The Best Homemade Shampoo Recipe

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….the BEST ideas come from the readers of this blog!  Recently Heather emailed me with her “Homemade Shampoo” recipe. Now, I have probably read a million “shampoo” recipes that are similar to this before (OK…maybe 500,000), but none of them really “grabbed” me.

I have posted about a couple in the past.  Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo was the first one, way back in August, and it wasn’t a huge hit. :-/  So, I reworked the idea and posted about my REVISED Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo in March.  I like THIS version MUCH better and still use it today. But everytime I run across something similar to what Heather emailed me about….my interest has been piqued!


It’s one of those ideas that seems so crazy that it might actually work! Well, guess what? It does! And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised….because I am a HUGE fan of baking soda! I love that there are a bazillion different uses for it (OK…maybe HALF a bazillion) and honestly, I love the way it FEELS. I know that might sound kind of strange…but whether it’s on my hands when I’m using my Miracle Cleaner or in my “shampoo” on my hair…I just love the soft feel of it, and how easily it rinses out, leaving only clean behind.

To condition your hair…Heather has an equally “unorthodox” approach/solution….apple cider vinegar. Once again, I’ve heard of this from LOTS of readers of this blog and on many other websites before. But for reason I just had a BLOCK when it came to taking a bottle of what I consider a salad dressing ingredient into the shower with me and then pouring it on my head! lol.  Well, if you read her instructions below, it’s not QUITE like that…and once you get over the “strangeness” of it all…you might just be convinced….like I am!  I’m not one to use much conditioner on my hair in the first place…I usually only apply it to the ends of my hair and then very lightly throughout the rest as a detangler. So this approach suited me just fine.

Heather’s Homemade Shampoo & Conditioner

“In a ketchup squirt bottle (the cheap ones you can get at the dollar store), add 1 Tbsp baking soda, then 1 cup of hot water. Put the lid on, cover the tip with your finger, and shake it up well. (Should last a few days)

To shampoo hair: Wet hair in the shower. Start in sections, and squirt the “shampoo” onto hair, and massage into scalp and hair. Keep working in sections until hair is “shampoo-ed”. Rinse as normal.

To condition hair:  In the mustard squirt bottle (that came with the ketchup bottle!), mix 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) with 1 cup of hot water. After hair has been shampoo-ed and rinsed, condition ends of hair with the vinegar/water mixture, and massage into tips. Rinse as normal.

I have been using this about a month or 6 weeks now, and I love it! My hair has never looked or felt better, or held a better style. I hope you can give it a try and enjoy this!”

Well Heather, I DID and I DID.

Thank you for sharing it with me…and now everyone else. :-)


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  1. says

    My sister an I have been going “No `poo” with baking soda and vinegar for a couple of weeks. We are both extremely happy about the reduction of plastic shampoo bottles in our homes. Less plastic waste is always great! As to our hair: my sister has short hair and likes the feel of her hair better, I have long hair and it`s still getting used to no poo, it`s a bit dry, but I´ve heard that will get better.
    Suggestion: add a piece of vanilla pod and / or cinnamon pod to the vinegar solution, it gives a nice smell.

    • Shana-fru says

      @landfrau74: I have very long hair too and I’ve been poo- free for almost a year. The time will be easier if you brush (sigh- yes, like Marcia Brady) the oil from the top of your hair to the bottom. It takes a week or two but just do it everyday. I have a jar of straight baking soda in the shower and scoop out some to rub in (only on the top of my head), and then after the rinse pour over some ACV all over. If the weather has been mean to my hair (usually about once every couple of months or if I swim) I rub on some yoghurt and honey and wrap it up in a towel for 30 minutes. After I rinse that out, the ends of my hair are soft again. Good luck!

      • Vaughan says

        Hi Shana,

        i tried putting on yogurt on my hair (and scalp) for 10 minutes and rinse it with water and green tea rinse. it smelled like vomit. it still smelled until now (i put it last night). is putting essential oil on the yogurt will only cover the smell temporary or it will eliminate the vomit smell at all? thanks!

      • Mercedes says

        Thank you for your comforting words! I have long hair to an am new to the whole “no poo” thing and was getting a little discouraged by how dry my hair was feeling. The top feels great but the middle part to the ends feels a little bit deprived of its past luxurious life. Mind you I am willing to sacrifice it for being more friendly to the earth and avoiding nasty substances. It is good to know it gets better. And thanks for the tip about the hair mask. Sounds excellent.

  2. Danielle says

    I have been poo free for a while now and I don’t think I will ever go back. I have actually stopped using the ACV and opted for a “leave in conditioner” of Avocado oil/water. I rinse my hair with baking soda every 2-3 days. Other days I just use plain old water. It takes some getting used to, but I recommend at least a two week commitmemt period. My hair is long and naturally wavy/loose curly. My hair is more pliable and looks as if I have spent a lot of time styling it. I get a lot of compliments and people can’t believe when I tell them my “secret” is doing nothing and not using shampoo.

    • Shari says

      When you began the process – were you doing the b/s acv solutions everyday? Did you gradually get to where you only do the rinse every 2-3 days? Or since going no ‘poo have you been doing it only every 2-3 days?

      • Shana-fru says

        @shari: It really depends on your hair and what you do during the day as to if you “wash” everyday. With long hair the ACV helps everyday. Can’t imagine you’d need it often if your hair is short, but it does dissolve the baking soda and restore the pH of your hair well. You DO have to stick out your chin and “just do it” everyday until your scalp gets the idea that you aren’t going to strip it of every ounce of oil and natural coating it is genetically designed to make. Your scalp’s confusion will calm down, but you have to listen to your scalp and adjust it for you and what your body likes. Baking soda= oil absorption and scalp cleanliness, ACV= dissolved baking soda and restored pH.

  3. heather says

    I have used this as well and added the cinnamon stick to the vinegar. Additionally, I added a bit of honey because my hair is pretty dry. I have short hair that I color and I have to say that while at first I loved this, after awhile, my hair became quite dull and unmanageable. I went back to commercial shampoo and immediately my hair was easy to style and felt great again. I was wondering if maybe a few weeks of “No Poo” and then return to commercial brands for a wash or two and then back again??

    • Cori Gwartney says

      I have this problem too!!! I tried to ‘no-poo’ faithfully for a month and at first it was great, then it was yucky but I pushed thru that and it was great again but then I colored my hair and my hair got so dry and greasy feeling that I had to shampoo my hair. My hair was nice and soft and now I just don’t know if I want to go thru the hassle of oily hair again. I have to color my hair about every 3 months and if this is what is going to happen, I just don’t think I want to do that.
      I was using the baking soda every 2-3 days and combing my hair with a fine tooth comb to work the oils down to the ends then using the ACV and again combing my hair, and like I said it worked great for a while and then it just didn’t.

      • Jennifer says

        I have pretty dry hair as well, I haven’t started useing bakeing soda for that reason but I just found a homemade deep conditioning treatment that works really well.

        1 tbls. honey and 1 tbls. olive oil (or coconut oil)*

        mix together and microwave until melted (this doesn’t take to long, no more than 20 seconds).

        completely coat your hair and wrap it up in a very warm towel for 30-45 minutes then rinse out.

        This works with wet and dry hair but I recommend doing it with wet hair, comb through your hair before applying in both cases.

        *use 2 tablespoons if you have a lot of hair.

        • Kaylen says

          Olive oil doesn’t usually come out well with baking soda. You need shampoo or some people have gotten it out by letting conditioner (-cone and paraben free) sit in their hair for a while (not sure how long).

      • Beki says

        I had the same problem. I tried it for months some times my hair looked and felt great but most of the time It felt “waxy” and heavy. I think it is because I have well water, that is spring fed and changes as the rains become heavier. I tried rain water which seemed to work but unfortunately washing my hair is not the only thing I do. Collecting rain water to wash and rinse my hair is sometimes the last thing on my mind.

    • Crystal says

      I have been off an on No-Pooing for overa year. My hair goes through funky periods so I understand. For me, I had to play with the ratio of baking soda/apple cidar vinegar to water. If it’s dry, reduce the BS or increase the water. If it’s oily or stiff, reduce ACV or increase the water. Everybody’s hair different. When I travel or the weather shifts drastically I return to conventional shampoo but still use the ACV and water instead of conditioner. I use a shampoo that is as “crap-free” as possible so it’s a compromise. You have to find what works for you.

      • Karen D. says

        Crystal I’m the same way, doing the no ‘poo off & on but trying to stick with it this time. Tonight I did the ‘sorta no-poo’ recipe with castile & coconut milk by Crunchy Betty & Jillee and all was well…UNTIL I put the stinky vinegar on my hair. It completely took a turn for the worst & became a waxy, oily yet dry, sticky MESS!!! (sad face) I had to rewash it using blue Dawn to cut through all the GREASE! I will try it again tomorrow w/o the vinegar & see how it pans out, hopefully better!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I’ve always had issue with the vinegar smell. I hate vinegar. So far the only thing I use it on (white vinegar) is shampooing my carpets. It takes a day or more for the smell to go out but it’s bearable. My husband, however, says he can smell it for a long time afterwards and he also doesn’t like the smell. So does adding an essential oil or the cinnamon or vanilla really, truly take away that vinegar smell? I couldn’t stand it if it were that close to my face all the time.

    • Michelle says

      I really dislike the smell of vinegar as well and thought I’d hate using it as a rinse, but the smell really goes away once my hair is dry (although it comes back if my hair gets wet from sweat or rain).

    • says

      I put 5 drops of good, organic lavender oil with a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup water. The lavender smell was really strong. So I put in two drops of lavender oil instead of five. It smelled wonderful. My daughter commented how good it smelled right afterward.

      You can also put a couple drops of lavender oil in a spray bottle with the vinegar. I use full strength vinegar but instructions to dilute the vinegar with water. I use this to wash windows, mirrors, counter tops… For extra sanitation, I spray hydrogen peroxide over the vinegar (or vice versa – don’t mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in one bottle, for some reason it doesn’t work as well), and let it sit to give it a chance to really kill those germs. For a stuck on mess, I add baking soda and let it fizz.

      Don’t like the smell of lavender oil? Use Orange, Lemon… Peppermint oil is my favorite, but it doesn’t have the antiseptic qualities that lavender oil has. ( ) To kill mildew and mold: tea tree oil, vinegar, and grapefruit seed extract ( )

      Don’t get cheap. Use a good, organic essential oil or you may cause more harm than good. Usually, you get what you pay for…

      • Emma says

        Where can you find essential oils? Someone on a post said Wal-Mart but no one at Walmart knows what I’m talking about. Also, what section do you find them in? Thanks in advance for your help.

          • Emma says

            We don’t have a Russ’s in WV. Is it the same as the warming oils by the candles and difussers? Sorry to be such a pain, but my DH is complaining about the vinegar smell in the house and I’m not about to go back to scrubbing the crud off the showers lol. Thanks.

            • Amy says

              Whole Foods carries Aura Cacia essential oils. They aren’t therapeutic grade, but they will do for cleaning and hair care products. Oils that are just for scents, like the ones sold at Michael’s for scenting soap and candles, aren’t usually all natural. A 1/4 oz bottle of decent essential oil isn’t cheap, but it will last a long time. You really don’t need much; maybe 10 drops total in a 16 oz bottle of liquid. Health and natural food stores are your best bet for essential oils.

        • Crystal says

 has great organic products… SOME pharmacies have decent essential oils… but buyer beware, not all are pure essential oils. Look at your local health food stores.
          I have even seen chemically produced ‘essential oils’ at some farmers markets.

        • says

          Hi. I had been looking for good high quality essential oils for awhile and last year I was introduced to doTerra. I use them for everything and because they are such high quality with no fillers and no chemicals I take them internally, use them aromatically, and topically. I use them to clean and to disinfect. I have children ranging from toddler to teenager and everyone in my family uses them. You can read up on doTerra online everywhere. The oils seem expensive at first but, after I signed up for a wholesale account they are priced right and the bottles last a long time. Good Luck….

        • Dana says

 is where i get my oils. They are therapeutic grade and high quality. Some organic/natural stores may carry young living essential oils, you can check there. Otherwise, you can order from their website.

        • April says

          Don’t be fooled by the term ‘therapeutic grade’ – it is only a marketing term. There is no standard ‘therapeutic grade’ in the aromatherapy industry. Get a good certified organic oil. I get mine from either Mountain Rose Herbs of J&M Botanicals (J&M actually has the oil component analysis on their website).

        • Libby says


          I don’t know if you have a Kroger in your area, but the only place I’ve been able to find Essential oils in my area is at Kroger in the ‘Organic/health food’ section. Here, they had Lavender, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus… Still on a search for other fragrances!

          Hope this helps!


        • says

          Here is a great section from Jen Rollins paper on “The Young Living / doTerra Decision ”

          Q: Aren’t YL and DT oils the same? (a rose by any other name…)

          A: Not really. If you have ever sat through a doTerra “class” or spoken with a rep, you have probably had the experience of having a bottle of doTerra Lavender or Peppermint essential oil given to you to smell while they point out how much stronger the aroma is than YL and make some comment about how smelling is believing or if they smell stronger they must be stronger. Sounds logical, right? Well, for those coffee drinkers out there, let me give you an example: blonde coffee beans are so lightly roasted they don’t even really smell like coffee but boy do they give you a jolt of caffeine! Dark roast beans have been roasted the longest and have a strong, smoky smell and taste, but they actually have the least amount of caffeine in them. Why? Because the longer and hotter they are cooked, the more caffeine is removed. So, just because something smells stronger doesn’t mean it is stronger.

          The reason some of doTerra’s oils have a stronger, sweeter smell than other brands of oils is because they are complete distillations. I had two separate customer service reps with doTerra confirm that Peppermint and Lavender are complete distillations. I have been told that other oils such as orange and lemon are as well. I have tried to confirm this with doTerra, and although I am still a current IPC in good standing with doTerra and have requested this information in writing three times they have not responded. I also called Young Living to find out if their oils were complete distillations and was informed that their individual oils are first distillations and 100% pure with no additives or dilutions.

          I personally did a side-by-side direct comparison of doTerra and Young Living essential oils and was very puzzled at my findings. I found four essential oils from doTerra that had a “sweeter”, stronger smell. I knew that the oils were essentially the same and should be the same strength since they are 100% pure with no additives or carrier oils and not diluted in any way or had anything added to them to make the smell stronger or more fragrant. The four oils were Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon and Wild Orange (lavender and peppermint smelled “candy-like” while lemon and orange smelled like fruit juice, not rind). All the other doTerra single oils, in my opinion, had an “off” smell that I didn’t notice as much until I compared them directly with Young Living’s oils. The YL oils I smelled had a more pure, clean and plant-like smell. The doTerra blends had a distinct pungent smell to them that I never noticed in any of the Young Living blends (and I compared about 30 of them). And these were my personal oils that were only two months old and had been kept in my home at a constant 72 degrees so I knew they were good oils. Also, my mother and grandmother are very sensitive to smells and were unable to use several of the doTerra oils because they were too strong-smelling. They have both used the Young Living oils and found them not only tolerable but pleasant and are very happy using them. I personally grew concerned when I started getting a headache from using the doTerra Lavender and have had no such reaction from the Young Living Lavender, so that was a huge selling point for me.

          It really puzzled me how those particular four oils were so different, especially when those four oils are ones heavily promoted at every doTerra class and presentation I have attended. It became clear that doTerra developed these oils somehow to naturally have a particularly stronger aroma than their Young Living counterparts and I wanted to know how they did it. I finally found information that discussed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and even 4th distillations of certain oils and the resulting change in aroma when those distillations were blended. In particular, peppermint develops a less plant-y smell and a more candy-like aroma when it is more distilled or when the multiple distillations are blended. Similarly, lavender develops a candy-like sweetness when distilled longer and blended. I was concerned as to how many of their oils doTerra was selling that were complete distillations. I know we live in a society that puts perfumes and smells in everything so doTerra may be trying to appeal to a market that craves strong smells, but at what price? Complete distillations are a blend of first, second, and sometimes third and fourth distillations, with each subsequent distillation requiring higher temperatures and pressure to extract the oils. This process can and often does damage the components of the oil. Again with a coffee analogy, the first distillation is like the first part of a brewing of coffee- strong and dark. However, as the grounds brew longer there is less coffee and more water that comes out, so the last part of the brew is quite weak. The final pot of coffee is a blend of the strong and the weak, which is inherently less potent than the first part of the brew.

          There is such a difference in the phases of distillation that the oil cost changes based on the distillation. For example, the ultra pure and 1st distillation of oils is the most expensive, the 2nd distillation costs less, and if a plant can still produce oils for a 3rd or 4th distillation the resulting oils are so inferior they are sold cheaply and often used as fragrances only due to their inferior quality. I experienced this difference when I tried YL Peppermint oil for the first time. doTerra’s Peppermint smells like an actual peppermint candy- very sweet and strong. The YL oil smells more like a peppermint plant in my opinion. I was used to putting a drop of Peppermint on my hand and licking it to ingest it and although it is strong it is not overbearing, so I opened up my new YL Peppermint and did the same with it. The YL oil was much, much stronger than the doTerra oil I had been using- so much so that it nearly took my breath away! I totally understood that although the oil may smell stronger it definitely doesn’t prove anything about the strength of the actual oil- the milder smelling YL oil was way more potent than the doTerra one!

          To read more about Jen’s decision google search “The Young Living / doTerra Decision Jen Rollins, Whole Living Co-op”

  5. Beth says

    I just wanted to recommend/suggest if you wanted to add a scent, put a few drops of essential oil in there. AND….if you are needing a dandruff shampoo, add a few aspirins. I am not sure if I am re-adding information someone else has put in, but I just wanted to put my two cents in to save you all a few dollars. :)

    BTW.. I love your site Jillee. I have tried many of your entries. All have worked just as well as you said they would. Thank you for being my saving grace many times over. <3

    • Sasha says

      No way, it can absorb into your blood stream…even through your shampoo. This is a really bad idea! Rub garlic on the bottom of your feet and see how long it takes you to taste it. Thats the reason I want to quit using commercial products. Too many bad chemicals! And for everyone talking about buying essential oils in walmart…those are just fragrances. TRUE essential oils are harder to find but have so many therapeutic effects and healing qualities. Lavender, lemon and I think peppermint are all disinfectants too. You can clean with them. :)

  6. bonnie says

    Was using this method and loving it…til I got some highlights put in my hair for summer. My stylist said DONT DO IT because it would turn honey highlights to a nice orange color. Anyone tested this on colored hair? I’m too afraid to try it now :) might try your coconut recipe instead…thanks for all your hints.

    • Laura Johnson says

      I have colored hair..My hair is naturally BLACK and I have been trying to go lighter little by little. Neither the b/c not the ACV have done anything to change my haircolor. My stylist said it was really good for your hair and that it wouldn’t hurt at all.

    • Crystal says

      I use it and I have highlights added to my hair…. ACV or rosemary tea should not change your hair color…. and even if it did, it would be only temporary, until you washed it out

  7. Amanda Collins says

    Well.. ‘poo.. I bought a can of coconut milk.. O.o …now what? lol! I like this idea.. I’ve seen it around before and haven’t tried it yet, but thankfully my shampoo and conditioner are just about empty so this will give me a reason to try this! Also, what is the difference between ACV and Distilled White Vinegar?

  8. says

    Great ideas, I’ve used these before and the only “down” side is if you color your hair it seems to pull the color out quicker. If someone could find a cure for that I would be hooked, nature’s little grey highlights really are annoying me.

    • MaryJ. says

      I have read that rosemary and sage teas stimulate new growth AND darken greys. The article said that the applications were for those with dark hair (for obvious reasons).

      I bought a rosemary and sage plants to grow on my patio…they’re decent sized now-but I have not tried them as shampoo yet…and plan to try them this week.
      The same site also suggested acv/lavendar rinse (I also bought a lavendar plant). The lavendar is to be made into a tea as well.

    • Erin says

      Don’t Use ACV With Colored, Or Light Hair. Over Time The Natural Tannins Can Deposit On Your Hair. Use White Vinegar, Instead. (Vinegar Is Basically The Same As A Malibu Treatment From A Salon) Also, The Baking Soda Is Mildly Abrasive, And Could Affect Your Color.

  9. Becky says

    I have been using this method since last summer and love it. I don’t like the smell of vinegar, but after it dries, you can’t smell it anymore. I have had people sniff to make sure!

  10. Sheila says

    Love this idea for the no poo poo but as far as the vinegar goes my mom tried that when I was a kid to horrible tangles and tears. I have unruly thick curly and on the dry side long hair. So what she did was in an old bottle did half water half ACV and a few squirts of good conditioner this was a great light weight conditioner that worked great for my hair it was soft shiny and managable. Going to try the no poo poo and my mom’s vinegar conditioner. Hope it works.

  11. Amanda Hatcher says

    I have long hair with chemically processed highlights. This method works great for me (no discoloration.) I also use argan oil in my hair (miracle stuff) to combat dryness and keep my long tresses soft and silky. If the vinegar smell is a problem, try infusing the vinegar with lemon or orange peels for a week or so before you “shampoo” with it. I LOVE my ACV shampoo!

    • Heidi says

      What is Argan oil? I have long color processed hair and alot of commercial shampoos/conditioners make my hair feel like straw. Not sure what this recipe will do but I’m willing to try but was intrigued with your oil. THanks!

      • Alice says

        Try coconut oil from the baking section at the store. I condition my hair the night before shampooing. I just put some coconut oil in and sleep with it in my hair, then wash. I have been no poo for 3 years now. My hair is below my waist. Before going no poo it would not grow, now it grows fast. If you use the soda and ACV on childerns hair it does not strip the natural oils so when the child is exposed to lice at school they can not stick. The oil does not allow then to attach the nits either.

        • Teresa Walker says

          Thanks for the info about preventing lice!! I have been fighting them little buggers for 2 years now! I have tried everything under the sun…alas it seems like the only thing that really kills them and the nits are the toxic chemical applications. My grandchildren range from 8 to 18 months. I HATE putting these toxins on them, but nothing else works, and the ones who are in school cannot attend if there is a single nit in their hair. I know my home must be infested, but I don’t want to fill it with toxins on top of all this, as I am taking care of my Mother also, who is totally bedridden. I need HELP, but PLEASE do not give me hints that are not tried and true as I have already been deluged with them and need things that really work!! Could you please send any suggestions to my personal e-mail address, as I don’t have the time to keep checking back on here. THANKS, in advance, from the bottom of my heart!

          • donna wolfe says

            ie Teresa. Here is a proven method to KILL lice. 90 percent rubbing alcohol. Although it doesn’t destroy nits, it melts the louse. Do it in a well ventilated room. Put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on the hair from scalp and comb down to ends. Spray and comb until hair is totally wet with alcohol. KEEP head tilted back to prevent the alcohol from running into eyes. From the time the nit is laid and hatched is three days. Repeat the process every other day for two weeks. Go on a cleaning rampage. Wash all of your bedding in hot water and dry hot on hot same day. Spray your furniture, brushes, combs and hair assessories with rubbing alcohol.

          • Duane Bro says

            I worked at a school for a few years and I was told that lice need live bodies to live on and cannot live for 3 days without something that is alive to eat. If all living bodies are taken from the home for 3 days the lice will die. The school often bagged up the infected clothing and such and left them for 3 days in a safe place. They were then concidered safe. Kill the lice on the surface of things and then the trick is getting them from the hair. I have heard lots of ideas about that but none sound incredibly good to me. This natural hair oil sound good.

            • Erin says

              This Is Completely False. It Takes 3 Days For Eggs To Hatch. The Health Dept Here Recommends That Stuffed Animals And Such Be Tied Up For 2 Weeks To A Month. During That Time, All Clothing And Bedding Should Be Washed In Hot Water, And You Should Continue To Treat And/Or Check The Hair Of Any People Or Animals In The Home. For Small Children, It Is Recommended To Use Olive Oil And A Shower Cap To Suffocate The Lice, This Could Be Effective For Anyone. Look Online At The National Institute Of Health For Full Recommendations.

          • Ana says

            All 3 of my daughters have hair almost to their bottoms, and my hair is half way down my back. Lice is a nightmare for everyone! What I did is put cheep conditioner (Sauve) in their hair and then put a shower cap on them over night. dont be stingy with the conditioner, really saturate their hair!!! The nits came out easily and their were no bugs after I rinsed the hair. I have a friend who ran a Head-start for 23 years, she gave me this idea and it works!
            She also told me lice dont like dirty hair and recommended I use hair gel or spray on the girls. I only do so when lice is at school though and it seems to help prevent the un-welcome buggers.
            The best advice though is once they are gone, keep checking for them! Check once a week, so if you do see nits you can start treatment immediately and maybe not be so infested.
            Hope this helps.

  12. Sade says

    Heather I’m with you. I too have colored and then high-lighted hair and tried for 2 wks using only Baking Soda and water for shampoo and Vinegar and water for a rinse—the first few days were ok, soft hair, etc, but at the end of 2 weeks, my hair was dry and very dull. When I went back to commercial shampoo and conditioner, I was very pleased w/my hair. I am going to alternate too because the ‘detox from shampoo’ seemed to help my hair not be caked w/chemical residues, but doing it long term was not beneficial for me personally.

    Jill, thanks for being there and giving us so many great tips for our homes and lives! I was astonished at the hard work and perseverance you showed in making the steam mop pad!! Wow, you really worked hard!

    • Deborah says

      Chemically treated/highlighted hair has been stripped of ALL naturally occuring mositurizing oils and is already dried out shadows of what it should be. Commerically made shampoos and cream rinses are made to coat the hair with petroleum enhancers, artifical oils and chemicals to mimic what our natural scalp oils are there for ~ to keep our hair and scalp healthy. What you are seeing is the length of time it takes the No poo & ACV to remove those chemical enhancers. Then the true shape of your hair shaft and cuticle is exposed. . . . dried, fried hair. It will take time to bring your hair back into a healthy balanced status. Remember anything you put on your skin is absorbed directly into your body. That includes your scalp where it not only gets into your blood stream but directly affects the root of your GROWING hair. No, I am not a beautician, but a nurse, who studied the human body and processes in all my medical classes.

  13. Sarah says

    I started “no pooing” 5 months ago and LOVE it! I have fine, very long hair and it makes it way easier to work with. But sadly my husband couldn’t stand the smell of the vinegar in my hair :( i could never smell it but he has a more sensitive nose than I do. So I found a solution, found it on pinterest but can’t remember what blog it was…. 3/4 c. water 1/4 c. vinegar (I use white to help cut down on the smell…maybe?) 2 T. aloe vera gel 1T. honey 20 drops tea tree e.o. 20 drops peppermint e.o. I put it in an old worchestershire sauce bottle because it makes it easy to shake it out on your hair. It’s great!

  14. Kat T says

    I’ve been wanting to try this, but in our current house the shower tiles are marble. I was told not to clean marble with vinegar and since we rent I a leery of taking the chance of using it in my hair. Would lemon be safer on the tile, or should I just hope our next house is marble free (we move in 5mos)?

  15. Marissa says

    I’ve done “no-poo” twice now for about 3 weeks each time and my hair was naaaaasty. I have long, fine hair, and instead of feeling soft, my hair felt like horse hair. The oiliness never went away. I will never try this again, wish there was some other option. (No offense to all you other no-poo lovers)

    • Vanessa says

      I agree with you Marissa, mine felt the same way as yours….like dry horse hair. The roots of my hair looked like I had not washed it in weeks, very stringy and oily. The middle and ends of my hair were dry and disgusting. and combing through it with a pik was a nightmare. It took me 20 minutes to get through all the tangles. I finally just gave up and went to bed with wet tangled hair. Definitely used my regular shampoo and conditioner in the morning to get back the softness of my hair.

    • Leigh says

      I have thin, straight hair also. Had to mess with the ratios, found that about 1 tbsp of baking soda mixed with a pint of warm water and mixed well worked for me. I only put it on my scalp, well, I try to put it only on my scalp :) and then massage my scalp for about 5-10 minutes (it feels good.) Rinse well. Then I apply about a 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar to 3/4 cup water for the rinse. I’ve been doing this for about a year now and it’s worked wonderfully.

    • sarum says

      I am older and this no-poo BS/ACV made my hair so tangled & dry! I would not mind Caucasoid dreads if I could control them into neat dreads – but with this my whole head was one huge dread. Yes we have hard H2o here. When younger I often ACV rinsed hair & body due to skin itch problems – seemed to calm it but skin super oily then. So will be looking for older person recipe for no-poo.

  16. says

    im surprised by the comments of dull hair after using vinegar, as i have always been told to use it as a rinse for shiney hair. i also know its good to do the final rinse in cooler/cold water as it helps with shine (and it doesnt affect your body ph)
    i recently found a curly hair site that said curlies shouldnt use shampoo because of all the things in it that it strips the natural curlyness out and makes it frizzy. it gave a no poo recipe (which i cant remember) but as an alternative it said to use a cleansing shampoo to get the product build up off. i washed my hair a couple days ago with one and my curls are back with no frizz!
    i will be trying this, but am afraid to try the acv no conditioner as i really need it
    im thinking maybe the no poo helps to get the product build up off but then they need the moisturizing???

  17. Linda says

    Well this does sound good, I hope it works would love not to have buy anymore chemical laden shampoos. I was just thinkin that for those who are finding their hair lack lustre after a few weeks maybe should try the coconut oil treatment maybe once a week, it really makes my hair soft and shiny. My daughter has very thick curly hair and she just loves the way if makes her hair look and feel and best of all no frizzies!

    • Amanda Collins says

      LOL I was just going to suggest that! I still have not tried the no ‘poo method yet, but soon! I, too, have chemical overkill on my hair, :o( For example, in one year I have had hilights, a perm, covered the hilights with dark color, and then straightened with a perm (combed it while the chemicals were on it) so yeah, my hair was very un happy! the coconut oil worked great on my hair and I’ll be continuing to do oil treatments.. it’s also great for just out of the shower, a small fingerful combed through to give it shine and help to keep breakage during the combing and drying stage.

  18. says

    Just discovered your site a week or so ago and have loved everything I’ve read…where has this blog been?!
    I’ve been reading a lot about shampoos & body washes with a baby on the way, trying to figure out which direction to go and learning a lot of really horrifying stuff about shampoo chemicals, but this shampoo is definitely one I’ll try myself soon.

    Any suggestions on baby shampoo / body wash?
    Thanks! Looking forward to all of your posts!

  19. Nancy says

    per my friend: The pH of baking soda is 8.2, even mixed with water the pH would be too high for hair. Ideally you want between a 4.5 and 5.5 pH for your hair products.
    Any comments?

    • Elizabeth says

      I’ve been mixing baking soda with my regular shampoo for years. My hair has never been healthier looking. I have recently realized I don’t want all those chemicals going into my body though, thus looking into alternatives.

    • says

      A pH of 7 is neutral. (Water is more or less neutral.) Less than 7 is acidic and greater than 7 is alkaline. So baking soda is slightly alkaline at 8.2. But if you use an acidic vinegar rinse with a pH of about 3, you’ll end up with a slightly acidic pH, which is what your friend said was ideal. In other words, some kind of acidic rinse is necessary to neutralize some of the baking soda.

  20. Terry says

    I’ve been using this method on my home-colored hair for over two years with great success. I think the color lasts longer without the detergents in shampoos to strip it out. To keep from being too dry,after I towel dry my hair I rub in about a nickel’s worth of the tube conditioner that comes with the box of color. This keeps it shiny too. I’ll never go back to shampoo!

  21. Lynn says

    I have tried this again after a failure or two of trying to convince my shoulder-length, wavy, fine hair to cooperate. I think I’m getting it! Here are a couple secrets that might help: Use the baking soda solution on your head juusssttt to the point of your hair feeling “slippery”. This point varies form person to person so you might need to adjust the baking soda:water ratio. That’s the key to cleanliness but not too drying. ACV makes my hair way too greasy if I put in on my whole head so I just use only on the very ends or just use a bit of regular conditioner. Another thing I read at some point that makes sense, kinda- it’s the wetting and drying that dries hair out so once you get used to not over-stripping your hair of its natural oils, hopefully you can wet/wash it less. For those who workout and sweat, it takes some getting used to to NOT wash so much but dry shampoo saves us here! (I run and I live in Florida so I know about sweaty!) I use “Psssst” or Bastist from Sally’s. Remember you are an “experiment of one” so you usually need to play around with the “no-poo” method.

    • Amanda Collins says

      I know Sally’s is pretty affordable, but for those who do not have access to a Sally’s, regular baby powder can also be used as a dry shampoo.. I’m pretty sure there are some awesome DIY dry shampoos out there for stretching your shampoos between days.. also helps if you have naturally oily hair or if you are going through an oily phase.

  22. says

    Great post! I’ve been no-poo for almost 2 years now—I used to wash with baking soda, but now I use bentonite clay mixed with aloe vera juice into a loose mud. I follow with an apple vinegar cider rinse. Both mixes have a great pH balance that make my hair and scalp happy campers.

  23. Victoria says

    Due to some unfortunate circumstances I was unable to wash my hair for (well this morning made) 3 days and it was beyond greasy. I read about the baking soda shampoo a few days ago and have been wanting to give it a try. So I thought I might as well put it to the big test, really see what it can do. I have to say I am truly AMAZED. It’s as clean as if I had washed it twice with my regular $6 a bottle store bought shampoo. Bravo! I may never use store bought again. Thank you so much.

  24. Stephanie says

    I tried this for about a week a month or so ago. I loved it, but I just couldn’t go with it much longer. My hair is long and super thick, and it just felt dry and matted. I may try it again, but for now I just use organic shampoo & conditioners. If I had shorter hair, I think I could do it longer.

  25. Sharon Rose says

    I have been “no poo” for about a month, so far so good! I fiddled with the baking soda formula, but went back to the one tablespoon. I did increase the ACV to two tablespoonsful per cup. Bingo! My hair is no longer coarse and wiry. I once upon a time had medium brown hair with natural golden highlights. Now, it’s 80% gray, bushy, frizzy wiry and coarse (being 63 is crappy on the hair!) Also, I have used a small amount of shea butter rubbed in my palms and applied to my hair. What a difference. Tried a few drops of coconut oil once and it made my hair too stringy. I’m not into the “wet” look at all. Great experiment for me and I will stick with it. Reading all the comments have been very helpful. This is a great read although it will take me some time to go through all the DIY, recipes, etc. What a joy. Thank you, Jillee. Really, THANK YOU.

  26. says

    ok, maybe someone can help as to why when I did this my hair started to break off in CLUMPS and it’s still recovering and I stopped using this method 3 months ago. My hair looked dry and brittle (I have seen photos of others that do this and I’ll sadly admit that their hair looked dry and dead as well but they think their hair looks and feels great.) My hair and scalp felt great but then my hair started to break off. I would love for this to work. And the Apple Vinegar was kind of a joke for me. My hair was so knotted ALL the time. The vinegar made no difference and didn’t really do what I thought it would. Can someone offer insight? I used the same ratio as listed above.

    • Alice says

      Too much soda causes the hair to be dry. Use less. Also use coconut oil on your hair to contition it. It only takes a small, very small amout of coconut oil. It is great on your skin too.

  27. Dolly says

    So for the last month I have been using this “no poo” method on my hair. My hair normally is super oily with a dry and flaky scalp. After about 3 weeks of using this, my scalp has started to not be soo dry, and my hair isn’t getting as oily. I’m still working on what the best way to apply both the “shampoo” and “conditioner” is for my hair. This is by far the best thing I have done for my hair ever though!

    • JB says

      The best solution I’ve found is using a bottle like the ketchup squeeze bottle above for the baking soda/water, and using that to squeeze your “shampoo” onto the hair. For the ACV/water combo, I just picked up a spray bottle from the local beauty supply shop, and it does the trick beautifully. Good luck!

    • Amy says

      I’ve just discovered this site. I’ve moved out of the US for 6 months and this country does not have the “clean” shampoos I have been using. My mother is coming for a visit in a month, and offered to bring my regular shampoo, but for the last week, my hair has been as yours is. Until she can come, I don’t know what to do. I’d like to try this method. I have naturally oily hair with occasional dry scalp. Right now, the top of my head is incredibly greasy! My hair at the top of my head looks like I haven’t washed it in 3 days! How has your hair been since you posted this in May?

  28. Mrs. Mac says

    Help! I was using the baking soda/ACV solution for just about a month when my hair just started being greasy and I was losing alot of hair. So I broke down and shampooed. Even though my hair feels ‘clean’ now it’s almost too clean and I miss the fullness and plyability it had while not shampooing. I would like to go back to this method but am hoping someone will have a helpful suggestion as to the greasyness and hair loss…please!

  29. Misti says

    My scalp is dry, my hair is dry and I shed like a mad woman all the time. I have always had this issue to some extent. I clean a handful up from each shower, then when I brush it I take another handful out. Then I clean several strands off the floor and I still shed throughout the day. Believe it or not I am not bald or thinning. My hair is long and while it looks thin can be deceptively thick and its straight. I am thinking of trying this, any suggestions on any additions or subtractions I should make to it for my hair?

  30. Heather says

    I have been doing this for just about 4months. Working on the road I have come across is hard water IS a bad thing.
    Boiling the water for mixing sometimes fixes the problem. BUT I have come across one place I had to boil all my water to wash my hair. Talk about a pain. But my hair went from extremely waxy to soft and only needing washing every three days by doing this. Hope this helps those that are frustrated.

  31. Sherry says

    2 weeks now….love it. Also read the ingredient list of my hair gel and found out it contained glycerine. So I experimented with plain glycerine. Now I just use a tiny pea sized dab of glycerine and it works just as good!!

  32. Hope says

    Hello there. I tried the Baking Soda/ACV and discover not only was I still itchy, but I was having a more severe reaction to it then my commercial shampoo and conditioner! Not only that, but it seems the baking soda was stripping my hair of color. I was wondering if there is a better alternative to the ACV(I’m thinking that must be was is making me itch). HELP. I desperately want to stop using harsh chemicals.

  33. says

    I’ve been ‘no-poo’ for 4 weeks. Still in the transition period, but it seems to get better each day. My hair is colored with high-lights and low-lights (darker color deposited). I will soon be due for another coloring appointment at my stylist, but I wonder if my new PH balance will be wrecked by commercial coloring? Does anyone know?

  34. Kathie says

    I switched to all natural shampoo bars that I bought from Etsy about 2 months ago. I never tried the baking soda, seems like it would be too harsh to me (I’ve tried it as a facial cleanser in the past and found it dried my skin out very quickly so I’m sure it would do the same to my scalp. I’ve also read that using the baking soda as shampoo can cause dandruff.). I still struggle with the shampoo bars. I ended up with split ends (although someone online tried to explain that as a result of the chemicals from the regular shampoo & conditioner being stripped away which exposed the split ends that were probably already there. yeah, I’m skeptical about this explanation.) I tried the apple cider vinegar rinse, but it made my hair worse. It made my hair dried out and even though I couldn’t smell it, my husband said he smelled it on me. I added lemon essential oil to it and that helped, but since it was making my hair tangled and dry, I gave up on using it. I even tried adjusting the amount of ACV in the water, but it didn’t matter. Also, sidenote, I have a water softener so hard water is not an issue. Anyway, I’m not sure why it hasn’t been a “miracle” for my hair as it seems to have been for everyone else. I’ve read comments all over the internet about it and can’t seem to find anyone else who can explain it. I’m only sticking with it because I’m trying to reduce/eliminate chemicals from the products I’m using. Just thought I’d add my two cents worth!

    • Laura says

      I have issues with really dry scalp. Baking soda is literally the only thing I can use without my hair drying out or itching. Also, try white vinegar instead of apple cider.

      Put a couple drops of tea tree oil in the baking soda, make it a paste with water, and scrub (or do the above). Rinse with the white vinegar and water. That is the only way I can wash my hair and have no flaking. Even with a $30 bottle of salon shampoo.

  35. Laura says

    If the apple cider vinegar leaves your hair too weighed down or greasy feeling, try white vinegar. I switched after a couple of weeks and like the feel of it and it seems to build up less weigh down. I have very dry hair if that helps.

  36. Ana Miron says

    I stumbled upon your website on pinterest while looking for homemade laundry detergent and I have been coming back everyday ever since!! I just moved to a super dry environment and my hair is just going bonkers so I am desperate to catch a break. I want to this right now but I haven’t found apple cider vinegar, can I use white vinegar instead? I have used to clean around the house and I infuse it with lemon or orange slices to cut the smell a bit.

  37. Ana Miron says

    all the comments above mine are exactly what I was asking, but they didn’t load in time for me to read before asking … duh!! thank you people above for unknowingly answering my question :)

  38. Crystal says

    I’ve been using ACV as a hair rinse since I was a little girl… (or rather, my Mother used it on my, and my sisters, hair), and I have used it in my bath, even as a bath wash/rinse for many, many years…. it is fantastic… Although I usually only use the organic with the mother, (try Bragg’s), where you need to shake the bottle as you use it. The difference is worth the price. White vinegar works in a pinch….

    I also use ‘rosemary tea’… where I steep fresh rosemary, (try picking it early in the morning for the highest potency), for at least 30 mins. Rosemary is one of the few things that truly encourage the hair root to grow. If you make extra just make sure you refrigerate it as it will spoil. It also makes a fantastic bath wash/rinse.

    Some say that if you have blond or light gray hair that you should only use white vinegar, I know several blonds, and little white haired ladies, that use either ACV or ‘rosemary tea’, and it does not alter the color of their hair.

  39. Johanna says

    Great site/blog.
    Just a little tip, Put a sprig of sage into the bottle of cider vinegar, leave for a couple of weeks.
    Before using either for the shampoo or conditioner.
    Great for adding a shine to dark haired people.
    Cider vinegar is great, if you have any scalp problems

  40. Aisha says

    Just tried the shampoo and it’s great! My hair really felt squeaky clean! Y’know how you have to change up your shampoo every so often so that you can get the buildup off your hair? That’s what it felt like! It felt like it took all the build up off my hair. Thank you!

    I’m not going to be trying to conditioner, though. As most people, I don’t like the smell of vinegar plus I use my conditioner for shaving instead of shaving cream.

    Wonderful idea and post! Am sharing this on FB. You did a fabulous job of explaining everything. Thanks again!

  41. Ellie says

    Ive actually been washing my hair like this since i was a kid – my mum brought me up with no shampoo. She does it just like how her father and his father did it – we’ve had quite a few generations of barbers in the family (going back about 200 years haha) :)
    Though we use the same ingredients, we kind of do it differently. Like i only use a teaspoon of baking soda and a cup of warm water, pour that in my hair then let it sit for a minute after massaging(using the balls of my fingers – not with my nails!). Then after i have rinsed it out i fill the basin with about a cup and a half of cold water, put a cap-full of apple cider vinegar in it, mix it about then rinse my hair out with it. That is my final rinse, i dont rinse it out again after that.

    I have medium-long hair and its never oily or dry, and i only have to wash it every three days :) It also is shiny, silky and curly, i hardly every have tangles and i use a boar bristle hair brush or my fingers to comb it. The only time i ever had oily or dry hair was when i was in my teens and i was obstinate to use commercial shampoos and conditioners, it got so bad i had to wash it everyday. But i quickly stopped using them as i had a bad allergic reaction to them. :(

    But i love doing this~ you can also add essential oils and your hair smells great ~<3

  42. says

    I have decided to go no ‘poo! I already try not to wash my hair every day (2-3 days before it looks dirty) but after running out of conditioner last summer, I tried coconut oil (sunscreen, antibacterial, dryness, cuts.. so many benefits!) on my straw hair and it didn’t work. well, my hair was still just nasty. it took days for the oil to come out of my hair, it was so tangled it was scary and it really didn’t seem to actually moisturize my hair.
    I am on my last bottles of ‘poo and conditioner and after coming across this site among another one, I’ve decided no more carting bottles of crap home to end up down the drain and in the recycling bin. I understand there is a … detox like phase where hair will become either too dry or oily depending on your bodies natural system. How long should this detox last?
    I have a feeling my baby-fine, past shoulders, blonde (dark blonde that’s lightened regularly) hair will become VERY dry. My hair grows very slowly, falls out easily and most 6 yr old’s have more hair in one pig-tail then I do on my whole head. I guess I am just concerned about letting my hair become too dry and just start breaking apart.
    Any suggestions?

  43. gaby says

    well, i have been trying the no poo method, i like it, but now i have dandruft, have this happen to someone else? dandruft and is extremely itchy, i don’t know what to do anymore :-(


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