Custom Shampoo

Customize Shampoo
Make custom shampoo for hair types.

Custom Shampoo

Many are looking to make custom shampoo for a specific hair type. There are many considerations to understanding on how to formulate shampoo. First, you need to determine the type of shampoo you want to make. We covered this in Part 1. Next, decide on the surfactant system best for the type of shampoo, review surfactants in our Part 2. Lastly in our final and third part, we will cover how to customize shampoo for hair type.


Surfactant System 

For the best foam use a combination of surfactants that work together. A main surfactant is usually paired with a secondary surfactant. The secondary surfactant assists with increasing the formulation thickness and foam and decreases harshness. Determine the percent active in the surfactant. The supplier should provide the active percent.

The active percent is the amount of solids (detergent/surfactant) diluted in water. Refer to the section Active Surfactant Solids in Part 2. Decyl glucoside contains around 55% actives, the remaining is 45% water. The higher percent of actives, the more the surfactant will clean in a shampoo. If the active percent is lower you may need to use a higher amount of surfactant in your formulation.

Formulations are calculated on the percent of actives. The actives in shampoo formulations is usually between 10% – 15% (not total surfactant). For decyl glucosde at 55% active and using 15% decyl glucoside in the formulation, you will need 27% decyl glucoside in the shampoo formulation.

Preservative System
Use preservatives that are NPA approved, GRAS and Eco-Cert.

pH adjusters
Adjust the pH to the specification of the preservative and the type of shampoo..

Use natural polymers like plant gums.

Conditioning Agents 
Add conditioning agents to leave the hair feeling smooth, soft and manageable.

Botanical Extracts
Use plant extracts known for benefits to the hair like rosemary, hibiscus, horsetail, nettles and bamboo. 

Plant Oils
Use plant oils at a minimum. Plant oils easily adhere to the hair and weigh the hair down. Most hair types can’t handle plant oil in shampoo. Type 4 hair can have shampoo with plant oil. Oils also decrease the foaming of the shampoo.

Use scent from plants like essential oils and plant-based fragrances.

Natural Shampoo Formulation

Making natural shampoo does not take much equipment. Here is a generalized overview of a shampoo procedure. It all depends on the raw materials used in the formulation, the reaction of the ingredients and this dictates which phase to add the ingredients. 

Phase A
Water ingredients (glycerin, gums, hydrolyzed proteins, water-phase preservative)

Phase B

Phase C
Conditioning agents
Scent (essential oils, plant-based fragrance oil) 

pH adjustor

  1. Combine Phase A into Phase B and gently mix to reduce creating a lot of bubbles
  2. Add Phase C and gently mix 
  3. Adjust pH 

Allow shampoo and bubbles to settle.

Make Custom Shampoo

Just released! A brand new method, “Shampoo Formula Build” developed by Joan Morais for students to quickly make an excellent shampoo for specific hair types. Learn how how to build and create your very own custom shampoo with this straight forward method. You can make hundreds of shampoo combinations.  Make custom shampoo by taking our Pro Natural Hair Care Course.

Here is How is Works:

1. Select a Shampoo Base-

  • Shampoo System #1
  • Shampoo System #2
  • Plant Keratin
  • Volumizing
  • Hydrating 

 2. Choose Additives for Shampoo-

Choose 1-2 additives. Choose additives from the Hair Additives Chart to customize the shampoo base for hair type, texture, and porosity.

3. Build Your Shampoo Formula-

Build your shampoo with the shampoo system base and additives. 

 4. Make Your Shampoo-

You will be guided through this process!


Think about all the shampoo products you can make. The options are endless!


  • Hydrating & Curl defining  for Curly or Coily Hair 
  • Clarifying and Scalp Care for Locs hair 
  • Moisture & Color Protecting for Wavy Hair
  • Strengthening and Repairing for Straight Hair
  • Gentle and Soothing for Baby Hair
  • Conditioning and Nourishing for Men’s Hair

Now, easier than ever, you can create your very own personalized custom shampoo and hair products! Start Today! 


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