Learn How To Make Homemade Natural Shampoo

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Homemade Shampoo

Homemade shampoo can be made with just two natural ingredients, which you likely already have. It’s also cheaper than store-bought and works just as well.

Note: this homemade shampoo tutorial also includes answers to frequently asked questions.

If you’ve been around DIY Natural long then you’re aware of our mission to help you make more of your own natural products. It’s often easy and beneficial on many levels, which is why we’re dedicated to doing it and to teaching others to do the same. Today we’ll learn how to make a natural homemade shampoo that works, is inexpensive, and so easy you won’t believe it! (Don’t want to make your own? Check out a hair care line we trust here.)

Why Homemade Shampoo?

Do shampoo manufacturers have your best interest at heart? Perhaps you believe they do, but since you’re here reading this article we’ll assume you’re at least becoming skeptical.

It’s simple. No one cares more about your pocketbook or your hair than you. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you want to make your own homemade shampoo. And that’s why you want to make more of your own products. So do we!

Homemade Shampoo 2

Homemade Shampoo

Yield 1 cup

To make this shampoo, commonly referred to as "no-poo," you will only need 2 ingredients. Never mistake simplicity for ineffectiveness. I double dog dare you to make, use, and compare this shampoo. After you're convinced I want you to share the information with everyone you know.


  • 1 Tbsp baking soda - We buy baking soda in bulk because we use a ton and it.
  • 1 cup water - As I said, one of the ingredients is free. Use whatever kind of water you wish; we use tap water.


Mix ingredients together.

We mix ours in double batches into a clean, repurposed shampoo bottle. Feel free to use whatever container you like, doubling up on ingredients until it's full.

How to Use Your Homemade Shampoo

Simply shake the bottle before each use and squirt directly onto scalp and hair. Gently massage into the scalp hair for a minute or two and rinse well.

For best results, follow with a homemade conditioning rinse. The homemade conditioning rinse is imperative for restoring the pH of your hair and smoothing the hair cuticle. It will also keep your hair from feeling greasy/sticky after using homemade shampoos.


This shampoo is not intended for daily use, as the baking soda can potentially be drying to hair and scalp. We recommend using it as a clarifying shampoo. It's perfect for those times when you got a little carried away with hair products and need to remove some buildup, or when you're first switching over to homemade shampoos and need to remove some of the buildup commercial shampoos can leave behind.

This homemade shampoo will give best results when used with soft water.

Homemade Shampoo Video

Safe for All Hair Types

This homemade shampoo is completely safe for all hair types and will not strip your hair of its natural oils, unlike most commercial shampoo.

Be sure to question the safety of store-bought shampoos, along with any other products you buy – and always understand the ingredients of the products you use. (If you don’t want to make your own homemade shampoo, here is a brand we absolutely love – made with VERY pure, natural ingredients.)

If you have questions read the comments below or ask anew… and share this recipe with everyone you know!

Tips for Controlling Static

Especially if you’re heat styling, you may notice some static when using this homemade shampoo in the colder months. You can troubleshoot the static by trying some of the following tips:

  • Be sure you’re trimming your ends every 6-8 weeks, less split ends = less static.
  • Try shampooing less often (every other day or 3x/week).
  • Use less heating elements (blow dryers, flat/curling irons, etc.).
  • Try massaging in a Tbsp of olive oil once a week then rinsing.
  • Melt a small amount of coconut oil in your hands and rub through the ends of your hair, avoiding your scalp.
  • Another treatment to try is avocado w/lemon juice – mix, smash into hair, let sit 30 mins and rinse.

Tips for Controlling Oily Hair

  • Do occasionally – mix 2 egg yolks with 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar. Work it into hair and let set a few minutes while showering.  The egg binds with oils in the hair. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Add 6-8 drops of citrus essential oil to your shampoo. Try lemon, lime, or sweet orange for controlling oil. (Find 100% pure essential oils here.)
  • Be sure to shake your homemade shampoo vigorously to ensure the baking soda is completely dissolved into the water.
  • Massage baking soda shampoo into your scalp for at least 2 minutes.
  • Give your hair a few weeks to adjust to the change (could take 2-3 weeks or more).

Tips for Thickening Homemade Shampoo

  • Blend up some whole oats in a good blender (like a Vitamix) then mix with baking soda and water. Different people prefer different consistencies so add oat flour slowly until desired thickness is reached.
  • Mix cornstarch or arrowroot powder with the baking soda and water (add enough for desired thickness).
  • Use both oats and cornstarch. Try this mixture: 1 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and equal parts cornstarch and oatmeal flour to thicken (approx. ¾ tablespoon of each).

How Much Does it Cost?

I’m glad you asked, this is one of my favorite parts of this homemade shampoo recipe.

  • Cost = approximately $0.06/ounce depending on how much you pay for your baking soda.

If an average bottle of shampoo is a 16-ounce bottle this shampoo will cost you less than a dollar. Not too shabby.



Matt Jabs

About Matt Jabs

Matt loves to inspire others to save money and live more sustainably. He is passionate about eating local, living simply, and doing more things himself. He also writes about Personal Finance at Debt Free Adventure. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and his +Matt Jabs Google profile.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.


  1. Ellen says

    I use to use this to clean my hair and loved it. I also used the vinegar rinse. But I have become allergic to vinegar. Is there another rinse that can be used with the no poo method?

  2. Dipak says

    I love this. I have very dry frizzy hair. Its a little more tangled when i first come out of the shower but as soon as it dries what a difference. Seriously everytime i use it he frizz level gets lower. Next time i try making my own coconut milk too.

  3. Tahj says

    How do you work the baking soda/water mixture through your hair? I have short (chin length) hair and I squirt the mixture all over my scalp, but I can’t move it through or really do anything with it. Doesn’t feel like my hair is getting clean or even close.

  4. Cara says

    Thank you so much! I just tried this and it actually worked! My hair is oil free and nice and bouncy without the harsh chemicals!!!

  5. Abby says

    I love diy natural and I love making everything naturally at home. Sadly I am allergic to baking soda, corn(cornstarch), coconut oil, to name a few. I would love to make homemade shampoo and conditioner, any ideas?

    • Matt Jabs says

      Sorry to hear that Abby. At this time we do not have any shampoo recipes free of all the ingredients you listed, but let us know if you find anything! Blessings.

      • Erin says

        Here is a recipe I found. I haven’t tried it yet, but it might work for you!
        I tried the baking soda and it dried my hair out to the point of not being able to get a brush through it. I have extremely dry hair and I think it was just too harsh on my hair, although it worked for my husband. I think this one might work for me with the added olive oil.

  6. ava says

    I have tried different measurments of the baking soda/water and vinegar rinse. no matter what I try, my scalp and any part of skin my hair touches (after using this mix) burns like hell. I usually end up jumping back in the shower and standing there letting the water fall over my hair for 30-45 minutes. and pray when I get out and dry my hair that the burning will not come back. I guess I have sensitive skin. 🙁

  7. AlexaRae says

    Hello. I just found your site and I am loving it 🙂 I have a question about the shampoo…Is it ok for people with dandruff? (sorry if I spelled it wrong)
    Thank you for all the great information. Have a great day.

    • Chyna says

      Yes, it is perfectly fine for people with dandruff, it actually helps with dandruff. It soaks up all the extra oil in your roots and dries up the dandruff. But it just depends on the person.


  8. rinee says

    That looks like a great simple recipe for shampoo. I was wondering if it’s possible to add essential oils/herbs to this formula? Rosemary for example?

    Many thanks

  9. Paula says

    found this site from the awesome book I checked out at the library. I wanted to add to the possible problems/causes…traveling between Wyoming and Michigan regularly i noticed that the water used washing your hair in makes an EXTREME difference! it has taken some time but I know for me hard water, soft water, even harder water determines which method i can use when. It IS WORTH IT! considering the alternatives I will experiment every day if i needed to.

  10. Jenna says

    Is there any other homemade shampoos recipes? This one just makes my hair feel gritty and impossible to manage.

  11. Farzana says

    Hi,read all the reviews and I think I’m thankful and confused as well.My daughter is 10 and has hair issues.I’m mostly concerned of the Sodium laurate sulphate in commercial shampoos.She had a shine in her hair,which suddenly has disappeared.The ends of her hair is simply thin .I would really love to know of a Home made shampoo n conditioner that can really boost up the lost shine n energy in her hair.I do oil her hair once a week.Pls. Help ASAP.Would appreciate it.

  12. Blu says

    Hi, thank you for sharing with this great recipe for a natural shampoo. I am really happy with it, but I got lately little problem. After washing hairs with the shampoo I have some dundfruff. Maybe you have an idea why this is happening ?

  13. Alejandra says

    Im a hairstylist carrying and using only natural and organic products! now im really enjoying using different cold pressed oils, raw ingredients, and essential oils to bring the hair to complete health! loving being a kitchen chemist!!! I would reccomend for those women who have dry hair to focus on cleansing the scalp only!! (using a bottle with a nozzle) And commiting to one night a week where you can make and apply an intensly deep conditioning treatment!, like avo, honey, and coldpressed oils. switch it up every week for variety! Good Luck and Thank you Matt

  14. Kasy says

    Great deep conditioner if your hair feels a little dry after. Take avacado, aloe, egg white, dry milk, and alittle olive oil. I always eye ball it. Play with ingridiants and make it yours. I put it on on dry hair for couple of hours. Rinse well. It’s the best. I do it once a week.

  15. Trudy says

    I’ve been washing my hair in this baking soda mix and rinsing with ACV water for at least 3 months now. I noticed it leaves a thick white layer all over my scalp causing it to be very itchy. Anything I can do to combat this? I really don’t want to go back to buying commercial shampoos.

  16. Tonia says

    I am now home schooling my daughter and have tried many of your recipes. Because of your expertise and simple basic instructions, my little girl has come to love science and saving $ 🙂 Thx!

  17. Mia says

    I did a mixture of 1 c. tea, 1 tbs baking soda, 1 tbs olive oil, and enough oat flour to thicken it. My problem is, try as I will, I cannot blend the oats enough to not leave chunks in my hair after the shower. They fall out once my hair is dry, but I’d like no chunks as I’m trying to sell and spread the word. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

  18. Vikki says

    I love the thought of this shampoo I tried it for 3 months but alas my hair is very dry and coarse to start with. I even did the vinegar rinse , nothing help relieve the dryness , even less baking soda. I will be experimenting to find something for very dry hair. When I come up with something I will let you know “)

  19. stuti says

    wht if like we put heena(mehendi,tea leaves,methi powder,aamla powder)on our hair on wednesday n after tht on sunday we wash our hair with home made shampoo.means will it work on the in which we hd put heena hai wed,actually my mom wants a mild shampoo so as i read reviews i liked this shampoo so i suggested her 4 this shampoo bt i jst have this confusion so pls ans. me tht will this shampoo will work on my mother’s hair???

  20. maria says

    I had to experiment with the amount of baking soda in the mix. Google “no-poo” and you’ll find a group that discusses different methods, blends and combinations. Everyone’s hair is different, so everyone’s results will be different. On that site people discuss what worked for them based on their hair type (thick/curly/fine/short/long, etc) and scalp type, and frequency of use. So find the discussion thread that most suits your hair and scalp type.
    Some people will have an adjustment period when weaning their hair off commercial products. Some will have a lot of extra oil produced for the first while, but don’t give up, it does make it worth it once you’ve figured out what works for you! 🙂

  21. Jessica says

    Can someone tell me are they using vinegar in this mix and how much of each. I am tempted to make this and try it, but I am a little scared. I have very long hair and 5 other people in my house, so I want to get it right before I try it on others in my household! Thank you!

  22. Laura says

    Just wanted to share that ive found that if I think of this as shampoo and conditioner and adjust the formula some the same as I would have with bought stuff I get better results. If my hairs oily I might have washed twice with shampoo before and now would make more baking soda and do two rinses. If my hair seems dry then maybe cut back on the baking soda but more vinegar. Just saying what works best for me is not thinking of this as a one size fits all formula, but tweaking it a bit based on my how my hair feels that day. Hope that makes sense, its kinda hard to explain 🙂

  23. threeicys says

    Just wanted to mention – this method of washing hair takes more time than a quick lathery shampoo. For me it is well worth it. I have been using this method for close to a year now.
    Tip: to balance out the PH I rinse with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.

    Awsome post Matt. Your recipes look great too!

  24. Amber says

    I love this shampoo! About every other time I make it I add tea tree oil, I have dandruff issues (most likely brought on by commercial shampoos!) and have noticed a significant improvement in the condition of both my hair and scalp. I also keep a spray bottle with an apple cider vinegar and water mixture in my shower for use after I rinse the baking soda out, it leaves my hair softer than any conditioner I have ever used!

  25. Laura says

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with using this with chemical free hair colors such as Manic Panic? I think that the baking soda would make the color come out faster but ive heard of vinegar rinses to help set the color. So Idk how they would work together. I do know I only wash my hair once or twice a week this way but with reg shampoo/conditioner my hair is so oily I need to wash it every other day.

    • Melissa says

      Hi Laura,

      I’m not too sure about the baking soda being and issue, but I do know that oil (like olive oil) can be used to help strip hair colour from hair. I know that is not your intention, but I more say this to advise avoiding any of the oil combinations.


    • Sarah says

      Laura, I am a licensed cosmetologist (for 13 years). A common tick in my profession is to use baking soda to help lift color out. I definitely would not recommend using baking soda on colored hair, especially after using manic panic. That color is already a semi-permanent, no-developer product and adding baking soda will ensure you lose more color than you would during a normal shampoo. However, vinegar is great for color! It seals down your cuticle locking in moisture and shine; and it is great for preserving color! Perhaps there are other alternatives for people with colored hair. I haven’t found them yet, as I am new with the natural hair products. Good luck!

  26. Jeanette says

    Has anyone else noticed that there hair is a bit.. umm weighed.. I have thick curly hair and although I was VERY surprised that when it dried it really did look fine.. it seems to “weigh” down during the day… as if you added to much conditioner when really I have washed my hair with water GRIN

    Thoughts… or should I wait more weeks

    • Loryn says

      I’ve been using baking soda and water for a few days now and I have noticed my hair feeling heavier since ditching commercial shampoos. I’m not sure if it just because the oil production in my scalp is still mellowing out and it’s something that’ll get better with time, or if this weighted feeling is what is normal for hair and I’ve just not experienced it since I’ve always used commercial shampoos. Either way, it’s not something that personally bothers me near enough to go back to using regular shampoo. I’d give it another week or two and see if the condition improves.

  27. debbie says

    i am loving your website so much…getting addicted to it and is starting to go naturals all the way..i started with the conditioner =) i just so loooved the effect and keeps me amazed with the no-vinegar-smell.
    i thank God for Christians like you who happily shares their knowledge and skills…i would love to be an advocate…i will be! debbie (from the philippines)

  28. Valerie Petschulat says

    I’ve been washing my hair with this baking soda/water blend for about 2 months and I love it. I originally found the idea in the book about caring for curly hair. My hair is soft and I have no feeling of residue after washing. I also make a lavender spray with distilled water and lavender oil (also from book on curly hair) and if my scalp feels itchy or hair gets flat, I massage this mixture onto my scalp between washings. It feels great, and I’m only washing my hair once every two weeks. I know, it sounds gross, but I promise, you’d never know by looking at my hair and my curls are so much nicer now! Plus no yucky chemicals going down the drain. I’m a believer.

  29. Carol says

    Great lesson on making homemade shampoo. Thank you for making a difference by sharing your knowledge with the world.

  30. Madison says

    I’ve tried many of your homemade recipes and generally like them. The shampoo and hair conditioner, well, not so much. They made my hair feel like there was a residue left in, even after rinsing very well. I guess you can’t win ’em all.

  31. Isabel says

    Hi Lisa,

    I’ve been trying out stuff too (going back to commercial shampoo just wasn’t working either), and found that a mix of aloe, castile soap, castor oil and olive oil works pretty well.

    I thought of castor oil because people use it to cleanse the face in the Oil Cleansing Method. It apparently helps to dissolve sebum. If it works on the face, why not the scalp? Castor oil is also apparently really good for your hair, but it is a bit sticky and may leave a residue on your hair, leaving it heavy and sticky. Castile soap does the trick of washing it out. I was initially worried that the pH of castile soap is also too high, but so far so good – the itching hasn’t come back, and greasiness also seems to be under control. If used diluted, and with some aloe, I think it should be fine.

    Be careful with the oil – a little goes a long way. My first mix was 2 Tbsp castile soap, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup aloe gel, 1 tsp oil (1/4 castor, 3/4 olive), some drops of essential oil. There was quite alot of oily residue left on my hair and I had to rinse off with watered down castile soap. I will add more soap to the mix and hope it works better next time. I do have quite an oily scalp so it may be different for you. Some people actually just use aloe gel and some jojoba/olive oil as a shampoo, but that is never going to work for me.. at least not right now! Maybe when my scalp is more balanced I may be able to cut out the soap and castor oil.

    But for now, I think the mix of aloe and oils is very nourishing and is exactly what I need. My scalp actually feels healthy now, hair loss is drastically reduced, and the oils leave my hair quite silky and shiny. A stark difference from when I was using just baking soda! My opinion is to leave baking soda out of the equation totally. Use it for hard cleaning, but not on your hair!

    Good luck, and I hope you find something that suits you!

    • lisa says

      Thanks Isabel,
      I am just starting out in the “shampoo department” alternatives, so I appreciate your tips !
      Blessings, Lisa 😀

  32. lisa says

    I have read all the comments and wondered if the aloe vera juice could be used in the original formula instead of water, or perhaps 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup aloe juice… in order to balance the Ph of the baking soda. It would be a little more cost, but I’m looking for a healthy homemade alternative (so that is not such an issue.)
    Also, perhaps a little oil in the formula (olive or coconut oil) would also protect scalp from drying out…Just some ideas, think I may play around with the formulas and see what happens. …

  33. Isabel says

    Update on previous comment: Aloe vera juice works wonders! I slathered it on my scalp, plain, without mixing it with the baking soda shampoo, and immediately felt relief from the itchy scalp which persisted even after washing it off. Hair loss was also SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. Phew! Greasiness is still an issue, but I’m hoping a few more aloe sessions will sort it out.

    Researching a little revealed that aloe has a low pH of about 4, while baking soda has a pretty high pH of about 8-9, some sources even say 12! On the other hand, the ideal pH of our skin and scalp is around 5.

    All this leads me to think that the high pH of baking soda may be the cause of all my woes – my originally oily scalp loved it initially, but then continual use made my scalp DRY, resulting in itchiness and causing it to overcompensate by producing excessive amounts of sebum. Eek. (But this is just an uneducated guess – I’m not an expert!) I did consistently use the vinegar rinse as advised, but it may have been the case of too little too late.

    All in all, I have to say I’m really for the philosophy behind simple living and eliminating chemical products from our household. However, all-natural is not necessarily the best! Maybe this is why we have experts who devote time and expertise in creating products that are safe to use. Sure, they may contain a ton of stuff that we don’t like or even know about. But I have to say, in all my years of shampoo-ing, I’ve never had an experience as terrible as this one.

    Not wanting to put too much of a damper on this method of washing hair – I just want to advise everyone out there interested in trying this out that everybody’s hair and scalp is different, and you have to be prepared to have some hiccups along the way before finding something that suits you. Bear in mind pH balance – might be useful to have some test strips at hand to test your mixture and make sure you have a good balance before applying it.

    Will I go back to commercial shampoo – probably. I will try and bring my scalp back to ‘normal’ before dousing it with the stuff though. Don’t want it to go nuts again! I think I’ve had enough of experimenting on myself. In any case, this was a little experiment that was very instructive in itself. I certainly have learned a lot in the process! Good luck to all!

  34. Isabel says

    Hello Matt & Betsy! Thank you so much for your website. I tried using the baking soda shampoo and in the beginning it felt GREAT. I was thrilled with the results and was pleasantly surprised that there was no ‘transition period’ for me. Unfortunately I was too happy too soon…3 weeks in and my hair is greasy 12 hours after washing, lots of breakage, itchy scalp, and it really doesn’t feel very healthy. Any hopes of washing my hair less are continually being dashed. In fact it seems like I have to wash my hair more than ever before! I want to be optimistic but maybe this doesn’t work for everyone? I am thinking of adding aloe vera juice to the mix. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Emily says


      It sounds like the baking soda is making your hair dry… it happened to me too! I’ve been no-poo for about 10 months now, and it’s taken this entire time to perfect the proportions of what I use.

      I use a little less than one tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 cups of water. Since it makes my ends feel dry, crispy and brittle, I usually try and keep all of it at my scalp to only absorb excess oil.

      Then, I use one tablespoon on apple cider vinegar and 1.5 cups of water as a conditioner and rinse with that.

      Apparently, the baking soda/apple cider vinegar mix balances the pH of your hair.

      I also use either pure argon oil or jojoba oil (both found at Whole Foods), and apply a few drops to my ends once or twice a week…. don’t apply too close to your scalp, or you’ll look REALLY greasy!

      Hope this helps!

  35. Ghie says

    Sir matt,, can i get the complete date you wrote this article.. i just need it for in completing my bibliography,.,,, thanks a lot sir… God Bless. and more power

  36. Nikki says

    I did about a Tbsp or 1 1/2 Tbsp for the 12oz of water and the 1 1/2 Tbsp baking soda. I didn’t measure the honey but I am guessing it was around that… I added everything and shook it. I wonder if I had put it in the blender and blended it altogether if that would have helped the oatmeal-y pieces and/or if by tomorrow maybe they will have dissolved more in the mixture. I used it within 30 minutes of making it… I will report back next time to see if the oatmeal sitting and/or blending it better helps.

  37. Kim says

    Thanks for the great post! I just stumbled upon this site but I have been washing my hair with baking soda and water for almost a year. I discovered a helpful tip that I thought I would pass on to other people with extremely oily scalps like I have. In order to avoid the greasy feel after your hair dries, rinse the baking soda mixture out with cold water. In the summer when the water coming out of the shower isn’t as cold, I actually add ice to a water bottle to squirt on my hair to rinse it out. I follow up the baking soda rinse with a mixture of 1 T apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. My hair holds a style better than it ever did with shampoo and conditioner!

  38. Nikki says

    I just tried this again (tried it in the past but wanted to give it a go again after reading about ways to thicken it). Unfortunately, I don’t think my blender was strong/sharp/fast enough because I got teeny crumbs of oatmeal left in my hair LOL So, I may spring for oat flour from the store until I replace my blender because I loved how my hair felt afterwards (minus the oat crumbs). I also added cornstarch and some honey and loved it!

    • Hannah says

      I had that same problem with the oatmeal. I also added cornstarch to mine but it didn’t thicken up like I expected to. I would think that honey would make the shampoo sticky. How much honey do you put in? I do a 1:1 ratio.

  39. Janine says

    Hi! I have been using this shampoo/conditioner combo for about a month now. I LOVE it! I have more curly and body and my hair has honestly never been so managable. I brush it the way I want it to look and it stays there! (And I smell like peppermint 🙂 )
    SO, I forgot to make a new batch before I got in the shower the other day and had to use the old shampoo. Oh my goodness was my hair a mess. All day it was flying away and it totally lost it’s curl. I’m making so much from scratch now thanks to your site, but this is by far my favorite DIY.
    Thanks so much!

  40. Rob says

    Will this control dandruff? I’m using T-gel right now, but would like to go homemade.

  41. Diane says

    WOW! Very excited to try this. If I would like to add a scent, such as mint, would you suggest an extract, oil, fresh herbs? Thanks for any suggestions!

    • Barbara says

      I use lemon juice more often than vinegar for rinsing because I can’t stand the vinegar smell. Even after it dries, I can still smell it. I love adding a few drops of pink grapefruit essential oil. It smells awesome, leaves my hair soft and detangled, and does not make my hair oily. If you prefer fresh herbs, you can steep them in the water and then strain them out and use that water for mixing. I would not suggest extracts.

  42. Kathi Bourg says

    Been using the BS shampoo for a week & was shocked at how well it’s worked…with regular shampoo/conditioner, I was washing my waist-length about once every 6-7 days (I’m 49 & it really doesn’t get that oily until the last day or two). With the BS, the wash is still lasting 3 or 4 days! When I first tried this, I was at my in-laws, who have a water-softening system…with that and diluted white vinegar, I had absolutely no tangles, which is nearly miraculous! Back at home with my hard well-water and ACV, I may have to experiement with diluting the ACV a little more, and perhaps adding some herbs to it (the smell is just awful!) but am still gettting that 3-4 days of clean hair! I may also try going back to the diluted white vinegar. The point is, no more commercial shampoo for me (and no more 30 minutes of ripping tangles out of my hair, either!!!)

  43. Rachel says

    I’ve been using BS and regular distiller white vinegar and my hair is soooo dry!! Is it because I’m not using ACV? My hair is normally really oily (with commerical shampoos) but now it’s not at all. I like to wash my hair every day since I style it and end up with hairspray in it. Any suggestions?? I read about the coconut oil, but does it have to be organic or can I use my coconut cooking oil??

    • Barbara says

      A couple weeks after I started this, the top of my head was super oily the day after shampooing and the rest of my hair was very dry and brittle. It seems to have adjusted better now. Coconut oil is awesome as a deep conditioner. I only tried it once, but I love coconut oil for everything. I believe any coconut oil will work. I used unrefined because I love the smell. Put just a little bit throughout your hair, cover (shower cap, saran wrap, whatever), and let sit for a while (at least half an hour, but you can leave it overnight if you wish). It may take an extra shampooing to wash it out thoroughly, but should leave your hair softer and more moisturized. Good luck.

    • Steph says

      Bekah, I haven’t tried it but my guess is no. Baking soda is an alkaline substance that, when used in baking, reacts with an acid to bubble up and rise your food. Baking powder contains both the alkaline and the acid together. It doesn’t react until it gets wet. If you tried it I doubt it would do any harm really, but you might get fizzy. Actually, the vinegar rinse is the acid that is neutralizing the alkaline baking soda after it gets to do its thing. You should go ahead and experiment in the kitchen! Fun stuff.

  44. Renee' W. says

    I had been dealing with an extremely itchy scalp for a while (no dandruff – just really itchy), so I decided try something other than the store-bought shampoos and conditioners. Sometimes I use a Castile soap based shampoo and other times I use the baking soda and water. I also use the ACV conditioner instead of store-bought. I’ve noticed a significant decrease in the itch. My skin has gotten very sensitive over the last few years, so I know there must be something I’m allergic to in the store-boughts. Now, I plan on trying the deodorant recipe on this site. Thanks!

  45. Jenifer Harrod says

    Thank you for posting about how to thicken up the mixture I have been thinking about this for a long time. I even stopped making my shampoo because it frustrated me so. I will try this and see what happends. Come by and see me ont he blog.

  46. Tass says

    I tried this recipe and absolutely can say I will NEVER do it again, I have baby fine, oily hair. I just have ALOT of it and after using this *shampoo* I found myself with even a worse fly-away baby fine tangled up mess of hair that took DAYS to get back to normal. it left my hair feeling worse then before I washed it.

    • Marion says

      How often have you used it? I heard there is a transition period which takes some patience.

  47. Carol says

    How does this work for really, really dirty hair? I bike, hike, horseback ride, and clean horse stalls (sometimes all in the same day).

  48. Hannah says

    This is Hannah again, it has has been 2 1/2 months now that i am using bs/acv and loving it. I put oatmeal in it this time to thicken it but its still very watery. On the cornstarch do you add a little hot water to make it into a thick cosistancy or you just add add the powder? My hubby is not convinced since it doesn’t lather like comerial shampoo.

  49. Ryan says

    Hi all,

    I noticed in the description for this recipe that it tends to strip color from your hair. I don’t like chemical dyes at all, so I dye my hair with henna every few months. Does anyone know what the effects of Baking Soda shampoo are on henna-dyed hair? Thanks!


  50. Sal says

    Hi! I love this so much! You have no idea how much time I’ve put into finding all natural hair care products, this practically saved my life! All my other recipies have “gone bad” before I finished using them or included something sweet that would attract ants. I have one question though, about how much corn startch and/or oats would you recommend to have it be the same consistancey as comercial brand? That’s the thinkness I’m used to.
    Thank you! =)

  51. Amy B says

    I have been using the BS & ACV for about 7 weeks now. I think I finally got it right! I found that my baby-fine oily blond hair does best when I add a little citrus Castile soap and a few drops of tea tree oil to the mix. I also have to make sure I thoroughly wash and rinse. I’m getting compliments on my hair from friends who know what I’ve been doing. They have seen a difference. I used to have to wash my hair almost every day. I can now go 2-3 days between washings.

    • Helen says


      I also have very fine but oily long hair and I’ve been struggling with getting my hair clean with this shampoo. It is often still greasy after I dry it, even though I feel like I am using plenty, rubbing it in and rinsing pretty well. Did you find that there was a transition period?

  52. Amy says

    I didn’t read all of the posts so I may have missed it. I am going to try the bs shampoo but I really need a conditioner. It brings tears to my eyes when combing otherwise. I see people are using acv mix. But what is the mix? Also can I use distilled white vinegar?


  53. Dawn says

    I’ve been using this shampoo for several years on my daughter’s blond hair after swimming. The baking soda neutralizes the copper found in swimming pool algaecides and keeps her hair from turning green — even with daily swimming.

  54. Laura says

    I am totally loving this, the conditioner, your book, your whole site @ that 🙂 thank you so much for taking the time to share with us. I have found that after using this about a month my hair is actually softer and shinier than with anyrhing I ever bought and the color is better somehow. Cant really explain, its brighter maybe?! I will say I only like to mix up what I’m going to use right then though cause no matter how much I love it, pouring cold anything over my head is just not pleasant 🙂 oh and I also use cheap condiment containers to get a little control pouring it over my hair. God bless you both 🙂

  55. Hannah says

    I have been using BS/AC for 3 weeks now and love it. It is so easy to make and cheap to say the least. My problem is that it gets oily quickly is that normal due to the transition period? On some days I use a little cornstarch to rub at roots where its greasy and im good to go till next time I wash my hair. I have my husband trying out now.

  56. Shelley says

    I found a BS shampoo recipe sent by a friend on Facebook, which came just in time since I was having trouble with allergies to traditional shampoos that left my scalp very itchy. I have been using this for about a month now. My daughter, who had very bad dandruff has been using it too. We also use the ACV rinse. We both love it, itchiness and dandruff are virtually gone. The only mistake we were making was using too much – didn’t realize until reading this article that it only takes a little bit – we were using 8 oz squirt bottles from Target for each solution and using all of it per application. We’ll try using less and see if we still get the good results – it sure will save a lot of time in the morning.

  57. BOStoPHX says

    What about heating it with cornstarch to thicken it? Will the heat have a negative effect on the baking soda chemically? I tried it and it jells beautifully and the result never needs shaking.

    • Matt Jabs says

      Should have a similar effect w/o the heat… not sure if heat has a negative effect or not, although I don’t believe so.

  58. Ashley says

    I just started using the baking soda and water for shampoo and ACV with water for conditioner about two weeks ago. I feel like my hair is kind of a weird texture and seems kind of dry. It also gets really tangled because I have relatively thin hair. Do you think adding the oat flower will help give it more moisture? Any tips for the tangles?

    • Matt Jabs says

      It’s probably getting back to its natural texture, which you may have never felt if you’ve used commercial products your whole life. Keep at it, and try adding the oat flour, it can’t hurt anything. Let us know how it goes.

  59. Lisa Quenon says

    Also just to add…when I posted this page to Facebook, a friend who has long dread locks said this was all she ever used on her hair and it works wonderfully! Just FYI for anyone with dread locks.

  60. Lisa Quenon says

    I’ve been doing this for about 2 months now. I’ve had more compliments on my hair than ever before! I use the baking soda/water mixture to wash (every day, I have very oily hair…even at the age of 54) and then I rinse with apple cider vinegar. Lovely and compliment-worthy! In addition, once a month I apply coconut oil to my hair. Some folks use a shower cap, I just sit in the hot tub and read for an hour while the coconut oil does its thing. Last year I gave a jar of coconut oil to all of my family (those with hair) and they swear by it too! It’s a little difficult to get out…takes a couple of shampoos. What I tell folks is to deep condition the day BEFORE you wish to look extra stunning…the second day of shampooing gives the most amazing look ever!

  61. Brittany says

    Any idea how long the shelf-life is? I would think that it would be decent if you were to shake or stir the mixture before you use it each time.

  62. ShellDar says

    I’ve been using homemade baking soda shampoo for years. Works great for dandruff too when you massage your scalp with it and leave it sit a bit before rinsing. I also use the ACV conditioner – but I have naturally curly, fly-away hair and need extra help with the frizzies. I use a homemade leave-in conditioner that is applied while my hair is still wet. I alternate between extra virgin olive oil – experiment with small amounts so that your hair isn’t oily when it dries … homemade handlotion mixed with a few drops of lavendar oil or tea tree oil that leaves your hair smelling wonderful – also experiment with small amounts to find how much works best for your hair type … and I also keep a bottle of pure aloe vera gel mixed with tea tree oil in the shower that I apply but don’t rinse … awesome for itchy, dry scalp. These “leave-in” conditioners are easy to keep in small travel-size bottles I can keep in my car and/or purse for when I need a touch-up during humid or windy days. Thanks for the fantastic recipes and tips!

  63. Kari says

    I have very long hair that tangles very badly. I am going to try this tonight! I have always had an itchy scap too so I am going to add a little peppermint oil into the BS/Water mixture…

    • Rebekah says

      I have found that adding a few drops of tea tree oil has really helped with the eczema on my scalp. I just add it into my BS mix. I LOVE the clean smell too!

  64. tori says

    I use the BS mixed with rain water… its wonderful! Living in the northwest we have lots of it! 🙂 I also just spray regular rain water with a pinch of celtic salt in my curly hair each morning to just have the gentle beach wave look that is so popular right now… works great and its dirt cheap!

  65. Sharon says

    I have been using the BS and regular Vinegar for the past 2 weeks and love it. My hair is almost to my waist and has a tendenency to frizzle and the baking soad/water and vinegar does wonders. Soft, no tangles.I don’t have the oily hair after second day. No vinegar smell. My hubby did the sniff test. He is even going to start using it. Really saves money. I just love it.

  66. amk says

    hi i’m an Indian can this recipie work in our humid climate… also will this work for my 3 yr old daughter. will this cause any harm like premature greying or hair fall???
    and can this be used for dandruf also???

    • Alissa says

      Premature greying is loss of pigmentation of the hair, and that is all up to dna… or harsh chemicals, so as far as that goes, you are in the clear! And as far as dandruff, it depends on what is causing the flaking. A lot of time the flaking is actually caused by dry scalp, because we tend to wash ourselves way too much and are obsessive about cleanliness, when our bodies produce oils they are the most natural and best moisturizers for us! Sometimes dandruff is the cause of an allergic reaction to chemicals… and no it won’t make your hair fall out, unless you allow it to build up (not ever rinse it) and it sufficates the folicles, your skin and scalp needs air to breath otherwise hair loss does happen!
      Hope that was helpful!!!

    • Barbara says

      Some dandruff can be caused by fungus or bacteria as well. Try adding a couple drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo. It is antifungal and atibacterial and also soothing. It usually works well to soothe dandruff and any other scalp irritations. You can also use Lavender oil with it for a better smell, which is also an antibacterial. However, you may want to research the use of essential oils on children before I would do so with your daughter.

  67. Sanya says

    Hi Matt,
    I have very dry hair and recently sculp, we are living in Las Vegas where water is very hard. I am using lot of conditioner and I was wondering if this shampoo and rinsing hair with vinegar will be good for my dry, blond hair?

  68. Michelle says

    I discovered this page a while ago but was waiting until my existing bottle of conditioner ran out to start it. I started it this past week and yesterday was my second time using the BS/water mix, followed by an ACV mix (which I have been using for about a month now). Well my hair felt so AWFUL yesterday after I got out of the shower – while it was wet and still felt awful when it dried (felt oily, coarse, tangly, etc.)! It basically felt like it would feel if I hadn’t washed it in a week. Is this the transition period that you mentioned and should I expect my hair to feel this awful for the next 2-3 weeks or will it get progressively better? I’m not sure if I can stick with it if it’s going to be this bad for 2-3 weeks…and I’d really like to stick with it. thanks!

      • Alissa says

        Make sure you rinse well, if you aren’t it will feel like that. If you haven’t tried the acv, do… it makes a difference.

  69. Vivienne says

    I mix 2 Tbs of BS with 2 Cups of water in a spray bottle bought from a dollar store. I shake it and spray it on. Let it sit for a minute or two and rinse. Then I repeat the process. It goes on easy and can penetrate to the scalp using a spray bottle. I, too, have the problem with the drying out of the hair and odd feeling texture but my daughter doesn’t. I’m going to try less BS for my bottle to see it that helps. You can use the ACV solution in a spray bottle also.

    • Michelle says

      Hi Vivienne, do you find the spray bottle works well? I put the ACV solution in a spray bottle and did this for about a week but I was worried I wasn’t getting enough on as I have shoulder length hair. So I started putting it directly on, which uses a lot more and is difficult to get the coverage so I’m not fond of that way either. I might try thickening it as suggested above.

      • Tara says

        My daughter, who has waist length hair, bends over and applies the BS mixture, massages it into her scalp, rinses then applies the ACV rinse to her scalp and let’s it run down the length of her hair. The result is clean, soft, shiny hair. The added bonus is that she isn’t losing has much hair as she was with conventional shampoo and conditioner.

      • Helen says

        Something else you can try is putting some vinegar in a cup (maybe an inch from the bottom or so), then filling the rest of the cup with water. Tip your head back and pour it on at your hairline and it naturally flows down to the tips. I find that to be very easy and effective.

  70. Matt Jabs says

    Betsy added pieces of cinnamon stick to hers. You could also try adding your favorite essential oils (add enough until you like the results.)

    • karen says

      I steep rosemary then strain it to use with the bs. so far I don’t need to use acv plus my hair is shiny and smells nice.

  71. Liz says

    Has anyone tried substituting brewed green tea for the water? I might give that a shot…

  72. Ruthie says

    I’ve been using baking soda for shampoo for a few weeks now and I love it. I recently decided to use apple cider vinegar as a conditioner but that was a mess. I have very long curly hair and got more on the floor than in my hair. How can I thicken up the ACV so that it’s easier to apply? I thought about using honey but am trying to keep this as inexpensive as possible.

    • Elizabeth says


      Just put the CV in a squirt bottle– I use an old hairspray container– so much less of the CV comes out at once. I also do this with the baking soda shampoo, actually, for the same reason.

  73. Daniel says

    Hi there, I was just wondering what the shelf life would be for making the above shampoo? I already use an apple cider vinergar (plus herbs) rinse as a conditioner and it works brilliantly but want to make a full switch over to natural shampoo. Many thanks, Daniel 🙂

  74. li says

    hi, i was wondering if xanthum gum powder would be a better thicken then the ones you mentioned in your article?

  75. Jer says

    I just found your blog & I love it! Just wondering….how much of this shampoo should I use?

  76. Nikki says

    Just found this site today and needed to wash my hair and didn’t want to use what I used last time. I’ve been natural(african american hair) for a long time and have fought with trying to find natural ways to clean my hair, body etc.. It’s funny, not too long ago my scalp was itching like crazy(product build up or I’m allergic) and needed something fast. I didn’t want to go to the store any buy something that has been on the shelf for weeks or months and I did a google search and found that using BS on your scalp and then rinsing with distilled water worked.. and it did! Who knew now that I can just cleanse my hair with that same formula! Thank you! I’ve also tried to neutralize the BS with CV and it was still tangled and feels funny but I will deal with it. Practice makes perfect!

  77. Sheri says

    I was wondering if I could add more baking soda to thicken it, just like adding more sugar to tea to make it more sweet:)

      • Alissa says

        Hair has been color treated… the only thing is that if you have a heavy red tone in your hair it will fade, but if you do… you hae probably noticed this already with most shampoos! My recommendation (as a licensed Cosmetologist) is to give it a go, also remember if you’re not washing your hair everyday, your color will last longer! Your hair is going to be more likely to drying out so make sure you are using a good conditioning treatment.

      • Tara says

        I color my hair with a product from Whole Foods and use the baking soda wash followed with apple cider vinegar and have not experienced any adverse affexcts, no unusual fading etc.

          • AhRian says

            This is normal…think about vinegar and tye-dying shirts. You use vinegar to set the color into the fabric. Makes sense why using the vinegar after the first wash would help keep the colors from fading. 🙂

  78. alissa says

    I actually like the rough texture the baking soda leaves my hair, it makes it more manipultable (not really a word,but I am sure you get the point!) I am actually a licensed Cosmetogist, currently retired to raise my children, but know a lot of products that are designed to give you that outcome! So, lots of savings there! However I always have a lingering funky scent… solved by a drop or so of tea tree oil (bought at trader Joe’s) and couldn’t be happier w/the outcome!!!

  79. Beth says

    Just wondering if you can use this solution every day? Or can it dry my hair out? Because of working out I like to wash my hair everyday.

    • Matt Jabs says

      Hi Beth, it’s really no different than using any shampoo every day; you don’t need to but you can if you want. Try it out and see, and let us know.

  80. patti says

    me again! any thoughts on what to add to the shampoo/conditoner to make a thicker consistency? it just runs right thru my fingers as is, and i feel like if i were to squirt it all over my head i would be wasting so much. thanks!

  81. Rhonda says

    I have been using the BS and Oatmeal flour solution for about 8 weeks now and rinsing my hair with the Cider Vinegar solution for about 2 weeks. My husband and I both use it. We have not had the transition period that some ppl has talked about, thank goodness and we are very pleased. I find that if i rinse my hair really good after applying the CV (you only need just a little)and cant smell it in the shower anymore, that I have rinsed it out really well and it does leave your hair really smooth, the tangles are gone, nor does it smell after it dries. I have put family members to the smell test,(the ones that don’t live in the same household). I turned my nose up at this at first but really wanted to give it a shot. We will not go back to regular shampoo’s and conditioner’s. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us, we are still looking for other way’s to save money and this is a good start.

  82. Lauren says

    I find if I don’t neutralize the baking soda with some diluted vinegar, my hair has a really coarse texture afterward. So I rinse with vinegar as a “conditioner” to make my hair super smooth. Apple cider vinegar’s supposed to have nutrient benefits too! And it doesn’t smell once it’s dried, or at least I don’t think so.
    @Farzana, maybe if your daughter’s scared to get the solution in her eyes you could directly apply the dry baking soda to her scalp- that way it won’t get near her eyes until she’s ready to rinse. But apart from stinging your eyes a little, which regular shampoo does too, BS and ACV are harmless. Otherwise, I recommend the company Suki for safe advanced organic cosmetics, but they’re verry pricy.

  83. Farzana says

    Hiya,I’d like to know a natural shampoo and conditioner for my 9year old daughter.
    Thank you


  84. Amal says

    I have dry hair and spilt ends 🙁 i want to start using this because i was looking for a good shampoo anyways hopefully it will work 🙂 thanks guys

  85. tommij says

    Just used the baking soda & water for first time. AWESOME!! i have fine curly hair & have never not used cnditioner. was really skeptical!! feels awesome! looks great with no products!!! thanks so much!

  86. Beth says

    I am almost through 2 weeks of trying this and my hair is killing me!Sad thing is Idek if it’s oily or if it’s supposed to be this way (I’m an everyday hair washer, my hair had NO oil starting out). I’m going to try the castile soap recipe n see if that helps. I make all my other stuff homemade so I am determined to get this down too. My sons seem to be ok with it but they have short hair. My daughters hair is extremely fine and fly-away. I can brush it and 5 mins later its sticking up in the air everywhere. Any ideas on how to help that?

  87. Naz says

    Thanks for the recipe, I’ll have to try it out. How long is the batch good till? Can I make this in advance and use it for the entire week, or is it only a one time use/batch.


    • Michelle says

      I make it fresh for each wash. One day I broke the eggs, mixed it up and got delayed by a phone call and the eggs began to dry/thicken around the edges like soft eggs residue on a breakfast plate. It didn’t seem to want remix well, so make it just before you use it.
      I suppose if you have short hair you could do it with 1 egg and 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar. My hair is longer and I use every bit of the 2 egg mixture.

  88. Michelle says

    Have followed you for quite a while and love your site. I keep trying the the no poo and just didn’t have the success I want. However, determined to go “natural”, I kept checking sites that boasted “no poo”- all with pretty much same recipe.
    Then I found one who because of thick hair needed a little more help with the greasy. She decided to “shampoo” occasionally with 2 egg yolks mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar. (I chose lemon juice.) She worked it into her hair and let it set for a few minutes while showering. She said it gave the egg a chance to bind with the hair oil (kind of like egg and oil in mayonnaise) Then she rinsed it with warm cool water (don’t want to cook the eggs).
    This worked wonderfully for me. No longer greasy, I am continuing to use the baking soda /water until I need an egg treatment and then back to the baking soda/ water. My goal had been to get through the greasy part naturally and eliminate the eggs, but I so love the way my hair feels I may do eggs once a week like a rich natural conditioner.

  89. Glenna says

    Do you have a recipe for silver and getting corse shampoo? Don’t want the silver to get yellow-no i don’t smoke-and would like to have it a bit softer than with the shampoos and conditioners i have all ready used.
    Thanks, Glenna

  90. Joy says

    I have tried recipes for shampoo with baking soda and my hair didn’t feel clean so I went back to store bought shampoo while I tried your household cleaners. An earlier post recommends borax so I tried that. With the borax my hair is clean, softer than ever (even softer than the expensive salon shampoos) and I didn’t have to go through the greasy stage. I just keep in my bathroom a small container of borax with an empty tiny creamer cup that you get for your coffee to use as a scoop, and an empty soda bottle to mix it in. Then pour in a scoop of borax, add warm shower water and shake. Beautiful!
    Soft, clean, no-shampoo hair!
    Added bonus- I use much less styling products with this mixture!

  91. Caroline says

    Hi, I make natural skin care and this is is very interesting
    Good point Leslie about pH very important for skin and hair health
    The reason for conditioner is because regular shampoo strips the hair and opens up the hair follicle. Foaming shampoos and any body care products that foam and bubble are not necessary and are a mass marketing con.
    Aside from the Bicarb, there are a couple of plant cleansers available from Indian Grocers and that have naturally occuring saponins or foaming characteristics but of course not to the same extent as the synthetic products. One is well fairly well known & called soap nuts or Reetha and the other is called Shikaki. To make a natural shampoo the first two ingredients plus Amla are mixed together and boiled. Each herb is nourishing for the scalp and hair.
    You can google to find out more info or here is a site
    http://living.oneindia.in/beauty/hair-care/2011/herbal-shampoo-amla-reetha-shikakai-140711-aid0158.html, that gives some instructions. Soap nut can be a little bit harsh so I would use a lot less than the other ingredients. In Australia, I buy these herbs from Indian Grocers and they cost about $2 or 3.00 a box for 100 or 200gms. You can also use some Neem powder or Brahmi. Neem is is superb for dandruff and even treats nits. Brahmi stimulates new hair growth. If you massage your scalp with some cold pressed oils such as coconut or almond, and use the forementioned herb mix to cleanse and condition your hair, over time your hair will start to thicken and for me sigificantly decreased my hair loss. Its a good idea to rinse with ACV and massaging a few drops of Rosemary or Cedarwood Essential Oil is also great (caution if pregnant).

  92. Julie says

    update: I figured out that I have hard water so I googled “no poo” in hard water and it said to boil 1 qt water and then add 1/3 cup bak soda. Did that and washed my hair with it and WOW! My hair is clean! The baking soda mixt was much easier to get into my hair! I am so much happier with this method now! The only problem I’m having is my hair feels dry.

    • michelle says

      Julie, that’s awesome that it’s working for you! I’m having the same problem with greasy/waxy hair. However, the grease is occuring at my ends where I use the vinegar rinse. I’ve also learned that I have hard water, but rather than boiling water, I collect rain water and then run it through a coffee filter. Then I take the rain water and add Dr. Bronner’s to it with a few drops of tea tree oil, and my roots come out clean without any grease. But then I add apple cider vinegar to rain water as a rinse, and my ends come out greasy. I’ve tried skipping the ACV rinse a few times, but my ends have still been greasy, so I’m not sure if my hair is just letting go of all the build-up, or if I’m just using too much ACV. Or do I maybe need to keep my hair from touching the hard water?

  93. Melody says

    Have been using the baking soda(no aluminum) and water shampoo for 2 weeks now. I have naturally oily hair with a dry scalp. This has been wonderful. I use 1 tbs in a cup of water. Microwave it for 30 secs and let cool. Then do a apple cider vinegar and water rinse. If I wash my medium length hair this way everyday I do not have a problem with the oily hair or itchy scalp. A few times I waited and washed on the 2nd day and hair was oily. This works for me and am hoping that over time I will be able to wash less frequently.

  94. Christine Potter says

    Tried the Shampoo and Conditioner yesterday and I LOVE the results. I no longer have the thick hair used to but thought it might be efficient to apply the shampoo to my scalp before I wet my hair. This worked great for me and allowed my scalp to be thoroughly degreased! Thanks for all your helpful hints!

  95. Julie says

    Thanks for the advice. I did try white vin. I realized it wasn’t the vin that was making my hair waxy. It was just the oils remaining in my hair and not being washed out. I went six weeks and even washed with castile soap but as said above, it made my hair worse! Last night, I washed with shampoo….ah my hair is so soft again! It’s back to baking soda and vinegar again though. I just wanted to get a fresh start over to see what would happen. I cannot wait until this greasy stage is over! ugg….

  96. Tracy says

    My daughter and I have found that we have less problems with our hair getting greasy if we let the baking soda/water mixture sit on our hair for several minutes before rinsing. We wet our hair, put the baking soda/water mixture on our scalps and let it sit while we wash our bodies and shave, then we rinse thoroughly. Sometimes I will even wash my hair a second time, if it was really dirty.

    The apple cider vinegar rinse makes my daughter’s hair greasy, so she skips this step most of the time. Those times when she needs it, she tries to just apply it to the ends of her hair and avoids the scalp.

  97. Angela says

    I’m in the same boat as Julie! I’m about 3 1/2 weeks in to using BS and water as shampoo and the ACV and water as conditioner and my hair is disgusting. It’s greasy, thick, heavy, and waxy. A couple of times I’ve tried adding castile soap to get some type of a lather in an attempt to get the grease out of my hair, but that seemed to make it worse. I feel like I’ve gone so long like this and I don’t want to give up, but this transitional phase is terrible. I have to slick it back in a pony tail or use a hair clip however, you can still tell that It’s extremely greasy. I have read all of the comments above and will welcome any additional advice on this topic. I’m trying not to give up although my friends and coworkers just think I’m turning into a dirty hippie and that’s not what I’m going for. Ha ha!

  98. Kari says

    I have been using these for a week now and have had some issues. When using the baking soda shampoo followed by the vinegar rinse, my fine hair is oily and full of static. So I tried just using the baking soda shampoo without any conditioner and it wasn’t oily but was so tangled I couldn’t brush it and felt like straw when it dried. Any suggestions?

  99. Julie says

    Hi, first, let me say that I love your site! I’ve already made several things from it! I have been using the baking soda shampoo and ac vin conditioner for about 3 weeks now. I wash about 3x a week. My hair is def going through an oily stage…yuck! I don’t know why but it feels waxy after I get out of shower and have blow dried it. It also is still greasy looking even after all that! I have tried using lemon juice as a conditioner and then it doesn’t feel waxy so I know it’s the apple cider that is making it feel that way. I use 1 T per 1 C with both ac vin and bak soda like you said. I’ve even tried making a paste and boiling my water. I am about to give up….so tired of my hair feeling dirty and greasy! any help?

  100. Nicole says

    I just made the switch to no poo…and I’m loving it!! Thicker fuller hair with no greasiness!! The one thing tho is I’m already having alot of static in my hair…and its not even winter yet!! Wondering if anyone else is experiencing this and if anyone has any tips!! Thanks 🙂

    • Matt Jabs says

      Hi Nicole, congrats on the switch. To control static be sure you’re trimming your ends every 6-8 weeks, less split ends = less static. Try shampooing less often (maybe 3x/week). Using less heating elements (blow dryers, flat/curling irons, etc.). Also try massaging in a Tbsp of olive oil once/week then rinsing. Another treatment to try is Avocado w/lemon juice – mix, smash into hair, let sit 30 mins and rinse. Let us know how it goes.

  101. Izabe says

    I have been using the baking soda/water wash and have been shampoo free for 3 weeks. I love it! The natural waves in my hair have come back and my hair and scalp feel so clean for days on end. I have super oily hair and I have discovered that I need to really work the wash into my scalp for 1-3 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. No greasiness! I can’t even get that with regular shampoo! Also I combine the water and baking soda (in an old plastic water bottle) and shake it until the BS has dissolved. This has worked out so well that it’s convinced my product-dependent husband to make the switch.

  102. Stephanie says

    I just wanted to give a shout out for this method, along with the ac vinegar rinse. I’ve been doing it now for a few months with great results. I have long, thick hair and have never had a ‘transition period’ that others mention. My hair looks and behaves the same as it did with commercial stuff, without all the icky stuff. There is no vinegar smell at all after rinsing. Just shiny, soft, clean hair. I typically wash 3 times a week. A couple of times a month I do an oil treatment, just massaging some coconut oil in, leaving for an hour or so, then washing it out. Love this effective, frugal all natural hair system.

  103. Peggy says

    I saw someone mention henna. Where can I get it? Also I havent tried the soda and wonder how it works in well water. Also I have very fragile hair because of thyroid issues and it is very curly when humid. Any help in improving my jair would be appreaciated.

  104. Kate says

    Hello! I’ve been reading you guys a bit, sort of just stalking until now. I’ve been no ‘poo a little over 2 months, and I’ve had the worst greasy hair since about day 4. I know about the transition period, but mine is definitely outstaying the welcome, lol. Any tips? I’ve tried so many different things, but the baking soda and vinegar rinse just don’t seem to do the trick.

    • Matt Jabs says

      Hi Kate, thanks for stalking! 🙂 Are you also using the homemade conditioner, because that will help. Also, try this mixture: 1 c. warm water, 2 Tbsp. baking soda, and equal parts cornstarch & oatmeal flour to thicken it (approx. 3/4 Tbsp). Let us know, God bless.

    • Victoria says

      Maybe the bodywash would work, but I have never liked castile soap.

      I use baking soda for everything. But the vinegar rinse leaves my hair greasy, no matter how little I use in the final rinse water and even if I rinse it out. ….

      So basically. ..” “What to do? What to do,” cried the engineer. But Tinker and Tanker knew what to do, and they did it. “

  105. Leslie says

    I have to admit, I haven’t tried the homemade shampoo, but I am a licensed cosmetologist. Hair and skin are in the acid range of pH, between 4.5 and 5.5. I have to say that I’d be concerned using the baking soda shampoo on a regular basis without using the vinegar rinse. The baking soda is a very strong alkaline pH. It strips the hair and opens up the hair follicle (should lay down like fish scales). That’s why it makes it seem fuller…poof! If you use the shampoo, I would definately recommend using the acid ranged vinegar rinse to follow (to smooth down the cuticle and make it shiny) If not, over time you may find unwanted results such as dull, dry hair that goes poof!

  106. Jenny says

    Ok…Im on day 3…been using baking soda paste and massaging into the scalp every other day and rinsing well. My hair is long, fine, and naturally curly so I have been using apple cider vinegar mixed with water as a conditioner and using coconut oil in my dry ends. I have been rinsing well in cool water. I see my hair is healthier even after 3 days!!!!! My big problem is that my hubby says my hair smells dirty. I think it smells plain…no fragrances like shampoo has (which is fine with me because I am sure that damages my hair anyway) but it is a turn-off for him. My hubby cannot stand the smell of vinegar (I say get over it but ya know). Any suggestions? Can I or would it hurt to use essential oils in water and mist my hair to brush it out? I realize I am still in transition stage so maybe all the extra oils are making it “stinky” or maybe my natural body oils “stink”. Please help! I dont want to give up on this.


    • Matt Jabs says

      Hi Jenny, congrats on the switch, glad to hear it’s going well. Yes, add essential oils to some water and spritz/comb it into your hair to add fragrance. I’m sure you’re correct that your husband is simply used to the strong chemical fragrances. Make sure you rinse the vinegar out well, it shouldn’t leave any after-smell.

  107. Vicki says

    Love, love, love, love, love this! I added oat flour for thickening as I have very thick hair…makes it ‘stick’ better. I also added a few drops of essential oil for scent. Hair feels clean but not dry. I have a bottle of fancy-shmancy salon purchased lavender mint shampoo and, when it runs out, I’m going to use it for ‘my’ shampoo which will use the dregs of the expensive stuff and should give that batch a nice smell. Did I mention that I love this?

    • Matt Jabs says

      So do you love this Vicki? 😉 I’m glad we could help inspire you and we love the oat flour idea too, in fact I’m going to add this to the recipe in the post because I think it’s a great idea. First I need to go home and mix up a batch to come up with the right amount for texture.

  108. Angela says

    I put mine in a squirt bottle (not a spray bottle) instead of an old shampoo bottle. I reused an agave nectar bottle, but a honey bear or other plastic bottle with a poited top helps in controlling the application.

  109. Jose says

    Hi, I would like to know if I can add any other ingredients to the baking soda shampoo? I have oily and dandruff scalp, and my hair is quite thin, so what to add in in order to solve my hair problem? Thank you.

    • Matt Jabs says

      To help with the dandruff try adding honey and olive oil. To thicken the mixture I would add oat flour (just grind up rolled oats.)

  110. Charli Johnson says

    A couple years ago I developed a rash under my hair that nothing would cure, not even a shampoo prescribed by a doctor(it actually made it worse). Out of desperation I turned to the internet looking for natural shampoos and stumbled upon this recipe and the one for vinegar conditioner. It worked when nothing else did. I won’t use anything else.

      • carley says

        I leave my vinegar in a jar to infuse on the windowsill for 2 weeks with chamomile flowers submerged fully for dandruff, shake gently every couple of days, then pour into a clean jar through a fine sieve and water it down just before i use it. I do it like this to have a bigger batch available at my fingertips and my hair is very long, just started to grow my own chamomile so i do not have to pay for that too as i use it in nearly every remedy great also in a tea bag with peppermint for upset tummies.

  111. Elaine says

    I would so love to try this but I think my hair is too high maintinence. I have hard well water and I need something a little bit more cleansing to demineralize it otherwise getting a comb or brush through it….forget it! I have very thick, waist length, wavy red hair and a little touch of eczema in places on my scalp. Anyone else have either of these problems (well water or eczema) and found something homemade to help?? Thanks!

      • Susan says

        Doddie here in UK . Borax can be used for getting hair laquer ( hair spray ) from the hair ,my Mam used it all the time

    • michelle sines says

      I gotta tell ya–
      I always thought it was my hair having issues, because of the well water. Then I started really looking inwardly at myself. I colored my hair from the time I was 19, until 6 months ago. I switched from any brand of major store shampoo to a higher priced all-natural shampoo from the health food store.
      my hair has never been healthier. It wasn’t the well water that was turning my hair funky. Because we know that God makes the water that comes from the ground (for the most part, bear with me). So, here we are, man ‘who knows all’ adding chemicals to our heads, whether it be color or shampoo. and these chemicals are reacting with the naturals that God has given us. I mean really… what did they do all these years before filters and softeners? they didn’t gasp and say oh my I can’t go out of the house looking like this!
      And TODAY! I made and used my first bottle of shampoo, tap water, baking soda, and sliver of handmade soap that I just can’t throw away.
      Next week, I’m buying the necessaries to make the calendula ointment for my eczema! THANK YOU MATT & BETSY!

        • carley says

          Michelle 1tbsp oats and 2tsp dried chamomile, place in the centre of a small muslim square tie with string drop into your bath for 10 mins then softly rub over the affected areas, use 3 times a week if needed works a treat great for kids too, costs next to nothing

    • Heather says

      Yes try Castile soap olive oil only. Add rosemary, clary sage and cedar wood essential oils and use tea tree once a week added to the mix. To condition use Argan oil just use a dime size and scrunch it into a Wet hair.

  112. Lauren says

    I will definitely try this out when my current bottle is gone! Can anyone tell me if it helps frizzy hair? I live near the KY/TN border, so it is HUMID all spring and summer!

    • Katie says


      I have fine, thin, curly hair, and I know some friends with thick curly hair. Since frizz is usually talked about by curly-haired people, I’m going to assume yours is curly… or at least somewhat. (Some people with frizzy hair that’s only wave do what I’m about to describe and discover their hair is much more curly than they ever knew, once it was left to its own devices.)

      Frizz is caused by the hair shafts drying out too much, which makes each strand microscopically rough instead of smooth…so instead of the hair strands laying together, they “fight” each other. Picture the difference between laying smooth ropes together and laying bristle brushes together.

      Curly hair is usually drier than natural hair anyway. Using sulfates on your hair (which 95% of commercial shampoos have) strips every bit of natural oil that might have ever been there and leaves you with frizz.

      So in most cases, the solution to getting rid of frizz is to STOP using shampoos with sulfates…along with the products that require sulfates to get out of your hair (ie: hair spray, gel, mouse, conditioners with silicone in them, etc.). I stopped well over a year ago, and my hair is gorgeous and so much more manageable than it ever was before… I don’t need hair spray or mousse or any of it to keep it looking good. It just plain DOES, naturally, as long as I keep it trimmed and cut in a way that flatters those curls, and as long as I don’t brush it when it’s dry.

      I hope that helps. Google “no poo” and “naturally curly” to find other people with hair like yours (however it is) and see what they’ve discovered.

  113. Kathie says

    never went through that stage but that might be because I started out with fairly dirty hair

  114. Melissa says

    has anyone gone through a greasy stage? I am still trying to get over that…my husband won’t touch my hair because of the oil in it…I was just wondering if I was the only one going through this problem 🙂

    • Matt Jabs says

      How long has it been? Try using a bit more shampoo and keep waiting it out, shouldn’t take more than a few weeks at most.

      • Melissa says

        It’s been about three and a half weeks…I used my homemade body wash this morning as shampoo and that took quite a bit of the grease out…I love the body wash and it works well as a shampoo also it seems 🙂

        1/2 cup water
        1/4 cup Castile Soap (i used Dr. Bronner’s Lavendar Scented)
        1/2 tsp Grapeseed oil

        • Matt Jabs says

          Oh yeah, castile soap makes a great shampoo. Try using that as shampoo once/week using the baking soda/water on the days in between and see how that works.

          • Melissa says

            i think I have finally figured out the problem…I have hard water and because of that, I need to boil the water for 10 minutes before adding the baking soda. 🙂 For those with hard water, boil the water for 10 minutes, pour into measuring cup being careful not to pour in the white minerals that are at the bottom of the pan now…I add 2 tbsp per cup of water 🙂 hope this helps those with hard water!!!

        • Doddie says

          This sounds great !! Did you have to order your Bronner’s on line. I will try this too, in addition to baking soda, and I will try borax (not all together) I will white vinegar, although organic apple cider would be best, my hair pick up some of the yellow color from it. I am going to try it again and make sure that is what it was.

  115. Kathie says

    Well, I took the leap of faith and been no ‘poo for 2 weeks now. It’s amazing how this works. Before when I used shampoo I always had to use conditioner to get the tangles out. I have baby fine hair. But now I don’t have to use conditioner and my hair is tangle free and has more body! Makes one think, do the makers of these products make them so they are dependent on one another? If you use shampoo then you have to use conditioner and then you have to use another product to add volume etc.

    • Matt Jabs says

      My sentiments exactly Kathie. I have been challenging Betsy for years with the notion that makers of these products do NOT want us to have beautiful hair, they want us to buy their product and get hooked on it.

      My experience has been just as yours, I now use only these homemade recipes for my hair, or I use none at all and have also been able to completely cut gel/mousse/hair spray out because I too have more volume rendering these products unnecessary. Isn’t it awesome?!

      • Jan Alexander says

        When we were kids, my grandmother used to wash our hair with Tincture Green Soap and always rinsed with apple cider vinegar, mixed with water. My hair was braided and she washed it every 2 weeks. When I got it cut at age 10, she washed it every week. When we were sick, and couldn’t get our head wet, we also used cornmeal as a dry shampoo and brushed it out. Worked well

  116. Phyllis says

    RE shampoo using soda and water. Is this regular baking soda or laundry soda. ? I made the dishwashing compound and ready to give it a good try.

    • Melissa says

      I think it’s regular baking soda…That’s what I have been using 🙂 I’m liking it so far..I have been using it for three weeks.

  117. Kathie says

    what a great idea! Back in the 60’s I used cornmeal rubbed in to my scalp and then brushed out. It took the oil buildup out. I used it in between shampoos so I only shampooed 1-2 times a week

  118. Shelly says

    I first started using the baking soda/water “shampoo” more than 8 years ago when I found out how hard SLS is on curly hair and began doing the “no poo” routine. It works as well as (better, actually!) any clarifying shampoo I’ve ever used and you cannot beat the savings! 🙂

    • Matt Jabs says

      The product is thicker allowing you to work it in better. The cleansing may not work as well because the liquid is running out before you can thoroughly cleanse a dreadlock.

  119. Andrea says

    I used baking soda and water for a few weeks (since I started deadlocking my hair) but realized it wasn’t doing it’s job of cleaning my hair. Left tons of residue. I found out it was because I have hard water. This isn’t an ideal hair cleaner for those who have hard water. I had to use a clarifying shampoo to get all the grim out of my hair

    • Matt Jabs says

      Try this – blend up some oats and mix it with baking soda, corn starch, and water to make a paste (however thick you wish.) If you don’t have a Vitamix or other blender that is able to blend oats into flour, just buy some oat flour.

      • Kat says

        I have been using rye flour for just over a year and am very pleased. It cleans and leaves my hair “fluffy” for days. With regular shampoo I was washing my short hair every 3 days. With rye it is every 6 days. At first my scalp itched for about two months. I mix 2 tablespoons with water into a runny paste, work it into my scalp, and then rinse, rinse, rinse.l to get all the bran out.

  120. Melissa says

    how often do you use the shampoo? I use it about every 2 days and just water wash the other days. I have been using it for a week and my hair is a little greasier than I like, but I know that will change sooner than later 🙂 Also, I have been noticing that I am having my hair fall out so to speak which usually means I need my hair trimmed, but it’s a lot more than normal. I’m not sure if it’s related or not, but it started when I started using the baking soda shampoo and vinegar conditioner. I’m actually a little bummed that it didn’t strip out the old hair dye in my hair as I can’t even remember what my natural hair color looks like 🙂

    • Matt Jabs says

      Betsy uses it daily. I use it only after sweating or doing something where I get dirty, like shaking out the indoor-outdoor camping carpet yesterday. I encourage you to stay with it for at least 30 days. After that you can make your judgement with confidence. It didn’t take the dye out eh? Other kept telling me it would so I mentioned it… I have no idea personally since I haven’t died my hair since a bad college decision nearly decades ago. 🙂

  121. Sarah @ Eat Live Austin says

    How long have you been no poo?
    I have been especially interested in going no poo as of late but am scared of the oily transition state.

    • Matt Jabs says

      I used this poo for the first time yesterday. Before that I hadn’t used “poo” in over 2 years. I like these shampoo & conditioner recipes because they clean, don’t leave your hair oily, yet your hair still has natural body and volume. Try it Sarah and let us know what you think. 🙂

    • Heather says

      I had no transition state at all, but my hair is super-short. I’ve read that it could take up to 2 weeks or so.

  122. Stephanie says

    So,can you add essential oils to add a scent? I’m thinking 4 Nina Nelson,above,answered my question already. I am definitely going to give this a try.

  123. Nina Nelson says

    I have tried this, too. I ended up adding some castile soap and essential oils to the mixture because my hair is so thick that I couldn’t get it on my scalp without something extra. I used regular vinegar as a conditioning rinse and added essential oils to that as well. Good stuff.

    • Rene says

      @ 4 Nina Nelson, how much castile soap did you add? I’m thinking that is what I need to do, but don’t want to over do it ya know?!!

    • Tracy says

      We put our water/baking soda mix in a squeeze bottle made for ketchup and mustard. You know, the red and yellow ones with the long, thin tip, except I found clear ones at Walmart for around $1 each. That way we can apply the shampoo directly to our scalps.

  124. Danielle @LifeBeyondTheBump says

    What a good idea! I have tried just scrubbing baking soda into my roots, but I found that it didn’t cover very well and I would have spots that were greasy. I will have to try this, as I imagine it would work better.

  125. Sara says

    I can’t wait to try this! I just have to tell you I am a single mom who just made the decision to quit my job and stay home with my 2yr old son and you have made a HUGE differance in my life. I have always wanted to be selfsufficiant and you are helping me make that possible! It as gone as far as my bussy friends are paying me to make the products for them. So i am eagerly waiting for more receipes to try =) Do you have a place to suggest receipes? Thanks for all you do, this is fastly becoming my favorite website!

    • Matt Jabs says

      Awesome Sara, we are so glad to be a help to you. We are releasing an ebook soon with loads of recipes for household cleaners, so be sure to subscribe to the updates.

  126. Country heart roaming the city says

    I have used this method. One thing people should know is that if you are doing this to save money is that it will strip hairdye right out. So say you are using henna to hide grays or have colored your hair, It will take it right out. I found that out and am thankful my horrible blonde streaks I had been covering up were not so bright. Apple cider vinegar is mixed with water as a conditioner.. Keep me posted if you find a better one please! Long hair needs something more :).

    • Adam says

      I am a male and I have tried using baking soda as a shampoo. It seemed to clean my hair fine but after a few months it had gradually bleached my hair. My hair is dark brown naturally and had become orange. I also tried making my own deodorant with baking soda and guess what happened? Yup blonde pit hairs!