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Beauty · Hair & Makeup · How To Make Your Own Coconut Shampoo (and Coconut Milk)

How To Make Your Own Coconut Shampoo (and Coconut Milk)

coconut shampoo

Way back in 2012(!), I posted a “recipe” for a Coconut Milk Shampoo that proved very popular!

Homemade hair products are sulfate, silicone, and paraben free, and since they’re made from natural oils, you can be confident that they are made from natural ingredients. And you can even control the scent too!

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one looking for an alternative to store-bought shampoo. While this post got a lot of views, the reviews of this particular recipe were mixed. Even my own initial opinion of the mixture changed the more I used it. I found that I couldn’t use it every time I shampooed because it left my hair feeling too “coated.” My suspicion was that the Castile soap might be the culprit in the recipe, but almost every homemade shampoo formulation I found had Castile soap as the base.

Under normal circumstances, Castile soap is excellent for most homemade cleaning purposes. But in this case, it’s clear that Utah’s hard water, Castile soap, and my hair don’t play nice together. So I had to go looking for alternatives.

After much procrastination, I decided to tackle this problem and solve it once and for all! After a lot of trial-and-error, I came up with the following semi-homemade version of Coconut Milk Shampoo, and while it’s not completely “natural,” it’s still a vast improvement over typical grocery store brands.

Coconut Oil And Your Hair Type

When most people think of hair type, they think of whether your hair is thick or thin, or if you have curly hair or pin-straight hair (like me). But your hair type has far more to do with the characteristics of the strands themselves rather than the shape of the hair follicles.

Now, to be fair, coconut oil doesn’t work with every hair type. The primary benefit is to add protein back into the hair shaft. For those with fine to medium shiny hair (like me), the fatty acid in the coconut oil can help prevent hair breakage and kill the yeast that causes dandruff. It also works well for those whose hair has been mildly damaged with heat and chemicals, and those with color treated hair.

But people with coarse and naturally dry hair, or with severe damage, might be better off using almond oil, argan oil, or cocoa butter. The more porous the hair, the more likely it is that the strand will grab onto the proteins and not let go. This prevents moisture from penetrating and can lead to protein buildup.

You’re better off sticking to almond oil or the other options I mentioned, at least until your hair strands are healthy enough to maintain moisture.

Now that we’ve got that covered, we’re ready to make my new favorite shampoo! 🙂

At least until the hair strands are healthy enough to maintain moisture, stick to coconut milk and other oils.

Now that we’ve got covered, we’re ready to make my new favorite shampoo! 🙂

Semi-Homemade Coconut Shampoo

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (you can either make your own [see below], or use store-bought)
  • 1/3 cup organic baby shampoo/wash
  • 1 tsp vitamin E oil, olive oil, or almond oil
  • 10 to 20 drops of your choice of essential oils (for scent)

Add the coconut milk and the baby shampoo to your bottle of choice.

Add one teaspoon of olive oil, vitamin E oil, or almond oil. Then add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil, and shake the bottle to combine ingredients. Go jump in the shower and try it out!

Personally, I like this version better than the first! Unfortunately, the Castile soap in the original recipe reacts with certain minerals in the water we wash our hair with, which can form a film or residue. That is why some of us experienced a “coated” feeling on our hair. That’s also why most shampoo is made with “detergents,” because detergents aren’t as reactive to minerals in the water. Of course, detergents contain OTHER ingredients that are less than desirable, but that’s another post for another time. 😉

Homemade Coconut Oil Conditioner

I’ve talked before about the benefits of coconut oil on your hair, so I won’t get in too deep here. But here is my favorite recipe to use to make a homemade coconut oil conditioner.

You’ll need:


Use coconut oil that is in its solid state. (If you live in a warm climate or your coconut oil has been sitting out somewhere warm, just stick it in the fridge for a few minutes until it solidifies.) Add all the ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine.

I normally use this as a deep conditioning treatment, but you can also dilute it a bit to use as a daily conditioner. You can even make a coconut oil detangler spray using 1 part coconut oil deep conditioner and ten parts water. Feel free to play around with the ratios to find a good consistency for daily use.

Super Homemade

I also decided I might as well try my hand at making my own coconut milk, while I was already experimenting (and making a mess) in the kitchen. 🙂 After seeing how easy it was to make my own almond milk, I figured I could handle coconut milk, too. And I just happened to have a whole bag of shredded coconut on hand.

As I suspected, it was super easy!

If you’re hardcore about your homemade shampoo, here is how you can make your own homemade coconut milk.

Homemade Coconut Milk

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • hot water

Place 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut into your blender or food processor, along with 1 cup of HOT water.  Pulse the mixture about 20 times, rather than running the blender continuously.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or some cheesecloth (or both), pushing down on the coconut to make sure you get all the liquid out.

Put the coconut back in the blender with another cup of HOT water, and repeat this process three more times.You should end up with approximately 4 cups of homemade coconut milk!

You should end up with approximately 4 cups of homemade coconut milk!

Give these coconut creations a try for yourself. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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