diy shampoo for hair growth (zero waste, vegan, natural) | planet lovin' 🌍

January 23, 2018


Ingredients Used ::

 ○ 4 oz Dr Bronner's Tea Tree Oil pure castile liquid soap

 ○ 4 oz vegetable glycerine

 ○ approx. 1.5-2tsp Dried Aloe Vera (you can use gel if you would like. Keep in mind fresh aloe gel needs to be kept in the fridge and lasts for 7ish days.. which is why I used dry)

 ○ approx. 1.5-2tsp Shikakai powder

 ○ approx. 1.5-2tsp Nettle (or 1 bag nettle tea)

 ○ 10oz boiling water

 ○ a 16oz container/bottle (or anything you can find will do... my bottle is identical to my empty bottle of Inner-Ēco probiotics (found at WholeFoods). Simply remove the label from an old bottle laying around the house! Recycling at it's best!) 




Where to Find Ingredients ::

 ○ Shikakai

 ○ Amazon ::

 ○ Zero Waste :: try looking in bulk bins (I have not found) or looking in stores for companies selling in paper packaging only (I'm not much of a help with this one for sustainability).

○ local :: You can find inexpensive shikakai at most beauty stores/drug stores under this brand.

 ○ Nettle

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste :: try looking in bulk bins. As well as the tea brand above is sold in 100% biodegradable packaging.

○ local :: the tea brand linked in top (amazon) bullet point is sold in 100% biodegradable packaging/

 ○ Hibiscus

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste :: Try finding a tea in biodegradable packaging or the tea/flowers sold in bulk

○ local :: Try finding a tea in biodegradable packaging or the tea/flowers sold in bulk.

 ○ Aloe

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste :: You can use fresh aloe gel (scraped from the leaves) but it will only last 7 days/must be kept in fridge. You can make dried powder by drying the leaves & grinding them.

 ○ Tea Tree Oil

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste/local :: Several health food stores offer Tea Tree in glass bottles. An example is whole foods. Trader Joes also sells Tea Tree (in a plastic bottle).

 ○ Hemp Seed Oil

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste/local :: Several health food stores offer Hemp Seed oil (in a glass bottle) as well as GNC/VitaminShoppe. However some states may be harder to find because of hemp product regulations. I suggest calling before driving all the way out.

 ○ Vitamin E

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste :: Try finding in a glass bottle.

○ Local :: Trader Joes sells! So does Marshalls/TJ Maxx frequently (check ingredients for added nasty extras.) (Note: Tocopherol = Vitamin E)

 ○ Dr Bronners

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste :: Try The Gel recipe I have linked below using the bar DB Tea Tree soap! Or if you prefer liquid, try buying in the large gallon sizes (the same sizes most bulk refill stations use as it is... but they often don't sell the tea tree scent.. but somewhere near you might!)

○ Vegetable Glycerine

○ Amazon ::

○ Zero Waste/local :: Some stores offer in bulk. Most health food stores/Whole Foods and the like offer VG (in plastic bottles typically).



How To Make ::

 1. Bring water to a boil. Measure out around 14oz (I used 12oz but a lot evaporated while cooling)

 2. Add in the dry ingredients (Aloe powder, Shikakai, and Nettle)

 3. Let steep until the water has cooled

 4. Once cooled, use a spoon to take out large chunks (ex. hibiscus flowers if you did not use hibiscus powder)

 5. Pour through a funnel & filter into your final bottle of choice. 

(I used the leftover bag from my nettle tea as a filter. I simply opened and tore along the edge of the bag, opening it up to one square sheet. But a coffee filter or nut milk bag will work as well. Warning: staining may occur to a nut bag.) 

Don't worry if some of the dried ingredients get through. This is mostly to filter out any large chunks left.

 6. Using the funnel again, pour in the liquid soap and vegetable glycerine

 7. Lightly mix (I didn't shake it, for the fear of causing cause lots of sudds. I used a chopstick as a stir-stick through the bottle's small neck)


Voila! Scrub-a-dub-dub!




Ingredient Spotlight ::

○ Shikakai :: Traditional Indian herb, used for centuries. anti-fungal and combats dryness. Helps clean hair, promotes growth, softens and conditions, and detangles

○ Nettle :: Balances oil and sebum. Promotes hair re-growth.

○ Aloe :: Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp and promotes growth.

○ Hibiscus :: Ayurvedic medicine used to stop hair loss and promote growth. Adds shine, amplifies red tones in your hair. Helps balance the scalp’s PH. Reduce oiliness. Reduce itching. And discourage split ends.

○ Vegetable Glycerine :: helps lock in moisture & will give the shampoo the "lather effect" you get from most traditional shampoos (making it less watery and easier to spread on your scalp when using).

○ Dr Bronner’s ::

○ Tea Tree :: Good for any hair type. Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral = great for any scalp problems. helps to clear the blockages in the pores and helps to prevent dryness and itching.

○ Coconut oil :: Prevents breakage, helps fight bacteria, and adds lustre by sinking deep into the hair follicles.

○ Vitamin E (tocopherol) :: Helps repair and build tissue. Reduces inflammation & repairs damage to the follicles, which encourages hair growth.

○ Hemp oil :: Delivering Omega 3, 6 and 9, which are necessary for hair growth. Improves blood circulation. Strengthens hair. And moisturizes the scalp.


Money Savings ::

It costs $4.39 per bottle (prices via the links above from Amazon). While the upfront cost is $57, personally, I save heaps per bottle in comparison to my old vegan shampoo from the drugstore (that rang me up around $11 a bottle).



Two Alternative Recipes ::


THE GEL (assuming you do not live in a sweltering warm climate)

Confession, I haven't actually tried this. But I've made most of the steps but without mixing it with the herbal tea in a separate soapy experiment. And I'd assume you would get a similar gel-like texture. It might not mix as well as some of the other products you'd find in the drugstore, but in theory it should still work if you use it practically. So lemme know how this turns out!


 ○ Difference :

1. Swap liquid Dr. Bronner's in the above recipe for 1/3 Dr Bronner's Tea Tree BAR SOAP

2. Use a wide-mouthed jar (i.e. mason jar. Something you can scoop your hands or a spoon into)

 ○ How to::

1. On a cutting board, chop off 1/6 of the bar (I chopped off 1/3 and then halved that)

2. Chop the piece of the bar into small shavings (it will melt quicker. Chop rather than using a grater to keep most of the bar from getting stuck in the grater)

3. Bring some water to a boil

4. Place soap choppings into a glass jar and pour enough boiling water to cover the choppings

5. Watch the soap begin to melt into the water (you can see streams of melting oil in the water, it's pretty cool)

6. Wait for the soap to dissolve completely and move onto making the other liquid ingredients while you wait (the following two steps)

7. Pour out 14oz of boiling water into a bowl (I used a large measuring cup and just left it in there as my bowl)

8. Do steps #2-5 from the regular recipe above (top of page) making a tea from the herbs and straining/pouring into your jar of choice (see steps #2-5 from above recipe)

9. Using the funnel one more time, pour in your melted soap 

10. Mix thuroughly and let cool overnight

11. You should be left with a gel-like mixture that you can scoop out a bit with a spoon or your fingers. Lather and rinse as normal.



Honestly, I have not tried this one either but it's simply swapping out the Dr Bronners for the individual ingredients it uses rather than purchasing the soap with them all together.


The Difference ::

1. The major difference is because the Dr Bronner's Liquid Soap has surfactants in it, the PH value is quite high. You may not have to do a PH balancing rinse with this recipe.

2. You may have the individual ingredients on hand already


 ○ Follow the directions from the original recipe, but swap out Dr Bronner's (the liquid soap) in step #6 for a combination of Tea Tree Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. The three combined should equal 3oz.

I would personally try 2oz hempseed, 0.3oz tea tree and o.7oz vitamin E but that's just a guess.





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