Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo

Today is the third consecutive day of beautiful weather here in Philly, so naturally it’s time to start thinking about summer. Whenever I do, the summer scents are always at the forefront of my mind: the sweet smell of the summertime air when you open your windows, the scent of fresh flowers as you walk through the garden, and, of course, coconut everything. Nothing brings about that summer feeling more than the delicious smell of coconut, and today I have a recipe that will lock that glorious summertime scent in your hair: homemade coconut milk shampoo.

What you need:

Coconut milk shampoo ingredients

1/2 cup coconut milk (this can be found in the international aisle at most supermarkets)
2/3 cup castile soap (this can be found at health food stores like Whole Foods. I always stick with Dr. Bronner’s because it’s made of pure, fair trade ingredients)
1 tsp vitamin E oil
1 tsp coconut oil

Like many beauty products, the ingredients can be altered to fit your scent preference, as long as these two stay the same: coconut milk and castile soap. As for oil, you can use vitamin E, coconut, almond, or olive. You can also add a few drops of essential oil if you like. I think next time I will go with lavender or vanilla.

What you do:

If you’re using coconut oil, place it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until it’s fully melted. Combine all ingredients in a container with a lid, and shake. To use, shampoo your hair as you normally would. Use 1-2 teaspoons of the shampoo, depending on hair length and thickness. You can store one batch in your shower for up to a month.

Homemade coconut milk shampoo

I can already tell this is going to be my go-to shampoo for the spring and summer. Not only does the mixture smell delicious, the castile soap makes it an excellent hair cleanser, and the milk and oils help to lock moisture into your hair, while simultaneously keeping you free of frizz. That’s really all I could ever ask for in a summer shampoo.

Coconut milk shampoo recipe

I love the way the shampoo looks in this teeny vintage milk bottle.

If you decide to make your own coconut milk shampoo, let us know how it turns out!

Homemade coconut milk shampoo

Photos by Jemma and Brigette

See our recipe for homemade coconut lavender conditioner!

More homemade beauty products on BLDG 25.


  1. Thanks for this…my hair is super curly and dry and oh so frizzy. I buy so many product and nothing really helps…will be doing this mixture tonight and we shall see the results.

  2. Is there something I could substitute for the Castile soap? I’m in Australia and have never seen this before. I might have to source some online. I have super curly/ringlet hair, so I’m hoping this tames it a little! Thanks for the recipe :)

  3. I just made this over the weekend and unfortunately it is WAY too oily. When I washed my hair with it on Saturday, I wasn’t sure if it was the shampoo that made my hair greasy since I did use a couple other products but this morning I only used the shampoo (no conditioner either!) and it really looks and feels like I have not washed my hair in days. I’m totally bummed out about it! I followed the recipe exactly but I still wonder if I maybe screwed something up because the shampoo itself is runny and not a typical shampoo consistency. I wonder if anyone else has had this problem!

  4. Hi Jessie! I’m so sorry it didn’t work out well for you. The consistency should be runny, so I think you probably made it correctly — I think it’s just that everyone’s hair reacts differently to different ingredients. I think you might have better luck with half the amount of coconut oil. It’s extremely moisturizing, so half might be all you need!

  5. Just made this now. A tad watery, so it’s chilling in my fridge. The coconut milk I bought was pretty solid, so I’m hoping this helps it to solidify a bit.

    I’m italian, so my hairs a bit on the oily side to begin with. So I added more castile soap and less oil. I also added a bit of teatree oil to it as well.
    I’ll let you know how it turns out :)

  6. I’m a different Jessie, and this worked so well for me!! Just washed my hair with it for the first time and it feels great, not too oily :) I may actually add more coconut oil, but I’ll wait till the next batch.

    The smell is so wonderful. I really hate the strong smells in most shampoos now-a-days and this is so mild – sweet and summery. The only con is that it is runny, I may put a small hole in the top of my lid (I made it in a plain Ball Jar with a screw-on metal cap) so that I can pour it out easy.

    Overall, this may be my favorite shampoo to date.

    Thanks so much!!

  7. Hey, same Hillary from yesterday!

    Tried out this shampoo and it’s GREAT. My hair feels and smells amazing :)
    I would recommend shaking it around a bit before every use- all of the oil tends to rest at the bottom of the jar.
    Also, it’s oily enough that I did not need a conditioner. I just ran a bit of argan oil in my hair when I stepped out of the shower and I was good to go :)

  8. i made this about a week ago and i also found it left my hair a little oily and thus stringy, but i solved the problem by adding it to half a bottle of nature’s gate awapuhi volumizing shampoo and now its the best shampoo ever :) i’ll continue to make it this way and maybe use half the coconut and vitamin E oil… i think with stuff like this you really just have to play around to figure out what works best for you :) thanks!

  9. I just tried this for the first time and it worked wonderfully! I’m a huge coconut oil fan, and after reading all the horrible things shampoo does for your hair I was really excited to find out about this (via Pinterest). I know you said you can store it for up to a month in the shower, but does the coconut milk really last that long without going bad? Either way, I will be using this from now on – it’s a way cheaper option, too!

  10. The good thing about these ingredients is that they’re already so moisturizing that you may not even need conditioner and coconut oil smells amazing itself. Perfect for the summer time! I’ll be trying this next weekend.

  11. I made this over the weekend and it has made my hair really oily:( not sure if it’s because I naturally have quite silky hair that never goes dry, or if it’s because my hair is adapting to not being stripped of its natural oils by shop bought shampoos. Can you help?! I did think of using it for a week and seeing if my hair gets used to it, but I don’t know if I want to walk around with oily hair for that long!

  12. Hey, Lena! I have a couple of suggestions that may help you (:
    If you make another batch, you can add a little less oil and play around with the castile soap to coconut milk ratio or you can you a dry shampoo! I recommend FP’s natural dry shampoo over any store bought dry shampoo.

  13. Wow, I have suoer thick dry curls. I often straighten though. I use coconut oil everyday as pomade , and I’m never greasy just to put into perspective. This has been the best shampoo I’ve ever used. So moisturising. No frizz and not greasy at all for my hair. I love it!!! Thanks so much for posting this.

  14. Does it matter what type of castile soap I use? Like if I use lavender castile soap, would that work?

  15. Will try varying the ratio of coconut milk and oil. I must be getting it wrong somewhere as you all seem to love it! Will keep trying! thanks for your help!

  16. Ooooo, I just made this and used it after a hot oil treatment. Talk about insane lather! I have an oily scalp and pretty thin hair normally so I was worried about how this would turn out. After a blow dry, I finally have body! Its like I added a bunch of product to get this immense stylability. Made my hair nice and smooth, recently had a baby and my hair fell out and is growing in so this even helped my flyaways! I used eucalyptus castille soap from Dr bronner’s line and its pretty potent. I want to go unavenged next time to enjoy the coconut aroma. I am so excited to have such a fun, beachy feel to my hair. I will use this shampoo until its out and record the effects to see if I will changes the recipe for the next batch. Thank you!

  17. I used this shampoo as a body wash because my hair was already clean and I just couldn’t wait to try it!
    I normally have dry skin and still the next morning it feels like I applied moisturizer. Plus it still smells fresh! Thanks!! Hope it is as great on my hair.

  18. How do you get the bar of Castile soap to liquify? I tried mashing it up but now it’s just clumpy

  19. Dalia grated the bar of soap, heat 10 cups water after heating up the water. Stir in and it will melt let sit for 24 hours.

  20. When I wash my hair with this, I feel like my hair is left with a residue. Not an oily residue, I really can’t explain it. Does anyone else have this problem?

  21. I am using this shampoo also and have found I have better luck when I blow dry my hair. If I let it air dry, the ends always have a greasiness to them. Has anyone else noticed this?

  22. I LOVE this shampoo!! I had previously found a version of this with 2tsp olive oil instead of the coconut & vitE, but I’m going to try these oils in my next batch. I also use it as a body wash & to shave with, & it leaves my skin so soft & glowing. I tend to have oily roots but dry hair, & this shampoo didn’t make my hair oily at all. Last week I put olive oil in my hair & left it in for a few hours, & this shampoo washed it clean & beautiful with no leftover residue. I did, however, use an apple cider vinegar rinse (1T ACV to 1 C water) which I read helps reduce the leftover oil. So I would recommend that for people struggling with the shampoo being to oily for them. One can also try adding different essential oils to the shampoo for different purposes- for greasy hair try lavender, lemon, or rosemary. For dry hair or dandruff one can use tea tree, peppermint or eucalyptus. I do need more moisture, so I can’t wait to use your conditioner! Thanks so much!

  23. Can’t wait to try this recipe! Has anyone tried adding honey to this? I saw the other post about the benefits of honey for hair and I want to put some into this shampoo. How would I go about changing the recipe to fit the honey in?

  24. I have made this exact shampoo many times before. I use olive oil or almond oil instead of coconut oil and I add a little more coconut milk than the recipe calls for. I use homemade coconut milk instead of canned. I also use Dr. Bronner’s lavender castille soap and add a few extra drops of lavender essential oil. The first time I made this, I noticed my hair felt a little “gunky” after using this shampoo, so I added about a tablespoon of baking soda to the mix and my hair comes out clean and smooth, with no residue left behind. My hair air dries nicely and blow dries smoothly.

    Afterwards, I sometimes make an apple cider vinegar and honey rinse to condition my hair, though I want to try out the homemade conditioner recipe posted here.

  25. I am currently using dis recipe but i also got a oily/residue feeling afterwards. i have to use like a dime size of shampoo but either way it feels dirty when its dry . does it matter if i cut down on the coconut milk? will it still work its magic? i think its cus my hair really dont need the extra moiture since its not dry . do the mesurements really count? or can i play with them? :)

  26. A great hair rinse after this is a little bit of Apple Cider Vinegar in water. (I alway make it like I would a light alcoholic beverage)

  27. I just made this the other day, unfortunately when I used both the conditioner and the shampoo it made my hair VERY oily. So I had to wash it out (with store bought shampoo). So last night I decided to wash it with the shampoo only and it’s still extremely oily, I’m going to have to wash it out again. I’m thinking about pouring most of it out, adding more castile soap and some water and see if that works. Or I may just use it as body wash and go with a different shampoo recipe.

  28. OMG, I have been using this for awhile now and I LOVE IT!. I can go with one wash per week. My hair is long in layers, I simply wash my hair at night and go to bed with it wet. In the morning my hair has perfect bounce volume and cute curls at the ends. If I put my hair up in a bun during the week, the next day my hair will have tons of body and fullness. I am never going back to commercial products ever.
    If my hair is tangled I will use a little argan oil. I use no conditioner or other products.

  29. Also I forgot to mention, I am a natural red head. As I have gotten older, my hair has brightened up into a blondesh/red. Since going to this wash once a week thing with this recipe my hair is VERY RED ORANGE. I love it.

  30. DO NOT microwave coconut oil! It destroys all of the natural anti-fungal/bacterial properties it has. Also, I want to add that it is not good to use castile soap on your hair for extended periods, as it is very alkaline (a pH of up to 9.5!) and, with use over time, damages your hair and makes it weak and brittle. This is also from personal experience. If you had to use castile soap, I would dilute it to a few drops per 8 ounces of water.

  31. I’ve tried and tried with this. More of this less of that. Horrible no matter what I do. Leaves my hair greasy and with a terrible residue.It looks like it hasn’t been washed in weeks. Impossible to get a comb through it. Even a salon detangling comb. It even smells bad! UGH. Worst stuff I have ever used. :(

  32. Thank you for this recipe :) I made it and used it last night for the first time – love it! Left my hair and scalp feeling super clean. I made a double batch and added geranium and rosemary essential oils, and the castille I used was Dr Bronners with the lavender EO added. Only problem was that my hair was really knotty after even very careful washing, and the coconut conditioner didn’t really work out for me yet. (I’m going to persist with that and play with it, however.) My hair is very fine but plentiful, so it knots/dries out easily – next time I’m going to use slightly less castille and swap the coconut oil for olive oil to see if it is more manageable. Anyone else have ideas for similar hair types? Thanks a lot :)

  33. Hi! I just wanted to reach out to those who we’re having problems with an oily, slick, greasy residue left behind. It might not be the amount of ingredients but the type of water in your shower. If you have “hard water” (where mineral deposits are left behind, think building up and leaving discoloration on your tub or shower curtain), then the castile soap does NOT react well with it. I have this problem and have searched the Internet far and wide to find solutions. Hope these help:
    – 1 ounce castile soap mixed with 6-8 ounces DISTILLED water (sold in jugs at local stores)
    – after rinsing out shampoo, follow with apple cider vinegar rinse (1-1.5 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup water, preferably distilled). This also great conditioner and would help restore your hair’s pH.
    – try adding 1/4 cup lemon juice to the recipe on this blog (I think I found this comment on a post by “one good thing by jillee” also about coconut milk shampoo)
    – add 1 tablespoon baking soda to the recipe on this blog (thank you Rema who posted this above!)
    I have tried all of these except the lemon juice, and the only one that has worked so far is the baking soda. BUT, the baking soda is alkaline like the castile soap, so it might make your hair dry/brittle, and I wouldn’t recommend trying it first (or at least using the ACV rinse or other conditioner)

  34. hiii..i would like to try this shampoo…but my problem is that i can’t find liquid castile soap..i found it only as floor and dish washer and it not from olive oil is it the same?…what can i do??can i liquefy castile soap??and what type should i use…olive oil soap or others?

  35. I tried this shampoo and it left my hair crazy greasy, even when I washed it with normal shampoo then this one… But luckily corn flour makes a GREAT dry shampoo so I have brushed some of this through my hair and I will just have to use more castille next time :)

  36. I can’t mail these out until after Christmas. Should I put the bottles in the fridge for a few days? Or are they ok sitting out?

  37. Great recipe! One of my favorites! Catherine: Castille soap is not drying for hair…it’s actually pretty great stuff! Maybe your hair just needs to get used to a ‘new’ type of shampoo??

  38. I dont know if anyone has said this, but i noticed someone saying in the comments that they found the shampoo really runny, and you can try to add xanthan gum in the shampoo recipe and it will make the shampoo thick. i did this with another shampoo recipe i tried and it turned out really nice and wasnt runny at all and its probably because i added the xanthan gum. you can find it in most health food stores and even some grocery stores in the organic section :)

  39. I am switching over to all natural and non-toxic beauty supplies, etc. I so wanted to love this, but it did NOT work for me. As a shampoo it made my fine, blonde hair so greasy and oily despite decreasing the oils and adding a tsp of baking soda. So, I tried it for another week as a body wash. I got progressively itchier and developed a rash in different places. After the first two days of using it as a shampoo, I had a rash/redness on my hands and happened to be at the dr’s who said it looks like eczema. My daughter has eczema but I have NEVER. Dr said my daughter gets it from someone. Guess I won the lottery. The only “new” ingredient in this for me is the Dr Bronner’s. I bought the Baby Mild variety. Apparently I am allergic or sensitive to it and will no longer use it. It was worth a shot, I wish it worked for me. Anyone else allergic to Dr Bronner’s?

  40. hi guys two question did anyone price this as they made to know if it was cheaper or more expensive than store bought ones?

    also since it has coconut milt do u have to keep in the refrig?

  41. I have tried this for three days now. Love it. I have oily hair so I put 1/2 tsp baking soda in the batch for me but I have two biracial children and made a batch without the baking soda for them and it works like magic. They have areas that can get dry and frizzy and with this shampoo I didn’t have to put any product in their hair and they had beautiful curls. My husband even noticed a difference without my saying anything to him.

  42. This sounds great :) but I’ve never got on with castile soap in my hair, reacts with the hard water and I end up with almost waxy feeling hair! Is there anyone with hard water who finds this recipe works for them and doesn’t have this effect?

  43. I have two small girls and I think I managed to poison them with chemicals! so I am really going the opposite way. I have highlighted blonde hair. I live in a hard water area. I can cope without the issue of big lather. Experiment 1 – I kept the normal shampoo and replaced conditioner with ACV rinse – hair was lovely. Experiment 2 – castile soap and water mix plus ACV rinse – my husbands and children’s hair seem great on it. However, I look like an oil slick…. I have also scared myself reading all this about hair falling out with castile soap being too alkaline even with ACV rinse as it causes damage switching between alkaline and acidity.
    Q will the coconut milk you suggest reduce the alkalinity?
    Q will adding the coconut oil add to the oil slick?

    help would be appreciated! :-)

  44. Can’t wait to make this shampoo. I will however omit the coconut oil because that ingredient will eventually clog your drain due to solidifying

  45. This is the only shampoo I make for my family! For the sake of description we are black and all have natural hair with varying textures but it works for all of us. In fact when we ran out and I brought a commercial organic product my kids were not all that pleased and demanded I make more!
    I have even made it for my friend from India and she loves it.

  46. Thanks for sharing this!! I just got all the ingredients and I am about to make this up!! I’m using lemongrass oil cause I love the smell of it! And when I get some I will also add in tea tree oil. I’m also going to use less coconut and vitamin E oil. I seriously can’t wait to try this shampoo! I will also be making the conditioner!!

  47. Made this without the extra coconut oil, just the coconut milk and Castile/Dr. Bronner’s. My hair felt incredibly weighed down and looked as if I hadn’t washed it in a week. I am so disappointed. I don’t know that there is anything I could do to make this work?

  48. Is this shampoo okay for oily scalp? I’m recovering from years of shitty chemical-laden shampoos that have made my scalp over-produce oil

  49. I really want to try this, it might be exactly what I’m looking for! I am wondering, is there a transition period? Does it take time for hair to get used to this shampoo?

  50. Thanks so much for this recipe! I just shared this on a blog I wrote with ideas for DIY baby shampoo. I can’t wait to try it out with my toddler.

  51. As runny the shampoo is it is hard to apply and I tend to use more than is needed. Next batch will include some gelatin to make it thicker and easier to apply. There was a time when such a thing would even add some benefit to the cheap shampoo I used then.

  52. This made my hair feel and look horrible and greasy. I do not recommend this shampoo for people with thin hair.

  53. Okay so I made this and just tried it we’ll see how my hair feels tomorrow as for you who have an issue with it being watery I used an old method foam bottle that made it so easy!

  54. This is a great project for the weekend.

    But if you are a busy person you might want to check out the best organic shampoo brands sold on Amazon. I believe that some of them are not really 100% all-natural like this project, but it can really save you a lot of time.

  55. What brands did you guys use? I used Louann coconut oil, kirks Castile soap, a taste of Thai coconut milk, and spring valley vitamin e. The coconut products smell horrible. Neither have a coconut smell. The milk I bought says unsweetened…could this be why? Also, the brand of Vitamin E I bought was over $6 for 3oz. Does anyone know if walmart or GNC sells a cheaper brand? My total on everything was around $20, with the over $6 E oil, over $6 coconut oil (because I bought a pretty large container to last for more batches), $3 for Castile soap, and $2ish for the milk, does this sound right?

  56. Thank you for the recipe! Made and tried last night. The only change was cutting the coconut oil to 1/2 tsp to be safe. Right after using (while still in the shower) my hair felt unmanageable. I’ve tried no ‘poo before so this was normal. I followed up with Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Hair Conditioning Rinse which helped. Then finished with an acv rinse. This worked perfectly! My hair is soft, shiny, and tangle free. I have veryyy thick hair to my mid back.

  57. I really love this initiative and will definitely try it soon. However, it may not work for everyone but I absolutely prefer using natural homemade shampoos over medicated shampoos. Thank you for the recipe!

  58. I wanted to let people know that it make not work using Dr. Bronners because it has lye in it. Although it works GREAT for my son and husband (both with thick hair) it didn’t work for me (thin/oily). I have found that Kiss My Face castile soap has no lye in it. It works much better for me and I don’t add anything but the castile soap and coconut milk for my hair. For a body wash I can use the above recipe. I hope this helps.

  59. Does it matter what kind of coconut milk?? I’m confused :( there is organic, lite, regular?? Which one :/

  60. Made a batch tonight with lavender Dr. Bronners, Thai kitchen lite coconut milk, and 1/2 tsp of vitamin e oil. It worked great and my hair looks nice and bouncy. Hope to stick with this! I may try the Acv rinse as well. :)

  61. I have both canned (goya) coconut milk and the silk brand that you find in the refrigerated section by the regular milk…. I didn’t want to waste a whole can of the coconut milk or can I use the refigerated? Are they different?

  62. Maybe it would be better to reduce the amount of castile soap as it has a pH level of 10, and hairs pH level is betweet 4 and 5, so it could cause major damage to your scalp if you use it often, Castile soap should be very diluted, 1 part of soap to 40 parts of water, and still the pH would be too alkaline for our scalp.

  63. I made this shampoo and I find that it’s too much lather so that must be from the Dr bon ners, but I did put in the exact amount.

  64. I simply love this homemade shampoo. I am going to make it this weekend and report back how it went. Thanks for sharing.

  65. I love this so much! to those confused about the coconut milk, i honestly dont think it matters what kind. Just check the ingredients, and if you like how it looks, go for it. But after you open the can of milk, you’re supposed to refrigerate it, so i assume that applies to the shampoo too. Plus, when mine’s been in the fridge, it turns shampoo consistency instead of being watery.

  66. also, about all this ph business, i think everyone needs to just calm down. there’s no silicones or parabens or sulphates and you dont end up looking like you’re allergic to hygiene, so, as far as im concerned, it’s good! no complaints thus far, just happy, pretty hair :)

  67. You will have problems using a coconut milk shampoo with acv rinse in the case that your hair is still greasy, oily or stringy…because you have bleached and or color treated your hair. The reason why is because the natural fat from the coconut milk will adhere itself to damaged hair. That’s why it will look stringy. In addition to washing your hair with the natural coconut milk shampoo and using an acv rinse is also use a mild baking soda goop (baking soda dissolved in hot water) and directly apply it to the color treated part of your hair. Then rinse and finish off with an acv rinse. It will get rid of the fat and make your hair fluffy and soft, like you want it to be.

  68. Coconut oil is a Super amazing list that includes usability for your health, hair, skin, pets, cleaning and household kitchen spice supplement www[dot]//tr[dot]im/qsmo0

  69. Hi thanks for this DIY.
    Love it.
    Could you pls tell me how long the can coconutmilk wecan keep for as this shampoo.(outside-nom room temperature )

    Tks heaps.

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