Essential Oil Alternatives: DIY Shampoo

January 26, 2017

Finding a good shampoo is akin to spotting the perfect outfit. Whether you’re seeking deeply conditioned locks or silky smooth tresses, there are aisles of products to suit your needs. The problem with over-the-counter hair care products is that many are adulterated with toxic ingredients that can have long-term harmful effects.

Chemicals of concern

The skin is the largest organ on our bodies and it easily absorbs nearly everything slathered on it. On average, the skin absorbs 64% of what we put on it according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Beyond that, chemicals are more likely to penetrate the face and scalp.

Formaldehyde is one of the most toxic chemicals often included in beauty and personal care products. A report by the Federal Drug Administration found that nearly 1 in 5 cosmetic products contain a substance that generates formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. The sad truth is product labels are unlikely to reveal formaldehyde as an active ingredient. Instead, the ingredient list might include chemicals that are known to be a formaldehyde releasers such as DMDM hydantoin. Used as a preservative, DMDM hydantoin can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs.

Another preservative, methylisothiazolinone, is a known human immune toxicant or allergen according to the European SCCS. Beware of shampoos and conditioners that claim to be “natural.” The FTC has found numerous cosmetics with synthetic ingredients that were labeled as “all natural” or “100% natural.” As a general rule, if you can’t identify the ingredient list, it’s best to avoid the product. Retinyl Palmitate (or vitamin A palmitate) is a skin-conditioning agent that is banned in Germany and restricted in Canada. According to a study by the FDA, the chemical may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.

As noted in EG’s other Go Clean in 2017 posts, fragrance is extremely harmful to our health. Although we may love the way a certain shampoo scents our hair, it may come at a high cost. Beyond disrupting the endocrine system, fragrance is a possible human respiratory toxicant. Instead of using synthetic fragrances, essential oils act as a natural alternative for all of your aroma needs.

The natural way

EG’s undiluted and 100% pure essential oils are packed with components that can refresh and nourish your hair. Rosemary naturally stimulates the hair follicles, making your strands stronger, while it helps eliminate dandruff. Peppermint can help restore the scalp’s natural pH balance and promote healthier hair.

Essential Oil Shampoo DIY

Washing your hair just became a whole lot cleaner with our all-natural shampoo.

What you need

1/2 cup Castile Soap
1/2 cup filtered water
16 drops Rosemary essential oil
2 drops Peppermint essential oil
Container with flip top for ease of use

How to


  1. Pour ½ cup of castile soap to container.
  2. Add 16 drops of Rosemary essential oil.
  3. Add 2 drops of Peppermint essential oil.
  4. Fill the rest of the container with filtered water.
  5. Shake bottle to mix properly.

Note: Use a quarter size amount per use. Shake before each use.

To read more about our GO CLEAN IN 2017 CHALLENGE, click here

Essential oil Shampoo DIY


  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Debbie! You could substitute with a scentless, base shampoo.

    On May 22, 2017

  • Debbie says...

    Is there anything safe to substitute for the Castile soap? It contains jojoba oil, to which I’m allergic. (Causes an itchy rash).

    On May 19, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Danielle! No ETA at the moment, as we have a lot of projects we’re working on ;) However, Amazon offers a lot of great ones. You could also try and make your own!:

    On March 31, 2017

  • Danielle says...

    Thank you! Your excellent customer service is much appreciated, I have known about EO’s for awhile now, but am relatively new to trying to diy recipes. I have already learned so much from your website and am on the edge of my seat for my set of EG’s oils to come in! ;) . I love lavender oil as well so I will definitely be trying that. When does Edens Garden hydrosols line come out?

    On March 31, 2017

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Denise! Try replacing these oils with 9 drops of Cedarwood and 9 drops of Geranium. These oils are very nourishing to the scalp and may cause hair growth.

    On March 31, 2017

Leave a comment