This request came to me from Kylee, who uses a similar one by Avalon Organics for her dreads. She says “this shampoo has the ability to clarify, which is what I need, and the aloe and citrus work wonders on cleaning/tightening dreads.” The ingredient list for the original had a lot of great things on it, but it wasn’t a true soap—it was a detergent made with surfactants, albeit more natural ones. So, I set out to make something similar, with all the good stuff, and made from true liquid soap.



The liquid soap base is the one in my liquid soap overview, made up of great oils like olive, coconut, and castor. To that I’ve added some 200x concentrated aloe vera powder, to give the soap a great big aloe kick in the pants.

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From there I’ve added blitzed up calendula and chamomile. Calendula adds shine and soothes the scalp, and chamomile brightens and can help with dandruff. It can also lighten hair, though, so if you want to avoid that, you can easily eliminate it and replace it with more calendula.

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The blend of essential oils creates a wonderfully complex bouquet of citrussy goodness. If you’ve only got one or two citrus essential oils, feel free to replace the others with more of that. Benzoin and cedar mellow out the citrus scents nicely with their soft, subtle tones. Mmm.


And last, but not least, a bit of wheat gluten amps up the protein content of the shampoo—you can leave it out if you like.


The final shampoo is downright lovely. Soft and slippery, with good lather and a lovely scent. I’m storing mine in a pump-top bottle in the shower for easy dispensing and palm refills (since I have quite a lot of hair).

Citrus Chamomile Liquid Shampoo

100g liquid soap paste, softened
2 “nips” 200x aloe vera powder

30 drops lemon essential oil
3 blobs benzoin essential oil
5 drops cedarwood essential oil
10 drops lime essential oil
8 drops grapefruit essential oil
4 drops litsea cubeba essential oil

2 tsp calendula leaves
2 tsp chamomile flowers

1/2 tsp wheat gluten (optional)

Start by soaking your soap paste so it’s the consistency you prefer your shampoo to be. I ended up having to add about 100g of water, but I’d recommend starting around 70g and working your way up to it (which can take a while, but it’s easier than ending up with super watery shampoo).

Once your soap paste has softened, the rest is a snap. Stir in the aloe vera powder and essential oils. Blitz the herbs in your DIY specific coffee grinder until you’ve got quite a lot of fine powdery stuff (this will take a while). Sift the remnants through a fine sieve—discard the large bits, and stir the fine bits into the shampoo.

If you’re using the gluten, sprinkle it in and stir to combine.

Decant into a 250mL pump-top plastic bottle and use as you’d use any shampoo. Enjoy!