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Avocado Seed Shampoo

We eat a couple avocados a month. Lucky the avocados we buy are almost a year round indulgence, and come from a farm three hours from Melbourne. The same farm supplies all of our citrus fruit in winter, growing the best blood oranges EVER.

I try my hardest to use up as much of the food I buy. Right now I have a pot on the stove full of food scraps that I am turning into broth. And if part of a vegetable can't be used in some way, then it goes to compost. Avocado seeds were one item I threw straight into the compost, until recently.

Did you know the seed can be turned into a shampoo? Me either! Turns out avocado seeds are used in a variety of ways. You can grind them into a powder, to use as an exfoliant. The seeds are used for cooking in Mexico. It has been ground up for use as an age old dandruff remedy. And some people even put them into smoothies. I will stick with the shampoo today...

Avocado Seed Shampoo

Trying alternate shampoo methods, seems to be a rite of passage, for the plastic free and zero wasters out there. At the core of both of these lifestyles is the desire to reduce impact on the environment, swapping out the commercial products for more natural choices with minimal packaging.

It's no secret that most of the commercial shampoos out there are full of weird concoctions and are not the healthiest for us or the environment, plus there is the added packaging.

I have tried bicarb and apple cider vinegar with poor results. Both irritated my scalp, leaving it sore and red. Rye flour too was not a successful swap for shampoo. It took far too long for me to wash out of my hair, meaning I was wasting water. In between my two failed attempts to use simpler methods, I have been refilling my bottles with shampoo from local bulk stores.

After trying these two methods the idea of trying the avocado seed shampoo was not that crazy.

The method of making avocado seed shampoo is pretty simple, and what I like about it is that it might be a way to wean myself off of shampoo and move to water only. Oh and there is that awesome money saving aspect that appeals to me too!

I followed the method from Bread with Honey.
  • Pull your seeds from the avocado, wash and dry. I kept the seeds in the pantry until I had three ready to use. 
  • Put 6 cups of water into a pot
  • Grate the seeds. The colour of the grated seed will be white but will turn orange (made me wonder if I could dye fabric with it?)
  • Place the grated seeds into the pot and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 30 mins. 
  • Strain into a bowl, cool and pour 3 cups into a bottle with ¼ cup of your shampoo. My original 6 cups cooked down to exactly 3 cups. 


I have only used it once. My hair is clean, my scalp does not feel dry or irritated. I will write a follow up after this bottle is finished. 

If all continues to go well, I will try using avocado seed without adding shampoo or might try castile soap. I use castile soap for cleaning the house, washing dishes and as hand soap. I have tried it as a shampoo before, but found it too heavy. Diluted in avocado seed liquid could alleviate that heaviness. 

What do you wash your hair with? Have you ever tried or currently clean your hair with only water?

45 comments

  1. I'm doing the no shampoo. It's going better than I thought, much less hair loss. Downside is I can't use the purple shampoo that kept the brassy yellow at bay but oh well. I've tried bicarb but don't like it either, it's very alkaline & I don't think the cider counteracts that enough. I don't like the Castile either. I use soap nuts for washing & dishes & a steam cleaner for all other cleaning. I haven't tried soap nuts as a shampoo but they sound good for that. All of this has significantly cut down what goes into recycling. I've got a long way to go though. Cheers Susan

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    1. I was wondering about soap nuts myself. I will have to see if anyone has used them before. Sounds like you are doing alot to reduce you waste.

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  2. Intersting! I just read the most fascinating article on all the uses for avocado pits. Not a single one mentioned shampoo! Lol. I might have to try this. I've been using Dr. B, but it is heavy - especially in the crown. If you don't scrub hard enough, it can get real greasy.

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    1. I have tried so many natural shampoos that are heavy. For the first two weeks, the result is great then the build up begins. Crossing my fingers this won't happen...

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    2. I've heard that you can use a bit of baking soda with the natural shampoo so your hair wont get greasy :) It seems that the baking soda add some power to the shampoo and cleans well/better.

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  3. After trying many different things (the worst being egg and honey...), I settled for bicarb and apple vinegar. Works fine for me. I have tried water only for a couple of months (during summer vacation) but this was a disaster.

    Have you seen the art work by @avocadostonefaces at Instagram? She makes the most amazing avocado seed carvings.

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    1. I WISH bicarb and ACV worked for me. My fingers are crossed for this one. Yes I have seen the avocado stone faces. They are so cute!!

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  4. Hi Erin, I'm trying a shampoo bar atm. Did you try that, how'd it go? I'm 2 weeks in and it isn't as bad as I expected. My husband has been using only water for years. In the past the kids have gotten a once a month shampoo but now I'm inclined to stop that and see what happens. Tammy

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    1. I used to use one, and still do when I travel (they take up no room in the suitcase). I'd like to see if I can go without shampoo and only use water.

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  5. Girrrlll! I'm suuuper super curious about this! Do you think that without any shampoo it will work? I'm really wanting to try because the seeds are always a big deal in my worm compost.

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    1. Hi Cristal, I am waiting for my shampoo to run out to try and go avocado seed only. I should know if it's a yay or a nay by January :)

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  6. Erin, so how is the avocado seed shampoo going? Can we have an update soon please :)

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    1. I will give an update in December - that should be six weeks. I can say now that my hair can go longer between shampoos and my scalp feels nice.

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  7. Yes, very keen like Megan for an update. I have a few avocados ready to go so am very keen to try this. Bi carb and ACV works for me however I am always looking for other alternatives

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    1. I will give an update next week. So far, so good. My scalp is enjoying less shampoo and my hair feels very conditioned.

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  8. I've tried no poo for six or so months and it didn't work for me. I tried baking soda + apple cider vinegar, cucumber + lemon, honey shampoos, clay ... nothing worked. The only thing that was sort of okay was egg yolk (made hair super soft), but it's basically impossible to wash it out without getting fried egg white in your hair. And it feels pretty wasteful to use eggs on your hair to me.

    I have been using organic shampoos for 4 years, so there was no weaning my hair off silicone or the like.

    I only realized how dirty (and stiff) my hair was when I went back to organic shampoo - it was kind of a revelation. I'd still love a simpler solution though, because it feels like washing your hair shouldn't require complicated mixtures of ingredients I don't fully understand to get my hair clean and happy.

    This avocado seed shampoo does sound quite fun though, so maybe I'll give that a try :)

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    1. None of them really worked for me either. Like you using food on my hair kinda feels like a waste. It is nice using something i would have normally composted. Let me know how you go with the avocado seed shampoo :)

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  9. I tried to pin this but it wouldn't let me saying the image was too small - bummer because more people need to see these tips. As for hair, you need a good natural bristle hairbrush. Sometimes they can be found in the pet store. The hair must be brushed aound 200 strokes each day/night. This removes all kinds of dirt. Once a week, wash hair with water only. It takes about a month before you see your hair isn't greasy and instead, shiny and soft. The brushing distributes the oil to the entire shaft and stimulates the scalp. If you revert to commercial shampoo, even a little during this time, you will find your hair greasy because it strips hair of natural oils and the body tries to compensate. I haven't shampooed my hair in over six months and cannot believe the difference. It looks beautiful and silky - and my hair was bleached and broken. I'm trying the avocado. Not sure if the extra oil in it will help or harm but it's worth a try. Great website.

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    1. Thanks for the tips Austria. I will give the brushing thing a go. Lucky i have a natural bristle brush. Let me know how you go with the avocado :)

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  10. Hi Erin, saw you on sunrise and now I'm going to try some of your recipes. My hair gets very dry and breaks easily. Most regular shampoos don't help much. I started to mash a banana and coconut oil together then apply to hair like a mask. Leave in for 15-20 mins then wash out. I use conditioner in my hair and comb out in the shower. My hair is a lot healthier when I do this. I add avocado sometimes which works well too. It has to be very soft and mushy mixture otherwise it falls out and down your back!

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    1. Those tricks sound like they are working well for your hair. If you decided to try the avocado seed shampoo, i'd love to know how you go. So far, my hair is doing really well.

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  11. You can definitely use avocado pits for fabric dyeing. I've got a whole lot of them by now (about 20) and am about to dye some wool with them. They should yield a pink colour, but my chemical-free dyeing experiments are, er... rather experimental, so no idea what's going to happen...

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    1. Good luck with it Fam. You will have to post a photo. I think it adds a little colour to my hair...

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  12. Hi Erin, l use castile soap and coconut milk. I tried apple cider vinegar but, like you, it just made my scalp red and dry. So l stick to the soap/milk shampoo and it works okay:)

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    1. Castile and coconut milk sounds very nourishing :) I might try that...

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  13. I am going to give this a go. Thanks for sharing. I am eager to try something more natural for my hair.

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    1. Happy to share :) I'd love to know how you go.

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  14. Baking soda & ACV has been working for me, but I have had irritation in the past and had to make some adjustments. Unlike most of the recipes I've read online I use only a half tbsp of baking soda in a cup of water and then a bit of very diluted ACV, and I only wash my hair once or twice a week as needed.

    That said, I was throwing an avocado pit in my compost bowl just the other day and wondering if there wasn't some better use for it. And my husband has been looking for a shampoo that fights dandruff. I'll definitely have to try this out. Thanks!

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    1. I wish it worked for me. Someone mentioned that it could be due to having soft water in Melbourne and the bicarb not working together. So far, this method is working well. How has your husband liked it?

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  15. tested and approved

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    1. I am so happy to hear that Chamane :)

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  16. Love this shampoo, have been using for a few months mixed with my remnant tea tree shampoo. I have tried the whole no poo, baking soda & ACV, shampoo bars etc etc but this is my favourite. Thanks for sharing!
    P.S. I gave you a shout out in my latest blog post :)

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    1. Yay!!! I am glad you love it. Great work with dying the tshirt with the peels and seeds. I did wonder how it would go as natural dye. I like the peach colour.

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  17. Anonymous8/02/2016

    Hi Erin :) I am curious on how it all went for you. What's the verdict on the avo? Are you still using it?

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    1. The verdict was that I loved it. I have since transitioned to water only hair washing, but might whip another batch of the avocado seed shampoo soon to give my hair a bit of a cleanse.

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  18. i have oily< and dry hair.recently i have hair loss continues.how can used Avocado Seed Shampoo?

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    1. Hi Sabuj, I'm not sure if it will help with hair loss. You might have to research for yourself as I don't have much experience with hair loss.

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  19. Hi Erin
    I'm wondering if you are still using water only hair washing. Do you use styling product or hairspray and does water only remove these products?

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    1. Hey Sharon, yes I wash with water only. I don't use styling products or hairspray. I imagine commercial styling products would be hard to remove with water only. Homemade or locally made options could wash off using only water.

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  20. Anonymous11/06/2016

    I was thinking a way to get around the raw mixture going off (without any shampoo) would be to ffreeze it in an ice cube tray then just take a cube to the shower when you wash your hair. The hot water and steam would melt it on your head.

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    1. That is an excellent idea!!! Thank so much for sharing :)

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  21. I actually use them as part of my hair loss routine. I break up and boil 2 avocado seeds and boil them till the water turns a redish purple. After I wash my hair I pour the avacado water over my head and let it dry in. Per my knowledge there are more vitamins in the seeds of most fruits and veggies and so doing the wash allows those to penetrate and nourish my hair and scalp

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    1. I have never let it dry in my hair though, but I will try it in the future. You are right, there are many vitamins in an avocado seed.

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  22. Anonymous2/09/2017

    Please clarify am i using the strained pit water and then adding it to a shampoo or using it alone? if added what shampoo would you suggest to add it to?

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    1. Yes that is correct, you are using the strained pit water and then adding shampoo (or liquid soap) to it. It can be any shampoo you have already.

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