19 February 2014

Homemade Shampoo Review: Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera

After 3 years of faithful no-pooing with baking soda I noticed that my hair has become brittle and dry, I did a pH test which proved that while I was saving my hair from toxic chemicals in commercial shampoo I was destroying it with the highly alkaline baking soda. Read more about the pH of baking soda and why you should not use it as a shampoo.

I set on a journey to find easy to make homemade shampoos that will not only replace baking soda but will also be pH balanced.

A few weeks ago I tested rye flour shampoo and was very excited with the results. Today, I decided to try a recipe with coconut milk and Aloe Vera that I found on Robin's blog, +Thank Your Body.

Homemade Shampoo: Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera

Benefits of coconut milk and Aloe Vera for hair
Coconut is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, milk helps fight dandruff and dry scalp, it is also used against hair loss, it also promotes faster hair growth.

Since ancient times Aloe Vera has been used for treating dandruff and dry, itchy skin, Just like coconut milk, it is rich in vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial for hair and skin. It promotes moisture and shine in hair and is used in many conditioning products.

pH of coconut milk
Before combining coconut milk and Aloe Vera I tested the pH of both ingredients. Coconut milk is neutral, it has a pH 7.0.
pH of coconut milk

pH of Aloe Vera 
Aloe Vera,on the other hand is slightly acidic, with a pH 3.0.

pH of Aloe Vera

pH of Aloe Vera 
When I combined coconut milk and Aloe Vera in the ratio suggested on Thank Your Body, I got a pH balanced homemade shampoo. Take a look.

pH of coconut milk and aloe shampoo

As you can see, the test strip shows pH 4.5 which is just the same as the pH of hair.

Here is why the pH of shampoo is important for healthy hair: 
pH (potential of Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. pH is judged on a scale between 0 and 14. Anything with a pH less than 7.0 is acidic, 7.0 is neutral, and anything with a pH greater than 7.0 is alkaline.

Hair and skin are covered by a very thin fluid layer comprised of oil, salt and water, called the mantle, which is slightly acidic and has a pH balance of between 4.5 - 5.0.
The natural acidity of the hair and scalp prevents fungi and bacteria, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy.
An inadequate hair product can disrupt the natural pH of the hair. If your haircare routine is too alkali your hair cuticles will stay open and your hair will be dry and brittle. But if you use pH balanced products, i.e. ones that are close to the natural pH of the hair (4.5 - 5.0) your hair cuticles will close properly which will result in healthy shiny hair.

pH balanced coconut milk and Aloe Vera shampoo recipe
This recipe is suitable for dry, dandruff-prone hair and scalp.

Robin's recipe at Thank Your Body calls for larger quantities of both coconut milk and Aloe Vera, which she then suggests to be stored in the freezer, which is a great idea but I wanted to make sure the shampoo works for my hair before I take the step to more of this shampoo.

  • 2.5 oz (75 ml) coconut milk
  • 3 oz (88 ml) Aloe Vera


  • Mix the coconut milk and the Aloe Vera well until there are no lumps left.
  • Apply on wet hair.

Coconut milk and Aloe Vera shampoo application

There's nothing special about applying this shampoo on your hair, just proceed as you would with any shampoo: apply on wet hair,
  1. Apply on wet your hair.and put some of the shampoo on your fingers. Massage into the scalp.
  2. Massage well into the scalp.
  3. Let it stay for a couple of minutes.
  4. Rinse generously with lukewarm water.
  5. As a conditioner use 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar diluted in 1 cup of water. Tip: Grab a bowl to capture the ACV rinse and apply a couple of times more.
Effect of rye flour on hair
Unfortunately, the Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera shampoo left my hair feeling greasy. Actually, my face was greasy too and I had to use soap to clean it. I think the reason is the proteins in coconut milk, which I've noticed that my hair and scalp are not tolerant to.

This is the place to mention that I have a slightly oily hair and this might be the reason for the greasy effect.

That is why, I applied the same shampoo on my husband's hair, which is dandruff-prone and very dry and it had a wonderful effect.

Homemade Shampoo: Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera

Overall, I loved how easy this shampoo is to make, the smell and the properties of both coconut milk and Aloe Vera. It is easy to apply and has a pleasant smell. Although it didn't work well on my hair, I recommend it for dry, damaged hair and dandruff-prone scalp.

Have you tried washing your hair with coconut milk or Aloe Vera? What were the results?

Find more shampoo alternatives: 
Rye flour shampoo
10 ways to wash your hair without shampoo
5 Natural alternatives to toxic shampoo
7 Green ways to deal with static hair
The best treatment for dry hair
8 DIY hair treatments for dry, brittle and damaged hair
5 Natural alternatives to toxic shampoo
What everybody should know about shampoo
4 Natural remedies against dandruff
Herbal nourishing hair lotion