A ton of my shampoo recipe creations have come up short in one or more important shampoo requirements. This recipe, however, I managed to hit them all while not reacting with my the hard water in my apartment! While soapnut shampoo will still be near and dear to my heart, this recipe is great for people who are dipping their toes into the homemade-shampoo-world.
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Now that’s a hard-working homemade shampoo!
- 1/3 cup gentle bar soap, grated (I recommend Kirk’s Castile Soap because it works in hard water without leaving your hair gunky and residue-y…if this isn’t a concern for you, feel free to use any gentle bar soap that you like)
- 1/4 cup aloe vera juice
- 1/2 cup homemade full-fat coconut milk (if you buy some from the store, I’d recommend getting a brand without any thickeners or additives…I haven’t tried it with additives like guar gum so no guarantees if you go this route but I have a hunch it wouldn’t be a complete disaster?)
Pre shampoo recommendation:
I highly recommend doing an aloe vera gel scalp treatment before you shampoo your hair. I’ve noticed huge improvements in hair shedding and breakage since incorporating this into my hair care routine.
1. Shred your bar soap using a cheese grater into a medium sized pot. It’ll look like this:
2. Add your aloe vera juice and full-fat coconut milk to the pot so that it looks like this:
3. Put the pot on over low heat and stir continuously until the soap shreds have incorporated into the mixture. This takes just a few minutes.
4. Let cool slightly and then transfer to an 8 ounce pump-top or disc-top container.
Use this shampoo like you would any shampoo. It comes out very liquid-y but foams up A TON once you lather it up (that’s my favorite part!).
I like to follow it up with a properly diluted apple cider vinegar rinse. Hello, shiny hair!
Does this need to be refridgerated due to the milk?
I do refridgerate it but I’ll take it out a couple hours before I shower to let it soften up 🙂
I will have to try this. I already have Kurt’s Castile soap and I was wanting to make shampoo with it anyway. The Dr. Bronner’s (besides it’s expensive!) shampoo i’ve made leaves my hair feeling greasy and tangly.(prob because of hard water) I’ve mixed it with baking soda with some success, but my knee length hair still requires lots of store bought conditioner.
Knee length hair! That’s so awesome! I’m totally jealous, I’m moderately obsessed with long hair. I had a similar problem with Castile soap so it quickly fell out of favor. I have fallen in love with apple cider vinegar rinses instead of conditioner and it’s been working amazingly well. But it did have a transition period in the beginning until I clarified out all the conditioner residue. Let me know how it goes! 🙂
My hair was only hip length until I had children, than it grew longer. thankfully it isn’t extremely thick or heavy.
Do you still like the castile soap with the aloe vera and coconut milk recipe or are you meaning that it quit working for you? I had to quit using regular conditioner because it was leaving a buildup on my hair. My hair looks fairly good with just the Kirk’s soap, but it’s pretty tangly/sticks together, so I think I need to try the vinegar rinse.
That’s so cool! I’m inching my way down to my waist…but seems like forever! I do still like the Castile soap mixture but I alternate between a lot of different recipes…it’s my version of playing with my hair without cutting, dyeing (except henna), or using any heat! But I have found that apple cider vinegar rinses are a constant must for me…they really do magical things for me. Hope they work for you too, let me know how it goes!
Does this have a shelf life? If so, how long do you feel it would keep? Thanks!
I usually keep mine in the fridge and get it out a few hours before I shower but I think it would do ok for up to a week or so. If you’re going that route, I think storing it in smaller containers and refrigerating the rest is a good idea. Hope that helps! 🙂
Did you mean that it will last about a week in the fridge? Is it best to make this recipe as is, or would it still keep if I wanted to double or triple the recipe?
Sorry, I meant it’ll last about a week out of the fridge but a good amount longer in the fridge. I’ve doubled it as well and it lasted me for weeks!
I read that Dr Bronners castile soap isn’t good for hard water and will leave a waxy buildup on the hair…how is Kurts any different? Is the fact that it’s a solid vs liquid enough to get rid of the residue??
That’s right, Dr. Bronner’s isn’t for hard water but Kurt’s is a lot better and that’s true for both the liquid or the bar versions. It has more to do with the receipt with the minerals in the water so that’s why it’s different 🙂
Aside from my dry skin problem (in which I am diligently using your recommendation with aloe juice + shea, and it seems to be working – slowly…), I have very hard water and my hair is a tangled mess when I get out of the shower, I can’t get a brush through the mangled mess (and I have fairly long hair), so I have got to try this shampoo. Would you still highly recommend this recipe for really hard water? Any updates or changes you would make? Thanks again! Mara
I was wondering how using castile soap would not cause build up when using hard water with this recipe?
The ACV rinses help with that but like most shampoos, it will build up over time and requires some clarifying.
Hi Alex…Thanks for this recipe. For maybe 2 months, I’ve been using homemade shampoo with Dr. Bronner’s, coconut milk & some essential oils. Most recently, I’m using a blend that also includes raw honey. I am shedding lots of hair…considering that this was not an issue when I used a commercial shampoo. And, yes, my hair looks more oily than I prefer. Have tried apple cider rinses more than once. This actually streaks the natural color out of my hair. I end up with bleached strands. I will not use ACV anymore. Do you have a suggestion for another substitute. Oh, following the shampoo, I detangle with marshmallow root. The water here is definitely hard. Do you think the shedding is a result of the hard water with the Bronner’s castile?
Can you make the recipe for hard water with castiles liquid soap instead of the bar?
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