Wash Your Hair With Baking Soda and Vinegar


I’m not “crunchy”.  I don’t consider myself to be all that “green” either, although I do recycle.  I’m not a frugalista either.   I’m definitely not an all-organic using, eating and wearing girl.  Even so…

It has been 6 weeks since I have shampooed my hair!

I have long thick hair that takes forever to dry.  I had been really frustrated with my “blah” hair and itchy scalp.  I had little bumps that would appear at the nape of my neck and drive me crazy.  I had a sneaking suspicion that my shampoo and conditioner were the culprits.  So I switched… again… and again…. and again… trying new shampoos and found no relief.

Finally I decided to stop shampooing cold-turkey and try out Simple Mom’s “no-poo” technique.

I grabbed a squeeze bottle filled it with 1 cup of water and added 1 Tablespoon of baking soda.  I shook up the bottle and squeezed it onto my scalp.  I used quite a bit the first few times, saturating my scalp then massaging it really well.  I’m not lying when I tell you that I could FEEL the oil washing out of my hair.  (for more technical, scientific reasons why this works be sure to check out Simple Mom’s Post!)

As a substitute for conditioner I grabbed a second bottle added 1 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. – do not worry your hair will NOT smell like vinegar at all! – I pour this over the middle and ends of my hair – intentionally avoiding my scalp. Because my hair is so long I used a wide tooth comb right after I add the vinegar mixture to my hair. This helps with the tangles.  I rinced the vinegar mixture out of my hair and voila!  Squeaky clean hair!

I’m not going to lie, weeks 3-4 were rough, a bit oily and I almost wanted to throw in the towel, but I didn’t.  I kept going and I’m thrilled with my hair now!

5 Reasons I love cleaning my hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar:

  1. Super duper clean hair and soft – it nearly squeaks!
  2. Less frizz = less products
  3. Cheap hair care
  4. New found CURLS!!
  5. No more crazy hair loss— Previously I would have a huge wad of hair in the shower when I was finished shampooing and conditioning my hair.  Gross, I know!!  I could run my hands through my hair and have a good handful of hair.  I truly believe that something in the products I was using (rhymes with pan-tene… whoops I said it!) was causing me to lose so much hair.
Week 4 No Shampoo

Today (Week 6)  No Shampoo – no product – air dried hair!


I wish I had taken a good “before” photo but I think you can see a bit of the difference.  My hair has always had a bit of a wave to it but now I can scrunch it up and have really nice curls. I can still blow dry it straight easily but it’s nice to have the option to let my hair just air dry.

People have asked me if I’ll use shampoo again and honestly I don’t think I will.  I may find a good organic conditioner to use occasionally but I can honestly say I don’t think my hair has ever been better.  So for now I’ll be sticking with my baking soda and vinegar combo!

ADDED:  Be sure to read Part 2 – Clean Your Hair With Baking Soda and Vinegar – Confessional 

Have you ever tried this method for cleaning your hair?  I’d love to here your thoughts!

This post has been linked up to the Your Green Resource Link-Up

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  1. says

    Donna! Your hair looks awesome!! I’ve seriously considered doing this (after reading Simple Mom’s post about it a while back)…now I feel even more inspired. I was a bit dubious about the transition period, but your hair says it all. It definitely looks worth it!

    • Donna says

      Thanks Erin! The transition period is not fun, but wasn’t terrible for me either. In the end I’m pretty sold on it, mostly because I can tell that my hair is clean and not coated with a bunch of waxes and other gunk from the conditioners I was using.

    • Donna says

      I love that I can let it air dry – my hair takes forever to blow dry and honestly I’m always afraid to wake the kids with the dryer!

    • Donna says

      It’s nice too, if you have oily hair – it cleans up your scalp so your natural oils chill out. You might want to grab a cute hat or two to help you through the 3rd week. You look cute in a hat anyways!

    • Donna says

      I was doubtful, to tell the truth but once week 5 came around I was thrilled. I still think I might use a light non-junk-filled conditioner on the ends of my hair once in a while just to ease my tangling. Other than that I’m sold!

  2. says

    I tried that, but I was disappointed b/c no matter how much I rinsed, I always had bits of baking soda in my hair that looked like dandruff:( I even dissolved the baking soda in hot water, so I don’t know how that happened. I would love to use this method because it’s so safe, but for me it was not effective at all, which really bums me out.

    • Donna says

      I haven’t noticed any baking soda in my hair! I add the Tbs of soda to room temp tap water and shake it up. I don’t even see chunks in the water. hmmmmm… That stinks!

    • Monica says

      I’ve been using this method for about 7 weeks now. It worked great at first and then I started noticing white build up in my hair and a waxy feeling all the time. I thought it was baking soda and I just wasn’t rinsing it out. Well it wouldn’t go away. Finally I found this blog called ecocatladyspeaks or something like that. She said that she uses a fine tooth comb after she puts the vinegar rinse in her hair. This manually gets out all the build up. Traditional shampoos have chemicals that literally dissolve the oil on your scalp but baking soda and vinegar don’t do that. So anyway now my secret to living with this method is using a fine tooth comb while I have the vinegar in my hair. You will be amazed/grossed out by all the gunk that comes out of your hair. I think it makes my shampooing last longer too.

      • says

        That’s a great tip. I use a boar-hair brush before getting in the shower to lossen up the gunk too. I had never noticed a build up – you may be using too much vinegar too. I made sure I only used the vinegar on my roots not on the scalp. I hope it continues to work for you. I’ve fallen off the no-poo wagon and really really need to get back on it, I can tell a difference since I stopped even though I use all organic shampoo!

        • Monica says

          Your hair in the above picture really looks great! I was hoping I would have some magic transformation of my wavy hair going curly but I’m still just wavy.

          I think there are multiple reasons to do it and keep it up I like the fact that I’m not buying a ton of plastic bottles of shampoo/conditioner and products anymore. I can go several days without washing my hair! And I’m not using crazy ingredients on my body.

  3. says

    I have lots of fine, straight hair. I don’t think I could ever give up the hair dryer-especially since it is short. I wonder how this would turn out on my kind of hair… cause I am happy with it now. interesting.

    • Donna says

      Sam – I’d love to hear if you try it and how it works. For me it was more about my scalp feeling clean and not itchy anymore. The curls were just a bonus 😉

  4. says

    You’re hair does look great. And I have hair like you – thick, long, falls out when I wash it ( but I have so much anyways I can’t tell I’ve lost any). I feel like I’m damaging my hair with today’s retail products (I use cheap stuff).

    I’m going to give this baking soda wash a try tomorrow. Just so happens I have 2 empty dish soap bottles ready to be used!
    Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms recently posted..No Snow, should I worry? and a Personal Note from Me.My Profile

    • Donna says

      Tracy – yes! Those clumps of hair in the tub were so annoying and sometimes I wondered if I was going to have thinning hair the way it was falling out. Just don’t expect a huge change unless you stick with it for a few weeks, although I do wonder if you do it every few weeks for a week if that will help to give your scalp a deep clean. Hmmm.. something to ponder.

  5. Dina says

    That P shampoo you mentioned I cannot use either. It makes my scalp hurt so bad. Anything that is shampoo and conditioner in one does that to me. I will have to try it!

  6. says

    Va Va~voom!! Your hair looks amazing!!
    I use to do a vinegar rinse on my hair when I was a teenager ~ along with other home spa things like oatmeal face scrubs etc… and I do remember I had great results ~
    somewhere along the way I’ll have to rummage through my pantry again! Remember lemon juice for highlights?

    • Donna says

      Awww… thanks! :)

      I remember using lemon juice to try to bleach my hair when I was a teen. I would soak my hair in it and sit in the sun…. then I broke out the Sun In. Do you remember that stuff? LOL

  7. says

    Hey Donna! Your blog is awesome btw =) And my roommate and I were just talking about doing this no shampoo thing!! Question though – I have very curly hair and use mousse and hairspray to keep it contained…will I still be able to use the products I am using and still do the no shampoo thing? Will the baking soda get all the product out?

    • says

      If you try it just remember that the 3rd week can be rough. I love how clean my hair is now and I love having new curls! It really gets rid of the frizz too. I’ve been going back and forth between the baking soda / vinegar method and organic shampoo and conditioner. I like how the baking soda really cleans the hair so much better than any shampoo!

  8. Diana says

    I just tried this for the second day, so far so good! I have fine, medium curly hair. I used the baking soda with water, rinsed, then used a spray bottle for the vinegar and rinsed. After that, I put some conditioner, just because my hair is super tangly. I did this last night before I went to bed and didn’t pay much attention, but when I woke up my hair was super soft and frizz free with more curl. I should have left it but I wet it and put some gel just to see because that is what I am used to. But honestly it looked better without the gel, the gel seemed to make it look heavy so I’m going to experiment without any product next time! Just to let you know my hair is usually frizzy, fine and gets greasy if I don’t wash it everyday so I am crossing my fingers that this works!!!

  9. Andrea M. says

    I have long hair and the top gets SO oily after 2-4 days (I usually wash it every 2-3 days, but I’ve got three kids, so I am not gonna lie and say I’ve never gone longer!!)
    I hate that the ends get dried out when the top is still so OILY! I also get an itchy scalp after 1-2 days and when I itch it I get white stuff under my nails (yuck!). I think I read where you said this is good for people with oily hair?
    How/why does this help oily hair – and why are weeks 3/4 so rough!? I am tempted to try this, but not sure what to expect!

    • says

      The reason it helps oily hair is that shampoos/detergents strip so much oil that your scalp is triggered to make MORE oil! As your hair adjusts to the new method, you’ll produce less oil.

      I was able to minimize the transitional side-effects by using shampoo every other time for the first few months. When one day shampoo made my hair feel and look awful, it was time to stop using it at all.

  10. Rebekah says

    For a great, organic conditioner, I love Amazing Miracle by Renpure Organics! Makes my hair incredibly soft and feels weightless.

  11. says

    That is a huge difference!

    And one blog I read said that the blogger’s family discovered that with their hard water, they had to *boil* the water first and dissolve the baking soda in the boiling/boiled water. I wonder if it’s actually baking soda buildup in the hair in that instance, or if it’s the minerals from the water. (I know they leave somewhat powdery-looking white stuff all over our teakettle, sinks, etc.)

  12. says

    Nice article! I’ve been washing my hair with vinegar for almost 9 years now, and I love it! I don’t use baking soda; I’ve tried it, but it didn’t seem to do anything.

    I still shed a lot of hair every time I wash or even rinse it. I’m not sure why, but since I still have plenty of hair on my head, I don’t worry about it.

  13. says

    That’s so great that it works for you! I have just given up no ‘pooing’ after 6 months as my hair got progressively greasier and more dandruff ridden :( Still on the look out for a more natural alternative to shampoo though…

  14. Brittni says

    I started this 4 weeks ago and I literally love it. I’ve dyed my hair a lot (I’m 21), and I used to straighten the hell out of it, but now I’ve gotten rid of ALL of my extra hair products besides a little oil for the ends occasionally. I have long, thin, colored hair. I started with using too much vinegar because my roots were pretty oily the day after, but now I’ve pretty much perfected it. I started this method while in my dorm building, so I mix the bs with water in a tupperware bowl in the shower, then use my toothpaste-rinsing cup to mix the little bit of vinegar with water. I use like half a teaspoon of vinegar for the small cup of water. I just experimented and eyeballed until I found an amount that worked for my hair. But I definitely know what you mean when you say you felt the oil rinsing out of your hair. I still get that when I initially rinse my hair. I’m keeping on this method, it’s so awesome. I can’t wait to let my hair grow longer than it is now!!!

  15. Milena says

    Donna you look really nice :)
    I want to ask you if this method will help to prevent hair loss either?
    my hair fall out, scalp itchies, no shine and getting thinner…

  16. says

    Hi Donna. Same thing here. The shampoo just dries my hair out and poof! I am going to tey the Eggs , vinegar and baking soda, not sure of the>> how much of each yet. But like it goes the eggs can cook in the warm water, so,. I am going whip the eggs 1rst with my mixer and add the vinegar the baking soda and some water, maybe that will prevent the eggs from cooking and help remove the oil from my hair. If you try this, email me and let me know what happens? Okie?

  17. says

    hate that the ends get dried out when the top is still so OILY! I also get an itchy scalp after 1-2 days and when I itch it I get white stuff under my nails (yuck!). I think I read where you said this is good for people with oily hair?


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