Make Natural Shampoos that Are Chemical-Free

These ingredients are essential when you want to make natural shampoos that are chemical-free.

article image
by AdobeStock/beats_

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 chart appears in Chapter 6, and is a great guide to help you make natural shampoos that are chemical-free. You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Naturally Healthy Hair.


Make Natural Shampoos that Are Chemical-Free

This gives you a framework from which to make your own formulas. It is not necessary to use every ingredient I’ve outlined. If you choose to decoct only one specific herb for a given condition, and add one favored essential oil, that’s perfectly all right. The fact that you are using a pure shampoo with no chemicals in it is the first step toward becoming as creative as you would like. Also remember that you can do something as simple as purchasing a pure shampoo and add healthful ingredients as required — such as essential oils, egg, or gelatin. It can really be that easy to make natural shampoos that are chemical-free! Remember to complete a patch test before using your hair care formula.

Normal Hair

  • Herbs to Decoct or Infuse: Horsetail, nettle, rosemary
  • Base Oils: Almond oil plus up to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of aloe vera
  • Essential Oils: Bergamot, orange, rose

Dry hair

  • Herbs to Decoct or Infuse: Horsetail, lavender, watercress
  • Base Oils: Jojoba oil plus up to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of aloe vera and lecithin (drizzle into warmed formula)
  • Essential Oils: Carrot Seed, clary sage, geranium, jasmine

Oily Hair

  • Herbs to Decoct or Infuse: Burdock, lemongrass, thyme
  • Base Oils: Almond oil
  • Essential Oils: Basil, peppermint, rosemary

Sensitive scalp (dandruff, dermatitis, inflammation)

  • Herbs to Decoct or Infuse: Burdock, chamomile, horsetail
  • Base Oils: Jojoba or castor oil
  • Essential Oils: Cedarwood, rosemary, sage, tea tree

Hair loss or thinning

  • Herbs to Decoct or Infuse: Basil, rosemary, sage
  • Base Oils: Jojoba oil
  • Essential Oils: Cedarwood, clary sage, ylang-ylang

Read more from Naturally Healthy Hair

• Make Your Own Natural Shampoo With Soapwort
• Make Your Own Natural Shampoo With Essential Oils
• Healthy Ingredients for Natural Shampoo


book cover with a drawing of a woman with red hair

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.