DIY Baking Soda Shampoo & Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner – 100% Green & Effective!

Baking Soda Shampoo and Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner

My curls high on baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner!

I can only imagine how much money I’ve spent in my lifetime experimenting with all different types of shampoos, conditioners, mousses, and hair gels to tame my unruly curls (see my other post on how I care for my curly hair). Since switching to baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner a year ago, I haven’t tried another product and haven’t even wanted to! If you think this sounds like a gimmick, I can’t blame ya, but I promise it’s not. Just start browsing the comments on this post and you’ll see one success story after another.

I’ve tried Nexxus, Frizz-Eaze, Kérastase, DevaCurl, Matrix Biologe, Redken, and Bed Head to name a few. I’m 30 years old now, and until a year ago, I still hadn’t found the perfect products to keep my hair soft, manageable, moisturized and most importantly, tamed. After using no-poo (no sodium laureth sulfate) shampoo and conditioner from DevaCurl for a couple of years and only washing my hair every 3-4 days, it was only fitting that I take the full plunge and make my own Baking Soda shampoo!

So ewww, that’s totally gross! Wash your hair every 3 to 4 days and not use real shampoo? Well, at first it is gross because your hair has to go through a 2-4 week transition period (mine was about 2 1/2 weeks) as it adjusts how much oil it produces.

See, regular shampoo has harsh sulfates in it, which are synthetic detergents. These sulfates clean the hair a little too well and end up stripping it of its natural oils, which causes your scalp to produce more oil than is actually needed. Baking Soda doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils, but simply removes dirt from your hair.

I was determined to try it and stick it out – especially because it’s so incredibly cheap, gentle on my hair and 100% green! My hair did continue producing excess oil for about two weeks, even after having used a poo free shampoo for several years prior! I was very surprised by this. After that period, however, my hair felt softer than ever and started to actually lay flat! This works for all types of hair, not just curly. In fact, most bloggers who’ve written about it have straight hair.

UPDATE – If you’re not sure if you are ready to make the switch but still want to use more natural cleaners for your hair, check out my No-Poo Alternatives to Baking Soda post. I use an aloe vera and glycerine shampoo and talk about it there.

Testimonial – Removes Cradle Cap

One of my readers, Deanna, has been using the diluted baking soda on her five month old baby and says that her baby’s skin is much softer and it is helping to remove her cradle cap. Wow! It’s really not necessary to spend ten times the money on natural baby soaps when you can make baking soda shampoo and soap for pennies!

So, let’s get started!

Ingredients for Baking Soda Shampoo

All you need to make your own shampoo! Baking Soda and water – doesn’t get any cheaper or easier than that, folks!

Baking Soda Shampoo

  • Filtered Water
  • An empty container – I use an old shampoo bottle
  • Baking Soda (where to buy)
  • Measuring Cup
  • Tablespoon
  • 1 Funnel

Approx. Ratio for the Recipe: 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 cup water OR make a paste with baking soda and a small amount of water and store in an old lotion tub. Just rinse thoroughly if you make a paste. The ratio for this recipe is flexible – there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. Add more baking soda if your hair is thick and long or oily, and less if it’s short and thin or dry. I use a little bit more, because my hair is so thick and long. So, for a 32 ounce container, I use 5 tablespoons of Baking Soda and 4 cups of cool water. I use the funnel to get the water and baking soda into the container. I’ve used warm water before (so I could use the shampoo right away and it wouldn’t be cold), but warm to hot water causes the baking soda to break down and clump, rendering it ineffective.

It’s so easy! Takes me about 5 minutes to complete it.

I take the bottle, flip my head upside down, and squirt the shampoo onto my scalp (the mixture is usually colder than room temperature, so it’s COLD to just pour on the scalp, which I why I flip my head over!).

Then, I take my fingers and rub my scalp in a circular motion, adding more shampoo if it feels like I need it, and rinse very thoroughly.


  • It’s very important to rinse thoroughly or your hair will feel grainy and dry.
  • Make the recipe with cool to lukewarm water, but not warm or hot. Warm/hot water reacts with the baking soda and causes it to clump up.
Ingredients for Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner

Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner

  • Empty container (I use an empty vinegar bottle)
  • Measuring cup
  • Funnel
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (where to buy)
  • Water (see tips below for scented, herb-infused water in the “Worried About the Smell?” section

Ratio for the conditioner is one tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar to one cup of filtered water. My hair is so dry, thick and long that I use a lot more and it works wonders for my hair – about 1 cup ACV with 1 cup water.

I shied away from using this as a conditioner for a long time because as I used it in the shower, my hair did not feel soft and silky like it did with commercial conditioners, so I thought it wasn’t working. Then, I bit the bullet and decided to try it without any commercial conditioner just to see what would happen. The result? After my hair dried (and I ignored that it didn’t feel soft while wet), it was softer and smoother than when I had used commercial conditioner! I was amazed and now I’m HOOKED.

Worried About the Smell?

Don’t be – I promise you will not smell like a walking pickle jar! If I did, believe me, I wouldn’t be using this. I may be into green living, but I do have pride (smile). Once your hair dries, the vinegar smell disappears. In fact, it starts to dissipate right after rinsing and I don’t notice a smell at all. However, I have been doing this method for a long time, so I am used to it.

If you are just starting this method and just can’t stand the smell of it in the shower or while it’s drying, here are several ideas:

  • You can add essential oils like lavender, rosemary, sage, or citrus to freshen it up. However, if you get the raw ACV like I do, the essential oils will make the raw material (aka “the mother”) clump up. (where to buy high quality essential oils)
  • You could also make your own scented water to mix with it by steeping some herbs in hot water (like making herbal tea) in a pot on the stove, strain the herbs and use that water to mix with the ACV.
  • A reader wrote that she uses just a little bit of rose water (where to buy) and orange blossom water (where to buy) and a few drops of her favorite essential to make it smell heavenly.

Tips for Application:

  • When starting this method for the first time, be careful to pour the ACV on just the ends of your hair so it doesn’t get on your scalp. It makes my scalp feel oily.
  • However, if you are dealing with psoriasis, dandruff or dry skin on your scalp, ACV does WONDERS for healing dry and damaged skin and I recommend applying it to your scalp until your skin heals. I have had a few spots of dandruff in the past and the ACV has cleaned it up after one application!

Trying this Method and Still Dealing with Frizziness?

I’ve gotten quite a few comments from curly girls who are dealing with frizziness while trying this method. I highly recommend reading my other post on my Curly Hair Regimen and follow all the steps when it comes to washing your hair and applying a product afterwards – each step counts. If you find it is drying your hair out, I have had the same issues (after using it for a year and a half, but many have been happy with it long-term). I wrote another post to address this issue – No-Poo Alternatives to Baking Soda. To be clear, I do still have to use a hair cream or mousse with this method or my hair would look terrible and frizzy. I know that may sound strange, but that’s just how coarse and curly my hair is. Before this method, my hair was frizzy, unruly and really dry even with hair products on it. Now, my hair feels soft and lays much more nicely and isn’t nearly as dry. Not only that, I’m saving tons of money as gentle shampoos and good conditioners are very expensive.

Another idea is to use coconut oil as a pre-conditioner. I get my coconut oil from Tropical Traditions and love it! Apply it BEFORE washing your hair, preferably an hour before and let it sit. Then, wash and rinse like normal. Do this on an as-needed basis until you hair feels like you want it to! I have been doing this since having my third baby as the hormonal changes made my hair very dry. The coconut oil has worked wonders to moisturize it!

See More Hair Posts, Keep Reading Below!

See my Natural Beauty Recipes page for ALL of my DIY green projects, like homemade deodorant, lotion, detergent, and cleaning products!

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. Cephalexin Result [url=]Buy Kamagra Online[/url] Buy Doxycycline From Canada Levitra Online Paypal [url=]Purchase Levitra[/url] Viagra Comment Prendre Most Reliable Generic Viagra [url=]Internet Order Viagra[/url] Order Flagyl Tablets Maxifort 50 Mg [url=]Cheap Cialis And Viagra[/url] Amoxil Without Prescription Cialis Generika Aus Indien [url=]viagra[/url] En Cialis Kosten Schweiz [url=]Buy Cialis Cheap[/url] Generico Viagra In Farmacia Buy Generic Kamagra [url=]Generic Priligy[/url] Euro Med Online Best Sellers Catalog

  2. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting articlle like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, iff
    all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.|
    I could not reeist commenting. Very well written!|
    I’ll right away seize your rss feed as I can not iin finding yoiur
    e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.

    Do you’ve any? Kindly llet me recognize so that I could subscribe.
    It’s appropriate time to mame some plans ffor the futhre and it’s time tto be
    happy. I have read this post andd if I could I desire to suggest you few
    interesting things or tips. Maybe you coukd write net articles referring to this article.
    I wish too read more things about it!|
    It is the best time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to
    bee happy. I’ve learn this publish and iif I could I want too suggest
    you some interesting things oor advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to learn more things about it!|
    I have been browsing online more thann 3 hours
    today, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours.

    It is pretty worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made
    good content as you did, the net shall be a lot more useful than eer
    Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue about this paragraph here at thgis blog, I have read all that, so now me also
    commenting here.|
    I am sure this post has touched all the internet visitors, its really really fastidious post on building up new web site.|
    Wow, thiss article is nice, myy sister is
    analyzing such things, therefore I am goihg to tell her.|
    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!|
    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the resst off the
    site is also really good.|
    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since i have book
    marked it. Money and freedom is thhe greatest way to change,
    may you be rich andd continue to help other people.|
    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard to
    get that “perfect balance” between usaer friendliness and visual appearance.
    I must say you’ve done a uperb job with this.
    Also, the blog loads super quick for me oon Safari. Exceptional Blog!|
    These arre really impressivee ideas in concerning blogging.
    You have touched somke fastidious factors here. Any way keep
    uup wrinting.|
    I love what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work aand coverage!

    Keeep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you
    guys to my personal blogroll.|
    Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came
    to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking
    and will be tweeting this to my followers! Great blog and
    excellent design aand style.|
    I love what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and coverage!
    Keepp up the good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.|
    Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own bllg inn the near future but
    I’m havinng a diifficult time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design sems
    different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to
    Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you’re
    utilizing? I’ve loaded youjr blog in 3 completely different
    browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot
    faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a reasonable
    price? Kudos, I appreciate it!|
    I love it when folks gett together and share ideas. Great site,
    continue the good work!|
    Thank yyou for the auszpicious writeup. It in fact wass a amusement
    accouynt it. Look advanced to farr added agreeeable from you!
    However, how could we communicate?|
    Howdy just wanted to gove you a quick heads up. The words
    in your content seeem to bbe runhing off the screen in Internet explorer.

    I’m not surte if this iis a formatting issue or
    something to do with wweb browser compatibility but I thought I’d
    post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Many
    This is a topic that is near to myy heart… Cheers!
    Where are your contact details though?|
    It’s very trouble-free to find out any topi on webb as compared to
    textbooks, as I found this paragraph at thius web page.|
    Does your siite have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but,
    I’d like to shoot youu an email. I’ve got some suggestions for
    your blogg you mioght bee interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.|
    Hey there! I’ve been reading your blog for some tiome
    nnow and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work!|
    Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to tears at work so I
    decided to check out your website on my iphnone during lunch break.
    I enoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blogg loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful
    Its like you learn my mind! You seem to grasp so much about this, like youu wrote the e book
    in it orr something.I feel that yoou simply could do with a few percent
    to power the message home a little bit, however instead of that, that is
    great blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.|
    I visited many blogs except the audio quality for audio songs
    present at this site is really wonderful.|
    Hi, i read your blog freom time to time andd i own a similar oone and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you prevent it, any pplugin or anything youu caan suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving mee crazy so any assistance
    is very much appreciated.|
    Greetings! Very useful advice in his particular article!
    It’s the little changes that make the biggest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!|
    I really love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you
    make this website yourself? Please rreply bqck as I’m trying to create mmy
    very own site and would love to find out where
    you gott this from or exactly what the theme is named.
    Manyy thanks!|
    Hi there! This blog post could not be writteen any better!
    Looking through this artkcle reminds me of mmy previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will sejd this
    post to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a gooid read. I appeeciate you
    for sharing!|
    Amazing! This boog looks exactly like my old
    one! It’s on a entirely different subject but it has pretty much the
    same page layout and design. Excellent choice
    off colors!|
    There is dedinately a lot to know about this topic. I loke all of the points youu have made.|
    You’ve made soje good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about thhe issue and found
    most individuals will go along with your views on this site.|
    Hi there, I chefk your blogbs regularly. Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!|
    I just couldn’t go away your website prior to suggesting that I extremely loved the
    usual info a person provide in your guests? Is gonna
    bbe again ceaselessly too check out new posts|
    I wanmted to thank you for this very good read!!I definitely loved every little bit
    of it. I’ve got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…|
    Hi, just wanted to tell you, I liked this article. It was helpful.
    Keep on posting!|
    Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post.
    I like to write a little comment to support you.|
    I always spent myy half an hour tto read this web site’sposts everyday along with
    a mug of coffee.|
    I everey time emailed this web site post page to all my friends, sinnce if like to read it after that my contacts will
    My developer is trying to convinxe me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea becaus of the costs. Butt he’s tryiong none the less.
    I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about Is there a way I can import aall my wordpress content into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!|
    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but aftrr browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’snew
    to me. Regardless, I’m definitely pleased I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking it and checkibg back often!|
    Wonderful work! This is the type of information that should be sharfed around the internet.

    Disgrace on Google for now nnot positioning
    this publish higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks
    Heya i am foor the firdt time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to give somethng back andd aid others like
    you hepped me.|
    Howdy, There’s no doubt that your web site could possibly be haviong web browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fune butt when oppening in I.E., it has
    some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick
    heads up! Other than that, excellent site!|
    Someone necessarily help to make critically
    articles I’d state. This is the very first tiime I frequented your web page and to this point?
    I amazed with the analysis you made to create
    this actual putt up incredible. Exellent activity!|
    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found
    this board and I finnd It truly useful & it helped me outt a lot.
    I hope to provide one thingg back and aid others such as you aided me.|
    Hello! I simply wish too giuve you a big thumbs up for your excellent informaqtion you have hee on this post.
    I’ll be returning to your blog for more soon.|
    I always used to study paragraph in news papers
    but now as I am a user of net so from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.|
    Your method of explaining everything in this paragraph is actually
    pleasant, all be capable of without difficulty understand it, Thanks a lot.|
    Hi there, I found your siite by means of Google at the saame
    time as looking for a related matter, your website came up, it appears to be like great.
    I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply become alert to your weblog through Google, annd found that it iis
    really informative. I am gonna watch out ffor brussels.
    I will appreciate should you prodeed this in future. A lot of other folks might be benefited out of your
    writing. Cheers!|
    I’m curiouss tto find out what blog system you’re using? I’m experiencing some
    small security problems with my latest website annd I’d like to ffind something
    more secure. Do you have any recommendations?|
    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills
    and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a
    paid theme or did yyou modify it yourself? Eithher way krep upp the nice
    quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this oone
    I’m extremely inspired with your writing abilities and also with the format
    forr your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self?
    Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon too see a nikce log like thjs one today..|
    Hi, Neaat post. There iss a problem with your web site in internet explorer, could check this?
    IE nonetheless is the market leade and a large component to people wjll pass ocer your excellent writing due to this problem.|
    I am not sure where you’re gettin yoir information, but goood topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning muh more or understanding more.

    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this infformation for my mission.|
    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to
    “return the favor”.I aam attempting to find things to enhance my site!I suppose
    its ok to use a few of your\

  3. Nice post. I learn something more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It would all the time be stimulating to learn content material from other writers and apply just a little something from their store. I’d choose to use some with the content material on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink in your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I’m hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  5. We certainly like your website and find most of your blog posts to be just what I am in need of. Would you offer other people to post content material for you? I wouldn’t mind producing a post relating to garageband online or on most of the topics you are writing about on this page. Again, awesome internet site!

Speak Your Mind