How To Make DIY Clarifying Shampoo From Scratch

My best homemade shampoo that smells amazing and clarifies your hair
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This easy to make, DIY clarifying shampoo is scented with lavender, rosemary, and mint. It’s a great starter shampoo that’s suitable for all hair types. 

A clarifying shampoo is like a deep clean. It will remove any product build-up that you may have in your hair. Hairspray, heat protector spray, hair mousse, and even chlorine will slip right off.  

If you don’t remove this build-up, you will find that your hair won’t style well. You will also notice it become limp, dull, and lifeless after a while. Your scalp can even get itchy or sore and become flaky. Yuck!  

This homemade shampoo is designed to prevent all of that from happening to your hair. 

As this is a clarifying shampoo, I’m using a high amount of surfactants. Don’t be concerned, as they’re all accepted in natural skincare

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend using this DIY shampoo more than once a week. The recipe can be adapted to make it suitable for everyday use. But I’ll show you how to do that later in this post.

My best homemade shampoo that smells amazing and clarifies your hair

Wanna Save Time? Watch How To Make Shampoo!

Surfactants 

Surfactants are the most important ingredient in our shampoo recipe. They are what gives the shampoo it’s cleansing power and foamy goodness!

I’ve chosen glucosides that are sourced from palm, coconut, and starch. I’ve also chosen them because they’re non-drying and mild, which means they can be used on dry and sensitive skin without issue. 

I’ve also selected cocamidopropyl betaine which is derived from coconuts. So as you can tell, they all have a natural source. 

Add your distilled water and stir slowly

Lauryl Glucoside Great foaming ability, perhaps the best of all the glucosides.

Decyl Glucoside – Gives our shampoo its rich cleansing and conditioning power.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine – Brings a smoothness and viscosity to the shampoo. It also boosts the cleaning power of our glucosides. It’s too mild and gentle on its own, so we call this a ‘co-surfactant’. 

Preservative

Any product that contains water needs a preservative to keep it safe from microbial growth. Without one, you’re exposing yourself to germs that can cause a lot of different skin conditions and ailments. 

how to make a natural face moisturizer: Add your preservative using a pipette
Add your preservative using a pipette

If your aim is to create a natural product, I suggest Preservative Eco at 1% or Sharomix at 1%. Both are widely accepted in natural skincare.  

Otherwise, you may want to try liquid Germall Plus at 0.5%. This isn’t a natural preservative, but considered safe and is very efficient at keeping all those nasties at bay. 

Aromaceuticals 

Essential oils are what make our product smell amazing. But they also impart amazing benefits to our skin!

Lavender Essential Oil – One of the best essential oils for calming and healing damaged or inflamed skin.

Rosemary Essential Oil – Stimulates hair growth and improves circulation. 

Peppermint Essential Oil – Very soothing and alleviates itchiness. 

I’ve chosen these oils because together they can help thicken and encourage hair growth whilst gently calming the scalp. It’s also a team matched in heaven when it comes to aroma. I just love this scent profile, it’s one of my favorites!   

Other Functional Ingredients

D-Panthenol 

Hair products will always benefit from adding D-Panthenol. Liquid or powdered it doesn’t matter, it has superb moisturizing qualities. 

It will form a protective barrier around the strands of hair to help lock moisture within. Panthenol also adds volume and shine to limp, dull-looking hair. 

Silk Peptide

This can be a little pricey but if you have dry hair it’s an absolute must! Apart from helping the hair retain moisture, It can also strengthen the hair by promoting elasticity. This results in fewer split ends and breakages. 

Silk Peptide has a strong, unpleasant smell that can sometimes pass on to the finished product. But fear not. The essential oils will mask this and it will not transfer to the hair. 

It’s such an amazing ingredient, so don’t let the smell put you off!

Distilled water 

For this shampoo, I’m using ordinary distilled water. I want to keep my costs down on this one, but you can substitute for whatever hydrosols you like. 

Aloe-Vera distillate is a good choice, especially if you have dry hair. 

But try not to get carried away. This a wash-off product that will probably be followed by a thick and creamy moisturizing conditioner. Hydrosols aren’t going to have enough time to pass on their subtle skin and hair care benefits.

My best homemade shampoo that smells amazing and clarifies your hair

Homemade Clarifying Shampoo

A gorgeous clarifying shampoo that's packed with amazing ingredients to keep your hair smelling, feeling and looking fantastic.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yield (adjustable): 200 grams
Author: Angela Wills
Disclosure: The ingredient and equipment links below are affiliate links, please read my affiliate policy here.

Ingredients

Video Guide

Instructions

  • Mix the xanthan gum and glycerine, making sure the gum is completely disbursed within the glycerine.
    DIY Shampoo Recipe Step 1: Combine the glycerine and xanthan gum
  • In a separate container, combine the surfactants. Be careful when stirring them to avoid them foaming up. (If the Lauryl glucoside is cloudy or solid you may need to melt it by warming it up)
    Step 2: Combine your surfactants, being sure to stir gently
  • Slowly pour the surfactants into the gum and glycerine mixture. Once again, stirring carefully to avoid bubbles. Then set aside.
    Step 3: Combine your surfactants with your glycerine/xanthan gum mixture
  • Weigh the distilled water and dissolve the D-panthenol into it. This may take a minute or so depending on the viscosity of the panthenol. 
    Step 4: Weigh out your distilled water and then dissolve your D-Panthenol into it
  • Once the panthenol has fully dissolved, it’s time to blend in the silk peptide.
    Step 5: Now stir in the silk peptides into your distilled water
  • Add around a quarter of the water containing the silk and panthenol to the surfactants. This will initially make the surfactants thinner, gently stir until it starts to thicken up. 
    Add the rest of the water a little at a time stirring in between, until all of the water is incorporated into the surfactants. 
    Step 6: Combine distilled water mixture into your surfactants. Do it a quarter at a time and stir slowly
  • Now it’s time to add the essential oils, you will notice that the shampoo will turn cloudy when you add them.
    Over time as the shampoo sits in its container, it will become clearer, however, it’s never going to be the prettiest of shampoos as we are going for nourishment and naturalness overlooks.
    You will also notice a change in viscosity, the essential oils in this recipe will usually make the shampoo thicker. You can thin this out by adding a little extra distilled water.
    Step 7: Add your essential oils
  • We will need to protect our shampoo by adding a broad-spectrum preservative. Make sure you fully blend this into the shampoo.
    Step 8: Add your preservative
  • You should always test the finished shampoo with a PH strip. You are looking for the PH to be around 6. If it’s too high you can bring this down with a few drops of Lactic acid or a citric acid solution
    If using Lactic acid simply add a couple of drops at a time checking as you go. If using Citric acid, you will need to dilute it in a solution of 10% Citric acid to 90% distilled water. Make sure to add small amounts at a time and then test again, repeating until you reach a reasonable PH. 
    Step 8: Test your mixture with a PH testing strip, you're looking for a PH of 6
  • When you are happy with the fished shampoo transfer to a suitable container and leave to stand for a couple of days before using it.
    Step 10: Transfer to a PET plastic or glass container and leave to stand for 24 hours before using
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Want To Make This A Daily Shampoo?

If you want a shampoo that is suitable for every day, use half the amount of Laural and Decyl glucoside. Also, increase the water by this amount. 

So you will need to use 15g of Laural glucoside and 15g Dectyl glucoside rather than the 30g. We will then need to up the water by 30g so we will be using 126g of distilled water rather than 98g. 

Using homemade bath oils is really easy

That being said, washing your hair every day isn’t good for it. However, if you can’t stop washing your hair everyday then this is a mild shampoo that shouldn’t be too drying on the hair. 

You could also try using a warm oil treatment once a month. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A tablespoon of warmed coconut or olive oil, with 2 or 3 drops of essential oil. Rub the oil into the hair and leave for around 20 minutes before shampooing off.

Final Thoughts

So that’s it, a gorgeous clarifying shampoo that will leave your hair smelling amazing and feeling soft. As the months go by, you’ll notice how much stronger your hair will be. 

I love to pair this with some great oil treatments, as well as a good conditioner. I’m perfecting my favorite conditioner recipe right now, which you can expect to see very soon! 

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, it’s a great way to keep up to date on everything I’m doing. I’m also sure to post my recipes on Facebook as well, so check it out if you’re a social butterfly like me.

Angela Wills

About Angela Wills

SavvyHomemade is a true passion for me and my family, its where we've been busy sharing inspirational DIY craft ideas since 2008! With over 30 years of handcrafting and creative experience, the dream is that this information will make life a little easier for others whilst also doing a little towards protecting our planet. More About Angela Wills »

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