Shampoo in a plastic bottle? Why bother when there are gentler, cheaper and plastic-free soap substitutes?

Liquid Shampoo

Soap Flake Shampoo
Long ago  I stopped buying shampoo and started making my own. Simple recipe – soap flakes mixed with water to make a liquid soap

Soap flakes are pretty much pure soap and so my shampoo contains  no artificial fragrance, color, preservatives, detergents, alcohol, urea, formaldehyde, sodium laurel sulfate, DEA, propylene glycol – or any of the other synthetic hair care additives.


2 cups of soap flakes
2 litres of water
30ml of glycerine. ( I can’t decide if this makes any difference so it’s obviously not essential
This makes a big pan full.

Heat up and stir till the soap flakes melt then leave it.
When it cools the soap will go all stiff and jelly like.
If it is too thick add some more water.
When it is the desired consistency you can add a few drops of scent if you wish.
If you make a batch and store it for a while you might find that it solidifies. Don’t add water whisk it with the blender and it will return to its original consistency.

It’s not as sudsy as shampoo though if you do two washes and you get lots of lather the 2nd time. You don’t get the feeling it is stripping your hair bare and it doesn’t leave it frizzy and mad. It seems to take hair some time to adapt.

Buy Soap Flakes
I use Soap flakes from Dri pak, a Derbyshire based company. They are described (on their website) as follows

Dri-Pak Soap Flakes are predominantly pure soap – with no added perfumes, enzymes, bleach, phosphates or additives, so you can be confident that they will degrade harmlessly without damaging watercourses and aquatic life.
Soap Flakes have not been tested on animals. They will leave your clothes feeling soft and fresh, and far less likely to cause skin irritations than regular detergent washing powders. They are gentle enough for woollens, silk, delicates and modern outdoor fabrics that have special waterproof and breathable properties, which can be damaged by detergents and fabric conditioners.
They also come in cardboard boxes so there’s no nasty plastic packaging. You can get them from Wilkinsons hardware stores, Ebay or direct from Dri pak.

Wilkinsons also do own brand soap flakes in a cardboard box. More details here.

Ecover emergency shampoo
This one also works well and so far no one has twigged. Put some Ecover  washing up liquid, which you buy as a refill, in a nice bottle ( you can dilute it if you think it is too strong, I do). Add few drops of scent if you wish. Luxury shampoo in no time at all.

Using Essential OIls
Essential oils are concentrated and so should be used with some care.
Do not apply neat to the skin. They should always de diluted. Read more about how to use them HERE
It is good practice to do an allergy test before you slather on any product containing them.
Do some further research into the oil you plan to use. Some are very strong and need to be used with caution.
Buy from a company that is clear about how they grow and harvest their oils. You can read more about this,here

Solid Shampoo

Bar Shampoo
If that seems like a lot of faffing around, get a solid shampoo bar from Pure Lush. These come wrapped in paper if you buy them from the shop and plastic if you buy from the website. I know – plastic – but it is a small shrink wrapped bag as compared to a whole bottle.You can find many stores on-line selling similar.


I got to thinking why bother with all that flaking and making – surely soap is soap is soap. Turns out yes it is and you can wash your hair with a bar of soap just as well as anything else including shampoo which is just runny soap.

I find its best to wash twice.
N.B. Dove soap is not good for this.
For my hair type I have to use soap in conjunction with an occasional  vinegar rinse. Seems to clear out build up.
After a while you might find your hair stops looking so good after washes. Change soap.

Bicarbonate Of Soda

Often called the no poo method. You can read up about it here


Be aware of the risks of listening to someone who
a) doesn’t have any training in this field,
b) most of what they know comes from Google,
That’s me I mean.

I am telling you of my own experiences for your information only. You should do a lot more research before proceeding. None of the following have been tested on anyone other than me. All I can say Is that I have used the above for a long time with, as yet,  no ill effects.


See a full range of homemade #plasticfree personal care products here 
And find out how to make lots more stuff HERE
Find all plastic free personal care products here…


An introduction to some of the stuff you need to make the above

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5 thoughts on “Shampoo

  1. I think that would be a great idea – really useful for travelling or for hotels – instead of those stupid little plastic bottles.

  2. I have an idea to put the shampoo and conditioner in those little degradable balls that dissolve in water similar to vitamin E capsules, then u could package those in cloth sacks then to ship in a paper container.

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