoo, you’ll be diluting the oil with several other ingredients. Each essential oil has its own fragrance and health benefits, so you can choose the one that’s right for you and also mix 2-3 oils per shampoo. 

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils, thanks to its calming scent and versatile use. It is frequently used in aromatherapy to treat anxiety, allergies, fungal infections, depression, nausea, and insomnia. You can add it to your shampoo to prevent itching, irritation, and fungal growth.

Ylang Ylang Oil

The ylang ylang plant is a yellow, star-shaped flower native to countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, such as the Philippines and Malaysia. This tropical plant has a fruity, aromatic scent that is known to boost mood, alleviate anxiety, and lower blood pressure. Additionally, it’s been shown to stimulate oil production in the skin and scalp, which makes it an excellent ingredient for natural shampoo. Ylang Ylang essential oil blends well with citrus oils (grapefruit, lemon), sandalwood, bergamot, geranium, and marjoram. 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is used in many skin care and hair products because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can help reduce inflammation and improve healing of the skin. You can blend your own tea tree oil diffuser recipes with eucalyptus oil for a calming, heavenly scent. 

Vanilla Oil

Straight from the vanilla bean, vanilla oil is an extremely versatile essential oil that also happens to boost skin and hair health. Vanilla essential oil blends well with citrus oils such as orange and lemon. It also blends well with chamomile, sandalwood, and lavender. 

Litsea Oil

Litsea oil is a refreshing oil that has a lemony aroma. The litsea shrub is native to Japan, Taiwan, and China, and the oil is produced by steam distilling the ripe fruits of the Litsea tree. Litsea essential oil benefits have been used for centuries to support the immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. It has been known to fight certain kinds of bacteria and contains antioxidant and antiparasitic properties.

How to Make Your Own All-Natural Shampoo 

It’s easy to make your own shampoo using natural ingredients to restore damaged hair, hydrate, and replenish natural oils. 


  • ½ c. liquid castile soap
  • ¼ c. coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. Jojoba oil (or other plant-based carrier oil such as argan oil, olive oil, or rosehip oil)
  • ¼ c. honey
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 40 drops of preferred essential oil

To thicken your essential oil shampoo recipe, try adding a tablespoon or two of arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or oat flour. Mix with one teaspoon of baking soda prior, so the ingredients blend well together in the liquid recipe.

If you have dandruff: For a flaky scalp, you can use an equal mix of lavender, lemon, tea tree, and rosemary essential oils. If you’re dealing with dry and damaged hair, try a mix of clary sage, lavender, and wild orange.

If you have sensitive skin or rashes: One of the best essential oils for skin rashes is eucalyptus oil. It has a cooling effect that relieves itching. Other top essential oils that help reduce inflammation on the skin include lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint. 

If you have dry hair: Essential oils including tea tree, lavender, rosemary, ylang ylang, rose, ginger, and sandalwood are all excellent choices for helping replenish dry hair. You can also add more coconut milk or coconut oil to your recipe for more moisture. 

If you have greasy hair: If your hair is already greasy due to overproduction of oils in your hair, you can replace the coconut milk with water in this recipe. You’ll still want to keep the Jojoba and coconut oils, however, as these are necessary to dilute the essential oils.

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