Make Your Own Natural Shampoo With Soapwort

Use this recipe to make your own natural shampoo with soapwort, a traditional organic ingredient.
By Mary Beth Janssen
December 2013
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"Naturally Healthy Hair," from author Mary Beth Jansenn, offers readers recipes to make their own natural shampoo.
Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing

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Acclaimed hair designer and educator Mary Beth Janssen aims to help readers achieve harmony in both mind and body with Naturally Healthy Hair (Storey Publishing, 1999). Jansenn has long been a voice for the integration of health and beauty, and many of her recipes call for the uses of organic ingredients and forgotten knowledge. This Soapwort Shampoo Recipe, excerpted from Chapter 6, is an easy way to make your own natural shampoo.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Naturally Healthy Hair.

Soapwort Shampoo Recipe

This is an excellent all-purpose shampoo for all types of scalp and hair. It does not have tremendous lather, but it cleanses very well and has no chemicals whatsoever. Many Native American tribes used the root of soapwort to wash their hair. You may choose to infuse a couple of tablespoons (30 ml) of your favorite herbs along with the soapwort, if desired as you make your own natural shampoo.

Makes 10-12 ounces (295-354 ml)


1 ounce (30 g) soapwort root
12 ounces (354 ml) of purified water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) base oil of your choice
15–60  drops essential oils of your choice, as conditions require


1. Crush the soapwort root in a mortar and pestle (or with the flat side of a wooden spoon or large knife).

2. Place the crushed root in the water in a stainless-steel pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, then strain the liquid into an airtight bottle with a nozzle on top for dispensing.

3. Add the base and essential oils to the container. Shake well before each use. This shampoo will keep for up to a week if refrigerated.

To Use:

Shampoo, then follow with an herbal vinegar rinse.

Oily scalp: You can eliminate the base oil from this shampoo if your scalp tends to be very oily.

Read more tips on how to make your own natural shampoo in Naturally Healthy Hair

• Make Your Own Natural Shampoo With Essential Oils
• Make Natural Shampoos That Are Chemical Free
• Healthy Ingredients for Natural Shampoo

Reprinted with permission from Naturally Healthy Hair: Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair by Mary Beth Jansenn and published by Storey Publishing, 1999. Buy this book from our store: Naturally Healthy Hair.

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