Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap derived from water, lye, and olive oil. The soap is non-toxic, biodegradable, and excellent for use on your hair and skin.
As a shampoo replacement, castile soap is potent enough to remove dirt and product buildup on the scalp without stripping your hair of its natural oils.
Besides preserving sebum on your scalp, castile soap has antimicrobial properties that can protect your scalp and hair.
If you want to save money on your beauty products, switching to castile soap can be great since it often costs just a fraction of commercial shampoo products.
Castile soap can be customized by adding other natural ingredients like essential oils for refreshing scents and antimicrobial properties. In this article, we’ll discuss how to use castile soap for hair growth and much more.
Table of Contents
- What Does Castile Soap Do For Your Hair?
- How to Wash Your Hair with Castile Soap
- How to Use Castile Soap for Hair Growth
- Using Castile Soap for Hair Care
- Is Castile Soap Good for Hair Care?
- Hair Care Mistakes To Avoid With Castile Soap
What Does Castile Soap Do For Your Hair?
As with most natural hair care products, Castile soap has multiple benefits. Here are a few of the benefits:
1. Hydrates the Scalp and Hair
Castile soap is made with a vegetable oil base but may also be made with olive oil, hemp oil, neem oil, and coconut oil (or coconut milk in certain specialty recipes).
Castile soap does not contain sulfates that often lead to dry hair; therefore, it can help keep your scalp hydrated. Glycerin is a byproduct in oil-based soap making, but most synthetic soaps eliminate glycerin from the end product.
Notably, glycerin is hydrophilic and can provide natural hydration. Unlike synthetic soaps, castile soap keeps all its glycerin content that helps to keep your hair and scalp hydrated.
2. Great for Soothing Sensitive or Irritated Scalp
Castile soap uses very few ingredients and is all-natural, making it an excellent option for people with sensitivities to chemicals found in synthetic soaps and shampoos.
The soap cleans gently, which is ideal for people suffering from scalp problems like dermatitis and eczema. Most commercial shampoos and soaps contain harsh detergents and fragrances that can irritate the scalp.
Although castile soap is all-natural and quite effective in helping maintain a healthy scalp. Plus, olive oil has high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, which help restore hydration levels in the scalp.
3. Reduces Inflammation and Protection From Free Radicals
Olive oil contains oleocanthal –a compound known for high anti-inflammatory properties. Notably, studies have shown that oleocanthal’s anti-inflammatory potency is comparable to ibuprofen.
Therefore, castile soap is effective for lowering inflammations that cause most hair and scalp issues. The olive oil in castile soap contains vitamin A and E, which are considered natural antioxidants that eliminate free radicals.
Often, free radicals can trigger hair cell degeneration and lead to several hair problems like thinning and falling off.
Similarly, castile soap has superior antibacterial properties to keep your scalp free from germs. In fact, this study shows that castile soap is as good as saline solutions for wound healing.
How to Wash Your Hair with Castile Soap
When using castile soap to wash your hair, being gentle and precise can make the process successful and fulfilling.
However, a few mistakes can leave you feeling worse, especially with soap scum and greasy hair. Follow these steps to ensure a seamless hair care routine.
1. Dilute the Castile Soap Before Use
Castile soap is an extremely potent alkaline solution, and when used in undiluted form, it can cause abrupt pH disruptions on your scalp. You should take a small amount of castile soap and dilute it with enough purified water.
While it might appear easier to just use regular tap water, it’s important to remember that even the cleanest-looking tap water contains significant levels of metals and chlorine that could damage your hair.
If this is your first time, start with one tablespoon of the soap diluted with four cups of purified water. As you become more accustomed to castile soap, you may adjust the ratio according to your hair’s needs. Nevertheless, be careful with using too much castile soap.
Note: Even commercial brands of castile soap purchased over the counter usually require dilution. Dr. Bronner’s Soap is a popular commercial brand that uses “Dilute! Dilute! Ok!” within their labeling and marketing materials. So, please follow directions and dilute this soap before using it.
2. Always Use a Post-Wash Acidic Rinse
Castile soap is alkaline; thus, you need a follow-up rinse with an acidic solution like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to rebalance the natural pH on your scalp.
You can either use four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or ¼ cup of lemon juice diluted with two cups of water. After rinsing with this acidic rinse, wait for a few minutes and rinse with lots of cold water to clear the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
If you are using apple cider vinegar as your post-wash acidic rinse (also called an acidic conditioning rinse), your hair might hold on to the smell. Although, it goes away as you rinse with water, so rinse until it dissipates completely. You can minimize the scent by adding a few drops of essential oil, like lavender oil.
3. Moisturize the Scalp and Hair with Oil
After washing your hair with castile soap, we like to use natural moisturizers instead of using synthetic conditioners, but it’s really a personal preference. Some great natural oil options include jojoba, avocado, coconut, apricot, sweet almond, argan, and castor oil. Aloe vera is also a good option.
How to Use Castile Soap for Hair Growth
Peppermint Castile Homemade Shampoo
Peppermint not only helps add a refreshing fragrance, but studies show that it can enhance hair growth without causing scalp irritation. In fact, research proves that peppermint oil is a more effective solution for preventing hair loss.
Tea tree essential oil contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help protect your scalp from infections by keeping germs at bay.
Ingredients and Directions
- 20 drops of quality peppermint oil
- 4 tablespoons of castile soap
- 20 drops of essential tea tree oil
- ½ teaspoon of virgin oil
- 2 cups of water
In a bottle, add the castile soap and dilute it with the water while shaking until it’s well mixed. Add the oils and continue shaking the mixture to get an even blend.
You can use the homemade shampoo to wash your hair and scalp. Use lemon water to rinse your scalp and hair, then moisturize with jojoba or olive oil.
Using Castile Soap for Hair Care
While you can use diluted castile soap to wash your hair, you can get more benefits by customizing the soap. When done right, castile soap shampoo can offer incredible benefits without the risk of chemicals found in conventional shampoos.
People with sensitive skin and scalps can often benefit from DIY shampoo, thanks to its gentle nature and rejuvenating properties.
Lavender Oil Castile Shampoo Bar
Almond oil is known for its emollient properties and helps moisturize the scalp and hair. On the other hand, lavender is a valuable ingredient in aromatherapy for relieving anxiety and stress. It can also stimulate hair follicles for faster hair growth.
Ingredients and Directions
- 30 drops of lavender oil to add fragrance
- 4 bars of castile soap
- ½ teaspoon of almond oil
- 2 cups of distilled water
In a bowl, melt the castile soap bars using moderate heat and the double boiler method. After the soap is thoroughly melted, add the lavender oil and almond oil to make a well-mixed solution.
Pour the shampoo in a mold or a caster and let it cool down and harden into a shampoo bar. Once it hardens, you can use the shampoo bar to wash your hair and after rinsing, apply almond oil to moisturize and add sheen to your hair.
Anti-Dandruff Castile Shampoo
Ingredients and directions
- 4 tablespoons or 5 bars of castile soap
- 30 drops of clove oil or 1 tablespoon of cloves powder
- ½ teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 200 ml of distilled water
If you’re using liquid soap, pour the distilled water and soap into a bottle and shake well to mix. Add the other ingredients and shake well until you get an even mix.
If you’re using castile soap bars, melt the soap in a microwave to get a clear liquid, then add all other ingredients and mix well. Pour the mixture into casters and allow it to set.
Rosemary Lemon Castile Shampoo For Extra Sheen
Lemon oil can unclog hair follicles and leave your hair looking vibrant and shiny. On the other hand, rosemary oil stimulates the scalp for thicker hair while repairing damaged follicles and promotes new hair growth.
Ingredients and Preparation Directions
- 3 tablespoons of powdered rosemary leaves
- 6 bars of castile soap
- 2 tablespoons of almond oil
- 5 drops of essential rosemary oil
- 12 drops of essential lemon oil
In a heating bowl, put the castile soap bars and melt on low heat using the double boiler method. Keep the heat on until the soap melts into a clear liquid.
Add the rosemary leaves powder and stir the mixture. Add the lemon oil and rosemary oil while stirring the mixture, and finally, add the sweet almond oil to the solution. Pour the blend into suitable molds and allow some time to set and harden into a shampoo bar.
You can use the shampoo bar to clean your hair and scalp, but follow-up with a rinse massage with some almond oil to lock in the moisture.
Is Castile Soap Good for Hair Care?
Castile soap is a natural, non-toxic solution, but your experience depends on how you prepare the hair care soap. If you only have hard tap water, then castile soap recipes may not be a good idea for you.
It might leave you with an ugly mess on your hair, but if you have filtered or distilled water, then you should give castile soap a try. It’s important to note that poor water quality, especially if you live in an area with hard water conditions, can cause hair damage. Read this article to learn more.
Unlike most DIY hair care products, castile soap requires careful use and adherence to specific conditions for it to work. Similarly, steer clear of castile soap if you have dyed hair because the high pH will remove the hair color with one application.
Making the transition from commercial shampoos to castile soap shampoos is not always easy. And it may not be ideal for everyone since different hair types will react differently.
In fact, your immediate observation may discourage you from using castile soap. Your hair might feel unclean and heavy, but the hair will adjust to the new routine after some time.
Most importantly, pair the shampoo with a conditioner to make the transition easier.
Hair Care Mistakes To Avoid With Castile Soap
Castile soap is a simple, natural, beauty solution that is safe to use for most people. However, some things could go wrong if you are not careful. Avoid the following mistakes when using castile soap for your hair.
Don’t Use Castile Soap on Dyed Hair
As incredible as it may seem, hair dyes can compromise your hair, and bleaching affects the structural integrity of your hair. According to a study about oxidative damage of multiple hair coloring and shampooing cycles, bleaching before dying leads to significant structural damage.
As such, it is essential only to use shampoos that are not too harsh on the weakened hair. In fact, the shampoo should be working towards hair reconstruction. While it is free of chemicals, castile soap is highly alkaline and will quickly strip the color follicles of dyed or highlighted hair.
Don’t Use Hard Water to Dilute Castile Soap
It would be best if you didn’t use concentrated castile soap directly on your hair. Always dilute a small amount of soap with water.
Hard water has high amounts of mineral content and given that castile soap has a high pH, combining hard water with castile soap will lead to the formation of lots of scum. Instead, use filtered water to dilute the soap, and you won’t have to use too much vinegar to rinse off the soap.
Castile Soap Shampoo Recipe
Ingredients and Directions
- ¼ cup of castile soap
- ½ cup of water, filtered or distilled
- 40 drops of essential oils, like lavender oil, tea tree oil, and rose oil
- ½ a cup of carrier oil like olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or argan oil
In a clean bottle, pour in the castile soap, then add the distilled water and shake vigorously to mix well. Add the essential oils and carrier oil, and continue shaking until you get an even blend. Anytime you want to use the Castile shampoo, use a quarter of the prepared volume from this recipe.
However, if you are switching to natural shampoo from long-term use of commercial shampoos, patience is necessary. Your hair may go through a detox period where it can feel oily, stiff, heavy, sticky, or extremely dry. After a period of time, it should return to normal.
Castile soap has made waves in the curly hair community as a DIY beauty product regardless of hair type. However, if it’s not used in the right way, it will surely leave you with a greasy mess that looks terrible on your hair.
Often, this is caused by excess minerals in hard water, and the only way to avoid the greasy scum is by using distilled water.
Overall, very few hair care products can be as versatile as castile soap. Besides cleaning your hair and scalp effectively, castile soap can be customized to protect your hair and nourish the scalp.
If you want to experience the benefits of this simple and natural beauty product, try one of the shampoo recipes discussed above. It’s completely free of harsh chemicals, and you can always add a few drops of essential oils to boost the benefits.