Summer Hair Don't Care: Essential Oils & Your Shampoo Free Hair

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Summer Hair Don’t Care: Essential Oils & Your Shampoo Free Hair

In case you haven’t noticed, the “no ‘poo” lifestyle is gaining momentum and getting more and more popular. Chances are some of you have either tried or even stuck with it! But for those of you are unfamiliar with the “no ‘poo method”, let’s dive in. First things first, no shampoo doesn’t mean you don’t wash your hair. Instead, you’re just cutting out the harsh chemical ingredients you’ll find in store-bought shampoo and conditioner. That way, the shampoo doesn’t strip your hair of natural oils and sebum that will, in turn, cause your body to compensate by producing even more oil.

If you’ve ditched shampoo altogether or are just looking to add essential oils to your haircare routine, we’ve got some great tips for you.

Make Your Own Shampoo

Summer Hair Don't Care: Essential Oils & Your Shampoo Free Hair

There are few options for those who’ve ditched shampoo. Some wash with just water and call it good. Other use baking soda as a way to wash their hair. But many find this harsh and drying. Instead, you can make your own DIY Shampoo that will be more nourishing for your hair, help with an oily scalp and add some amazing essential oils. We have two great recipes you can try and see which one works best for your hair!

DIY Shampoo #1

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Dissolve baking soda into water.
  2. Add other ingredients, shaking well to combine.
  3. Use in place of your regular shampoo and condition as needed.

A woman holding the ends of her hair

DIY Shampoo #2

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a container.
  2. Shake well to combine and before each use.
  3. Use in place of your regular shampoo and condition as needed.

DIY Conditioning

Summer Hair Don't Care: Essential Oils & Your Shampoo Free Hair

Going “no ‘poo” also means cutting out store-bought conditioner! But more often than not, our hair needs that extra bit of moisture to keep from looking too frazzled. An easy method is to use a bit of watered-down apple cider vinegar. But once again, that may not be enough. Whenever your locks start to feel dry or damaged, try this easy hair mask for its deep conditioning benefits.

Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Soften shea butter if hard.
  2. Add and mix all carrier oils and essential oils.
  3. Store in a cool dark place.
  4. Apply mask generously to your hair and let sit for 10-30 minutes.
  5. Wash out completely with shampoo.

Hydrosol Sprays

Natural haircare doesn’t have to be all DIYs and complicated recipes. Hydrosols are one of the easiest and gentlest ways to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Simply spritz your hair (wet or dry, doesn’t matter!). Both Rose and Lavender are excellent choices for dry or damaged hair.

Add EOs to Your Shampoo

Summer Hair Don't Care: Essential Oils & Your Shampoo Free Hair

If embracing the no ‘poo lifestyle just isn’t for you, no worries! Maybe life is just too busy or maybe you’ve found your perfect shampoo and wouldn’t dream of giving it up. There is still a simple way to enjoy essential oils in your haircare routine. Just add them to your shampoo! Since all commercial shampoos will have emulsifiers, you won’t have to worry about adding any other products. For daily use, use a 1-2% dilution in your shampoo.

Additional Reading

*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.

If you like discovering new DIYs, be sure to check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group!


108 thoughts on “Summer Hair Don’t Care: Essential Oils & Your Shampoo Free Hair”

  • Great article! I can’t wait to try these, but first I want to look for the ingredients I needed to make these homemade shampoos, by the way, where can I buy castile soap? If this is not available, what will be the substitute for this? I tried to look for this castile soap in the local store, but they don’t have. Any suggestion? Thank you in advance. For additional information, I follow this piece too I hope it help.

  • I tried recipe #2 today. I like it but feel it needs some adjustment. Once blow dried my hair feels thick (which I love, since it’s a bit on the fine side and I am always looking for fullness) but it feels just that little bit heavy and greasy. How can I cut some of the grease? Add more Castile soap? I’m assuming it is from the amount of oil in the recipe. It did seem like a lot. Other wise I like this. I think I could cut my shampoo if I can get this ratio right.
    Can anyone please advise? Thank you 🙂

    1. You could try adding some more Castile. You might try adding a small amount of arrowroot powder or something similar to help with the greasiness as well.

  • Thank you for sharing the recipes for homemade shampoo along with how to add essential oils to the shampoo I already have. I think I will add some rosemary and lavender to my shampoo now (:

  • This post cameat the perfect time. I have been using natural shampoo for a while and it can be quite costlt. Now that I have decided to ditch the coloring of my hair and let my natural “sparkle” shine through, making my own shampoo goes along well with this. I cdant wait to try it

  • My hair is so fried, looking forward to seeing if adding EO to my conditioner will help me avoid having to cut it all off and start over

  • What can one use in place of honey? Or should it just be omitted? I do not use any animal products.

    1. I would just increase the aloe vera jelly. However, this may change the consistency of the DIY somewhat.

  • I will be trying out option #1 with the aloe Vera jelly and adding lavender and Cedarwood Himalayan (2 of my all time favs) I never thought they were good for my hair! I’ll write again after I try! Thanks again PT!

  • I have been wanting to go more natural for a long time but just did not know how I would do it with all the different products I use. Plant Therapy you have made it easy to become the DIY Queen with all these different recipes.

  • I have been looking for a chemical free hair shampoo and conditioner for a long time! I can’t wait to try out these recipes! So excited!

  • I can’t wait to try some of these ideas! Right now I just add oils to my unscented shampoo base, but I’d love to try making my own!

  • Just tried a hair mask today. I had a really hard time getting the oil out using my homemade shampoo bars and ended up using castile soap instead. I can’t wait to try the shampoo recipe next!

  • I love the idea of making my own shapmoo. But I take the “lazy” way out and add essential oils to my current products. Carrot seed oil is amazing in conditioner. Makes my hair silky and soft. Maybe one day I will make my own products.

  • I have been making my own DIY shampoo (with Plant Therapy EOs of course!) But I have been wanting to try a conditioner and rhis recipe sounds perfect! Thank you PT!

  • Thank you for this great post. I have added rosemary to my shampoo to help with hair growth. I currently use an all natural shampoo but it can be costly. I may just use this post to make my own

  • I’ve been using a shampoo made with chamomile tea, castille soap and a few drops of lavender, lemon and rosemary – but I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. I’ve heard great things about Aloe Vera gel, it’s already in my cart. 🙂

  • I have almost all the ingredients for the first shampoo recipe so maybe I’ll try it. I want to get away from commercial shampoos but my hair gets so oily.

    1. You never know! Making a dry shampoo comes with a set of challenges because essential oils need to be dispersed to make it safe to use topically. But…you never know what we might come up with!

  • How many ounces do you use of the DIY shampoo at a time? How many days does it keep fresh?

  • Woah! This whole post was made for me! All I have been looking for, thanks so very much. Excited to begin with all these recipes.

  • I can’t wait to try this! I’ve been wanting to ditch store bought shampoo!! Now is the time.

  • I was looking to buy pure unscented shampoo and conditioners to add my oils to, now I can make my own, thanks to your great recipes! I’ll be sure to let you know how they work for me.

  • I need to try this! I LOVE how my hair feels since just adding EOs to my normal shampoo. But I’d love to ditch store-bought shampoo completely!

  • I’ve always been to scared to go without shampoo, but now I’m interested to try one of these DIY shampoo recipes.

  • Looking forward to adding clary sage or lavender to my shampoo to see if it helps with my oily hair!

  • These are such great ideas! I think I’m going to try option one first! We will see how it goes! Thanks for the great ideas!!!

  • I love this blog! I have tried several different no poo methods and have never stuck with one. My hair always end up too oily or too dry or too smelly. I would absolutely love to try one of these versions with EOs. Thanks for posting!

  • Just placed my order today I am going to be trying to make a hair serum and adding some oils to shampoo/conditioner to help stimulate the scalp! Great article!

  • Some awesome ideas to try! I have used Rosemary EO in my regular shampoo for about 3 months and saw some crazy new growth!

  • I’m going to try this. I’m already adding Rosemary EO to my regular shampoo and seeing shiny results! Thanks!

  • Love this blog! It is so helpful, especially this time of year when sun and chlorine are taking their toll on my hair. Thanks!!!

  • I think my husband would like some oils for hair thickening. I look forward to making a shampoo for him!

  • I had no idea I could make my own shampoo! Thanks for the great recipes, can’t wait to try them.

  • What a great post! I’ve done no poo before and now just avoid silicones and sulfates in shampoo and conditioner. My daughters all have curly hair and are transitioning to no poo again as teenagers. I did cowashes for them when they were growing up with great results. I’m looking forward to adding essential oils to our haircare routines. I love the beach hair detangler recipe. I use it on my toddler nightly, but with Nighty Night replacing the essential oils in it. She has fine hair that gets worn off when she sleeps, and this has helped prevent that and allowed her hair to grow.

  • The thing with Castile soap in shampoo is it can seriously react with the chemicals in hard water! I learned the hard way. I’m so glad theres an alternative recipe without Castile soap

  • I’m making all of this this weekend!!! I have super thick dry fuzzy hair and I can’t wait to try this in my hair!!!!!

  • Great info, thank you very much! Definitely adding some Rosemary and Cedarwood Atlas to my shampoo today!

  • I’ve been wanting to make my own shampoos for such a long time, well I think it’s finally time to do it! Great info & recipes, can’t wait to try it!!

  • I haven’t been happy with my hair lately and I am so excited to try these. Thanks for the great info, PT!

  • Thank you for this blog topic! I’ve been wanting to work more essential oils into my hair care routine. I’m excited to try out some if these recipes!

  • Oooo another reason to get a hydrosol! I’ll be looking into the DIYShamooo #2 for sure also

  • Here’s something worthy to risk trying, making my own natural shampoo and conditioner. Personally, this is a big step for me as I attempt to slowly minimize chemical usage in our household. I will give these recipes a chance.

  • I’ve been adding 1 drop of cedarwood atlas or 1 drop of rosemary to my shampoo on a per-use basis, and see LOTS of new growth, but it never seems to catch up with the amount of hair I lose. Having children sure does a number to the body!! Any specific oils that would help with hair retention?

  • This was a very informative blog. I didn’t know much about the no poo lifestyle. I loved reading about the alternatives and the recipes you included. Thank you, PT!!

  • I have heard so many great things about rosemary added to shampoo! Definitely will be part of my next purchase!

    1. Essential oils shouldn’t cause an oily buildup in your hair. But if you find that happening, a clarifying shampoo would be a great way to remove any buildup.

  • Thank you for offering more than one option. You have enticed me to try to go no poo once again. The learning curve can be challenging! Here is to another step on our journey away from chemicals.

  • I have been following the no poo method for a few years as part of the Curly Girl method. I’m excited to start incorporating oils and hydrosols into my routine! Thank you PT for the wonderful information!

  • Wow! Yesterday my 26 year old daughter asked me to cut her hair short because of oily hair and sore scalp issues. She went from waist length hair to about 4″ which looks adorable because her hair turned out to have a natural wave to it. I have felt a lot of the scalp issues were due to her “natural shampoo” which I find quite harsh. This info is perfect for her. Thank you!

  • I’ve been doing the no poo for a while now. I wash my hair with conditioner. I will wash with shampoo every once in awhile. I also stopped washing it every day and went to about twice a week. I can’t wait to try this shampoo and conditioner.

  • That hair mask sounds amazing, can’t wait to try it! I already use 1/2 Castile soap 1/2 water to “shampoo” and apple cider vinegar to “condition”. My hair loves it! I also use rose hydrosol to freshen up my hair after a few days. Thanks for the DIY’s!

  • Sounds like the perfect substitute for my conditioner. Unfortunately I can’t live without hair because of the hot and humid weather here, but I’d love to try adding in EO to my shampoo too. Thanks PT!

      1. I have rose, I have just started using to give my face and hair a wake up call. I have chamomile I use on my pillow and I just ordered Melissa today. Does anyone have ideas for Melissa?

        1. Melissa is great a choice to use as a facial toner for oily or blemish-prone skin. It’s also good used as a linen spray as it’s uplifting and can help with worry or tension.

  • Ok, you have my attention! I may just have to try a few of these. Thank you Plant Therapy for continuing to be a great resource! These articles are great!

  • This is a great article! I’ve already been incorporating essential oils into my store-bought shampoo, but would like to try out one of these DIY options. Oh, and Rose Hydrosol makes a GREAT detangler!

    1. I cant wait to try out the hair mask. Sounds like the perfect substitute for my conditioner. Unfortunately I can’t live without hair because of the hot and humid weather here, but I’d love to try adding in EO to my shampoo too. Thanks PT!

  • I’ve been looking around and trying some shampoo alternatives. After doing some light research I kept seeing information about using castile soap as a shampoo alternative. Most of what I see is that it is not recommended because a big factor in whether or not a shampoo is suitable to use is the pH. I read that castile soap is unsuitable in most cases because it has a pH that is outside the recommended range for use on your hair and scalp. When I first tried castile soap along with some other ingredients, my hair felt clean. What I discovered is that the long term affects of a castile soap shampoo are what can impact your hair and scalp negatively. I noticed my hair would get a little straw-like and I stopped using it since then. The first recipe looks interesting, but I’m hesitant to try any recipes with castile soap as an ingredient. Conditioner recipes look interesting too 🙂

    1. Burm, what are you using to “condition”? I’ve used Castile soap for several years now to wash my hair, but I use apple cider vinegar to “condition “. My stylist says my hair is in the best shape it’s ever been. But I’ve also had the play with the amounts I use. For the shampoo I use 1/2 Castile soap, 1/2 water. I keep a little empty bottle in my shower and mix it fresh each time. For the acv though, my hair needs it full strength. I just keep a spray bottle of acv in the shower.

      1. I forgot to mention, the acv balances out the ph of the Castile. My hair felt almost gummy until I found the right combination of water to Castile and acv. (At first I was watering my acv down too.) Hope that helps : )

        1. I use just regular store bought conditioner. Haven’t found a diy I like yet. I used acv for awhile but I hate the smell of vinegar. I know it dissipates pretty quickly but I still can’t stand it. I read also that using acv, which is acidic, after using castile, which is slightly basic, can have a pH shock effect on your scalp, which is usually not good either. I’ll admit everyone is different and what works for some doesn’t work for others, but the information made sense to me so at some point I’ll find something 🙂

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wanting to eliminate commercial shampoos and conditionrs for some time but haven’t had much time to look into diy’s. Castile and aloe did not work for me. Currently I am diluting my commercial poo with aloe and adding EO’s. I can’t wait to try these diy recipes.

  • So thankful for this post. Ive been wondering how to use eos in my hair. All my questions answered in one very informative post!

  • I’m going to try the hair mask. I use to poo and no poo, so I wash with conditioner instead of shampoo and my curls are taking great shape since starting this

  • Great post! I’ve just started adding oils to my store bought shampoo. Next step, making my own! I’m not sure about the no poo part…I have to shampoo every 2-3 days.

  • I cannot wait to try the diy shampoo… I’ve been wanting to ditch my shampoo for the longest time! I hope this is what Ive been looking for. I use the rose hydrosol now just to refresh my hair and I love it
    Thank you Plant Therapy

  • I used to wash my hair every single day, and after much prodding from my hair stylist only wash my hair twice a week. It takes a little getting used to, but it is SO worth it and my hair looks so much better now that I don’t wash it every day. I’ll have to try out adding EO’s to my shampoo!

  • I love this! Hydrosols are the bomb for summer! I don’t like hairspray at all, but the hydrodols…love ’em!

  • You must’ve read my mind! Can’t wait to try the DIY shampoo and deep conditioner. Thank you for the great ideas.

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