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.

  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.

  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??

  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.

  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

  6. Helen says

    well, i don’t usually post OR subscribe but as i wander arount pinterest i keep coming back to you so now i’m doing both, thanks for all your neet ideas and links

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.


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