The Accidental Natural

The Accidental Natural’s Castile Moisturizing Shampoo

Ed. Note – I’ve been alerted to the fact that the pH of castile soap is 9 to 9.5 — way too high for hair! So, beware of using it on your hair unless you know that it can dry your hair and leave it fuzzy. I’m done with trying to create a liquid soap, but I’m all about trying  to create my own shampoo bar :)

Co-washing (or conditioner washing) is great for keeping moisture in Black hair. What it means is that you wash your hair using conditioner. It doesn’t sound right, huh? But conditioners do have cleansers in them that aren’t as harsh as your regular commercial shampoo. Every so often, you do need to clarify your hair, especially if you use styling products like gels or mousses or products with silicones. So, what do you do? You can use a commercial shampoo – I’ve heard that Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo ($6.99 Cdn. for 350 ml) is good, but I can’t use it. Why? Coconut, my friend: Cocomide DEA and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. 

So, I made my own: The Accidental Natural’s Castile Moisturizing Shampoo. Get a squeeze bottle or an applicator bottle and these ingredients:

  • Liquid castile soap – Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap is made from coconut oil, but widely available at health food stores. I order my castile soap from Country Rose Soap in Surrey, B.C. — it’s real castile soap made with 100% olive oil. You can also choose liquid castile soap made from olive oil and castor oil. It’s $7.99 USD  PLUS shipping (why do they charge in USD when based in Canada, I don’t know) for 8oz.
  • Baking soda
  • Oil of your choice – There are a number of oils that are good for your hair — you just have to figure out which one(s) your hair likes. You can use jojoba oil, avocado oil, castor oil or coconut oil, if it suits you.
  • Water

Fill half of your squeeze bottle with water, then add a couple of squirts of castile soap (I haven’t measured, so I don’t know how much I’ve put in). Shake in some baking soda, about a tablespoon (it softens your hair and cleanses really well, but if you use too much you can end up with white residue and some stiff hair). Next, the oil — add about two tablespoons. Shake well and you’re ready to go.

Wet your hair and scalp and squeeze your shampoo into your scalp. Massage in and use the suds to cleanse your hair. I only shampoo once — I think twice would be a bit excessive. You’ll have clean hair, not squeaky clean hair, but clean and ready for you to style again. When you shampoo, even with this shampoo mix, don’t forget to deep condition — your hair will need all the extra moisture it can get.

C’est tout! Lemme know if you try it and what you think.

14 Responses to "The Accidental Natural’s Castile Moisturizing Shampoo"

Hi there! I just wanted to give you a heads up about using castile soap on your hair. It has a very high pH (9 to 9.5), so it can cause fuzziness as it lifts the cuticles. The ideal pH for hair care products (shampoos, conditioners, leave in’s) is 4 to 4.5. Instead of using a shampoo that’s so drying, why not try a low pH sulphate free shampoo? There are many available, including one I sell on my website. ;-) Check it out & good luck to you. I like your blog a lot.

Thanks for telling me! I had heard that there was some concern about using castile soap on hair. I was going to do some research, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. What I’m going to do is update this recipe with a BEWARE!!! The reason I started using castile soap is that I’m allergic to coconut and most shampoos have coconut based ingredients in them. So, I was trying to find an alternative to regular shampoo and I came across some recipes for castile shampoos. Which did work — but had me concerned after reading some of the posts I found about castile soap. I would love to try a new shampoo once my PJ hiatus is over, but do your shampoos have coconut or coconut based ingredients? I just had an allergic reaction to some hair oil, so I have to be extra careful these days what I put on my scalp.

If you make you own castile soap you can be assured that the ph will not be that high. I make soap and have made castile soap for years. I use 4.5 lbs of olive oil and 1 lb of coconut oil along with my liquid and lye. Very nice hard soap that is mild enough to use as a shampoo bar.

You can easily remedy the high pH of castile soap after washing with it by following up with a rinse consisting of apple cider vinegar and water (with optional honey and a drop or two of the oil and/or essential oils of your choosing). 1 tablespoon each of honey and vinegar to a cup or more of cool water (shake well to dissolve the honey), poured over your hair and scalp and rinsed with cool water.

Hey there! All of my cleansers use 3 veg surfectants (to create lather) and one is derived from coconuts. If the castile is working for you, then you should continue to use it rather than risk an allergic reaction. I’ll see if I can find something that’s (easily obtainable to you) for you to lower that pH a bit.

Thanks! I’ve actually been using Country Rose Soap Co.’s liquid shampoo, which is castile based. I’ve recently discovered Henna Sooq’s shampoo bars — which I am loving! The liquid shampoo is a bit drying, I must confess, but it is a good cleanser on my scalp. My scalp is quite problematic. I like the shampoo bars (there are a couple that don’t have any coconut in them) — they are really moisturizing and my scalp hasn’t had any bad reactions to them. I’d be happy to hear if you find anything that will work for me! Your products look really nice — how long have you been creating/selling them?

I’m happy you found something that works for you! I’ve never had any issues with hair/scalp sensitivities, but I know the difficulties of allergic/adverse reactions with skin care products. This is why I created/developed my own line. My skin became VERY sensitive when I was about… 38 (6 years ago). I tried everything, ending with Aveda. Their products worked for a while, but soon, I started having allergic reactions to everything I was using. So, I began researching how to make my own body care products for my son (who has eczema) and myself (I had adult onset acne). Long story short, all went extremely well. 3 years ago, my husband and I started our online store. It was just skin care at first. A year into it, I started making hair care products.

I have heard very good things about shampoo bars, so I’m sure you’ll find something that works well and is non drying. I have to get out of here. I will put you in my RSS feed so I can pop back in. Be well!

Wouldn’t the baking soda lower the pH of the shampoo? You can test it yourself :)

Possibly — but I have no clue! I will have to pick up some pH strips and start testing some of these concoctions. I would think that Aloe Vera juice would lower the pH too.

Lord, chemistry was never my strong suit ;)

Baking soda is a base and therefore will raise the pH… its pH is even higher than the castile.

I’ve also read it is a bad idea to use it in hair products as it destroys keratin. I did try it mixed in with my shampoo and found it great as a clarifying treatment, but I wouldn’t use it again knowing that it is very damaging to hair.

Once I was out of baking soda and tried some clay mixed in with my shampoo (a facial clay) and found this worked just as well. I can’t say for sure but I don’t think this would be damaging to hai.

Personally, from my experience, I wouldn’t think castile soap would make a good clarifying base – for me it left quite an oily residue, and after a few washes with it needed a strong shampoo to get out.

Anyway, hope some of this helps. Whatever you decide to d, good luck with your experiments!

I use a coconut milk and castile soap blend. My hair is curly and wavy, the coconut milk helps keep my hair from drying out.

(IDK if my comment went through.Please excuse any dupes) One thing you can try is citric acid to lower the pH. I’ve done it and added a little oil and black tea. The only prob is that it may, depending on how much stuff you’ve added, cause it to lose a bit of it’s lathering (bubbles). But it’ll get it clean without stripping the hair.

OR,
just get some Dr. Woods castile soap (instead of Dr. Bronners). Dr. Woods is already diluted and says its pH balanced. The pH of your hair will be the pH of the last thing you put in it. If you use castile soap and do an ACV rinse, your hair will be the pH of that ACV rinse. If you do castile soap then use a regular conditioner, your hair will be the pH of that regular conditioner.

Any other recommendations? Have tree nut allergies, mold and a coconut allergy and can’t use henna sooq soaps.

Maybe try olive oil soap? That’s what I use when my scalp is acting up. It’s mild and only has a few ingredients. I’ve used Val’s and Kiss My Face brand. I prefer Val’s for cleansing my hair and scalp.

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