How to Wash Your Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar

How to Wash Your Hair with Baking Soda & Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar is an incredibly simple and easy way to clean your hair without shampoo. Since I am always on a mission to reduce my exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and simplify my beauty routine, it felt right to be using a natural, time-tested method to clean my hair.

Now, you might be asking, what’s so bad about shampoo? Shampoos can contain a lot of harmful ingredients. I am by no means an expert on this, but in my research, I’ve repeatedly found the worst chemical-offenders to be:

  • Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (used as a foaming agent in shampoo and is a possible carcinogen)
  • DEA/Diethanolamine (an emulsifying agent that can create carginogenic compounds when combined with other chemicals found in personal care products)
  • Parabens (used as preservatives to extend shelf life, but many of these chemicals have been linked to breast cancer)
  • Fragrance (the word “fragrance” on a label can mean the presence of over 4,000 separate chemical ingredients; scary!)

When I found out what was really in shampoo a year and a half ago, I vowed to stop using it and so I switched to the baking soda and vinegar method.  This worked really well for about four months. Then I fell off the baking soda wagon.

As my hair grew out and I got a bit lazier, I began resorting back to shampoo and trying to find natural brands that didn’t contain the ingredients listed above. The funny thing is that I eventually found my way back to baking soda because it actually works better than shampoo!

A few months ago I began struggling with my shoulder-length hair being really limp and flat due to the Seattle weather. I tried to remedy this with mousse and styling products, which then caused build-up. To remedy that, I started incorporating a clarifying shampoo every few weeks, but this dried out my hair, so I added in an intensive conditioner that only made the lifeless hair problem worse. Plus, with the winter cold, my hair was getting really static-y. Urgh.

I was ready to chop it all off and go back to short hair when I remembered the baking soda and vinegar hair care method. Could this solve all my problems? Yes, and it did.

After being back on this method again for six months I can honestly tell you that I will never stop using it.  My hair now has more body, volume, and strength than it did with all the crazy shampooing, products, and special hair care nonsense that I was doing before. And now my routine is incredibly simple: wash with baking soda, rinse with vinegar, blow dry, and maybe flat iron the front strands if I feel like it. That’s it.

Now that I’ve been using this method for awhile, I’ve found that my hair doesn’t get as oily as it did before (shampoos strip our scalps of natural oils so this increases oil production to compensate) and I only have to use this method every 2 – 3 days.  The baking soda and vinegar method is cheap, effective, simple and chemical-free and I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

How to Wash Your Hair with Baking Soda & Vinegar

 

Method:
It might be hard to adjust to the lack of shampoo foaming action at first, but I promise this is worth it in the end. Start by mixing 1 part baking soda with 3 – 4 parts water.  I was making a large batch of this and then keeping it in my shower, but I noticed it wasn’t as effective as the individual batches I used to make. Then a reader (thanks Heather!) informed me that water activates baking soda and so now I am back to mixing individual batches in travel-sized squeeze bottles (pictured above). 
 
I have shoulder length hair and use about 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1/2 cup water. You can adjust this depending on your hair length. 

 

Baking Soda:
  • Apply the baking soda and water mixture to dry or wet hair by applying it to the roots at the scalp.
  • I like to rub it into my scalp for about a minute and give myself a mini head massage. It feels great and it helps to make sure I get my scalp clean.
  • I don’t wash the ends with this mixture because the rest of my hair doesn’t get super oily.
  • Rinse with warm water.
After washing and rinsing with the baking soda mixture, you’ll want to apply a vinegar rinse. I’ve found that white vinegar does not leave as strong of a smell compared to apple cider vinegar so that is what I use in my rinse.) Mix 1 part white vinegar with 4 parts water. 
 
To minimize the vinegar smell, I like to add a variety of essential oils to the vinegar mixture.  Here are my favorite combos:
 
 
I usually mix a big batch of this ahead of time and keep it in a squeeze bottle in the shower. 

 

Vinegar Rinse:
  • Tilt your head back, close your eyes (to avoid getting this mixture in your eyes), and distribute through your hair.
  • After a few seconds, rinse with cold water.
One of the ways that I’ve changed my method recently is rinsing my hair with cold water after the vinegar rinse. The cold water helps to seal in moisture, smooth the hair, and add shine. I have straight hair and have noticed that this really made a difference with eliminating frizz and static. 
 
Since my hair is longer than when I used to use this method, I first noticed the vinegar smell leftover in my hair much more. To remedy this, I simply add two drops of lavender essential oil to my hair brush and run it through my hair as I blow dry it. Works like a charm! 
 
*5/2013 Update: This post has gotten a lot of traffic and comments (keep ‘em coming!) so I wanted to address some of the common questions and concerns:
  • Many readers experience an adjustment period for the first few weeks where their hair is oilier than normal. Shampoos strip our scalps of natural oils so our skin has to produce more oil to compensate. When we stop using shampoo and harsh detergents, our bodies will adjust to this and will not continue to produce as much oil. 
    • When I used shampoo, I usually only washed my hair 2 – 3 times a week so I did not experience a very long or noticeable adjustment period. However, if you shampoo daily, you might notice this more than others. 
    • To help with oiliness (or just to extend the time between washes), try my DIY Dry Shampoo! 
  • Some folks have had issues with hair dryness, especially with the ends of their hair. The ends of your hair should not be oily so when you use the baking soda, focus on the scalp. If I scrubbed the baking soda on my ends, I did notice they got a little drier than normal. If I feel like my hair is getting a little dry, I like to apply a dab coconut oil (I use Tropical Traditions) to the ends before bedtime and wash it out the next morning. Note: if you overdo it on the coconut oil and put too much on your hair, it will be really hard to get out using this method. 
  • Color-treated hair: I’ve used this method on my hair when I used henna and and never had any issues with this. Several readers have also experienced great results with chemical color-treated hair. 
  • Some readers have had great results with this method, while others haven’t. I can’t tell you if this method will work great for your hair type, but I definitely encourage you to try it if you are interested. If it doesn’t work for you, then that’s ok too! There are definitely natural brands of shampoo/conditioner out there without the harsh ingredients.
Have you tried the baking soda and vinegar method? Any tips that have worked well for you?
 

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve read about this before and I really want to try it, but I’ve heard your hair gets extremely oily while it’s getting used to the new treatment…that it gets so bad that people wear scarves to cover it??

    • Anonymous says

      I have tried using baking soda in my hair but i always get residue left over , it ends up looking like i have lice or dandruff =[

      • Riff says

        I read recently that the vinegar rinse is what takes out the residue that baking soda cleaning leaves.

        Not starting this hair cleaning method until later today so I have no personal experience as to residue.

      • Ari says

        Do you live somewhere with hard water? That tends to be the reason for baking soda residue with this method. Try using distilled water instead of tap, and/or adding a spoonful of honey to your baking soda mix. I also find honey is a good additive for cutting down on static.

    • says

      With this method, that shouldn’t be happening as the baking soda and water are mixed together. It sounds like some extra rinsing would also help. I have dark hair (now black) and have never had this issue. :)

    • says

      You could try a dry shampoo (natural of course) to help with the oily problem. What I usually do is get a little Hershey’s cocoa on my fingers, and sprinkle it over the oily parts of my hair and try to blend it in as much as possible (a make-up brush helps with this part). It helps a LOT… If you have blonde hair I would try something other than cocoa so it doesn’t show up too much.

      • Brie says

        Corn starch works very well for blonde-haired people, if we’re on the topic of more natural dry shampoos. mixing the two works best, actually, and it makes your hair smell pretty good too. c:

    • Anonymous says

      Just tried this method this morning. I really like how tangle free my hair was and shiny and much more body than I usually have. I do not smell vinegar in my hair whatsoever and I didn’t use the essential oils in it. Give it a try!

    • Anonymous says

      if you start cutting back on shampooing, (I use to wash my hair every other day, but now I’m down to twice a week) does it help to eliminate the adjustment period? My hair is light, so oil shows up really well in it.

    • says

      hiiii i ll apply oil to my hair for one night before washing it. i have doubt that is baking soda remove that much amount of oil as shampoo can wash it. can any one of u please tell me how to use baking soda in that case plssss….

      • Kim says

        Coat your hands in oil. Wash with shampoo. Note how it may or may not REALLY get the oil off. Now use baking soda and then rinse with vinegar. You will see that the baking soda actually kind of absorbs the oil right off your skin. The vinegar breaks the baking soda down to become a couple of different molecules (one being carbon dioxide) so that you’re not left with baking soda residue.

        This is actually some pretty cool science that is right out of your kitchen! :)

        • Kim says

          The above ‘hand experiment’ may be very drying to the skin. Try applying coconut oil afterward.

          I use coconut oil to remove my makeup at night, then a light wash with baking soda, rinse well with water (as I find vinegar to drying for my face – I am older, almost 50) and then coconut oil again as a moisturizer.

          I may try using lemon juice or vinegar once or twice a week as a new experiment. Maybe every day was just too much.

    • Wendy says

      I ceased shampooing my hair on a daily or every other day basis a few years ago, and yes, the body adapts to what we do to it. The longer you can go between shampoos the longer I’d stretch it, adding a day or two at a time (I’ve always said this is why God made pony tail holders!). Eventually I had it down to washing about once a week, which was really good for plumb straight, baby fine hair in a very arid climate!

      What I did was instead of using shampoo, I merely stroked my hair about 100 times with a wet wash cloth and warm water while I was in the shower. This moved the oils down and allowed me to progressively add days in between shampooing my hair. I rinsed with Apple Cider Vinegar and then cold water…I found my hair dried out with the vinegar, but I wasn’t diluting it!

      So, to help on the days in between, merely use warm water and a wash cloth or even the spa gloves worked quite well. This helps with the smell as well as the oil. Nobody said not to maintain good hygiene, merely omit the shampoo!

  2. says

    I’ve been using this for the last couple of months. So far I really like it, but I need to get my hair cut before I’ll really be able to tell what I think since I dont know if my hair is just dry because it needs a cut or because of my products. I love how cheap and simple this method is though!

  3. says

    Just wonder what your hair texture is? I have veryy fine, thin hair and when I tried this method (I gave it a month) my hair was embarrassingly oily (I normal wash every other day), do you think maybe I should given it a bit more time?

    • says

      I’d say my hair is medium texture. This worked great for me within the first week, but I’ve read that sometimes people’s hair needs more time to adjust. I can’t tell you for sure! :)

  4. Anonymous says

    You know what, I tried this and I didn’t like it..main issues for me were dryness/smell of the vinegar. I really enjoy shampoo + conditioner I must say. What I did do is train my hair to only need shampooing once a week. So I only use products that often, and I make sure they’re 0 or very low on Skin Deep’s toxicity scale. I feel like it’s not a big health issue the way I do it.

    • says

      My hair is now shoulder length and I comb through it after the vinegar rinse and it doesn’t seem to have any problems with tangles. My hair didn’t normally tangle easily though so I can’t say for sure how this compares. :)

    • Anonymous says

      we have been doing this for a few weeks. my once oily hair feels great. my son(17) is liking it. my daughter (12) is still adjusting, her curly hair looks nice, just working on the extra oil. but the best is the 8 year old, waist long hair that always tangled. we now only wash every 4 or 5 days and use coconut and olive oil on the ends. He hair is wonderful… can’t get the husband or boy (14) to try yet

    • says

      For the extra oiliness you may notice with teenagers, try using a salt rinse. About 1-2 tablespoons in 8 oz water is good enough. Rinse through at the very end, and leave it on. It seems to help absorb some of the extra oil. You can also mix some up in a spray bottle and use it whenever you need it. It also helps in giving your hair some body.

      • Sky says

        I have wavy, thin-medium hair down to my tailbone and am having trouble with oiliness. I will try making a smaller batch and the salt rinse. What kind of salt? Sea salt, Epsom salt, some other salt? Do you still use the vinegar rinse and then follow with the salt rinse?

  5. says

    My hair is long! (To my backside). I use baking soda and vinegar. I’m also prone to oily hair. I admit I don’t use it exclusively (not because it’s bad but because old habits die hard. :) I love the way my hair feels and looks when I use it. I have completely given up conditioner. THAT’S HUGE for me with naturally curly hair! Vinegar works wonders with tangles. I do use a wide tooth comb to work out stubborn snarls but overall time spent with tangles is minimal compared to with conditioner. Vinegar smell is hardly noticeable when dry. Also a tip for oily hair – avoid touching as much as possible. The oil from hands transfers. Cover pillows with a clean face towel. Keep hair from touching your face when possible. All those things sneak oils into your hair.

    • says

      Hey Juls,
      This is good to know. I have boob length hair (sorry- don’t know how else to say it) and it’s very thicky and curly. So if I switch to this method I should not have to use conditioner? I’ll give it a go.

    • Caiti says

      Hi! Thanks for the tips! I myself have verrrrry long, fine, crazy curly hair and have found that using a lot of shampoo and conditioner to wash it has been drying my hair out and leaving me with minor dandruff and an itchy scalp! I’ve tried this method once, just today actually, and I’ve already seen and felt a difference! It used to be as soon as my hair started to dry I would get an insane itch(I know it’s gross but I know it’s NOT lice). Knock on wood but it hasn’t itched once yet! Thank you to the writer of this. You may be my hair savior!!!

      Something else I read on a different site, if you put your hair up right after a shower like I used to, stop! Let it dry down and it will help with dandruff and itchies!

      Thank you so much!!!!! Oh, does anyone have any recommendations for what to do in between washes? I don’t think I want to do this to my hair every day.

      • Melissa says

        just brush it out with a natural bristle brush and wear a shower cap, or use plain water in between.

  6. says

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! I’ve been using homemade cleaning products for a while and I’ve even tried a few face masks and scrubs, but I’ve never given shampoo a try. I’m going to do it!

    • says

      Mine is naturally curly. I would have to say it would soften coarse hair. Try an experiment… put some baking soda in your hand then wet it. You will notice it’s softer. Both soda and vinegar are excellent for hard water so it would make sense it would soften even coarse, dry hair.

    • Anonymous says

      I have dry, coloured, very curly long hair – that I’d been using Wen on exclusively for years. However, I’ve always struggled to get a comb through my hair, even with conditioner on.

      Since using the Baking Soda & ACV rinse I’ve had no problems getting the comb through, it’s much smoother/less frizzy & easier to deal with. I can’t stop touching it! It feels softer & healthier! I won’t be going back to Wen/Shampoo & Conditioner! I say go for it Carol!

  7. Anonymous says

    I have to wash my hair every day, because my scalp is extremely oily. I have hair down past the middle of my back, and it is fine and thin and straight. I would love to stop using commercial products, but wonder what this would do to my hair.

    • says

      I’ve heard before that sometimes overwashing hair can make it oiler as the soap strips our scalp of oils and causes it to produce more to compensate. If you try this, please let us know how it goes!

  8. Anonymous says

    I will give this a try but since i still dye my hair ( i know, i know) i wonder if it will wash the color out. Also please use a baking soda that doesn’t have aluminum in it. They sell the other kind at natural foods stores.

      • marina says

        I’ve tried this once as a hair treatment and remember my hair being really soft with a lot more volume..but I defiantly want to try using it as a regular shampoo…
        Question I have is what henna do u use and where do u buy it? I’m looking for real henna because it’s best for the hair and a lot of times what they sell at the store is old and processed that doesn’t have the same effect even tho they say it’s 100% real henna…

        • Sonnet says

          I’ve only used henna once a few years ago and I actually bought it from my local healthfood store. I believe the brand was called Light Mountain. Any readers have suggestions about henna?

          • Asha says

            You can get henna in Indian grocery stores in major cities- my grandmother and mother grew up using henna to clean as well as dye their hair. These grocery stores will usually carry other natural products as well such as face packs, coconut oil, etc.

    • Michelle M. says

      I’ve struggled with dandruff for a long time and was never able to find a shampoo to completely remedy it. I’ve been using this method for about 2 weeks and have found that my dandruff has gotten less, and my scalp doesn’t itch at all anymore. It’s not completely gone, but I used to have to bounce between different shampoos to maintain the level of dandruff and now I don’t. Using baking soda and vinegar definitely didn’t make the problem worse for me.

    • says

      Thanks Michelle! Jessica, I also recently saw an article in Whole Living that mentioned tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar as natural remedies to help with dandruff. I have not tried these personally, but it would be pretty easy to use an apple cider vinegar rinse with tea tree oil doing this method. Hope that helps! :)

  9. says

    Ooh, I was going to ask about henna as I am planning to henna my hair next week but have been curious to try soda and vinegar for a while – so glad someone else already asked and it seems okay. I just keep finding more and more shampoos that dry my hair out or make my scalp irritated and I’ve had enough of trying new stuff every couple of months. :)

  10. says

    Nice post. I will definitely want to try those stuffs on my hair! I’m up for anything that dries my hair faster. Thanks for the recommendations. Its being a good homemade hair care product to treatment in my hair. Thanks for sharing it.

  11. Anonymous says

    I always let my hair dry on it’s own without blow drying. Do you think this will make any difference? I’ve heard that vinegar is good for your hair, but I never was bold enough to give it a try. I think I will now! Thanks!

      • KaSaundra says

        Because some people myself included are allergic to things in every shanpoo…like coconut it is in everything shampoos, face cleaner, make up..and so on. If you don’t want to clean your hair using this method then don’t, but don’t just assume that it doesn’t work…even if it does not work for you personally.

  12. Anonymous says

    mine s wavy and oily hair (with split ends)… vl this wrk for mine hair..
    am havng the pbm of hair loss :(
    any solution plz reply

    • says

      I can’t tell you for sure how this will affect your hair, but from what I have seen, this works well for people with different hair types and textures. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

    • Michelle M. says

      The moment I started using baking soda and vinegar, the amount of shedding I was doing was more than halved. I have very thick hair, and I used to lose handfuls of it in the shower. Now I lose maybe one handful in the shower and a few strands as I’m drying my hair.

  13. farmer_liz says

    I had a comment on my blog once from a lady who didn’t wash her hair at all. I thought about it for a few months and then I decided to try it. I haven’t washed my hair for over a year now, and you really can’t tell. It is shoulder length, thick and wavy. If I get a bit of dandruff I just brush it out, I use a hog hair brush twice a day. In fact, I still find the end of my hair get a little dry, so I use jojoba oil on them. I occasionally rinse my hair in water. I try not to get it wet if I go for a swim though. Anyway, just thought I’d put it out there, as it might help someone. It definitely saves money! I don’t use any hair products at all, apart from the jojoba oil!

    • Anonymous says

      farmer_liz – I’m glad to read your post, I thought I was the only one.
      My hair is almost waist length, thin, average oily, no dandruff, brown hair colour with blonde and red high lights.
      I don’t wash my hair very often either, this year I’ve diluted shampoo washed twice. I found it to be so much more healthier. The roots stand up, as if I blow dried it upside down and at my length it looks like a huge mane. I couldn’t get these results will ALL the products I had in my cabinet.

      The biggest change was my hair retention , I don’t have much hair in my brush any more. That is awesome!!!

      My ends occasionally get dry and currently I do a ‘conditioner wash’ but that is it. In between I mostly use coconut oil on my end, but I have also used Crisco, just a little.
      A year ago I stopped washing my hair, by accident. I was so busy one week, I just kept it in a bun and I realized it seemed different, so I went a little longer, 3 months, and I was really surprised how great it looked. I brush my hair a lot and I rarely have tangles.
      But with that said, my blonde highlights, I think they look dull. So I an going to try the baking soda and vinegar to see if this changes that. If not I’ll keep looking.
      People ask me all the time what do I use in my hair, I say, I just say this is just my hair, because it’s not an acceptable social practice – what you and I do. My close friends know. This works for me and having my hair retention is a big bonus!

  14. Anonymous says

    Would this method be safe for teenagers as well? I’m 17 and I have really long hair that goes all the way to my pelvis, and it is rather thick as well, do I need to worry about any hair discolorations or remaining vinegar odors if I switch to this method?

    • says

      This method is definitely fine for anyone of any age. I have not heard of any issues of hair discoloration or experienced this myself. Some people notice the vinegar smell more than others, but if it is diluted correctly (my ratio is given above) and mixed with some essential oils it is barely noticeable.

  15. Anonymous says

    Sometimes i use plain yogurt to treat my scalp for dandruff. It cools and soothes and treats a sore scalp after you’ve been itching. I am going to dye my hair in two days but my dandruff is building back up. (Its been less than a week since I washed my hair with some baking soda & acv). Is it okay to wash my hair with baking soda and acv tomorrow and then dye it the next day?

    • says

      Interesting tip about the yogurt! I can’t give you a good answer about using baking soda/vinegar and then using hair dye. I don’t think that would be a problem, but I have never tried this personally so I cannot tell you that for sure.

    • Jennifer Eddelman says

      I have been using the baking soda and unfiltered apple cider vinegar method almost every day for two weeks and i dyed my hair yesterday and it is perfectly fine and healthy.I find the unfiltered apple cider works better for me! And i never notice a smell if I rinse well! I use one tablespoon baking soda to one cup water. And one table spoon apple cider vinegar to one cup water. Works so good!

    • Jennifer Eddelman says

      I know this reply is a little late, but maybe it can help answer someone elses question.

  16. Anonymous says

    I have a problem with my hair shedding like CRAZY!!! Would this method make it better or worse? I’m trying to make some changes and hopefully this is it! BTW, I just started using BS/ACV this week! Any input would be much appreciated! :)

  17. Anonymous says

    I was prescribed Ketoconazole 2% shampoo for what looks like cradle cap on my scalp and after reading the side effects I am looking for a natural solution. It started when my scalp got a bit dry in the winter so I massaged virgin coconut oil on my scalp and went to bed. I woke up with my scalp so itchy and inflamed it felt like all my hair would fall out. It was not clearing up with Head and Shoulders so I went to a dermatologist-she diagnosed me with Seborrhoeic dermatitis caused by yeast overgrowth from the coconut oil. Would vinegar help to clear that up? To the ladies who dont wash their hair for a year, how is that possible? If I dont shampoo daily my scalp gets itchy and scaly. Would using vinegar and baking soda correct the ph and get my scalp healthy again?

    • Anonymous says

      coconut oil cured my scalp of dandruff but it’s really oil and takes several washes to go back to normal.
      it took about a month of deep conditioning with coconut oil to see the results. not sure why your experience is different.

    • Anonymous says

      in addition to my comment abt coconut oil curing dandruff – i’ve moved countries and it’s hard to find coconut oil here.
      I’ve resorted to baking soda and acv.

      acv gives my hair really beautiful shine, but it also dries it out and it gets easily tangled, also with a lot of flyaways.
      honey makes it soft, with no flyaways, but it makes my hair all straggly and yucky looking, and my curls are all out shape.
      i haven’t found the perfect balance yet.. washing with just water gave me flaky temples again (or was it the acv??) but I had to use Selsun as it was getting pretty embarassing. Washing with water gave me the nicest balance, but it still couldn’t match normal shampoo. Sigh. I’m getting tired of experimenting, but it’s only been 2 months.

    • KaSaundra says

      You might have had an allergic reaction to the coconut wich in turn can cause a yeast infection, believe it or no I have had so many different reaction to coconut so it could be the shanpoo that you are using that keeps adding to this. Here is a web sight for the different names of coconut so if you want to try it to stop using coconut in things and see if it helps with your particular condition. http://www.allergymate.com/coconut-allergy/

  18. says

    Hello! I have really thick hair and it sits on my shoulders. I dont wash my hair everyday, so it does nto get oily very easily. I use shampoo/conditioner once a week and the other days i was i use baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I personally love the smell of apple cider vinegar. I love the way it makes my hair look..give is some curl:)

  19. Anonymous says

    I too have been diagnosed with Seborrhoeic dermatits. Have suffered with it for quite some time. Stress really aggravates it but I have been using the baking soda/vinegar for about 1 month now and I can tell you, from my experience, my scalp is awesome! No more scale patches and it’s not itching at all. I have long, thick, fine hair also and I find it doesn’t tangle like it did when I used conventional shampoos.

  20. Anonymous says

    I’ve been using baking soda to wash my hair for the past 2 months and its been working great! I have shorter, thick and curly hair, and I haven’t had much problems with oiliness. A regiment that I’ve been using that I would highly recommend is massaging my hair with coconut oil the night before washing my hair and then washing my hair with baking soda the next morning. It leaves it conditioned without the use of vinegar, and my hair has been growing a lot faster than usual. Only tip I have is to thoroughly apply the baking soda so the coconut oil rinses out and doesn’t leave your hair oily afterwards.

    • Anonymous says

      Oh, I am not putting the oil in nightly, only before hair washing, which I’m trying to do twice a week!

  21. Anonymous says

    I have been washing my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar /Honey with Biotene to Shampoo.I use Boitene as a Conditioner leaves hair fluffy.I have shoulder length straight fine hair 2x know & only wash hair once every 2 weeks.That is how long takes to get oily. The smell of Apple Cider Vinegar does notlast long .It makes my hair easy to comb with no knots or tangles. I will try adding Baking Soda the next time I decide to wash my hair. My hAIR does not Friz up at all.I have less hair loss when combing in morning & feels softer than using Regular Shampoo.I sneeze from Shampoo being alergic to the fragrance in Viva Shampoo /Head & Shoulders / Albert Vo5 fragrance makes my scalp itch & me sneeze while washing.It is better to use Organic Unprocessed Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey.

  22. Anonymous says

    I have just started to use the Baking Soda/ACV method and so far I like it! It takes getting use to since it doesn’t lather up like your used to with shampoo but I love the clean feeling! I have very long wavy hair and was washing every other day anyway so this is a challenge to see how long I can keep up without caving and using shampoo…I am curious though, the ratio’s given for measuring the BS/ACV seem vague because who knows exactly how much to make? I measured 2 Tbsp of BS and put in a 3 1/2 cup of water, but now that doesnt seem like enough BS? so should I then use 1 1/2 cups of BS if I’m using 3 1/2 cups of water?

  23. Anonymous says

    I think I answered my own question, I re-vamped my measurements and just washed my hair with a mixture of 1 cup BS and 3 cups water and it was infinately better!

  24. says

    I had to post, I was skeptical about using baking soda and vinegar on my hair, mainly cause I thought it would not work, I have middle of my back length blonde straight fine hair.
    In the last couple years since I turned 40 my scalp gets oily above my ears and my crown if I go over 3 days without shampoo. I decided to just go for it.It felt yukky in my hair and it is really weird,and the whole time I was doubting lol I used warm water with the vinegar then cool to rinse, I got out and used wide tooth comb and let it dry natural.OMG AMAZING!! It felt soft and clean and my blonde pops now instead of being dull I LOVE this so far and I went 4 days and no oil slicks yaaay. I am happy I got brave and tried it :-)

  25. Hope says

    Thanks for the post! I just started this in the last week, and already liking the results! I have very thin, fine hair, and I love that it doesn’t weigh my hair down the way conventional shampoo and conditioner do! Can’t wait to see how it’s looking after a weeks to get past the initial overproduction of oils.

  26. Anonymous says

    I am not a fan of using many products on my hair and maybe heat up my straightening iron about twice a year. I decided to switch to reducing my shampoo use and decided to scrub my scalp with my bare nails and warm water each morning. Every three days or so I scrub down my scalp with a paste of water and baking soda. It’s been a few weeks. I have not used vinegar as a rinse.(I’ve also noticed my hands are softer and cuticles are less dry) My hair is tangle free after towel drying and I use a hair dryer to dry it fully in the winter months up here in NY. I did notice it get a bit static at times but then i switched brushes to a natural bristle brush and was no longer an issue.

    My friends think I’m crazy, although this week I told my best friend I broke down and used shampoo again. I asked her to tell me how my hair felt and smelled. She said it was soft but didn’t have a scent- which is fine because I wasn’t striving to smell like roses but needed to confirm my scalp didn’t smell bad either.

    I live a pretty active life style too, going to the gym about four times a week and do Zumba twice a week. My hair is below my shoulders and doesn’t feel greasy!

  27. Nicole says

    I’ve been using this method for the past week and a half and I’m so impressed with how it’s working! I have super oily hair naturally, and my hair is taking a little while to adjust to this, but overall I’m really impressed.
    Also, I used to have a horribly itchy scalp all the time. I had bad dandruff and (cannot stress this enough) itched all the time. Now, my scalp doesn’t itch EVER and it’s so nice!
    I read somewhere else that white vinegar works better for oily hair, and to not put it on your scalp. I’m going to try to increase the amount of baking soda I use in my mix, and hopefully that’ll solve my problem.
    This post is AMAZING! Seriously, if you are even kind of considering it, DO IT!

  28. says

    I will definitely try this! Thanks for giving detailed instructions, I have had trouble finding some good ones! I am really hoping it solves my extremely itchy scalp problem, and am also hoping that my hair will stop being so oily in between washes.

    One thing though… I read somewhere that baking soda is activated by water. So making a bigger batch might mean that it will lose its effectiveness over time? I’m not entirely sure about the details on that point, but it’s worth looking into! I think I will be mixing mine up before every wash, just to make sure. :)

    Thanks for the post!

    • says

      Thanks Heather! I’ve actually noticed that it hasn’t been as effective as I get down to the bottom of the bottle so I might go back to mixing it each time. Thanks so much for the info! :)

  29. Anonymous says

    I love this lavender hairbrush trick! My hair has been doing really well on the baking soda/vinegar wash too (better than shampoo/conditioner!) but the only drawback has been the smell – or really, the lack of any smell once the vinegar fades. Hair smell is not my favorite. I put the lavender drops on my brush after tonight’s wash, and it smells just like I’m at a spa! I even notice it sets my curls better than usual. Thanks for the tip!

  30. Anonymous says

    I have been doing this for three weeks now and am not entirely happy with it. I understand that there is an adjustment period, but it’s really frustrating. I have hip-lenth hair and I work in a restaurant where there is no air conditioning so I get very sweaty and am around a grill constantly, so needless to say my hair is greasy when I leave work. First couple weeks I used a method where I mixed two tbsp baking soda with one cup of water and used that to wash the top (oily part) of my head and only use the ACV solution to rinse the length of my hair. The greasy situation is getting a little bit better, I switched to using the paste method. The top of my head, mostly towards the back is very greasy and completely unmanageable, when I brush I do is as gently as possible because it breaks off so easily. After reading some posts it looks like I should try to use the ACV rinse on my hair to help with the tangling, but I’m worried that will make my hair even more greasy seeing as the vinegar is to condition. Any suggestions?

    • says

      For my hair, I actually found that the baking soda method and using vinegar to rinse instead of heavy conditioner has really helped my hair to not be so oily. Even when I used shampoo and conditioner, I didn’t wash my hair every day (more like every 2 – 3 days) so I didn’t experience any transition period personally. I have found that using the vinegar rinse seems to make my hair stronger and it’s breaking less than when I was using traditional shampoo/conditioner. You might be able to try making a natural “dry shampoo” to help with the grease (I’ve heard using arrowroot powder is great for this) until your hair seems to be adjusting to normal. Hope this helps.

    • Anonymous says

      If your hair is still oily, you need to increase the amount of baking soda you are using, and use the baking soda/vinegar each day when you shower, not every 2 or 3 days.

      1 tablesoon of baking soda does not seem like enough to me for long hair, only for very short. Don’t be afraid of using 3-5 times that amount or more.

    • Anonymous says

      Before I started this I was using a sulfate free, paraben free, gluten free, vegan shampoo and conditioner, and I only used it every other day. When I use the baking soda I use probably about four or more tablespoons every day. I think that my hair would break less if it wasn’t so tangled and unmanageable. I brush my hair before I get in the shower and after it dries. After it dries it takes forever to brush, and even after I do that I can’t even run my fingers through my hair without more tangles. I’ve read that there needs to be a “slippery” feeling when washing with the soda, but no matter how much baking soda I put on and mix with water, I never get that feeling, and when I wash it out my hair doesn’t feel clean at all. I may try a dry shampoo to help with the greasy aspect. Is there something else I can do for the tangles and the “slippery” feeling?

    • says

      I’ve been using white vinegar to rinse my hair for about four years now. Human hair has a ph balance of 4.5 to 5.5 (mildly acidic), so you want to keep it as balanced as possible. Baking soda has a very HIGH ph of 8.3 to 9.0 (high end of alkaline) which is on the opposite end of the scale. If you use baking soda to clean your hair, you need to use vinegar (ph of 2.5 to 3.0) or lemon juice (ph 2.0) to bring the hair back to the acidic side of the scale. I have very thin, straight, waist-length hair. I very rarely brush my hair, especially when it’s wet. I let it air-dry and the tangles just fall out. I also use henna every four to five weeks. Vinegar is a hair follicle stimulant – which will make your hair grow a little faster (so if you color, you will notice roots faster!). The baking soda will have a tendency to dry your hair, so try to keep the mixture as mild as possible, and always follow-up with either vinegar or lemon juice to help de-tangle. I’ve also tried Shikakai powder; it’s rather messy but the smell is divine!!!!

  31. Anonymous says

    I really wanted this to work.
    After a week of trying this method, my hair still feels like straw (this straw like feeling only cam about since using the baking soda/vinegar). It’s awful. I caved & used my regular shampoo/conditioner & it was heaven for 2 days. I tried one last time tonight & ended up with that awful straw feeling again. I just put olive oil in my hair hoping to tame & smooth it out over night.

    I guess this does not work for all hair types (I have wavy, long, thin hair). Bummed. Will just have to find the best natural shampoo
    -Kate

    • Anonymous says

      You only tried it for a week? Try it for longer. Don’t cave. You’re hair goes through a process when you switch from harsh chemicals to no-poo and you need to give it time to adjust. I have the same hair-type as you; it took me about two to three weeks of super-oilyness to super-dryness for my hair to finally find its middle-ground. If you really want this to work you have to give it a real chance. :-)

    • Anonymous says

      I don’t wash very often. Baking soda strips oils. First I brush hair thoroughly to distribute oils from scalp to ends. Then squirt white vinigar into a basin of warm water (the hotter the water, the more oil it removes, to incr temp as needed), probably a quarter cup or so in a 2 inches of water in dishpan. dunk your head in and massage the scalp to work the oils out, slide fingers through hair until it all feels sleek. Roll in towel, or rinse first, either way is ok, try and see. I work tangles out with my fingers, shouldn’t be many. If hair ends are dry: use a dab of coconut oil, rub to spread over your palms and fingers and smooth on the ends; do this while hair is WET. You can do a daily wetting with dilute vinigar. Water is what hydrates the hair, oil (your own or coconut) helps seal the moisture in. Vinigar (acid) keeps hair at normal ph, and smoothes the cuticle which decreases tangling. You will learn from experimenting how often to use the different items.

  32. Katie says

    Thank you so much for this post! I have naturally curly hair, and have been contemplating going the “no-poo” route for quite a while and this morning I was forced to when I realized I forgot to buy shampoo and conditioner while grocery shopping this weekend! My hair feels amazing! Now to buy some little travel bottles (maybe even a spray bottle for the vinegar mixture) so I can more easily get it onto my hair (my husband is going to think I’ve gone loco)! :)

  33. says

    ok, so I have been using this for about 4 days and I hate how my hair feels. It feels like it has so much gunk in it. Like I just touch it and it feels more than just greasy. Does this go away?

    • says

      I haven’t experienced this personally, but several people above wrote comments about having a two-week “adjustment period.” Using a dry shampoo sometimes helps with extra oiliness.

  34. says

    Hey cool, thanks. I’ll give it a try. I’m a guy with short short hair, so I’ll go for a tablespoon.

    I’ll also try the mayo in hair trick.

    Also, the egg in head for protein hair.

    Cheers,

  35. Vivian Westwood says

    My hair is over 3 feet long and very thick. I have been searching for YEARS for a good conditioner that would make brushing my hair post-wash easier. The Shielo Smoothing Conditioner & Smoothing Collection is amazing. I have no tangles in my hair after washing and my hair looks and feels great. I would suggest anyone with long, color treated, or dull hair give Shielo Smoothing a try.

  36. Anonymous says

    how often do you do this? Everyday? And do you have to keep opened apple cider vinegar refrigerated as it says on the bottle? thank you

    • says

      I usually do this 2 -3 times a week. It’s not necessary to do it everyday. I use white vinegar, but if you want to use ACV, you could keep it refrigerated. I’ve never seen a bottle of ACV that says to be refrigerated, but if that’s what it says then I would follow that.

  37. Anonymous says

    what is the purpose of vinegar? can you skip it? is baking soda wash enough…
    p.s. for lighter hair, chamomile tea rinse works wonders

    • Jen says

      The vinegar works as a conditioner and also helps balance the pH level of your hair so the baking soda won’t harm it.

  38. Anonymous says

    Sooo question for you, I sort of tried this before reading any instructions, and I just applied the vinegar to my hair without watering it down. Is that going to cause any negative side-effects aside from my scalp feeling uncomfortably burny?

  39. says

    Sorry if this has already been brought up (I haven’t read through all 90+ comments :) …I have very curly hair that definitely requires a styling gel or cream after getting out of the shower to define curls and avoid a huge fro/frizz mop. If there are any curly girls here, what do you use after the baking soda & vinegar to style your hair? Is there anything as natural as these two things that will also define my curls? Looking forward to trying this method for the first time and hopefully minimize the dryness from regular shampoo that is probably contributing to my frizz. But I’d hate to have such a good natural thing going in the shower then use a chemically styling gel afterwards! Thanks!

    • Anonymous says

      I’ve made a great gel by boiling whole flax seeds. it’s not like a gel that “holds” but it really smooths and prevents friz.

    • Anonymous says

      Have you tried using Deva Curl? It’s totally natural. I will use the baking soda, then vinegar and then use a conditioner. My hair is so bouncy and curls really well.

    • Anonymous says

      Egg whites! I forgot and used a whole egg once, but it didn’t really matter. I would add vanilla extract or perfume (or cologne would work) that I would wear to make sure it wouldn’t smell like egg. You could add your choice of fragrance or essential oils if you are into that (I have only tried perfume or vanilla extract) I would apply on towel damp hair and then brush through and would usually use blow dryer to help hair to dry quicker, but I have long hair. It always seemed to work better than any gel that I had bought at the store. It was easier to apply if I used a hand mixer for shakes as it made it foamy, so it helped in applying it. I would just put my head over the sink to apply it, but that is due to having a lot more hair and wouldn’t want it to drip.

  40. Anonymous says

    Probably a repeat, but it’s hard to sort through the many comments. I’ve tried this for 2 weeks now and still hate what my hair feels like. I’ve only ever washed my hair 1-2 times a week anyway, so maybe my adjustment period will also be long. As you can tell, by how not often I wash my hair, I don’t have an oil problem until it’s been about 5 days. So what’s happening is my hair …during the wash, after the wash, after dried and for all the days after the wash until I wash it again…feels very gross. It is SUPER SUPER tangly. Impossible to get a comb or brush through. The ends are especially straw-like. The top does get a nice shine to it on the 3rd or 4th day after, but the ends are still straw, stiff and dry. It also feels gross when I touch my hair.
    I washed with 1 tbsp baking soda in an old shampoo bottle. And then put 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar mixed with water onto the ends of my hair. Again, it never feels “clean” or soft or anything.
    What am I doing wrong? Can anyone help a girl out here?

  41. Anonymous says

    I have double-home-permed hair, very dry and heat damaged. I have also been getting bad dandruff. It was getting more and more frizzy and rough and I was desperate for a deep conditioning treatment.

    Well, the other day I cam upon some blogs about the vinegar rinse and I decided to give it a try. Actually, I was remembering the last time my hair was great was right after my perm when I used vinegar to lessen the bad perm smell. Perhaps, the vinegar was responsible for my great post-perm hair!

    Anyway, so I just used plain baking soda powder and sprinkled it into my wet scalp and massaged it in. Then, I followed with a spray bottle of vinegar and water. I was very skeptical because my hair didn’t feel that great when wet.

    After it dried, however, it was a whole different story. My hair was so silky and not frizzy and wirey at all. It was so smooth that I just keep running my fingers through it in enjoyment! My dandruff was practically cured by just one wash and I didn’t feel the need to wash my hair two days in a row (rare for me because of the flakes).

    I am so impressed I wish I had found this method sooner. I also got my BF to try it. He’s not so impressed because he has very short hair, but his scalp is much better and cleaner smelling. I can’t wait to see what long term benefits will yeild.

  42. Anonymous says

    I am trying the baking soda/ vinegar in my hair… But I have been reading the other comments and it seems like it only works for oily hair? Me, I have dry, thick and curly hair. Does this work for me???

  43. Anonymous says

    To avoid having to make small batches of baking soda, i have an air tight plastic container which i keep in the shower filled with baking soda. No mosture issues with keeping it in there. I sprinkle it into my scalp with dry hair and slowly add a bit of water so im massaging paste into scalp. I have my pre made vinegar solution which is 50/50 water and vinegar. Depending on what i have, i add a few drops of argan oil and vitamin e oil, orange oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil. Olive oil is toooo heavy for hair but great for skin. Sometimes for a deep conditioning i use coconut oil as the melting point is low, and it absorbs in well. Take care to clean he shower well when using oils. Anyway, when i pour on the vinegar solution, there are a few seconds of “lather” from the reaction and i massage around the best i can and massage down the hair a bit. Follwed by normal rinsing. If you can stand it, cold water rinse does wonders.

  44. Anonymous says

    I’ve been told only to use the BSV once a month. I have very baby fine naturally curly hair and when I do use the BSV, my hair looks so much better. I think it’s because our water is so hard and all the minerals are removed.

    How often do you think it’s safe to do?

    Thanks.

  45. Anonymous says

    I tried this for the first time yesterday afternoon. My hair looked AMAZING last night, better than it’s looked in months – even after the salon.
    Though, I did it a bit without reading the instructions and poured the vinegar on straight – my scalp is still tingling a bit 12 hours later. But my hair is still pretty!
    Thank you!

  46. says

    Sonnet, instead of essential oils can I use some fresh lavender or mint from my garden? Would the leaves infuse the scent and cover the vinegar smell? I have sensitive skin and get acne like cysts on my scalp and face when I use most store shampoos. I have found Aveeno eliminates this but I can only get it mail order in my area. Hope this works!

    • says

      I’d recommend making a lavender or mint “tea” by boiling them with the water and then mixing the water with the vinegar. It might not be as strong as the essential oils, but it would still smell really nice!

  47. Anonymous says

    Hello. Thanks for your post! I am transitioning from shampoo no something more natural and less frequent washing – I’ve been washing with Dr. Bronner’s for the past few weeks every day and now going with soda/vinegar every 3 days or so. I’m having a bit of a trouble with this. The first time I did soda/vinegar it worked well – my hair was clean for one day and then oilier then next day, which is usual for me. I am trying to do regular oil treatments too, so I put oil into my roots the night before I wash my hair in the morning. The first time the soda/vinegar did a good job washing the oil out. But the next two times, I did, my hair was still oily after the wash. I even did organic shampoo then vinegar, hair still oily. I can’t seem to get it clean, but I really don’t want to go to regular shampoo and am committed to the coconut/essential oils procedure.
    Am I mixing something wrong? I did about 2.5 tables spoons of soda and x3 parts of water. The vinegar is one acv to 3 parts water. But when I wash with soda in the shower, rub it into scalp and hair, I still don’t feel that squeaky-clean feeling like I did with Dr. Bronner’s. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve only tried soda 3 times so far.

    • says

      I am curious about the nightly oil treatments. I’m not sure if this is really necessary and the baking soda/vinegar won’t be able to get rid of excess added oil (especially heavy oil like coconut) as this method won’t strip the scalp of oil. My guess would be to try cutting back on the oil treatment and see if this helps.

    • says

      There shouldn’t be a need for this every day and it might be too hard on your scalp. I’d recommend every other day at the most.

  48. pseudonym says

    I have scalp psoriasis, and was told to use vinegar, I am going with baking soda, vinegar, but just to clarify, wet hair, use baking soda, do I rinse it out and then apply the vinegar, or rinse with the vinegar, can I use condition in end or will the vinegar act as a condition to leave hair easy to comb out, thanks

  49. Stephanie says

    I have been using this method for three weeks now. It is working pretty good. I have oily roots so I still have issues with it being oily on day two. I did shampoo everyday so I think it is still balancing itself out. My dandruff is gone but my ends are dry. I have read about using coconut oil on them but I am worried about going over board. Any tips on oil? My hair is a little past shoulders.

  50. Christina Irvine says

    Do you use the 2tbs baking soda to 1/2 cup water ratio for one time use or to fill a small bottle for longer use?

  51. nick says

    Hey fellows.
    Hello friends , Im following this routine ,but i have some question.
    1)How can i nourish my hair?
    if i oil my hairs ,then i cant rinse the whole amount of oil with baking soda.
    2)can i follow this routine to my life time?
    3)can i wash my hairs daily with this soda n vineger?
    last but not least.
    i know this method is awesome but i need improvement.
    reply? :)

  52. Anonymous says

    FYI, vinegar and also meets your criteria for “able to cause cancer”. Hippy bullshit is hilarious.

  53. Anonymous says

    After first time i used this method my hair was as silky and full of volume as never before. After the second time they stayed oily after the washing as if I wouldn’t wash them at all. That made me really sad, because I can’t understand how it could react so differently. Why it didn’t take the oiliness out of my hair, when it did the first time?

  54. Anonymous says

    Are you suppose to use the baking soda straight on my hair and the baking soda mixture or just the mixture.

  55. Jerseygirl says

    Something I’d like to mention…if you have hard water (like everyone who lives in NJ), you MUST boil it first before adding the baking soda. If you don’t, you will have greasy hair. Also, I find my hair is drier with this method (I have very coarse thick short hair), I only have to use the baking soda and vinegar every 2 to 3 days. In between, I just rinse with warm water. I have dyed hair, and neither the baking soda nor the vinegar affect the color.

  56. MinnieMay9 says

    I sometimes dye my hair crazy colors, does anyone know if doing this will help keep my hair a funny color longer? I use Special Effects dye if that makes any difference.

  57. Agnieszka H. says

    I tried this routine. I’m Caucasian, I have long, fine blonde hair, undyed, which I normally wash with shampoo twice a week. It only gets greasy around the roots.

    I tried washing with a mixture of baking soda and water (about 2 tbsp of baking soda), rinsing it off, then applying a vinegar rinse: several tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in water, and rinsing that off. After the first wash, my hair felt slightly rough/frizzy, but other than that, things were OK. After 3 washes or so… disaster struck. My hair began to get SUPER OILY and sticky 1 day after washing. It also smelled very unpleasant (a musty, greasy smell, yuck) and I had lots and lots of GREY RESIDUE on my comb. I switched back to shampoo at once. The question is, WHAT WAS I DOING WRONG?

    I appreciate any advice! The only thing I came up with was that the baking soda was too harsh and my scalp began to overproduce oil to compensate – but I can’t wash with “water only”. Tried that too – my hair gets too greasy and stays that way.

  58. Lindsay says

    I have been doing this remedy for 2 weeks now and I still have almost a filmy residue on my hair and it feels greasy.. I’ve tried a baking soda rinse, I’ve tried putting baking soda on dry, I’ve tried both in one ‘wash’.. Could it be too much? I typically just use the vinegar on the ends (if at all). I don’t get why I’m not getting the results everyone is raving about am I still in the ‘transitional’ phase? All I want to do is shampoo my hair about 12 times in a row.. Can it take longer than 2+ weeks and should I keep with it or is this just how it feels always??

    • jenmar says

      I have thick, fine, straight hair down to my shoulder blades and my transitional stage was 3 or 4 weeks. I got the super tangly straw feeling But I stuck with it and now it’s been 2 months and my hair feels great! :)

  59. Gab says

    How often should you do the baking soda/vinegar rinse? I’m use to washing my hair every day, would I also do this every day? or just the vinegar every day and baking soda every other? What are some suggestions? I’m ready to make the switch but am trying to plan and figure it all out.

  60. Michelle says

    Apologies if this was asked already – I ran out of time to get through all the comments…
    I need to wash my hair every day otherwise my scalp gets oily. I wonder if while going through this initial process would it be ok to alternate the BS with regular shampoo to get past the oily phase, or would this just be totally counter-productive?? I’m thinking if I hit that oily phase, go a few days using BS then 1 day regular shampoo as needed… ?
    Thank you!

  61. Linda says

    My daughter is 5 and has very very dry hair. It’s neither straight nor curly and feels like straw. It doesn’t seam to have any natural oil at all. I have her hair trimmed regularly and I still can’t manage it. She has it in a bobble for school but still looks like she has been dragged through a hedge backwards!. I’ve tried shampoos for dry hair, loads of conditioners and leave in conditioners but nothing works, even the hairdressers said she didn’t know what to do with it. It takes hours to dry on its own so I have to do it with a hair dryer. Any one got any tips. The rest of the family ie my husband and other daughter have the opposite, fine oily hair. The hairdresser said her hair is fine but has a lot of it. It’s not sun damaged as we live in the uk!

  62. 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!!!!

  63. Lyse says

    Have tried this 3 days ago and was amazed at how detangled it was after washing!! Just did it again today and waiting for it to dry :) I have long dark hair, nearly to my waist and is lucky enough to not need to blow dry as it dries off with a light natural wave. It felt silkier using this method than the usual shampoo and conditioner. I hope it keeps up like this :)

  64. Mindy says

    I’m on day 35 and my hair still seems to be quite oily. I have just been putting dry baking soda on before I shower. If I used the water/baking soda would that help?

    • mariah says

      water activates baking soda, so add some water until it turns to a thin paste and really scrub into your roots, then leave it for a few min before rinsing. that should do the trick!

  65. Katherina says

    Thanks for this post. I’m in the process of deciding whether I want to make my own shampoo/conditioner or if I want to go to this simple method. Word of caution, sandalwood is very endangered! I would advise against suggesting it, or put a notice next to it. We should only use sandalwood in extremely necessary cases in my opinion.

  66. mariah says

    i looovvveeee this!!!! i’ve been using just vinegar wash for years. id do it once a week because it smelled badly. but the baking soda/vinegar mix is perfect. i use it everyday now! i add 2 drops of vanilla to my brush and it completely cancels out any vinegar odor!

  67. Kathryn says

    I have been doing this method for a week now, and the vinegar and the cold rinse seem to make my hair very difficult to comb through, almost a “squeaky” clean feeling, and it tangles very easily. Is there something I am doing wrong? After it dries it is amazing though…after the painful de-tangling…

  68. Riff says

    Hi to all,

    I have tried this hair cleaning method using a technique that actually needs far less baking soda for great results.

    Me
    I am male with shoulder length brown (dyed) thinnish wavy hair.

    Setup
    2 cups of very warm water with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda in UK) in a jug – and a washing-up bowl to catch the solution (awkward in the shower).

    Stage 1
    The technique is to pour the baking soda mix over my scalp area and INTO THE BOWL in the kitchen sink. Then I pour the mix back into the jug and repeat 3 or 4 times.
    The first pouring produces very little dirt, but each time the same mix is poured through my scalp it gets MUCH dirtier.

    (Repeat pouring means I have had to reduce the quantity of Baking Soda from a heap tablespoon to just a level teaspoon or less that leaves the scalp area hair lovely and clean with usually some natural sebum oil remaining)

    Stage 2
    I completely rinse the scalp area hair with very warm water.

    Stage 3
    1 cup of very warm water plus a tablespoon of vinegar over the scalp area once.

    Stage 4
    A jug of cold water over the scalp area for a great finish and sharp intake of breath too :-)

    Stage 5
    Towel dry and wait for at least 15 minutes then blow dry to style if necessary.

    Everyone is different so some folks might need a bit more than a level teaspoon of baking soda, but the repeat pouring technique definitely reduces the quantity of baking soda required yet getting the same results.

    God bless you all for trying to clean your bodies more naturally.

  69. Milena says

    Is this helpful also in case of hairloss?
    I’ve used so many things but my hair doen’t stop falling, pls tell me if I start using it there will be any positive result, and beside I’ve extremly oily hair…

    • Morganne says

      Have you ever tried deep conditionning your hair with castor oil? It is quite good to help hair growing and to make it thicker, healthier ! But you shouldn’t use baking soda to clean it as it doesn’t take off any oil from your hair…

      I wanted to try this baking soda / vinegar method for a while, I usually use a natural shampoo but my scalp is getting itchy these days, so I thought it was time for me to give it a go ! My already really thick and wavy hair looks even more big and fluffy (I rinse it with my head down in the shower, towel dry it with still my head down, and then just scrunch it once in a while untill it’s dry), and I just love it ! No more dandruffs, it hasn’t itched yet, so I will try this again and will see what happens !

      • Milena says

        thx for a reply,
        yes I did try castor oil some years ag, but is didn’t help my hair grow back…
        acctually now I’ve no changes, but the same oily & intchy scalp, plus still my hair falls, they lost their healthy & shiny look… so I thought it coud be useful to give a start to this method, but u don’t advise, right? or what maybe I do have to?

  70. santhu says

    I have tried it….
    But I am facing a problem with baking soda is not dissolved in water..
    Can u please say brief composition nd how to mix it…

    • Sonnet says

      I add 2 tablespoons baking soda to about 1/2 cup or 1 cup of warm water in a bottle, then shake. If it won’t dissolve, try using warm water (instead of cold). It also might mean that you added too much baking soda. Shaking the bottle usually helps too.

  71. Jesse says

    I’ve been using this method for a little less than a month now, and I love it! The only problem is that my hair feels REALLY dry, and I’m not putting any of the baking soda mixture on my ends- just on my scalp. I’ve been using the vinegar and cold water rinse too, so why is my hair so dry and tangled? I don’t wanna go back to shampoo, please help!

    • Sonnet says

      Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer so you can try putting a little bit on the ends to help (too much and it will end up a greasy mess). Some other alternatives are argan oil and I’ve heard a lot of folks who have great success with mayonnaise for hair dryness. I tried this once as a teenager and remember loving it (but it did leave a mayo smell!)

  72. says

    Thanks for this step-by-step – I had a hard time finding them when I was researching no shampoo! I’m currently documenting my transition period on my blog to give people an idea of what the grease factor could be like – so far so good – I have long hair, and it’s been tricky, but I’m excited to have healthier hair and no chemicals!!

  73. Pamela says

    I have very dry (almost split end looking) shoulder length natural curly hair, I dye it dark brown cause at the age of 50 I would be totally grey and I don’t look my age. Will this take the dry look away, if so what is the ratio for both mixtures please.

    Excited to try !!!!

  74. Laurie says

    I have severe psoriasis on my scalp and use expensive chemical-filled shampoos and lately they haven’t been working. I tried the baking soda wash and vinegar rinse and my hair has less oil build up and there’s no redness and significantly less build up from the psoriasis on my scalp. I’ve actually recommended it to my mom b/c she has the same problem. I am converted!

  75. Grace says

    I just used this method for the first time, and my hair is sooooooo soft and silky. It’s usually frizzy and dry and just a crazy mix of curls and straight…in short, it’s unruly. If the results continue this way, I will continue to wash my hair using this method.

    I have been at my wits’ end for the past 3 months since I suddenly and out of nowhere developed “smelly hair syndrome”. So far, my hair smells ok. I will check it out again tomorrow and see if it actually helps with the scalp fungal stench!

    Thank you for the post!!!

  76. Kathleen says

    I have mid back long very thick curly red hair. I started using baking soda and vinegar last October and love it. I only wash it twice a week but rinse my hair with water as needed in between. I do prefer the apple cider vinegar. The ratio I use is 1 part water to vinegar and I comb it through my hair before rinsing with cool water. Before I do anything else I comb out the excess water then comb Aegean oil through it then let it dry naturally. My doctor aske me what i was doing because my hair use to be frizzy and unmanagable and now it hair looks shiny and healthy. She asked if she could touch it and i was thrilled when she said it was amzingly soft. And the Aegean oil helps with the vinegar smell to.

  77. Kendra says

    Question – I hope this gets answered. Do you have to use white vinegar? My husband is Celiac and we can’t have it in the house because it has gluten. Does Apple Cider Vinegar work the same way?

    • Sonnet says

      Apple cider vinegar works just fine! I only use white vinegar because I thought it was easier to mask the smell, but if you add some essential oils to the mix or spray a little bit in your hair after washing the smell won’t be a problem. :)

  78. Taylor says

    Does the vinegar lighten hair after a while?
    I know peroxide does, because I used it and it worked, but does vinegar or baking soda? I heard it does but I wasn’t sure.

  79. Thomas says

    hello,I have a case of dandruff and I have heard that this method works well with dandruff but I just don’t understand how it works, if our hair produces oils and shampoo destroys the oils, will the baking soda not make the oil dry up? thanks

    • Sonnet says

      The baking soda isn’t as harsh on our skin and hair as common shampoos and detergents. Typical shampoo strips the hair of oil and our body responds to this by producing excess oil. Baking soda and vinegar doesn’t impact our skin in the same way. I don’t know how this method works for dandruff, but it’s at least worth trying as it might help. :)

  80. Abby Perkins says

    I used the baking soda mixture and apple cider vinegar yesterday on my fine, few-inches-below-the-shoulder-length hair and am very happy with the results! My hair was silky and felt clean. Since I tend to have oily hair and have to wash it normally every day, I did use this technique again today and so far so good. I didn’t notice any vinegar smell in my hair either!

  81. Essa says

    To take care of the vinegar smell I like to mix the vinegar with herbal tea instead of water, my favorite is chai tea but I also use a pomegranate tea. Once your hair is dry the vinegar smell is gone and the scent of the tea lingers nicely!

  82. Anonymous says

    This is all crazy. There’s conversations about dyeing and sculpting hair but fear of shampoo?

    None of the chemicals listed at top are shown to be carcinogenic. There are fears that a few of them are toxic for people who work in plants that manufacture those chemicals and consequently breath, handle, and consume vastly larger quantities than are in your shampoo.

    I don’t know why one commenter said that talc is bad. It’s an inert substance. Don’t eat it or inhale in large amounts, but please feel free to put it on your skin as people have for a very long time with no ill effects.

    You didn’t realize that baking soda reacts with water or vinegar (it is not “activated” by either)? Were you ever in an elementary school science class? You’re making a science fair volcano. With vinegar and baking soda you’re making sodium acetate, carbon dioxide, and water. With water and baking soda you’re making sodium, carbon monoxide, and carbonic acid.

    Natural is not always best: arsenic, poison ivy, and radon are all natural. Baking soda and vinegar are produced and refined just like any other commercially available chemical.

    Wash your hair however you like, but please think a little harder about the science here and what the real threats, benefits, and consequences of your choices are. Your car and the sun both pose a much larger threat to you than sodium lauryl sulfate.

  83. Ann says

    I was totally on board for this method as I have felt my hair is alot thinner than it used to be and I saw alot of feedback from people saying it made their hair feel fuller and healthier. I felt I was getting great results in the first 2 months of the process. Then I went away for a week and used regular shampoo as to not have the hassle of mixing and transporting this new shampoo. When I came back and started using it again, my hair was super grungy feeling and super oily right at the back of my scalp. My sister is also having the same reaction after using this method as well for approximately 2 months (hers non stop though unlike mine). I heard your hair can go through an adjustment period because of the oils being stripped from your hair from shampoo however, if I didn’t experience this the first time around – why now? It’s pretty gross to the point where I want to wash it everyday – sometimes twice a day. Should I tough it out? I appreciate your advice.

    • Sonnet says

      Some folks do go through an adjustment period and my guess is that washing it every day or twice a day is irritating the scalp and causing it produce even more oil. If you do want to continue trying the method, I would suggest using the dry shampoo recipe above to help absorb extra oil in the meantime. Hope that helps! :)

  84. Ann says

    I have been doing this for about 3 weeks now and my hair has been falling out more then normal i can run my hands through my hair and i will get clumps out at a time in the shower its far worse, and my scalp itches a bit, does anyone else go through this? I know it takes time but its getting pretty bad. Other then that i love the results with it. Just not sure how i should feel about this amount of hair coming out

    • Sonnet says

      I haven’t experienced any issues with scalp itchiness or hair loss. If it continues to cause problems for you I might recommend finding a natural shampoo instead. :)

  85. blanka maria says

    My hair is thick, course and blonde and highlighted. I have been using Kerastase for years and it has gotten to the point of being so dry I can barely wash it – it is hard and brittle even when wet. Silicon build up is the culprit. It doesn’t wash away and takes a while to wash out, even with a silicon free shampoo. But after one wash with the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo, my hair is back to feeling baby soft again! I love Shielo and I have never even heard of this brand! I am going to use this as my regular shampoo until it is gone. Its from the Shielo brand, called Shielo Hydrate Shampoo.

  86. Anonymous says

    I have extremely coarse, dark brown, very curly caucasian hair, prone to frizzying and drying out. Tried the vinegar + essential oil thing today and my hair feels amazingly soft – but I also rinsed with cold water as opposed to hot water, so not sure which is the cause of the change in texture. I have noticed when I turn on the hot tap the water comes out very white – why would this be? Would it be beneficial to rinse my hair in cold water as opposed to hot water? What about washing the hair – would hot water be preferable?

  87. Lorna says

    I am of African descent so I have naturally kinky or curly hair. Can anyone say if the Baking Soda/Vinegar combo works for ‘black’ hair?

  88. Tara says

    Hello Sonnet. I’m a fellow Seattle resident.

    I just mixed my first batch and I have a question: how many drops of essential oils do you use? I decided vanilla was my potion and had fun smelling all of the oils at Whole Foods today.

    • Sonnet says

      It depends on the scent, but I’ll usually add about 10 drops to my bottle of vinegar rinse and then 1 – 2 drops on my hairbrush (if I want to add extra scent to my hair). And, I have to say that smelling all of the oils at WF is one of my favorite past times — especially if I’ve had a stressful day! :)

  89. Mercy says

    i want to share my testimony on how i gain my nature hair back in just three weeks: i had very thick curly hair.i straightened my hair 2 yr ago.they after some time started 2 fall out.i also having dandruff problem all d time, before i used shampoo called antidruf containing ketoconazole and tugain 2%(minoxidil) have stopped using chemical one year ago.but still i am loosing a lots of hair everyday and my hair has become so thin. when a friend of my visit me and i explain how i lose my hair every day, she told me she was having the same problem 3 months ago and he contacted DR OPINGO online, i please with grace and she gave me DR OPINGO email, i email him immediately and explain about my hair to him, he told me not to worry that he is going to help me out.After DR OPINGO have prepared the spell cream i use for good three weeks my hair grow fast and was very thick, all my girl friends love and cherish my hair thank you DR you can contact his email at: (alterofcandletemple05@gmail.com) his cream will make your hair grow fast and thicker.

  90. angela says

    Thanks to Dr Rhoda the great healer who gave me a long hair growing cream, this woman is the best woman everyone everyone going through low hair growth should know. i saw a testimony of this woman shared by one girl on how she help her with her hair growing cream. i also choose to contact her cause i also have a low hair growth, but i am really happy now that my hair is longer than before with the help of this woman’s cream. i will want everyone going through low hair growth to contact her on her email address: cureforallsickness@live.com contact her and she will give you her best spell cream.
    Angela

  91. says

    I use baking soda. With the pH craze which taken over the natural scene, I instantly used alkaline baking soda. It’s nice to know that baking soda has its exceptions and its effectiveness ultimately depends on the head of hair. Great insight!

  92. Faye says

    I am one my fourth week of no poo, just baking soda and vinegar rinse, it is great for 2 or three days and my hair starts to get oily and itchy. is there an essential oil to help stimulate your hair grow? I heard that naatural essential oils of Lavender and/or rosemary does that. did anyone experiment with that? and what were the results?
    Thanks

  93. Kris says

    I’m reading to rinse the vinegar with cold water, seeing as it’s november and really chilly outside where I am, I am going to try warm/ hot water to do these steps, I have a feeling it’ll make the vinegar smell a little stronger but I don’t have anything to commit to for two more days so I thought now would be a perfect time to try this. Will let all know how it goes :) Wish me luck!

    • Kris says

      Did this last night, it went great! The hot water didn’t make the vinegar smell stronger at all. I really noticed the difference right after using the baking soda, my hair was much less tangled then normal when using shampoo. Today its much softer, still some tangles, but way less, and much easier to get a comb through, I’ve also noticed it has more shine and I can see my natural highlights much better. I will be switching over to using this method full time, I love it.

  94. Smita says

    I have wavy-curly hair and have used alllllllllllllllll kinds of shampoos and conditioners (herbal \ luxury \ retail \ drugstore) , nothing , trust me, NOTHING works better than BAKING SODA !!! My hair is definitely less frizzy, more shiny , and i have to shampoo less frequently ! Baking Soda is the BEST kept secret ever !!

    I have heard about the vinegar-rise at the end , but have not tried it, but i will surely try after reading your article !!

  95. Lynne Sellers says

    I love using the baking soda and vinegar rise but before I started this I was told to mix baking soda with a mild shampoo and make a very thick paste. To then put this paste on my hair and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes then to rise followed by the vinegar rise. The reason I was told to do this by my hairdresser was over the years my hair had build up even though I used shampoos to control this they don’t work. Before I had to wash my hair everyday and now I can go 2 to 3 days and maybe longer but have not tried it. My hair is the best it has ever been after using this method for about 2 months; I will never go back to shampoo. I have very thin, straight hair and the body and fell is unreal that I now have.

  96. Peter says

    Hey Sonnet, thanks for writing this article, it’s very helpful. I’ve been doing the ACV for a couple weeks now and just had few questions.
    It seems people wait a minimum of three days before washing their hair I’m assuming this means that even if they shower daily, water does not touch their hair until the next time they do the ACV wash.

    My question is, how do they (or you) deal with bed-hair in the morning on the days you don’t water wash your hair? Do you just fix it with water and a comb every morning? I assume you don’t put product in your hair (to style/fix it) since you won’t be washing it out for several days.

    • Sonnet says

      Great question. I’m pretty low-maintenance about my hair so this is how my schedule usually works:
      Day 1: wash hair, blow dry and wear it straight
      Day 2: curl hair and wear up or down as needed
      Day 3: use dry shampoo and wear hair up (or wash if needed)
      Hope that helps! :)

  97. Ada says

    I have a question about the mixing of oils with the white vinegar. Instead of using oils to diminish the smell is it possible to use extracts like lemon or vanilla?

  98. Julie says

    Hi! I’ve been using this method for several months now and I LUV the way it makes my hair look!! :)
    Although, recently I’ve been experiencing severe ichting towards the back of my head after I get out of the shower. I was wondering if anybody else had the same problem? I don’t spray a ton of vinegar on top of my head, only two or three sprays, because I’ve noticed it gets oilier faster than the rest. I also rinse the baking soda out with warm water and the vinegar with cold. I have long (mid-back) length and very thick hair. :)

  99. deasanni says

    could you mix the vinegar with lemon juice? to help with the odor? thank you for your post.
    it goes along with my new years resolution to try ‘green cleaning’. have a great day :)

  100. Angie says

    Okay, so I don’t have long luscious or curly hair. I have short black hair and I am just trying to get rid of this mess that I have in my scalp. It is so bad and embarrassing. Lot of flakes, crust and itching. I have tried dandruff shampoo’s which did not work, putting aspirin (smashed into a powder) into my shampoo which did work but came back. I have used Apple Vinegar works but I need something to wash my scalp with and a more permanent solution that I can use all the time when I wash my hair and still see if the scalp problem stays away. So, today I tried Baking Soda (1 part/3 part) and Apple vinegar. (50/50) My hair did sting a little with the baking soda but at this point I am so tired of my scalp I didn’t care. Rinsed it off well with water then added the vinegar. My solutions were put into travel containers for easy dispensing. Well I will keep this updated to let you know how it works. I know how frustrating it could be with so many sites with so many post. I just want to know what to do and if it works! So here we go day number one. Hair is very soft and shiny no itching but I have only been out of the shower for 10 min. I will post tomorrow to let you know how it goes. :)

    • Angie says

      Day #2, Did not wash hair today but it is itching with flakes. Annoying. Will do method again tomorrow. Hear it takes time for scalp to get used to.

  101. Lauren says

    I’ve been trying this for a week, and it’s absolutely great!

    I wanted more volume to my hair and it was alway static, but immediately when I started doing this I had more volume and the static went away.

    I did however want to know if you recommend blow drying your hair or not? Or does it not really affect it?

    Thanks!

    • Sonnet says

      Hi Lauren – I do occasionally blow dry my hair depending on the weather. (It’s cold here often so I usually blow dry it in fall and winter). I haven’t noticed this impacting my hair, but I’m pretty low-maintenance so I usually try to air dry it whenever possible Hope this helps! :)

  102. Kari says

    Do you think that adding grapeseed oil (not sure if this is an essential oil or not) to the vinegar would have any benefits? I’ve been reading that it helps your hair grow and is actually good for oily hair/skin.

  103. Arden Kroesbergen says

    I tried this today… I’m a guy with extremely thick, oily hair. I found that the baking soda actually didn’t clean my hair. It made it really stiff, and it felt like i’d applied styling gel to my hair the day before… which I hadn’t. maybe I’m just doing this wrong? I tried in a little cup with about a tablespoon of baking soda. I filled the cup about halfway full (about three tablespoons), and then poured this over my hair in the shower. I rubbed my scalp, then rinsed in the warm shower. I couldn’t get my hair to soften up, no matter how long i rinsed. Should i have tried rinsing in vinegar, then rinse in water? or should i have rinsed with water, then in vinegar? I’m a regular user of shampoo (every day). I work in the security sector, so i can’t afford to have oily-looking hair for a week. Is there any proper way to do this?

  104. MOna says

    I did the BS and ACV yesterday. I have been doing BS for six months now, and just started with ACV last night. Fantastic detangler. HANDS DOWN. (I did the coconut oil an hour before wash, and finger detangled my dry hair. I was dreading the after shower detangle ordeal. But there was NONE. Amazing. Just Amazing!!!!)

    I usually put on a Bumble & Bumble thickner product for styling, but I decided to forgo all products and see what my hair looked like. It has a definite red sheen. But my hair is fine and curly, and now without product looks a bit too wispy. I wonder if there is a leave in treatment that acts like a thickner. Something natural would be nice to tame down the locks.

  105. Anita says

    I noticed something really interesting. For years I’ve wash my hair every 3-4 days. I generally lose a lot of hair when I shampoo (I always had very thick hair so it didn’t matter to me) and a crazy amount if I let it go a couple of days too long. After first the use of baking soda and vinegar I didn’t do my hair again for over a week and I expected the usual hair loss. I was amazed at the very little bit of hair loss, much less than I have ever experience after a shampoo and I am 62.

    • Mona says

      Yes, very similar experience with the hair loss after shampoo cycle. The bs acv combo makes my hair too dry though. I will continue w coconut oil follow up. Minimal hair loss makes this bs acv a TOTAL winner!!!!!

  106. F says

    Thank you for this post! My hair is very oily, and on the other hand very fragile because of scalp problems and trichotillomania. My hair and scalp responds very poorly to shampoo and causes my hair to be too dry after use, but too oily soon after! I have been looking for something like this for a long time. Normally my hair gets oily after 1 day, but with this solution it will stay clean longer, in between I use dry shampoo to avoid having to wash my hair too often. In between I use egg yolk masks to keep my hair looking healthy. Hopefully I can soon grow out healthy and strong hair!

  107. says

    Nice post. This really good. But does this work when we put oil to the hair ? Yes, this can clean scalp but what about the strands? There was a solution, natural shampoo, made with soap nuts. Soap nuts can works better for washing your hair. It may dries your scalp or may not but that won’t be a problem.

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