Parisienne Farmgirl Homemade Herbal Shampoo

Oct 6, 2009 | Uncategorized | 12 comments

In the spirit of my personal “Put Up or Shut Up” campaign I have been making my own shampoo. It’s one of those things that I hate to run out for and this year I have been focusing on weaning our family off the use of products with parabens and other undesirables in them. I figure if you want to keep the wrinkles at bay with high tech skin care you aren’t going to get away from parabens -n- stuff but for the most part we have rid our toilette of them.
I had switched to a paraben free organic shampoo and conditioner for $7 a bottle but again, I would run out and have to head out to a specific store to find them. I know $7 a bottle is not alot for many people when it comes to their hair but honestly, washing my hair is one of the areas I have always been pretty cheap…It helps my justify twenty dollar mascara!
After a few weeks of the heavenly smell of this shampoo you will wonder how you ever lathered up with all those chemicals but here is my disclaimer – This shampoo leaves a different feel than you are used to. Sort of a “thick” feeling. For many this will be appreciated because most of us like our hair the day after washing it, once it has a days worth of product in it and it’s a little dirty. This is very nice for wavy hair as it keeps it’s shape when styling, My hair is not curly but it’s not straight and it’s crazy thick, I am interested to know how it works on all hair types. I am wondering if it would weigh thinner hair down?
Here is an analogy – if you have made the decision to nix boxed and processed food from your life you get to the point where you can actually taste the chemicals in that kind of food can’t you? I have noticed a similar occurrence with the homemade shampoo – As a guest recently I lathered up with what was in someones shower and the chemicals and the smells of what used to be considered by me to be an acceptable shampoo were astonishing. It is truly amazing how we can retrain our our taste buds, noses and bodies for that matter to prefer what is natural and healthy.
You can cut a bit of that “thick” feeling by rinsing your hair with white distilled vinegar – don’t worry, the smell immediately goes away upon rinsing. Vinegar makes in incredible conditioner. You can rinse twice with vinegar if you want but do it BEFORE you shave your legs or you will burn like crazy as it rinses away…and DON’T get it in your eyes. I use about one cup.
You can make this shampoo for pennies and not sacrifice your hair in the meantime. It smells so very good and if you tend a garden it is a lovely way to use those herbs before the frost arrives or grab some in the produce cooler section the next time you are out.
There are many recipes to be found on the Internet, some add glycerin and other ingredients but this is what I have come up with after experimenting with a few.

You will need:
2 Cups Water –
Some prefer distilled, I have tried both and did not notice a difference.

1 1/2 cups Castille Soap –
Castille soap is natural and made from olives. The most popular bottle at the health food stores is very expensive and is made by some creepy, cultish Dr. Bronner. I hate to send my money that way but out here in the boon dock suburbs of Chicago it’s all I could find. I know Trader Joe’s sells their own brand and it’s much cheaper. I plan to buy that next time and add my own lavender oil to it. If you click on the link in the first sentence you will find a very good deal.
A strainer
An empty bottle
Your favorite herbs –
My latest bottle was made with Rosemary and Lemon Balm.
Steep the water and herbs over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Strain and add to the Castille Soap…et voila. Homemade herbal shampoo. It works as a lovely shower gel (my next project is homemade soap) but you won’t want to use it as a bubble bath as the Castille soap lathers but does not make good bubbles.
BTW – I did make my own toothpaste for awhile to avoid the junk they sell at the stores but I just could not get into it. I love to brush my teeth and never found myself looking forward to it. We have gone back to the incredible Jason toothpaste. Expensive but safe and healthy.
I have had incredible results with making my own laundry detergent. LOVE IT! It’s all over the Internet but I may post about that soon. We girls got to save our pennies don’t we?
I’d rather spend it in Paris…wouldn’t you??


  1. cityfarmer

    I have lemon balm spilling out of my fall garden …help yourself.

    I’m feeling like a spoiled rotten-storebought-sephora-brat

  2. Bonjour Madame

    Thank you for posting this! I have a small bottle of castile soap. I will make a smaller batch and try this out with the same ratio soap to water that you used. Yay!

  3. Berlin Deluxxe

    How I wish we were neighbors! I can learn so much from you my dear friend 🙂

    (I also find all the weird little quotes by Bronner to be weird)

  4. Tracey

    You and I have a lot in common my friend! LOVE this idea…I’m all for the “green” route! Goota love all the uses for Dr. Bronner’s 🙂

    🙂 T

  5. Selina

    Thanks so much for posting!! Can’t wait to try it.

  6. Fifi Flowers

    WOW… if making homemade products will give moi more pennies to spend in Pari… I’m in!

  7. Ticking and Toile

    Just found you…love the name! I’m going to try to make the shampoo!


  8. vicki archer

    I imagine this shampoo smelt delicious…Have a happy weekend, xv.

  9. Anonymous

    I have tons of lemonbalm that I’m planning to dry for the winter. I will definitely try this.

    Thanks for the “recipe”

    The Grange

  10. merlie

    Very nice – easy to follow, simple, and working. Thanks for the knowledge!
    Pay per click

  11. Katherine

    I’m going to try this! I didn’t know Dr. Bonner’s was a cult–I bought two bottles of his soap (one lavender and one orange-scented) to add to my homemade cleaning supplies.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about pregnancy–so funny, and so true!! I will pray that you continue to have a healthy pregnancy and that your labor and delivery are quick and easy!!

  12. Theresa

    Thank you for this!! I already make our laundry soap but am going to give this a try. I planted some mint this year and now you have me wanting to go back and get some lemon balm and rosemary… you are such a wealth of info. just like your mom! Thank you so much for sharing, t. xoxo


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