Homemade Shampoo Recipe

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Homemade Shampoo

This homemade shampoo recipe is a little different, but my experience with it has been very good. Before I share the actual recipe, here are some details about how and why it works and what to expect if you decide to try it.  This is our most popular post who knew a post on shampoo and bath and beauty would be so popular, I hope you give it a try! If you want more homemade bath and beauty product recipes be sure to check out our chapter Pretty for Pennies in our cookbook


Homemade Shampoo Recipe

Homemade Shampoo

Years ago, I mentioned in a post about how I had a great aunt who was about 90 years old and had never shampooed her hair and everyone was horrified at such a thought. Even when I mentioned that I only wash my hair twice a week they thought that was awful.

This homemade shampoo recipe is a little different, but my experience with it has been very good. Before I share the actual recipe, here are some details about how and why it works and what to expect if you decide to try it.

The latest new buzz phrase is “poo less hair”. The people that talk about a homemade shampoo recipe and think they have invented a new thing. They have “discovered” what my aunt knew almost 100 years ago – You don’t need to use shampoo or soap to clean your hair.

Actually I have thought about trying it myself for quite a while and I’m not sure why I didn’t just jump in and do it a long time ago. But I finally did and I love it.

No more shampoo or conditioner for me. I have been using homemade shampoo for a couple of years and still can’t get over how great my hair looks.

Now I can hear some of you saying, “No way. I have oily hair and have to wash it every day and need the shampoo to get rid of the oil.” Please read on and consider what I am explaining.

I have very oily, fine, limp long hair. At times I have to deal with fuzzing and all kinds of weird things. To comb my hair out is a pain because of tangles. That is why I am so in awe.

How it Works

It works on the principle that the more oil is stripped from your hair the more oil your body will produce to replace it. It is a cycle. It works something like nursing a baby. The more you nurse the more milk you produce and when you stop all your milk goes away.

We have gotten into a shampooing frenzy, shampooing our hair every day to clean it, so we have started an awful “not good for our scalp” cycle with our bodies. Most shampoos are really bad about stripping the oils out of your hair, causing your body to produce more.

Guess what the number one selling hair product is on QVC (or home shopping network)? Wen. It is a “no shampoo” treatment for your hair. The price? Almost $35 for 16 oz. (about 2 cups) and for long hair you have to use 48 pumps of it. Do you know how expensive that is?

The homemade shampoo recipe I’ll share below does the same thing at a cost of about 3 cents for the same amount and you use significantly less of it.


What’s The Worst that can Happen?

I asked myself, “Why did I put this off so long? What is the worst that can happen?” I might have oily hair for a week or so and have to wear my hair in a pony tail. It won’t cost me a thing.


What do I have to Gain?

I will have healthier hair and save, in some cases, lots of money on shampoo, conditioner and hair products for the whole family. I am finding that I don’t have to use any products like mousse or gel because my hair is holding its curl better. This means I will save by not having to use or buy other products and I’ll also save time. Usually, within an hour, my hair would have lost all it’s curl and if I was going someplace later I would have to curl it again, damaging my hair more.


I Did It.

I jumped in and did it. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t do it years ago. Some people say their hair needed a 2-6 week adjustment period but I didn’t need one, even with my oily hair. The first time I didn’t use shampoo my hair looked even better than before. It combed out more easily with almost no tangles at all and it looked unbelievable. As I said, an added side bonus I hadn’t expected is that it keeps the curl and style better than it did before, so I don’t have to mess with it as much.

I am also going a little longer in between washing it and this is only after two weeks of doing this. I can’t wait to see what it will be like after a couple of months. This has been one of those things that has changed my life. I know that it may sound silly but you know how having a bad hair day makes us ladies feel. I don’t think I can ever have a bad hair day again!


What Do You Do?

There are different ways of doing this but I like to keep things simple so this is what I do. I also brush my hair before I start.

Homemade Shampoo Recipe

  1. Mix 1 Tbsp. baking soda with 8 oz. hot water and stir or shake until well dissolved. You can use a funnel and put this in a container like a squirt bottle.
  2. Mix 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. water. Again mix and store in a squirt bottle.

Essentially, you just replace the baking soda mix for shampoo and vinegar for conditioner. Wet hair well, rub in some of the baking soda and mix into your scalp well. Rinse. Then squirt it with the vinegar mix, rub it in and rinse.

I have long hair and the 8 oz. lasted me about 4-5 washings. If you use the same proportions, you can mix a larger amount and keep in a larger bottle if you want.


Questions Answered

My hair feels icky and like straw. If you have very hard water you may need to use a little more baking soda. You can tell you have the right amount because your hair will feel slippery.

If your hair seems a little oily, only add the vinegar rinse to the ends of your hair. You could also use lemon juice instead of vinegar.

If you see a white residue, you may be using too much baking soda in your homemade shampoo recipe. The proportions I listed seem to be just right. Some people place the baking soda in their hand and make a paste to rub into the scalp but it is hard to get the right consistency and I think it is harder to distribute evenly on your scalp.

Some people have found after using this homemade shampoo recipe for a while that they only have to rinse their hair with water because the ph and oil becomes so perfectly balanced. I haven’t been using it long enough yet to know about that.

I know some of you have used regular or apple cider vinegar for a rinse and liked it, and I have too, but adding the soda for shampoo is wonderful.


In Closing

Try the homemade shampoo recipe and see if you like it. If you are still too afraid to do it, try it on your children or husband for a week or two and see what happens with their hair.

It isn’t like you are investing large amounts of money or time into something. It is very simple. All I can say is I can never go back myself. My hair is so much more manageable and looks so good now that I don’t want shampoo near my hair.

I hope you give it a try!


We have had many different questions about different hair types and how this works for them. Here is a comment from one of our readers that I thought really covered many of those questions.

From Cheri

Thank you Jill for posting this homemade shampoo recipe! I am weaning my house off of most commercial products and didn’t know what I was going to do for hair care products. I found your article and tried it. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SHAMPOO OR CONDITIONER OR OTHER HAIR PRODUCT AGAIN!!! I love it! I have struggled with my hair my entire life.

I have medium length, dyed, naturally curly hair which tends to be very dry. I hesitated using this, thinking this might destroy my hair – most comments were from people with oily hair. It did the opposite! My hair has NEVER looked this great! And it actually looks good for a few days. I usually have the worst bed head (comments have been made that I looked like a Troll Doll on crack). My curls no longer turn into frizz and I have less maintenance then ever. I blow dried my hair straight today, and it actually shined without any other kind of product!

I can’t believe the number of years, the number of products, and the mountains of cash I have spent trying to find the right products for my hair. The only thing I did slightly different, just for the fun of it and found good results…

I used the vinegar mixture to rinse the baking soda out. It does that foaming action the two combined do and seems to reduce the baking soda residue. Then, I rinsed it all out with water. It feels really good and my kids have a great laugh watching it! :D THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!


What to do with stockpiled shampoo

  • To wash dedicates like undies or sweaters
  • Wash brushes and combs
  • Clean your tub and bath with it. It does a great job getting rid of soap scum.
  • Use it as a spot cleaner on your clothes for spots like ring around the collar. If you think about it, shampoo is made to remove human body oil from hair so it works great on body oil on clothes.
  • You can use extra shampoo for cleaning woodwork, leather, carpet stains and almost anything you would use soap on.
  • Leftover shampoo is a great degreaser so it works really well in a kitchen
  • Shampoo works well on paint brushes, too!
  • Use it to shave your legs or as a body wash
  • Use it for bubble bath
  • Save shampoo for washing the dog
  • Shampoo makes a great soap to use to wash your car.


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  1. Jaime says

    What if you have dandruff? Is there anything else that should be mixed in to this “non-shampoo” mixture for dandruff?

    • says

      Jamie this should help with the dandruff too. It balances the ph etc. on your scalp so well it gets rid of many of these problems. You might be sure to use the apple cider vinegar at first because if your dandruff is fungal then the vinegar should help with that too. Try it and just see what happens. It might take yours a week or two to get balanced if it is bad. I told myself what is the worse that could happen after 3-4 of weeks I could just start shampooing again.

      I got a call from my brother (you know brothers they believe nothing sisters say) but he did start this about a week ago. I knew he thought I was crazy. Well anyway he was on the phone almost 30 mins. long distance with me because he was so excited about how well this was working on his oily oily hair. He has really sensitive skin (can’t use deodorants etc.) and he kept saying how soft it made his hair and even his face when it rinsed down it. No oil and he hair has never looked better. I laughed because I and everyone is the same way. So hard to believe it and yet are amazed and so excited when it works so good.

    • Melanie says

      tea tree oil and coconut oil is an antifungal. A few drops of tea tree essential oil into your mix of baking soda and water. Or you can rub a VERY small amount of coconut oil into your scalp. Too much coconut oil will make your hair look oily. If this doesn’t work, then it’s probably not dandruff but instead dry scalp.

    • Shelly says

      I can’t get this concoction to work for love or money! What am I doing wrong?
      My hair is left oily at the scalp consistently. My water is good. Do you boil the
      water or just use hot tap water? I want this to work!!

      • says

        Shelley it is so hard to answer these questions sometimes with out more info or knowing exactly what someone is doing but I will try. Here are a couple of things I found for me. First I have to do it in the shower and I make sure I brush my hair well before I get in. Then I let the water run well on my hair and sort of rinse it with water. I then carefully pour the soda water all over my scalp only and massage it in very well then rinse well. I don’t boil the water even though some say you should. For me personally I like to keep my life simple. If I have to boil water to use for my shampoo that is one more step then I want to mess with so I would go back to regular shampoo if I did. Besides I think you only need to do that maybe if you have really awful water and I’m not sure that would even make a difference.
        If none of these steps work then maybe it just won’t work for your hair. It worked right away for me but I do know some have had to use it for up to 6 weeks to get the oil to balance in their hair.

      • Kaylen says

        I do 1/2 a tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup water and apply to dry scalp. I live in a hard water area, and a lot of people use less. If you want to wet your hair beforehand, up the ratio of baking soda to water.

        If I don’t use an acidic rinse on my scalp after washing it’s waxy and hard to run my hands through.

      • Wendy says

        Sometimes it takes a while for your hair to adjust to the no-poo. You have been stripping your hair of natural oils for so long, it may still think it needs to over produce oil. Give it sometime. If after a couple weeks it’s still too oily, you may need to play with the mixture or not use it as much.

      • says

        I can’t get it to work either. I have adjusted both solutions and my hair is at once oily near the scalp and oily near the roots as well as being limp. any suggestions?

          • Katie says

            I had an oily scalp when I first started doing this a couple years back. I did two things to combat it 1) let the baking soda and water sit for 5 mins or so while I shaved to let it work (like letting a dirty pot soak in the sink, lol). 2) for the first two months or so I still used a traditional conditioner. This seemed to help get any remaining residue out but yet was more gentle than traditional shampoo so it didn’t strip my hair so much. Good luck I hope you can get it to work because I eventually did and LOVE it!

          • Jennifer says


            I used the 1 tbsp.baking soda + 1 cup of water about 4 times but it left my hair on the top of my head overly heavy feeling and my ends are very dry. Then over the weekend , I tried to use a large aloe vera leaf, mashed up and squished all over my hair and on the ends. I was trying to aid in the very dry ends, but it seemed like nothing changed or helped. AAAH! I’m feeling impatient and slightly freaking out. I a nervous that I’m damaging my hair.

            Do you still think I should go another week with a little more baking soda and the ACV only on the ends? I sincerely need advice. I don’t want to go back to commercial shampoos or conditioners. Thanks!

          • says

            Jennifer I have had it do that every once in awhile do that to me and it happens normally when I quickly wash may hair in the sink. If I do it in the shower and let the hot water run through it really good (sort of rinsing it) then I pour on the soda water, massage it in real well and rinse again real well. You might try that alone and not use the ACV or anything else. The thing is some people have shampooed their hair so much and got the oil on it so out of balance it can take almost 4-6 weeks to get balanced out but if you can’t go that long you may have to go back to regular shampoo.

        • says

          There are some people I think who it maybe doesn’t work for. Be sure you do it for long enough. Some have to do it for 4-6 weeks to get the oil to balance out right on your scalp. What happens is normal shampoo strips the scalp of oil so your scalp then thinks it needs more oil so then produces more which means you shampoo more and then it produces even more oil.It takes a few weeks to break the cycle but I can understand it might hard to stick it out that long. I had very oily hair but only would shampoo a couple times a week so it didn’t seem to take very long for mine to adjust. Be sure not to use the cider vinegar on your scalp if you have oily hair only on the ends and to be honest I don’t use it at all now because my hair no longer tangles and that is what I used the vinegar to start out with. Don’t feel bad though if you can’t get it to work. It is suppose to help you not cause more stress in your life. : )

      • Jamie says

        I also had oily scalp after using just the baking soda. I went to lavender baby shampoo for a long time and that was ok. But I have just now discovered a wonderful combination of a couple drops of green Dawn liquid soap, the one with Oil of Olay cucumber scent, in with the baking soda. It works like nothing has ever worked before. I still use the ACV for conditioner, and now my hair is awesome.

        • says

          Just a heads up if some of you with oily scalps are having problems stop using the ACV. It almost puts an oily film on your head. If you use it be sure to use it on the very ends is all.

    • Toni says

      @Jaime use slightly cooler than room temperature water (or as cool/cold as you can stand it) for shampooing, conditioning and rinsing your hair. Do not let any hot or warm water touch your scalp. That by itself should take care of the dandruff regardless of what shampoo or mixture you use.

  2. Bobbi says

    actually, using shampoo and conditnor makes dandruff worse….beleive it or not, dandruff shampoo is even worse. My friend had a dandruff problem for years and was using all the dandruff products. Once he starting using baking soda method, he hasn’t had dandruff since.

  3. Anna says

    Maybe I missed it, but how often do you use the baking soda “shampoo”? Is it daily or weekly? I love this idea, and going back to living life more simply.

    • says

      The first week or two wash as often as you normally do then start skipping a day. After another week or two try to add another day.

      I only wash my hair twice a week. So that is how often I do it but you can do it more. I have been doing it for almost 3 weeks now and I have noticed I can go 1-2 days longer now with it looking fine. Eventually you should be up to once a week “pooing” and then if you want just rinsing in the shower with water in between if it needs it.

      Eventually they say it will get where you only need to “poo” once a month and rinse with water once in a while in the shower.

  4. says

    I love using a baking soda hair wash. I use 6T of baking soda in a quart spray bottle. I do add a few drops of essential oils. For the rinse I use 1/4 cup of Raw ACV in a quart spray bottle. My hair was super dry. I went through a few weeks of it being very oily as my scalp readjusted itself.

  5. Whatzhername says

    I am going to try this. I have thick but very fine curly hair. No matter what I use it always seems as though my hair is very dry.

    Jaime, I can remember my grandma using vinegar on her hair for dandruff. It seemed to work.

    • says

      So far from what I have found out this works really good for color treated hair because it doesn’t strip the hair like regular shampoo. That is why you have to use special shampoo because regular strips is so bad but even the special strips it more then the baking soda.

      Also you don’t have to use the Apple cider vinegar because it is more like a conditioner but I do because I have long hair and it does make my hair unbelievably soft.

      • Jeanne says

        I was wondering about hair color. The Wen product you mentioned is supposed to help preserve hair coloring and also preserve and/or bring back your own hair color.

        • says

          Baking soda does the same. We have had many readers who have used Wen but liked the baking soda better because it does even better then the Wen and is cheaper. Because it doesn’t strip your hair like shampoo the color stays in longer.

      • Jeanne T. says

        I was wondering about hair color. The Wen product you mentioned is supposed to help preserve hair coloring and also preserve and/or bring back your own hair color. Will the BS shampoo eventually restore your own color as it grows out? According to WEN, regular shampoos strip your hair of color as well.

        • says

          I’m not sure exactly what you mean Jeanne but if you mean something like if you are gray and it will return you to your natural hair it won’t do that but I’m not sure anything will do that. Sorry I may have miss understood you.

          • Shirley says

            To return your gray hair to its natural color, simmer 1/2 cup of ground sage in 2 cups water for 1/2 hour. Let sit covered for several hours or overnight. Strain. Apply to scalp and let sit till dry. Shampoo as usual. Repeat this treatment as often as you have time (daily if you can) till your color is what you want. Then treat monthly to maintain. Store the solution in the refrigerator.

        • says

          I liked using WEN until found out Polysorbate 80, 60 and 20 are bad for you. This has the 60 and 20 in it and are things that add to getting cancer. Anything for ingredients that have numbers after them are also bad. Take time and look up ingredients in hair products, food, etc. Scaryyy. Things are directly absorbed though our pores. As natural as possible I’m trying to get

          • says

            Just a word of caution. Most of these things that say they cause cancer really have no proof at all and if you look at the words they use they will say – could, may, there is a chance and they have to say that because the tests they did and thought would prove it didn’t pan out. Like so many other things the “green” or “natural” movement is not above preying on people’s fear and making money.

        • says

          That’s just it. It is so gentle much more so then regular shampoo. There is a really famous shampoo now that is suppose to be really good for your hair and gentle but we have had several who used that shampoo say they have switched over because they like it better.

        • says

          Oh if you have something special you are using it for you may need to wait because sometimes you have to use it for a couple of weeks for your scalp to adjust to it not being stripped any more.

  6. Roxanne says

    Will it hurt bleached or treated hair? could the vinegar or soda turn the color?
    I LOVE the idea of not buying hair products. the money you can save, you can go out to eat with !!!!

    • Dawn says

      LOL, I’ve been using ACV w/”the mother” as a rinse for maybe 10 years, although I only went ‘poo free’ the day before Valentine’s Day: 2/13/14…

      I just make my mixtures every time I wash my hair.

      I kind of had an ‘ah ha’ moment, when I realized that the ACV was staining the floor of our shower! DH accused me of dying my hair (apparently he’d been wondering why I wasn’t going gray, like he was!)

      BTW, does anyone have any idea how to un-stain the shower???

    • says

      I do sometimes but this should take care of that too. One thing that amazes me most about this is how I don’t really need as much for other hair products because my hair is keeping it’s curl so much better and is just more manageable.

      It is pouring down rain here today so I thought this will be a good test for my hair. Usually it would be fuzzing up to high heaven but I just got home and it looks just as good as when I left 4 hours ago. I am so surprised. The lady who went with me after seeing mine said I am going home and try this because my hair looked so good to her.

    • JazzFest says

      If you are interested Lisa there is a recipe for simple hair spray on the Wellness Mama blog. Just search ‘hairspray’ she also has a list of other home made products.

    • Deborah says

      Lisa, BS shampoo will strip the hairspray residue from your hair and leave it amazing. I have been using it for over 2 months because of a severe mosquito problem this spring and I am not going back. It does dry your hair our somewhat but if I rub a bit of cocoanut oil in my hair before using, my hair looks and manages great.

  7. Roxanne says

    i’m sorry, who are you saying yes to. Yes it can be used on treated and/or bleached hair OR yes it will hurt and turn color on treated and/or bleached hair????

    • says

      Sorry Roxanne, the order was messed up. Yes, it can be used on color treated hair and I’m pretty sure on bleached hair too. There’s no chemicals in it so it shouldn’t change the color.

  8. Becky says

    Got headlice while babysitting and was worried about spreading it to my husband and daughter. Spent around $100.00 on chemicals and an electronic comb for nits. After using products effectively and finding they were not helping, i tried saturating everyones hair with olive oil. This is instant death by suffocation for the lice. The olive oil washed out over 2-3 washings and left hair nice and shiny. As an added precaution ran everyone’s pillows and bedding through a hot dryer.

    • Jenna says

      You can also use mayo on the hair to get rid of lice. It’s easy to work with and you can see the coverage quite easily.

  9. Kim says

    I’m going to try the baking soda. When I was growing up and my Mom was “in charge” of my hair she always washed it once a week and always rinsed with vinegar. My hair was beautiful, shiny, thick and yes kept curl. On wash day she rolled my hair with sponge curlers and usually once during the week would just wet my hair and recurl. When I took charge of my hair I started washing too much, now I have fine, limp, oily hair! I’m excited to try this! I think I’ll start today!

    • says

      Kim I remember the sponge curlers too. That was all we had. It is hard for this generation to even image life before hot rollers, curling irons or blow dryers. We would have to curl our hair and leave it in curlers for hours for it to dry. We had all different kinds of “fluffy” caps we wore to bed and the special ones we wore during the day to the store to cover our curlers with.That was part of the reason you only washed your hair once a week or a couple of times a week because it took so long to dry.

      I have gone back to the old ways about a month ago and started rolling my hair (dry) in 4 large pin curls and sleeping on them. They don’t hurt and in the morning I get up pull out the curls and I am ready to go. It is so easy plus an added bonus is the curl stays in all day compared to the 1 hour when I use a curling iron.

      • WesTXGrl13 says

        I, too, love your idea of “trying it on the kids or husband”! That made me laugh! My husband wears a hat whenever he sets a foot out the door, so even if his hair happened to look funny, nobody would know, anyway…..

        You and Tawra both have a wicked sense of humor, and I appreciate that! You can deliver bad news or a stern lecture easier if you get somebody to laugh while you’re doing that!

        Thank you both x 1,000,000 for all the good advice and tips you have shared over the years! I’ve learned to save money, use more natural products for personal care and around the home, cook scrumptious, but easy, meals for my family, tackle spaces that never seem to stay clutter-free, and just feel like next-door neighbors who can talk over the fence with you anytime!


        • says

          Thank you WestXGrl13. We have been blessed with so many sweet readers who are not only kind but can be funny too. You are so right. It is like being next door neighbors. The timing on your comment was perfect for me today.I had a couple of not so kind comments this morning which can leave a shadow hanging over things so getting a comment like yours is like a ray of sunshine. Thank you so much.

  10. Mim says

    I tried this a few years ago but couldn’t comb my long hair out afterwards. Any suggestions? Thanks. Oh, we did the olive oil treatment for lice a few years ago and it worked well for us, too. I also added a few drops of tea tree oil.

    • says

      Mim did your use the apple cider vinegar or just vinegar. Another thing I do brush my hair well before I shampoo it and I don’t really scrub the long part of my hair just my scalp. As it rinses everything runs down the long part and rinses it clean so you might try not be too vigorous with it. I just gently rub it into the scalp.

  11. Charla says

    I’m guessing y’all already know this, but my mom says you should use vinegar instead of liquid fabric softener. She says that the vinegar gets the soap out of the clothes, and that is what makes them soft. Using vinegar as “conditioner” made me think of that.

    • Birdie says

      Your mother is right. I started using vinegar in my wash. Hardly any static cling, and I do very large loads. I’m looking forward to trying this. Dandruff is terrible in our home.

      • Jen R says

        I do this and found that Apple Cider works best, put in ~1/2 cup during the last rinse cycle. I used white vinegar when I ran out of ACV, and it didn’t work as well :)

  12. Lisa says

    Poo free is the way to go. I’ve been using the baking soda/acv method for over two years, and my hair is in the best condition ever. It’s long and naturally curly. There’s no more frizz…just curls and shine. For people with dry scalps, add about a tablespoon of oil like extra virgin olive oil or even baby oil into your vinegar rinse.

    • Frizzy says

      Are you kidding? I tried it this morning and my hair was a ball of frizz once it dried! I did both the baking soda then the apple cider vinegar. As it dried it grew in size and puffed like never before!!!! YIKES!! I had to soak it in texturizing glaze just to be able to fit through the doorway!!!
      What’s the deal. Curly, fine, long hair! Now I am a human brillo pad!

      • Carol says

        Hi Frizzy Just remain calm I also have curly hair which I straighten. No matter what shampoo or “poo” and conditioner that I use I always make sure to give myself a cold water rinse. How cool? as cold as you can handle. I suggest bending over and only putting your head under the shower head and gradually turn the water cooler until you reach as cold a temperature as you can handle and stay under for at least two minutes, longer if you can. When you can run your fingers “without resistance” through your hair gently then your follicles are closed and you can stop. What on earth could this possibly do for you, other than wake you up, fast? The cold water closes you hair follicles which if you flat iron you hair straight greatly reduces your flyaways and will make you hair noticeably “smooth and shiny”. I must also point out that if you are flat ironing your hair straight to use a thermal protector such as 44 Iron Guard by CHI (I have used this product for years…amazing). It cost $11.99-$19.99 for 250 ml bottle of spray that will last 6 months and longer and can be purchased either online or at your local Sally Hansen or hair salon (remember you will pay more if you buy it at a salon that is not wholesale). AND its humidity resistant, if you wake with crazy bedhead, this is the product for you. AND it last up to 4 days before starting to look greasy. I have a shoulder length angled bob and strangers stop me all the time to ask where I get it styled and what products I use. They are absolutely shocked when I tell them how I baking soda “poo” and cider vinegar condition and then use only one hair salon product that isn’t hair spray. My hair is soft, silky smooth and super shiny and I happily tell anyone who asks about my haircare regime because when you have great hair you feel sexy and free. I also sleep on a satin pillow as cotton can cause hair breakage and is great for staving of wrinkles (I’m a side sleeper…sooo not pretty in the morning)there’s no tugging and pulling on your face for 6-8 hours every day seven days a week. Good luck and you rock that head of awesomeness.

  13. Deborah says

    I have short hair and have to use all sorts of products to “spike” it up a bit, along with lots of hairspray to hold it all in place. Would I then need to use this every day? It seems like I would need to in order to get all the gel and hairspray out.

    • says

      Deborah if you shampoo it every day normally then you may want to do that at first. Try it and see if on the second day it looks ok. When I used products to spike my hair etc. (before no poo) sometimes the next day I just needed to slightly wet my fingers with water to respike and not add more product. All hair is different so it is hard for me to say. Bottom line is just to replace your shampoo and conditioner with the soda and vinegar and do everything else the same. After a couple of weeks or when your hair is balanced then start experimenting with shampooing less, using less product etc. I think what will happen is you will find that it takes less of any of the products to achieve the hairdo you want.

  14. Amy says

    Does the vinegar leave your hair smelling like it. I like the idea of this but don’t want to smell like vinegar. I love hearing ppl tell me how good I smell when all it is is my shampoo and conditioner no perfumes

    • says

      Oddly enough it doesn’t but just smells fresh and clean. I saw a video of a newscaster who was trying this method and went up to a couple of women at an airport and asked them what they thought of her hair and they loved it. The two things they mentioned was how soft it was and that is smelt so good like a spring rain.

  15. Jaime says

    Thanks for all the tips. I’ll have to try this. Funny thing is I just stocked up on shampoo when I found it on sale for $0.66 per bottle. Well maybe trying this method will make my real shampoo supply last longer.

    • says

      The only thing Jaime is when you use this method you need to stick with it. If you do it for a few weeks and decide to go back to shampoo you have to start all over again balancing you scalp. Actually though now that I have tried it and so far 99% of the people who have say the same you won’t to ever let shampoo touch your hair again. Even if I go to the hair dresser I will take my soda with me because this is so wonderful.

      That’s good on the shampoo buy if you decide you like this method you might try using the shampoo on the dog, give it to a shelter or use it for spot remover on clothes.

        • says

          I have started hearing that too but I have never heard of a dog dying before from using even just soap on him so I don’t totally understand it. I really wonder about things sometimes if they aren’t just coming out with new marketing things. I remember for years people feed their dogs table scraps or what they ate then everyone was having a heart attack over that and said you could only feed your dogs dog food or it will make them sick. Fast forward a few decades and now they are advertising your shouldn’t feed dogs dog food but stuff that is the same thing that people eat. I wish someone would make up their mind what they want. If you live long enough you will go one direction and back and probably back again. I just saw tonight they are starting to say that corn oil is better for you then olive oil. Humm how long has olive oil been better for you? A couple of decades now so I guess it is time to start changing back. It is so hard to tell on these things.

  16. Penny says

    I tried it this morning and I love it so far. My hair is so soft. I have fine, oily, limp hair, but have to use conditioner because of the tangles. I brushed my hair first, wet it, put some baking soda in my hand with some warm water and rubbed it all over my hair. I rinsed it out and added just a little lemon juice, then rinsed that out. When I combed my hair, I didn’t have a single tangle like I usually do. I blew it dry and then sprayed a little hairspray in it. When my husband got home from work, I asked him what my hair smelled like. He said it smelled like shampoo. I couldn’t help but laugh. When I told him what I had tried, he said that he wasn’t going to try that. Who knows, he may change his mind. I’m definitely going to have my teen daughters try it, because they both have extremely dry scalps.
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Oh Penny I am so glad it worked for you. I hold my breath each time I post something like this. I would love to hear if it works for anyone else.
      I can’t remember if I mentioned you can dissolve it in your palm if you want which some people do. The only thing doing it that way if you sometimes see white powder in your hair it is no big deal you just need to dissolve the baking soda more. That is the main reason I use it in the water.

    • says

      Yes I think you can. I would just try it and see. If you have long hair, like I said before brush it first and then gently rub the soda and then the vinegar in and your hair shouldn’t tackle. I used regular vinegar for years to get my hair squeaky clean. I think the apple cider has something in it which seems to soften it ever so slightly more.

      If you have short hair you may not need the vinegar at all. My brother isn’t even using the vinegar.

  17. Christine says

    Have you had anyone with curly hair try this? I would love to do this, but my curly locks – well let’s just say they are sensitive and have a mind of their own.

    • says

      Christine my brother has curly hair and really loves but of course it is shorter. From the things I have read about it for others it seems to work really good. I don’t have super curly but I do have problem with fuzzing, flyaway and my hair having a mind of it’s own. The surprising part of this which I hadn’t planned was how much more manageable my hair is. We have had rain 2 days ago. Normally within 30 mins. my hair would have instant fuzz. I was out running around in it and everything and my hair looked as good as by the end of the day as it did that morning.

      How much nicer and more manageable my hair is really a nice side bonus. It’s like I say try it one day. What do you really have to loose? You can always wash with shampoo again. I would be sure to brush it before you poo it and only rub the scalp.

  18. says

    I’ve been no poo for about 3 years now. At one point I had hair down to my knees and it’s now below my butt again (bad hair cut!!!)I have thick amounts of hair, but my individual hair strands are very fine – I have trouble keeping barrettes and pony-tail holders in my hair. It is also prone to going into ringlets anywhere the hair is shorter- like around my neck and face – so I’d say it was curly.

    I will never go back to the hassle of shampoo and conditioner again! My hair is easy to comb out, easy to “wash” and feels silky. So yes, it works on curly, thick, long hair without drying the hair out.

    Like Jill, I don’t wash the hair, only my scalp. I do use the ACV/water on my scalp as well as th ends because my hair is thick and I want to make sure I get all of the Baking soda out of the hair on my scalp.
    And this is a very forgiving recipe. I put the BS in one tumbler and the ACV in another. I turn on the shower, wet my hair, partially fill the BS tumbler with warm water and swirl it around to mix. Then I finish fill the tumblers with warm water and use them. That way, I don’t have to contend with “cold” hair product on my head.

  19. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    Although I haven’t tried this it appears logical that these system will preserve chemically treated hair because it contains less of them than commerical hair products do. I would imagine that hair products are designed to strip chemicals (including color and perm) from hair to encourage you to invest in additional of the manufacturers products. Think about it, do you think the Amish and other poor or frugal women spends big $ on hair products? No and their hair looks fine.

  20. Bea says

    Jill, I tryed the baking soda and vinegar on my hair yesterday and I love it. It made my hair feel silky, liked I washed it in rain water. I have a book I bought at a used book sale about a year ago, about ALL the uses of baking soda, so I went and dug it out of my closet to see what it says about it, and I learned some interesting things. It says, “Baking soda is the common name for sodium bicarbonate, a natural salt that touches your life from the inside out. It is above all essential to the functioning of the human body. It helps to maintain the proper acid/alkaline balance of blood. It is the major vehicle of carbon dioxide transport from body tissues to the lungs. It is a primary component of the duodenal fluid that neutralizes stomach contents before they enter the intestinal tract. Sodium bicarbonate is also a component of saliva, where it helps to reduce the attack of orally generated acids on tooth enamel. It is found naturally in briney lakes, lake sediments and in oceans. In the blood it is the bicarbonate ion that maintains its delicate acid/base balance. Also most dirt and grease contain fatty acids which react with baking soda to form a natural soap. While stronger alkalis, like lye-based soaps can produce more cleaning power, they generally are toxic and irritating, and not nearly as safe as baking soda on everything from soiled surfaces to human hands. I think this is why my hair felt liked it was washed in rain water. It worked beautifully Jill, so thanks for the info.

    • says

      Bea I am so glad you like it. It was interesting reading your stuff on baking soda. I wonder if there is any connection between it being a natural salt and the fact they use salt in water softeners which makes your hair and skin softer.

  21. Bea says

    Jill, I don’t know, but the book I have says that sodium bicarbonate is used commercially in municipal water treatment plants to cut down on lead, and too much acid in water. Also, sodium bicarbonate is used in waste water treatments in sewage treatment plants, to ensure proper biological control in waste digesters. Waste-digesting bacteria need a slightly alkaline environment to work effectively. I’m glad you put this hair washing technique on your blog because I got a real nice education on how nature uses sodium bicarbonate, and it’s many uses. Farmers even use it to help cattle digest food because it’s a lot like saliva. So interesting.

  22. Tami Tietsort says

    I have long hair and it has been colored and even partially bleached as I had highlights put in. I am loving the baking soda / vinegar. My hair and scalp feel so clean, the minimal tangles are worth it. Though I must say I had less tangles today than when I would use a conditioner as well as a leave in conditioner so for me I am no worse off. I just want to add that the last time I purchase the special made for color shampoo and conditioner and leave in conditioner it was more than $60.00 and that was “on sale” for the buy a shampoo get half off the conditioner. You can only imagine how happy my bank account is going to be not having to put out that kind of money anymore! Also, when I go in for my next cut it will be interesting to hear what type of comments my hairdresser will have. I also bought some hiarcolor this weekend, time to try doing my own. I don’t expect miracles at first but I am going to start to figure out what type and color looks good on me, your newsletter has given me so many wonderful helps and courage! Thank you so much!!

    • says

      Tami I love how excited you are. :) Can’t wait to see what happens with your hair coloring this week end. Like I said it really is easy the hardest part is just deciding on the color. I how it all works out. I know it maybe shallow but the way my hair looks is the way my world looks for that day. :) :) So I wish you the best. :):)

  23. Tasha says

    I have been doing this for 3 days now, and just want to confirm a couple things. So the first couple weeks your hair could be more oily? Also my scalp seems to be kinda itchy. Is this also normal at the beginning?

    I also was wondering if anyone has some homemade ideas for a good facial cleanser?

    • says

      Tasha the itchy maybe a little normal. One place said if you do have a problem with itchy then to once every couple of weeks rub in some coconut oil or jojoba oil. I would try it for a week or so before adding the oil and if you do decide to use it.You may have to do washing with the baking soda if you do this. I’m not sure because I haven’t done it. I am pretty new to this too.

      If any one else has any suggestions please jump in. Plus you can google it if you want. There is a lot of info out there on it.

    • Dinah Loney says

      I can’t wait to try the baking soda and ACV.
      For the face cleanser, I read on line about a year ago, to use honey. That’s right, just plain honey instead of soap. I use Manuka honey every morning for over a year now and nothing else but a moisturizer. It even removes eye makeup. Just squeeze a little in your palm and rub it on your face and closed eyes. When the honey gets a little old it forms some crystals and they act as a very gently exfoliant. My skin is remarkable for an old lady. People tell me all the time how healthy it looks.

  24. Nikki says

    I have psoriasis on my scalp and have to use shampoo for that.. will this soda and vinegar work for me? Will it burn?

    • says

      Nikki I really can’t say and would hate to because I am not a doctor and don’t know. Sorry this is one I’m not sure of.

    • Lil D says

      Nikki, I am going to put my personal experience in here. I don’t know if you have dark hair, but if you do this might work. I have psoriasis on my elbows and I am an alternative medicine student and I just recently learned that iodine brings new I damaged skin to the surface, plus is good for the thyroid. I bought some iodine from the store and put a coat over the entire area where I had the problems on the elbows. By the next day it was all absorbed and my elbows continue to look better every day. I have done this twice now with about a month in between applications. The results have been amazing. You may want to give this a try, and if you have dark hair color no one will know you put iodine on you scalp.

    • Lisa T says

      I also have Psoriasis on my scalp. I use the baking soda and apple cider vinegar in my hair with no problem. I would suggest though that you ask your doctor for a prescription for a tube of Dovonex CREAM (not ointment, it is like vaseline and hard to wash out). The Dovonex is a vitamin D product and keeps the scales soft so that as I brush my hair they flake off and never accumulate thickly. I sometimes add a little extra baking soda and scrub the affected area also. The abrasiveness scrubs the scales off and feels good too! I apply the Dovonex every day with a cotton swab so sometimes my husband will rub it in for me. This keeps it under control. I love the poo-less routine. Give it a try!

      • Lisa T says

        Correction: should be OR. I apply the Dovonex every day with a cotton swab OR sometimes my husband will rub it in for me.

      • tonia says

        Idk how old this thread is but I’ve read about many essential oils being good for psoriasis and eczema (sorry can’t reneged what ones just google) maybe you could add. I have my own concoction that’s bs based with essential oils added. I had no transition time but does seem to feel dry sometimes but I’ve used everyday I’ll have to try just rinsing some days. Added ACV to my conditioner concoction and that made my hair look an feel terrible.

    • Prune says

      I am no expert by any means, but from the Apple cider vinegar will burn if you have bad dandruff or scabs on your scalp. I have had bad dandruff forever (probably psoriasis, but I don’t do doctors lol) but I do get scabs, so I think it is psoriasis… I mean it is so bad I can make it snow on command! I have only done two treatments with Apple cider vinegar, and the flakes/ scabs are almost completely gone!! I did the treatments about a week apart and I couldn’t believe the results just from doing the first treatment!! (Not to mention how soft my hair is !!and It didn’t get greasy as quick!! And I only used ACV, no baking soda). The dandruff treatment I used is simply rubbing ACV into your scalp with a cottonball (make sure you get all of your scalp) then soak a towel in hot water, ring it out, and wrap it around your head for one hour. The hot towel helps to open yourpores so the ACV can penetrate deep into your scalp. Do not wash your hair afterwards, at least let it sit overnight…I did mine before bed then washed in the morning, which really wasn’t needed, but this was my first time doing this and didn’t know how great it would make my hair look and feel. (I guess old habits die hard lol! And I had to work in the morning, so I was paranoid that my hair would look greasy and smell like vinegar. Which I found out the second time I did it that it didn’t look greasy or smell like vinegar!! I didn’t wash my hair for days after the second treatment, and it was sooooo soft and not greasy at all!!!

      • says

        We have to sleep too Prune and we don’t always work on the weekends so we can have a little time off especially on Sunday or Easter.

  25. Angie M. says


    I will second Jill’s advice and say ask a doctor to be sure.

    I’ll throw in my two cents though and say that no, the baking soda and vinegar will not be a good thing for you since you have psoriasis. If you are using a shampoo for psoriasis it probably contains coal tar or salicylic acid (two things I know are used for treatment of psoriasis). These ingredients are used to remove the scales associated with psoriasis and also to help with the itching.

    Again, check with your doctor to be sure but it doesn’t sound like a good idea.

  26. Yvonne says

    Jill, I fixed the BS/WATER and vinegar/water this morning. I had 2 different brands and types of shoompoos and conditioners that had half in each of them. I took and poured one bottle of shampoo in the other and did the same with the conditioners. I then washed the empty bottles real good and put the BS mixture in the empty shampoo bottle, then I put the vinegar mixture in the conditioner bottle. When I wash my hair in the morning I will use the new poo and rinse. I don`t think I will be disappointed.

    Jaime – you might also use the shampoo as a body wash. I did this one weekend several years ago when I helped my daughter, who lives another town, move. After we got through moving her, I decided to take a bath and wash my hair. She had a bottle of shamppo sitting on the bathtub and I washed my hair with it; when I got ready to bathe, I couldn`t find the soap or body wash, so I used the shampoo as a body wash, and worked just as good as soap or body wash.
    You can also use it to wash your delicate things that you don`t want to put in the washer; also you could use it to wash your combs and hair brushes. Another thing to do with it is to clean your bathtub / shower, bathroom sink with it, and swish the inside of your commode.

    • says

      Yvonne great suggestions. I need to give everyone a heads up I had been doing great for several weeks now with my no pooing but one day Tawra called and she had tried it and it left her hair a oily mess well the very next day I washed mine in the sink and it did the same thing. But I am back on track this morning with it doing great. I think if you have a problem be sure to use the vinegar on just the ends of your hair or don’t use it at all.

      If anyone else out there who has been doing this for quite awhile has an idea what we did wrong let us know.

      • says

        A few years ago when our family was in the Philippines for almost 9 months (and shampoo was so expensive) I decided to try a baking soda shampoo. At first, I liked it, but then my hair started looking very oily. I finally switched to an organic shampoo. I had wanted to try the baking soda shampoo again, but I had hair stylists tell me not to do so b/c it was harsh and would strip color from my hair (making it look dull instead of vibrant).

        After reading so many comments, however, I’m thinking of trying again (maybe during the summer when I’m not teaching). I currently use organic shampoo I get from Vitacost. It is free of chemicals and doesn’t sud, but works well for me and is supposed to be safe for chemically treated hair.

  27. Bea says

    I want to say this is working fine for me. So easy, and my hair doesn’t get tangled. My hair feels and looks real nice. I can’t believe something so simple and frugal is better than any expensive shampoo I ever tried.

    • says

      I know Bea isn’t it something. My hair is so fluffy (not fuzzy) and just feels fuller. I love it too. I did have two times I washed and can’t figure what I did wrong but now it’s back to looking great again.

  28. Yvonne says

    Jill, I used the bs/ water shampoo and vinegar/water conditioner this morning. It worked great. My hair is oily and everytime I used regular shampoo and conditioner it would still look and fell oily and look flat. After it dried I noticed it wasn`t oily and it didn`t fell it either. Also it looked and felt fuller. I will be using this from now on.

    Do you have any suggestions about what I can use the store bought conditioner for? I don`t want to pour it down the drain, for that would be money down the drain. Sorry about the pun.

    • says

      Yvonne, I do believe you took the words right out of my mouth (or I took them out of yours). I posted my comment to Bea about my hair being fuller and then looked and here was yours using the exact same words. too funny.

      You know I’m not sure what to do with the extra conditioner. I’ll have to look into that one or if any one else have some ideas feel free to jump in.

    • says

      Just looked it up and here are some things you can use the conditioner for.
      Shave your legs.
      Soften leather items
      Polish silver or chrome – faucets, golf clubs, silver items – polish and buff
      Makeup remover
      Remove stuck on rings
      Cuticle softener
      Fabric softener for delicate items
      Rub on garden tools to keep from rusting
      Soak feet in to soften

    • Elle says

      Conditioner works really well as a shaving cream substitute. Only downside is to make sure you really rinse the razor after as it can build up.

    • Gail says

      There are recipes out on the internet for homemade fabric softener which I tried and am very happy with. They use 3 cups hot water, 2 cups white vinegar and 2 cups cheap hair conditioner and mix it all up, pour into bottle, and use as you normally would regular fabric softener. ( you can use any hair conditioner, but they say the cheapest at the dollar store, works just as well as more expensive. so you may want to try this, to use up your conditioner.

  29. Yvonne says

    Jill, I guess I took the words out of your mouth and didn`t even know it. (smile)
    And thanks for for everything you do here to help us be frugal. You`re the greatest.

  30. says

    Longtime reader, first time commenter.

    When I first read this post, I thought, “Huh, interesting, but that’s one tip I won’t be using!” Then, lo, when I got to the bottom of my shampoo bottle and added some water to the bottle to extend it for another week, my hair got just as clean. No big deal. Do this all the time.

    But when I got to the bottom of the bottle again, I thought about this post and added some more water… And my hair started looking better! LESS oily, MORE full, and it stays clean-looking at the end of the day when it used to start looking greasy.

    It’s amazing how hard-wired “more cleaning is better cleaning” is. (It took me months to accept “less is more” when it comes to laundry detergent, too.)

    Thank you for all the tips, and keep up the good work.

    • says

      Tory you are so right. I was the same way. It is so hard to think differently about these things. We do the same with everything. We use way more cleaning products, toiletries etc. just because we are use to it. This morning I put my lotion on and I thought I wonder how many people spend ages rubbing in and rubbing in lotion and not realize that all that rubbing is because they have used way too much.

      Loved your story we love hearing from our long time readers and thanks for sticking with us all of this time.

  31. Debby says

    Hi all,
    I love this tip! I sure hope it works for me. I am going to try it starting tonight. I’ll let you know how it goes. I am new at the frugal thinking and finding it hard to wrap my thoughts around the basic “less is more” thinking.
    I am totally a stay at home mom now and I am looking for ways to cut the shopping budget.

  32. Liz says

    Love the concept…i’m a little concerned. How does it work with color treated hair? My hair is so dry from coloring it. I’m afraid I’ll wind up with a giant frizz ball. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Works great on color treated hair even better then shampoo because shampoos strips oils and everything that is why they are now having to make special shampoo for color treated hair. This method strips nothing also this is why it helps with the frizzies.

  33. barb~ says

    This is so exciting. I just read this to a friend over the phone and she said her grandma did this yrs; ago and had gorgeous hair!-but, she had forgotten until I read this-like it was big news:)

    Thanks SO much for sharing all of these tips with us. I have been MIA for several wks. I sold my house, trying to pack, have a sale of my extra stuff, and buy a new home. I’m in a “moving” fog-it must be spring, though..my daffodils are out:) Are you and Tawra doing ok? Sure hope so!


    • says

      We’re doing fine. It[‘s been a little hectic. My folks have been visiting from colorado all week then this morning we were getting ready to come to Tawra’s for church and she called and said we got a contract on our house so we are leaving in an hour to go to CO to look at a house (it’s involved but they had to look at it by tonight) Talk about flying in gear. We had my folks to pack up because they were following them, me to pack up because I was coming out to Tawra’s to stay with the kids, and 2 cars to load to the top because they decided since they were making a trip anyway they should move a few things. I’m not sure I know what end is up. I hated to see them go because it is snowing all the way across I 70 all day.

  34. Francesca says

    I am so glad that you published how to go shampoo free. My teenage daughters went along with me on this after seeing the results on my own hair. I just love it! And I think that my skin is actually softer since I don’t have shampoo running down my body. What a difference. Thanks so much. Now I need to find out what to do with all the shampoo I have stock piled!!

    • says

      Francesca I am glad you mentioned your skin being softer. My brother has started using it and he keeps saying he can feel a difference in his skin and didn’t know if it was that or what.

  35. Kelley says

    I was reading back on the posts about what to do with the leftover conditioner. I just read somewhere last week that if you have accidentally shrunk a sweater (or some other clothing article) made out of wool, a cool bath in water/hair conditioner will relax the fibers and “unshrink” the wool. You then reshape the sweater, roll in a towel to pull out water and then leave stretched out to dry in a place at room temperature.

  36. Tami Tietsort says

    I love coloring my hair on my own! I now have some extra money to use for other things, and what a timesaver too! I love that in just 10-15 minutes time I have washed that gray right outta my hair! No need to hassle over making the appt and then remembering to actually get there on the day it is made for and on time or stress about paying for the initial color then the endless root touch ups, no offense to any hairdressers I know you all spend hours and hours doing great work and you all work hard. But what FREEDOM! I am thankful for this newsletter and the wonderful information you girls give us.

    • says

      Tami you are right I never thought about the hassle of hair appts. and driving there and the time that all takes. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Gail says

      I started coloring my hair a few years ago, and love it. Originally I would color it myself then have my friend, that was a hair stylist do my highlights, which would save me a bunch in its self, but then I got bold one day and thought I can do the highlights myself using a cap. I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and purchased the cap,brush, and the highlighting supplies and I do it myself now,and I actually get compliments when I get my hair cuts from the stylists and when they ask where I had my hair colored, I tell them I did it they are amazed!! They say it looks really good! I get a lot of compliments from people at work who think I go get it done in a salon, so I really believe them. This is a huge savings to my wallet!! It really isn’t as hard as it may seem.

      • says

        Many don’t know that until a few years back most people colored or permed their own hair at home all the time. Only the very rich and women who indulged themselves all the time went to a salon to get their hair done. I had never had a perm done at a salon until way after I was married. Now you can hardly find perms on the shelves but they do have them. They are so much easier now then when we had to give them to ourselves too.

  37. Carie says

    I was wondering if anyone has hard water and if this makes a difference? I just started today on the “no poo” system and I really hopes it works for me. I plan on switching my whole family to this if it works.

    • says

      If anything Carie it softens the hard water. In sort of the same way washing soda softens hard water for clothes and rinses them better.

  38. Reta says

    Great shampoo!! have been using it for 2 weeks now and am delighted with it! I will also try the apple cider vinegar conditioner as well. Thank you for such an interesting and helpful newsletter!

    I am now also enjoying Rob Coy thanks to you.
    x Reta

  39. Carie says

    I have to admit that I broke down after 4 days (my hair being a gresy mess) and washed it with shampoo and conditioner. I am wondering if I did something wrong? I followed the formula you listed and on the 4th day just put the vinegar on the ends but still it was really awful! I work at an office and I can’t have my hair looking like that! I am so upset.

    • says

      Carie I am so sorry it didn’t work for you. So far most who have tried have liked it but Tawra did have trouble too (she just recently tried it). We can’t figure out what she did differently. The only thing I can think of is she usually washes her hair in the tub where I stand in the shower and the water washes everything down.

      It is hard to say. My 16 year old grandson who had oily hair before becoming a teen and now really has oily hair, it worked fine for him. Where Tawra’s hair isn’t nearly as oily as his.

      Now I do wash mine on my normal schedule but I just use the soda instead of shampoo. If you wash your hair every day it will take longer for your hair to adjust and if you have to work then you maybe need to wait and try it when you are on vacation or off of work. It does take some peoples hair as long as a month to adjust.

    • says

      Carie, I had the same problem as you. Back in 2009/2010 I tried the basking soda shampoo for several weeks. The first few days, it seemed ok, but then my hair was looking so oily. (I wasn’t certain if it was because of the very hot, humid climate of the Philippines.)

      Now, I’m back in the States, and I color my hair to cover the gray. I don’t know if I should try the baking soda again or not. I think I’ll wait until summer when I’m not teaching if I try it again.

  40. Bea says

    I have been using this method for weeks now and it works great for me. I do use 2 tablespoons of baking soda though, to 16 ounces of water, per washing, because my hair does tend to be oily. I think you can just feel the amount of cleanliness when you pour the solution on your hair, AND if it feels greasy add more baking soda to the water. I can feel the cleansing happening on my hair while touching it, so I know it’s working as I do it. If your hair feels oily after dumping on the solution then just add more baking soda, or do it twice until your hair feels clean by touch. Then add the apple cider vinegar rinse. It should work.

  41. Wanda says

    My hair was an oily mess for quite a while after using the BS mixture. I’m sure it was about 6 weeks and I was about to give up when it finally kicked in. I couldn’t use the ACV or lemon juice because it made it worse. I do occasionally use a tiny bit of conditioner but have given up shampoo. I also color my hair at home. The BS mixture worked better after coloring, too.

    • says

      Maybe that’s what I need to do. Try again. (I just don’t like the idea of going to church with oily hair since I’m up front for choir in the morning and praise team once-a-month Sunday nights.)

  42. Jodee says

    I have heard success stories from people with curly hair and wanted so badly for this to work, but it just didn’t. I tried for 6 weeks. My hair is normally very dry, so I didn’t think oiliness would be a problem. The first week it wasn’t bad, but then I reached a point where my scalp was oily and itchy, but my hair was a wildly frizzy mess. I tried keeping it up while waiting for it to adjust; any hair too short for the bun literally stood on end. I tried brushing it a lot in hopes of spreading the oil from the scalp down the hair strands. Nothing worked. After a co-worker commented on my unusually unkempt appearance, I gave up. I may try it again over the summer when I’m not working. Is there anyone with dry, curly hair who has done this successfully? I need some tips!

    • Nancy says

      I tried this a few years ago and had the same problem. I am Native American with dark thick curly hair (spiral curl). It caused my hair to be so frizzy and unmanageable. My hair looked so embarrassing. Maybe some of us aren’t meant for it.

    • Dee says

      I know it’s an old thread but: There are a couple of things going on here that those of us in the naturally curly community experience when we go off shampoo: 1) After all the chemicals we’ve been using, when we go poo-less our hair goes through shock and a transition period. For some of us it can last a couple of weeks, while for others it can be a couple of months. If you really want this to work, you need to be patient. It’s like going on a diet to lose a few lbs. After all you’ve done to your body, you can’t expect it to lost the weight overnight. So it is with your hair. 2) The itchy scalp is actually a sign of healing. We are pretty rough with our scalps when we shampoo. Like a cut that is healing itches as new skin grows in, so it is with our scalps. Again, it’s about being patient and allowing our bodies to heal. 3) Frizziness can also be a sign of too much hair product. We often think that if a little is good, more must be better. As we throw in more hair products, we may find our hair gets frizzier. Then we blame our hair, not the products, and go looking for more chemicals to put in our hair. After using the baking soda and ACV, try using LESS product than you normally do (I actually used measuring spoons to get to the amount I needed. I was shocked at how much less actually worked for me!). If you think you need a good scrub for your scalp, try putting together a paste of brown sugar and honey (4:1 respectively) and rub it into your scalp. You can also had a tbsp or two of coconut oil and massage it into your scalp. Then rinse. But ultimately, it’s a waiting game. But well worth it.

      • says

        You are so right Dee. I sold Mary Kay for awhile and one of the first things they told us was most people use way more product then they need too for everything. Even when using regular shampoo 1/2 tsp. is plenty but most squeeze a huge blob into their hand. The same goes for creams and things. You don’t need to slather yourself in them. You just need a very thin layer and add a thicker layer does nothing but wastes the cream. A 16 oz bottle of shampoo when I was using it would last me 1 1/2 – 2 years. The same goes with my face creams. They advertise it is a 6 month supply but mine will last 1- 1 1/2 years. Less is best.

  43. Mari says

    I was telling a friend of mine yesterday about the baking soda shampoo and how I’d used it once or twice and found my hair was so soft, so I’m glad I’ve been able to find it on your site again! We’re both going to make some up and give it a go on a regular basis and see how it goes! My hair is normal (I would say) but I do find that shampoo strips the oil out and if I don’t use a conditioner to put it back in again then it’s so hard to brush through afterwards!

    • says

      Mari I have really long hair that tangles badly so I found that if I brush it good before I get in the shower and then just massage the baking soda stuff into my scalp not the bottom of my hair and rinse it is almost tangle free. The cider vinegar helps with the tangles too.

      What I love the most is to rinse my whole head in rain water. There is nothing like it for softness.

      • teresa says

        If your hair tangles brush it before you get in the shower and after your shower is done stand in the running water and comb your hair before getting out of the shower.( While dryingyour hair) Don’t rub the towel around the hair just pat it dry and comb again. I have long hair and alittle curly and I have never used conditioner. Something about the running water flowing down my hair just combs out great. Jill I just tried the baking soda yesterday,my hair seems alittle oily, I ususally only wash my hair every 3 or 4 days. So I can’t wait for the two weeks to be up. Thank You.

        • says

          You are so right about the detangling tips Teresa. I am holding my breath and hope it works for you because it is a great way to do hair if it will. I realize for some reason it doesn’t work for all like many things but it has worked for most and the love it so much.

  44. says

    This is really getting back to basics. My mother always rinsed my hair with vinegar as a child and my hair was always soft and shiny. I can hardly wait to try this in the morning.

  45. Amy says

    @Nikki with psoraisis – my husband has the same condition on his head and uses medicated shampoo’s. However, they don’t always get rid of the itching. I have him use a baking soda “scub” about once a week after he’s washed his hair and it really seems to help.

    My 16 year old daughter has always had oily hair around her face and as a result, her face would break out. She started using baking mixed with her shampoo and both her hair and face cleared. After reading all this, I may try switching her to just baking soda (without the shampoo) and see if it makes it even better. She spends a lot of time in the sun and pool as a lifegaurd over the summer and her hair usually looks like straw come August. The baking soda paste really helped last summer.

  46. Dawn W says

    I have been using the BS no-poo shampoo for 4 weeks now. My hair is shoulder length, very thick and it is colored. There were 2 instances where I had some greasiness but found I needed to add a bit more baking soda and “washed” until clean. At first I thought “this is never going to work” now I receive compliments on my hair. It is amazing to be able to put your fingers through your hair without tangles. Not sure about anyone else, but my hair also seems to dry in half the time now. Oh, I also only use the vinegar (when I use it) on the ends of my hair. It holds a curl like crazy and it is so much healthier. No more itchy dry scalp or flakes. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  47. Mommy2Twins says

    Ok…. I love this. I started out just using the ACV as condition while still using my regular shampoo. My long, thin hair was so greasy. Last night I started using the BS mix as shampoo and today not only is my hair not greasy, neither is my face and body. My only issue is that my ends are super, super stiff. Why is that? Any way to make my ends soft? I recently got a haircut, so no split-ends. Thank you in advance. I am from KS, too :-)

    • says

      Jennifer you may have to adjust the amount of BS or try not using the ACV. Just keep working with it and adjusting it to your hair.

  48. ter says

    I’ve been doing this for some time now.I have very long, very thick,very course hair and we have very hard well water. I do make a paste myself, I have psoriasis and it helps me personally to have the scrub effect. I also use some of the paste on my face and neck…so smooth! My husband and son stroke my hair now, it doesn’t smell and my hair has NEVER been this tangle free in my life! My hair is happy!

  49. Mommy2Twins says

    How do you get rid of the tangles? My hair is long. I have been doing this for over a week now and the tangles are about to make me give up. SOS!

    • Penny says

      If you have tangles that you just can’t seem to get out, try this remedy:
      1-2 tsp conditioner
      32 oz spray bottle
      Put 1 or 2 tsp conditioner in a 32 oz spray bottle and fill with warm water. Shake to blend well. Spray hair lightly, then comb through and style as usual. Hopefully this will get you through the adjustment stage of switching to the Baking soda shampoo and ACV rinse.

  50. Christa says

    I tried this and either I am doing something wrong or I’m not getting it at all. I really want this to work. I tried it the first time and my hair looked beautiful but after that it was so oily and I haven’t got it to look as good. I am not sure how much to use of the baking soda and water on my hair. I have placed it in a squirt bottle and applied it liberal and then conservative. I didn’t try washing it everyday yet, but everytime I go to dry my hair is so oily. I am also using the ACV as well after only on the ends. Help please.

    • says

      Crista, it is hard to tell what is wrong for sure but maybe if I tell you what helps me it might work for you. I went 4 weeks with this working great and all of a sudden it didn’t work for me a couple of times. It is now back to working great. These are the only things I can figure I maybe did wrong.

      It doesn’t seem to work quite as well if I wash my hair in the sink or bathtub. Letting the shower water stream through it with my head tilted back seems to wash things away better.

      I measured mine exactly – 1 Tbsp. baking soda per 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar per 1 cup of water. Now some people have been adjusting that a little for their hair so you may have to do that too.

      The vinegar makes your hair oily in the same way regular conditioner does so I only put it on the ends and before I go my perm I didn’t even use it every time.

      For those of you with questions about tangling hair, I brush mine real well before I get in the shower. I then gently pour the stuff on my head and gently massage it in. I then hold my head back not forward and let the water run through it.

      I then pour the vinegar on the very ends of my hair and rinse again.

      Try try and try again but if it doesn’t work don’t worry about it this may not be for you.

  51. ter says

    I didn’t say exactly what I do to make my hair detangle so easily. I always comb my hair before washing.I use a plastic cup and put about (I don’t measure anything,just kind of eye it)1/4 cup of baking soda, then use the hot water in the shower to make my paste (I hate cold,so I make it up fresh every time), rub a bit on the psoriasis on my scalp (it’s not totally covered with patches), I add more water to the mix and pour it over my hair and rub a bit,then I put my head back and let the shower rinse it.I don’t tangle it up alot with washing. I put about 1/4 apple cider vineger in my cup and fill it with water,and pour it over my hair, I do this twice, I have ALOT of long hair! Again, I put my head back and let the shower rinse it. This has worked so much better then conditioner for me, whether expensive or cheap, none of them really got rid of the tangles well.Maybe it’s because I don’t do ‘tv’ washing…you know, on the commercials where they pile the hair up on their heads and rub it all around, I pretty much just rub it where it hangs…LOL!I also air dry my hair, no dryer, maybe that makes a difference?The next best things I found to detangle my hair were in the aisle at the store where the relaxers and such were…lots of natural detangling products were there, I do like this better though.Every ones hair is different, I’m just thankful to have found this really works well for me, it just took a few weeks to figure out what exactly I needed to do.

  52. says

    Hi There, I just started with the baking soda today… and I noticed that my hair still looks dirty, and the texture is very different. Do you think that I used too much baking soda for the 8 oz. of water? Or perhaps I used too much of it on my hair? I would love some advice!

    • says

      Change the amount you used and see if it makes a difference. I also make sure I wash my hair in the shower with the water running through it real well to rinse over washing it in the sink or tub. Every once in awhile mine does the same thing but then I wash it again the next time and it does fine so if anyone else has an answer give us a holler.

  53. Kristie says

    Hmmm. I wonder if the shampoo could be mixed with ten parts water like hand soap in one of those foaming dispensers to extend it? Started doing it with hand soap, but never thought of using it for shower gel and shampoo.

    • says

      Yes I have done that for years with all kinds of things including laundry detergent, liquid fabric softeners, any liquid soaps or gels. One thing though I have found which I do more now but maybe wouldn’t work unless you have a well trained family is instead of diluting everything I just use a tiny and I mean tiny amount of every thing.

      I learned this when I was selling Mary Kay. They told us a pea size or smaller of lotion or cream works just as good and in some cases better then globbing the stuff on but they said people still think more is best and slather the stuff on. Which is good for the cosmetic companies because people have to keep buying way more then they need.

      If I buy cream for my face and they say it is a 3 month supply it usually lasts me at least a year.

  54. Donna says

    I am so thrilled with the results of the baking soda shampoo! As I have aged, my hair has changed dramatically. Thin and oily on top curly in the back..and pretty much bushy-looking…not pretty at all! After one use of the baking soda shampoo..no oiliness and my hair isn’t frizzy..it’s softer than it has been in years and now it looks like (what I call) normal real hair! Thank you so very much for sharing the recipe! I will never go back to commercial shampoos or conditioners again!! This is wonderful stuff!!

    • says

      I know what you mean Donna. I broke down and had my hair trimmed this past week and they used shampoo on my hair at the beauty school. I had forgotten how bad shampoo was on my hair. I can see a difference just using it the one time. My hair is so much oilier. Ugh.

  55. Bea says

    When I had my hair trimmed about months of using the Baking soda and apple cider vinegar the woman cutting my hair said, “OHH your hair is SOOO soft.”

  56. Bea says

    Yes Jill, I’ve been using it almost since you posted about it and I love it. It really does work, and makes my hair soft and healthy feeling.

  57. Jackie says

    Hi- I really love this idea, as of right now my hair can become very frizzy so I use a flat iron to help calm it down, I know this is damaging to the hair but it is a cycle that has been hard to break. I was wondering what others do as of styling once they begin using this system? Hair dryers? Styling products? Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks so much and looking forward to trying this out.

    • says

      Jackie you still use the same styling products or style it the same way. Just think of this as a different shampoo and you can do everything else the same. The only thing you might find is you can use less styling products and maybe none at all and because your hair should be more manageable it can take less time to style it. My hair isn’t as fuzzy or fly away as it was when I used shampoo. Of course everyone’s hair is different but so far the majority of people who do this have just found their hair to improve.

  58. Vanessa says

    I haven’t used regular shampoo in about 4 years. I started trying to get away from as many chemical ladden products as possible. I was spending a fortune on “botanical” products until I read about removing all the styling products and build up with diluted apple cider vinagar. I began using just the vinagar and my once coarse, almost impossible to manage hair has become silky soft. I only wish I had known about this in high school.

  59. Maggie says

    In reference to the less is more post, here is my thought.
    Whenever I get “special” hand soaps as gifts, I pour 1/2 into another container and dilute each one with water. It cleans just as well. The important thing is to shake it just before using it each time to mix it but otherwise, it works great. Also, my dentist told me that we use way too much toothpaste whenever we brush. That you only need a dot but the toothpaste commercials show people filling up the entire toothbrush so that is what everyone does. He said that even if you use more paste you are not cleaning any better because half falls into the sink. The only person this benefits is the mfg who is making money on the extra toothpaste we waste. Just a thought.

    • says

      This is true Maggie. I have mentioned before that we use way too much of all our toiletries. I use a dot the size of a small pea of toothpaste and a normal size tube lasts me almost a year. When I was selling Mary Kay one of the things they taught us was when putting things on like face cream or lotion most people felt if they glop a bunch on it will work even better but the truth was a very very thin layer of anything works just as well. Although it did help with my sells because people wasted so much. I have bought creams and they say this is a 3 month supply for most. For me though I usually get 9 months or more out of it.

      If everyone one would just try using less of everything they would probably save 50% of their monthly money just by doing that.

    • Toni says

      Re: the toothpaste. A few weeks ago I developed a very deep and painful canker sore and internet research concluded, no one knows for sure the cause, most lean towards maybe stress and/or genetics, and apparently no real cure other than wait it out to heal in about a week. But in a comment section a young man mentioned that his father had all his teeth pulled and his dentist recommended he rinse with a 2:1 solution of two parts baking soda to one part salt in warm water. He himself had tried that for a canker sore and it worked for that but beyond that he now uses the 2 to 1 dry, as toothpaste. I did the rinse and a paste for my canker sore and it worked and have since been using the 2 to 1, as a toothpaste and it is weird to hear my teeth squeak as I brush, they get that clean. I will never go back to toothpaste. Oh and I use sea salt for cooking so that is the salt I am using in the mix.

      • says

        Yes what many don’t know is long before there was toothpaste baking soda was used to clean teeth and even when I was young when we ran out of tooth powder we would use salt to brush our teeth all the time. Also rinsing with salt water helps many many things like sore throats and other tenderness in the mouth. Salt has healing powers. You can also sniff a little diluted salt in water to help with a stuffed up nose.

  60. donna b. says

    After several of my bosses told me that men “hate” excessive and strong perfume, I learned to dilute even my cologne, so now a bottle lasts me years, and I learned to go very light on the scent. I had no idea how sensitive and allergic some people are to scents, so I became very careful. I’ve had the same cologne now for about 3 years, and there’s a ton more!

  61. Bea says

    I like subtle scents too. I can’t stand it when you are in church for example, trapped in a pew, and some woman can be smelled (perfume) rows away, and it makes your eyes and lungs almost burn from the smell. It’s scent pollution. Some people just crave attention, even if it’s negative, by wearing heavy scents, or sounding like horses when they walk with those high heels that sound like horse shoes.

  62. donna b. says

    Bea, you are so right! My mother used to work with a lady who wore “Youth Dew” to the point of bathing in it. It’s a very heavy scent. When the lady left the job, mom said if she never smelled it again, it would be too soon! My dad hated perfume and said he only liked the smell of ivory soap! (so of course, to this day, I HATE the smell of ivory!)LOL

  63. Bea says

    Donna B, I like very soft scents, if I wear one, which most of the time I don’t, but something like Vanilla, or a lotion with a subtle floral scent is nice. I once was told that if you like a scent buy the lotion version of it, because it doesn’t have all that alcohol in it, which makes perfume strong. So I buy the lotion because it’s a softer scent. I like Ivory soap too, but I can understand if you used it all your life you might get tired of it.
    I agree with your mother. Some women bathe in strong perfume. Even though I am a woman, women get on my nerves sometimes. They want way too much attention instead of letting people like, or not like them, for who they are inside.

  64. donna b. says

    I think my trauma might just come from the one time my mother made me wash my mouth out with soap! LOL! I was 6 and it never happened again!

    • Jen L says

      Donna, I made my children wash out their mouths with apple cider vinegar. They hated it, but I knew it wouldn’t be bad for them if they swallowed. It only took once.

  65. rose says

    there is a product we sell and for the introductory trial package its so small but u only need a pin drop (and even that can be too much) for this to work .. its so highly concentrated its not even funny .. but a pin drop is all it needs to work on ur face ..
    same thing with butter and mayo .. some people like it glopped on to the point its dripping .. (i have seen this at the local deli dept where we can get subs) .. and me? i like the thinnest layer of the mayo (and butter too) .. i think it tastes better .. but thats just me .. of course growing up, we were so poor, we had to make the mayo and butter last a full 30 days . .mom only went shopping once a month .. and that was it ..

  66. gracie says

    After years of trying everything to get rid of my eczema this has been my saving grace. Steroids, creams, lotions, ointments nothing worked. My Dr.told me it was time to try something else, he told me about the baking soda but also had me add in a little tea tree oil. WOW! All my sores and blisters are gone. My head feels so much better and my hair looks great! I also use this on my body twice a week and my skin is not on fire anymore. I also use grapefruit seed oil on my skin and 100% shea butter. I have the skin of a 30 year old and I’m 49. Strangers in the store have stopped me to ask what I use on my skin. I was always the one to hide because of my severe eczema. I’m so proud as I only need a little mascara and blush, I also have saved a fortune not having to buy so many un-needed products.

  67. Daisies says

    Thank you for the bicarb shampoo recipe…I have been using it now for about a year or more and it really is wonderful! My hair has gone from really fine and having no body to being much thicker with more body and volume. My family is also using the recipe too with good results. Just have to get our oldest granddaughter to try it!!

  68. Jessica says

    Thank you for the recipe. I will never go back to shampoo again. My hair feels and smells cleaner. For the conditioner I use a mixture of water,honey and lemon juice. I have thick hair about two ft. long. Use to use alot of conditioner and hair detangler. Not anymore. Also my brush isn’t full off hair when I’m done with it. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

  69. Kassie says

    I have been doing this for over a month and my hair is starting to get a lot of static, I just reduced the baking soda to one Tablespoon for 16 oz rather than two to see if that helps. Do you have any ideas? Thanks

    • says

      No you don’t have to use ACV. It is really more of a detangler and I just used it on the ends of my hair. But the past 5-6 times that I have shampooed I haven’t used the ACV and you know I can’t really tell any difference as far as my hair being less tangled so I think I won’t use it any more.
      One thing I do is I wash my face first and then shampoo (or no poo :) ) my hair because when I rinse my hair the soda water rolls down my face and makes my face feel so soft.

  70. Jeanne says

    “I have long hair and the 8 oz. lasted me about 4-5 washings. If you use the same proportions, you can mix a larger amount and keep in a larger bottle if you want.”

    Is this for the vinegar conditioner mix, or for the BS Poo mix as well? Or do you use the whole 8oz. bs mix when you shampoo?

    • says

      It was for both Jeanne but I have recently started using the whole amount of the BS because it is winter and if I leave it sit in the bathroom it is really cold when I pour it on so now I just put a tablespoon of BS in a glass and then fill it with the warm water from the shower. The Vinegar I use for several shampoos because I just pour it on my ends and that isn’t too cold for me.

  71. says

    I’m definitely going to give this a try. It’s just a matter of when. I have silky/oily hair…It’s a fine texture, but a lot of it 😉 :) So I’m a bit nervous about my hair looking diryt when I go to church…so I might start this on a Monday :) :) Thanks for the information and the recipe :) I really like how non-toxic it is..and I LOVE how inexpensive it is, too :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

    • says

      Heather I know a lot are afraid to try it but what happens is if your hair is still oily when you get it dry then there is nothing to say that you can’t shampoo it with regular shampoo again right away. My hair too is very oily, fine texture and long and it worked for me. I didn’t realize how well it had until I forgot my BS and had to use some shampoo I keep in the shower for guests. Boy I couldn’t wait to get back to my BS. The texture of my hair is much fuller, fluffier, not so fly away and less tangled. I hope it works for you.

      I did once wash my hair in the sink and it didn’t turn out. I don’t know what I did wrong but I haven’t had another problem in over a year.

  72. Gayla T says

    I’m going to try this on my hair. What have I got to lose? My mom always rinsed our hair with white vinegar and we yelled if she didn’t cause our hair tangled so much. Now, here’s another idea for you with the psoriasis. This came from a magazine like Organic Gardener or something like that. They said to use the old Lysterine brown mouth wash as a final rinse on my hubby’s hair. I thought it was worth a try and bought a big bottle of the stuff and did it stink! He was very skepticle and truthfully, I was too. He had used everything over the counter and at least 2 or 3 prescriptions from different Drs. The first time or two he squealed when I poured it on and kind of rubbed it in as it tingled. He said kind of burned but more tingled but he was desperite enough to try it anyway. After a day or so, he could see a big difference and so could I because all that shedding of skin stopped. It used to look aweful especially in his side burns. You know, it worked. It went away completely and never came back. We had that big bottle under the sink for years and I finally threw it away after he passed. I’ve told others about it and it seems to work for everyone. I have no idea of the science behind it, just one of those old time cures that work.

    • says

      I have heard of it working too before. Listerine is really good at killing so many bacteria and fungus that is why it works for this. Many of the flakes you get on your scalp is caused by bacteria or fungus that normal shampoos can’t kill. Old Listerine has all the right combination of ingredients to do this.

  73. manon says

    Hello and congratulations on your wonderful posts!
    My hair is long and thick, but I need to color it frequently, cause it has a big percentage of white, and my roots start to show after 15 days Do you think it’s safe to use the no poo method on my colored hair?

    • says

      Yes you can use it on colored hair. The thing is the poo shampoo doesn’t strip your hair of color the way shampoos do and perms and color lasts longer I have found with the poo shampoo.

  74. Dilene Childers says

    I loved the baking soda shampoo but I also tried the vinegar conditioner and I couldnt even get a brush through it. What am I doing wrong. I almost jerked myself bald and my hair is major frizzy. Help.

    • says

      I couldn’t tell if you used white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. White vinegar doesn’t work as well for my long hair. The apple cider does better but you know just the past month I have started not using the vinegar at all and have found using just the soda alone works great. Here are to things you might try. First I brush my hair well before I get in the shower then I wet my hair but letting the shower just run down my head – no rubbing. I then pour the soda water on my scalp just massaging my scalp gentle – no rub a dub dub with the bottom of my hair or anything like I did with shampoo. Then again let the water just run through my hair to rinse. I really am not touching the bottom of my hair at all except to maybe gently squeeze the soda water through it. The soda water and water rinses through the ends of my hair enough to clean it well.

      Try this first. If you still have problems then you may have to just use a little regular conditioner on the ends. It takes some getting use to but when I stopped trying to “suds and scrub” my hair up like I did with shampoo I stopped having as much trouble with tangles.

  75. Kassie says

    I tried this for a few months, and my hair became extremely staticy (sp) I tried lowering the amount of baking soda and wasn’t really using the ACV and the static never went away. It was so bad, I barely got a brush close to my hair and my hair would lift up. I had to stop using it and go back to organic shampoo/conditioner.

    • says

      If anyone else has this problem but still wants to try the soda use the soda for shampoo and then regular conditioner for the static. The conditioner will control the static and the soda will still clean you hair and not strip it like regular shampoo would.

  76. Lucia says

    I have tried no poo a couple of times and while my hair looks lovely my scalp becomes an itchy mess. I’ve finally taken to using a small amount of shampoo on my scalp only and it keeps the itchies at bay and leaves my hair silky smooth. I wish I could love no poo but my skin isn’t fond of it. I don’t use soap on my skin except for the stinky parts so I don’t know why my scalp isn’t as agreeable.

  77. Nan says

    I have read about this type of thing in a book I bought of homemade remedies and recipies but my concern is that I have an oak allergy (thats what a doctor told me it was anyway) and if I miss one day of washing my hair, my scalp breaks out in an angry, itchy rash. I have been tempted to try it anyway to see if the rash would subside after a time but it would be pure misery to begin with.

  78. Marla says

    I’m going to try this, starting today. I have dry hair, and I use gel to style, so it will be interesting to see what results I get. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  79. Laura says

    I had the hardest time not having a nice scent to this shampoo so I added Essential Oil to the vinegar rinse. Works like a charm. By the way I was a WEN customer before I decided to try this. I am completely amazed at the results.

  80. Cheri says

    Thank you Jill for posting this! I am weening my house off of most commercial products and didn’t know what I was going to do for hair care products. I found your article and tried it. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SHAMPOO OR CONDITIONER OR OTHER HAIR PRODUCT AGAIN!!! I love it! I have struggled with my hair my entire life. I have medium length, dyed, naturally curly hair which tends to be very dry. I hesitated using this, thinking this might destroy my hair – most comments were from people with oily hair. It did the opposite! My hair has NEVER looked this great! And it actually looks good for a few days. I usually have the worst bed head (comments have been made that I looked like a Troll Doll on crack). My curls no longer turn into frizz and I have less maintenance then ever. I blow dried my hair straight today, and it actually shined without any other kind of product! I can’t believe the number of years, the number of products, and the mountains of cash I have spent trying to find the right products for my hair. The only thing I did slightly different, just for the fun of it and found good results… I used the vinegar mixture to rinse the baking soda out. It does that foaming action the two combined do and seems to reduce the baking soda residue. Then, I rinse it all out with water. It feels really good and my kids have a great laugh watching it! 😀 THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  81. jane says

    i have used that combination for years…not in the same proportions but the same products…we use to wash the chlorine out of our hair in the summer from the pool…also, to strip out the hard water from our hair…we have well water, so it is a normal thing in our house to use it…only thing is i mix it….i use the lemon juice mostly, as i cant stand the smell of vinegar…..the lemon juice will also lighten your hair if used on a regular basis….also, put it in your hair and go in the sun for the day, and you will get natural sun highlights in your hair…..light colored hair will have bright blonde streaks….
    just saying…
    jane gordon.

  82. connie says

    LOVE THIS STUFF!!! I have been using the baking soda/water in a spray bottle for several months. I use 1 T lemon juice w/8 oz. of water in another spray bottle as a conditioner rinse because I have white-blonde hair and the lemon takes the “yellow-brassiness” out. I have also been making my own laundry detergent and gave some to my son who farms, welds and does mechanical work who proclaimed, “Mom, this is the best stuff on the planet for all the grease, blood and stuff I get into!” nuff said…

  83. Alison says

    I was wondering if you are using any hair products now? I have naturally curly hair and normally use gel/mousse and hair spray….I am really looking forward to trying this, but I want to be prepared with a styling product that won’t mess up the results of the bs/acv… Thanks in advance!

    • says

      Alison the main thing to know is this is no different then using regular shampoo except it won’t strip your hair and hair color if you use it, as bad. Because of this many people find their hair more manageable and need to use way less of other products like ones that control frizz or even as much hair spray etc. I have for the first time not had to use cream rinse – I don’t even use the acv any more. This doesn’t mean you won’t need any products at all or for example if you are using the gel for a scrunch look you will still want to use some gel. It also doesn’t inter act or anything with the bs/acv as a matter of fact I think most things inter act better and that is why you can use less of them.
      Hope this helps answer your question.

  84. Alison says

    Well, I tried it this morning….and I LOVE it! I can already tell a difference in my hair! I can’t wait to see the results after a week or so! I styled my hair like I normally do today, but I’m going to try no product and straighten it the next time! Thanks for your help!!

    • says

      Isn’t it something. So many are afraid to try it but it is like I say what is the worse that will happen? You will just have to reshampoo your hair if you don’t like it. You are like me. I couldn’t believe it after the first time I did it because it was so nice. Glad it worked for you.

  85. Shan says

    Is there anything we can add to thicken it up a little? So it’s not something that needs sprayed and can be pumped? I’m making my own laundry detergent now and I think this would be WONDERFUL for my and my husbands hair as we both have dandruff… I can’t wait to start.

    • says

      I wasn’t sure if I understood your question right or not Shan on what you wanted to thicken up. I don’t spray or use a pump to put the baking soda water on. I just pour it on my head and massage it in then rinse. My brother just wets his hair real good and rubs the baking soda in with out diluting it and that works for him but I haven’t tried that yet.

  86. Shan says

    Sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear enough. I want to thicken up the baking soda mixture, and possibly even the ACV mixture too. I have pumps in my shower and I’d love to not have to get rid of them. I plan on trying both this morning for the first time. I’m really excited, and my husband is totally on board too!

    • says

      Shan if they don’t work in your pumps (I think the ACV would even if it isn’t thick) then maybe you could use the pumps for body wash or even some place else for hand lotion. I do hope you like it.

      • Shan says

        I decided to avoid the pumps and instead got condiment bottles at our local store (you know the kind… tall with a pointy tip). I premix the solution (although I use a little more baking soda) and keep it in the shower. It’s made it easier to apply, and I find I have to use less of the solution as I can apply it exactly where I need to with the bottle. :) It also helps us keep the vinegar off our face; that’s so gross! We are on day 4, and I’m extremely happy thus far. Frizzies are down, and unless I’m being crazy picky, I don’t even need to use my straightener. I have a long pixie cut and my bangs are kind of kinky. I haven’t had the kinking problem hardly at all! I know I still have to go through a transition around the 2 week mark or so, but I’m going to stick with it for as long as I can. My husband likes this too!

        • says

          Good idea using the condiment bottles. It the vinegar is bothering your eyes your really only need it on the ends of your hair it that helps and I have stopped using it all together because the baking soda seems to detangle just fine for me.

          • Shan says

            My hair is pretty short, so if I get it on the ends, it’s almost inevitable that it will go onto my face. I tried without the rinse, but I find that it really does make my hair feel a lot softer. :) And since the bottles make it easy to apply, I don’t have any problems now.

          • Shan says

            An update! My husband and I have been POO FREE since April 14, 2012. That’s about 4 1/2 weeks. We’re REALLY happy with how healthy our hair looks and feels. I have VERY oily hair, and can barely go 24 hours between washings… until now. I actually tested my hair by skipping a couple of washings (and rinsings) and my hair was still going strong! We haven’t experienced any kind of ‘transition’ yet, but even if we do, we’re going to stay strong. We’re thrilled with how easy it is, showers take much less time, and we feel good knowing we’re keeping so much bad stuff off our heads and hair.

            We’re going to have our two boys use it someday too. They are a little too small right now and don’t actually keep their precious little eyes closed… But one day. :) I’m getting a lot of friends to try it too.

            I would never have been brave enough if I didn’t see this post and read so many testimonials!

  87. Jane says

    I love elimating costly products with all the chemicals in them from my life, so, of course, I was excited to try this. When I used it it made my hair feel sticky after using the bs mixture to clean with. It felt stiff and gummy. I rinsed with the vinegar solution but it didn’t help. When I combed through it there were no tangles, and I blew it dry but it was stiff feeling and very flattened to my head. I tried this for almost two weeks and couldn’t take any more. I went back to shampoo and conditioned and my hair is soft and fluffy and shiny again. My hair was dull and not shiny on the baking soda/vinegar regime also. What could I have been doing wrong? I did it in the shower, and used the exact formula. I really wanted it to work.

    • says

      Jane I don’t know what to tell you to be honest. There have been literally thousands of people that this has really worked for and worked well and it has worked on all kinds of hair types too. Oily hair, dry hair, colored hair, curly hair etc. Now that doesn’t mean I think you are crazy because there have been just a handful who has had exactly the same thing happen to them. Tawra is one of those people. She and I have the same type of hair – oil level, thickness etc. and it worked great for me but the same thing that happened to you happened to her so I am not sure what to tell you.

      The only thing I can think is maybe there is something some peoples hair or scalp produces that reacts to the baking soda or something. Maybe some chemistry major out there would know more. Sorry I can’t be of more help other then to tell you Tawra did have the exact same reaction so it isn’t you or in your head. No pun intended. : ) : )

    • Kassie says

      I couldn’t use the baking soda either. My hair was a static mess from it. But, I now use RENPURE ORGANICS shampoo and conditioners. they are sulfate free, parabens free, gluten free.. It’s an amazing product. You should try it. You can get it at Krogers, Fred meyers is where I get it. WalMart doesn’t sell it. But you can also get it at renpure.com or amazon.com

      • Christa says

        Hi I just came across your site. I have tried no poo & had the same problem. I have a book on my Kindle called “Hair Gone Wild” it was a free book. It has alot of different recipes for natural shampoo. For example using 2 egg whites for an itchy scalp. So Jane you may want to try using Greek yogurt, after washing & towel drying,slap it on and leave it on for 15minutes then rinse out. :)

        • Barb says

          This comment is to Christa. I see you have a Kindle book called “Hair Gone Wild”. It is no longer free. Would you mind giving me a copy?

  88. Jane says

    Thanks, Jill and Kassie for your help. I will try the products you recommended, Kassie. You know, I take some medications….I was thinking maybe that has something to do with the reaction. I may try it again before I give up all together. My hair is very dry, I may try cutting back on the amount of baking soda to water ratio. Jill I would like to thank you for your wonderful website. I recently found it, and love your guidance in saving money. My husband has a lot of health problems and medical bills, so saving money is a must for us. Thank you for all your hard work!

  89. whatsherface says

    i cant wait to try this- i was looking for haircuts for sorta wavy sorta curly hair (i have mixed hair, white black and asian) and one site had a little thing on the side talking about homemade shampoo helping with revitalizing curls. afterwards i looked up some recipees and am very excited to try them!! thanx for caring so much as to posting a recipe and the outcomes!

  90. Marla says

    I have been using this for 2 months now and continue to be pleased. I do add a few drops of essential oil to the vinegar, but my hair looks great, and this even gets out the residue from the very strong spiking gel that I use.

  91. Debbie says

    I’ve had great luck so far with using 1 T baking soda and 1 C water for shampoo. And 1 T apple cider vinegar to 1 C water for a rinse. I was amazed at how the vinegar softens! I keep my eyes closed! I found it was easier for me to put the “shampoo” on my dry hair so I could tell where I was putting it. I normally mix up 1 & 1/2 batches of the “shampoo” because my hair is thick. I’ve been doing this for months now and I love it. It always tickles me to tell people what I use…and how cool is it that it costs so little?

    • says

      Me too Debbie. I love telling people what I use and watch their reaction. What is even neater is how so many people are so skeptical and scared to try it (I was the same way) and then when they do break down and use it how excited and amazed they are. It is the coolest thing like you said.

  92. says

    I am loving this! I was wondering though if I could use it on my dog. He is really old and has nasty skin and fur. I can’t bath him because he is allergic to most dog shampoos and even when I do 20 minutes later he smells. Vet doesnt know why.

    • says

      I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work on him. We use to soak the kids and anyone for that matter in a baking soda bath when they had chicken pox or itching skin to relief the itching and sooth them so there is nothing harsh or harmful in using baking soda. When my dog had this problem my vet said it was just what happens to their old skin. I wish I had thought about using the baking soda on him. I don’t of any reason it would work. I wouldn’t use the cider vinegar because it might cause a burning sensation if he has any raw places but the soda will just sooth.

  93. Stephanie says

    I loved your post! I immediately got excited and started the “no poo” treatment! After a couple times of washing though I realized that my hair was harder to comb out. More hair comes out in my comb too. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks!

    • says

      Part of the reason you are having more hair come out in your comb is maybe because it is harder to comb and you are pulling more out because of that. As far as tangling goes here is a couple of things to try. First be sure not to scrub your hair real hard. When we use shampoo we tend to pull our hair up and rub a dub dub it as hard as we can which can tangle it. When you use the soda brush your hair real well and get the tangles out before you wash it then let the water run through it in the shower (no rubbing needed), pour on the soda water and gently massage your scalp (not the ends of your hair) rubbing in the soda water then rinse. You really don’t need to even touch the ends of your hair at all just let the water and soda water run through it.

      If your hair is still tangled after this you may have to use a little conditioner on the ends only. The main thing about using the soda is it improves the ph of your scalp which balances your oil production and all and helps your scalp become healthier with better looking hair so by using the conditioner on just the ends you get help detangling and you still can get the “good” stuff that your scalp needs from the soda.

  94. Cyndy says

    It works!
    I have to admit I was skeptical-but everything you wrote made perfect sense so I decided to give it a try. I mixed the baking soda with water and applied to my head. It didn’t feel like it was coming clean at all so I rinsed it out then poured some directly into my hand and made a pasted and applied it to my scalp. Since I don’t have a lot of hair and it’s so fine it was easy to make direct contact with my scalp. I massaged it in then rinsed and applied the ACV and rinsed.

    I just dried my hair and it looks amazing!
    You are the bestest ever-thank you!

    • says

      I had to chuckle at your post Cyndy. The world is so wonderful for us ladies when we are having a good hair day!:) :) I shouldn’t laugh at you because I reacted the same way the first time I used it and to this day it still amazed me it works and to think I went so many years not trying this.

  95. Maggie says

    Okay, you all have convinced me. I have not tried this yet but just ran out of my volumizing shampoo and don’t have time to get to the store where this special shampoo is sold. I just purchased a new box of baking soda for the house and I have some vinegar already so will try it tonight. I have very short hair that is very fine so according to all your reports, I should love it. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

  96. Cyndy says

    @Maggie – Let us know how it works for you. Please?

    @ Jill – A good hair day is a glorious thing-and laughter just makes it all the better!
    I spent part of Mother’s Day educating my three sisters as to this wonderful discovery.
    The older sis is extremely extremely wary of change.
    The younger sis is tepid with an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude.
    But the middle sis is willing to test it out.
    If she ends up jumping on board I know it will sway at least one of the other two.
    I’ll let you know what happens.

    • says

      I love hearing how these things work for you guys so be sure to let me know. It also helps the other readers too. Having different sisters try it should be even more interesting. :) :)

  97. says

    I have been using this shampoo now for just about a year or so and I find it wonderful!
    I had very fine hair with no body in it at all but now somehow my hair is much thicker and in better shape!!! It is hard for me to believe but the results have been magnificent!

    Thank you for sharing about this.

    Best wishes


  98. Lori says

    I have been using baking soda wash for my hair now going on 3 months. I love it. I have however added a few things. My hair is down past my waist and oily on scalp yet dry on ends, so I make the batch of baking soda shampoo but I use 2 camomile tea bags per batch and 1/2 cup of coconut milk. It smells wonderful and makes my hair clean with out drying out the ends. I use the acv rinse only on my ends since I don’t want the extra oil it gives my hair at the scalp. In essence I love my hair now. Since my hair is blonde the camomile doesn’t affect it. Before I started the no poo way my hair is healthier. Literally I had white hair, not blonde. I believe, of course this is my opinion, that the chemicals in the shampoos where making my hair white instead of the natural color of golden blonde it is suppose to be. Yes I am 49 years old but I can still learn. Thanks for getting me started on the road to healthier hair.

    • says

      This makes sense because camomile tea is used as a natural dye for blondes so if you are wanting to dye your hair naturally you might try this.

  99. Caryn says

    I stumbled upon this post 2 weeks ago. It took me a few days to muster up my courage but, a week and a half ago, I gave it ago. I LOVE IT!!!! My hair feels great! I have short naturally curly hair and I was worried about it getting dry but it is working fabulously! I am using less product and it looks so shiny! Thank you for posting this article!

  100. Lakshmi says

    Hi, I love the idea of going poo free and getting away from all store-bought products. I have a question, though (and I’m sorry if anyone else has already asked this, I haven’t read through every single comment).

    I am an athlete who works out intensely 6 days per week. This means I sweat a TON and shower every day. Do you think this method would be good for someone like me who sweats a lot every day and showers every day? I currently am using a natural shampoo and have already been using ACV as a conditioning rinse instead of conditioner (I have fine hair that tends to be limp and greasy). I currently find that when I skip a day with the shampoo, but just rinse with water, it is not as clean feeling and more weighed down. But I don’t like the idea of using shampoo every day, because it is stripping the natural oil and making me produce more oil. But will using baking soda every day also be stripping?

    Are there any sweaty athletes here who have tried this?


    • says

      The baking soda would be perfect for you. One of the main pluses of baking soda is the fact it doesn’t strip your hair of natural oils and helps to balance the ph so that you can produce the right amount of nature oil. To show how mild it is many people love it because it doesn’t strip the color out of their hair and helps perms to last longer because it doesn’t strip at all. My brother sweats terrible and works outside alot and has oily hair. He was so excited to use this because he can use it everyday.

      • Lakshmi says

        Thanks Jill! I have begun to use it, with ACV as conditioner. Feels great, and I am glad to be using something so easy and economical. I have added a few drops of Tee Tree/Lavender essential oil blend, so it smells nice and fresh. So far so good!

  101. melz says

    Just found this website while searching for “homemade shampoo”, thought I’d leave a quick comment..

    I’m 27 with medium length, dyed hair. It’s slightly wavy and quite frizzy/dry at the ends with lots of breakage, and very oily at the roots.
    About 4 months ago I started having scalp problems, it became itchy/flaky and I kept scratching/picking at it, which made little sores/scabs. It was driving me mad, I couldn’t help but pick, just making it worse. Yuck! I kept checking my hair for lice but found nothing.

    I tried 4 different dandruff/medicated shampoos and they didn’t really help. Stinky and expensive. Tried rubbing olive oil with lavender and tea tree oils, it helped a little, but still I kept picking.

    I was getting desperate, terrified I was gonna end up bald. I would itch and pick in my sleep. And during the day I kept catching myself doing it. Ughh.

    Last week I bought a bottle of apple cider vinegar and mixed it in a spray bottle with water 1:3 ratio. Sprayed it all over my scalp and left for 1/2 an hour then rinsed out.

    Wow what a difference, the itch was pretty much gone after just that one application, and my hair looked nice and shiny. I have been spraying it in my hair every day now, just while in the shower and only leaving it in a few minutes. In just a few days of use the scabs/sores on my head are healed. I have not used shampoo or anything else but ACV and water for the past week, so my hair is starting to get a little oily, I will be trying the baking soda wash today. And I’m gonna get rid of all my other shampoos, conditioners, leave in products etc. Have also ordered some henna and indigo powders to use instead of the usual hair dye.

    Anyway thanks, great post. ow off to read the rest of your website =)

  102. Cassie says

    I have a question about this. Is your hair supposed to be very uncooperative after you’ve used the baking soda? I mean, it felt very clean and very nice, but, I couldn’t get my comb through it to save my life, and when I ran my hand down it when I was still in the shower, my hand kind of stuck to it like it would if you were running your hand down a frozen piece of glass. When I finally did get my comb through, it kind of gave my hair little frizzies at the top. Maybe this is just a side-effect from just starting it?

    • says

      You may have to do one of two things – try apple cider vinegar on the ends which works as a detangler or use the baking soda and then some regular conditioner just on the ends of your hair if it is really bad.

    • Lakshmi says

      That’s interesting. When I use the baking soda, I find my hair gets softer and I can easily run the comb through it when I am still in the shower. It gets even softer and easier with the ACV, but even with the baking soda I can comb through it pretty easily. Maybe it has something to do with the state of the water, or different hair types?

  103. Grace says

    Won’t this method mess with the ph of my hair? Baking soda is a base, and vinegar is acidic, so I’m worried about it putting my hair through lots of damage. It might balance it out by the end, but won’t doing this every other day or so eventually tire out my hair?

  104. Kate says

    I am SO excited to start this! Being a new college grad with many other expenses, I would love to save money from not buying expensive shampoos, conditioners, detanglers, etc. My hair is extremely thick and long, with lots of breakage. The majority of the reviews seem wonderful and I am looking forward to giving this a try! I will let you know how it works for me! Thank You!

  105. says

    This is so funny. I was a swimmer for many years, and this is how we were told to care for our hair (to prevent the green overcast from chlorine). I “washed” my hair in baking soda with vinegar rinse for many years. I have dry hair, and the chlorine didn’t help in that area, so also had to give myself hot olive oil treatments once a month. But I can say, for many years I rarely used commercial shampoo. Baking soda, vinegar and olive oil were all I needed. I have since fallen back into buying commercial products, but I’m going to try this again. Thanks!

  106. Bea says

    I use to wash my hair every day but I would get static in my hair, especially in winter and frizz, even with oily hair, but discovered that hair doesn’t have to be washed every day. Two or three days in between works better. Too much washing strips hair of oils and damages it.

  107. Katy says

    I tried this for 4-6 weeks and did not like the way my hair felt. It was grimy and looked dirty. I did some research because I have very hard water and thought that might be impacting my results. One website suggested boiling the water before adding the baking soda and using the vinegar undiluted. I tried both these tips and low and behold, my hair is almost back to “normal” after one wash. I am looking forward to seeing how much better my hair gets with this regular treatment! I thought your other readers might be interested in this tip.

    • says

      Thanks for the tip Katy. Every once in a while someone will say that this doesn’t work and it might just be the water. To those of you just trying it use it with your regular water and then if you have trouble like Katy try boiling the water.

  108. says

    does anyone know of a scent free shampoo that won’t kill the budget.
    any scent attracts the biting insects and make my life miserable.
    They love apple cider and the fruit and flower scents. I live outside in the summer and it would be nice to not comb my hair and pull out dead black flies.
    any help would be appreciated.

  109. says

    I had a friend that started doing this a couple months ago and I thought she was crazy- of course I didn’t tell her that. I’ve really been trying to find better ways of spending my money (I found a D.I.Y. recipe for facial toner last week) and this week my mission for hair care was a success! I am so excited to try this- do you know where you can purchase the bottles to hold the fluid? I haven’t been able to find them at walmart, I was wondering if you got them from the dollar store/ 99cent store? Also, once my hair gets used to it the mixture do I just do it every other day or every two days? *Faye

    • says

      Faye I don’t even put mine in a bottle I just use a plastic glass but if you do want a bottle you can get them at most dollar stores but what I would do is buy a small bottle of dish detergent and use that bottle. Doing it this way you get the dish detergent for the same price you would pay for just a bottle.

    • says

      Different hair types do differently. I do my hair every 3 days. You will just have to judge your own hair. Try washing every other day for a couple of weeks then every 2-3 days etc. Even if you still wash your hair everyday you are saving money and not stripping your hair which means you should be able to get by with less hair products for conditioning your hair.

  110. Maria says

    Thank you so much for the recipe! I want to give it try, it never hurts to try.I just have one question how often do I use it on my head? I currently wash my hair everyday. Thank you so much!

    • says

      To start out Maria wash everyday if you want. What you need to do is just watch and see – does my hair look ok this morning and if it does then skip a day. It does take a little time for your ph to balance out and your hair to stop producing to much or too little oil. At the risk of sounding indelicate it is like nursing a baby, the more you nurse the more milk you produce the less you nurse the more you start to dry up and the same principle applies with your scalp. The more you strip your hair with shampoo the more oil your scalp thinks it needs to produce and once you stop stripping it it takes a little bit to get it regulated.

  111. says

    I have tried your poo free recipe and am thrilled. I have always had good nails and good hair – got it from my mother. I have abused my hair over the years – color, perms I didn’t need, etc. After giving birth to my daughter it began to curl a bit. In my thirties, I gave into the natural color and curl of my hair. I was surprised to find that I did not miss the color, the perms, the other. About a month ago, after reading many blogs, including your own, I went poo free. I love my hair! Thank you. I will be blogging about it soon and sending my readers your way. Thank you for the inspiration to let my hair be what it is. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

    • says

      I am so glad it worked for you Kelly. Good point too. Sometimes we perm and color our hair all the time just because it is what we have always done and you might be surprised how much you like you natural hair if you stop. It sure would save a lot of money for many.

  112. says

    I forgot to say on another post about the shampoo that when we go to Malawi it is great to not have to carry bottles of shampoo out with us…less weight and more room for items which we need to take to people out there. I simply get B/soda and there we are!

    Brilliant stuff!!!

    I always put essential oils usually lavender into it as well.
    Thanks for a great and useful recipe that really works.

    xx Daisy

  113. says

    Tried this trick yesterday. I mixed up two Tbsp of baking soda in a 16 oz cup. I had been swimming, so I wanted to make sure the chemicals were out. I also did the two Tbsp of ACV in 16 oz of water. Wow!! I usually have thin, flyway dry hair. It seemed thicker and more in control. It also seemed to take out the brassyness. I am so happy with it. I am going to use two of those pesky water bottles to make the stuff. I will use the regular amount the next time. But I am very happy and I have hated my hair for years. My seven year old hates hair washing and is really interested. So we are going to do her’s next. I just got on my knees and did it under the faucet after I let my bathwater out. I made sure that I rinsed well both times.

    I will be posting a link to my blog also!!

    My hubby even noticed something was different. That is really something. LOL

  114. Morgan says

    Hi Jill,

    I am so very intrigued by this! Thank you for posting! I have had extremely thin and oily hair my whole life, to the extent that it gets oily in like 12 hours or less. Anyway, I was just wondering if you (or anyone else who is reading this and is now “poo” free) ever use any other type of homemade deep conditioners (even if it was once every few weeks)?

    Or do you not feel the need to do anything else to your hair because the condition of your hair “poo” free is so great on its own? I’m not talking about store bought stuff, but natural recipes I’ve found such as using avocado, etc. I just thought I’d ask. Thanks!

  115. Sandra says

    I have made use of ACV as a hair rinse since 1980 and used it on my children when they were young. They didn’t care for the smell of ACV going on – – as others have shared, the odor is not a problem post-treatment. The usefulness of baking soda as a cleaner: it was the only thing I found that worked to remove pine sap from my
    tree-climbing children’s hair.

  116. sherri says

    i was very apprehensive to try the baking soda shampoo and terrified at the thought of putting vinegar on my waist-long hair. but…let me tell you this- once i had the baking soda mixture on my hair – it felt so freaking clean that i actually got out (mid shower) and dumped out a handful of the dry baking soda and worked it through my hair. AMAZING!!! i just could not stop washing my hair. for some reason the gentle/ natural abrasiveness was wonderful. i was brave and used the vinegar mix(which made me crave a salad) and it wasnt horrible like the image i had conjured up in my head, but we shall see how i feel about this “go natural” kick i have ventured out on once ny hair has air-dried :)

    • says

      Hope you are still as happy when it has air dried. I was even more impressed after mine dried because it had – like the commercial says – so much more body and bounce and it wasn’t near as fly away or out of control.

  117. Natalie says

    I recently decided to try to make my family as chemical free as I can and the baking soda/apple cider vinegar was my first attempt at an all natural cleaner. I held off on washing my hair for about 3 or 4 days and today when I showered, I tried it out. I am thoroughly amazed! As someone who uses leave in conditioner religiously, I can say that my hair is SO soft after trying the apple cider vinegar!!!! So far, I love this.
    I do have a couple questions though…A lot of people said their hair was really greasy for a week or two. Was this after switching to the BS/ACV method? Or was this while spacing out washes?
    Also, when using this method on children do you need to use the BS every time or just the vinegar?
    Thanks so much for posting this!!! So glad I tried it :)

    • says

      Natilie each time you shampoo it will turn out like it did today for you. About 3 times in the 1 1/2 years I have used it it didn’t quite get clean for some reason – usually it was when I washed my hair in the sink instead of the shower. Can’t figure out why but I just rewash it and it is fine. So what they are talking about getting greasy is they are the ones who are trying to go longer and longer in between washings. I still shampoo the same as I usually do just because I only shampoo twice a week any way so it is no big deal for me to keep doing that. I have noticed how ever that with shampoo by day 3 my hair was starting to look rough with baking soda I can go 4-5 days before it looks rough.

      For kids I would just use the baking soda and yes use it every time you shampoo but you don’t need to use the vinegar on them unless you have a little girl with long tangley hair. The vinegar doesn’t really clean as much as it is like a conditioner/detangler. I don’t even use the vinegar now because I am finding the baking soda does a great job of detangling and making it soft.

  118. Auda says

    I have been using pooless for a good two months and with grey white hair that had a mind of its own…I now have controlled hair. I love it and I too like Laura wanted a scent so I will do the essential oil with vinegar solution. Thanks so much for all the wonderful things that you bring to us and make us aware of simplicity. The hair is fuller, in place, soft, shiny and with little or not cost!!!!!Love and prayers!

  119. Rose says

    I have been trying for a few years now, especially back when we had a budget of $800/mo for a family of 3, to get more natural, affordable products, but every time the paycheck would increase a little it would be pushed by the wayside. Now, even though we are financially better than before I want to get rid of a good lot of chemicals from our household and lifestyles. And, since my hubby is deployed…I think it will be a good time to give a few homemade recipes a shot…maybe he’ll be more willing to accept them when he gets home if he sees that we’ve done well with the changes over the last year. :) Thank you…and this site. Amazing ideas.

    • Rose says

      I used it on my 2year old and she didn’t mind it. Regular shampooing is cause for screaming fits. I also used it on myself last night…the baking soda didn’t bother me but the vinegar caused a little discomfort…more of a warming sensation then burning/stinging though (I’m a klutz and always getting soap in my eyes). If nothing else…just skip using the vinegar…babies hair is so fine anyway…you really don’t need a conditioner. If your little one has dry scalp or Cradle Cap, try using some coconut oil as a “conditioner”.

  120. Kristin says

    I tried this last night and am pretty amazed at how good my hair looks today, although I added Argan oil afterwards because my hair felt dry. As far as color treated hair goes, I have read conflicting things. Some articles say that baking soda and acv strip the color right out of your hair and some say that it is better for your hair. Can anyone with color treated hair let me know what their experiences have been?

  121. Rose says

    I used this the first time last night and am pretty happy with the results. I blow-dried my hair after washing (which I normally don’t do-I was anxious.) and it seemed to dry a lot faster than usual. Today it feels a little oily, but to the touch it’s soft and smooth, and it looks like I have just enough product in it to keep the frizz away. :) Can’t wait until everything evens out.

    I also used it on my daughters today and, other than the complaints I figured I’d get (“It tastes funny…It doesn’t get foamy…It doesn’t smell flower-y.” That kind of thing) it went quite well, especially for my 2 year-old who HATES having her hair washed.

  122. Aylin says

    I just tried this “shampoo”. I admit it felt strange to wash my hair with non foaming liquid :). I did add some aloe gel into the mixture because my scalp is itchy and I have dandruff. I’ve tried lots of shampoos with no real success and have reached to the conclusion that this condition might be caused by the water, because when I was on vacation there was not even a trace of the flakes. So I am in a search for what will work the best for my hair with the water we have here.
    What came as bonus while washing my hair with the mixture was that it spilled all over my face and body which can be good having in mind I have added aloe.
    Thank you very much for the article and all the comments. You all helped me a lot.

    • says

      Hope this works for you Aylin. If you still have the dandruff you might eliminate the aloe gel and use the straight soda. We have had many people who have had a real problem with dandruff and have found using just the straight soda fixed the problem. My brother has very sensitive skin and he too loved it when the soda water ran on to his face because he said it softened it and made it feel so good.

  123. Melanie says

    I just tried this today, I put 1tbsp of bs in a cup and mixed it with water in the shower with a spoon, but found no matter how much I mixed, it didn’t dissolve… So I pored on the water then applied the rest as a paste onto my scalp. I scrubbed it in, then rinsed it out and let the water run through it for a bit for good measure. Next I applied 1tbsp acv diluted from a squirt bottle, left it for a short time. Then rinsed. I have hair that is regularly bleached and down to my shoulder blades. Because bleaching tortures my hair soo much (yes I know.. I shud stop. But I’m addicted lol) I usually use a leave in conditioner to make it easier to brush/style/and look healthier, I didnt use it today… Right now my hair from midshaft to ends looks fried!! It looks like I never even used a conditioner at all! More than that, it’s dry, it feels like straw! I’ve never had this with my salon shampoo & conditioner… This is the worst condition I have EVER seen my hair in.. Will it get better? Does my hair need to adjust, did I do something wrong? Or is this just not meant for bleached hair? Should I be using my leave in conditioner? SOS

    • says

      Oh my Melanie. I have never had anyone have this problem before. The part about the soda not dissolving is odd too. I’m not sure about the chemical reaction with your bleached hair. This won’t make any difference in the straw like part but you don’t let the acv sit on your hair like you would regular conditioner, you just rinse it right out. Plus you said you applied a Tbsp. of diluted acv but I use at least 1/2 cup of diluted/with water to my hair. Sometimes changing things even the smallest amount can affect the way it works. You could try it again with fresh soda and dissolved in warm water, using more or none at all of the acv.
      Maybe someone else out there has had this happen and give their two cents worth and what they did or this may not just work for you. Not everything works for everyone.

  124. Melanie says

    Thanks Jill, I will def play around with the acv and rinse it out right away, hopefully I get better results next time :)

    • says

      Melanie you may if your hair is super dry too have to use some regular conditioner on the ends for awhile too which is nothing wrong with that. It is your scalp that you are trying to balance out. Also I did my hair the other day and it looked good and all but it felt different I made me think that if we get used to the feel of stripped hair it might take a bit to get use to the feel of hair with natural oil. Sorry you are having trouble. I remember once when I was young and went swimming everyday the chemicals in the pool reacted with my hair and it turned to straw too and green. Very scary. :)

  125. Melanie says

    Thanks for your help Jill, I actually hopped back in the shower and doused my hair with more acv, it’s doing better now! Still a tad dry but this is more along the lines of what my hair looks like with just a washing w/ shampoo & conditioner without any extra product. My hair feels a bit “heavier” than when I strip it with shampoo, which makes sense, however it looks clean. :) I think I will try adding some extra conditioner (as you suggested) or my leave in to just the very ends for a while.

    • says

      Oh good I’m glad it is doing better for you. If your hair is over processed in may take a little conditioning while it is getting balanced out. So glad it is doing better. Nothing as bad as a bad hair day. : )

  126. Faith says

    Hi, I just recently started this and the baking soda has made my hair look thicker but it is so tangled and a bit sticky. Could I be using too much baking soda or is this normal as part of the adjustment period? Or could the problem be that I’m leaving the soda on too long?
    If I use too little it just doesn’t clean my hair efficiently. Any advice would be greatly appreciated since I have struggled with my hair all my life. Nothing I do seems to work.

    • says

      Faith I’m not sure why but every once in awhile someone does have trouble using this. I don’t know if it is the way they are using it, the water or what. One thing try to use exactly 1 Tbsp. to 8 oz of water. You don’t leave it on, just pour it on your scalp and massage it in like you would shampoo then rinse. For the tangles you might try a couple of things. I brush my hair well before I shampoo it, I have better results if I shampoo in the shower and when I pour on the soda water I don’t scrubba dub dub. I just gently massage it into my scalp and not bring the ends up and scrub it all in one big mass like I did with shampoo. I let the soda water just run down to the ends of my hair.

      If none of this works for the tangles you could use some conditioner but just on the ends of your hair for awhile.

  127. Kristin says

    This is going on week two for me and it is a bit of an adjustment. The first week was horrid. My hair was greasy, but dry. I played with the amounts and left the baking soda in my hair (after massaging it for a few minutes), for about 10 minutes while I shaved my legs and showered. To the acv mix, I put about 10 drops of essential oil that is lavender and tea tree oil. It looks much better this week! I colored my hair on Saturday and no color stripping. The only issue I have is that my hair feels “grainy”, even after rinsing it for at least three minutes. Any suggestions on how to get rid of the grainy feel?

    • says

      I’m not sure what to tell you Kristin but for some reason everyone is wanting to leave the soda sitting in their hair. The soda does not condition your hair so leaving it sit in there doesn’t do any extra good so I would say start by rinsing it out right after you massage it in which should only take about 1 min. I’m not sure but if the essential oil is not mixing with the acv. If you think about it oil and vinegar do not mix when making salad dressing so the chances are they won’t mix on your hair. I wouldn’t use both just one or the other and then only put it on the ends of your hair.

  128. Faith says

    Thanks for your advice Jill. I really want to make this work because I am deeply dissatisfied with just about every shampoo I’ve tried. They all leave my hair flat and limp or if I try to wash less my hair just gets so greasy. Hope this works:)

  129. anu says

    Hello Ma’am,
    First of all thank you so much for this Healthy-
    Happy hair care Formula. I am very impressed with your Idea.

    My hair are very stiff and thin, should i apply this Baking soda shampoo on my hair?

    Thank you :)

    • says

      It won’t hurt to try the soda. There is nothing in the baking soda to damage or hurt your hair so I always say don’t be afraid to try it. The worse that will happen is you just don’t like it so all you have to do is to reshampoo with your regular shampoo if you hate the way your hair turned out. It isn’t like dyeing your hair where you have to let your hair grow out or recolor to get rid of it.

      • anu says

        Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
        For a long time I was worried,despite considerable efforts
        for my hair but yesterday when I washed my hair with Baking soda
        it’s feels wonderful and i am totally pleased now.
        One Important thing I want to mention that first time got Volume in my hair and i love it.
        My hair are delighted and want to say A BIG THANKS to YOU.
        With all my Energy and love i wish you a great,Happy and prosperous Life.

  130. Kristin says

    This is the third week that I have been “poo free.” The first two weeks were a greasy horrible mess. Last night, I washed with baking soda and used a regular conditioner as my hair had been dry. My hair looks AMAZING this morning! It has body and the natural waves are popping! I noticed that the conditioner really weighed my hair down and made it feel thinner than it is. Next time, I will just condition with the ACV and use some of my lavender/tea tree oil in the conditioner’s place. Thank you, Jill for this blog!

  131. Rhonda says

    I’m looking for a no rinse shampoo recipe for someone that is bed ridden. The no rinse that you buy is so expensive. any ideas?

    • says

      I have not used it but I know of an elderly aunt who had beautiful hair and never used any shampoo on it at all. She would just sprinkle her hair with cornstarch and brush it through. I have also heard of mixing equal parts of baking soda and oatmeal. The whole principle is that these absorb the oil.

    • says

      J it seems like someone did mention they used it on African hair but I can’t be for sure. What I tell everyone who is hesitating is to just one morning try it. We all have baking soda on hand so you won’t be out any expense. It isn’t like hair color where you are stuck with the color for weeks. Baking soda is so mild that it can’t do any harm at all no more then using plain water. It is really like trying any new shampoo you buy at the store except this doesn’t cost you anything. If you wash it and you hair doesn’t look like you want it to then just rewash with your regular shampoo.

  132. Sunny Nestler says

    I’m going to try this, starting today. I have to wash my hair every day because it’s oily, and I wear a mask for my sleep apnea, so “troll doll on crack” is really close, LOL!

    A note about apple cider vinegar… this is awesome stuff! I’ve used it as a rinse (great for removing shampoo residue, and very softening for hair). PLUS when my daughter was a wee babe and had cradle cap, I diluted apple cider vinegar about 10 parts water to one part vinegar and rinsed her head with it. Cleared the cradle cap up right away!

    I’m really psyched about going no-poo! Thank you!!

  133. Melissa says

    While in college, many, many years ago…my roommate heard about mixing baking soda in conditioner to breakdown hair product build up. It was the 80’s and big hair was in style, it worked like a charm, not sure why I stopped using it. Can’t wait to try your suggestions, I’m ending one year of treatment for breast cancer and going “natural” with everything that I can. Thanks again.

  134. Sunny Nestler says

    OMG, Jill, this is absolutely, positively unbelievably fantastic!

    I mixed my stuff up last night, planning to use it before bed. I couldn’t find my squirt bottles, so I left it in 2 cups. But I was too tired to shower. I’ve had a bad head cold for a week, and haven’t washed my hair for 3-4 days. I usually wash every single morning to counter awful ‘bed-head’ from heavy night sweats and wearing a mask for sleep apnea. Usually I wash in the shower, condition, comb the conditioner through my short hair (baby fine) that tangles if you look at it cross-eyed.

    I did NOT believe this would work for me. But I was willing to give it a try. Now, I’m telling you my hair was super oily. Well, can you say squeaky clean?? That was a pleasant shock, cause I’ve always loved my lather!

    I didn’t want to leave unlabeled cups in the bathroom, so I actually used all of both containers, only remembering at the last minute you suggested just using the vinegar rinse on the ends of your hair. I picked up my comb, prepared to struggle with the tangles I ALWAYS have, even with the conditioner in my hair. NO tangles! Not a single one! I rinsed with warm water, then gently dried my hair a bit. I absolutely can not believe how my hair sparkles! No tangles, sooo soft and clean-looking! I am definitely a convert! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! HUGS!!! Sunny : -)

  135. says

    I love doing this. Not just is it economical but healthy. You can go with oh the bad things about the chemicals in the shampoo, but some of us really have sensitive enough skin that the chemicals were an obvious problem.
    Yummy smelling products are really the rage, but at what price? Everything with all it’s artificial fragrances and it being so much higher up the list than it used to be (more in the product), I have had a lot of reactions. A big one was to shampoos and conditioners. After using a *I’ll not post the name* popular name brand shampoo seen on tv a lot, I had to get up one night and wash my hair at one o’clock in the morning because my head was itching so bad. It was the first time I had ever even tried that product.
    I had had some itching before but thought it was dandruff. Not long after that incident I went no ‘poo. Thank God (I don’t mean that in a swearing way, but literally) I found this. Saved me from scratching my head until it was bleeding! Turns out I don’t have dandruff.
    Really it makes sense, I learned years ago not to strip my face of it’s natural oils because it made my acne worse. So why didn’t I apply that idea to my scalp which is attached to my face?!


  136. Tommienell Ellis says

    Jill, could be that heavy layers of leftover hairspray in hair causes the hair to be sticky and heavy after the soda poo. (Commercial shampoos are harsh enough to strip it out where the soda poo might take a few more washings). Some hairsprays are really hard to get out of hair. I am anxious to try the soda/vinegar poo. Tommie

    • says

      That could be a possibility Tommie. Your comment reminded me of in the early 70’s we use to drive across the border to Mexico to get our hair done for special occasions (it cost a whole $.50). They would take a spray our hair with lacquer to make sure it stayed in place and boy did it stay in place. I remember wrapping it in toilet paper at night to help it too. Can’t believe we did that. What a crack up.

  137. Wendy says

    I have been reading and reading and had to skip to the bottom. I look forward to trying the Baking Soda and maybe the vinegar or lemon juice. I currently have short hair after having long hair my whole life. MAINLY I WANT TO SAY – if you have STATIC in your hair, put a little hand lotion on your hands rub it almost all the way in and then lightly (very lightly) touch your hair where you are having fly aways. It has worked for me for years and I have tried it on the seniors that I am a caregiver for and then they can go an extra day or two between showers since they hate showers most of the time, (It is a fall risk and sometimes tramatic to be cold and undressed). Anyway, if their hair looks nice and a little baby powder on their backs, underarms, under breasts and they are good for another day. I’m sure it works with little ones who aren’t fond of bathing also. Wendy

  138. Cat says

    I didn’t want to comment until I experimented with it for awhile. Now I too am ‘poo free’ (hee. hee.) The first time I tried baking soda, I made a paste as instructed by another site. It made my hair feel really stiff & I probably didn’t rinse it all out. I read the recipe and instructions on here and tried it like a month ago. So easy and no more ‘bad hair days’. My hair has always been brittle in texture, but it’s seems to be getting softer each time. I alternate between the whole head and just the ends on the apple cider vinegar rinse. I notice that instead of vinegar smell I catch a slightly floral scent to my hair.
    As for dry shampoo mixtures, I found an old home ec text book, when I was first starting out. Cornmeal really does work when your out of shampoo. I also used a cornmeal/powdered Tide mixture described in the book.
    My husband has noticed how much healthier my hair looks and is going to give it a try too.
    I only wish I knew this years ago…the money I could have saved on all the expensive shampoo and conditioners…my first apartment building is up for sale…I probably could have paid cash for it today if all that money went in the bank instead. LOL! Thanks, again for another awesome money saving idea!

    • says

      Too funny Cat. We all could have paid off our homes earlier with what we spend on hair care products. I also tell everyone cut back on the amount that you use on any of your toiletries. For example if you are forever rubbing and rubbing your lotion in you are using too much. More does not mean better. You just need a thin layer of anything like this including face creams, body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, mousse etc. If ever you are finding yourself using huge amounts of anything it is usually because the product is not working so you need to buy something different not use more. I have long hair and when I used shampoo one bottle would last me at least a year because I only suds up once (why suds twice? We don’t wash our dishes or clothes twice) and used very little shampoo.

      I am so glad you kept trying this method Cat. Some people try things and it doesn’t quite work then just give up. That is why I say keep trying on anything but adjust it for your own needs. I wonder if the fruity smell is just the scent of the apples that is what the cider is made of?

  139. Cat says

    I’m sure the scent must be the apples. It’s inspired me to soak a few rose petals and other flowers in my next batch of vinegar rinse. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • says

      That made me think Cat – I wonder if you don’t need the vinegar rinse for detangling if a person just soaked the rose petals in some water and used it for a final rinse if that would work. Great idea Cat.

  140. Stacey says

    Bless your heart Jill, your fingers must be cramped up by now answering all of these questions..lol. I am intrigued by this idea, I haven’t tried it yet, but am seriously thinking about it. I have short dyed blonde hair, that has some grays and have considered stopping the dying altogether. I have a feeling that this would help my hair to look nicer even without all of the dying stuff. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Hey maybe gray will become the new ‘in’ color for the season.lol

    • says

      I’m with you on that Stacey. My hair is gray blond and I too hope that grey will be the new season color. I hope it works for you. I always tease everyone and say be brave and try it. If it doesn’t work the worst that will happen is you will have to reshampoo it. Now if I was telling you to dye it or cut it that would be another whole scary ball game.

  141. Bea says

    Jill, Your idea of soaking rose petals in water sounded lovely so on my walk yesterday I picked up some rose petals I saw laying on the ground and when I got home rinsed them off and put them in some water for a few hours and used the water to rinse my hair after doing the baking soda thing and the water did pick up a slight frangrance of roses. Nice. Plus seeing the roses in water looked nice.

  142. Maggie says

    My hair has had some grey in it since I was in my mid-20’s and I used to frost it to make it less visible but since my liver transplant in 1997, I have been unable to put dye or frosting on my hair due to the immunosuppressants. My hair is now nearly grey overall but I have had people ask my hairdresser to make their hair my color because they thought I had frosted it. So, grey WILL BE the 2013 color of the year. Enjoy it. Life is too short to worry about hair color. And spend your hair coloring money on something fun to do with your grands.

  143. Melanie says

    I’ve tried the no poo but the baking soda dried my hair out. I even tried ACV alone and it still was not enough moisture for my hair. I have very thick, wavy, dry scalp, and hair. I am still looking for a solution. Anyone have any suggestions?

  144. Laynn says

    I am interested in trying this, but I was wondering if this will make my hair or head stink or smell weird? I have a thing about how my hair/head smells and I don’t want it to smell dirty or funky and have to be self-conscious of that while I’m snuggling up to my hubby:)Thanks!

    • says

      It doesn’t smell at all just very nice and fresh. Some who have used the apple cider vinegar say that they have a nice fruity scent but I usually smell nothing but fresh. Try it once and see what you think. If you don’t like it you can always just shampoo it again.

    • says

      My husband didn’t even know I went no poo and he is all about smell. If you use perfume, it won’t have to compete with your shampoo’s fragrance now!
      I have to agree that you won’t smell anything but fresh. Enjoy!

  145. stacy says

    I have been doing the no poo for about 5 days now and see increasing oil on my scalp. Im about to give up how long does it usually take to balance your ph level??

    • says

      I really can’t say for sure Stacy. I think each person is different. If you have oilier hair, drier hair, do you wash and strip it of its oils everyday or only wash it a couple of times a week. All those things factor in. I have know many people say it took almost a month. They usually washed their hair every day. I and many others have seen a difference the first time we used it and had no problem. I have oily hair but didn’t wash it every day. There are so many factors. Be sure to brush your hair well before you shampoo and often. This helps to distribute the oil some and may help until your hair balances out.

      I know if can be frustrating because there is nothing like having a bad hair day but I would give it at least another week if you can.

    • stacy says

      Thank you!I will keep on keepin on. Ive dyed my hair for about 16 years now,and would only shampoo every 3rd day….so it looks like it may take me longer for things to balance out!

  146. says

    Stacy! Don’t give up! I had very oily hair. I was striping it everyday and would be greasy by late afternoon and it didn’t know what to do when I went no poo. I had a bad deal for probably a month. Lots of pony tails. But now, it’s so much better! It would take me days to get greasy.
    My scalp is a much happier place now. I was having a lot of bad reactions to regular shampoos. A lot of itching (with no dandruff). I don’t get that anymore and my hair is awesome.
    Hang in there. It’s worth it. Oh my hair is a different texture now and I had to learn to deal with it differently, but it also quit falling out and is thicker too.
    Good Luck. Rayna

  147. Karin L. says

    This sounds really good, I’m getting ready to go mix these up and use them!! Just wondering if I have to rinse out the apple cider vinegar/ water mix? I remember reading somewhere that you could just not rinse it out.. Thanks for all the great tips/ articles!

    • says

      One easy way to think of these Karin is the soda you use just like shampoo and vinegar just like conditioner. So in the same way you rub regular conditioner in and then rinse you do the same with the vinegar. After you pour it on rinse it out. You also rinse out the soda after you rub it in. I have long fine hair that I always had to use conditioner on to help with tangling and at times I still had trouble combing it out. One day I forgot my vinegar and was already in the shower so didn’t use it. My hair combed out beautifully with out it. I haven’t used the apple cider vinegar for a year now and my hair is easier to comb then when I used conditioner.

  148. says

    Day 1: Hair seems smoother but feels really dirty. I guess it’s gonna be a ponytail kind of week for me :) I really do hope this works!

    • says

      Lori I have to give you an A+ for attitude. It is so refreshing to have someone say will give it a try and hope this works and will just wear a ponytail for a week instead of tittering (sp) back and forward worry about whether it will work or not. I guess when I tried it I thought if it works this will be wonderful if if it doesn’t I have lost nothing really.

  149. rhonnie says

    For those of you like Lori, that after using the no-poo, have the feeling that their hair is dirty or grimy feeling, please don’t forget about boiling the water first. I was using this no-poo method for abt 6 mos w/the sticky, dirty, grimy feeling on my hair before I saw the post that someone wrote a few mos ago about boiling the water first. Many of us live in hard water areas and this may be the cause of the grimy feeling on our hair after the no-pooing. I’ve been boiling my water first ever since I read that post, and the results have been miraculous! I have the MOST difficult hair in the universe! Thick, frizzy, some pieces straight, some curly. My hair is now still the worst hair in the universe, but is now more managable! Jill, I noticed that when that person posted her comment about boiling the water first, you responded by telling all of us to keep that in mind if we were having that grimy feeling after the no-poo. But when people have commented recently about having this problem, you haven’t been reminding them about the bringing the water to a boil first, and I think this may be the problem for most of those people. I’d hate to see them give up on this method when there may be a simple solution. It’s a pain to have to wait for the water to cool down, but well worth the wait! To alleviate the ‘waiting’ problem, what I do is boil my water ahead of time, like a day or 2 before I wash my hair. I wash my hair every 4 or 5 days. Then when I’m getting ready to get in the shower, I just heat the water back up to the temp I want it to be. I guess you could use the water room temp. but I like it to be warm, almost hot. I feel it cleans better that way, and the warm mixture is so soothing on the scalp. Then, I pour it into a very large empty ‘body wash’ squeeze bottle I have along w/the baking soda, and whallah! I have my ‘shampoo’ ready to go!

  150. says

    Day 2: This is actually the 3rd day for me, but I skipped a wash yesterday. Still the same results, but I’m keeping the faith. I have really hard water, so I will boil my water from now on. I really hope this works, and I will keep you posted :)

    • says

      Please do Lori. I’m sorry I have to chuckle a little it sounds a little like the Diary of a Mad Housewife but instead we could call your postings a Diary of a Woman Having a Really Bad Hair Day. :) I shouldn’t laugh because I know you want to make this work but I love your tenacity.

  151. says

    Day 3: I’m beginning to lose hope. I boiled the water and to my dismay I’ve achieved the same results :( Am I destined to use shampoo forever? Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but the instructions seem pretty simple. I will continue this method because I am not a quitter! How long did it take everyone else to see the magical results we’ve been promised?

    P.S. Thanks for your replies Jill :)

    • says

      Lori I am now starting to feel your pain so bad now. I almost hate to answer your question but it has taken some people 3-6 weeks. I wasn’t sure if it was the hard water or not although sometimes it does make a difference. See I have soft water and about every 6-8 shampoos out of the blue mine does the sticky residue thing too and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. Mine is never so bad that I can’t make do (hair “do”)(little joke there) with it. I just don’t know what to tell you.

      i wonder if you use shampoo every other time or once a week and the rest soda. I don’t know. It is really weird because I notice mine has that same feeling when I shampoo in my kitchen sink. I think some people have tried rubbing the soda in dry then rinsing it. I did see a video once of a newscaster who did it and it took her over a month. It was a “hair raising” :) time for her. I shouldn’t tease because I don’t know if I could have stuck it out if mind hadn’t worked out first try.

      Don’t feel bad if you have to give up. Here is a video of a gal who said she used lemon juice and that seemed to help with the greasey build up. You might try that. Here it is to watch if you want No poo

    • shannon says

      Don’t give up! We have horrible hard water too and it took a couple of months to figure things out. Boiling the water didn’t seem to make a difference. It came down to adjusting the amount of soda inthe water. We premix it and leave it in the shower. At first I was using a paste once or twice a week and really taking my time rubbing and massaging it in. That always seemed to take the grease away and do well. Now, its been 7 months and we are soo happy! Its true not to give up, but you may need to get creative with it. I have recommended for all my long hair friends to slowly ween yourselves off shampoo so your head isn’t as shocked. And weather can play a role too. We needed more baking soda in our water in the summer.

      Good luck!!!

  152. rhonnie says

    Oh Lori, I’m so sorry this didn’t work for you! But, there is something I didn’t mention because I didn’t think it mattered. I don’t know how long you let the water boil, but I boil it for 5-10 mins. I don’t know why, I guess I just thought that the longer the better. I’ve read that it shouldn’t matter how long you boil your water, and I’ve also read that it does make a difference. Here is a post that mentions it should be brought to a rolling boil for 10 mins before using it for the no-poo method. I know that I have extremely hard water, and as soon as I starting boiling my water that grimy feeling was gone. Here’s the post: http://www.how-to-boost-your-immune-system.com/no-shampoo-method-with-hard-water.html

  153. rhonnie says

    Correction Lori. I just noticed that the post mentions that the water should be brought to a boil for at LEAST 10 mins. So try that. Also I keep my water covered while it’s boiling. It keeps the evaporation to a minimum. But I do put in a little more water than what I need because it does tend to evaporate a bit. I actually use 3 cups of hot water (I need a lot because my hair is extremely thick) and only 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda. I know the receipe is 1 tablespoon baking soda for every cup of water, but the 2 1/2 teaspoons to the 3 cups of water seems to work for me. I don’t use the vinegar rinse anymore. Didn’t work for me. I just use the conditioner that comes in the box of Loreal excellence color that I use to color my hair. Then I comb my hair thru w/a wide tooth comb w/the conditioner still in my hair, then I rinse it out and towel dry. I don’t have to use any products on my hair anymore. I’ve never been happy w/my curls until now. Just wish I knew about this when I was growing up. Thank you so much Jill for sharing this w/all of us! And I hope this works for you Lori!

  154. says

    Ok, so the posts are a little late, but I had company over the weekend and didn’t have time.

    Day 4: I was desperate for this to work so I tried some of the suggestions and just put the baking soda in my hand and rubbed it on my scalp to get my hair clean. This did not work, and made my hair even more stiff. I didn’t use the ACV either hoping that was the reason my hair felt gross, but I think I just need to give it some more time.

    Day 5: I caved and used shampoo, only because I had family visiting for the weekend. I will go back to pooing, thanks to everyone that told me it can take up to a month to work. Luckily I’m on maternity leave and all I’ve got is time and patience. Thankfully my new baby is to young to judge my fro :)

    • says

      You know Lori, I wonder if you used a little less baking soda just because the straight soda made it worse I wonder if you are using too much and maybe need less. I don’t blame you for shampooing with company coming.

  155. Shannon says

    Any time i use a paste it is imperitive that i use the ACV rinse; its really softens the hair. I have very short hair and My style shows EVERYTHING! Without the ACV, it looks and feels terrible. I tried going without for a while to see the difference and realised that was a mistake. glad to see your still trying!

  156. Abi says

    Hi JilL!

    I have colored hair and I’m wondering if you know if this strips color out. I did this a while back with my naturally colored hair, but right now it is BRIGHT red and we all know how fast red fades. I love the color I’ve achieved, and don’t want to strip it by using this mixture, but I love the mixture!

    Any thoughts?!



    • says

      So far Abi everyone I know who uses this and has colored (or permed) hair says that not only does it not strip the color but it lasts longer because most shampoos are very bad about stripping your hair of many things and baking soda doesn’t.

  157. Sharon says

    I have been poo free for about 2 1/2 weeks now. My hair is clean and doesn’t seem as dry and brittle. I am having one problem though. After blow drying, I have static electricity. Has anyone else had this problem and is there anything to do about it?

    • says

      Sharon the poo free method works on your scalp and the oil on it, if you need to use a little conditioner rubbed on the ends for static it won’t affect the poo freeness at all. You of course could add a small amount of other hair oils (rubbed in the palm of your hands) or other hair products but a little conditioner works just as well and is less expensive then many of the fancy oils people are now using. This time of year some do have to fight static electricity.

  158. Maggie says

    My mom used lotion on her hands and after it was mostly rubbed in, she would just rub her hands on her hair and all the static would be gone. Now, you don’t want to do this with a lot of lotion on your hands but just after it is almost gone from your skin. This is really a free solution since you are using the lotion anyway. I never noticed that it gunked up her hair and I’m sure she did not wash it everyday. Also, mom always used vinegar to rinse our hair even after using shampoo. She kept it in a large bottle in the bathroom and just poured it over our hair at the end. I remember it was very cold since it just sat in the bathroom. we would go outside in the summer and let our hair dry and mom always said it would bring out the blonde highlights. What teenage girl didn’t want blonde highlights. What I noticed was that it made the red show up more but that was still prettier (I thought :)) than just plain brown.

    • Sharon says

      Thanks Jill & Maggie!! I will be trying that. Today I sprayed a tiny amount of hair spray on my fingers, rubbed my hands together and “combed” through my hair. It worked like a charm. And since using the baking soda, I no longer have hair spray build up in my hair. Another plus – we just had our sales tax raised and now my “shampoo & conditioner” are non taxable food items.

  159. Gail says

    My hair is very fine and frizzy. I did the baking soda and ACV. I air dry my hair and it is still frizzy. How long will it take before I can see a difference?

    • says

      Gail some people take four – six weeks but don’t panic just because you use baking soda in place of shampoo doesn’t mean when you style your hair you can never use any other styling products again. Like I said before if you have static in your hair or frizzies you can us some conditioner or other type of product if you need to on the ends. You can even use hair spray, mousse or gel.

      The main thing to remember is the whole purpose of the soda is it doesn’t strip your scalp. The striping of your scalp is what causes you to produce excess oil and dry out your hair. It doesn’t matter if you use other products after you “no poo”. I have just found that after using the soda for several shampoos I don’t need to use near as much styling or other products on my hair.

  160. Sue says

    I just found this site and really want to try! One question… I’ve been using Wen for the past 15 months and love the way my hair color doesn’t fade. When I color I only do the new growth so I’m no longer running the dye through the length of my hair. Has anyone tried just dying their roots after using poo for a while? How has that worked?

    • says

      I don’t know about dying the roots only but no pooing helps the color last longer. Like Wren it doesn’t strip the color or perm from your hair the way shampoo does.

    • says

      It doesn’t matter how you wash your hair; anytime you’re dying roots your color will turn out fine. Just comb the color from your roots down in the last 10 to 15 minutes of processing. :)

      Poo Free Rocks!! My husband and I been doing it for 8 months and we are very happy. I have converted my HAIR DRESSER, cousins, and friends. :) YAY!

  161. Cyndy says

    @ Sue-

    I’ve been using the no-poo method since Mother’s Day of this year.
    And… I use permanent hair color, and I only put it on my roots, not my whole head.

    The results?
    My hair color looks fabulous from top to tip.

    And, I have the additional bonus of not having to wash it daily because the no-poo method has regulated my scalp oils so that they’re not producing as much oil. And when you’re not shampooing daily, you’re not (at least in my case) subjecting your hair to the harsh heat of a blow dryer, and so it’s altogether healthier for the ends.

    I’d say it’s what is called a ‘win-win’.
    Hope this helps… and good luck!

  162. Sue says

    Cyndy- Thank you so much! That’s what I was hoping to hear! I just used the no-poo and dried my hair. I have baby fine hair. Feels just as good as usual! I used to wash it daily when I used shampoo. As I got older(-ish) I was able to wash every other day. With Wen I’m still washing every other day but the days I wash it takes a lot longer to rinse out of my hair so I’m using more water. And Wen is not cheap although it’s been my little indulgence (mmmm…lavender!). I feel a bit guilty every time I order it. That money can be better spent elsewhere. Like shoes! LOL!

  163. Cyndy says

    @ Sue – Glad to hear! Your hair will now just keep getting better and better.

    And just think how wonderful you’ll feel with your gorgeous hair, and your new shoes.

  164. Jessica says

    Its not working for me, what am I doing wrong? Normally I have oily hair on my scalp but the rest of my long hair is dry. after washing my hair with the baking soda was and acv rinse all of it is super dry and very very tangled.

  165. Stephanie says

    Lately I have been cleaning with baking soda so I thought I would see what else it is good for….and I came across your article.

    Today is December 10, 2012 and from this day forward I renounce all shampoos and conditioners!!!! I think I spend around 250€ per year on hair treatments and now I am guessing that will go down to about 20!
    The savings is important obviously, but the vital issue is that this really works. My hair feels clean and healthy….and maybe it is the morning sunshine, but I feel like my natural highlights are more visible too.
    The only downside is that I have an extremely acute sense of smell and I can still smell the Apple Cider Vinegar but that is not a big deal. I will get over it.
    Thanks for this :)

    • says

      Stephanie you might try not using the vinegar. I have long hair that gets pretty tangled when I shampoo it. I was using the vinegar too but one day didn’t have any in the shower with me so did with out. My hair wasn’t tangled at all and combed out just as easy using only the soda. I do brush my hair well before washing it and then when I use the soda I just gently massage it into my scalp instead of the hard rub ba dub dub I use to do when shampooing which means there is little if any tangling for me.

  166. Amanda says

    I was looking at buying the wen shampoo and thought I would reseach if there was any cheaper brads online and I came across your wonderful homemade set that sounded really good (this was around 11 am EST). I had the stuff and thought there is no time like the present so I washed my hair with the bs and did the acv on my ends as you suggested. I just got done and my hair is not dry but I can tell a differance, it does not feel weighed down or heavy even though it is still wet. when I did the bs mixture it seemed watery, i did 1 tbsp bs and 1 cup water do i need more bs or less water? Thank you so much I am going to check out the rest of your blog now!

    • says

      No Amanda you don’t need more baking soda. It will seem watery. It doesn’t have any of the added things that shampoo has. It does seem strange at first when using it because we are so conditioned to expect things to be a certain way that it feels funny. The same way it isn’t that suds in shampoo that cleans our hair but I know I always felt if a shampoo had less suds it didn’t clean as well. It was all in my head. :)

  167. elisabeth says

    I’ve been poo free for like a month now. My hair feels soft. No tangles. Better condition. But it looks greasy. Its driving me nuts. I’m trying to be patient. And wanna keep this up. Please tell me the greasyness will end soon? Other than being greasy I love being poo free.

    • Sandra says

      I’m not Jill but I can share with you some information that will help. I am sure Jill won’t mind my answering your question.Please read my comment it talks about Hard water verses soft water. If you have hard water do not use baking soda just skip right to using the vinegar as a wash and rinse in one step rinse well with very warm or even hot water till you feel the hair is clean then rinse with cold water to close the pore to prevent the excreting oils, over time your hair will balance out and then you will find you can go many more days or even weeks without having to wash your hair. I can go a week and a half now in between those days of washing I just rinse it out when I take my showers till it is time to wash again, and I do not have tangles (hair is to my knees) just use a wide tooth comb when it is wet or it will stretch out your hair and then become fragile. once your hair is dry you will not smell the vinegar. You can opt to add a few drops of essential oils for fragrance and scalp care but be careful not to add to much or you will make your hair oily from the essential oils.

  168. shamla says

    I have very thin and fine hair. My scalp is oily too. I have to wash my hair daily. My hair is falling out too. Do you think I can use the bs & acv to replace shampoo and conditioner.

    • says

      My hair is exactly the same and it works fine. If anything it should help you to do better. What happens is the shampoo strips your hair of all of it’s oil from washing it everyday so your scalp kicks in gear a makes even more the next time which means you have to shampoo more often which makes it produce more oil. You need to break that cycle. For some it happens right away for others it may take a few weeks. I do know my hair is so much better then it ever was before and if you read the reviews a majority of the people have the same experience. I guess I figure it isn’t like permanently coloring your hair so what does it hurt to try it. It certain has nothing in it to hurt your hair.

      • shamla says

        Thanks Jill. I tried it this morning and I feel fresh after the hair wash but hair still fall out. Hopefully the hair fall will stop after following this regime regularly. Will keep you updated. Thanks again.

        • says

          Shamla glad it worked for you. You hair falling out may be caused by several other things though too. For example if you are on certain medicines or have an illness like we do or thyroid problems etc. If it keeps up you may have to check with a doctor.

  169. says

    I tried it this morning and my hair still did not feel clean. How long do I have to use it before I can tell a difference ? My husband thought I was crazy..hahaha.From now on I just want tell him.LOL. Because I am thinking about making the laundry detergent and that will be my little secret. 😉

    • says

      Connie some say it takes 3 weeks or so for your body and head to adjust it’s oils. It worked for me the first time but so many people are different. I would say try it for a few times until you can’t stand it any more and if it isn’t there is nothing that says you can’t go back to shampoo. I have found though about 1 once a month for some weird reason that I can’t understand it doesn’t feel the same. I don’t know what I do different that one time. Also I don’t use the apple cider vinegar even though I have long hair. It tends to leave a coating on my hair that isn’t bad but I just don’t really need it. Try it a couple more times if you can and see what happens. Be sure to massage it in good and to let the water run through it well before you use the soda.

  170. says

    Thanks so much for the reply. And I’m not giving in that quit, I will be trying it for a while. So maybe if I don’t use the vinegar rinse, maybe my hair will feel better. Gonna try it….
    Have you or anybody ever used it on there dogs ? My dogs have dry skin and I was wondering if it would help ? I have 2 pomeranians(black).

    • says

      Yes I have known people to use it on their dogs and says it works great. My brother has very very sensitive skin and he was using soda as a shampoo and one of the side benefits of it was when it ran on to his face from his hair it made his face feel so good and soft. Since my brother is a pretty macho guy it took a lot for him to confess that to his big sister. :) Oh not that I’m comparing my brother to dog of course. :)

  171. LeeAnne says

    I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis several years ago and after battling it for a long time (and finally getting it under control) my body has gone into a phase of readjustment. My hair falls out (I am not going bald- but I feel so bad for my husband when he pulls out hunks from the drain each week and says he found a wookie in there!) and I have HORRIBLE dandruff! It is sooo embarrassing. All I do now with my hair is put it into a pony tail as if that would hide all of those white chunks! So tonight when I found this posting and I began to read, I finally had hope again! You see, I have tried the shampoos, medications, and I already wash my hair every 2-3 days- none of that worked- the WHITE FLAKES are still getting worse… so, I read a lot of what you ladies have been posting, and then read some more, and then went to my cupboard to see if I had on hand the items I needed. I took my first shower using the baking soda just and ACV mixtures and as I sit here letting my hair dry and feeling how soft it is, I have hope that I may have found something that will work against the dandruff! I am not too picky if my hair fuzzes up over the coming weeks… I only care about making those embarrassing flakes go away. So thank you ladies for all of your wonderful advice (and support to eachother)! It is nice to know I am not alone in these struggles!

  172. Kaylen says

    Sorry if this already been asked, but do you know if this method would work on African American hair? I’d tally love to try it but I’m worried about the results. Thanks!

    • says

      Kaylen I think it does and we have had African American readers who have said it works for them. Now of course everything doesn’t always work for everybody but the thing is this is not like coloring or straightening your hair – it isn’t permanent and you don’t have to go months with it until it grows out. If it doesn’t work then just go back to what you were using before. There is nothing to be scared of because it has never damaged anyone’s hair because there is nothing in it to do that.

  173. Marie says

    I was so excited to try poo-free hair but now I’m not sure anymore. I have just “washed” my hair for the first time using the soda and vinegar and my hair feels really weird, very thick and cottony… (I have straight chin-length hair). It looks clean but doesn’t feel it. I ended up using the entire 8oz of soda and water mix to get it all over my head. Am I supposed to put it all over my hair? How do you Rub it in your scalp? Do you use a spray bottle instead of a squirt one?
    Please help! I really want to make this work!

    • says

      Every once in awhile mine will feel funny but I just rewash it. Although it has only happened about 3 times in the 2 years I have been using it. I do use the whole 8 oz. now too. I carefully pour part of it on the top of my head and rub a little, then pour a little on each side and rub then down the back, rub and then dump all the rest on top of my head and with my fingers gently rub my scalp all over then rinse. If you want you could use either a spray bottle or squirt one if you find that easier. I just dump it with a cup.

      Be sure to brush your hair well before you shampoo and let the water from the shower run over it for a few seconds real good too. Also I found my hair felt more coated and like you are describing when I used the vinegar so I just use the soda now.

  174. Heidi says

    If you have hard water, you need to boil the water first to get out the minerals which prevent the baking soda from doing its job, or do what I do and buy a gallon of distilled water. The first few weeks that I tried the poo-free method, I didn’t know this trick and my hair was oily and my scalp a flaky mess. Gross! I find it helpful, as well, to put in the baking soda water and scrub my scalp like the dickens, then I brush out tangles, and THEN hop in the shower to rinse. I live in an area with a lot of limestone, so my shower water may as well be gravel. I also add a few drops of lavender essentail oils, but that’s just for the smell factor.

    When it comes to the rinse, I don’t rinse it out. I used apple cider vinegar and a few drops of tea tree essential oil. Once the hair dries, there’s absolutely no smell and its super shiny!

    I only use these products once a week. Otherwise, I just rinse with water.

  175. Jessie says

    I’m sorry, but this “shampoo” is horrible. Left my hair sticky and greasy….tried all different measurements and still was horrible

  176. ambi says

    I just stumbled across this post. I’ve been looking for a more natural/organic way to wash my hair. My hair (right now) is really short and very thick. After washing with regular shampoo it is dry for the first day and then oily the next day. When my hair is longer it is naturally wavy and after washing it is oily at the end of the day.

    I just got the stuff to try this out. I’m hoping it helps!!

  177. Deb says

    Tried it, and worked well for both myself (has thick, course hair) and my daughter (fine, limp hair)

    I found that it worked well when I applied BS mixture then rinsed hair out with water then apply apple cider mixture then rinsed with water before towel drying. Both of our hair was tangle free, and very soft and shiny.

    I am amazed and thrilled that this is an alternative to shampoo.

  178. Diana says

    For those of you that like to use natural things for your body……..I use vinegar as a deodorant. White organic vinegar works best. I use a spray bottle and spray my armpits. You can also use cotton balls and wet with vinegar and wipe your armpits.
    I am so glad I found this site. I use Wen on my hair right now, but I am going to try the Bs/water for my shampoo, and the vinegar/water for my conditioner.

  179. Amy says

    I just tried this for the first time today. I just have 2 problems with it so far. I have yet to see the results because my hair is still wet. But, it’s so watery that I had trouble working it through my hair. I poured some in my hand and it just seeped right through my fingers. Also, I like for my hair to smell good. That’s why I always bought Garnier. Is there any way to thicken this suff up? What if I add olive oil to the vinegar rinse? Is there anyway to add a scent? I almost added some body spray for scent, but wasn’t sure if it would defeat the whole purpose of washing my hair the all natural way.

    • says

      Amy it does take just a little practice getting use to it being thinner. I slowly pour it with one hand and massage it in with the other then I set the cup down and give it a good all over massage. I to like my hair to smell good but I’m afraid there really isn’t a way to add scent although it does leave your hair with a really fresh clean smell. I get my scent with a nice smelling hair spray that I use lightly or perfume. You might very very lightly try some body spray on it and see what happens.

  180. Rita says

    My hairdresser eons ago told me to add baking soda to my shampoo or get a handful to clean my scalp. He also recommended acv rinse. I haven’t done it in a while. But your method is instead of shampoo/conditioner instead of clarifying. So excited. Baking soda is the best face scrub too. I mix with Cetaphil or vco. WIll use Virgin coconut oil (vco) for deep conditioning. Rub on scalp and ends of hair. put on shower cap or wrap in hot towel. Wash and rinse.

  181. Sheri says

    I used to use apple cider vinegar to rinse my hair. I have very fine and thin hair. I think it brought out the red highlights in my chestnut colored hair. Now my highlights are silver…

    I will have to try the baking soda for shampooing. My scalp gets so dry at times, it hurts! This should be better. It might even cut down on all the hard water deposits on my shower door!

    I like the rinsing the baking soda with the vinegar idea… Sounds like fun!

    Thank you for sharing!

  182. kimberly says

    are you suppose to mix the baking soda and the apple cider vinegar together or separately in a bottle

    • says

      No you mix the baking soda with 8 oz of water then rinse with the vinegar. Think of the baking soda in place of your shampoo and the vinegar as you conditioner.

  183. grizzly bear mom says

    Been doing the baking soda & water poo. Hair looks great. Faced burned while shampooing. Anyone else have that problem? Is that why my face looks red? Advice?

    • says

      Not heard of any one having that problem most have said they really liked it because the soda soothed and made their face feel soft. That is strange too because baking soda is often recommended for people to use in a bath when kids have things like chicken pox, measles or hives because it calms the skin and helps with the itching.

  184. Jan says

    Hi Jill,
    I just love this idea about using something so simple to wash my hair. I have very thick hair and have spent quite a bit having it colored once a month. I am very grey and want to cover my roots. I was wondering if this recipe would wash the color right out of my hair.

    Thanks for any help.


    • says

      That is the one thing that is super great about this if you can use it and that is it doesn’t strip your hair color at all. Unlike shampoo which strips oil and everything this doesn’t. It is a bonus everyone gets excited about when they use the soda and that is their hair color lasts longer and they don’t have to use as many styling products.

  185. Maggie says

    I saw a commercial for Wen Shampoo (actually a full 30 min show) on Sunday and the first thing I thought of was the baking soda and vinegar rinse that I read about here. I plan to tell all my friends about how inexpensive it is to just make up your own. Baking soda – about $1.00 for a 16 oz box and apple cider vinegar – $1.00 for a 32 oz bottle. This will last a very long time.
    Jill and Tawra, thanks for sharing this great recipe with us. Wish I’d known about this when I was poor as a church mouse. Although, I will say that my mom always rinsed our hair with vinegar when we were kids and we thought it brought out the red highlights (which made us look better than just having plain brown hair).

    • says

      It is good that you mentioned that about the highlights because it is suppose to do that. Now you don’t have to use the vinegar. You could use lemon juice too and it will bring out the blonde highlights when you use it.

  186. Faithann Brown says

    I have been doing this for little over a year. I started just after I had my hair trimmed( I have always had atleast a half inch of yucky dead stuff to cut off) I went yesterday for my trim and she barely cut anything off, and there were no split ends or yucky stuff as usual. I however have found that my hair likes a tea made of rosemary and parsley instead of the vinegar. I use about a teaspoon of each with about a cup or two of boiling water, let it steep for a couple hours more or less, I pour it over my hair before I get out of the shower, no rinsing. I will never go back.

  187. Teresa says

    I just would like to say that I am so very pleased with the baking soda shampoo and vinegar rinse. My hair has so much more body without the greasy conditioner weighing it down! Also, after I shampoo and rinse, my hair feels so al naturale! I was very skeptical too about doing this and especially about not feeling all the “suds” but it truly works. I remember trying something in the past that didn’t work and I don’t remember exactly what that was but thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I will never ever go back to store bought shampoo again!! :)

  188. Lizzie says

    Hey. I have very volumized, spiral curly, dark brown hair. I am 14 years old and have been using store bought chemicalized shampoo and conditioner all my life. My hair does have frizz and I just want to reduce that, and add softness. I just read all of the comments on this blog to make sure it is safe and I am looking forward to using this next time I shower. I was wondering if I can use normal vinegar as my conditioner instead of apple cider…? Thanks and please reply soon! :)

        • Lizzie says

          Ugh. It didn’t work for me! Well I think I didn’t use enough baking soda. It just looked like water to me! And it was like I was scrubbing with water only. My hair got greasy and wasn’t smooth. Am I doing something wrong?

          • says

            You could try another tablespoon more of soda. You have to get over the idea of it being thick or sudsy. It will be very watery. Be sure you massage it in well too.

  189. Amanda says

    Hey. My family just ran out of baking soda, so I was wondering if I can use regular vinegar as a shampoo for a couple days.

  190. Karen says

    Hi there, may be a silly question but are baking soda and baking powder the same thing? Decided to give this a go and went to the pantry to find I have loads of baking powder but no baking soda. Have googled it with some mixed results, some say it’s the same others say there’s a difference but all refer to using it for baking anyways so not sure if the differences referred to would affect it for this purpose. Thanks in advance for your help, can’t wait to give it a go.

    • says

      There is a difference in them. For this too you should use baking soda and not powder.

      For future reference for everyone, always use baking soda or baking powder when it is called for and do not interchange them in a recipe. They are both used as a leavening. Without getting into all the scientific stuff what it amounts to is when you use baking soda you usually have to mix it with something like sour milk, buttermilk, yogurt etc. to activate it (one of these are usually in the recipe). You also need to put them immediately in the oven to bake or baking soda will die and it will flop.

      Baking soda has 2 levels of leavening. It starts activating right away but you don’t need to get it in the oven immediately because it will activate again in the oven.

      Bottom line is use what the recipe calls for with these two.

  191. says

    I just want to say THANK YOU! I was very skeptical at first but I just have to share our family’s success with this recipe.
    First we wanted to remove that harsh chemicals from our home so I have been looking for recipes to replace those items and make us “greener”.
    Secondly when I was 12 my mother allowed me to get my first perm. I went with my best friend and I had very long thick but baby soft red hair. The woman left the perm solution on me WAY too long and burnt the hair all along the back of my neck and around my ears. It was so harsh that I had to go to the doctor and be treated for chemical burns to my skin. Ever since that day the hair in that area has been VERY frizzy, breaks extremely easily, and is very coarse.
    Lastly we moved from Northern Illinois to Arkansas and for some reason my husband, son, and I were always breaking out at the back of our heads and necks. It was like a rash that never went away. I am sure it was our bodies not adjusting to the high heat and humidity here as all of us are very sensitive skinned.
    I bought ketchup and mustard plastic squirt bottles from the dollar store and filled one with the baking soda and one with the vinegar mixture. They are now permanent fixtures in each bathroom shower and tub area. My hair for the first time in 25 years is baby soft again, the boys’ hair is beautifully soft as well and the areas where my hair was so damaged looks better then it has ever looked, MUCH less frizzy and very soft. The rash on the backs of our necks have FINALLY gone away and this was something we have fought the entire 7 years we have been here !
    We are four weeks into this and so far I can honestly say we will never buy another bottle of shampoo or conditioner. I saw results after the first time I used this. The only thing we do differently is we use 2 tablespoons of each instead of one because we have a well with pretty hard water.

  192. Thelma says

    LOVE..LOVE..LOVE THIS! Works fantastic! I have color treated hair and it comes out so soft and shines so much. I did not experience the straw effect at all. No more big bucks spent on expensive shampos and conditioners. Try it! You have nothing to loose and everything to gain!

  193. Linda says

    Would it hurt to use this everyday? I used to use clarifying shampoo because my hair is oily. I’ve been using this recipe twice a week but I think I need to wash my hair a little more often because it still looks oily. Or should I add more baking soda?

    • says

      Linda you can use it the same as you would shampoo – everyday if you like. What I did was wash it as often as I normally would but then after a couple of weeks I found my hair was looking so much better and wasn’t looking as dirty as often so I started going farther in between shampoos. If your hair looks dirty wash it. You can’t use it too much at all.

  194. fazy says

    the last time i tried this, it dried out my hair like anything, so i dont think i can use the mixture anything more than twice a week. but at the moment, if i skip shampooing for even 2 days, my hair and scalp start to stink. (i live in the tropics but i need to wear a head covering at work, and so the sweat just sits on my scalp all day.)

    will need to try out the apple cider vinegar mix (the previous tutorial i read said nothing about acv! haha!) and see if this can help make it more useable on a daily basis.

    do you think normal vinegar will work? i dont have easy access to acv in this part of the world.

    • says

      You can use regular vinegar. All the vinegar is is just a rinse/conditioner to detangle and soften. Acv leaves more of a coating like conditioner and regular vinegar rinses more for like a squeaky clean but may not detangle as well.

  195. Diane says

    What about hair products like modelling clay? Does it wash these out?

    I am at my wits’ end with eczema on my shoulders and down my back in a V, so it seems as though it must be a runoff from hair/shampoo products (gets worse if I wash my hair frequently). I have tried spot testing the products separately but get no reaction so I can’t work out which ones to stop using. I’d like to give this shampoo a try, as long as it will wash out the modelling clay.

  196. Sylvia says

    Well I have been a Wen girl for the past two years, but now I have a new car payment and money is tight. I wil definitely try this because I am not a fan of shampoo!

  197. Fatima says

    Thanks, I think i’ll try it on my kids. Since I’m Indian, being shampoo less is hardly anything new. When i was living there, I used Reetha powder to wash my hair. Reetha is the Hindi name for soapnut, and it cleans hair like shampoo, so you need to use small amounts if your hair isnt oily. I found reetha ( whole and powdered) in an Indian store nearby.unfortunately it isnt tear free ( quite the opposite) so I wanted something gentler for the kids. Applying coconut oil to hair is another Indian thing. back in the day, no woman would be without hair oil…it was considered bad for the hair to be without coconut oil. At the very least, apply the oil an hour or more before shampooing, or you could let it stay on overnight and during the day when you are at home. This is how I grew up, so oiled hair isnt a problem for me!

  198. Sandra says

    Hello Jill,
    I have been using the no commercial shampoo since Feb. 2013. My hair is to my knees and I was having to wash my hair about every three days. My hair started to fall out and get very thin. So I jumped right in when I found the you tube videos on no poo revolution, BUT they left out one very important MUST know information. IF YOU HAVE HARD WATER YOU CAN NOT USE BAKING SODA or you WILL get the white powder residue which is LIME and CALCIUM BUILD UP just like the tub and shower gets and it is hard to remove. SO YOU MUST USE ONLY THE VINEGAR for wash and rinse, ONE STEP. NO MORE TANGLES. Hard water is already Alkaline [which is what the baking soda does for soft water] the vinegar is acidic the two used together makes it PH Balanced, but it only works IF you have SOFTWATER. Otherwise your hair is headed for disaster and you have to start all over because you will have to use a commercial shampoo to remove the lime and calcium build up. I do have hard water and find that when the city treats it water I still will get a build up from the hard water so I try not to wash my hair on a weekend when they treat the water. You can call the city and find out if you have hard or soft water and if they do have hard water find out when they will treat the water adding more chemicals. Just had to share this when I read the paragraph where you said about the white powder “use more baking soda”. I had to share with every one the horrible process of buildup I experienced because no one explained that important step of deciding to join the No Commercial Shampoo community.

  199. Kavitha says

    Hello Jill… I am not sure whether it will work for me as mine is dry hair and water is bit hard water.. And am from India… As usual am afraid to try still i will try once. Just few questions, i have dandruff and thin hair.. Even now a days hair fall is increasing..! And once i tried applying lemon juice but i saw hairfall again comparatively much than usual… Any suggestions? Please help me..
    Thank u..

    Fatima, have you tried this?

    Thanks n regards,

    • says

      It should help with dandruff as the natural oils would help even out your dry scalp but I’m not positive. It can’t hurt to try and if you don’t like it then just go back to your old shampoo.

  200. says

    I have tried this no-poo method a couple times, but my hair always ends up in a tangled mess. My hair is oily, curly and fine-medium. When I was using regular shampoo and condition I would never brush my hair, I would just run my fingers through it while rinsing out the conditioner. I find my hair tangles really bad when doing the no-poo method. Do you have any suggestions? I’ll try anything! I hate buying shampoo/conditioner and want to use natural products on my hair.

    • says

      There is nothing to say you can’t compromise and use the baking for washing your hair then use regular conditioner on your hair to help with the tangles. Also I assumed you tried using the apple cider vinegar on the ends as a conditioner. If you did be sure to run your fingers through your hair while rinsing with it too if you didn’t.

      • says

        Thanks, Jill! I did use ACV, but perhaps I need to use more. We have very hard water, so maybe I need to skip the baking soda as others have suggested.

        • Kaylen says

          ACV doesn’t “condition” it just smooths the hair shaft. Many people use coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, ect (not olive oil, it doesn’t wash out well with baking soda) to condition their hair or use a conditioner without -cones and parabens (they coat the hair and need shampoo to be removed, otherwise they build up).

  201. Traile Meyer says

    Got a sample of the Shielo Volume shampoo and conditioner and I swear its the Best thing that ever happened to me!!! I have alot of naturally wavy hair, that I was told was thin…and doesn’t do well in humidity. Ive practically tried every shampoo and conditioner out there and Shielo was IT for me!!!!!! Makes my hair feel soft and silky! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!!!

  202. iniSuha says

    Thanks for sharing this homemade shampoo.I have try it, yes its to control my dandruff.But, the problem is, my hair become harsh & a little bit dry, which is not delicate/soft just like after using the normal shampoo.could you help me to resolve this problem?thank you.

    • says

      It doesn’t work for all people so if you try for awhile say a couple of weeks and you don’t like it then go back to your shampoo.

  203. Victoria from Auckland, New Zealand says

    Tried this formula – with extremely pleasing results! However, after few weeks scalp became extremely itchy. Had to revert to Head and Shoulders shampoo to correct the itch.

    Have tried it again on two separate occasions, each time getting same results.

    Live in largely chemical free household – desperate to get rid of shampoo too!

    Any ideas?


  204. Shelby says

    I have bad psoriasis if I don’t use my medicated Head and Shoulders shampoo. Will these recipes work on my scalp?

    Many thanks :)

  205. Kate Norris says

    Hi Jill,

    Love the article and think I will try this next week when we are on a fishing holiday for a week (as no one will see my hair then if it does get really oily/greasy).

    Just wondering, does the apple cider vinegar have a strong smell to it? If so, does it smell more of apples than vinegar? Sorry if this has been asked before, but there are just too many comments for me to read all the way through them.

    Also, I assume that I could add a few drops of essential oil (of my choice) to the shampoo to get a nice smell on my hair, without any ill effects?



    • says

      The vinegar leaves no smell just be sure to rinse it out. I suppose you could add a drop of essential oil but you might try it without the first time and see what it is like. Also you don’t have to use the vinegar at all and just use the baking soda for a lovely fresh smell to your hair. I only use that now and I have long hair.

  206. Juliette says

    Hi Jill. I am happy to announce that I, too, am now poo free thanks to this article. I came across your site, and figured give the bs/acv a try. As you said, I can just shampoo later if I don’t like it. Well, I have used the bs/acv for about nine days in a row now, and even on the first day, my hair was not oily and it was easy to brush afterwards. My hair is down to my lower back these days. I have sort of average to thin hair. The type that goes flat easily. I have always had greasy hair on the next day and needed to shampoo each day. Now with bs/acv, my hair is much less greasy each day. The first few days, I used more than recommended and I will never know if I needed to…but I don’t care now because I now use the ratio you gave and it works fine. Also, I want to add this.. for the last few months I have been getting some scabs on my scalp. Yesterday, I looked at one with a magnifying mirror, and I can see that the hair fell out with the scab. Now the cool thing is, hair is growing there again, and it’s only about as long as a grain of rice is thick, so I know it was been growing this week only! Seems to me that the bs/acv combo is so gentle that things are healing up. I’m sold. Thank you!

    • says

      I am so glad it worked for you Juliette. The healing part makes sense because I know when my kids had chicken pox we were told by the doctor to soak the kids in a baking soda bath to help with the itch and healing of the sores. I am like you and am totally sold on the stuff. I know some people have trouble using it but it isn’t the baking soda that is not working it is the hard water that is causing it not to work for them I think.

  207. Raymie says

    I have extremely thick hair. Its dry and frizzy. Once I shower and let my hair dry laying flat it get poofy and frizzy like. So I hope doing this will help it not do that. I just want my hair to lay flat like all the girls with thin hair. I don’t want to have to straighten it to make it lay flat. I don’t wash my hair very much either and it still like that. plus I dye my hair a lot also. wish me luck.

  208. Ewa says

    Hi there

    I have done your mixture and my hair were terrible. I could not brush it, completely tangled. I gave extra soda as I was afraid they will feel like straw and they did anyway.

    • says

      You might try using the exact measurements as it says then if it doesn’t work adjust it. It maybe your water is to hard for this to work for you.

  209. Lee says

    Hi Jill
    I’ve been using this method for about 4 weeks now. Initially my dandruff and itchy scalp disappeared after about 2 days (hooray!) but over the last week or so it has returned. I wash my hair everyday because its oily and I exercise regularly. I have tried just washing with water in between days but don’t think my hair is quite ready for that yet as it looked a little bit greasy after water wash. My routine is 1 tbsp of baking soda wetted to make a paste, massage gently on wet scalp especially on oily areas, rinse thoroughly with water then with a tbsp of white vinegar in a cup of water and finally with water. I also comb it thru with a wide tooth comb in the shower to make sure I have removed all bicarb residue.any suggestions on what to do to get rid of dandruff and itchy scalp? I actually think my hair is getting less oily but the itchy scalp drives me insane!

  210. Jamie says

    I ran across your recipe while I was searching for a better sulfate free shampoo, and it has been wonderful!!!! I want to stress to everyone trying it out or having trouble that you have to listen to your body and test solutions to your problems. For example, for my very thick, wavy hair, I have to use LOTS of the bs solution. I get two washes out of the recipe as is, and usually mix up a double batch for one week. I use an old honey bottle with a small hole to apply the liquid directly to my scalp all over my head. If I poured it on from a cup or my hands, too much ran off before it saturated. After that, I really scrub my scalp with the solution- fingertips only, no nails because that scratches and irritates the skin- and rinse. I have noticed that days when i rushed and didnt use as much solution or didn’t scrub as well, it felt a bit dirty/sticky/beach head-y, and i just washed again the next day. Some days I need more, some days less. Sometimes I can go four or five days without washing, other times it needs a wash every other day. It changes depending on what I eat, exercise, the weather, how much water I’ve been drinking, and even my monthly cycle. When my hair feels dirty or my scalp gets a little itch, I clean it. Easy as that. I do boil the water to make the solution, and the vinegar rinse is required or its too sticky when wet to comb it. I do still need a bit of prodct to hold the waves into curls. I started with a tiny amount of leave in shea butter conditioner, but had much better results from an argan oil blend from the Badger company. It’s expensive but lasts forever since I need so little. Im sure cocnut oil would work as well. This is all a huge change from the frizzy curls, greasy scalp, gargantuan quantities of product, and wildly expensive shampoos and conditioners I was using before. Plus my hair feels like silk, where it used to be quite coarse.

    Thanks, Jill, for the great, super cheap recipe. I’m going try some of your soap recipes once the Costco tubs are empty.

  211. Jennifer says

    I have been doing this for about four days now. The first two days my hair felt pretty good, but today its a little more frizzy and cotton like. Is this just part of the process of my hair adjusting? I normally have to wash everyday because my hair is oily, so dry hair has never been an issue with me. I also noticed that my hair is harder to comb through now and tangles much easier. I am not giving up though! I WANT this to work for me! Also, does anyone else put essential oils in their shampoo or conditioner just for fragrance? If so, how much do you use? I just miss my hair smelling like a flower pooped out a cupcake.

    • says

      You might try adjusting the baking soda. It is a little strange because about every 15 shampoos mine does the same thing and I can’t figure out for sure why. I do a couple of things that seems to help a little and that is if I let the water from the shower rinse through really well (I even massage the water in a little) then that seems to help it work better. Another thing, I can tell now by feel that it did not wash quite right and so I just wash it a second time and that seems to work. You can add essential oil but what I would do is at it to just some water to rinse the ends of your hair after you have shampooed – Like in place of a conditioner – especially if you have oily I would only use it on the ends.

  212. Chris says

    I have had a skin condition that’s caused by large pores being blocked by oil. I’ve tried so many products, including prescription, and nothing has worked to reduce the itching. I’ve decided to get rid of the chemicals that are in so many products and give this a try. One day of using the baking soda & water and vinegar, which my Mom used to do and my hair feels like baby hair. So soft and clean; I LOVE IT! I’m so happy to have found this website.


  213. Debra says

    Well, I just used the Baking Soda spray & ACV spray in the shower for the 1st time. So easy to do. My comb went right thru my hair beautifully. Couldn’t believe it. Always had problems with tangles. I thru out 2 curling irons & a hairdryer and my hairspray. I’m going all natural. Hair is still a little damp but feels baby soft. I’ll keep going with this routine for 6 months, I hope it works for me. I’m soo glad I found you on Pinterest. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  214. Lucky says

    Hi all, I have read a ton of your questions and comments. I also use the no poo and ACV. I have lightened hair, very thin and fly away and loves to tangle. The first time I used the no poo, I got out of the shower and at my temple on the right my hair was greasy and gross. I got back into the shower and rinsed it again and that did it. No more greasy in my hair. I think you just have to make sure you rinse it very very well. Also I mix up the baking soda in hot water and let it dissolve and that seems to really help. Hope this helps some of you.

  215. Kênia says

    my hair is bulky and very dry so I fear this recipe make it worse. how can I use it without my hair see an indomitable lion’s mane?

    • says

      Like I have told many people, try it once – what do you have to loose? If it doesn’t work just shampoo like normal. It isn’t like you are having to go out and spend a lot of money to buy something to try and it definitely isn’t permanent like hair color or something. Actually this isn’t the first time someone with dry unruly hair has asked this and many have tried and have loved it because it is way less drying then regular shampoo. It is sometimes so much shampoo that causes hair to dry out and be stripped of it’s natural oils and the baking soda doesn’t do that at all.

  216. Roz says

    Re: suggesting using people shampoo for dogs – NO ! Dogs have different ph levels so it’s not good for them . I know ! I know ! I spend way more on my dog/s than I do on myself too.

  217. Beth says

    I’m so glad I tried this! After reading your (and several other) blogs and articles with recipes for BS shampoo and ACV conditioner I decided to try it. I have psoriasis, and several other posts suggested that both of these items worked well for that. My psoriasis gets really bad on my scalp. It’s itchy, flaky, and just plain gross when I have a flare up. I used coconut oil on my scalp before “no-pooing” and I went a little overboard. I used waaaaaaay too much oil… So I ended up having to use regular shampoo (twice) to de-grease. However…once I got that whole situation under control, I used a paste method with the baking soda and then the apple cider vinegar (1 tbs.) with water (1 cup) in a spray bottle. Now my hair is shiny and soft! I did put some lavender essential oil in with the vinegar rinse (about 20 drops) and am glad I did. My hair smells wonderful. While in the shower my husband walked into the bathroom and says, “mmm, are you using something new? Smells good in here!” I did find that this method took me a long time. Not sure how much that offsets the green factor when using so much extra water. I do want to continue using it with the hopes that I will get more comfortable with the process and be quicker with it. Anyway, the flakes from my psoriasis are completely gone after just one use. My hair feels clean and soft. I have longish (just past shoulder length) naturally red hair. It’s got a pretty good natural wave to it so I can either wear it curly or blow it out straight. It’s thin, but coarse…so frizz is always an issue. My hair isn’t frizzy at all after doing this, and I didn’t have to use any other commercial products. Thanks!

  218. emilie says

    Jill, I am a little confused. so the baking soda since is to replace your shampoo and apple cider vinegar to replace conditioner? my hair is very thick, dry and curly.

    • says

      Yes that is exactly right Emilie. I have long hair so I have always had to use a conditioner but after a bit of using the baking soda I don’t even use the apple cider vinegar now because I don’t really need it. My hair isn’t tangled after shampooing and doesn’t need conditioning because I am no longer stripping it and drying it out with shampoo. Two things I think really help to is I brush it real well before shampooing and I let the water rinse through it before I put on the soda and after.

  219. Terra says

    I workout 5-6 days a week and being a sweaty mess, I have to wash my hair 5-6 days a week. Unfortunately, this leaves my naturally dry hair so much worse and my scalp has also suffered. Will this be beneficial if I have to use it almost daily?

    • says

      This should really help. The main idea behind using the baking soda is that it doesn’t strip your hair dry. That is why it works so good on colored hair. It doesn’t strip the hair of color so the color lasts longer. It leaves it perfectly balanced. Because of this it actually helps keep your hair from drying out. Like many beauty products you need to give it a little time and use it for a couple of weeks to get things balanced. We spend years using things that dry out or destroy our hair so we can’t expect the first time we use something to fix it to be fixed with one use. That being said though many many people have noticed a difference after the first or second use.

      Rinse, rinse, rinse. Rinse before using it and after really well. I have found that the rinsing helps to get rid of dirt and grease. I haven’t arrived there yet but some people after awhile get the oils so balanced that they only rinse their hair with water. Many women years ago didn’t wash their hair very often and when they did they didn’t always use soap. I had a great aunt in her 90’s who had beautiful hair and had never once washed her hair. Like I said I haven’t gotten there yet myself.

      Don’t be afraid of the baking soda. There is nothing in it that can do anything to your hair at all. A very small handful of people didn’t have it work for them but it wasn’t the baking soda that was the problem it was their hard water.

      • Terra says

        Thanks! I’ve tried this for a few days alternating BS/ACV and just the ACV rinse. So far, so good – I even had someone compliment how pretty my hair was – and this was right AFTER my workout! LOL..I was pleasantly shocked! So now that we’ve gone poo-less, how do we go bodywash-less??

        • says

          It is funny you should mention going bodywash less because I have been trying something different. I have heard from 3 dermatologist that people really shouldn’t be washing their bodies with soap as ms much as they do and how bad it is for their skin. 2 of them said to wash the areas that have odors (armpits and private areas – sorry to be indelicate :) with soap and the rest of your body either wash with just water or if you have dry skin to rub baby oil on your skin while in the shower rinse and dry off. You don’t really scrub the baby oil off you just let the water run over your body. I have tried it and it seems to be working really well. Another bonus is adding the oil like this I don’t feel greasy after my shower just soft and I don’t have to mess with lotion. I think rubbing with the towel helps with some of the greasiness you normal would feel. I think this method would be especially nice this winter.

          The thing is after I started this I saw a famous model on tv who has a special line of skin care and she said she uses no soap or body washes any more only her oils which were very expensive but the dermatologists said off brand baby oil does the same thing.So I guess only using oil is getting popular with the celebrities now too. Like with going poo less I know this might take some bravery to try but the way I figure it I don’t have anything to loose. It isn’t like I am putting permanent dye on my body or anything. If I don’t like it I can rid shower and use soap but so far I love it.

          • Terra says

            Thanks for the input. I have horrible eczema so I have to be extremely careful about what I put on my skin. Right now I’ve been using baby shampoo because it’s soap free, but I will definately try this option.

            For those who’ve had difficulty with the tangles…I’ve found that by spraying a homemade detangler (equal parts EVOO, ACV, and warm water) through the middle to ends of my very long, curly, dry hair to comb it out before I get in the shower and then comb through my hair before I wash the vinegar rinse, that I have very few tangles left. (all with wide toothed combs)

            Also since I’ve been trying to slowly stop using chemicals, I have started to sprinkle a little home made dry shampoo (equal parts baking soda & corn starch) and rub through my roots while my hair is still wet. I have noticed that once it drys I have great volume and I don’t have to use hairspray.

          • says

            i had a great aunt once who was quite elderly and she had never shampooed her hair but only used corn starch on her hair. It was really beautiful too. Many women years ago rarely washed their hair for many reasons (one people didn’t have easy ways of bathing) but often they had extremely long hair and it was hard to wash and dry.

  220. Erin says

    I was a little apprehensive to try this, especially after working out, but I figured it would be the ultimate test for how effective it is at actually cleansing. Seriously couldn’t even believe it. I mixed some lavender essential oil in with the vinegar just for some added scent.

    My hair is sooooo soft and pretty now! I cannot believe it! My hair is fine and curly-ish, but it tends to lay flat and frizzy (terrible combo). After one time using this “shampoo and conditioner” my hair was way less frizzy and my curls actually looked like curls. I will never use regular shampoo/conditioner again. Ever.

    • says

      I love your comment Erin. I get so tickled because like me many are so hesitant in trying this and then when they do it is like where has this been all my life!!!! and there is no halfway either it’s always I will never use shampoo again. :)

  221. Daaimah Rasheed says

    Tried both the homemade shampoo and conditioner this morning and Wow! It worked great and left my hair so soft and shiny. I made a super large batch and gave it to my daughter to try on her long hair.

  222. Davi says

    I love the idea of trying it on your children or husband. It’s not like it’ll damage their hair or anything, plus they don’t really care if they have a bad hair day…

  223. Jeanne says

    I have yet to try this, but will soon be out of both poo and conditioner, so will give it a go. Fits right in with my ongoing “buy fewer items” quest, and I already keep vinegar and baking soda around in bulk for various tasks.

  224. Lisa says

    I came across this blog post because I was looking for a “Wen-like” substitute – my hair which was always really oily has become so dry & frizzy post-menopause. It seemed crazy that I was stripping out all of the oil/product with shampoo & then putting product back in to kill the frizz. I was extremely skeptical, but it worked great from the beginning. Now after several months of going no poo – my hair looks the best it ever has. Thanks for the info, it has been a life-saver for my hair difficulties.

  225. says

    Just a thought – a vinegar rinse is an outstanding deterrent to head lice. ‘Found that out when growing up. We never, ever had bugs. I think, but am not sure, that our family doctor pointed this out to us.

  226. Alisha says

    I’ve been using this method for about 2 years now and it works great. I use about a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water and this will last me about 3-4 washings. For a conditioner I prefer lemon juice over vinegar though. I mix my lemon juice half and half with water and it works great.

    • says

      No it doesn’t Tiara. We get this question a lot. It smells really fresh and clean. Now you don’t need to use the vinegar either. I don’t use it any more only the baking soda because my hair (long) doesn’t tangle any more. You only need to use the vinegar to detangle the ends if you have a real problem. Try it. So many people hesitate but it isn’t permanent like coloring your hair. If you really hate it then get out your shampoo and rewash it. The thing is a huge majority of people are so shocked because it works so well and usually say they wish they had tried it sooner. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain (money saved and bouncier hair).

  227. MoxieGirl says

    Oh my goodness!! I just might have been doing this wrong all along! I’ve been doing no poo for months and, after reading your blog, I think I’ve been using way too much vinegar. I use the whole mix during one wash (which is about once every week or so). Is that too much?? I have really long hair. At first this method seemed to be working but lately I’ve been looking like Ted Nugent and that’s just not attractive…lol. Any suggestions??

    • says

      It is probably the vinegar. Apple cider vinegar and leave a very slight coating (that is why when I use it I only do the ends of my hair). For long hair you can use the whole 8 oz glass of soda and water and that won’t hurt any also if you need too you might try using it twice a week for awhile and see if that helps. Also rinse, rinse and rinse. Before and after. I have long hair and instead of using the vinegar I brush my hair really good before I wash it then I just massage the soda water into my scalp real well touching the ends of my hair very little so they don’t get tangled. Try these things and see if they help.

  228. Lori says

    i’ve been using this method for a while and I really do enjoy it! Just an FYI, washing dogs with human shampoo can be incredibly deteramental to pets. They have a completely different pH than us.

  229. says


    From going to the hair salon so many times to do my highlights my hair has become course and full of split ends. I used to battle every morning to detangle and brush. I decided to use a home mix today. I started off with a hair mask made of one egg yolk, two spoons of honey and 6 spoons of extra virgin olive oil. I mixed it all up and applied it to my hair. Left it in for half an hour.

    I have just used Baking soda to wash my hair and then rinsed it with a cup of vinegar and warm water. My hair looks amassing, it is soft and shiny. I will never use shampoos or hair conditioners from the stores or hair dressers again. I am so happy with the results

  230. Barbara says

    I just tried this last night. I mixed the baking soda in hot water. I then wet my hair and squirted the baking soda solution on my hair and rubbed it in and worked it for a minute adding a bit more solution as needed then I rinsed my hair and applied the vinegar solution. It made my hair feel like it had heavy conditioner on it so I reapplied the baking soda solution and rinsed my hair again and it felt so clean. I have fine hair and I have been using shampoo to add volume. My hair looks as good or better today and I do not have the scalp itch that I get from the other product.

    • says

      Be sure not to use the vinegar on your whole head only the ends and if you can get by without using it at all it is best because it will coat your hair in the same way a conditioner does. I only advise using it if you have really curly hair or hair that tangles badly. My hair always tangled real bad buy I find I don’t really need to use vinegar at all.

  231. Kate says

    This stuff is amazing! Just one question though. I didn’t really need an adjustment period (thank goodness!) but I notice that my hair can get pretty staticy. Is there anything I can do? Thanks for the help and once again thanks for the recipe!!!

    • says

      The apple cider vinegar on the ends might help with that a little or an extremely light spray with hair spray or diluted conditioner on the ends. Once winter is over and you no longer have to have the heat on so high that will help a great deal with it too.

  232. Nancy says

    I was told about the baking soda by someone in a health food store. (I’m allergic to most shampoos.) It’s wonderful! She warned me that it does tend to fade color-treated hair. That was her experience, anyway. It sounds like you had a different experience. My one question is: using the vinegar, do you smell like a salad? Sounds silly, but vinegar does have a strong odor. Does it fade right away?

    • says

      No there is no smell at all. You rinse it out so it just smells clean and fresh. The same way that many people use white vinegar to rinse their clothes in with no smell. You do use apple cider vinegar for this and I haven’t and haven’t had anyone notice a smell except one lady who said she wasn’t sure but she thought maybe her hair had a light fruity smell like in some shampoos. You really don’t even need to use the cider vinegar if your hair doesn’t tangle bad.
      It’s like I say all the time – try it. It isn’t permanent or anything and if it doesn’t work go back to your regular shampoo. You have nothing to loose.

  233. Tina says

    I didn`t know that we can make shampoo so easily, I use a sulfate free shampoo that it`s really good because its all natural and its made of argan oil. I have the Pro Naturals shampoo and conditioner and thse are good to have a healthy hair.

  234. Sue says

    I have been using the baking soda and vinegar rinses for three months. I had a cyst on my scalp that I’ve had for years. When I started using the no poo method, the cyst started changing. At first I thought it was getting bigger, but, it ended up starting to shrink and is now flush with my scalp now and barely detectable. I didn’t connect it at first, but that’s the only thing I can think of that would cause the cyst to change. Amazing!

    • says

      Sue I have had the same thing happen. I had some small sore patches on my scalp and they totally disappeared after using the soda. As a matter of fact I had to break down and use shampoo twice now and last night I noticed the soreness coming back.

  235. Janet says

    Thanks for putting this out there, I stopped using Shampoo in ’08 after learning I am allergic to the SLS’s in it. then reading that SLS’s are used in bug spray, weed killer and other nasty type things I began to wonder about the sanity of putting it on my head.. near my eyes and brains. Baking soda didnt work out for me. It was too drying and the vinegar wasn’t enough to counteract it. What I did find and will share for others with similar problems. Sally Beauty sells something called Hair One. Its Wen but at 1/4th the price. $8 a bottle and less when they have 2 for one sales. Its SLS free. The other which I am a for life user of is J. R. Liggets Bar Shampoo. The stuff is amazing, your hair is clean, is manageable and the bar lasts. The same benefit as using Baking soda and you can stretch washes to once a week easily.

  236. Marie says

    I have tried this and it’s really bad for my type of hair. I have very fine really curly hair, which needs some kind of oil in the shampoo. So this just dried it out. Any thought’s?

    • says

      What has maybe happened is that you have been using an oily shampoo or one that is stripping your hair so the oil balance is out of wack on it. After a few weeks of using this the natural oils your hair produces should start up again. There really isn’t anything that is drying in baking soda at all but your hair is so use to you putting oil into your hair that it doesn’t bother to produce it’s own. This is the only thing I can think of that might be happening. Some people it takes longer for it to start working and it is hard to wait sometimes for that to happen. On the other hand some are lucky enough they notice a difference right away.

  237. Carole Edminson says

    Some of the “problems” may be caused by medications. They will leave a sticky film on hair. I had a hairdresser who put BS in his hand and added the shampoo to it then applied to my hair, lathered up and combed through. He told me to do this every couple of months. I suggest if you take meds on a regular basis to do this first to strip out the residue then start going poo less.

  238. Mary J Randall says

    Hi I have been using the baking soda with water and vinegar and water for several months and I can tell you that I will not go back to shampoo and conditioner. My hair is not tangling when wet or dry. I tried Wen and can not stand it. My hair looked and felt so dry and tangled so much. Granted I was recovering from complications from surgery but I know this. Too expensive for just conditioner. In fact, I am hoping to have a patio sale in about 2 weeks and sell my extra shampoo I have and some of the conditioners also. I will keep a few because you can shave your legs and underarms using the cheapest conditioner that you can find for a $1 or less and shave your legs with no problems. Cheaper then shaving cream. I like saving money and a box of baking soda and a bottle of vinegar saves me a lot of money. Thanks for passing the tip on.

  239. Danita says

    I followed the recipe you gave and brushed my hair well before getting in the shower and as soon as the baking soda water touched my hair it tangled up and felt like straw. The apple cider vinegar did not help either. I normally comb out my hair in the shower but even though my hair is thin and fine it was difficult to comb through. My hair did not feel soft and silky just dry and brittle. I have thin fine hair that is colored. It is stick straight as well and is somewhat long. I have seen so many posts about how wonderful this is but my hair just seems dry and brittle and looked frizzy. The only other product I used was hair spray to hold my curls and to try to manage all the flyaway hair. Suggestions as to what I am doing wrong?

    • says

      Danita sorry it isn’t working for you. It is hard to tell what could be causing it to do that. I do rinse my hair really well under the shower which I think helps wash some of the product out before I wash with the baking soda water and that seems to help me. It maybe the soda is reacting with one of the products you use like the hair spray or something. I would try one more time and if it doesn’t work you may have to just use shampoo. I am not a die hard on anything like this. If if works that is great but I do know not everything works for everyone. Just recently someone gave me a very expensive all natural, organic bar of soap with all the latest new “in oils” in it to try and I was itching so bad I could hardly stand it. It also made my skin feel tight and like all the oils had been stripped from it. The person who had me use it loved it but it sure didn’t work for me. Hope this helps a little.

  240. heather says

    I have used this for about 4 months and never had a transition period. I didn’t really have a transition period but i do use a bit to much baking soda in mine. I use the shampoo about every 4 days and the conditioner about every other week and my hair is fine so far. Though my question is my sister in law also has used this shampoo and conditioner it worked great but it strips the dye out of her hair and so far i cannot really find a dye friendly one that she could try since she really likes how her hair is after this shampoo.

    • says

      You know I wonder Heather if maybe different hair dyes react to the baking soda because so many say they love it because it doesn’t strip their dye out and yet we have a lot too like you who says it does. I can’t figure out what else might cause the difference.

  241. Danni says

    I can’t wait to try this shampoo, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it earlier. I’ve been using baking soda and water in a light paste as my face wash/ scrub for years and it balances my skin out the same way. One of my tips I thought I’d add, I live in the desert and love to be outside so naturally my hair bleaches and dries out really fast (no need for a blow dryer). After I wash my hair and give a small towel dry I use 2-3 drops of Jojoba oil (easily available at trader joes and cheap) rubbed into the ends, and I have really long hair. Even if you put to many drops and it looks oily give it 10-15 minutes and your hair will soak it up.

  242. Jae says

    I was excited to try this, but it was such a disaster. First off, I don’t even understand how you can “massage” the baking soda/water mix into your hair. With 1 tbsp BS to 8 oz of water, all I get is a bottle that is mostly water. How do you massage water into you hair? I tried pouring it into my hand and rubbing into my hair, but it doesn’t “glide” like store bought shampoos, so I felt like I was just basically splashing it here and there in my long hair. When I tried to run my fingers through my hair to spread it, I ended up having so much hair breakage it was scary. I gave up and rinsed it out, then tried some coconut oil for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes and a hot water rinse, plus a dab of conditioner to help get it out, my hair was so greasy it was lifeless. I ended up having to wash, dry and style my hair all over again, which is a major ordeal since it’s naturally frizzy, dry and requires both flat iron and curling iron to get any kind of style. Furthermore, I had just as much hair color rinsing out as with store bought shampoos, so it wasn’t even worth it. Again, I really really wanted this to work as I have major issues with hair color not holding past a week, but I guess I just don’t understand the process.

    • says

      First I didn’t recommend using coconut oil because it dose make your hair greasy and it is hard to get out. Then you didn’t say if you brushed your hair well before shampooing or not but you need to do this. This gets all the tangles out before you shampoo. What happens is you need to rethink your whole way of shampooing. With your hair well brushed stand under the water and let the water run through it for a few seconds you don’t even need to touch it. Then pour some of the soda water a little at a time gently rubbing it in with your fingers just making sure the soda water hits your whole scalp. You don’t scrub and most of all you shouldn’t even touch the ends or bottom part of your hair and by doing that it shouldn’t tangle at all with nothing but water running through it.
      If it didn’t work for you then go back to your regular shampooing. Sometimes when we have a bad experience with something no matter how hard we try we can’t feel right about it.

  243. Flora2 says

    I have tried countless shampoos, whatever the cost, on my thick, dry, frizzy, color treated red hair and have found few that do much other than clean. Some are better than others at not stripping red color, but the Shielo Color Protect Shampoo left my hair in BETTER CONDITION after one washing than I have ever encountered before. My hair is incredibly smooth and shiny, which is remarkable. I would recommend Shielo for anyone with dry frizzy hair whether color treated or not. FYI- I also used the conditioner.

  244. Johnnie Lorraine says

    Jill, I am African American, will this type of “poo” work on my hair. I have been ‘natural’ for two years now and I’d love to cut out even more products from my life. For my hair I usually have to wash twice a week, but then it gets so frizzy that I have to add all types of gels and oils to it to make the curls appear. I’d love to have more curls and less frizz with fewer product in my hair. Thanks.

    • says

      You know Johnnie I am not sure and maybe one of readers can say. The thing is using the baking soda really cost nothing to speak of and is in no way permanent. I always tell everyone to try it and see. You aren’t out a single thing. If you don’t like the way it looks or it doesn’t seem to be working for you all you have to do is reshampoo it. I isn’t like dying your hair or something like that. One day that you have a little extra time “poo” it and let it dry and like I said if you hate it re shampoo.

  245. says

    Oh my gosh, these chemical shampoos are outrageous. There is no guarantee that these chemicals won’t cause any disease in the longterm, specially because they accumulate in the body.

    Your homemade shampoo is a great idea to avoid all the chemicals in regular shampoo and conditioners.

    It’s also a good idea to skip washing your hair a few times a week in order for it to restore its natural shine and softness.

    • says

      Yes people wash their hair and everything else way too much. When I was growing up the norm was to wash your hair twice a week and I still only do that. I think more of the problem is not so much the chemicals but we abuse what we have by way over doing. Most dermatologists will tell you that we should not be showering every day either. People could save not only their skin but lots of money by cutting back on that. They would save on water, lotions and body washes they have to buy and things to replenish the oils in their skins all the time.

  246. Ruby says

    I have not used the no poo wash yet but I have been using a ACV rinse and let it stay on for 4 or 5 minutes. I then rinse it towel dry and follow with a mist or 2nd rinse with collected rain water. I have itchy scalp due to dryness. On days I don’t shampoo I just wet hair with rain water. In 3 days I had nicer hair and healthier scalp.


  247. Jen says

    This is absolutely BRILLIANT! I have long naturally curly, frizzy hair. It is just fantastic and so easy to use. I LOVE it! Thank you so much. I just wish I’d found this years ago!

  248. Catherine says

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I didn’t see it addressed in the comments (though there are so many, I may have missed it). On the days you don’t wash your hair, do you still wet it down in the shower or do you keep it dry? Just wondering what I should do before I try out this method. When I don’t wash my hair, it’s usually because I’m in a rush and don’t want to wait for it to dry. I’m hoping with the new routine, I can keep it dry on the days I don’t wash it with baking soda. Thanks!

    • says

      I don’t wet my hair down on the days I don’t shampoo. It really doesn’t matter though and makes no difference if you do. If I woke up with bed head each day I would probably wet it down and blow dry it but I don’t have to. I just recurl mine each morning if it needs it.

    • says

      Also it is like I tell everyone this is not a permanent thing like coloring your hair. Try it and if it doesn’t work just reshampoo your hair with regular shampoo. You have nothing to loose and maybe something to gain. See what your hair does the next day. If you need to wet it down or reshampoo then just do it.

  249. Mary says

    I used this method for almost a year. However, I work in a hot forging factory and my hair would have built up graphite since the baking soda and vinegar didn’t get this out. I eventually washed my hair with baby shampoo, which I had to do 4 times before the water ran clear. Now I use an organic brand of shampoo and conditioner and if my scalp starts to itch, I wash with baking soda first. I also use ac vinegar before the conditioner. Now my hair feels clean and looks clean. If I didn’t work where I work, I would probably go back to just the BS and AC vinegar.