Yucca Root–Another Natural Hair Cleanser


I received my order from Mountain Rose Herbs this week that included the herb yucca root.  I’ve been in a bit of a rut with my hair care the past few weeks and finally got it all under control again.  I am still playing around with different herbal combinations with other herbs and clays, yet figured that sharing this herb for all of you DIY hair care makers would be helpful and fun.

I was seeking something else for my natural hair care and adding yucca root was my answer.

“Yucca is a succulent that grows throughout the southern United States. Native American tribes used the leaves of the yucca for treating numerous conditions, including psoriasis, dandruff, hair loss, skin sores and inflammation, including joint inflammation due to rheumatism and arthritis. Tribes of the Southwest use the yucca’s leaves to make soaps, shampoos and other hygiene related items, including dental floss. In northern New Mexico, healers use a tea brewed from yucca leaves to treat asthma and headaches. Current research suggests that the saponins in yucca are a precursor to cortisone, which prevents the release of toxins from the intestines that restrict the growth of cartilage, making yucca useful in treating arthritis and other soft tissue inflammatory diseases.” ~Mountain Rose Herbs

I purchased dried yucca root powder, yet I’ve seen videos like this one which share how to make yucca root shampoo with the actual fresh plant root.  You can also buy yucca root from grocery stores as I have seen it in the produce section.  Having yucca root in powder form makes it very easy to use.

I mix one tablespoon of yucca root powder in two cups of water and blend in my food processor.  Because yucca root is very high in saponins it creates a very foamy smooth liquid that will gently cleanse the hair.  It is easiest to use in a bottle with a concentrated applicator.  (This is a water based recipe so plan to use whatever you make within a week and refrigerate.)

I truly wanted to get back to a 100% all natural hair care regimen that did not include any other conditioner ingredients, but my hair wasn’t having it!

Using my homemade conditioner to detangle and as a leave-in again was the solution to my dry hair.   Adding clays and herbs like yucca root and others that are in my DIY Herbal Hair Rinse back into my regimen has been wonderful.  I cleansed and styled my hair with only conditioner for ten months and found that the moisture levels of my hair were finally where they should have always been.  I have to say that I actually like using herbs and clays as shampoo along with using a leave-in conditioner.  It has become the perfect balance for my hair and scalp as well as stretches out my homemade conditioner.  You can find yucca root here at Mountain Rose Herbs as well.

What herbs have you added to your beauty regimen?

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(Image by Dawn Michelle)

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  1. Zaneen says

    I’ve tried yucca before and really liked it. It made my hair soft. I use a bunch of Ayurvedic powders for hair.

  2. says

    I have a question (surprise, surprise) what are your thoughts on baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse??? I’ve been doing this since my shampoo and conditioner ran out and I am really liking it but wondering if it’s good for my hair?

  3. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Ali Mc,

    I haven’t ever tried using baking soda in my hair because the pH is so high. Apple cider vinegar is great for bringing the proper pH levels back into the hair after using natural shampoo bars (which are also usually high in pH) and after washing your hair with baking soda. I know that is a very popular combination in the no ‘poo hair community.

    Because I have really dry curly hair, I try to avoid anything with a pH higher than water. I’ve seen more and more people love baking soda and apple cider vinegar to cleanse their hair yet they weren’t curly girls overall. I’ve also heard of people mixing baking soda with conditioner with great result as well with all hair types. I wrote this article on pH in beauty products, yet I honestly believe everyone should do exactly what works for them. One major benefit is that this method is very inexpensive and extremely eco-friendly. Both of those benefits seriously out weight the pH levels if it is working well for you.

    Enjoy your weekend Ali!
    ~Dawn Michelle

  4. mint says

    Im experimentingwith different ways to naturally cleanse hair as well. Ive tried so many. I was wondering if you tried using oatmeal to cleanse hair?

  5. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Scribbler, I haven’t seen yucca root powder at Whole Foods or natural grocery stores in LA, yet if you know of a natural food store that sells lots of bulk dried herbs you may luck up there. Also any herb store would probably have it as well but I’m not sure. Enjoy your day!

  6. aimi says

    I have curly hair too. You have been using yucca for awhile, right? How is it working? Is there a need for conditioner afterwards?

  7. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Aimi, My hair is extremely dry so I always need to use a conditioner and oil/butter afterwards. It just depends on what your hair needs. Conditioner is always a must for me, yet I do love yucca root as a gentle hair cleanser.

  8. Lindsey says

    this sounds awesome and i’m excited to try it myself! 2 quick questions– how often can you use the yucca root to wash your hair? also, how many washes do you usually get from each recipe?

  9. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lindsey,
    You can use yucca root as often as you like as a shampoo. It is a gentle cleanser that also softens the hair. How many washes that you will get from each recipe mainly depends on the length and thickness of your hair.
    Best wishes!

  10. Crystal says

    Hi there Dawn! Thanks so much for this idea. I just wanted to let anyone know in the Denver metro area, Vitamin Cottage carries yucca powder in their bulk herbs section. My bag was $2.54 and looks like about 6 tbsps. worth of powder. I will report back with my results.

  11. Pat says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,
    I just LOVE the yucca root hair wash! Also have been adding 1 Tbl. of ?Amla powder, after mixing it with a little boiling water, and allowing to cool down. Wonderful conditioning and body!
    Just wondered if you wet your hair before applying the yucca root solution?

  12. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Pat,
    This is so great to hear! Yucca root is an incredible herb to use for hair care! Wetting the hair prior is helpful. I prefer to use a spray bottle filled with water first when using herbal hair cleansers.
    Best wishes!

  13. says

    Hello Dawn Michelle,

    I’m new to herbal cleansing. So, I today I purchased yucca root powder, Brahmi, and Marshmallow root. How do I mix, or include this items in my Rhassoul Clay? Or do I mix the herbs without clay.

    Presently, I’ve been washing with water only (my hair LOVES IT!)twice a week. If needed wash with Rhassoul clay & coconut milk once a week.

    Thanks a bunch:)

    Have a great day!


  14. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi GG,
    If the yucca, brahmi, and marshmallow root are all powdered herbs you can prepare them together in two different ways depending upon your preference.

    1. Combine equal parts and create a tea mixture using this method.
    2. Mix equal parts of the powdered herbs with warm-hot water and stir until smooth as mentioned in this method.

    Then use your mix as you would shampoo. You can add some rhassoul clay to your 2nd mix, yet it doesn’t work as well with the tea version in my opinion unless added after the tea is infused.

    I’m also glad that you are enjoying water only hair washing too. It’s wonderful to incorporate into your hair regimen even if it isn’t the main way you cleanse your hair. The rhassoul and coconut milk is pretty amazing too! There are tons of simple organic and natural hair care options. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to try so many and also share them.

    Best wishes!

  15. Carter says

    Hey! I have been reading some of these recipes, and they look amazing. Simple but effective, which is exactly what I am wanting. It appears that yucca root is naturally pH balanced, and I know your rhassoul clay shampoo/rinse thingy uses aloe vera juice over water for optimum acidity for hair, and this led me to wonder if it would be beneficial to replace the water with aloe vera juice. Do you think this would be too much and over kill, or possibly a good idea?

    Thanks for any opinion you might be able to give, and for writing this up! It’s been super helpful to read :)

  16. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Carter,
    Adding aloe vera to yucca root would not be an overkill in my opinion as aloe vera is amazing for hair. Please let me know how this works out for you. <3

  17. Carter says

    The aloe vera juice I used was undiluted and suggested diluting to 1 part aloe to 2 to 4 parts other juice for drinking, so I decided to start with doing 1 cup water, 1 cup aloe, and 1 tablespoon yucca root power. I used a very liberal amount when washing.

    My hair feels awesome. It feels clean and slick and soft and still has plenty of body. Lack of body is what was bothering me about using clay based shampoos. I might mess with the ratios some more to see what works best for my hair, but I am pretty happy with these results

  18. shola says

    Hi Dawn Michelle,

    Was the yucca root any good at cleaning your scalp and removing mild buildup? I don’t use commercial products so I’m not looking for a strong cleanser but I do get buildup from sebum and skin cells etc

  19. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Shola,
    I still enjoy using yucca root as a hair cleanser. You can use it as a cleansing tea which I describe how to use powdered herbs in tea form here. If you don’t want to use coffee filters, you can also strain the tea with a clean nylon. Another tip is to follow up with a vinegar rinse. I use one part vinegar (usually raw apple cider vinegar) to four parts water. More tips on avoiding product buildup here. Hope this helps!

  20. Julie says

    Hey Dawn, Again I want to say how much I appreciate all your info and recipes. I have been trying a few and honestly my hair has stop shedding and less breakage. Now I did the yucca thing, peeled the root and juiced it, used the juice to cleanse my hair I have less shedding, less breakage and great shine. Different strokes for older folks. Keep up the great work, just love love your site. I’m spreading the word

  21. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Julie,
    Sweet news! I have never used fresh yucca root juice. That must have been amazing. I have to dried organic powder. Once again I’m thrilled that using simple natural hair care is working so well for you. Less shedding and less breakage means healthier hair overall. <3

  22. Lauren Walker says

    Yucca and yuca are different right? Can I get yucca root at a grocery store? I’ve researched how to make it :)

  23. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lauren Walker,
    I actually have seen yucca root at the grocery store yet I prefer to use the dried root or dried yucca root powder. I have seen a video on YouTube of how Native Americans have used fresh yucca root to make a natural shampoo. The process is a bit more involved which is why I prefer to use the dried herb/powder. Hope this helps!