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Do-It-Yourself: Homemade Baking Soda Shampoo

Life Blessons shares how to make your own Baking Soda Shampoo. I’ve heard of this before and have friends who have done this with great success! To be honest, though, I’ve been too chicken to try. Yes, I know, I’m one of those people who’s stuck in my ways and can’t bear the thought of washing my hair without regular shampoo! :)

Have any of you tried this? Has it worked? I’d love to hear.

Do you have a fun and frugal DIY idea to share? I’d love to hear about it! Read the submission guidelines and submit it here.

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  1. Kate says

    I’ve been doing this for about a year and a half. It works great. I only have to wash my hair twice a week, at the most. My hair is super healthy and I save lots of money.

  2. says

    I have tried this hoping that it would work for me. After the first few days it was okay, but my hair wasn’t smelling nice like my free pantene shampoo. After a week my hair didn’t smell nice, and my head was having a hard time adjusting. I really really love good smelling shampoo so went back after a week. Hope this works for someone else. Also, putting it in a bottle before hand makes it really cold when applying it to your head in a hot shower. fyi. :)

  3. says

    I tried this for two weeks and.. hated it!! I did however then switch over to a more ‘natural’ shampoo, Jason, and have been able to go longer in between shampoos. This just wasn’t feasible for my oily hair as a working professional!

  4. Suzann says

    I’ve been doing it for a couple of months. Love it! I had severe allergies to all shampoos (including organic, “healthy” kind) but once I switched to BS/ACV, I am symptom free. No more itchy scalp, no more dandruff, no more rash. It’s really been great!

  5. Lisa says

    I would love to try it, but I doubt that my hubby or teenage son would be as enthusiastic. I have heard that baking soda does work to strip the hair of oil and shampoo buildup, so once every couple of weeks I mix about a tablespoon of baking soda in with my shampoo in my hand before applying to my hair. (I keep the baking soda in the shower in an old Kraft Parmesan Cheese container.) I never thought about using just straight baking soda.

  6. Becky says

    I tried once with a lemon juice wash, baking soda rinse, but was not impressed. My hair was always still oily, and I was using enough (I have long hair) that I was having to mix it up almost every day. I figured the lemon juice was costing almost as much as I spend on shampoo, and not cleaning my hair as well. Maybe it would work every other day, though.

  7. Kim N says

    According to my hair stylist friend, baking soda is too harsh on your hair. Using a little (mixed into your regular shampoo) once a month or so is helpful for removing product build-up. Using it more often will dry your hair out, since it strips the healthy oils.

  8. Amanda says

    I tried no poo for about 8 months. I was attracted not only by the lack of money spent on hair, but also on the idea of not dumping tons of chemicals all over my head. It worked well at first–more volume, more shine, less washing–and then things went awry. The wash I had been using was longer keeping me clean and it was GROSS. With some help of the people on the livejournal community “no_poo”, I found ways to alter the wash and fix it. I figured it out, but it was not like it had been after those first few washes. I found out that this particular method tends to meet lots of problems if you have hard water, so be prepared (if you don’t have hard water, beware when you travel!). Another down I also noticed was that my hair had become more fine than it was before. I don’t know if that’s normal, but nothing else changed that could have led to that happening. I decided to stop, but dreaded the return to the chemically loaded shampoos. One of the ladies on that community introduced me to homemade shampoo bars that she uses (I buy them from a lady on Etsy). They’re all natural, and I love love love them!
    And to make my hair smell pretty, I’ve been spritzing with some essential oil in water or some rose water. :) The smell is not nearly as strong as store bought products, but I’m more sensitive to smells anyway.

    I do encourage trying it, though. I’m a rare that couldn’t find a solution. It’s not for everyone, but if it is for you, you’ll love it. Also, make it a point to do a lot of research before you start, and join communities and such on the subject so you’ll have some support if the family isn’t so happy about your decision. And if you do try it, give it lots of time.

  9. April Zachary says

    I have really healthy hair, not too dry nor too oily. I tried the baking soda last year for 2 months. I started having very fly away hair and it seemed too dry. I went to my hair dresser and she was astounded by how dry and awful my hair was and asked what had I done to my hair, I told her that I was using baking soda to wash my hair. Needless to say she gave me a good talking to and told me that baking soda is good if you need to strip your hair. it had stripped mine alright. Every time I washed it I was stripping all the protective oils. Mind you my hair felt very soft while washing in baking soda and my scalp did not itch anymore. You can take your chances, I now only use baking soda if I need to strip all the product, such as hairspray or gel.
    * If you rinse your hair in apple cider vinegar and let it dry it makes your hair shiny!

  10. amymezzell says

    I have done this off and on for a year, and it is awesome. After the baking soda wash, I use a small amount of lime juice (can use lemon or vinegar) in water to close the hair back up. If you don’t do that, you could do damage as mentioned above. Also, if your hair is dry, you shouldn’t use baking soda on it every day – in that case, you don’t wash your hair every day because the oils are needed. My hair has always felt great using this method, and my hairdresser assured me that my hair was healthy and seemed great. A big bonus is that it takes MUCH less time to blow dry your hair if you don’t use typical shampoo and conditioner. An extra bonus is that I love the way my hair naturally smells when I stop using chemicals!

  11. says

    Maybe you could mix a drop of rosemary essential oil instead to avoid clogging the pump. Or keep rosemary and water for a few days or longer in an other container, then strain the rosemary and use the rosemary water for the BS shampoo? I have done that with herbs for other home made products like after shave for my husband.

    I did this no (sham)poo and only BS and ACV for a year, year and half and washed my hair only once a week. It worked well until I don’t know what happened but it stopped working and my hair wasn’t very nice anymore. We moved to another state so I thought it was the water but I don’t really know. I started using organic shampoos and castile soap instead but from time to time I go back to the BS again. I mix it every time but this ready mixture seems handier :) I use 1 tbsp of BS to 1 cup of water and rinse with a cup of water that has 1-2 tbsps of ACV in it. It leaves my hair so soft and I feel it is good for my scalp too. I sometimes just leave it in.

  12. shannon morales says

    Never tried baking soda but instead of conditioner,
    I rinse my hair with diluted apple cider vinegar a few times a week and really like that. Makes it soft, shiny and helps with tangles. I put about 1:1 water:acv in an old shampoo bottle and just pour it all over my head after shampooing. When it dries, the smell is gone!

  13. Allison V. says

    I’m just curious: If you don’t rinse out all the baking soda, and then you add apple cider vinegar, will you get a school-science-project-volcano reaction in your hair?? =)

  14. erin says

    i do a version of this, it’s been about 1 1/2 years now. i mix 1Tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water, just like the website in the link does. it’s important to mix it with water this way, straight baking soda is too harsh.
    i remember my hair being a little weird for the 2nd and 3rd weeks. too oily. the hair is adjusting, because shampoo is really too harsh. your hair needs some natural oils. if you try this, you should be prepared to stick it out past the first month. after the second month my hair/scalp stopped adjusting and has been the same since.
    i now use conventional conditioner, but since i only buy conditioner, it’s far easier to find it for free all the time at the drugstore. you go through conditioner a lot slower than shampoo usually and so a bottle stretches for a while. i did do the acv thing instead for a while and liked it, but it wasn’t enough for my curly hair.
    like sirpa above, i can just feel that my scalp and hair are much healthier.
    and like life blessons, in the link, my hair doesn’t get oily now. it stays the exact same for a few days. shampooing left my hair dry in the morning and greasy at bedtime.

    there has been no science project volcanos after baking soda and vinegar in my hair, not any i’ve noticed anyway!

  15. Hollaina says

    I love washing my hair with baking soda. It leaves it so soft and easy to work with. I have a very sensitive scalp, so this was the best thing I could do for it. For conditioner, I use Nutiva Coconut Oil and it leaves my hair in great condition; no split ends whatsoever. My hair is naturally wavy, so I use just a little bit to set the waves after my shower as well.

  16. Antonella says

    Started to use it a year ago in summer because of itchy scalp.
    I do the diluted baking soda + vinegar rinse twice a week and my thin hair is gorgeous.
    I didn’t have any adjusting issues but I hear everybody’s different. Totally try it, Crystal!

  17. Anna Powers says

    I am currently doing this. I am trying to eliminate the amount of chemicals I am exposed to. I think it works and like someone else posted I only need to wash my hair 2 times a week, previously I was a 3-4 times a week girl. I also rinse with apple cider vinegar water. The baking soda really gets your hair clean of the oils, I have to use a fair amount, I mixed much more baking soda into my bottle than the recipe called for. The only I do not like is the cold feeling :-) I used distilled water to mix mine and after it sits in the shower every few days, it is a bit of a shock on the head :-) But it’s cheap and effective!

  18. Jessica says

    I started in August and haven’t looked back. I’ve heard of people getting bad cases of dandruff around week 3, but I didn’t get that until one day I was out of baking soda and used regular shampoo! Instant dandruff mess! I woke up one morning and couldn’t move my head. My husband had his head laying on my hair. He said it was softer than his pillow. :)

  19. Melanie says

    I tried this for the better part of a year. I have a very dandruffy scalp but was told that over time, my scalp would begin to regulate its oil production and stop compensating for commercial shampoos, and everything would be fine. I had to give up on baking soda for several reasons. Firstly, the dandruff never cleared up. It became noticeably worse. Every forum seemed to have its own suggestion, but no matter how many *other* baking supplies I applied to my scalp, it never helped. At one point I was soaking my head in cider vinegar almost daily.

    Secondly, baking soda made my hair so soft and shiny and easy to comb. And brittle, and full of breakage and split ends. Odd that the two characteristics can exist in the same head of hair, but it’s true. I ended up taking off quite a few inches in my last haircut because the hair that got baking soda had breakage and split ends quite a distance up. It was pretty disappointing.

    So in short, many people have had remarkable success with this, but not me.

  20. Kristen says

    I have used the baking soda shampoo to get the green out of my hair after swimming in a pool. It has a chemical reaction to the pool chemicals and smells strange while shampooing, but worked to get the green out. After a couple of days, three I’d say, all of the green was out.

  21. Cara says

    A wonderful natural deep conditioning recipe: 1 tbsp of honey, 3 tbsp olive oil, mix and let sit at least overnight…not sure why..apply to dry hair and leave on for 30 minutes before washing. Be sure to do a final rinse with vinegar. I use a 24 0z glass jar and pour 1/3 full with vinegar and the rest water. This has been amazing for my hair!

  22. Tere says

    Baking soda is also great for getting out hair spray build up. About once a week, I’ll pour some baking soda in my hand before I get in the shower, and then add some shampoo and mix it up and wash my hair with that. This is an even better idea though!

  23. Betsy says

    The kids and I tried it last fall for several weeks. It did not work for us!! We all have fine hair, and after about a week our hair looked dull and had no body or volume whatsoever. I’m glad we tried it, but apparently it doesn’t work for all hair types.

  24. Wendi says

    I tried the baking soda, and apple vinegar rinse for close to a year. I never went thru the greasy phase that some do, probably because I have terribly dry hair to start with. My issue was that I color my hair and between the coloring, and the baking soda, plus the natural dryness of my hair—I had brittle hair. No amount of conditioner was helping (and I was doing deep conditioning with olive oil and hair masques). I switched back to normal shampoo and conditioners. I just have to baby my hair. (I also cannot use any electric instruments on my hair….it is so fickle!)

  25. Kim says

    I haven’t paid for shampoo in a very long time, so money isn’t a reason to switch for me. It’s so easy to get free shampoo, though I don’t always get my exact favorite brand. :)

  26. Heidi says

    As a stylist, I’d have to caution anyone who shampoos their hair everyday…baking soda is very harsh on hair strands, and can leave you with frizzies, and overall rough hair…not fun! Also, for those with colored hair…baking soda is know around the industry as a quick fix to tone down too dark hair color a shade or two. But, if you use it sparingly, it’s great for getting excess oiliness and dirt, and general buildup off of the scalp. It takes the place of an expensive clairifyer shampoo.

  27. nikki says

    I tried it for a week and a half and it did not work for me. I know you’re supposed to stick it out for a month, but I was tired of not being able to comb my hair. It was a snarly, dry, oily mess. I wish it had worked, maybe I’ll try it again one day. It seems so much healthier than using chemical-laden shampoos.

  28. Whitney says

    I am on Day 5 of trying the baking soda shampoo. I am currently more pleased than I am disappointed. But it is not as simple as just doing the 1 T. BS to 1 cup water ratio. My advice is to start with that but adjust the ratio to your hair and water type. My hair was dry and sticky (build up of BS) after 2 days, so I am trying to use less BS and leaving it on for a shorter amount of time. Also, the apple cider vinegar rinse is helping. It definitely has made my hair less oily! I have always been a “wash my hair everyday” kind of girl. I think that may change with this shampoo.

  29. Jerilyn says

    I tried it and liked it but I have really dry skin that cracks and bleeds and the baking soda (and apple cider vinegar rinse i used) burns my hands. ouch! might go back since I’m not really couponing anymore and running out of my stock pile!

  30. Darcy says

    I tried it this summer and liked it at first, but then ran into the problem that my hair was greasy all the time. I would wash my hair every other day (I use the ACV for a rinse). Maybe I was doing it too often.

    Now I do it about once a week but have been thinking of giving it a try again.

  31. Kris says

    For people with curly hair, going “no-poo” can work remarkably well. I started doing this in 2006, but I still wash with a small amount of shampoo because it works better for my scalp.

    But I mostly wash with conditioner. I used to wash my hair every other day, and it was a greasy mess, but now I wash about twice a week.

    A key thing for me was not using products with silicone. I read up a lot on the site naturallycurly.com, and read a book called “Curly Girl” that taught me how to do this.

    I hardly ever buy shampoo now, and I just use the cheapest Suave conditioner because it’s silicone free!

  32. Kris says

    Like some of the others I was trying to avoid the chemicals in shampoo. I only had to wash my hair every three or 4 days when using the baking soda. I had a scalp problem before i started using the baking soda, and though my hair did well, the baking soda made my scalp itch more. I found a wonderful handmade rosemary shampoo bar at creationsoap.com that solved the scalp problem and works great for me. They also had a dandruff bar that worked great for my daughter. I think it’s worth trying the baking soda to see if it works for you. I also use baking soda as a deodorant. Works great!

  33. Melinda says

    I have tried this and loved the way it worked for my hair. However, we have very hard water, so I had to heat the water on the stove, almost to boiling and then add the baking soda, mix well and wait for it to cool to put it in my bottle. It got very old. I quit doing that, but I still do an apple cider vinegar rinse. I keep a small jar (an empty boullion granules jar) in the shower. The ACV is in another jar. I put just a little vinegar in the small jar and fill it with water and use it for a rinse – no cooking required!!!

  34. says

    I don’t use baking soda as a shampoo, but I do use it as a scrub to remove all the hair products stuck in the hair, it is wonderful for removing hairspray, etc…especially before I put my color on….being a hairdresser, I have found this is one of the best products out there that removes residue without harming the hair. I don’t use this weekly, usually when my hair becomes so saturated with product that I can’t get the look I’m going for…as you can imagine I use a lot of product, baking soda works wonders.

  35. Michelle says

    I just have an empty p-nut butter container filled with baking soda in my shower, with a plastic cup resting over it. In the shower I pour in a small amount, fill with water, and pour over my head. My kids and I all have flaky scalps, and this is what heals that problem. My daughter like fancy shampoos, but returns to baking soda when her scalp gets bad. We all still need to condition our hair though, so I always choose that when couponing.

  36. says

    I went no poo for two reasons. My main goal is to stop using so many harsh chemicals in my life and shampoo is harsh! But when I switched to better shampoos, I was spending $9 a bottle and going through them quickly!

    I love no poo. My hair has reacted beautifully, it could not have gone better. But, I did a ton of research before I tried it and knew what not to do. I also only was my hair every three days or so anyway, so this wasn’t a huge switch.

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