Homemade Vegan Shampoo and Conditioner

March 20, 2011By 18 Comments

Please enjoy this guest post by Maria Rainier.

Although I once loved Trader Joe’s for supplying me with cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner for bottom dollar prices, I was pretty bummed when I saw, far down on the ingredients list, two types of parabens.

Although the jury is still out, many in the scientific and green community have nick-named this common preservative a “gender bender.” Propylparaben has shown in some studies to adversely affect male reproductive functions, and according to a 2002 study published by S. Oishi even decreased sperm production when taken at levels deemed acceptable under EC law. Meanwhile, parabens have been found in human breast tissue, although the link between it and breast cancer has yet to be solidly established.

My point is this: why take the risk when you can make your own vegan and paraben-free shampoo on the cheap?

 

DIY Shampoo

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup liquid castile soap
  • 2 tsp jojoba or grapeseed oil (optional, see below)
  • 1/8 cup aloe vera gel (optional)
  • 5 drops of essential oil of your choice (optional)

Combine all ingredients and put into an old shampoo bottle (you can see my old Trader Joe’s bottle in the picture).  Shake before use and apply directly to your scalp, since it tends to be watery.  Don’t let its consistency fool you, though—it lathers very well and doubles as shaving cream.

Admittedly, the initial price plunge is steep, but keep in mind that there’s enough in each bottle of each ingredient to make multiple batches of your shampoo.  For the liquid castile soap, I love using Dr. Bronner’s because it’s fairly traded, vegan, and economical.

Bonus: it already comes with jojoba oil, so that’s one price tag you can scratch off the list!

If your hair is curly or otherwise drier than most types, you can add some aloe vera gel for added moisture.  If your hair tends to be oily, try adding a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil as both are antiseptics and add a little jump to your morning shower.

DIY Conditioner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar isn’t just for facial toners; it’s great for your hair, too.  It has mild exfoliating properties which removes product and shampoo buildup as well as dandruff.  It’s also an effective detangler, which is great for someone with hair like mine (I’m positive there’s a monster that lives under my bed and spends his evenings tying knots into my curls and splitting the ends).

Combine in a bottle and shake before use, applying directly to scalp.  Run your fingers through your hair a few times while the mixture does its cleaning and conditioning, and then rinse out.  The smell won’t leave the shower, I promise.

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she writes about education and online degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Photo by SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at Sunny@VeganBeautyReview.com. You can also find me on Google +.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Sharon Belk says:

    HI! Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, As I am new to this whole organic thing? But 1st a question “Is there a difference in Vegan products & Organic products??
    OK if the answer is NO! Castile soap is not an Organic product. Castile soap has Sodium hydroxide in it. Sodium hydroxide is also known as caustic soda, or lye, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula NaOH. Please I welcome any comments.

    • Sunny says:

      Yep, those two things are not related. Vegan refers no animal products or by-products. Oftentimes, vegan items are organic but they don’t have to be. Hope this helps. :)

  2. Lauren Simpson says:

    I am so excited to make my own shampoo! Instead of conditioning, I put coconut oil in my hair overnight every 6 days or so, and then shampoo it out (it’s like a hair mask, you can’t leave it in or your hair will be very wet-looking). It’s super cheap, and smells nice :) my hair’s the nicest it’s ever been, even after all the yucky things I’ve done to it in the past.

  3. Miia says:

    What kinder of aloe Vera you use? Drinkable kind? Or the One that is meant for skin?

  4. Margaret Roy says:

    Believe it or not, the DIY conditioner is exactly what I used as a teenager in the 1950s before “Tame Cream Rinse” came on the market. Of course if you were a blond you used lemon juice instead of vinegar. Can’t wait to get the ingredients for your shampoo and give it a try.

    • Kammy says:

      Margret Roy, That’s so funny you say that, I too used this as a child growing up in the 60′s. I had completely forgot “Tame” until you mentioned it, but growing up in a family of 9 we never had store bought conditioner, we used apple cider vinegar mixed with water too. It is ironic a lot of “beauty products” I grew up using and have been old fall backs are now the “in” thing again.

  5. If you aren’t too keen on making your own stuff, check out jennydaisyblue.com While we do not have a specific shampoo several items work –the baby wash, the bohemian body wash, the face wash, and Rosemary Mint Shampoo bar all work great as shampoo –all our products are paraben free… as well as free from ALL toxins and artificial ingredients, AND GLUTEN FREE!!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I found the BEST shampoo & conditioner at costco. Its called Kirklands Professional salon formula Moisture shampoo & conditioner. Its vegan, Color safe with UV protectants, sulfate free, gluten free, paraben free and NOT tested on amimals. I have bleached platinum blonde hair this product leaves my extremely damaged hair soft manageable and brings it back to healty. Amazing product. The best part its CHEAP! :) $10 bucks for two huge 33.8 oz bottle. Last forever to. MY HG vegan shampoo & conditioner and I tried them ALL.

  7. Mom says:

    my son uses the baking soda and I got to be honest his hair looks bad never looks clean since he stopped using shampoo

    • keeper says:

      He should mix the baking soda with vitamin e, apple cider vinegar and(optional)an emulsifier such as corn starch to actually clean his hair. =D raw baking soda will eventually dry out the hair and if you don’t get it all out it can look like you have dandruff ^^

    • Kammy says:

      Mom, I too had issues with the baking soda shampoo’s the it isn’t pH balanced and strips your hair. I am wondering if this recipe will do the same because I have washed my hair with Dr. Bronner’s castil soap and it made my hair a dried out frizzy rats nest.

  8. Christen says:

    Hey! Love this site and the amazing info and tips! I recently started my own homemade beauty recipe blog — check it out if you want and give it some love! http://beautysparecipes.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for keeping me inspired and learning new beauty tips!

  9. Sara says:

    I just use baking soda and water mixed in a bottle and squirted into my hair roots first, rub it in, give it a minute, and then rinse followed by the apple cider vinegar conditioner listed above. Works great and I think my color lasts longer with this hair washing technique than when using shampoo. A little baking soda and water makes a nice exfoliating facial wash too!

  10. Anadrol says:

    I’ve never done this at home, but I think I’ll try now after reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    Ana

  11. Baking Soda Paste also works well as a Shampoo.
    :D

    xx
    JordanMayTwigs.
    <3

  12. Sherry T. says:

    Are these safe for color-treated hair? :)

  13. Evie says:

    That’s really interesting, I’ll have to give it a try!

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