How to Make Sulphate Free Shampoo at Home? - hair buddha
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How to Make Sulphate Free Shampoo at Home?

Why sulphate free?

Sulphates are detergents used in shampoos to get rid of dirt and grease. But, they can be harsh and strip away the natural protective oils from your scalp and hair, resulting in dry flaky scalp, and lusterless hair.

And beware of term ‘plant derived’. Claims such as ‘sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) derived from coconut’ are nothing but a cute way to detracts the buyers from really knowing what they are using. All SLS is derived from vegetable oil, usually coconut, but it undergoes lots of processing involving one of the harshest chemicals – sulfuric acid – and is therefore classed as synthetic ingredient. So, there is nothing coconut-y about it.

What is the solution?

It’s pretty simple. Make your own shampoo!

When the word ‘shampoo’ comes to your mind you think of soap and lather. In fact the word shampoo comes from Hindi (Indian) word ‘champoo’, which itself is derived from the Sanskrit root capayati, which means to press, knead or rub. In India the term champoo was used for head massage, usually with some form of herb infused oil. And only after thorough oiling and massaging the hair would be washed. Ancient hair cleansers were made by mixing powdered herbs, medicated flowers, and water. Sometimes floral and herbal rinses were used.

Today the most important ritual of champoo or champi is nearly extinct, even from the place where it all started – India – and only hair washing, using detergent based cleansers, has remained.

Making Your Own Shampoo

There are some amazing ingredients in nature that make super hair cleanser and leave our hair clean, healthy, and smelling awesome. But be prepared to wash your hair with some atypical looking potions. These potions, though, will give you gorgeous hair, so they are worth trying out.

The shampoo recipe that I am going to share with you needs no pre-preparation. Most of the ingredients are not difficult to find – can be brought online or from an Indian shop.

To make this shampoo you will need – chickpea flour, orange peel powder, henna powder, and some honey.

Before we proceed on how to make let’s see what each ingredient has to offer:

Chickpea flour (Besan): Indian women have used chickpea flour and other lentil flours in hair care and beauty preparation for thousands of years. Rich in protein, chickpea flour will make your hair shiny and strong. It also cleans the hair very well.

Orange peel powder: The orange and other citrus peels help to gently exfoliate the dead skin and flakes on the scalp. It also balances your scalp pH and the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties may help with dandruff. Plus it smells uplifting and refreshing.

Henna: Henna coats the hair shaft, and adds body and luster and makes hair silky soft. Regular application will add reddish or brownish tinge (henna colour varies depending on where it was grown) to the hair. Also if you have grey hair then this shampoo is an easy answer to cover them.

Note: Those of you with lighter hair or coloured hair should avoid henna, as it will alter the colour.

Honey: Honey is very moisturizing and nourishing for your scalp and hair. It’s also a humectant – meaning it attracts and retains moisture – and therefore helps to condition the hair. Plus, its antiseptic effects will keep your scalp healthy and dandruff free.

How to Make Sulphate Free Shampoo at Home?

To make this shampoo you will need (These amounts are for mid-length hair):

  • 2 tablespoons Chickpea Flour (besan)
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Peel Powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Henna Powder (optional & not suitable for people with lighter hair colour; those with lighter colour can add cassia bark powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Honey (or add aloe vera juice instead)
  • Some lukewarm water

 

 

To make:

  • Put chickpea flour, orange peel powder, and henna (if using) in a bowl.
  • Add some water and mix thoroughly. Keep adding a lit bit of water and mixing – it should be a runny consistency, like your shampoo. And make sure there are no lumps
  • Finally add the honey and stir well. You can also add 1 tablespoon aloe vera juice instead of honey. Aloe vera is very moisturising and makes hair smoother and more manageable.
  • For natural fragrance, add 3 to 4 drops of essential oils of your choice, or choose from lavender, rosemary, peppermint, ylang ylang, or chamomile.

To use: Wet the hair. Massage into scalp and hair just like your normal shampoo, but don’t expect it to lather. Make sure all areas are covered. And be gentle, as a rough or rapid application may disturb the roots of your hair. Leave on for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly.

Note: Even after you have rinsed well, there may be some shampoo bits remaining in your hair. But, do not worry as they will fall off as your hair dries and when you comb your hair. And Always use a wide tooth comb to untangle.

(Also read: 10 Best Natural Hair Cleansers: For Strong, Healthy, & Shiny Hair)

Herbal rinse to pH balance and condition

If you hair feels clean, soft, and shiny, then you do not need a conditioner. But if it doesn’t then use a conditioning hair rinse.

Chickpea flour has a higher pH than your hair, which can leave hair dull. Herbal rinses/teas/infusion are a great way to re-balance your scalp as well as add conditioning to your hair care routine. They are easy to make and can be used in combination to create a variety of concoctions based on your needs and specific hair type. Read more about what herbs to use and how to make an infusion here  – scroll to the end of the page.

Alternative ingredients: You can replace chickpea flour with mung flour (green gram), rice flour, or rye flour. Feel free to experiment with other flours as well to see what works best for you.

Make your own orange peel powder: Wash, dry, and peel oranges. Eat the orange! Save the peel. Cut the peels into thin slices so they can dry faster. Spread all the peels on a tray and place under the sun to dry. You can also place them somewhere dry and warm. Turn daily until dry and crisp to touch. Grind into a fine powder. And your beautiful orange peel is ready!

Enjoy your gorgeous hair!

 

  • Mick

    How often should I use this? If I wash my hair on average about every other day is it okay to use this recipe every time?

  • Rafaella Ioannou

    Hi Minaz very helpfull blog! Can i use flaxseeds flour or corn flour????

    • Hi Rafaella, give flaxseeds flour a try. I don’t know how good it will clean your hair, you can experiment by adding shikakai powder or orange peel powder.
      Let me know how it goes.

  • Francis Ortiz

    can this be used as a daily shampoo.

  • pragya

    Hi dear. Nice alternative to shampoo it seems. Will it remove the oil from hair?

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  • harshavardu

    I use sls and paraban free shampoo(khadi), does that mean it’s sulphate free? Will try this for sure!

  • xenyen

    Hi Minaz, love your blog. Found it yesterday looking for a ‘besun sham-poo’ recipe. Had enormously thick long healthy hair in my teenage. People all over would admire it. A sibling would take a strand of my hair and pull, marvelling at how it stretched and stretched but didn’t break.

    Anyway, fastforward: ups and downs from super health freak in superb shape to total neglect due to tension: I have a blend of a whole bunch of oils (I keep adding pure oils to this bottle as I learn). Here’s what’s working (a few weeks into my regime):
    Oiling. Was oiling daily for in the past, and that had stopped heavy hair fall in a week.
    aloe vera after the daily wash
    boiling a handful of fresh neem leaves daily and rinsing with this (added chopped potatoes, fenugreek (methi) seeds and half a teaspoon rosemary leaves after reading benefits. Rosemary made me feel incredibly calm and centered!! Very noticeable effect). This from my ayurveda book.
    Drinking 5 litres of water a day (incredible well being)
    Onion juice on the scalp min 40 minutes before wash (blended an onion with some aloe vera gel)
    Henna packs once a week (with yogurt and egg added in).
    An amla a day, yoga, walks, healthy eating and other lifestyle changes.
    Triphala every morning

    Am adding:
    Amla, ritha sikha khai, kalonji (black seeds), ber (ziziphus jujube), to my daily herbal rinse (ber has been very useful as a tea and detox bath; following my gut to add it here)

    Multani mitti (fuller’s earth) shampoo
    Besun (chickpea) shampoo

    These will replace the shampoo. I have a very herbal range of products I buy but they have parabens. Infused that bottle with chopped onion, fenugreek seeds and rosemary leaves, to use when absolutely necessary.

    Choqandar (beet leaves) boiled and pulped and mixed with my henna hair pack (this too from my Ayurveda book)

    Love your attitude too! Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks for sharing your tips 🙂

    • disqus_pnE0d1vaHg

      Hello, can you share which Ayurveda book you are using?

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  • Ritu

    Hellow everybody, I have tried washing my oily hair with besan but couldnot see the desired result as my hair became sticky after the wash… I even couldnot move comb through my hair. I finally landed up with a bunch of broken hairs in my hand… 🙁

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  • jan

    Hi Minaz, what exactly is cassia bark powder? Is it a type of cinnamon?The one u referred to in u r sulphate free shampoo is cassia bark and not cassia obovata right?I am using cassia obovata on my girls hair and now they have a golden tinge when it finally dawned upon me that maybe i bought the wrong cassia:)

    • Hi Jan, you bought the right ingredient

      I did mean cassia obovata, just to add some tinge.

      You can omit it completely if you do not want the tinge.

  • Lilac

    Would this lead to product build up on the scalp? Thanks.

  • Ellen Little

    Thanks for sharing this with us! It looks great and I will definitely be trying it (without the henna-I don’t want my hair colour to change). However, can I make a bunch ahead of time and store it in a small bottle? I could just mix the dry ingredients and have them on hand for mixing, but I’d rather have it readily available.

    • Thanks Ellen. Of course you can store it for later use. Let us know how it works.

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  • Thais

    Hello!
    I just started to make my own cosmetics so I’m quite excited about this shampoo.
    I might have missed it, but what is the shelf life for this shampoo?
    Can it be stored or should it be made just for one wash?
    Thank you very much!

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hello Thais, You can store the powdered ingredients – besan, henna and orange peel powder – and add honey before use.

  • Gary

    HI Minaz,

    Will your method be effective towards male pattern baldness? I have really oil hair and my hairline starts to recede after 25. I have tried products like REGAIN before but it doesn’t work at all. I live in Australia and if I would like to make those homemade shampoos, where could I get those Indian ingriendents?

    Thanks,

    Gary

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Gary, Apple or carrot juice (freshly squeezed) works for some people. Apply to your head and leave for 1 hour and wash off. Try doing it thrice a week.
      Also, I would suggest you drink 1 tbs aloe vera juice or gel every day (get a aloe plant if you can).

      You will find the shampoo ingredients in most Indian shops. You can substitute besan (chick pea flour) with rye flour or rice flour. Also, you can make rice flour at home using coffee grinder.

      Hope this helps.

      Best wishes, Minaz

  • Priyanka

    Hi I am always believing in nature I always prefer to use Ayurvedic for my beauty care. I used to use kali mitti for my hair wash and I loved it. But then I moved to USA and really don’t know where to find or buy from. Can anyone please tell me if you know that where u can find kali mitti or any website I can buy from??? Please

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Priyanka, You can obtain kali mitti (black soil) from a farm. But every state will have different soil quality, so you will have to do some research on that. Also, make sure that the farm doesn’t use synthetic pesticides or other harmful chemicals as this will do more harm than good.

      Instead of kali mitti you can try other some amazing cleansers such as multani mitti (fullers earth), besan, green gram flour (mung flour), and bentonite clay.

      Best wishes, Minaz

  • smaranika

    hello!!
    my hairs are constantly falling !!!………i have tried every oil on my hair. bt no results ..
    i dont know why my hairs are keep falling.. i guess its because of shampo that contains a lot of chemicals!!….
    m going to try it out !! what u have mentioned above.
    can i add til oil with this smapoo ?
    plzz let me know about it as soon as possible.
    thank you …

    • Minaz Aslam

      Smaranika, Yes you can add til (sesame) oil. But, don’t add too much as it can make your hair greasy. Start with about 1 tsp.

  • leena

    This is a new shampoo. I am going to try it out and will let you know the outcome. The hair spray that you gave me is really nice.

    • Minaz Aslam

      Hi Leenaji, Do try it and let me know how it works for you.
      And thanks for your feedback on hair spray 🙂

      • MEG

        HI MINAZ

        I OIL MY HAIR AND LEAVE OVERNIGHT SO WILL IT BE EFFICIENT IN REMOVING OIL FROM MY HAIR. KINDLY GUIDE.

        • Meg, try adding a tablespoon of reetha or shikakai powder or try adding both. Experiment a few times to see what works best for your hair.

          Let me know how it goes.

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