How To Make Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo

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Several years ago before I was into living more healthy and naturally, I used to buy a commercial shampoos. I didn’t really look at the ingredients. The label had long words which I didn’t know what they mean. But the turning point was one word “formaldehyde”. I knew this word from chemistry lessons long ago in high school. It was used to preserve dead animals in bottles in the lab, and I remember the teacher telling us how toxic it was, even in small quantities.

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When I saw that this shampoo contains formaldehyde, I became a lot more suspicious about what my shampoos contain.

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Many shampoos contain harmful ingredients, and many of the ingredients listed in popular shampoos are toxic. When you read the list of ingredients in your shampoo, it’s hard to know if your shampoo exposes you to unnecessary health risks, and it’s sometimes hard to pick a safe shampoo. Therefore I would like to share with you a recipe for an easy homemade natural shampoo that contains natural ingredients including essential oils, and is gentle to use on a daily basis. At least here you have control over what you put on your hair and scalp, and you know that you use only natural ingredients.

This recipe uses coconut milk, which you can buy or make yourself very easily at home (see how to make it in my article about Healthy and Easy Homemade Milk Substitute Recipes).

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This recipe also uses Castile soap, which is olive oil based soap. The name is originated from Castile, Spain, a region renowned for its olive oil. To this you add essential oil of your choice for a great scent, or you can use essential oils specifically to your hair type – see my article Essential Oils for Healthy Hair. See below the full recipe:

Easy Homemade Natural Shampoo

1/2 cup coconut milk (there are amazing reasons to wash your hair with coconut milk)
2/3 cup Castile soap
20-30 drops essential oil of your choice
2 teaspoons almond oil or olive oil/jojoba oil/vitamin E oil

Combine all the ingredients in an old shampoo bottle and shake well to mix all the ingredients.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them:

Magical Aromatherapy

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43 Responses to How To Make Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo

  1. Amanda says:

    I am a penny pincher and love making my own stuff.
    I do have to try out to see what My family thinks

  2. Marlyn says:

    Do you have a recipe for laundry soap?

  3. Jenny says:

    Measure 2 cups of washing soda into the bucket. Add 2 cups of borax into the same bucket. Grate one bar of natural unscented soap (such as Castile bar soap) into the powdered mixture.
    Add 1/3 cup of the mixture into a full load of wash. Wait until your washing machine is about halfway full of water before adding your clothes to the soapy load (to enable a better mix of the laundry mixture with the water).

    • Emma Brunson says:

      How much do you use in a HE front load machine?

      • Jenny says:

        Hi Emma, I’m not sure but I’ve read that most of the newer front loading washers use an average of somewhere between 10-18 gallons (depending on the model), whereas many of the older machines typically used somewhere between 45-55 gallons of water per load. If it’s true, then you need to use much smaller amount.

  4. Susan says:

    Does the essential oil cover up the smell of coconut?

    • Jenny says:

      The essential oils mask the smell as you are using 20-30 drops of it. It also depend on the coconut milk brand (some have stronger odor than other) but you can choose essential oils with a strong smell such as rosemary or lavender to overcome it, at least to a certain extent.

  5. Ellen says:

    How long can these ingredients keep in the bottle? A week, a month? Thanks Ellen

  6. Jen says:

    Silly question; do you use coconut milk in the carton or the can like for thai dishes; one is more condensed than the other?

  7. jhenna 7 says:

    do you have the recipe for a bar soap?

  8. Randy Posey says:

    Do you have a recipe that doesn’t use coconut milk? I do not want to keep my shampoo in the refrigerator.

  9. Kris says:

    Do you have a recipe for a conditioner?

  10. Daniela says:

    Argan oil is also a great oil to use in place of the coconut oil. Has more nutritive properties and no smell. http://www.rayanarganoil.com

  11. Devon Kirkpatrick says:

    Hi, I made the shampoo according to the directions I even made my own coconut milk but my hair came out greasy. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it? Thanks

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Devon, I would try to omit the 2 teaspoon of the oil from the recipe. Another thing you can try is to use apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a rinse after shampooing. ACV is good at removing excess oil. It will give your hair more body and a healthy, shiny look. Just fill an empty shampoo bottle with ½ tablespoon ACV and one cup of cold water and use this to rinse your hair after shampooing.

  12. Rain says:

    I am allergic to chemicals. This natural shampoo looks interesting. I am going to try it.

  13. MiniMe53 says:

    I started becoming aware of all the crap in cosmetics/beauty products about 5 years ago. Which essential oils has anyone out there experimented with so far? Would be interested in hearing your results and any tweaks you made to the recipe:-)

  14. nenita pangilinan says:

    What is castile soap

    • Jenny says:

      This is an olive oil based soap originating in the Castile region of Spain renowned for its olive oil. It is an eco-friendly and gentle soap free of artificial agents.

  15. Khadijah says:

    Do I use the coconut milk for cooking (can) or for drinking (carton)?
    I read the comment about the coconut cream. There is a difference between coconut milk and coconut cream (both in cans and for cooking)
    Which one did u use?

    • Jenny says:

      In some cases coconut milk in carton is often watered down and filled with additives, so read the label and try to choose the can.

  16. Kathleen says:

    Wonderful tip. Can I use Trader Joe’s olive oil bar soap in place of Castile soap?

  17. Melissa says:

    Any idea if this is baby safe? I am hoping to make a gentle soap from Dr. Bronner’s unscented castile soap to wash baby’s hair and body.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Melissa, I wouldn’t use the essential oils in the recipe. While some essential oils are safe for babies (such as lavender and chamomile which are gentle to the skin), they can enter their eyes, whereas for adult it’s much easier to avoid eye contact.

  18. kristina says:

    Hello.
    Can I use this shampoo every time I washing my hair? I have thin hair and normaly washing every second day..Never tried any homemade shampoo before..
    Thank you, Kristina

  19. Tiffany Hale says:

    I was getting an EEG done n my technician that was doing my yes had the most beautiful hair, she told me that she would wet her hair, use @ a tsp. of coconut oil in her hair and wrap her hair in a warm towel about 30M before her shower then just shampoo her hair as usual and she was done!!!!! Her hair was Amazing I normally use Wen now that its almost gone, I’m going to be using her suggestion just need n awesome shampoo!

  20. I really want to try a coconut milk shampoo or even just a hair treatment/mask! After seeing people’s reviews on it and their before and after photos it looks like it can do amazing things for hair and the shine some people get from it is incredible. Definitely going to give this DIY recipe a try!

  21. Julia says:

    What is the final pH of the shampoo? Castille Soap has a pH of around 8 – 9 and coconut milk around 6. Can one add ACV to bring down the PH level?

    On a conditioning note, I have read that one can use colloidal oats as a conditioner / conditioning rinse especially for scalp problems. I will definitely be trying that.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I’m not sure about the final pH of the shampoo, but you can follow the shampoo with an ACV rinse. Colloidal oats is an old remedy for skin irritations so it’s worth trying it.

  22. Natalie says:

    Hi there! Wanted to clarify the last ingredients listed. Do we Add 2tsp of all the oils mentioned example. vitamin E /jojoba ect or just choose 1 from the list?

    Excited to try!!! Thank you

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