organic alternative to shampoo & body wash


as you all know if you follow my blog, i have been shampoo and conditioner free for almost 9 months now!

for those of you who appreciate organic body care instead of slathering your skin with chemicals, i have come up with a gentle alternative! also, for those that aren’t too keen on completely going ‘poo-less, this can be used as a shampoo alternative as well. WIN! the organic oils will strip away dirt and grease like none other!

what i used:

  • dr. bronner’s liquid soap, 8 oz from official website for about $8 (any fragrance you like)
  • pura d’or organic argan oil (optional yet suggested!!)- snagged on grupon for $24…. you could use extra virgin olive oil, too, if you have that!
  • squeezy bottle from walmart – under $1
  • water from the sink (bottled/distilled water might be preferred, especially if you have hard water)


(detailed instructions below)

soap mixture

1. fill 4/5 of the squeezy bottle with warm water from the sink (or more if you’re already no-‘poo)

2. fill the remaining 1/5 of the bottle with liquid soap (for those who are ‘poo less, use less! i definitely use less…about 1:8 soap to water mix)

3. (optional yet HIGHLY suggested) add 10-12 pumps of argan oil for added moisture for your skin and extra moisture/shine for your scalp/hair (OR about a teaspoon of olive oil!)

4. gently shake

5. use directly on scalp for shampoo (a small amount goes a looooong way); put on loofa/washcloth for body wash.

*6. if you need/want to, follow up with putting some organic coconut oil or argan oil on your hair, focusing on the ends. it helps frizz and dryness :)

hair length(hair’s still damp, but you can see it’s almost down to my belly button now! woohoo!!)

IF YOU HAVE HARD WATER: the minerals in the hard water WILL react to the castile soap and leave a soap scum on your hair/skin. you HAVE to mix castile soap with distilled water. some people have found that their water is really hard and they have to rinse with distilled as well. i have hard water and mixing with distilled/rinsing with shower water worked for me. if your hair looks dull, feels heavy/waxy/gross after using this mix, chances are you have hard water.

how to fix the hard water problem if you’ve already got the nasty hair: double rinse with ACV (1 tablespoon acv mixed with 1 cup distilled water). rinse once, let it sit a few minutes, wash/gently massage out & repeat. that should take care of the soap scum issue :)

UPDATE: i had my boyfriend use the citrus mix (i made sure to not emasculate him too much with my rose one haha) and he said it cleaned his hair better than store-bought shampoo. he did use conditioner afterward because his hair was SO squeaky clean that it was dry feeling. he used about a 1:6 ratio of soap to water.  for me, the soap/water mixture alone was really drying, even with 1:6 ratio of soap to water.  i’ve switched to 1:8 and it feels so much better! and if you choose to add oil like i did, it will add moisture for your scalp and skin.



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152 thoughts on “organic alternative to shampoo & body wash

  1. Your tips are great!! I love it, i’m gonna start tomorrow with the bs/acv! Can’t wait! I’m so happy t have found this page! I finally get some real tips to get healthy hair! I’m excited!


  2. Hi! Do you have any recipes for a homemade/organic bath solution/liquid and body (shower) wash? I’m finding your site to be so helpful and informative – so thank you!


      1. okay great. thanks! also, do you know the measurements you used to make your castile soap mixture, or do you just sorta guess when making it? i know it’s a 1:8 or 1:9 ratio for no’pooers (i am already no poo) but i was just wondering if you had any actual measurements you used to fill up your squeezy bottle. thanksss :)


  3. I wish I would have found your blog months ago! My hair has been through hell and back. But thankfully it’s finally feeling and looking better. But my question is… how do you dilute the Dr. Bonners castile BAR soap??? I found it at Walgreens but they didn’t have the liquid form. Thanks!


    1. hey jessie jo! you can grate up the bar and stir the gratings into 8 to 10 cups of hot water on the stove until everything’s dissolved. make sure you use distilled water to avoid any mineral films being left on your hair. making your own liquid version should be cheaper, too! hope this helps!


      1. Hey probably a dumb question if you make you own with the bar using 8-10c of water do I still need to dilute it in the shampoo?


      2. not a dumb question at all darlin! that mix comes out on the thicker side, yea? sounds like my laundry detergent mix. you can further dilute it (anywhere around 1 part soap mix to 5 parts water to start) if you’d like to. just see how your hair deals with it at “full” strength, and then diluted. :)


  4. So I was using the baking soda method before for about 4 months. I decided to switch to the organic shampoo and I followed this recipe . My roots are super greasy and I was wondering if there is an adjustment period or if there is anything I can do to control it?


  5. Hi! I love your blog, I feel somewhat addicted while I’m reading all your posts :)
    Do you use castile soap as a body wash as well? Do you dilute it?

    I read your post about the OCM and I’m hooked! I just do not get my eye makeup off with the method though…any tips on diy-ing a natural makeup remover? :)
    Thank you so much!!


    1. I use grapeseed oil directly to wash my face. Before I used coconut oil to remove my mascara and eyeshadow, but grapeseed oil suited my skin better. I would put it on after rinsing with warm water and then use a warm washcloth to wipe the remaining oil off of my eyes. You can leave it on overnight to soak into your skin too. =] It makes it very soft and is a natural astringent. =]


  6. hey alex! So, last saturday i had a dance so i got my hair done. they used A LOT of products. then on sunday, i washed my hair for the first time ever with castile soap, and my hair feels a little bit waxy. i don’t have hard water (i have a water softener), but i mixed my soap with distilled water just to be on the safe side. however i didn’t mix my acv with distilled water because i didn’t have enough at the time.
    do you think i should clarify and deep condition, or try double rinsing with acv? im not sure if the waxy feeling is from all the products or maybe because i have harder water than i thought /:


    1. also i forgot to mention, i’m already no poo and clarified when i started, about 3 months ago. i was alternating between the bs/acv and low poo shea moisture shampoo based on what my hair felt like.
      thank you! :)


  7. Not entirely sure how I missed this before!

    I started No Poo on the 10th and did the Castille Soap Clarifying. I tend to have a dry scalp this time of year which made me a bit afraid of baking soda, so I put just enough castille soap in the bottom of my squeeze bottle to cover it and filled the rest up with water. I used this on the 15th (having rinsed with water and ACV rinse on the length of my hair once in between). Today I have the dreaded white flakes and an itchy scalp!

    Do you think adding the oil would help or should I use a different “shampoo?” Any advice would be appreciated!



  8. I just wanted to share my experience with this method (for shampoo)- maybe it will help somebody out! I used the lavender scented Dr bronners (diluted about 1:5 ish) and my hair was waxy and horrible. I have soft water and I became very discouraged because I am sensitive to baking soda so I do not like using that method. I recently bought unscented Dr bronners ( the baby-mild one) and I have had NO problems- my hair looks great! I am still using about a 1:5-6 ish dilution so I think my hair just needed something really mild. For the people that said they had soft water and still had a waxy feeling to their hair, I hope this will help!


  9. Do you have any suggestions to guard against “lifeguard hair”? I try to keep it out of the chorine as much as possible and rinse it as soon as I get out but do you have any like “hair sunscreen” ideas?


  10. Hey!! I’m going to convert chemical free in Jan!!!! And I seen another site saying that you could use brewed green tea instead of water.. but I trust your thoughts more!! I was just wondering what was your thoughts about that. :)


  11. Sorry.. another question… I’m addicted to coconut oil. Could I use that instead of olive oil or is it better just to put it in after my shower??


  12. I have recently started no poo thanks to your blog I found through pintrest. My hair was damaged because I was using baking soda mixed with shampoo to wash with then regular conditioner to follow with. I started using the baking soda because all store bought shampoo and conditioners were leaving my hair greasy and waxing feeling, plus I have well water with iron in it, and the only way to get my hair clean feeling was mixing the baking soda with the shampoo. After a few months of this method, my hair felt clean but I started to notice my hair breaking. I then found out from your blog I was actually CLARIFYING everytime I washed my hair and therefore destroying my hair. So after finding your blog I started with the baking soda and acv routine and my hair was falling out worse and I got dry scalp. (I believe my hair can’t take anymore baking soda since I was using it improperly before and never conditioned with acv to get ph back to normal) I did do the coconut oil mask and had to wash 3x with the Dr Bronners Castile soap followed by acv to get it all out. I still see hair falling out everywhere but my hair isn’t as dry. I only recently started no poo 2 weeks ago. My questions to you is, is Dr Bronners Castile soap considered no poo and is it just as drying as baking soda? I realized it was the only thing that removed the coconut oil and I am worried it will dry out and damage my hair even more similar to me using the baking soda. I do rinse with the acv as well everytime. Also, if using the Dr Bronners Castile soap is it safe to use regularly, and would you recommend their Fair Trade citrus conditioning rinse or acv to condition with? I am just trying to find a method that can clean my hair without overdrying and making my hair brittle. I don’t plan on using store bought shampoo or conditioner ever again I really want to make this no poo method work especially now that I’ve learned so much though your blogs. Thank you.


  13. I have been using this concoction for about 3 weeks now (with diluted water), washing every 2-3 days – before I washed every day. After, I use the ACV rinse (with diluted water). When I do wash my hair, the roots look greasy after my hair air dries, the only way I have found to stop this is to resort back to store-shampoo and start the process all over again. HELP! What am I doing wrong?! Do you have any other suggestions that I could try? This was working great for me until I did a CO mask (which took literally 5 washes to get out).


    1. hey erika! sounds like you’re a victim of hard water :( when you’re washing your hair, the minerals in the hard water are reacting with the castile soap and leaving a grimey film on your hair, making it appear greasy and feel sticky. if the acv rinse on your scalp isn’t getting rid of the film, you can opt for a water filter, or another low-poo option. hope this helps!


      1. Erika,
        I have super hard water, and I have been low poo for months. I decided to switch to Dr. Bronners because it’s so much more economical. My problem was the first time I used it, my hair was disgusting. Gunky, sticky, all around gross. I waited four days (you should have seen my head by day four… grease city!) and tried again. I used COLD filtered water to mix up the Dr. Bronners. Then, I used filtered water (cold) with 1 tsp acv. I rubbed that in, left it for a few minutes, and then rinsed my hair in my hard water to make sure it was clean, and then rinsed it again with cold filtered water. I washed it yesterday and my hair still looks and feels squeaky clean and soft. Give it a try again, with filtered water! Also try using cold water, it made a difference for me.
        And sorry.. the transition period will suck. It took weeks for me to switch from shampoo to low ‘poo, and even months later my hair looks nasty after the second day of not washing it. It’s different for everybody, you may just have to wait it out and see how your hair responds.


  14. Should this be kept in a dark glass container if you put argan oil in it does anyone know? My homemade shampoo is getting a bit heavy for my hair so I want to try this, just curious if the oil has to stay in the dark.


  15. Any idea if the tea tree castile soap from Dr. Bronners would work using this recipe for ppl with scalp issues like dadruff?


    1. Reading people’s reviews on Amazon, there are quite a bit of people that did have relief from dandruff from the tea tree Castile soap. I have it myself but unfortunately didn’t get any benefit. I strongly recommend diluting a 1/4 to 1/2 – tablespoon to 1 cup of water when mixing for your shampoo and ALWAYS rinse with acv or Dr. Bronners citrus rinse. The Castile soaps are highly concentrated and if not diluted enough it dries out the hair and makes hair very brittle ( in my experience it works just like baking soda which they both have the same high ph thus needing the acid rinse to condition hair with afterwards)


  16. Hello! I was wondering, should I use this shampoo from roots to ends, or just on the scalp? I’m transitioning for the first time, and just want to double check that I’m doing it right.


  17. So I bought the tea tree Castile soap because I heard that it is really good for your hair. Last night I made the mix and did the ACV mix (3 times with distilled water) but my ends are waxy. My question is should I leave out the argan oil/olive oil?


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