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How to Use Essential Oils for DIY Shampoo and Conditioner

Where Essential Oils Come From

Pure essential oils have been around for thousands of years. Recently they have become quite popular with people who like "natural" products. But, where do they come from?

Essential oils are extracted from a plant through a steam distillation process (or in the case of citrus oils, by pressing the fruit's peel). Quality is extremely important here. Plants must be harvested at key times and in their most natural states to get the highest quality oil.

The price of an oil depends on how readily available the plant is and how the company you are buying from processes its oil. Chemical solvents (used by some companies) should be avoided. Be sure to research the company you are buying your oils from. Saving money is great, but in order to pass those savings on to customers, some companies use synthetic chemicals to process the oils. Be sure you know exactly how the oil is extracted.

Most commercial shampoos strip the scalp of its natural oils. Use essential oils to make your own natural shampoo and conditioners.

Most commercial shampoos strip the scalp of its natural oils. Use essential oils to make your own natural shampoo and conditioners.

Where to Buy Your Essential Oils

The best way to purchase essential oils is by buying a boxed set. Purchased individually in a retail shop like the Healthy Home Market, a single oil can be $6 to $24 or more, depending on the type and how rare/common the oil is.

Expect to pay more for rare oils like Vanilla. More common oils like Eucalyptus are less expensive. Although some of the more exotic oils can be a bit pricey, they are still cheaper per ounce than a lot of other fragrance products.

A good Earth Fare type store generally has small roll-on applicator bottles and small spray bottles so you can blend your own fragrances. You can mix up a great foot spray with a few drops of peppermint essential oil added to water in a spray bottle.

DoTerra essential oils are excellent all-around oils. They were first introduced to me at a Green Smoothie Girl presention. Green Smoothie Girl reps advocate adding a few drops of DoTerra oils to your smoothies and even in your water. To save money, you can buy other brands of oil but make sure you're getting 100% essential oils and not a blend (which is a diluted version) on Amazon.

Do You Use Essential Oils For Homemade Shampoo Recipes?

Aveda Products Use Pure Plant Essences

If you're familiar with Aveda products then you probably know their products are made with pure flower and plant essences. Their plant-based products include skin-care, make-up, Pure-fume and aroma. Aveda is mainly known for its great line of hair products. That amazing signature Aveda smell? That's a mix of lavender, ylang-ylang, bergamot, rosemary, peppermint and orange essential oils. One of my favorite products is an oil that is for very dry hair. I like to dab my wrists with the oil because a few dabs last all day and it's still way cheaper than perfume. Plus it has a nice, earthy natural smell guys love. A lot of perfumes and oils smell way too fake and strong. This oil is just right for my sensitive nose.

You can make your own DIY shampoos and conditioners for a lot less. A few simple ingredients will get you looking and smelling great.

  1. Wild Orange: Citrus sinensis-rind. Great for anxiety and insomnia. Uplifting.
  2. Lavender: Lavendula angustifolia-flowering tops. Known for its calming effect, eases tension, improves concentration, and good for vertigo calming.
  3. Peppermint: Menthe piperta-leaves, stems, buds. Perfect for headache relief and nausea. Helps with allergies and has antibacterial properties. Stimulating.
  4. Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus radiate-leaves. Eases asthma and bronchitis. Cooling.
  5. Frankincense: Boswellia frereana-gum,resin. Helps with depression and reduces moles and inflammation.
  6. Wintergreen: Gaultheria procumbens-leaves. Whitens teeth, pain reliever, anti-inflammatory. Helps relieve arthritis and gall stones. Cooling.

Lavender Water Uses

I found this great recipe for making homemade lavender water. You can spritz it on your sheets, give your ironing a spray or even use it as a natural insect repellent.

Lavender Water

  • 1 tsp lavender oil
  • 1/4 cup unflavored vodka or isopropyl alcohol
  • 3 1/2 cups distilled water

Mix in a glass bottle. Shake before use. Relax!

doTerra Essential Oils

Aroma Touch

Massage, Relaxation, Circulation, Anti-Inflammatory


Anxiety, Hyperactivity, Nervousness, ADD


Antibiotic, Earache, Ear Infection, Anti-Inflammatory, Mental Fatigue


Boils, Eczema, Sore Throat, Hormones, Gallstones, Tonsilitis

DIY Rosemary Peppermint Shampoo

  • 1/2 cup Castile Soap
  • 1/2 Cup Distilled or Filtered Water
  • 16 Drops DoTerra Rosemary essential oil
  • 2 Drops DoTerra Peppermint Oil

Mix your ingredients together and use a small amount as your daily shampoo. Enjoy!

Homemade Shampoo Recipe With Essential Oils

1 tbsp. baking soda

8 oz warm or hot water

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2 drops of your favorite oil (Peppermint, Lemon, Bergamot, Lavender, etc.)

Shake/stir ingredients together to dissolve baking soda. Use in place of regular shampoo. DIY shampoos made with baking soda will not suds up like regular shampoo that has sulfates added to it.

Homemade Shampoo with Essential Oils

Getting Started With Essential Oils

I've been interested in essential oils and aromatherapy since we first started selling Aura Cacia Essential Oils at the Butterbean a few years back. Our store focused on local foods and healthy living. We had the basic oils: tea tree, lavender, and peppermint.

Years earlier, when I had a bad case of poison ivy on my feet while working at summer camp, one of the other counselors, Tonie, from Australia, suggesting popping the poison ivy blisters and applying tea tree oil to the rash. I was skeptical but she was very eager to play nurse so I turned my feet over to her. The tea tree oil had a strong, medicinal smell but the natural, earthy scent won me over.

I still keep at least two bottles of tea tree oil in the bathroom. Tea tree oil (also called melaleuca) is a must for your first aid kit and medicine cabinet. It works well on pimples. Dab a bit on your blemishes. Lemon oil works great for acne or oily skin. Add a few drops of lemon oil to witch hazel for a great toner. Apply with a cotton ball. Tea tree oil fights dandruff, just add a few drops to your favorite shampoo.


Blast Away Cellulite With This Moisturizing Cream

4 Drops Wild Orange essential oil (your favorite citrus essential oil works, too)

Handful of regular body lotion

Adding citrus oil to your lotion works to blast away cellulite.

Peppermint Oil Conditioner for Hair Repair

4 Drops Peppermint oil (ahhhhhh)

Handful of Coconut Oil (oil solidifies at low temps but you can microwave it to soften)

Apply to the ends of your hair to blissfully repair damaged hair at night. Coconut oil solidifies when the temperature is cool. Do not put coconut oil directly on the scalp. Use a disposable shower cap when you are doing overnight hair treatments.

Kitchen Sink Creations

The best part about using essential oils is you have the added benefit of aromatherapy. I use essential oils every day to freshen my home and spirit.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


has anyone mixed wintergreen oil in shampoo and got a little on there lips while rinsing off on April 19, 2020:

has anyone used a couple of drops in wintergreen and while rinsing off got some on there lips

Clarissa on April 27, 2018:

Are the essential oil brands Flora Classique and Earthroma alright to use in shampoo and conditioner?

Heather Walton (author) from Charlotte, NC on March 05, 2016:

Thanks for the positive feedback! I'm currently making my own lotion sticks with peppermint of my favorites.

annasmom on March 05, 2016:

Good article.

Heather Walton (author) from Charlotte, NC on April 01, 2015:

Thanks! I cannot live without my oils!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 01, 2015:

Great tips on where to buy essential oils and how to use them. Voted up!

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