Homemade Hair Shampoo Recipes

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Jacie (USA) on 01/26/2008

Thank you to Alice from Wiesbaden, Germany for the all natural shampoo recipe using egg yolks. It sounds wonderful and I look forward to trying it. Danke!

Thank you also to Earth Clinic for creating a new thread for Natural Shampoo Recipes. I think it may prove invaluable for people wishing to turn to alternate solutions.

We all know that many of the common commercial personal care products in the U.S.A. contain synthetic chemicals but I was just not aware of how BAD the situation really might be. Some of our every day use products contain one chemical after the other that may be less than safe.

You can check the Material Safety Data Sheets on the ingredients in your shampoos and other personal care products. The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are required by the manufacturers. Here is a site where you can enter the chemical and see if it is their database. It is Vermont Safety Information Resources, Inc. I am not affiliated with them, nor do I know anything about them other than that they are cited on the Libraries at the University of California, Santa Barbara website and a link is provided there.

For example, a search for Sodium Laureth Sulfate, also known as SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, a chemical in many shampoos reveals that it CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. MAY CAUSE ALLERGIC SKIN OR RESPIRATORY REACTION.

Or that the EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM OR REPEATED EXPOSURE (Repeated or prolonged contact) with skin may cause dermatitis.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE is in many products. I am not a chemist so I will leave you to do your own research on why this is used.

I was hoping that the more so-called organic or natural product lines would be better, but sadly, I have found they use harsh or synthetic chemicals, too. I just purchased a so called organic skin facial cleanser only to get it home and read that it, too contained SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE; something for your face - that is linked to skin problems!

MORE seriously, some of the chemicals being used in our cosmetics and personal products may have had one or more studies done that suggest that the chemicals may be linked to cancer or immune system issues.

It is far too vast for me to try to relay here. (I will also leave you to figure out for yourself why this use of these known hazards is permitted in the U.S.A.)

Since many of the people posting here are experiencing serious health problems, I wanted to add this to your arsenal of natural health remedies: Check up on what you are using on your body.

I wish I could say that I have found a reliable internet source with integrity that can offer guidance in this matter, but I have not. They seem to either offer incomplete information or are connected to commercial or other pursuits. The information they are presenting can%uFFFDt be trusted because they either are selling something outright, or they have links to where you can buy the products. (The way the internet is nowadays, if you have a link to a product you are probably getting a kickback.) In that case, you have to question their motivation and question the information; it may be biased. It is also possible that it may be distorted or just plain inaccurate. Also, some of them are accused of using scare tactics. But of course, that doesn%uFFFDt mean that we aren%uFFFDt facing a very real threat from too many toxic chemicals. Yes, a tricky spot to be in.

If you do your own research, I strongly encourage you to look at who it is that is providing the information. See if they are selling products, if not, what is their mission? Go to their "About us" page if they have one and form an educated judgment based on how they present themselves. Run separate searches to see how they are referred to elsewhere on the web. Most importantly, do they provide substantiation for their claims? You can't just take the statements on face value. If you can't see the source listed you have to ask them what their source is. If they can't give you a source, then you must question their real motives for publishing the information.

Your local university or public libraries might be able to provide information on the studies done on the chemicals as reported in scientific journals. It is up to the consumer to look at who conducted the study, to interpret the findings, and decide whether a product is right for themselves. But it is still tricky for the lay person to know how to interpret these studies. I know there is at least one book for the layperson out there on safety in cosmetics. You could probably find it easily by googling key search words. I don't know anything about whether it is well regarded, but I'm going to see if my library can obtain for me it through the interlibrary loan system.

Maybe if we all put our heads together we can figure this out. In the meanwhile, I for one am only using natural products on my body right now.

I wish everyone light and peace on their health journeys!

Egg Yolk and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Zantariah (Sydney, Qld, Australia) on 01/25/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Alice and thanks for that info about the egg white but I'll take it a step further. Mix some finely chopped oats with the egg whites and viola! we have a wonderful face mask. leaving the sensitive area beneath the eyes untouched, smooth on the mixture and leave till dry. Try not to talk or move any part of the face. caking it too thickly should be avoided as it will take too long to dry. Have fun!

I would also like to mention "The Atlas". Most of us are born with the head sitting tilted in the top vertabrae called The Atlas. I have nothing to gain by passing on the info I am just so ecstatic after a lifetime (I'm 69) of pain and agony to be over migraine, insomnia and sciatica amongst many more ailments. Just google-- atlasPROfilax... It's a one off guaranteed treatment available worldwide no manipulation involved. Truly, do yourself justice and get it done. I'll check back regularly to see if anyone has queries. Cheers, Zantariah*

Egg Yolk and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gc (Ny) on 06/20/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, I shampooed with egg yolk today and I used the whites for a facial mask after the shower. I did smell a bit eggy even though I used the lime rinse described in anoher post here. But my skin is so toned and tighter pores, and my hair is very soft and clean. So for a minimal smell-- which you probabaly could use an essential oil to cover it, (I didn't have any on hand to use), it's well worth it.

Egg Yolk and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Libs (London, Uk) on 02/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have to give a big Yea to egg yolk, although I don't use the apple cider vinegar, I do use a very small amount of conditioner just on the ends. I have tried borax with citric acid rinse, made my hair slightly greasy feeling and limp, baking soda and vinegar rinse, again, just didn't suit my hair at all. Then I read about egg yolk. I have found it brilliant, and it means I don't have to wash it every day, I wash it every 3 days now, a BIG plus. I mix 1 egg yolk (I have shoulder length very fine hair) with a bit a water, a dash of rum (or gin), and a drop or so of peppermint oil. In fact it smells good enough to eat! I have just accidently discovered that if I add half of a fizzy vit c tablet, that makes the mixture much gloopier and easy to massage into my scalp. I leave it on my hair while I shower, and then rinse thoroughly in warm water. I then put a tiny bit of conditioner on the ends as they are very dry. Hopefully after my next cut I can miss that out. I have never had the scrambled egg occurrence that I have read about, and I am assured that it does not smell eggy at all. I will never go back to commercial shampoo!

Egg Yolk and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tracey (Qld Australia 4132) on 06/24/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have just tried that recipe - its amazing. And the egg whites I used as a mask - my skin is so soft. I would recommend it to everybody.

Posted by Katya (Grand Rapids, MI) on 09/06/2007
5 out of 5 stars

WOW! This is great i never knew Borax could do so much! I've been using it for almost two years to wash my hair and body with. My hair is soft and shiny, like baby hair and i'm 54 years old! I rinse with 1/4 teas. of citric acid mixed in a pint of water. Together they are the best! No more itchy scalp, no more chemically laden shampoo! Now i'm going to try using it to get rid of Candida!

Posted by Ceybeyona (Great Falls, Montana,usa) on 10/28/2010

This was out of curiosity, aloe plant that I used was very bitter. I first filleted it an put the aloe fillet in a blender into a pulp. Then just put the pulp throughout hair for any amount of time 15-20 minutes, of course then rinse. I treated the pulp as a shampoo and put about two drops peppermint or teatree oil in the pulp. This first method can be messy, but it was so worth it for the severity of itching , hair fall out, and break off I had.

The next method I did was much much cleaner, I would cut a slice of the plant , squeeze and apply the fresh gel directly to scalp in sections, message the gel into my scalp until it disappeared. The best part was that the gel can be left in and I experienced NO build up! No joke, I experienced instant results that was just me though, everyones condition is different. Talk about a miracle in a plant GOODNESS! Google Melissa's produce or you may be able to obtain the whole aloe plant locally, the bitterness in the plant does make a difference from experience. Hope it gets better for you.

Posted by Teri In T Town (Tacoma, Wa Usa) on 05/17/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I had the itching scalp, substantial thinning and some dandruff several years ago, and cleared it all up in two treatments.

I used about 1/8 teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil and a few drops of lavender oil in 3 Tablespoons of sweet almond oil (you could use any carrier oil, I think). I parted my hair and poured it on my scalp all over and left it there for an hour, massaging it around with my fingertips some, before I showered it out.

Whatever was wrong is gone, I have no itch and my hair came back thick.

Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender Oil
Posted by Stav (Haifa, Israel) on 08/09/2011



You can read about in on the internet.

Before using any essential oil on your pets check the internet for known allergies to that oil.

Baking Soda
Posted by Anonymous (USA)
5 out of 5 stars

If you mix baking soda and shampoo in your hand once a week it will not only remove all hair spray, styling gels, and other products, it will remove impurities from the water and lighten your hair. I learned this from my hair stylist! Also, mix baking soda with hair conditioner in your hand and condition the ends of your hair it will give your hair more volume, body and health.

Egg Yolk
Posted by Anon (Usa) on 10/25/2017
4 out of 5 stars


I tried the egg yolk to wash my hair. It worked very well, but I smelled like egg all day. Even rinsing with lemon juice did not eliminate the smell. Tisk!

Oily Hair Remedies
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 06/13/2014

Has anybody got a cure for oily hair or at least help with as I have it and I am sure there must be others. Thanks

Oily Hair Remedies
Posted by Dave (Fountain Inn, Sc) on 06/13/2014

Hello Suseeq from Australia,

Re ...dealing with oily hair.

Something may be going on at the roots of the hair and I've had success with "shampooing" with Borax. I put a tablespoon in a cup of warm water and dissolve. I take into shower with the solution in a plastic container in case I drop it...the Borax is slippery. Without wetting my hair I douse generously on hair until the whole scalp is saturated. I'm always surprised that the Borax solution lathers up like shampoo. I massage scalp vigorously. I also use some of the solution in ears and eyelids. This solution has never stung my eyes. I let the solution sit in scalp for many minutes then rinse out. Amazing results; soft manageable hair, and takes away the stinging I sometimes get from being allergic to acidic foods like tomatoes.

I use this formula (Borax in cup of warm water) to shampoo with on a once a week basis.

Much relief from an oily condition. Perhaps the underlying problem is microscopic and the boron is killing microbes. Just a guess on that point.

Oily Hair Remedies
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 06/13/2014

Thanks Dave. Can't wait to get some borax and try.

Oily Hair Remedies
Posted by KT (Usa) on 06/14/2014

Dear Dave from FI, SC, When referring to "Borax", is this the "Mule Team" brand? The same stuff for laundry and has also been recommended to ingest? I thought it was poison.

Oily Hair Remedies
Posted by Dave (Fountain Inn, Sc) on 06/14/2014

Hi there Kt...

In re; what kind of Borax was I referring to;

yes, you are correct ... good old 20 Mule Team Borax.


The No Shampoo Method
Posted by Barbara (West Virginia) on 08/08/2016

What did she do to get out pollution and dirt out of her hair?

Castile and Vinegar
Posted by Briar Rose (Phoenix Arizona) on 03/22/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

I chose to stop coloring my hair and stop using commercial shampoo and conditioners. I tried baking soda and was unsatisfied with results and began using my home made castille (olive oil) soap for shampooing and rinsing with 1 teaspoon vinegar in 1 quart warm water. I was unhappy with results yet chose to stick with my program. I figured since commercial products hyper dry hair and scalp there may be a period of adjustment. Dry scalp will overproduce sebum, a naturally produced waxy substance, and my scalp substantially overproduced for approximately 2 weeks and I immediately noticed burning, itching, soreness with nasty smelling stuff coating roots of my hair especially over ears and along neck hairline about 2 inches wide. (Old commercial product residue my skin was forced to store?) I also noticed 'stuff' in the crown area. Symptoms diminished steadily and by 5 weeks scalp was symptom free and hair was looking substantially improved.

Six years have passed and my fine hair has thickened, strengthened and is beautifully shiny. I intend to add borax to my hair and skin regimen. Sometimes patience is required to remove all the crap ignorantly put into the body and all the icky, smelly stuff bodies exude are signs of grateful release of all the garbage the body was forced to endure

Hulda Clark Shampoo
Posted by Francisca (Zug, Switzerland) on 02/10/2012

Here is Hulda Clark's shampoo recipe which I found online. She says that the borax needs to be rinsed with citric acid otherwise you won't get rid of the borax. I wanted to try the borax hair rinse today but I guess I won't till I get more advice from any of you on this, especially Kimberly. I have no idea where to buy citric acid. I have ascorbic acid crystals but that seems to be a different thing. I think that Kimberly washed her hair a few times a week, maybe every day so she wouldn't notice if the hair doesn't look too good after a few days. One thing is find a solution to make your hair good for maybe one day, another one is to have your hair in really good condition meaning you can go for a few days without washing it. I hope anybody can help me with this dilema, I have the borax ready and waiting but I have no idea whether using it without the citric acid rinse will damage my hair!

Borax liquid is ready to use as shampoo, too. It does not lather but goes right to work removing sweat and soil without stripping your color or natural oils. It inhibits scalp bacteria and stops flaking and itching. Hair gets squeaky clean so quickly (just a few squirts does it) that you might think nothing has happened! You will soon be accustomed to non-lathery soap. Rinse very thoroughly because you should leave your scalp slightly acidic. Take a pint container to the shower with you. Put 1/4 tsp. Citric (not ascorbic) acid crystals (see Sources) in it. For long hair use a quart of rinse. Only citric acid is strong enough to get the borax out, lemon juice and vinegar are not. After shampooing, fill the container with water and rinse. Rinse your whole body, too, since citric acid is also anti-bacterial. All hair shampoo penetrates the eye lids and gets into the eyes although you do not feel it. It is important to use this natural rinse to neutralize the shampoo in your eyes. (Some people have stated that citric acid makes their hair curlier or reddens it. If this is undesirable, use only half as much citric acid. ) Citric acid also conditions and gives body and sheen to hair.

Hulda Clark Shampoo
Posted by Cat (Papamoa, New Zealand) on 02/10/2012

Citric Acid is in the baking isle of your supermarket, it should be alongside baking soda, baking powder, tartaric acid etc. It's very common but if your supermarket doesn't stock it, the chemist will probably do so.

Hulda Clark Shampoo
Posted by Francisca (Zug, Switzerland) on 02/11/2012

Christine, thanks for your tip! I found it today in a pharmacy. I don't think they sell it in the supermarket here but what is it used for? Baking I suppose..... I will probably give it a try as a hair rinse, I hope I don't lose all my hair trying to make it more beautiful..... So far I am ok shampooing it with conditioner and nothing else!

Posted by Francisca (Zug, Switzerland) on 02/07/2012

Hi Kimberly, thanks for telling us that your hair is colored. Mostly people forget that detail but it is really important as colored hair reacts differently from natural hair! I think that I have a bit the same quality of hair you have, except for the curls, I don't have any! I am going to see if I find Borax in a pharmacy (Switzerland is not big on anything but pharmaceuticals, unfortunately, at least in this canton). Right now I am trying washing with conditioner and it seems to be working well although I have only done it twice. Let's see how it works out with the Borax. Baking soda as a rinse or instead of shampoo didn't work because my hair became very dry.

Posted by Francisca (Zug, Switzerland) on 02/09/2012

Hi Kimberly, do you rinse the borax from your hair? If I understand well you put a couple of tspoons in a cup of water?

Posted by Maura (Chevy Chase, Md) on 11/08/2012

Isn't the arsenic in borax a health concern?

Posted by David (Anchorage) on 04/14/2018

There is no arsenic in borax.

Posted by Jean Pierre (CHAMPAGNE) on 09/20/2022


good morning I am french which type of borax can I use for hair shampoo thanks JPS

Posted by JANET (FL) on 11/19/2022

20 Mule Team Borax is sold on the same aisle as laundry detergent.

Rinse Free Shampoo
Posted by Loretta (Phila, Pa Usa) on 01/01/2011

I'm a caregiver for my husband, and use the commercial "rinse-free" shampoo on days when he can't or won't shower & shampoo his hair. You massage it in, and towel dry, without needing any water, at all. The product is very expensive, so I wondered if there is a home-grown alternative?

Rinse Free Shampoo
Posted by Aginto (Toronto, On) on 01/02/2011

The main ingredients in these dry-shampoo formulas are either talcum powder or corn starch. Apply very lightly, by parting the hair multiple times across your scalp and dusting the powder against your scalp as you go. Once you're all done, let it sit for a couple minutes before rubbing it in with your fingers.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 01/15/2010

Do you use baking soda mixed with water or the powder on its own to wash the roots of your hair? I have dyed hair, no idea whether this will work...

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Phoenix75 (Carmel, Ca, U.s.a.) on 01/17/2010

I mixed approximately two tablespoons of the baking soda, with some water, and I made a paste out of it, then I applied it to my scalp and I massaged it in. You may require less, or more, depending on your hair type...mine is long, so I tried 2 tablespoons...and then I mixed the vinegar with water as well.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kaya (Knoxville, Tn) on 06/07/2010

So, did you just use the vinegar on the tips or did you use it on all the hair?

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Asdf (Stamford, Connecticut) on 08/31/2011

I do this too ad I find a half gallon container, fill the bottom half an inch to an inch of apple cider vinegar then fill the rest with water and dump it in my damp hair then I rinse it out in a minute.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Doddie (Lawrenceville, Georgia, Usa) on 09/03/2011

Are you using water from the faucet or shower head to wash your hair in or filtered water? I do not have a whole house filtration system, will this still work?

Posted by Avonlea820 (Warwick, Ri, U.s.a) on 12/16/2011

I think you make a good point here. It is very easy to assume we know the reputation of a certain chemical when really we are confusing it for something else or just not accurately educated. This was very helpful for me! Thank you

Posted by Salninertriplezero (New York, Ny) on 07/26/2015

Is there boxes of powdered food grade Borax that can be bought at pharmacies like Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS and stores like that? I've seen Borax on this site recommended for internal use for some ailments, but have no idea where to find it. I asked at a very good health food store and they said they don't carry it. Can the same product that could be taken internally also used as a laundry additive and therefore available at large supermarkets in the laundry section? Thanks in advance for even partial answers on where to get borax.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tricia (Ireland) on 09/28/2009 84 posts

Accomplicekim - I have been following the Lorraine Massey protocol for about two months now and it has worked wonders for my hair. I always thought that pregnancy had contributed to my bad hair(curls gone, dries out etc.) but it turns out that sulphates in shampoo don't suit me anymore. Anyway because this is working so well I am always looking for alternatives to sulphate shampoo's. So I have a question. This system involves using conditioner & brown sugar as a shampoo and then condition as normal. This allows the natural hair oils to work their way down the hair shaft but also leaves a lot of product on the hair. When I want to colour my hair (and, boy, do I need to) I have to use a sulphate shampoo first. This irritates the living daylights out of my scalp and tears my hair assunder again. Do you think that if I followed your way would a colour take in my hair without the sulphate shampoo first. Also, Are you using the cocoa butter on your body skin or on your scalp. Thanks.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Avonlea820 (Warwick, Ri, U.s.a) on 12/16/2011

I think that it is important to moisturize our scalps too. In fact, I believe stimulating the scalp and moisturizing is important. Someone else pointed out the benefits of the natural bristle brushes.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gazelle (Oslo, Norway) on 01/11/2012

Start colouring your hair with henna. I'm 32 and most of my hair is white already, and it makes me look very tired :( I started using henna instead of commercial colouring, and oh boy is my hair beautiful now :)

Also I would deeply recommend argan oil as conditioner, especially since henna and baking soda both can dry out the hair. Argan oil, try and get it pure is the BEST oil I've ever tried on my scin and hair. It is made from argan tree, which is only to be found in morocco, and it is one of the most nutritious oils we have, much more than coconut and olive.

Also, I used to pluck my eyebrows really thin ever since my teenagers, a year ago I stopped and tried making it grow back out, and it was just so thin :( I've been rubbing argan oil in it every night for a month, and I can already see it is much much fuller. So I have started rubbing my lashes as well :) good luck ladies, and thank you for the tips you shared :)

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Francisca (Zug, Zug, Switzerland) on 01/12/2012

Do you use the Argan Oil before you rinse your hair, before you wash, a little big every day?

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rondamommie (Kansas City, Mo, Usa) on 01/19/2012

Thank you for the baking soda/ACV/Argan oil tips! I will start using them as suggested here and report back ladies!

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sindee (San Diego, CA) on 07/07/2014

FYI, Most pure Argan Oil comes from Israel, been using it for a while now on my hair with great results. Plenty of argan tree orchards there as well.

Posted by Janette (Calgary, AB) on 03/02/2009

I have a question what ratio of borax to water should I use if I am using it as a shampoo?

Posted by Tierney (Springfield, Ohio) on 08/14/2011

Hi I was wondering how much baking soda, borax, and water to use if I use all three? I want the lightening effect so that won't be a problem. Also Can I use this daily? If not daily than what should I do? Do I use commercial shampoo in between uses or just not wash my hair everyday? Thanks

Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 08/15/2011

Do you mix the borax with water and then with the shampoo, or do you mix the powder directly into your shampoo? How do you do it exactly? I will skip the baking soda then as I like my hair dark as it normally is (dyed now in its natural color).

Egg Yolk and Lime Juice Shampoo
Posted by Gc (Ny) on 06/20/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you, I tried this today because I had put a lot of coconut oil on my hair as a conditioning treatment the day before and needed to wash it out. I didn't want to use some chemical shampoo after all that conditioning, so I tried the egg yolks. I was amazed at well it emulsified the oil in my hair and cleaned it but kept it soft. It really detangled it also! I used the lime juice rinse, but didn't rinse it out with water afterward becuase I wanted to keep some lime smell to offset the eggy smell... I still smelled a bit sulfurous, but My hair is looking so conditioned and my curls are so pretty today!

Egg Yolk and Lime Juice Shampoo
Posted by Martha (Orange, Texas) on 06/22/2011

I too use the Wen product... It does make my hair greasy so I only use it for a conditioner. But I was told that I should try the other kind they have but I don't know what it is but it has less oil in it. I have called the company and told them to exchange my next order for that kind... My hair is butt length. I love the stuff and I even color my hair and it stays colored so much longer. I also periodically put honey on my hair and let it sits for a while.... then wash out.

Egg Yolk and Lime Juice Shampoo
Posted by Francisca (Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France) on 06/29/2011

Martha, isn't the honey difficult to apply on the hair? Do you dilute it with a bit of water maybe, or warm it up? Any kind of honey?

Egg Yolk and Lime Juice Shampoo
Posted by Kylie (Whitianga, New Zealand) on 10/19/2011

I started using Wen too at the beginning of this year, and I haven't used shampoo since. Wen is fantastic although I do find it quite expensive, but you can actually use ANY conditioner to wash your hair with and never need to use shampoo again. I alternate the Wen with about 3 other supermarket brand conditioners (instead of shampoo) to keep the cost down, but I will try the egg recipe on here as it sounds great.

Egg Yolk and Lime Juice Shampoo
Posted by Kelsey (Breese, Illinois) on 11/03/2011

That sounds great, how often do you wash your hair?

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Dee (Philadelphia, United States) on 04/17/2008

Until about a month ago I too was using those same commercial shampoos etc. until I happened to come across some information by accident. I was searching for some homemade shampoo recipes etc. and the reason I was searching is because I had noticed for quite some time that my hair was not in the condition that I thought it should be especially since I haven't had any chemicals ie hair dyes in it since 1996. The only thing I have put in my hair has been Henna the real kind from plants not that fake a** stuff you can buy in beauty stores. I DC my hair twice a month with castor oil and rosemary/lavender EO combo oil yet my hair looked damaged. I kept wondering what is the problem? The ONLY other things I was using on my hair was shampoo and conditioner. Hmm...could there be a link?

So, when I found this link and clicked on it and it talked about recipes and such and how there are so many dangerous chemicals a vast majority of the shampoos etc. on the market today and have been for a long time. I was shocked. I knew that there were alcohols in shampoos as well as some other stuff but I didn't realize it was this bad and I had no idea how hazardous some of those chemicals could be to one's health!

By accident I found this cosmetic database website called cosmeticdatabase.com and looked up some of the ingredients of the some of the shampoos and conditioners I have been using on my hair for years and what I found pissed me off royally. Did you know that some of chemicals that are used in our shampoos and conditioners etc. here in the United States have been banned in Canada and Japan? That right there is a BIG red flag.

Needless to say after finding all this out I went on a mission to find a company that made chemical free shampoo. In the past I have done business with a internet company (Emporiumnaturals.com) but at that time wasn't aware of the harmful chems in shampoo etc., well it turns out that they make their own shampoo and the ingredients are virtually chemical free they are: Coconut, Castor, Palm, Jojoba, Distilled Water, Soy Protein, Vegetable Glycerin, and Potassium Hydroxide.

So, I purchased some and I really like it the ONLY downside was that with me being African American I needed more moisture so I separated some shampoo into a 4oz bottle and added two small capfulls of castor oil and one capfull of jojoba oil and my hair felt wonderful! My goal is to eventually make my own shampoo but until then this shampoo is great!

I am going to try some of the washes on this website too and think that with time my hair will get better and better. I will update and let everyone know.


Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Patricia (Asheville, North Carolina / USA) on 10/26/2008

To: 04/17/2008: Dee from Philadelphia... I also looked up ingredients on cosmeticdatabase.com
Hate to tell you this, but Potassium Hydroxide, one of the ingredients in Emporiumnaturals.com shampoo,
is considered toxic as well.

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Alice (Manama, Bahrain) on 04/26/2009

Sodium Hydroxide in natural products is an ingredient that when mixed with any fats like coconut oil etc..forms a salt which is HARMLESS. The end product of the reaction will not contain sodium hydroxide. Some natural companies like to include that on their list, and some companies don't, they put "soap base" or something not to cause confusion since the end product itself doesnt contain it.

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Karen (Missouri) on 05/26/2015

Potassium hydroxide is lye, the only way to make soap. Potassium hydroxide is eliminated during the soap making process through a reaction called saponification. It's no longer caustic at this point.

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn. ) on 05/26/2015

HI U KAREN, , , , , , , , , guess I missed your point, because the soap my Mississippi GrandMaw made from wood ash and lard would take the hair off your arms. 'Course that was some 70 years ago and maybe chemistry has changed since then.


Sugar Shampoo
Posted by YuYu (Bruxelles, Bruxelles) on 05/06/2008

Thanks for sugar shampoo. I will try. I know it should work for scrub. Does anyone know how to make coco glucoside from coconut? Any scientific publication about that? I search through but still don't find one.

Sugar Shampoo
Posted by Lila (Austin, Texas, Usa) on 02/12/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I mixed your recipe with lemon juice and milk and olive oil and my hair is super soft. I have not tried the original recipe.

Sugar Shampoo
Posted by Francisca (Zug, Switzerland) on 02/13/2012

Nellie, I tried to find the recipe for Alice's egg and honey shampoo but I don't manage, would you mind posting it here? I will also try the sugar and honey shampoo. Right now I am trying out a few things in order to see what works best for my hair. So far no luck but tomorrow I am going to try washing with Borax and then using citric acid as a conditioner!

Sugar Shampoo
Posted by Linda (New Haven, Ct) on 02/13/2012

@ Francisca... you'll find Alice's recipe here: https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/hair_shampoo.html near the bottom of the page. It's actually listed under the heading "EGG YOLK AND APPLE CIDER VINEGAR" but it's her recipe for egg yolk & honey "recipe".

Linda :-)

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo
Posted by Avonlea820 (Warwick, Ri, U.s.a) on 12/16/2011

I could not agree more! I began searching for eco-friendly, organic, raw products to use on my skin and hair and I did find a reliable source. They are informative and real. Their products are everything they claim and they really seem different!

I did some extensive research on the ingredients and then I tried them and now I love them.

Egg Yolk and Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kkk (Secaucus, Nj) on 04/29/2011

did you feel the smell of egg yolks after washing?

Posted by Thersa (New Orleans, Louisiana) on 04/17/2008

How much borax should you use as a shampoo? Do you mix it with warm water? Does it affect color treated hair?

Posted by Nanette (H.B., Calif.) on 07/22/2008

I have the same inquiry about using Borax shampoo on color treated hair. Will the Borax change the color at all? I have chronic scalp (and skin itching) like biting and crawling but no bumps, rashes or visible sign of fungus or infestation. In addition to the intense itchiness, I often feel like another woman here mentioned, 'like my hair is not strongly rooted in my scalp and have the inclination to pull it. I am experiencing hair falling out and looking thin and scraggly. I am anxious to try the Borax shampoo to be rid of the constant itching.

Posted by Vanessa (London, Uk) on 10/28/2010

Hi Can someone reply to Nanette's entry as I have the same problem. Itchy scalp. Keep pulling for relief. Suspect fungal infection. Where it has been severely itchy, the hair has then fallen out. Sore pimples in the itchy areas. I am in UK and can't get borax off the shelf. Any alternative to using with Apple Cider Vinegar?

Posted by Critical (Perth, Australia) on 12/25/2010

Hi there

Chronic itching and dry scalps can be relieved by spraying or rinsing it with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar but it won't solve the problem permanently. (Add two caps of ACV plus water in a water sprayer bottle or whatever you can put it in - Spray it on your hair after coming out of shower and leave it for half hour and re - rinse it with cold water. )

The problem will be with how much toxic shampoos / hair dyes/ head lice solution you have used on your head in your total life time, contributing to these problems of itching! 24/7.

This is the most natural solution I have found but another problem is trying to find a shampoo containing very simple natural ingredients without adding like 30 herbal ingredients in it or harsh chemicals ruining the surface of the scalps.

Posted by Claire (London, Uk) on 04/02/2011

Nanette & Vanessa,

I haven't started using this yet but I'm about to. I have read today (and in the thread above yours) the Borax lightens coloured hair less than Baking Soda. I read on 2 sites that it will strip the color from your colour treated hair (as it appears to strip natural color a little also?) but you need to wash your hair less than with commercial shampoos it shouldn't be too bad. Other than that, from what I've read, there are no 'reactions' with coloured hair. I hope not as I colour and I'm going to try it. All the best!

Posted by Claire (London, Uk) on 04/02/2011

Vanessa, I forget to add that you can get Borax in some Boots or they'll order it in and in some Tesco's in their Naturally cleaning range.

Posted by Belisa (Gurabo, Puerto Rico) on 12/01/2012

I agree with Teri, about the tea tree and almond oil , it works for itching scalp is great. And thank you for all your tips.

Posted by Kévin (France) on 04/08/2017


I'm using borax as a shampoo and I saw that we got to use acid citric (1/4 tsp diluted in 2 cups) as a final rinse. (the only thing that can remove borax from your scalp)

I've never use a condidionner (short hair) so I don't know how to proceed. Do I have to rinse the acid citric with water? If yes do I have to let the acid citric sit on my scalp a bit before washing?

And finally do I have to rinse the borax solution with water before pour the acid citric? Or rinse directly the borax solution with acid citric?

Thanks, Kévin

Posted by Jennifer (Windsor, CA) on 08/26/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Hi read Jackie's post a week or so ago regarding her results with borax and water to shampoo hair. I gave it a try and my hair felt great. I have long, heavy hair and it felt clean, soft and not dried out at all. Is anyone else doing this? I'm curious to see if anyone else had done this long-term as I want to make sure I'm not going to destroy my color-treated hair in the long run. I found a shampoo recipe online last week that included borax, castille soap, glycerin and a couple other ingredients. It turned out to be a disaster - after using a second time, my hair was a matted mess. I'm thinking it was the Dr. Bronner castille soap - which I love for face cleansing, but not on my hair. I used the straight borax and water this morning and my hair feels soft and clean again.

Posted by Kathy (Chatham, Ohio) on 06/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Hello, I have been using borax on my hair for about 2 weeks, now. I lost my hair (,chemo treatment about 10 years ago) and have been coloring my hair for about 10 years. My hair color is remaining true, it is soft and seems thicker than it has been in 10 years. I am rinsing with lemon juice because I have not been able to get a hold of any citric acid. YEAH!! Thank you to BORAX.

EC: Kathy, we found a huge jar of citric acid in an Asian grocery store for just a couple of dollars! Think it was in the spice section...

Posted by Cehowell (Sv, Az) on 04/22/2011

Found this when researching what Borax was:


"Risks Associated with Borax

Borax is natural, but that does not mean it is automatically safer for you or for 'the environment' than man-made chemicals. Although plants need boron, too much of it will kill them, so borax can be used as an herbicide. Borax may also be used to kill roaches, ants, and fleas. In fact, it is also toxic to people. Signs of chronic toxic exposure include red and peeling skin, seizures, and kidney failure. The estimated lethal dose (ingested) for adults is 15-20 grams; less than 5 grams can kill a child or pet. For this reason, borax should not be used around food. More commonly, borax is associated with skin, eye, or respiratory irritation. It is also important to point out that exposure to borax may impair fertility or cause damage to an unborn child."

Personally, I would not use this on my skin or scalp. It sounds just as bad as commercial shampoos.

Posted by Jane (Portland, Or) on 05/16/2011
1 out of 5 stars


Boron and Borax are two different elements. I have seen this twice on this site. Look it up. Confusion can stigmatize a good thing.

Posted by Mary (Regina, Saskatchewan) on 05/17/2011

Thank you Bill: I really look forward to your posts. Thanks for further alleviating my concerns about 20 mule team. I am about to do something very similar. What I mean is the product I am going to try is not from the health food store but from the vet supply place. This product I am referring to is called Diatomaceous Earth. I have tracked down a manufacturer, the middel supplier and the farm supply store. Only 2 stops. I believe it will be safe but I am concerned. Have you any experience with this product? I recently got a bio feedback analysis and was told I was loaded with yeast, fungus, worms and a tape worm. I was horrified but I have to agree I have NO energy. I do feed my dogs the raw diet and maybe somehow I was contaminated.

Any info you have, or even anyone else reading this would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by Andrea (Norwalk, Ct, Usa) on 06/02/2011

Have you tried a cleanse? I'm doing Dr. Natura colonix and toxinout 2-3month program. It targets parasites.... Also there are Chinese herbs that are good for getting rid of parasites and yeast... talk to an acupuncturist/herbalist. Good luck

Posted by Intirb (Long Valley, Nj, Usa) on 08/25/2011

PLEASE be careful when using Borax. As someone already stated, Borax can be very toxic!

For anyone confused, Borax is the salt form of boric acid, and when you add borax to water, it dissolves to become boric acid and sodium. Boric acid is dangerous!

For more information, check out wikipedia:

It states very clearly that borax can be toxic, especially to infants!

Posted by Lc (Washington, Dc) on 09/09/2011


Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is not acutely toxic. [17] Its LD50 (median lethal dose) score is tested at 2. 66 g/kg in rats:[18] a significant dose of the chemical is needed to cause severe symptoms or death. The lethal dose is not necessarily the same for humans.

Sufficient exposure to borax dust can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Effects on the vascular system and brain include headaches and lethargy, but are less frequent. "In severe poisonings, a beefy red skin rash affecting palms, soles, buttocks and scrotum has been described. With severe poisoning, erythematous and exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure." [19]

Posted by Avonlea820 (Warwick, Ri, U.s.a) on 12/16/2011

It can be so complicated... And for those of us who have trouble following along, I will say this: I prefer to leave it to the experts at my favorite Organic Haircare Specialists' website. I can trust their quality and their system is easy to use.

Posted by B.a. (Albuquerque, N.m. Usa) on 02/01/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I used Borax 20 mule team mixed 1/4 cup into a quart of hot water and rinsed my colored hair with it for over a year. My hair grew longer than it ever had before (I live in the desert and it was impossible to get it past my shoulders because of dryness) BUT - after about 14 months it became very brittle and just broke off like crazy, until I cut my hair into a bob. I stopped coloring, and am now about to go back to using the borax - but this time without the coloring and most importantly, I am going to use an ascorbic acid rinse to neutralize. I think that was the mistake I was making, not neutralizing. I did try at first to use ACV, but it is not strong enough, I think, and I didn't like smelling like an easter egg ;)

Using Borax allows the natural oils to migrate down the hair shaft, and eventually it can feel waxy when wet. When you pour the borax water over your hair it won't feel clean, but it is! When it dries your hair is very soft, and if you have waves it will hold a curl. Just make sure to neutralize. Also, for itching - grapeseed or jojoba oil mixed with ascorbic acid and vegetable glycerin make a nice scalp "mask" for dryness. Leave on and rinse out. Also - you can spritz a little glycerin w/oil and water on your hair for dryness. Make sur eto include the grapeseed oil if you live in a dry area!!

Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender Oil
Posted by Pati (Orangevale, California) on 08/03/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have a Purebred Turkish Angora Cat that is 18 years old now & has never been sick a day in her life.(From My own secret food recipes). So experimenting I decided to mix a few drops Pure Lemon Oil into my hand with natural Organic Shampoo & bathed her in that mixture. It rids her of any Fleas and Itching & makes her white long hair shiny & bright! It does not dry out her skin. So I decided to use just a drop or two of pure Lemon, Lavender & Rosemary oil mixed with my shampoo a large amount on my hand & left it on for a minute or so & then rinsed very well. I then Conditioned with Organic Conditioner or Marine Conditioner from the Sea & now my hair stops falling out, the itching has stopped from dry scalp & my hair is thick, very long down to my lower back and shiny.

Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender Oil
Posted by Valerie (Heidelberg, Ontario Canada) on 01/09/2009

Question for Pati Orangevale Ca. She has the 18 year old Turkish Angora cat. Would she share her own secret food recipes. I have 3 cats and would like to make my own cat food. Also is molasses good for cats? thx val

Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender Oil
Posted by Kae (Worcester, Ma) on 08/24/2011

I've heard that both tea tree oil and lavendar has been linked to abnormal cell growth (read: cancer) in humans. A woman who had survived breast cancer was warning people on another homemade body products forum about the risks. I personally haven't read the studies but I would recommend looking it up.

Lemon, Rosemary and Lavender Oil
Posted by Meryn (Rochester, Michigan) on 03/05/2012

Regarding your concern about tea tree and it's link to cancer. I read an article from the American Cancer Foundation and it says that Tea Tree Oil is toxic when swallowed but that otherwise it is believed by many people to help with skin rashes, it can be used in natural cleaners... Etc. Etc. So, basically it's totally fine to use as a topical treatment, just don't eat it.

Other Pages of Interest:
Natural Hair Conditioners
Natural Hair Coloring Recipes

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