Making your own shampoo & conditioner

Table of Contents

As my hair grew out the past weeks, I struggled with both dandruff and general hair chaos. I became interested in the root (ha ha ha) causes of dandruff, and the how and why of how shampoos and hair care products work.

Amazingly, one of the most helpful comments on my journey was from WiseOldCelticHippie, a poster on the Dr Bronner's product website. Their comment basically advised the reader against using any Dr Bronner's product—save the classic Castille soap—in favor of cheaper, homemade alternatives.

This regimine requiers a shampoo and an acedic rinse. Both are easily made from household products. Optionally, you can add a baking soda/water mixture for a brief time to get dandruff under control. I did this in the beginning, it a total of three times, and it was extremely helpful. I would do it again if my dandruff ever returned.


Here's the schedule:

  • Monday: wash with shampoo mixture
  • Tuesday: no wash
  • Wednesday: (optional: baking soda+water) + rinse
  • Thursday no wash,
  • Friday: wash with shampoo
  • Saturday: no wash,
  • Sunday: (optional: baking soda+water) + rinse


You'll need:


  • Steep 1 cup of green tea for 30 minutes 1
  • Add 1 teaspoon honey to tea while it is hot
  • Wait for tea to cool, then add 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pour mixture into applicator bottle.
  • Add 1/2 cup of Dr. Bronner's soap.

Stir (gently shake) shampoo before each use to get an even solution.

I realize you're probably questioning some of these ingreidents…

Green tea

There is actually some evidence for green tea as a hair growth agent.

Probably the antixoidants help oxidation on the scalp that results in dandruff. Unclear if it really produces some amazing effect, but hey, I always have green tea around and it's no problem to brew some.

Olive oil

Olive oil works as a moisturizing or emollient agent:

That's probably its purpose here. Adding a bit of fat actually helps remove oils from your hair (same principle as using an "oil rinse" for your face). Again, not sure if this really has an effect. It's easy enough to add, though, as I always have some around.


I'm not sure about honey. I see people on the blogosphere use it, but I can't find any particular studies. But hey, studies aren't the only way of knowing. Again, I have honey around anyway, so it's no problem to add it. It's certainly nice for the smell.

ACV rinse

In another 1.5-cup applicator bottle, I measure:

Add to your hair, massage into scalp, and rinse well.


ACV sets of my "quackery" alarms. I'm not seeing anything extremely convincing here, but the idea is that something acidic helps to "balance" your hair's pH, as products tend to make your hair more basic. I'm not exactly sure how this would work and can't find any particular evidence for the concept… I'm also not really sure that my shampoo has a basic pH.

Maybe something acidic could help remove oil from your hair. But my hair is not extremely oily. So far, I have been trying the dr bronners' acidic hair rinse and am seeing how it goes. My dandruff is mildly better, but that might just be from less shampooing with soap, which could dry my scalp out.


Rosemary, on the other hand, is actually a pretty reasonable hair growth agent. There are lots of studies that used rosemary essential oil or rosemary leaf extract with good results.

Extracts are available on Amazon, but since most studies appear to use essential oils, and since essential oils seem to be more concentrated, I will try that first. Besides, essential oils seem to be steam-distilled, and I'm not crazy about the idea of ethanol on my scalp.

Baking soda wash

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda to 2 cups water
  • Shake

Put this on your scalp and work it in to your scalp. Leave it on for a minute. Then rinse well. Then apply the ACV rinse mixture. Finally, rinse it all off really well.



(i.e., add tea to boiling water, then let sit covered; no need to continuously boil).

Date: 2020-02-21 Fri 00:00


Created: 2020-08-22 Sat 19:51