DIY Shampoo & Rinse

Posted by Maija Vastamäki on

I have been making homemade cosmetics for as long as I can remember, but always focusing on skincare products one way or the other. But now, I decided to go a step further and make my own hair care products. This is actually quite exciting and very new to me, so hold on to your hat’s ladies and gents, as here you are, homemade shampoo and rinse! 

I did my research from my books and found some excellent information on hair care. Based on that, here are a few facts about hair, caring for your hair and of course the recipe I used. Enjoy! 


Healthy hair is slightly oily, light, strong, constantly self-renewing and easy to comb. It reacts to the foods you eat, and these in turn should provide the hair with the minerals and vitamins it needs in order to grow properly. 

Over-exposure to UV-rays, pollutants in the air, toxic substances (i.e. ingestion of alcohol, nicotine and chlorinated water), illness anywhere in the body and the side effects of medications, lack of scalp massage and the use of nylon brushes ALL change and impair the condition of the hair. Our hair is just as sensitive as our skin. Treat it well, it thrives - treat is bad, well… you know the outcome. 

We lose about eighty hairs a day. To remove old, dead hair and stimulate its natural growth, we must brush our hair regularly and intensively. The good old 100 strokes a day with a brush is still a valid guideline, as it removes old hair, massages the scalp and stimulates circulation. But even without counting the strokes, a thorough brushing twice a day can save you from spending excessive time at the hairdresser´s and wasting money on expensive hair care products. 


Hair is an important element in our appearance. Yet we wash, cut, blow-dry, dye, curl, tone, spray and style it to the point that we really should feel sorry for it. The market is flooded with hundreds of different products for hair care. Are all these products really needed? 

What is needed, first of all, is periodic shampooing. This removes dirt, hair scales and extra fat from the hair. The active substances in most shampoos accomplish that much, but all active substances (even good old soap), attack the acid mantle of the scalp and wash away the hair´s oils film. In addition, the aggressive synthetic substances in cheap shampoos damage the upper layer of the skin and the hair follicles. The scalp then dries out and the hair becomes like straw and falls out. 

Once the hair has lost its natural protection, it becomes dirty more quickly, the sebaceous glands are stimulated to increase the production of the sebum and finally the hair becomes oily, so it must be treated with still another product. A vicious circle, but one that is highly profitable for the cosmetic industry! 

You probably have noticed how after washing your hair in the morning, you have light and attractive hair, but after several hours, the hair has flattened against the head. In order to avoid that, after each washing the hair should be rinsed with an acidic substance, no matter what kind of shampoo is used. Lemon juice, natural apple cider vinegar, milk and beer are all suited for this purpose as they remove the detergent and the calcium residue and restore the acid equilibrium of the scalp. 


Hair care starts with washing the hair. Use a shampoo without synthetic agents and a pH value of 4-6 for this purpose. To make your own aromatic shampoo, just add 1-2% essentials oils that best suits your hair type to the shampoo and shake well.

A good non-toxic shampoo on the market is free from SURFACTANTS (sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide DEA), PRESERVATIVES (parabens, benzyl alcohol, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazonlinone), FRAGRANCE, RETINYL PALMITATE and SULFATES.

You can also make your own shampoo from scratch (which I did). Essential oils, vegetable oil, water and liquid soap can be combined to create a hair care product that provides your hair with shine, stimulates the scalp and regulates the production of sebum. 

When using synthetic shampoos, always rinse afterwards in order to remove the residue of detergent from the base of the hair. Even with homemade soap shampoos, as described here, a rinse is advisable to remove any residue of soap or calcium from the hair. 


After washing the hair, rinse it thoroughly with your own basic rinse and dry it with a towel. The hair will then have a soft feel and pleasant scent. 




                             2.5 dl liquid soap

                             1.5 dl boiled water or spring water

                             ½ tbsp vegetable oil (jojoba, olive, avocado)

                             10 drops essential oils


Pour all ingredients into a bottle with a spray top and shake lightly. First put the water, then the soap, since the mixture otherwise foams too much. 

Choose essentials oils that are recommended for your hair and scalp. 

Apply only a little of this shampoo, as it has a high yield. 

The vegetable oil restores fat to the hair, which then feels soft and does not dry out. If your hair is often exposed to strong sun, increase the amount of vegetable oil. 

You do not need a conditioner after washing your hair with this shampoo. Just a rinse! 

My shampoo:

I made homemade liquid soap (see recipe below), used boiled water, jojoba oil and 5 drops of lavender and 5 drops of peppermint. This essential oil mix simultaneously treats the hair and stimulates the scalp.




                             2.5 dl grated soap

                             Boiled water

                             1 tsp glycerin (optional)

                             Custom ingredients, e.g. essential oils (optional) 


Grate or finely chop a bar of soap. You can grate your soap by hand or in a food processor. A food processor is the fastest approach.

Boil water on the stove.

Turn off the heat, and add your soap flakes. Stir to melt the soap. Continue stirring until the mixture is fully combined. At this point, the mixture will be very liquidy.

Allow the mixture to cool for at least 15 minutes. Then, stir it again. The soap should be slightly thicker now.

Add glycerin to the mixture (acts as a moisturizer).

Allow the soap to cool for several hours or overnight.

Stir to check the consistency. If it seems too liquidy, reheat it and add more soap flakes. If it seems too thick, reheat it and add more water. The moisture content varies from one brand of bar soap to the next, so you will probably have to do a bit of tweaking to get your recipe just right.

An optional step for a super-smooth consistency: Run your finished liquid soap through a blender or use an immersion blender before pouring into your soap dispensers.

Once you are satisfied with the consistency of your liquid soap, add a few drops of essential oil and/or coloring, if desired. You can also add honey if you wish. Pour into your soap dispenser.

My liquid soap:

I used Marseilles soap bar. I added glycerin. I did not add any essentials oils to this as they are added in the shampoo and rinse.




                             1.5 dl boiled water or spring water

                             0.6 dl apple cider vinegar

                             10 – 15 drops essential oils


Mix ingredients well in a spray-top bottle. Massage well into the hair and wash it out quickly! 

NOTE: The hair does have smell like apple cider vinegar, but no worries, the scent of the vinegar quickly vanishes.

My rinse:

Boiled water, apple cider vinegar, 7 drops of rosemary for a silky shimmer to the hair and 7 drops of lemon to keep my hair bright.



Absolutely fantastic! I have never had hair so soft and silky. Highly recommend trying this out, at least the rinse, if the shampoo part seems a bit too much to make! Making the rinse takes only a couple minutes. 

In my opinion the human body has a perfectly functioning system for taking care of the hair and scalp without any extra hassle nor products, but we humans tend to twist it around and up-side-down. We create needs that we do not actually need. 

I have never washed my kid’s hair with any kind of shampoo, only water, from the day they were born. My oldest is almost five and my youngest is two and oh boy is their hair shiny and healthy. But let´s get real, we live in a hectic, modern world which is quite polluted in many ways, so if you are living in a city, you cannot go without washing your hair with some kind of shampoo. There is just too much dirt and the water just isn´t enough to get the job done. 

So, what do I suggest? Just wash it wisely! Either use a shampoo from the market by choosing a natural option of your liking (see tips for a good shampoo on “washing the hair” paragraph) and be happy with your choice OR make your own according to my recipe! 

Just be sure to use a homemade rinse to get the hair and scalp back to balance, that’s it!

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