Homemade Soapwort
Shampoo recipe
Natural hair care recipes

Welcome to my homemade soapwort shampoo sanctuary. You will be as smitten as I am with these delightful hair care recipes once you have given them a try 

Soapwort is one of those natural ingredients that never disappoint me. No matter if it’s disguised as a skin cleanser or a homemade shampoo it never stops to surprise and seduce me with its light sudsy nature and gentle easing touch

You will find a soapwort shampoo recipe here that will trigger your curiosity. It will take you on a journey, make you want to learn more, and before you know it you’ll be creating your own signature homemade soapwort shampoo…that’s at least how it went for me

We have the recipe you bring the energy

…and the ingredients plus some kitchen utensils please

I very often use Soapwort (scientific name: Saponaria officinalis) as a basic ingredient in my natural hair care recipes. (as do many natural homemade hair care aficionadettes and dudes…) And yes, every time I use it I am still impressed with its cleansing abilities and its gentle sudsy feel

Why soapwort shampoo, what are the benefits of soapwort for my hair?

Soapwort is multi talented, for centuries it has been used medicinally and also to clean delicate fabrics or people’s skin and hair. Its scientific name is derived from the Latin sapo, (stem sapon-) meaning "soap," which, of course, refers to its cleaning abilities. This same Latin word also gave the name to the substance Saponin, which is contained in relative high concentrations in the soapwort roots

These Saponins are responsible for the mellow yellowish lather once you massage the soapwort root with some water into your hair. Although these Saponins are basically toxic (when taken internally in large doses) they ARE the reason everybody falls in love with Sweet William (as Soapwort is also known.) And yet it’s not a toxic relationship Bill and I are in, not even close… ;-)    


Other names for Soapwort you might hear are Bouncing Bet, Latherwort, Fuller’s Herb, Old Maid’s Pink or Lady’s Washbowl

Soapwort’s transcendent lather also seems to be helpful against dandruff and itchy scalp. I personally don’t use it for these purposes, but it’s always good to know

(Hey, I don’t have itchy scalp or dandruff…so it DOES work! Ahaa by this logic it also works against juggling pink elephants in tights, of which I also don’t suffer… ;-)

Enough talking, let’s get it on! …Hey, I told you Bill and I have something going on…

Natural hair care recipes
Homemade Soapwort
Shampoo recipe sanctuary

Here in my homemade soapwort shampoo sanctuary I treasure some very different soapwort shampoo recipes. They can be the beginning of your soapwort journey or the end of along search for that one shampoo recipe that works for you. Let’s find out

A few things before we start

If you need to grind ingredients, you can use a mortar and pestle, a small (old) coffee grinder or you put the ingredients in a small plastic bag and crush it with a rolling pin

All (kitchen) utensils or appliances you use when making these soapwort shampoo recipes should not be used for food preparation anymore. Just to be on the safe side

Soapwort doesn’t really have an outspoken, friendly smell. Some say it doesn’t really have a smell; some call it “earth-like” others call it even “fairly offensive.” In any case if you want a bit of a nice smell you would have to add herbs, flowers, fragrant or essential oils of your choice

If you want to lengthen the shelf life of a homemade soapwort shampoo (or any other homemade shampoo for that matter) you can add either Rosemary oil extract or Grapefruit seed extract. These work as a natural preservative because of their anti-microbial properties

Transition period

Be aware that your hair might need a transition period ranging from instantaneously to 8 weeks (not for sure.) It all depends on the recipe, the state of your hair, your previous shampoo etc. In this period your hair needs to find its new natural balance after all these years of chemical and harsh products. Make sure you monitor your progress and take appropriate action when needed



When taken internally in large dose, Soapwort root is mildly poisonous, so Don’t!

Having said all that…It's now official home spa pampering time! Gather the ingredients, invite some friends over, turn off your phone, turn on your favorite music, pour that drink you love, shift your mind to the good things in life, put on a smile and most importantly:

Think positive, happy thoughts and relax...

this is actually half the secret of these recipes!

Enjoy and have FUN!

Making shampoo

Basic homemade soapwort shampoo

In this basic homemade soapwort shampoo recipe the gentle cleansing abilities of the soapwort root are featured. The Saponins in this hair care recipe will give you that gentle foamy cleansing action that can be used as a sort of wash-all. The Lemon Verbena in this shampoo recipe not only smells good but it also has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Because it is rich in volatile oils it also has a calming effect

What do you need:

  • 2 cups distilled Water
  • 1½ tablespoon Soapwort root (dried & chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Verbena

How to do it:

Bring the water to a boil. While gently stirring add the dried and chopped soapwort root. Cover and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Take it from the heat source and add the Lemon Verbena, let it steep and cool down

When cooled down strain it through cheesecloth. Pour the liquid into a squeeze bottle (squeeze bottles make for more foamy fun)

Good for 6 or 7 wonderfully sudsy shampoos

If you store it in a dark, cool place after using it, you can keep it for a maximum of 10 days

Making shampoo

Homemade soapwort shampoo with Catnip, Burdock & Lemon balm 

Some natural hair care recipes use catnip because it is said to promote hair growth. But it is mostly known for “curing” split ends, increasing hair thickness or giving more volume and finally for improving hair quality in general. Burdock also stimulates hair growth and might help against hair loss. The Lemon Balm adds a nice fresh scent to this shampoo recipe


What do you need:

  • 2 cups distilled Water
  • 1½ tablespoon Soapwort root (dried & chopped)
  • ½ tablespoon dried Catnip
  • ½ tablespoon dried Burdock root
  • ½ tablespoon Lemon Balm


How to do it:

Boil the water and add the dried and chopped soapwort root while stirring. Cover and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Take it from the heat source and add the Lemon Balm, Catnip and Burdock root (don’t boil the catnip since that will evaporate its oils.) Let it steep and cool down

When cool pour it through a strainer. Pour the liquid into a squeeze bottle

Good for 6 or 7 wonderful soapwort shampoo treatments

If you store it in a dark, cool place after using it, you can keep it for a maximum of 10 days

Making shampoo

Herbal Color homemade soapwort shampoo

Some really interesting and “colorful” herbal soapwort shampoo recipes. They gently cleanse, strengthen your hair, stimulate hair growth and might also prevent dandruff. It consists of a base shampoo to which you can add different herbs for different effects. Don’t expect sudsy heaven, but it will certainly clean your hair


What do you need:

For the shampoo base

  • 2 cups distilled Water
  • 3 tablespoons Soapwort root (dried & chopped)


For dark hair add:

  • ¾ cup Nettle
  • ¾ cup Rosemary
  • ¾ cup Spearmint


For a chestnut effect add:

  • 1 cup Cloves
  • ¾ cup Nettle
  • ½ cup Rosemary


For light hair add:

  • ¾ cup Chamomile
  • ¾ cup Lemongrass
  • ¾ cup Calendula


How to do it:

Bring the water to a boil. While gently stirring add the dried and chopped soapwort root. Cover and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Take it from the heat source and add the herbs of choice. Let this steep and cool down for a few hours

Then pour the liquid through a strainer and then into a closable squeeze bottle

Shake every time you want to use it

Good for 6 or 7 herbal soapwort shampoo treatments

If you store it in a dark, cool place after using it, you can keep it for a maximum of 10 days

Tip: To all of these shampoo recipes you can also add fennel as a “conditioner”

Making shampoo

Homemade soapwort shampoo with Yucca & Hibiscus

Like Soapwort root, Yucca root contains high concentrations of saponins. Yucca root is the Southwest’s Native American equivalent of Europe’s and Asia’s soapwort root

The plants and flowers of the Hibiscus bush are known to cleanse the scalp and hair. They are believed to remove dirt without getting rid of the precious oils your scalp actually needs and they soften your hair

This homemade soapwort shampoo recipe will lather pretty nicely, will definitely clean your hair and scalp and provide a lot of gentle sudsy fun


What do you need:

  • 2 cups distilled Water
  • 1 tablespoon Soapwort root (dried & chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Yucca root (dried & chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons Hibiscus leaves


How to do it:

Bring the water to a boil add the dried and chopped soapwort and yucca root and the hibiscus while gently stirring. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes

Take it from the stove and let it cool down

When cooled down strain it through cheesecloth. Pour the liquid into a squeeze bottle (squeeze bottles will now make for even more foamy fun)

Making shampoo

Homemade soapwort shampoo with Rosemary


Rosemary is a famous natural hair care ingredient. It is believed to stimulate your hair follicles which means it promotes hair growth


What do you need:

  • 1 cup distilled Water
  • ½ tablespoon Soapwort root (dried & chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons Rosemary
  • 4 drops Rosemary essential oil


How to do it:

Put the Soapwort root and Rosemary together with the water in a pot. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes

Take it from the stove and let it cool down and then strain it

Add the essential oil and stir gently

If stored in a dark cool place you can keep it up to a week

Making shampoo

Homemade soapwort shampoo with Willow bark & Marshmallow

Someone called this one Hair Gravy, which I think is the most kick-ass name I ever came across in natural hair care land… And appropriate because this shampoo recipe makes a nice, thick, gravy-like Soapwort shampoo. Leaves your hair and scalp as clean as whistle

The salicylic acid in white willow bark exfoliates the scalp and its tannins are astringent. Works very well against oily hair and dandruff

Marshmallow softens the hair naturally and makes it more slippery, which helps when you need detangling

Arrowroot starch is an underestimated conditioner


What do you need:

  • 2 cups distilled Water
  • 2 tablespoons Soapwort root (dried and chopped)
  • 2 table spoons White Willow Bark
  • 2 tablespoons Marshmallow
  • Arrowroot Starch (as much as needed)


How to do it:

Put all ingredients in a pan, stir gently every now and then, and boil it until there’s only 1 cup of fluid left

Now put it on a low fire (don’t let it boil) and add the Arrowroot starch until you have that gravy-like substance

Pass the Gravy please…double please with sugar on top!

Love it now!!

...thank me later ;-)

Some words of caution 

Before you use any ingredient from these natural hair care recipes, make sure you know what the effect is on your skin, hair and health in general; especially if you have sensitive skin, are pregnant, or have a medical condition. Also take special care in determining the right dosage 

Because you can never be too careful, always do a patch test on a small piece of skin (e.g. behind the ear) to see how you and your skin react to separate ingredients

Also beware that essential oils are powerful; make sure you know what you use, its effects and how much you use

Looking for more natural hair care or home care hair recipes?

Why stop at these homemade soapwort shampoo recipes? We have many, many more specific natural shampoo recipes, conditioners, rinses, hair styling products, dyes, hair treatments and remedies. Take a look at our natural hair care page below. It will lead you into a whole new world of homemade hair products that will take your natural hair care regimen to another level and make your home spa days even sweeter

Delve deeper into our:

Natural hair care recipes

Or find here recipes for a specific shampoo or conditioner

Sweeter Home Spa Day?

If you're a real natural gal (or guy) and you want your home spa day to be even more of a treat, you might also read our other natural beauty pages and find some incredible recipes

...and always remember you're already gifted with the

most effective natural solution available:

Natural home remedies with a genuine smile

And in case that doesn't help, you can find one here at

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