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There is no way around the fact that it is super important to shampoo your hair. Not only does it help to remove dead skin cells, debris and product buildup, it can also get rid of odors that things like sweat can cause while helping to unclog your hair follicles, so that your tresses are able to truly thrive. While there are a ton of shampoo brands on the market, something that I’ve personally become a big fan of is homemade shampoos; either I will make them myself or I will purchase shampoo bars from merchants who make them. And you know what? My hair and scalp have only become so much healthier as a direct result.

Why? That’s actually what I’m about to share with you in this article. Whether you opt to wash your hair weekly or bi-weekly, here are six pretty good reasons why you definitely should at least consider making some shampoo yourself along with five recipes for you to test out (trust me, it’s not as hard to do as you might think).

The benefits of a DIY shampoo

1. You Know Exactly What’s in It

Although companies are legally obligated to share the ingredients that are in their products, let’s be honest — a lot of us don’t even think to read the labels, even though we should. When it comes to shampoo specifically, there are oftentimes all kinds of things in them that aren’t good for our overall health and well-being. Things like what? Parabens (they stop bacteria from growing in products yet also mimic estrogen in your system); sulfates (they provide lather and also create mutagenic properties which can literally alter your DNA sequence); sodium chloride (it makes shampoo thicker and can also lead to hair loss over time); alcohol (it can dry your hair out) and synthetic fragrances (they can irritate your scalp) — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Making your own shampoo means that you’re in control of what goes into it. And when you have that kind of personal assurance, you don’t have to worry about putting things onto your scalp and in your hair that could prove to be detrimental in the long run.

2. You Can Customize It to Suit Your Personal Needs

Another cool thing about DIY shampoos is you can customize them. So, instead of spending 30-plus minutes in drug and grocery stores trying to figure out which commercialized product can get closest to what you’re looking for, you can “design” your own hair wash. For instance, I made one shampoo that has both tea tree oil (for dandruff) and honey (it’s a humectant) in it. Since tea tree oil has such powerful antiseptic properties and it also is an oil (so it doesn’t strip my scalp’s natural moisture), it’s a win/win. In fact, you can make a few different kinds of shampoos to fit different occasions (for instance, one that reduces frizz, one that deep cleans and one that uber moisturizes).

3. It Can Be Much Less Drying

The beauty industry is a billion-dollar business and businesses are all about making money. So, why would brands — brands that are looking to make a mint off of what we buy — actually go out of their way to make more moisturizing shampoos when they can leave the conditioning elements out of them and sell us bottles of conditioner instead? Listen, I will be the first one to say that deep conditioning is an absolute must. At the same time, we wouldn’t have to do that so much if we were making our own shampoo; the kind that has moisturizing ingredients like coconut milk, a few teaspoons of herbal infused oil or some Aloe vera gel in it. (See what I’m saying?)

4. Less Lather. More Clean.

As it says in the title, I will share a few easy recipes at the end of this. For now, if you’re someone who thinks that extra lather means extra clean, first, that’s not really true. Because a lot of us have been so accustomed to using shampoos that provide lather, we’ve been “programmed” to believe that although it’s more of a “cosmetic ploy” than anything. Still, if you’re someone who feels like you’ve just got to have a ton of suds, while castile soap won’t provide boatloads of bubbles, you will get some. The real bonus is you’ll be able to get what you want from a much healthier approach because castile soap helps to preserve natural oils on your scalp, promotes healthy hair follicles and even has a good reputation of soothing your scalp if you happen to have scalp eczema or psoriasis. In fact, castile soap happens to be a main ingredient in a lot of homemade shampoos. Rightfully so, too.

5. It’s (Typically) Better for the Environment

A lot of the chemicals that I mentioned earlier? Not only are they not good for your system, they aren’t great for the environment either. And don’t even get me started on what all of those plastic containers are doing to our planet. I recently read that our world currently produces somewhere around 380 million tons of plastic every year and most of it ends up in our oceans or they become pollutants on some level. When you’re making your own shampoo, you can buy a couple of recyclable bottles and just keep using them over and over again. Then when, for whatever the reason, you’re ready to toss them, you can put them in a recycling bin so that they don’t create more trash. Yeah, this DIY shampoo thing just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

6. It Can Be Cheaper in the Long Run

There are a lot of cheap bottles of shampoo that are on the market. While some work “OK”, you know how the saying goes — you get what you pay for. And if commercialized brands are ultimately going to pay their own role in brittle hair, split ends, dry scalp and who knows what else, isn’t it actually less expensive to spend a little more to buy pure products that will take better care of your hair overall? Yeah, my sentiments exactly.

5 Easy, Healthy DIY Shampoo Recipes

To make your own DIY shampoo, mix the ingredients together, put them into a flip bottle, and shake well before use. 

Castile Shampoo Recipe

  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
  • ½ teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil (sweet almond, avocado, jojoba, etc.)

Aloe Vera Shampoo Recipe

  • ¼ cup of Aloe vera gel (contains antioxidant and antibacterial properties and unblocks hair follicles)
  • ¼ cup of castile soap
  • ½ teaspoon of Vitamin E oil
  • 5-7 drops of orange (soothes dandruff and relieves dry scalp) or jasmine (reduces frizz) oil

Coconut Milk Shampoo Recipe

  • ½ cup of coconut milk (uber moisturizing)
  • ½ liquid soap
  • ½ cup of vegetable glycerin (a humectant)
  • 3 teaspoons of argan oil (awesome for hair growth)
  • 10 drops of lavender oil (kills bacteria and encourages hair growth)

Maple Shampoo Recipe

  • 10 drops of carrot seed oil (soothes texture and tames frizz)
  • 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup (a powerful humectant)
  • ½ cup of castile soap 

Honey Shampoo Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons of Manuka honey (nourishes hair and reduces flaky scalp)
  • 2 teaspoons of liquid coconut oil
  • 3 drops of lemongrass oil (reduces dry scalp and increases hair shine)