This easy to make hypoallergenic shampoo has only 3 ingredients and makes for a safe & gentle cleanser! Customize to your favorite scents and enjoy fresh hair.
One of the hardest things to remove from your allergens are your bath and body care products. Thankfully, making homemade hypoallergenic shampoo and soaps is so easy! This way you can ensure that you and your family will be safe from all allergens not only in the food but in your bath and body care products, too!
As I share my skincare routine, please keep in mind that I am not a dermatologist or an esthetician. I’m sharing what I have found to work best for me and my skin with the allergy limitations that I have.
Free from: wheat/gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, corn, soy, fish, shellfish, sesame, lupin, mustard, dyes
Understanding Hair pH
pH measures how acidic or alkaline liquids are. The range of pH is from 0 to 14, with lower numbers being more acidic, higher numbers being more alkaline, and a neutral number being 7.
What does that all mean?
Most parts of our body measure around a 7, similar to distilled water which also measures a 7. Things like lemon juice are more acidic, so they have a pH of 2 and soapy water is more alkaline which has a score of around 12.
When we wash our hair with castile soap, that has a score of between 10 and 11, we want to make sure that we balance out our scalp so that it remains in good health.
The most simple method of doing this is with an apple cider vinegar rinse.
Rinsing the hair with apple cider vinegar after using this shampoo serves several benefits. First, it helps to restore the natural pH balance of the scalp. Castille soap has a more alkaline level, so giving a quick rinse with ACV helps to balance the scalp back to a neutral level of between 4-7.
Apple cider vinegar also has several health benefits on its own. ACV is antimicrobial and can help control bacteria or fungi that can lead to scalp issues, such as dandruff. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals that can exfoliate the scalp in a gentle manner.
Finally, vinegar smooths the hair cuticle, creating lots and lots of shine and bounciness to your hair!
How often should you wash your hair?
This answer really varies on your hair type, where you live, what products you use, and your daily habits (like how often you work out or if your hobby is horseback riding).
How often I wash my hair changes with my daily routine and especially with the seasons. In high allergy season (spring time for my climate) I will wash my hair every day that I go outside. It’s a sure method of removing pollen from my hair so I can sleep better at night with clean, fresh hair.
During the winter (snow and cold in my climate) I will wash my hair far less often.
So it really depends on you and your lifestyle! However, I generally think that most people was their hair more frequently than they need.
How to store homemade shampoo?
To store this shampoo, keep it in a bottle in the bathroom to use in the shower whenever you wash your hair. I would recommend making a fresh batch every month, so don’t make up a lot of it if you don’t wash your hair frequently!
It’s so easy to mix up this homemade shampoo recipe! All you need are 3 simple ingredients.
Olive Oil Castile Soap - This is my favorite brand to purchase from as they only use olive oil to make their soap. That makes it super safe for me who is super allergic to coconuts! It lathers beautifully and has a gentle olive scent to it but nothing overpowering. I like to purchase it from Amazon since it ships so quickly. This much Castile soap is enough to make at least 6 bottles of shampoo. Give it a look here!
Vegetable Glycerin - Make sure that you source a glycerin that is safe for you to use. Most often, glycerin is made from soy or coconuts. I use this brand that is soy based as I can use soy. Glycerin helps the soap form a rich lather, provides moisture to the shampoo to make your hair soft, and helps to rinse out.
Rice Bran Oil - This helps to provide moisture to the shampoo so the castile doesn’t dry your hair out too much. I use this kind that is cold pressed and is so good you could even cook with it! I just use it in my shampoo, though.
You can add a few drops of essential oils to the shampoo to give it a scent you enjoy or for some extra added benefits to the shampoo. Here are some ideas of what to add to get you started:
Rosemary Oil - Great for all hair types, it is especially good as calming the scalp and encouraging hair growth.
Tea Tree Oil - Perfect for oily skin that is prone to acne, tea tree oil also helps prevent dandruff with its antifungal properties.
Lavender Oil - Wonderful for oily skin and provides a nice calming scent which is perfect for a shampoo at the end of the day.
All of these oils are from Now Foods. I find them to be a super safe and reputable company. And I love the fast shipping from Amazon. Best of both worlds!
To make the soap, combine all the ingredients in a clean shampoo bottle and mix to combine. That’s it!
Want more Hypoallergenic Bath and Body articles? Check these out!
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoons
- measuring cups
- measuring spoon
- container bottle
- 1 cup Liquid Castile Soap (olive oil)
- ¼ cup Vegetable Glycerin make sure it is safe for your allergens
- 1 teaspoon Rice Bran Oil optional
- 5 drops Essential Oils optional
- In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients. Carefully pour into the empty bottle.
- Keep bottle in the shower for easy use. Can be kept in the shower at room temperature for up to one month. Discard remaining and make fresh after 30 days.
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Hi Laura! Thank you so much for all of your fabulous information! (:
I was just about driving myself crazy searching for coconut-free shampoo and soap (also free of other exotic oils/butters). Thanks to your in depth research, I'm thrilled to find pure olive oil castille soap! The past few weeks I've tried an olive oil castille bar soap, along with homemade ACV / water rinse. I'm feeling healthier without the sneaky hidden coconut and other harmful preservatives in my former liquid shampoo. But, my hair is heavy and waxy coated, even using the rinse. So, I am excited to try your liquid shampoo recipe!
For years I have been fragrance/ allergen/ chemical-free... but had no idea how pervasive coconut derived ingredients are and how to recognize all of the ways they are labeled. I'd like to focus more on solid bars in my effort towards zero waste. Do you think this recipe could be modified into a shampoo bar? Or an alternate recipe you might have that I haven't found yet?
Recently I found Grandma's Old Fashioned Lye soap bar (just lard, water, lye) and fragrance-free. Also comes in sample sizes, and some bundles with the laundry powder for a savings here:
I am using it for general washing and washing dishes by hand. Do you have any ideas for dishwasher soap?
Grandma's also has a fragrance-free coconut-free non-detergent laundry soap powder (just Sodium Percarbonate, Washing Soda, Baking Soda, Borax and Lye Soap) available in different sizes here:
Do NOT order the sample size, as it is (so ridiculous) stored with all of their fragranced products. The cute fabric bag reeked with perfumy odor. I couldn't get the smell out after multiple soakings and washings. But the inner ziploc did finally air out after several weeks, and the powder inside is indeed fragrance-free. It gets my laundry really clean! The good news is that the larger sized bags are stored in a separate fragrance-free area. You still don't want to inhale much when scooping out the powder, as it can make you cough briefly. I've found wearing a mask helpful, if I need to pour either this powder or the following Branch Basics powder into a different container.
In case you and readers are interested in other good companies, and can use coconut... I had been using two Made Safe Certified brands. Meliora: a certified B corporation produced in my bioregion; but their soaps are coconut based. Branch Basics: seemed a good alternative, but same coconut issue. Thankfully, I am still able to use Branch Basics Oxygen Booster for stain & odor removal added to the washing machine along with the washing powder. It is the only product (set to soak before wash) that is able to get out much of the pervasive machine shop odor on my husband's work clothes.
Thanks so much for listening and for your insights. Have a wonderful day! (:
Hi Heidi! Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story and all of these recommendations! I'm going to add them to the coconut free product guide for sure! As for dishwashing soap, you can mix 1 cup of olive oil Castile soap with 1 cup of room temp distilled water. You can mix in a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice to boost the cleaning power. Then use a tablespoon at a time in your dishwasher! It really is that easy. For a rinse, especially if you have hard water, I like to use just pure white vinegar to help with buildup. No, the dishes don't smell.
As for a shampoo bar, I use the Kiss My Face olive oil bar as a shampoo bar! Bonus is that it comes in paper packages with minimal plastic. I appreciate that about the company.
Please keep me updated if you find other coconut free products you love! 🙂
I am wondering which soy based glycerin you used for the shampoo formula you provided? It’s so hard to find on that’s soy based. Pls provide link if you can. Thank you!
Hi Jennifer! Of course, I use the vegetable glycerine from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are where I purchase almost all of my bath and beauty care items and I've been using them for years. They aren't paying me to say that, I just really love the company. Here is the link to the exact one I purchase! https://mountainroseherbs.com/vegetable-glycerine Let me know how your shampoo turns out and if you have any more questions!!
I just recently took an allergy test and found out that I was allergic to coconut, among other things.
I immediately cut it out, buy my allergy induced eczema didn't clear up a lot, and I would often experience flair ups made no sense, because I wasn't eating anything from the lab results. A friend suggested it might be related to coconut or other moderate allergies in my beauty products. I realized i was literally using a coconut body wash, and promptly switched. While it did help I was still experiencing inconsistent flair ups. After a friend sent me this article today i discovered I have hidden coconut in almost all of my daily products!!🤦🏽♀️
So excited to try and finally eliminate all these things harming my skin!! I'll definitely be checking your previous articles to get some coconut free tips!! Thanks so much❤️
Hi Melody! Wow, that is so good to hear that you figured out what was triggering those flare ups for you! As rough as it is to find new products, being able to safely use them is so much better. If you have any questions, please let me know! And if you find a new coconut free product you love, let me know so I can share it with everyone! We're all in this together. 🙂
dawn christy says
i have lots of allergies to any perfumes and also all the things like lavender and oils etc . i cant use any shampoos ! at all ! alll ! dont help my itchy dry scalp and sensitive skin scalp ,can anyone help me here on how to make a light very natural simple home easy shampoo ? nothing fragranced ! whether cosidered nstyral or not helps me . what can i do ? and can chloride chlorine in my water make it worse when washing my hair ? im cutting out sugar as thac can give you itchy scalp
Hi there! The simplest shampoo you can do is just use olive oil castille soap. That will be gentle on your skin and still give you a good clean! You don't need the added oils or anything else to it. I still recommend Penn's Castille Soap company as they have one of the best around. Kiss My Face also has a bar olive oil soap that is made without anything but olive oil, salt, and water. Those are the two companies I would start with! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
I also could not find any shampoo, starting in
2007, when they took out all the paraben preservatives. I am allergic to coconut and olive oil. I found Shikai everyday shampoo, better but not perfect for me. Now I use no coconut oil Clean Kids Naturally (Tropical Orange Burst) shampoo. It is really wonderful, uses orange oil, makes my hair clean and soft and shiny. Very gentle. Find it at gabrielcosmeticsinc.com.
This is a great find! Thank you so much for sharing!
Fran Hardin says
Hi my name is Fran Hardin and I have very bad allergies to coconut and also to fish so it is very tough to go anywhere to eat so I have I have come to conclusion that nowhere is safe to eat anywhere. I have been to ER twice this month because of eating out at mexican restaurants 2 different places 90 miles apart I love mexican it also happened at a Chinese restaurant. I AM AFRAID TO EAT OUT ANYMORE. I have come to conclusion if I dont cook it I dont eat it. Any suggestions. Thanks in advance. Fran
Hi Fran, I'm sorry to hear that your allergies have been causing you such troubles in this past week! Cross contamination at restaurants is a big issue and one that can be a challenge to work around. I've ended up in the ER from cross contamination as well and it is never any fun. With coconut and fish allergies, the coconut can be hidden in desserts and sauces. Fish could be hidden in sauces, the oil for frying, or the stock food is cooked in.
It's true, eating at home will almost always be safer when you have severe allergies because you control all the food in the kitchen.
Some quick ideas I have about it are:
1. Research the heck out of restaurants in your area that are familiar with food allergies. There is one pizza place about 25 minutes from my house that has an entire separate kitchen area dedicated to gluten free pizzas. This place is my favorite to go to because of how aware they are. Now, not all restaurants are like this, but some are. Give a google to see if there are any in your driving range that you might like.
2. I've found that the oil for cooking is a really common place for cross contamination. The place where they cook fries and fried chicken and fried fish is all the same deep fryer! Ask if they have separate fryers for these things and if they don't, it's best to avoid.
3. Stick with simple meals at smaller restaurants. Large chain restaurants or those that offer a HUGE menu are more likely to have cross contamination issues. Places like Chipotle, In and Out, and pizza places (for example) can be safer to order from because they have a smaller, more specialized menu.
4. When possible, ask for the staff to change gloves to prepare your food.
I'd love to chat more with you about this! Send me an email at [email protected] and we can come up with some more ideas for you. 🙂