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No ‘Poo: Get Beautiful Hair with Just Baking Soda & Vinegar

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No Poo

The Basic No ‘Poo Recipe

There are a couple of different ways that you can do this thing, but the basic idea is that you “wash” your hair in baking soda, rinse it thoroughly, then follow with a diluted vinegar rinse that you also rinse out thoroughly.

What you’ll keep in your shower are a water-tight container full of baking soda, and a squeeze bottle with your vinegar mixture. The amount of baking soda you use and the vinegar to water ratio that works for you really depends on your hair. If your hair is oily, you’ll want to up the baking soda and use less vinegar in your rinse. For dry hair, go the opposite direction. Here’s what works for me:

1. Pour about 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the palm of your hand, and moisten it. Massage it into your hair and your scalp. Wait a minute, then rinse.

2. Combine 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and 1 cup water in your squeeze bottle. You can do this in advance, so you don’t have to mix it up every time you wash, and you probably won’t need the whole cup for a single washing. Give the bottle a good shake, then squeeze some of the vinegar mixture onto your scalp. Massage it into your scalp and your hair, wait another minute or two, and rinse thoroughly.

Like I said, this is the mixture that works for me, but depending on your hair type, you may need to adjust the amounts of baking soda and vinegar that you use.

Up next: Check out some details on no ‘poo for curly hair and some tips from fellow no-’pooers!

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

148 comments

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4:27PM PDT on Sep 26, 2014

DON'T DO IT!

I was excited to read this article, because I don't trust corporate America to have our health in mind when they create products. So I've been on the baking soda plan for more than a year, and used it with my children, as well. Recently I started noticing that my hair seemed to be getting a lot thinner, which is odd since I'm 50 and have always had thick hair. A little late to start going bald when it's not in the family.

Yesterday I looked at my hair in the mirror, after seeing a bunch more hair in my comb, and was shocked by how thin it had become. I started researching minoxidil and wondering how this could be happening to me. Then it occurred to me that I never had problems until I started using baking soda shampoo. I just looked up "baking soda and hair loss" on Google and found several pieces about how it burns your hair because it is very alkaline. i'm going to stop immediately and hope that the damage isn't permanent.

9:35AM PDT on Aug 11, 2014

Good article! I'm always delighted to find another no-pooer. In response to your question, I've been doing baking soda/Apple cider vinegar for nearly five years and wouldn't go back to commercial products for anything. I have thick, wavy hair and always had trouble finding a shampoo and conditioner that didn't leave it looking and feeling kind of greasy, gloppy and icky.

My routine is to wash my hair every fourth or fifth day with 1 tablespoon baking soda in a cup of warm water, followed by a rinse using 2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar with live cultures. In the beginning I used 1 tablespoon ACV, but later found that 2 work better for my hair, leaving it silky-feeling and soft. The other days, I do water only and a quick scalp massage.

I blogged about my experience for awhile, and more recently wrote about it on Squidoo ("Could you give up your shampoo and conditioner?")

I hope someday to get to the water only method, but I've a ways to go. By the fifth or sixth day, my hair still feels lovely and clean, but in the mirror is hanging slightly greasy and clumpy, so I wash it again.

Your article is so well done. Thank you for sharing it here.

3:37AM PDT on Jul 10, 2014

noted

3:44AM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

If you have dandruff, you might try limiting animal products and eliminating gluten. Along with the baking soda wash (for skin too) that's what rid it completely for me.

4:52AM PST on Feb 23, 2014

yuck

4:50AM PST on Feb 23, 2014

very good, I did wonder if it would work for me as I have curly hair, I'll check out 'at Beautiful Somehow' and see how she got on!

10:07PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

That’s a nice site you people are carrying out there..
comment pirater un compte facebook

4:42AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

i have been seeing and reading a lot of no-poo approach. and im getting very curious that will be trying this soon. i have been doing the vinegar though. its a hair rinse as they call it. i boil 2 cups of water put in rosemary for anti-dundruf (but you could use whatever herbs you want) and once its cooled i add 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, you could add a couple of drops of essential oil if you fancy. and make sure thats its not hot when you use it.

in the first 2 weeks i have been doing my hair rinse 2x a week but now its only once a week. and i must say i got good results, my hair is not as dry as before and my dundruf is lessened.

hope this helps somehow.

1:40PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Interesting article i had never heard of the no poo way of washing your hair. My hair is very dry and naturally curly so i only wash it once a week. Other wise it dry's out to much. Not sure i would try this as have to be very careful what i put on my hair and skin. If it works for you then gud on you.

8:02AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

I might just give this a try. I have hair longer than my arms (as in, if my hair isn't tied back or up & I bend down to reach for something, my hair dips in it before I can pick it up... not good in slobbery, slimy dogs' water bowls!) so I hope the vinegar is an efficient detangler.

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