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I Made DIY Shampoo With Castile Soap – Here’s What Happened

DIY Castile Soap Shampoo

Note: I received the castile soap I’m reviewing as a gift, but all opinions are completely my own.

For the longest time, I’ve used drugstore shampoo to clean my hair – you know, the kind that has a bunch of completely unpronounceable ingredients like methylisothiazolinone, polyethylene glycols (PEG), and formaldehyde on the back of the bottle. 

Yes, those are real ingredients beauty brands actually use – and the problem is, they’re often terrible for your hair

Even though I loved how my hair smelled after showering, I wasn’t the biggest fan of how the shampoos I used made it look limp and greasy within a few days.

I wanted to try a more natural solution, so when Clean Rebellion sent me a bottle of their 100% organic castile soap, I couldn’t wait to see how my stripped, damaged hair would react. 

What I love about Clean Rebellion’s castile soap, in particular, is that it’s made with olive oil and is completely natural, with zero shady ingredients. In other words? It’s incredibly gentle and moisturizing on your hair, as long as you distill it. (More on that later.)

What my hair type is

I’ve always had pretty thick, wavy hair. But for the longest time, I thought my hair was straight because the shampoo I used didn’t allow my natural texture to appear. On the contrary, it left my scalp too dry on some days and too greasy on other days.

I later learned that traditional shampoos do that – they strip our hair too much, so our scalps over-produce oil to make up for it, leaving our roots greasy and our ends dry. Thanks, but no thanks!

Here’s how I turned castile soap into an all-natural shampoo, and how my hair reacted.

My pretty new bottle of castile soap.

DIY Castile Soap Shampoo Recipe

  • ½ cup castile soap
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of a nourishing oil, like jojoba or vitamin A
  • About 20 drops of an essential oil, like lavender or rosemary


Once I’d gathered my ingredients, I simply stirred them together in a mixing bowl and poured the finished shampoo into an empty shampoo bottle I had on hand.

The first time around, I made the mistake of distilling the castile soap with an equal amount of water, which made the shampoo really runny. I’d recommend distilling it with coconut milk instead and adjusting the quantities as needed. Also, if your hair tends to get greasy quickly, you might want to skip the added oil, at least until your hair adapts to your new haircare regimen.

The results

One of the first things I noticed after using my DIY castile soap shampoo for several weeks was that my hair didn’t look frizzy or feel stripped of moisture, as it did after I used a traditional shampoo. 

After a few washes, I also noticed that my scalp was loving this new shampoo, too. I usually have a dry, itchy scalp, especially in the winter when the air is dryer, but I’ve noticed that my scalp has looked a lot healthier lately, and I attribute that to the castile soap’s amazing moisturizing properties. Another thing I’ve noticed is that my ends aren’t nearly as dry as they used to be – even during the winter!

Ready to try this castile soap shampoo recipe yourself?

Here’s what I recommend.

If you typically use super stripping shampoos, like I did, it will take a little while for your hair and scalp to adjust to a new hair care regimen. Don’t worry, this is completely normal.

At first, you might notice that your hair still looks kind of greasy after showering, as I did. This is most probably because your scalp is adjusting to being cleansed without being completely stripped. Just stick with it, and adjust the amount of shampoo you use as needed. You should see a definite improvement after a month or two, and your hair will get progressively less greasy and much healthier than before.

Because castile soap has a high ph, be sure to rinse your hair with vinegar after shampooing to balance it out. I use about half a cup of apple cider vinegar distilled with an equal amount of water, pour it over my hair, and rinse with cold water.

To make this easy, I recommend putting the vinegar and water in an empty bottle and just storing it in your shower. In my experience, rinsing with apple cider vinegar leaves my hair feeling soft and cleansed, and the apple cider vinegar smell doesn’t last.

Final thoughts

So there you have it. If you’re sick of using a shampoo that contains harsh, unnecessary ingredients and want a natural, highly effective DIY shampoo that cleans your hair and scalp without stripping it, I can’t recommend Clean Rebellion’s castile soap enough. 

What I particularly love about their castile soap is that it’s certified organic, and they’re completely transparent about the (very few) ingredients they use.

Need another reason to love it?

Castile soap can also be used as a face wash, hand soap, body wash, and so many other things. I’ve really tried to cut down on the products I use and be more intentional about what I put on my body, and I love the fact that castile soap has so many uses.

Clean Rebellion’s packaging is also gorgeous – each bottle of castile soap comes in a fresh, colorful bottle with an affirmation on it, which I love. It brightens up my whole bathroom and makes showering feel like a spa day.

If you’re ready to treat yourself, you can grab a bottle right here.

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