No 'Poo!! - Everyday Essentials

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Everyday Essentials by Plant Therapy
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No ‘Poo!!


In the interest of reducing chemical load on the body and creating customizable products, today let’s make our own shampoo or NO poo. Below are two different recipes to try. Some people find the baking soda version drying, so I found and modified another recipe that I hope you love just as much as I do! The second recipe does have ingredients not everyone may have on hand, so you may need to run to the store before starting! I only recently started using it – but already I am pretty sure I may never buy shampoo again! Choose one and let’s get started:

 What you’ll need:

Recipe 1

  • 1 c water*
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp aloe gel
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • up to 20 drops essential oil (see recipe ideas below)

*If you choose not to use a preservative you will need to store it in the fridge.  Optiphen plus is a preservative which reduces the instance of bacterial growth in water-based products. We recommend that a preservative be used in any water-based products that you make at home. This is a great choice since it contains no parabens, no formaldehyde, and are not formaldehyde contributors. 

Recipe 2

What you’ll do:

Recipe 1

Dissolve baking soda into water. Add other ingredients, shaking well to combine.

Recipe 2

Combine all ingredients in a container. Shake well to combine. You’ll need to shake well each time. I have left this out in the shower for two weeks with no issues. However, for longer term storage you may want to store the bulk of it in the fridge and remove small amount to use.

Essential Oil blends to try:

Keep in mind that when changing hair care routine, you’ll need to give your hair time to adjust to the new product. Traditional shampoos strip the natural oils from your head. When you switch to a more natural cleansing process your body may seem to over produce oils on the scalp. However, in reality the body is simply trying to replace what was once being washed away daily. You can combat the greasiness by washing every day at first, then reducing to two or three times a week. Your hair will eventually look and feel great!

This post contains affiliate links which support Africa Heartwood Project. This means they will receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. To learn more about Africa Heartwood Project click here.

Don’t forget, we have aromatherapists on-staff to answer your questions or concerns! Please email us at [email protected] or join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes.


28 thoughts on “No ‘Poo!!”

  • I have been wanting to get away from commercial shampoos for a long time! I think i will give the 2nd recipe a try. Is this mixture very thin? If so, is there anything that can be added to thicken it so it’s not runny?

    1. Katie, Plant Therapy sells Castile soap online and in our retail store. For the vitamin E oil, many health stores sell it or it is very easy to buy online (Amazon has a lot of choices!). I hope that helps!

  • These recipes sound great! I look forward to testing them out. I was wondering if there is an alternative to using honey?

  • Recipe 2 looks very luxurious … can it also be used as a body wash? Can I sub Jojoba for the Argan Oil I have on hand? Can xanthan gum (and how much) be added to the recipe so it’s not so runny?

  • I was wanting to do recipe 2 with pink grapefruit and Ylang Ylang. I was looking up Ylang Ylang and it says it isn’t kids safe. I have two little kids under 4. I was wondering if I should avoid using it in this recipe because of them. If I am able to use it, I also saw that there’s possible skin senitization and theres a recommend dilution of .8%. Would I still need to pay attention to this? How many drops of each oil would you recommend? Should I add a third oil?

    1. Good morning Selina! I think it would be perfectly safe for you to use this recipe on yourself, even though you have little ones, I do think it would be safe. I wouldn’t recommend letting your littles play with your hair shortly after you put it on. I would do 20 Pink Grapefruit and 10 Ylang Ylang, this is a fabulous scent combination! Please let us know how it goes!

  • I’ve been interested in trying a natural shampoo, but my hair is thick and curly and sooo picky about what I can use without it either going limp or being a frizz monster! I would love to hear from someone with curly hair that’s tried this!!

    1. I have curly hair prone to frizz. I used to use a ton of products. My hair is fine, but there’s lots and lots of it. My cleansing routine I shared in the first comment. I condition with only apple cider vinegar (with rosemary EO). Once your hair gets used to being washed less, curly hair appreciates only being conditioned. Definitely avoid baking soda and only use clay or soap (or a little shampoo while transitioning) on the greasy spots. Don’t scrub your scalp with shampoo since this encourages more oil production. Also avoid the ends of your hair since curls have a tendency to dry out.

      BTW, I’m experimenting with styling products for curly hair now since I chopped my hair short. It’s WAY easier to deal with it short. I was hesitant to cut it off because I can’t ponytail it anymore, but it’s been great.

  • Sweet! I’ve been wanting to switch to using Castille Soap instead of shampoo and I have a big bottle at home. Of course the Baby Mild doesn’t smell good so this will convince my family it’s not gross 😉

  • I have thin, fine hair that has never liked any homemade shampoos! This one worked! I used the coconut oil and honey version. My hair dried nicely and doesn’t look oily and flat! I didn’t even have to use any hair products. Wahoo!!

  • I have read that when storing products with essential oils you need to use a glass container. What do you store your shampoos in?

  • I made some with 1/3 cup coconut milk, 1/3 aloe Vera gel (recipe called for juice but I had gel) and 1/3 cup Castile soap. I shook it up each time. I used for a week or so and it didn’t seem to clean as well. I guess I needed to use it longer? How long before you hair looks good?

    1. I think that is different for everyone. I had been using a commercial no ‘poo for a long time, so I didn’t really feel like I had an adjustment period.

  • I have used just a simple baking soda/water EO for the last week (with the rinse ACV/water) Sounds like adding honey to the mix will be more moisturizing (other was really drying!) How MUCH should be used for each “wash”? Do you use the full 1 cup wash each day?? Surely is a pain to remember to mix up every night!

    1. I have this same question. How much do you use for each time you shampoo? I’ve read it’s best to apply to dry hair, do you agree?

    1. The baking soda version may be a bit harsh for color treated hair. However, the coconut milk one should be fine.

  • Honey?! That sounds awfully gross and sticky.

    How do you actually use these recipes? (Not just make them) – Like normal shampoo and then rinse? Leave in hair?

    1. The honey actually mixes in & feels wonderful. Honey is a humectant (draws moisture to the hair) so it’s very nourishing. You wash, then rinse just like regular shampoo.

  • I like to use facial clay, like rhassoul or bentonite, instead of baking soda. I make a rosemary-mint shampoo bar with clay in it and I really like using soap in my hair. However, these methods can lead to waxy buildup if you have hard water. I got a shower filter and now no poo works great for me.

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