A Whispy Wonderland of Tresses.

So I recently read a post on a blog called Letters To The Editor about natural hair care, thanks to my lovely friend Carrie. I had kind of always had a sneaking suspicion that the stuff we buy at the store was probably not the best stuff to be putting on our scalp, due to the fact that I simply cannot pronounce half the stuff on the ingredients list. I’ve also heard things, but nothing had really motivated me to ditch the suave and go for a more holistic route as far as my hair goes. Well, thanks to that post, all has changed. I didn’t realize that shampoo was basically a detergent that strips your hair of not only dirt, but all of it’s natural oils. It causes buildup which prevents the natural oils produced by the scalp from releasing, which is why we need conditioner. But because conditioner isn’t the real deal, it doesn’t hydrate and take care of your tresses the way your body’s natural process would. Now that doesn’t sound TOO BAD, but as I read on I found that there are other ingredients in store bought shampoo that can be harmful to us over a long period of time. The post is great, you should read it!

Anyways, I decided to use the recipe she provided to make some natural hair wash and rinse. Now friends, I am not about to just give you a little tutorial on something I haven’t tried. I’ve been using this recipe for the past week, and my hair not only feels clean, but it has gotten softer and has stayed clean longer! I’ve used the wash every other day, and the rinse only once.  As soon as I share the ingredients, you’ll probably think I’m crazy. But fret not! The hair wash smells good if essential oils are added to it and the smell of the rinse is immediately gone after rinsing!

First, go and read the article and then get these items out of your pantry:

Baking Soda

Apple Cider vinegar

Essential oils (not necessary, but will make your hair smell nice)

The recipe for the hair wash calls for 1 tbsp of baking soda per 1 cup of water. She does mention that everyone’s hair is different, so it might take some trial and error to find the perfect combo for you. But this mixture worked for me just fine! The rinse calls for 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of water. Again, once it is rinsed out, there won’t be any smell. If there is a lingering odor, then you have used too much vinegar. This mixture also did great for me. Here’s what the process looked like:

I took an empty sparkling water bottle and got all the sticky off of it.

Broke out some of Martha Stewart’s craft paint (best craft paint I’ve ever used) and labeled my bottles.

I put 4 cups of water for the hair wash and 4 tbsp of baking soda. For the rinse, I only used 3 cups (since you don’t have to use the rinse every time you wash) and did 3 1/2 tbsp of vinegar.

I added a small amount of Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils to my wash to give my hair the best smell (and the lavender also stimulates hair growth) It’s ok if you don’t want to add any oils.  Your hair won’t smell bad, it just won’t smell like anything.

And there ya go! Custom made, simple hair care products. Not only is it healthier, but man is it cheaper, especially if you have long hair.

Her post also includes recipes for other hair stuff like hairspray and hair gel!


Update: Here’s another really awesome, way more popular blog post about this from another woman seeking simplicity. She has been washing her hair with this for over 2 years now, and have a wealth of information! Also, after talking with a lot of people and hearing different takes on it, this method of hair care is not  meant for everyone. Don’t just settle for reading my experience, do some more research!

82 thoughts on “A Whispy Wonderland of Tresses.

  1. I’m wondering how you use a shampoo of thin consistency. Also, I add caffein powder to my shampoo for growth, 4 ts per 8 oz…. if I tend to use more ‘wash’ than shampoo due to lack of control when pouring thin liquid, I should use less caffein to get the same amount to my hair? I will try!

  2. Just curious, could I apply this with a spray bottle to ensure even application or do you use a bottle every time and just dump it over your head

    • i just use a bottle and slowly pour the desired amount on my head. But I am curious to see if a spray bottle would work better, I never thought of that! If you do it, let me know how it goes.

      • can’t wait to try, question , do you get a lather from the wash? what kind of washing experience did you encounter compaired to washing your hair with stor bought brands? how long did you keep the wash & rinse on your hair ? when i try i will post my experience ?

      • I use a.spray bottle for the acv rinse and a pointed tip mustard/ketchup bottle for the BS wash. So far so good.

      • YES, it works great in a spray bottle. I put both shampoo and rinse in 2 plastic bottles and hang them in the shower,that way if they drop, no broken glass.

      • Hey megan, i was just wondering. The blog that you had a link to said that for frizzy hair to add honey. Do you know if thats added to the baking soda wash or to the vinegar rinse?

      • If your hair stayed clean longer, as you wrote, why do you use it every other day? Is it necessary to use it that often?

        • I think at the beginning, as I was trying it out, I was using it every other day. Eventually I was able to use it once or twice a week. There really isn’t an exact “how to” with this stuff. Because there are all kinds of hair types, it’s going to vary from person to person.

          • ok, thanks. Also, I’ve tried hair rinse, but I left it on my hair too long, and now my ends are all burned, it’s like I’ve burned them with an iron. So be carefull cause apple cider is also very strong, it can do contraeffect on your hair.

    • Thanks for pointing that out! I went ahead and took that link out because for some reason I could not get it to work, but the first link in the very first sentence will take you to it!

  3. I have been using this system on my son and myself for the past few months. We use the baking soda mixture every four days and the apple cider vinegar mixture every day. We put the shampoo in an old mustard bottle, it’s easy to pour over the head and in certain spots better and the conditioner we put in a spray bottle. We wash our hair first and leave the conditioner in there until we have completely finished showering and then we rinse it out. I leave some extra vinegar in my hair because once it dries there is absolutely no smell and it makes my hair more shiny. We decided to try this because my son and I have psoriasis extremely bad on our scalps and the first day we did this it was gone. My son also has psoriasis on his legs so I spray the conditioner on them and rub it in. No lingering smell and bye bye psoriasis. It’s costs pennies to bathe now compared to our thirty dollar specialty shampoos that worked only sometimes and our fifteen dollar specialty lotions. The baking soda needs to be rinsed entirely out of your hair because it can cause nasty build up and it should only be applied to your scalp and not the entire length of your hair. You should only need about 1/3 or 1/4 cup on each mixture every time you use it. People have talked about an adjustment period where you hair resembles straw but I’ve never experienced that.

    • That’s great! So glad to hear that your and your son’s psoriasis was cleared from one of life’s simplest products.

      I usually have to use the entire cup of mixture because I have soooo much hair, and yes I only apply it to the roots and it does the rest. I did go through the adjustment period for about 2 weeks, my hair wasn’t straw like but it was super oily, way more than usual. I researched that, and it’s completely normal. Your scalp is so used to being blocked from producing oil, that once it’s cleaned out, it overproduces for a time period and then evens out. More power to those that don’t have to go through that! But even so, it was worth it. My hair is clean, pliable and being treated right. It’s also quite a savings on the bank account, like you said!

  4. I have heard that using ACV is not good for color treated hair. Is this true? If so, is there an alternative that is safe for color?
    Thank you! GREAT post!

    • From my research, it is ok to use in very small amounts, and actually helps balance out the PH levels. Too much and it can strip the color. I would try it out, spray a little bit of the solution on the ends of your hair and rinse after about 10 seconds. I don’t have color treated hair, so I cannot say for 100% sure! I would definitely do some more research just to be safe.

      • I use ACV and I color my hair…..it has never hurt my color and it helps with dry scalp…helps with the itching….my problem is remembering to buy more when I run out!!! LOL

    • My hairdresser told me that Vinegar actually helps set the color, especially reds. I did not notice a problem with it.

  5. ACV is good for dry/normal hair and white vinegar is good for oily hair. I have used this a few times. I just hate how “straw” like your hair is. I heard it takes a few weeks to not be that way. And where i first saw this post, she said to use spray bottles. So to the person who asked, yes you can use spray bottles. :)

  6. Pingback: Natural Hair Care | Lizzies Tips for Everyday Living

  7. I wonder if it would be easier to just sprinkle some baking soda into your hand and rub into wet hair? Then rinse? Also, just add some vinegar to a spray bottle and spray on then rinse? I love these ideas and I am excited to try it out!

  8. Hey Megan!
    I realize this post is a year old but I’ve been browsing your blog and Pinterest and realized that we have some things in common, namely sprouting from this interest in safer product use and making your own to go above and beyond. If you still manage this blog can you get in touch with me via email? I wanted to ask you about a similar subject. Thanks! Xoxo

      • Do you pronounce your name like “Casey” but spell it with two “s s” only reason I’m asking is because my full name is Cassandra but I am called “Casey” but I spell it with two ss and I’ve never seen anyone spell their name that way!!!!

    • While baking powder does contain baking soda, it also has other stuff in it, including drying agents (like starch), So I def wouldn’t recommend substituting powder for soda.

  9. I just tried this tonight for the first time. Hair was no tangle and shines like crazy. I swim almost daily so I have been looking for something to use besides shampoo and conditioner that is just ruining my hair. I am hoping the baking soda will neutralize the chlorine. The hair is getting so thin that if this helps OMG I will sing the praises.
    My hair was already like straw so it should be an improvement. LOL

    • That is great!! Yes, I have heard this concoction goes over really well with swimmers hair. I’m not a swimmer, but a few years back someone’s pool died my hair green. My friend is a hair dresser, and he gave me this little sample packet of stuff you put in your hair that will take the color out and give it back it’s softness and shine. I looked at the ingredients later on, and it was essentially baking soda with other stuff haha!

  10. I’m a hair dresser. I tried this this morning. I love it. It removed all the residue out of my hair without making it feel too dry or like it did nothing at all. I would add some tea tree oil to the shampoo. I felt like for my hair being that it’s over processed that I needed more oil. so I used some olive oil after I washed my hair. I tried a spray bottle for both. The baking soda blocks the tube of the spray bottle but works great for the conditioner. Thanks a bunch I will pass this on to others.

  11. I have used vinegar for years straight out of bottle ft conditioner when I had to use love treatment. It keeps my hair healthy and softens that eggs. The live shampoos strip but the vinegar softens and protects the hair.

  12. another option for the rinse is a half lemon squeezed into a half cup of water….after washing let water drain off hair by stepping out of shower for a minute…then pour lemon water over hair while massaging it in quickly before it drains away down the body….it is good for skin and hair….step back into shower water and rinse most of it off after good massaging of hair, but ok to leave some in that is diluted with the shower rinse water….is actually a good skin ph balancer for scalp and body skin…aloha

  13. With the shampoo, do you massage it into your scalp like regular shampoo? And the conditioner, do you let it sit on your hair for awhile?

    • I pour wash onto my scalp and let it kinda spread out for a few seconds and then do a really good massage. If you do this, you won’t have to cover your whole head with the wash, just make sure you get all of the scalp. The kind of hair you have will depend on how long you leave the rinse in. I tend to have more oily hair, so I’ll only leave mine on the tips for about a minute, sometimes less. It’s a trial and error kinda thing, it may take a while for you to figure out the perfect amount, but keep at it!

  14. Thanks! Tried it today…works great! Going to go get some essential oils to make it smell good, and I am going to try some tea tree oil too. With the oil, do you add it into the wash, or is it a separate treatment? Thanks for all your help!

    • You can add it to the wash or the rinse. With tea tree, use very sparingly! One time I put too much and it burned a little. No harm was done, but if it can run down your face and into your eyes and it feels like hell!

  15. I’m sure someone has already asked and I just glossed over it, but is this safe to use everyday? I have an oily scalp with fine, curly hair.

    • I definitely wouldn’t do this every day. If you use it properly, you shouldn’t need to. I also have really oily hair, and once I got the mixture right, I’m able to wait 3 days until I wash again.

  16. Just tried it a few minutes ago…my hair was feeling all silky and nice then I actually started running my hand over it and it feels so GREASY!did I do something wrong?:/

    • It could be two things: 1) you didn’t use enough of the wash or 2) your hair is going through a process that might take a few weeks to adjust. When your scalp is all cleaned out for the first time, there’s no more blockage and the your natural oils can overcompensate. This doesn’t always happen, but it can, so try adjusting your wash mixture and if that doesn’t work, it’s probably issue #2. You can learn more about that on the blog I put a link to in the post!

  17. I just might have to try the shampoo & rinse, I just have a ? for the one who took the pics, because I saw the one with the mushroom canisters in the background…I have a set just like that I got at a garage sale years ago…I haven’t seen another set till that picture…I have the matching mugs & soup bowl. It didn’t have the ladel with it though,& one of the tops is broken. I was gonna give them to a friend, but she decided she didn’t want them anymore. They are still packed away.lol

  18. Pingback: Homemade shampoo from baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse!… this actually works wonders! I love it and there’s no yucky smell at all. it gets all products out of your hair with one wash and rinse. cheap and easy :-) | Dreamy Blog

  19. I’ve heard this method called the “no-poo method.” I read about it on another blog before and I really want to try it! I am concerned though because on the other blog I read it said for the 1st week or so it’ll look little gross and yucky as your body tries to adjust to the products. Did you have this experience, if so, do you think it would be wise to mix your shampoo and conditioner in with the vinegar and baking soda and slowly ween yourself off of shampoo so the change is not so drastic?

    • I did experience that process, but it only lasted about a week and a half for me. It’s not really something that other people are going to notice, you will just feel like you are gross. But if you can push past that phase, it it great!

  20. What would you do if you swim a lot? I go to the pool at least 3 times a week in the summer? Would the chlorine come out with this mixture?

  21. Hi, I have long, thick curly hair, and have recently decided to switch to ‘au natural’ products, so I decided to research this BS and ACV method. I haven’t tried it yet, but I really want to know first if me using coconut oil as a pre-shower deep conditioner with the baking soda as a wash will be able to wash it out well enough. Thanks!

    • I definitely wouldn’t use the coconut oil before every washing. I tried doing that and it was impossible to get out without using regular shampoo and conditioner. But that was my hair! Yours might be different, there’s no harm in experimenting.

  22. I have been using these for about a month and love it! I use spray bottles though, its easier to apply, and doesnt use so much!

  23. I have been struggling with breakage. It’s to the point I have been trying diet, vitamins, changing shampoo and conditioner treatments…. I read your post and I thought I give it a try. Today was the first time, loved it! I did not use enough of the wash but trial and error… I added tea tree oil to the rinse. Then used coconut oil spray on my towel dried hair… My natural curls look awesome and I did not have to use gel or hair spray to limit the frizz. I can see I will have to be careful not to touch my hair to break up the curls, but day 1 my hair is already better. I wanted to ask and confirm… Do you use 1 cup of wash and how often? And how much of the rinse? Often? Reading both sites there is conflicting info… Wash every 2-3 days but rinse everyday? Since my hair is curly and sets better when it’s wet entirely… so days 1-2 could be just plain water? Also much of the lavender and other extracts do you use in the mixtures? I only put a couple drops of tea tree based upon one of your previous posts. Also where do suggest purchasing? I see that Walgreens sells the extracts online but not in the store. I’m a rookie that’s this natural stuff. Thanks for any suggestions!

  24. Hi,
    Thank you for giving advice on natural way to clean hair. Is it ok to apply wash for sometime n then wash it out. Same can I do with Rinse?

  25. nice tip, thanks! In the spirit of returning the favour, did you know that you can use peanut butter in place of goo-gone (assuming no allergies of course)? Just smear it on, let it set for ten minutes, and the old label will wash off.

  26. I’m so excited to try this. I’ve been trying to get my hair to grow for years. I trim it every now and then but it’s so stubborn. Do you think this will help my hair grow faster?

  27. I rinsed my hair with used coffee grounds. The grounds balance ph levels, detangles and shines. Never experienced any dryness. Massage grounds on scalp and rinse out. Little to no lingering scent. Make sure to rinse hair and shower well :)

  28. So the wash works like shampoo and the rinse works like conditioner? how should i be using these in the shower i want to start and see if my hair gets healthier

  29. Soooooo the wash works like shampoo and the rinse works like conditioner? how should i be using these in the shower i want to start and see if my hair gets healthier

  30. Just a quick tip:
    to get the glue off of old bottles, instead of goo gone, rub with peanutbutter and let it sit for about an hour. Glue rubs right off.

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