DIY Coconut Milk Shampoo

I’ve been making my own shampoo for a long time. I usually use bar soap (homemade, obviously), but today I threw together some liquid shampoo just to switch things up. It’s a recipe I’ve used before, and I’ve found that it usually keeps my hair clean and soft for 2-3 days. Of course, I can’t promise what your results will be if your hair is used to being chemically stripped and then coated with silicone (or something similar) every day with traditional shampoo and conditioner. Hair isn’t exactly forgiving when you’ve mistreated it for your whole life – it takes a little TLC to bring it back from the brink.

Here’s my recipe for anyone who’s bored out of their mind in quarantine and wants to try something quick and easy.

Coconut Milk Shampoo

  • 1/2 c coconut milk (I made my own, but you can obviously buy it)
  • 1/2 c Castile soap (I made my own, but… you get it)
  • 40 drops of essential oils (I used a combination of hair-healthy lavender, peppermint and rosemary – I did not make these, sorry to disappoint) – this is optional, but I recommend it

If you have dry hair, feel free to add about 1/4 teaspoon of oil (argan and jojoba are great for hair, but olive oil is perfectly fine, too).

Mix it all up, and that’s it! Shake well before using each time. How easy is that? I know that some people recommend keeping stuff like this in the fridge due to the fresh ingredients and lack of chemical preservatives, but I never do and I’ve never had a problem. But I also have longer hair, so I use a decent amount of shampoo each time I wash my hair. Make a smaller amount if you’re worried about it, or keep it in the fridge when not in use.

I’m not going to get into how to make Castile soap in this post (it’s super easy, but rather time consuming). But I WILL tell you how to make coconut milk. It’s easier than you might think!

Basically, you only need 2 ingredients – unsweetened shredded coconut, and twice as much hot water. The water should be hot, but not necessarily boiling (I just microwaved mine for a minute). Put the coconut and the hot water in a blender, and blend it until the liquid is white and creamy. You shouldn’t be able to see any pieces of coconut. If you’re not sure if it’s blended enough, go a little longer. When you’re sure it’s as blended as it’s going to be, pour it into a bowl through a fine-mesh strainer. The remaining coconut should look kind of like white sand. If you have bigger chunks, you didn’t blend it long enough. Press it up against the sides of the strainer to get as much liquid out of it as possible. If you want to get EVERYTHING out, put the remaining bits into a few layers of cheese cloth and give it a good squeeze (I MAY have burned my fingers just a little doing this – I’m impatient). Done! You have coconut milk! Use what you need to make your shampoo, and then refrigerate the rest to drink or cook with. I added a little sugar and vanilla to what I had left over and it was delicious.

It kind of looks like if you smash a cauliflower into tiny pieces? Or like those tiny pieces of styrofoam that never go away? Whatever it looks like, it’s going in the compost. “It’s the cirrrrcle of liiiiiife!!!!”

My shredded coconut was, you guessed it, homemade. I bought a coconut a while back because… that’s what I do?… and after I got the meat out of the shell I sliced it up into 1/8 inch slices and dried it out in the oven. You never know when you need some nice big coconut flakes, right?

So there you have it. Homemade coconut milk shampoo, made from homemade soap and homemade coconut milk, made from homemade dried coconut.

Or, you know, you can just buy the two ingredients and be done with it. Sure, you can buy shampoo, but I promise you this is better. Your hair will thank you.

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