WW: DIY Shampoo if Allergic to Coconut on Whatever Wednesday

Shampoo in re-purposed pump bottle

EDITED TO ADD : Please go see the newest version of this recipe – it’s a lot better!! – UPDATED AGAIN!! DIY Shampoo if Allergic to Coconut on Whatever Wednesday

So here’s the thing. Being allergic to coconut is a b*tch, once you realize that coconut is in just about every cleaning product on the market. To get a list of coconut derivatives, go here, thanks to Becky at the Allergic to Coconut? blog. Due to some issues with breaking out much more than I should be at freaking *40*, I decided I wanted to try cutting out any coconut derivatives that touch my skin.

First, most soap and shampoos contain at least one of the coconut derivatives on the list, if not five to ten of them. Most lotions, face masks, acne treatments, etc., etc., etc., contain at least one of the coconut derivatives as well. When I decided to go looking at my beauty and personal hygiene products, guess what? Every single one had coconut in them, except one lotion, and when I looked up the ingredients I didn’t recognize on that label, it turned out to be two forms of pesticide. Yippy fricking skippy.

The first thing I did was to try to find a recipe for shampoo, because I was breaking out in my hair, which hadn’t ever been a problem before. I posted this information earlier in one of our Fabulous Friday Finds, but I’ve made some modifications.

I found this recipe for making your own shampoo, which calls for castile soap. Just be aware that even some castile soaps, like Dr. Bonner, have coconut in them. I found a recipe for making castile soap from Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap. Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap does not have any coconut in it. I made the shampoo with some modifications and found it too drying on my hair, so I added olive oil, but found it could be a bit waxy. This time I think I have it the way I like it. I’ve been using it as a body wash as well.

Denise’s Version of DIY Shampoo

  • 1 Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap – 8 oz bar, grated (I grated it in my food processor, dumped it out, put the blade in, put it back in the food processor and pulverized it some more.  Doesn’t take as long to dissolve in the water this way.  Make sure you clean your food processor really well afterwards.)
  • 5 cups of distilled water
  • 3 Tablespoons of grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of castor oil
  • 10-15 drops of tea tree essential oil

Grate Kiss My Face Soap.  Place in a glass or plastic container with 5 cups of distilled water.  Stir well, cover, and leave overnight.  The next day, check to see if the soap bits have completely dissolved. If not, stir again and let sit.  When the soap has completely dissolved, add, the grapeseed oil, the castor oil and the tea tree oil, and mix together.  I used a whisk, I found it incorporated the oil better.  This makes about 48 oz of shampoo.  I put half in a pump bottle (Yes, it’s a store-brand hand sanitizer bottle, reduce, reuse, recycle, remember?) in the shower and half in the fridge until I run out.  Or you could just make half the recipe 🙂

You can use the shampoo as body wash and facial wash as well, but stay tuned for further posts on facial cleansing options.


    1. Hi Denise. I finally got the soap to dissolve and made up the shampoo. It definitely smells like olive oil soap but it lathered well and my scalp feels wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing. Mary S.

    2. Thank heavens to “Kiss My Face” and to you for the “how to” ! I am allergic to coconut, wheat, Aragon oil, mango, mint, and aloe vera! Ya it really sucks! My head is full of blister and I am always on edge from being sick and itchy. If anyone else has info I would love to know.

      1. I’m glad it helps Natasha! I’m going to be posting an updated versions soon because I’ve got an improvement, but it doesn’t change the recipe very much.

    3. Can we use substitutions? We are overseas due to the military and I’m having a hard time finding grapeseed oil and kiss my face soap. Can I use kirks castile bar soap and olive oil instead? Thank you

      1. Likely those substitutions would work, but you will have to play with the oils — grapeseed is lighter than olive. And if you need to avoid coconut, you will need to check the formulation of the soap, as most castille (in the US, at least) contains coconut oil.

      2. If my memory serves, Kirk’s has coconut in it, so if you have a coconut issue, then you can’t use that. I tried oil oil, but it made my hair too waxy, and I got too much build up. Maybe try apricot kernal oil or jojoba oil if they aren’t allergens for you?

    4. Thank you for this post! I have been trying to figure out how to make my own shampoo since the no poo method didn’t work for me. My husband has a coconut allergy and I am trying to get all forms of coconut out of our house.

    5. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m allergic to coconut, and it used to be that I only had a problem if I ingested it, but it’s getting more severe, as allergies do, and now there’s NO commercial shampoo that doesn’t break me out. Such a relief to have options–and I already have the KMF soap on hand!

      1. Hi Kellie,

        Make sure you use the updated version here, it lathers way better, and is softer. You probably won’t need conditioner. If you feel you still do, add a bit more of the oils, particularly the avocado to the shampoo mix. I have the opposite problem that I get build up and need to do to a cider vinegar rinse every two weeks or so to remove buildup. Let me know how it works out.


    6. trader joes has shampoo, conditioner, body cream, and soap without coconut.. they work better on my hair than aveda did, cost next to nothing, and healthy ingredients.

      1. Shana, can you be specific about what you’re using? Every single Trader Joe’s shampoo and lotion I just Googled, the ingredients contain coconut derivatives, although the label doesn’t say coconut by itself.

    7. I’m really excited to see this recipe since I know I can find the Kiss My Face soap locally. We just found out two weeks ago that my son has a contact allergy to coconut (not sure about a food allergy yet). It has been a steep learning curve and everything from his toothpaste to his chewable vitamins has coconut in it! Shampoo is one thing I haven’t found a replacement for yet. I just started a blog about our family’s multiple allergies and am writing down what I am learning about coconut allergy and the safe products I am finding

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