Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Scrubby Shampoo

I know, I know. Nobody wants to admit they have dandruff or any other less than awesome hair condition. But it happens, and as the weather starts turning colder here I know my head is going to get a bit (ok, a lot) flakey. I've tried some of the dandruff shampoos out there and have hated them all for the most part, one left a film on my hair so nasty I had to shampoo with dish soap for a week to get it off. So after much snooping around ingredient lists from very popular shampoos, I've come up with a homemade scrubby shampoo that will hopefully relieve all of out itchy head troubles.

One thing I noticed in most dandruff shampoo ingredient lists is tea tree oil, which I happen to have a giant bottle of. I also noticed a very popular shampoo from an overpriced bath shop that starts with an "L" contained a ton of salt for it's exfoliating effect. I already do a monthly pinch of baking soda into my shampoo to help strip off build-up, so making the leap to combining these wasn't difficult.

A word of caution, if you have never used tea tree oil in the past, please to an allergy test before trying this at home. mix a carrier oil (almond, olive, whatever) 4:1 ratio with the tea tree oil (so 4 parts oil to one part tea tree oil) and test it on the inside of your elbow. If you stay reaction free after 24-48 hours you are good to go on using it. You can make this recipe without the tea tree oil, it just won't be as potent. Tea tree oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, which can help fix chronic dandruff caused by ickies on your scalp. Warning also that tea tree oil is very strong smelling so try not to spill it everywhere like I did.

I'm making a small batch because I'm dyeing my hair this Thursday and I don't want to damage my new color so I'm just making a few days worth. You can double the recipe if you would like. For this you will need:

  • Shampoo. Use whatever you already have and love, no reason to go out and buy something new
  • Salt. If you have sea salt use that, I did not so I'm using kosher salt for extra scrubbing power. Think about this like a salt scrub for your head
  • Baking powder
  • Tea Tree Oil. Rosemary extract will also work if you can't use tea tree oil
  • 1/4 cup measuring cup, a teaspoon measuring spoon, and I used a plastic syringe to measure out my tea tree oil but you can use the 1/2 teaspoon for it if you want

Measure out 1/4 of a cup of salt and put it in a plastic container that you want to store the shampoo in.

Measure out 1/4 of a cup of your shampoo of choice then dump it into the container with the salt. Make sure you scrape the sides down in order to get all of the shampoo out. Give it a bit of a mix. The salt will sort of dissolve, don't worry about it.

Now mix it half a teaspoon of the baking soda.

And finally add half a teaspoon of the tea tree oil. If you are concerned about sensitive skin you can add less, like 1/4 of a teaspoon. Now give it all a good mix and your shampoo is complete!

To use just scoop some out and give your scalp a good scrub with it. Hopefully you will start to see an improvement in just a few days.


  1. This looks great -- I admit things get worse for me in the winter too so this is perfect timing. I can't wait to try it!

    1. It is really weird to use, but I love it. Makes my hair feel so soft and clean and really does help with the dandruff. But man is it a weird texture in your hair.