The Best Natural Shampoo for Dry Hair

You may be wondering "what is wrong with store bought shampoo??"

More and more, people are becoming aware of the ingredients in their food, cosmetics, and well – anything that goes on or in our bodies.  This is great news as manufacturers do not always have our best interest at heart.  Lets’ talk about parabens.

What are Parabens?

If you look at the ingredient list on your shampoo bottle, you may see some hugely unpronounceable words like methylparaben, buytlparaben and propylparaben. They are added to products to act as a preservative; preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus.  

You will find parabens in a large range of household products, such as toothpaste, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants and makeup.  Even though these chemicals have been used for decades, new research is now linking parabens to cancer.   

Parabens mimic how oestrogen works in the body and are sometimes  found in breast cancer tumours.  Researchers cannot ignore the link between parabens and cancer.  These chemicals get absorbed into the endocrine system (hormonal system) of the body and can disrupt the way it normally works.  Being a little bit more aware of what we put on and in our bodies may go a long way towards having a healthy lifestyle and family.  

Due to all the information that we are exposed to now, we can make informed decisions rather than to just blindly follow the way we’ve always done things.

And so this leads me to the wonderful world of homemade shampoo!  I will be honest and just say that I have had many failures while making shampoo.  I have tried many homemade natural alternatives to household and “cosmetics" products, and making shampoo has by far been the hardest!  Not exactly the greatest way to start this page – but just bear with me!  Due to all of my epic failures, I can now quite professionally share with you, what worked and what didn’t.  So let’s get to some of those recipes.

2 of the Best Natural Shampoos for Dry Hair

Homemade Shampoo with Essential Oils:


  • Half a cup of coconut milk (my two cents:  I think coconut milk is very much like coconut oil in the sense that if it works for you, then yay.  But if it doesn’t work for you, your hair will be left feeling quite moisturized or dry.  It can go either way).
  • Half a cup of Castille Soap. (I bought mine online from Faithful to Nature. They have two types – one for general stuff like laundry and cleaning, and another for use on the body.  So make sure you get the right one!)
  • 20-40 drops of essential oils. A list of essential oils for hair can be found here. (I just used what I had at home, for example: peppermint, lavender, lemon or thyme. I used geranium quite successfully as the smell reminded me of Turkish delight!)
  • Optional extra: 1 teaspoon olive oil.  (But I found my hair was already quite greasy from the coconut milk).


Add all the ingredients into a container or old shampoo bottle. I used a mason jar. Apparently you can keep it in the shower for about a month, but I was worried about the coconut milk going off, so kept mine in the fridge. Shake well before each use so that all the ingredients combine well. Pour a little into your palm and use on your scalp.

I found that the coconut milk left my hair hydrated (I have naturally very curly hair and curly hair is famously known to be very dry). It’s quite tricky to get used to the fact that homemade shampoo just doesn’t lather up,  but you must get past the fact that there are no noticeable suds on your head, and realize that the ingredients are actually cleaning your hair!

Homemade Shampoo using Liquid Castille Soap


  • 250ml liquid Castille soap (I get mine from Faithful to nature).
  • 250ml bottled, filtered or cooled boiled water.
  • Aloe vera gel (approximately 20-30ml).
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (totally optional).


Chuck all the ingredients into an old shampoo bottle or container and shake vigorously to combine. Remember to shake the bottle every time you use it. Apply a couple of spoonfuls directly to the scalp and shampoo. Just remember the off-putting part – it doesn’t lather like conventional shampoos.  Discard your thoughts that this shampoo isn’t cleaning your hair.  It is.  It just isn’t very good at lathering.  

I found that the Castille soap, although very good at cleaning my hair, did seem to dry it out a bit.  But when I added in the aloe vera, it worked well.  As a conditioner, I took a few drops of olive oil and used that on my ends.  This worked nicely with my curly hair.  Sometimes I would rinse off the oil, but more often than not, I would just leave the oil in as you would with a “leave in conditioner".

Now let’s get onto the subject of no-poo-ing. Have you gone no poo? Don’t be alarmed – I’m not talking about your bowel movements!  

What is the No Poo Method??

The no poo method is none other than having a shampoo free life. It is simply abstaining, refraining and abandoning the use of shampoo.

Typically, one would use baking soda and water as your shampoo, and diluted apple cider vinegar, as your conditioner.

I have a long and sordid love affair with this no poo story. After A LOT of trial and error, I finally found that washing my hair with rye flour worked the best. Yes. Rye flour. I would take about 2 tablespoons of rye flour, mix it in some water to make a paste, and use that as my shampoo. I did that for 2 years.

Was my hair any different than when I was using regular shampoo?  (And I used the expensive salon types).  No not really.  

Was my hair in any better condition while on the no poo method?  No not really.  

Was it any worse?  No not really.  

So after 2 years of a no poo experiment, I got tired and went back to my liquid shampoo. I’m quite sure I will go back to my rye flour, but for now, I am enjoying the ease of a squeezey bottle.  

Other pages you might enjoy reading


1. Harris, Kathleen. The Irish Times.  2015.

3. Vegan Beauty Review.  2011.

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