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Shampoo Recipe

Okay, it’s not my regular posting day, but I wanted to get this basic shampoo recipe posted because I follow a lot of shampoo forums. This recipe is fairly advanced and it requires purchasing ingredients from an online supplier. My favorite supplier is SaveOnCitric.

There are some other good supply places, but you may have to shop around to find the best prices. Bramble Berry is a very good supplier for the sulfoacetate and has the best customer support in the industry. They will not only answer order questions, they will try to answer formula questions as well (for soap–for shampoo, well, that’s outside their normal area). Also available on Amazon.

If you are looking for something particular in a shampoo, I do make and sell custom products.

Here’s a starter recipe:

Read through the entire recipe before starting and plan accordingly. Many of the ingredients have to sit and hydrate before you mix them together. Wear protective gear as you would with soap making–gloves, an apron and glasses. Some of the ingredients have very high pH or low pH and you don’t want to burn your skin. You do not want to breathe in the powders either. Really the only powder that can be extremely fine and poof up is the sulfoacetate–be aware of it and don’t let it scatter.

You will need several bowls and a scale. Do not use aluminum as it can react with ingredients. Use glass or stainless steel. Use bowls that can be heated.

This recipe is a shampoo and conditioner in one. I love it. It leaves my hair soft and curly.

Ingredients and Phases:

Phase A:

31.2 % distilled water or chamomile tea (I often use rosemary and chamomile tea–COOLED completely)
.8 % Carbomer 940 (this is a thickener and helps the ingredients stay mixed–basically a gell ingredient)

Combine while mixing — hydrate one hour. See full instructions at the end.

Phase B

27% distilled water
.25 % Guar Conditioner (this is a conditioning ingredient to protect the strands. Makes hair easy to comb)
1% Panthenol (this is vitamin b5. It adds body to hair. If you have too much body or curly hair, you can leave out.)

Dissolve panthenol in water and then add guar while mixing. Hydrate 1/2 hour. See full instructions at the end.

Phase C
15% Sulfoacetate/Sulfosuccinate Blend – Sulfoacetate is a surfactant for bubbles. Sulfosuccinate is a very mild cleanser used it baby wash and shampoos. I also make a face wash/eye wash using sulfosuccinate.
5 % Sulfoacetate
14% Cocamidopopyl Betaine – this is a very mild cleanser and buffers the other sulfoacetate

Combine and make sure everything dissolves. Do not use high mixing or you will cause all kinds of bubbles.

Phase D
2% dimethicone – This is a silicone. It makes the hair shiny and easy to comb. I love this stuff. You can leave it out.
2% hydrolyzed wheat (or silk or soy or oats) This is a wonderful conditioning agent. It’s very expensive, but it is basically attracted to damaged hair/split ends and coats them (Lightly–this isn’t going to build up. It fills in the cracks so to speak).
Germall Plus – ANYTHING with water and oils requires a preservative of some kind or it will grow mold and/or bacteria.
.8% Terasodium EDTA – this is to keep hard water from working against the shampoo. It also offsets the acidic pH of the Carbomer.


1. Combine A with fast mixing (drizzle the carbomer in the water slowly while mixing so it doesn’t clump). Mix WELL. Hydrate for one hour. That means let it sit and stir often so that everything is well hydrated. You do not want this clumpy.
2. Dissolve Panthenol in water.
3. Slowly pour Guar into the water. Mix well. Hydrate for half an hour.
3. Measure out phase C and make sure everything dissolves. If you have the pellet form of the Sulfoacetate, you may need to apply heat (put the bowl in the oven or in a crockpot on low until everything is melted). Do not over stir this–it will bubble! Do not over heat or it can start bubbling.
4. Combine A and B when hydrated.
5. Combine C and add to the A/B mix. Stir slowly.
6. Add phase D and stir.

Test the pH to make sure it’s between about 5 and 7. I use pH strips, nothing fancy. You may need to add a little bit of water to get the shampoo to the consistency you like.

If you decide to leave out the panthenol or the dimethicone, always make sure your recipe totals 100 percent–so add in water to make up for the difference.

The reason for the percentages is because everything must be weighed. I use a scale that measures in grams because the conversion is very easy. For 30 percent water–that would be 30 grams. If you want to double the recipe, you double each of the ingredients accordingly. I usually try a recipe at about double until I am certain I like the result. The recipe above, as is, would make about a travel-sized shampoo, maybe around 4 ounces.

I know this will be of limited interest to my normal blog followers, but I’ve been promising to post this for a while because I participate on a couple of shampoo blogs so here it is!!!

If you are interested in learning more about shampoos, lotions and the like, the best blog out there is: Switfcraftmonkey She has written several books, but I believe they are only available from her site and are in PDF form. Here is one on Shampoos. She is a wonderful and generous source of information and recipes.

The Dimethicone can be purchased on Ebay or ingredientstodiefor, or Amazon. I have used dimethicone 350 and 1000. They are both successful in the above recipe. has some of the supplies as well. I have used them and been satisfied with their service.

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon.

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