Pages

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Washing Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar: An Update

About 2 months ago, I decided to go no poo and switched from my regular shampoo and conditioner to washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar (for simple instructions, read this). I was skeptical, but willing to give it an honest shot. I played around with different quantities and procedures and have finally settled into a pattern I like. Here's a synopsis of how the switch has gone for me so far:

I started out by using about 1/2 cup baking soda in 2 or 3 cups water. I went for this option because I have full, long hair. I poured the solution on to my scalp, scrubbed as I would regular shampoo, then rinsed it clean. I followed it up by spraying on a 50% distilled vinegar-water solution, then rinsing it out well.

The first few washings like this were fabulous. Then my hair went through a serious funk phase where it felt coarse and not really clean. I still had to wash it every other day, contrary to what I expected. This lasted about 2 weeks, after which my hair seemed to get progressively worse. Icky. I almost gave up and went back to regular shampoo, but I remembered that it takes a minimum of two weeks for hair to change pH and adapt to the no poo regime.

So I tinkered around with the ingredients.  I thought maybe my hair was greasier than I believed, so I increased the baking soda concentration by making a paste instead of a liquid solution. I tried eliminating the vinegar step. Super ick!! My hair felt crunchy and I could hardly comb through it. Gross.

I also tried spraying my hair with vinegar first and then washing it with the baking soda. That was only nominally better so I went back to my original plan but I cut back the baking soda and used more vinegar since my hair felt so dry.

After about 6 weeks (!!!) of using baking soda and vinegar, my hair magically transformed. The change from icky to beautiful hair happened quite suddenly. I was relieved because, like I said, I almost gave up a few times. Maybe my hair took that long to adjust or maybe I finally hit the right concoction. Or both.

This is how I currently wash my hair:

I now use about 1/4 cup baking soda dissolved in ~1.5-2 cups water. I put the baking soda in an empty 16 oz bottle of Dr. Bronner's (a funnel is very useful for this part) and take it in the shower with me. I get my hair soaked through, then massage the scalp thoroughly to loosen dirt and oil. I rinse again with plain water. Then I add warm shower water to my Dr. Bronner's bottle of baking soda, maybe 3/4 full of water. I shake it up good then squirt it on my head, starting at the crown. My hair is long and there's a lot of it so I like that I can squirt the baking soda solution directly where I want it. I massage and scrub my scalp really well and do a quick rinse.  I repeat the wash with what's left in the bottle (maybe half?), then finish by gently rubbing the length and ends of my hair between my hands. I rinse well, then squeeze out extra water from my hair. Next comes the vinegar. I still use a 50% solution of just plain white distilled vinegar that I keep in a spray bottle for all my other cleaning. Since my hair is somewhat dry and pretty long, I spray quite a lot on, concentrating on the ends. I comb through it with a pick (I know I've used enough vinegar if this is easy to do), then let the vinegar sit in there a minute while I wash my face. Finally, I rinse out the vinegar. Yes, the smell comes out! At this point, I only have to wash my hair about twice per week. I save money and time! Fabulous!

I'm glad I stuck with the baking soda and vinegar because it really is so much better than any shampoo/conditioner I've used.  My hair is always clean. It's shiny and full of body. It's soft and easy to get my fingers, a comb or brush through.  The natural waves are bouncy and beautiful (if I do say so myself!). When my hair is dirty, the natural oils just seem to nurture it rather than make it grimy. I can easily adjust the baking soda and vinegar proportions when conditions change so my hair maintains its health through rain, low humidity, heat or cold (we've had weird fall weather so I've had to do this).

So if you're in doubt, still experimenting, or just curious, I really encourage you to give baking soda and vinegar a try. Just be prepared to spend a few weeks waiting for your hair to adapt to not having the natural oils stripped. And don't be afraid to experiment and play around with your own concoction. It is so worth it!

Any questions or concerns? Want to share your experiments with no 'poo? Please leave a note, I'd love to hear from you!

88 comments:

  1. Ok, I'll stick it out a bit longer. ;) I've been trying no poo the last ~3-4 weeks, and it's so grody right now. Thanks for the tips!

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Lauren, yes, you're at that same point I was at when I almost gave up. I highly recommend wearing a pony tail! Hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been no-poo for a few months now and never had to really go through that super icky phase. I have been making my own shampoo and conditioner for years and typically would go no poo for a few weeks each year as a hair detox thing. I think that helped.

    I have friends who swear by adding one or two drops of grapefruit seed extract to the baking soda mix. They say that this really cuts back the grease. I also do a coconut oil scalp mask once a month which I find cleansing. Rub 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into your scalp, let sit for up to an hour, then wash out with a double batch of baking soda. Really scrub the baking soda in, let set for a minute, and the oil rinses right out. Your scalp gets an extra health boost this way without upsetting the PH.

    Yay for all of us no-pooers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Hybrid Rasta Mama: Grapefruit seed extract, coconut oil...thanks for the great suggestions! I think you're right, if you've already been no-poo for awhile you might be spared that icky phase. I think most of it is from your hair shedding all the chemical build-up from shampoos. Icky, indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  5. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!

    I was seriously thinking about giving up too. I have been using baking soda for 2 weeks and at first it was great but, I washed my hair lastnight and this morning I have it in a ponytail because it is the only way I can half way hide how disgusting it looks. It has been this way for the last week.

    If I hadn't taken all of my old shampoo and conditioner out of the shower I am afraid temptation would have gotten the best of me and I would have used it yesterday. You have given me hope that if I hang in there it will get better...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm soo glad this helped. Like many other aspects of life, going no-poo really does requir persistence and some hope!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Do you really mix up the ingredients for EVERY shower? Or is there an easy way to store it?? I have a newborn and I'm interested in going with more natural methods for every day life, but I really don't have the time to mix these things up a few times a week. I could mix up a big batch like once a week or something?? Ideas? Thanks for the post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Chel-C, first off, congrats on the new baby! As for washing your hair...I haven't tried mixing things ups ahead of time, but it is worth a shot! I've heard that some people do it that way regularly, so it must work. With a newborn, you might even try making a batch every other week. You could also just keep baking soda in the bathroom, then mix it up in your hand when you get in the shower (this doesn't work quite as well with really long hair). If you have time later on, leave a note to let us know how/if it worked. Good luck...and enjoy your little one :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really want to give this a shot, but I'm scared! I'm on winter break from college right now, but have to go back in three weeks and I'm nervous I'll be Grease-head Lanky-locks.

    My hair is pretty long and fine and breaks kind of easily... I seem to have lots of shorter flyaways, especially along where I part my hair at the crown, and I feel like over all my hair is just not as strong and healthy as it could be. Do you think it might be improved if I go shampoo free? Should I try this and risk going back to school looking like a hobo??

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Anony college student: winter break is a GREAT time to give it at try! Most people only take about 2 weeks to adjust. I think my 6 week icky phase was longer than most, maybe because I experimented too much! For really fine hair like yours, I might just start with a smaller amount of baking soda and see how that goes. I'm pretty convinced that baking soda & vinegar will bring out the best in anyone's hair. Check out my original post with instructions: http://mamammalia.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-wash-hair-with-baking-soda-and.html

    Also, for me the transition period was more about how my hair FELT, not how it looked. It really didn't look bad, but I was waiting for that silky run-your-fingers-through phase to start (it did!).

    Finally, never underestimate what you can do with a pony tail or a cute hat. Good luck!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. have been no-poo for a month now and totally loving it.
    My hair is much more shiny and the gray is not as brassy or noticable, it seems to blend into my hair much better. I too went through a grunge stage for about 2 weeks and suddenly it turned around and now my hair is so soft and much fuller looking (I have very baby fine hair and thinning) I will not go back to poo. I have also noticied that I have alot less static and my dandruff is totally gone. Why would I want to ever go back. I am a believer people, you got to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I'll try a little longer. I have baby-fine hair, and the first week was great. Then it got really oily, and it's been that way for two weeks. I've always had oiler-than-normal hair, so don't know if that's the reason, but I'll give it a little more time.

      What does the vinegar do, by the way?

      Delete
    2. The vinegar is like magic!! It is like a moisturizing conditioner, but works 10 times better than any moisturizing conditioner that I have ever had, and my hair is super dry, so that says a lot. Also, it offsets the basic PH of the baking soda, being an acid. Baking soda opens the cuticle of your hair, and the vinegar also helps to shut it, especially if you rinse it out with cold water.

      Delete
  12. I've only been trying this for a week, and so far my hair is just very coarse. Do you think I need to play around with the amounts this soon or just wait it out? Also, I seem to have the same hair type as you - long, thick and wavy. I'm curious how you style your hair every day? Even with washing my hair (with shampoo) every other day, I still had to use conditioner every other day to keep the bounce in my hair and from being frizzy. I also have always had to use product in my hair to keep the bounce in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, a week is probably too soon to tell. One thing that really helped me was making sure the baking soda is very well dissolved in the water. Sometimes I mix it with hot water, shake, then let it stand for 5 or 10 minutes. That helps with the coarse feeling. Also, I use plenty of vinegar!

      I don't do much to my hair as far as styling goes since I spend my days with a toddler! The blow dryer destroys my hair so I try to air dry. I can say that the frizz has gotten better since I've gone no poo. The bounce returned to my hair once it adjusted. You could also use this regime once a week instead of daily just to reduce build-up. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. I am going to try it. does anyone condition also? Or is there no need to.

      Delete
    3. No need to condition, the vinegar should do the trick!

      Delete
  13. Hi, I recently read this post n tried ur method of mixing the baking soda with water.. It gets rid of the grease but it's so difficult to apply.. The baking soda sinks to the bottom like sand n doesn't really dissolve.. Otherwise my hair feels clean.. I am of Indian origin with coarse wavy shoulder length hair.. I last shampooed last week so it's only 5 days since I shampooed butmy scalp feels great.. I Have a very itchy scalp n I can't really use any shampoo for long without becoming allergic to it.. Finally rid of the need to find a different shampoo every so often n having fizzy hair.. My hair is not as fizzy now.. Will try adding vinegar as soon Im brave enough to tolerate the smell :) pls help me to figure out how to apply the bicarbonate soda mix properly n more effectively..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes, an important thing I learned is that the baking soda has to be VERY well dissolved before putting it in my hair. Otherwise, my hair feels coarse and icky. Here's what I do: mix the baking soda and HOT water together and stir vigorously. I use an empty bottle so I can just shake the heck out of it. Let it sit for about 5-10 min before adding it to wet hair. Then mix it up again really well before washing with it. I shake the bottle a few times before I add any to my hair.

      Btw, the vinegar does help with frizzy hair. You might try apple cider vinegar instead of the plain white distilled vinegar...it smells better :)

      Good luck!

      Delete
  14. The problem with hard water is that it is difficult to get the baking soda to dissolve. Therefore, using the method above will result in greasy hair. No worries though.

    The trick is to boil the water first before adding the baking soda.

    Boiling will cause some of the minerals (that make the water hard) to precipitate out. You'll see a white film in the bottom of your pot when you're done boiling. Those are the minerals you removed.

    You'll want to measure the amount of water you add so you'll know how much baking soda you'll need.

    A good place to start is 1/4 cup of baking soda (~60 ml) per 16 ounces of water (~470 ml).

    I make 48 ounces at a time. That's just because of the size of the container I use to hold the mix.

    Bring the water to a rolling boil.

    Let it boil for about 10 minutes to give the minerals time to precipitate out (yes, the time is important).
    http://www.how-to-boost-your-immune-system.com/baking-soda-shampoo.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been no poo for about a month now and I love it! I use less baking soda & vinegar (1 TBS - 1 Cup Water) but I might play with this a bit as I feel like I'm getting a dry scalp (not itchy, just dry & flaky). I'm using no styling product (just air dry) and I have no frizz in my curls! I have used coconut oil but I seem to overdo it & look like greaseball. But I'm really happy with the results. It is almost time to re-dye my hair and I am a little worried about what it might do to the color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great news! I've heard that it shouldn't affect hair coloring treatments. I guess you'll know soon enough!

      I've also started using less baking soda...I love that I can easily micro-adjust according to my hair's needs.

      Delete
    2. I attempted a deep coconut oil treatment this weekend, with a double wash of baking soda to rid the flakes (I had also added more baking soda to my water solution), but alas, the flakes were still there this morning. I'm going back to my 1 TBS baking soda - 1 Cup water. I agree, it's nice to be able to play around with the amounts to find what's best for me!

      Delete
    3. Try adding tea tree oil to your mix...you can pick it up at your local health food store or online and it does wonders for dry itchy scalp...I have added it (you only need 1 or 2 drops) to my conditioner with wonderful results...I have chronic dry flaky scalp and I just started both the no poo and several other more eco friendly cleaning regimes. I started the baking soda and vinegar today and LOVE the way it feels! I have extremely oily hair and have to wash daily with shampoo and conditioner so I am interest to see how it will work with baking soda.

      Delete
  16. what brand apple cider vinegar and baking soda should I use ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's probably more of a personal preference or what you have access too. I use Arm & Hammer baking soda and just plain white distilled vinegar (both found at CostCo). I'd like to experiment with apple cider vinegar and when I do I'll be sure to share my thoughts!

      Delete
    2. ahh k..see what happend wid me was Im doing work experience at a school in london n being with the lil children I got headlice (I know eww yh)..therefore I went to my gp who prescribed lyclear for me..so I sprayed it on left it in for 15 minz n when I went to wash it firstly It wouldn wash out n as it did it's left sticky greasy wax like residue or something all over ma hair. I don't use products in ma hair other than heat protection..I'm scared have I totally wrecked ma hair??..there was so much in ma hair which started coming out as iv now washed ma hair in total 17 times in 3 days..shampoo is taking the piss because it's taking to long to go btw I use head and shoulders atm..I'm going to try baking soda and acv to remove all the residue..my hair is thick at the top where I have alot and thin towards the bottom were there is no residue..can u please recommend the amount I should use?? however I will experiment..x

      Delete
    3. Oh, my that sounds really difficult! I would probably start with a tablespoon or two of baking soda and add enough water to make a paste. See how that works, then decrease the amount of baking soda if your hair gets crunchy, dry or itchy scalp. Good luck to you!!

      Delete
    4. I was talking to my sister and she told me someone told her about bs & acv, so i tried it today and my hair feels nice. I am african american but i have a nice grade of hair. when i finish the process i put wen as a conditioner and left it in. i did notice the frizz was few, i am a naturalist thanks for the tips on adjusting the ingredients, hope i can get to the point that i don't use conditioner period.

      Delete
    5. thank u so much..my hair feels back to normal however wen itz wet it feels sticky in places..what is causing that n what could I do to prevent it from happening x

      Delete
    6. It could be too much baking soda. I had to start with a lot of baking soda to get my hair clean, but now I don't have to use as much.

      Delete
  17. Oh goodness! This may sound weird but we learned from another parent to use LISTERINE for lice (though the smell DOES stick with you for a few days after using. It REALLY works well and actually makes the hair soft. Just plain Listerine, not the flavored as it has more sugar added. We spray the hair till completely soaked, wrap with saran wrap or if you have a shower cap you can use that and I leave it on for an hour then wash out. It will get a tad itchy at the end but it will kill the lice. Do this each day, plus using a lice comb, until you no longer comb out any lice.

    I'm REALLY looking forward to trying this baking soda/vinegar wash. I like trying new and more natural things and if I can save a little money doing it then all the better, lol. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thankk u..I tried it n it worked..:))

      Delete
  18. hi. my hair feels sticky when its drying. what's causing this?. btw I do not use no gels, hairsprays nothing at all. it's not a lot but when I touch it my fingers feel sticky and after a few seconds the stickiness goes aswel. what could I do. thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It might be too much baking soda. Make sure it's really well dissolved before applying it to your hair. Also, my hair went through a bit of a sticky phase as the residue and build-up from shampoo slowly went away. Also, be sure to rinse really well at the end.

      Delete
    2. My hair does that. I have thick, curly (when I don't shampoo) hair. It's the natural oils from your scalp and hair. When your hair is totally dry the sensation will go away. It's not a good idea to wash the extra oil out though. I did that, and all my curls flattened out into the body wave I despise because I look like elvis with it. It also feels dry and it's frizzy, and it wasn't doing that until I put too much baking soda on it. I'm using a little organic conditioner to keep the driness at bay til the oil regenerates. Good luck! jenng612@yahoo.com

      Delete
    3. I had the same problem and found that, for me, it was hard water residue. My fixes:

      Less BS
      Swap half vinegar for lemon juice
      Wash less often
      Boil BS water first

      I boil 2 gallons of water, then turn off the heat and SLOWLY add about 3/4-1C of baking soda (I make my mix quite weak). (Add slowly because BS heats water and will fizz.) I let it cool and pour it into a 2-gal pitcher that I keep in my bathroom. When I'm ready for my shower, I pour 8oz into my "shampoo" bottle (Nalgene wide-mouth), heat the mix for 30 secnds, and add 3-5 drops of essential peppermint oil.

      My conditioner recipe is a little more complicated, but works well for me, too. I use about 1/4c white vinegar + 2T of lemon juice + several drops of both lavender and peppermint essential oil to about 5.5/6 ozs water. I keep it in a spray bottle and add a splash of vodka (MAYBE 1/2 oz) as a preservative. I spray it on (ears down) after rinsing the BS wash, then wet-comb my hair with a wide-tooth comb in the shower. I respray any tangly bits, and mist over the top of my head to rebalance my scalp without my hair getting "oily"-looking. I rinse. I let my hair air-dry wavy. My hair dries nicely without any additional product. By the time I go to bed (assuming I wash my hair in the AM), my hair is silky and stays that way for at least 2 days.

      I'm going to try to get on a routine where I only use BS on the weekend (Sat or Sun) and use the vinegar concoction as a wash mid-week. I don't wet my hair between washes because the hard water makes it feel and act gross without help.

      I've been shampoo-and-conditioner-free since March 29.

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the info, Rebecca! I might give some of this a try myself!

      Delete
  19. Thanks! This is a great motivator to continue. I tried to do this before over a year ago and gave up because my hair felt really dry. I think I was using the BS and ACV too often. Now, I'm at it again, and this time it feel gross and oily. I'm at one week now, and my go-to hairstyle has been a bun for the past 3 days. I keep telling myself my hair is going though a long-term deep-conditioning treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  20. HI everyone, I had a stroke in December, and after going thur Dialysis, My hair began to fall out by the hand fulls, I paniced really bad , went to a salon and got all my hair cut off, A owner of a salon in north carolina told me to mix baking soda, with oxino shampoo, into a paste, let sit hair and scalp with a cap for at least 20 mins, this will allow my hair to come back. will keep you posted. Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  21. on days when I don't use the baking soda and vinegar should I still wet my hair in the shower?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope! I don't bother wetting my hair on non-wash days, but I don't think it would hurt.

      Delete
  22. No mention of conditioner. After the baking soda wash, the hair cannot be combed. You have to use conditioner. No mention of conditioner here. That would help with the awful look and feel of the hair.

    Karyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The vinegar acts as a "conditioner". It may help if you read my original post about simple instructions on how to wash with baking soda and vinegar. Here's the link again:
      http://mamammalia.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-to-wash-hair-with-baking-soda-and.html

      Good luck!

      Delete
  23. Do you think baking soda wash + vinegar rinse is enough to clean your hair after swimming in a chlorinated pool? Yesterday I went swimming for the first time since I stopped using shampoo, and I hadn't looked into this beforehand and ended up using regular shampoo afterwards because I was worried that baking soda wasn't enough. I REALLY don't want to go back though. Don't know if you have experience with this. I guess I'll continue with no 'poo and see how my hair looks and feels after a while? And if it's not enough I'll start using shampoo again. Or I could try Dr. Bronners first before going back to regular shampoo. I've been googling stuff like "remove chlorine from hair naturally" etc. but I keep seeing stuff like, "add baking soda to your shampoo" or "apply such-and-such food product on your hair after you shampoo."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't swam in chlorine since I switched over, so I can't say from personal experience. I do know that BS is a mild abrasive so it should remove any buildup (or at least help). Personally, I find that chlorine dries my hair out more than anything. If you have that issue, you could try the BS/vinegar regime along with a deep conditioner occasionally. For instance, I just started adding a bit of olive oil to the ends before I wash.

      I do think it helps to be flexbile, so it's great you're trying different things for the chlorine. I still alter things a bit depending on how my hair responds to changes in weather, etc. I've even used Dr. Bronner's a couple times followed by a vinegar rinse (I liked it but wont do this regularly). I tend to think our hair needs a break from whatever we do to it ALL THE TIME. Fortunately, BS and vinegar give us plenty of room to switch things up!

      Delete
  24. Hi,
    We have hard water in our apartment and my hair is very dry.I can't wash my hair in hard water without using shampoo and conditioner as it leaves my hair so frizzy.Do u think that baking soda+vinegar trick will work in hard water also..pls reply

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My hair is actually much LESS frizzy with BS/vinegar. My hair used to be pretty frizzy when I used regular shampoo and conditioner and then I'd end up having to put more products in it. I don't have that problem anymore. I hope it works for you, too!

      For dealing with hard water, check out the comments from Rebecca and Anonymous above regarding how to handle hard water.

      You could try using smaller amounts of baking soda and plenty of vinegar. Good luck!

      Delete
  25. I've have been using diluted Dr.Bronners liquid soap and/or an all natural shampoo by Valley Green Naturals that is olive and coconut oil based to wash my hair for about 1/2 a year now.

    I have also been using ACV as a conditioner for about 5 months. I really love the ACV as a conditioner it makes my (what I used to think was fine thin and lifeless with traditional hair products) hair full of body and texture.

    However, I always had this gunky grime on the middle of my hair. The roots were fine the middle was gunky and the ends were a little dry. When My hair was completely grown out from hair dye or heat damage and I had cut off about 9 inches of damaged ends the gunk went away but I recently got my ends lightened and the gunk came back again, so...

    I was interested in trying BS and I found this post and tried it. I used about 1/4 cup of BS and added hot water to the cup (already in shower) and poured it on rubbed and rinsed. I could feel immediately the gunk come off of my hair. I followed with my usual 2tbls of ACV with about 8oz of water to rinse.

    So the conclusion... I love the BS as shampoo!! My hair feels so clean, full of body and sticky gunk free. I will definitely be switching to this as a shampoo. Perfect! Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Delete
  26. One tip for chlorine: thoroughly saturate your hair with water from a hose or tap before going into the pool, then thoroughly rinse again when you get out. The first rinse is to get your hair saturated with non-chlorine water and the second ensures it doesn't dry on your hair. This was my stylist's suggestion and it helps a LOT.

    For times when I am in/out of the pool all day and my hair feels dry, I wash afterward with a bit of Dr. Bronner's soap (or a bit of shampoo if at a friend's house). If there is any dryness (usually in the ends for me), I rub in some shea butter before bed and then wash as usual the following day with BS/vinegar rinse.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have been loving how my hair is now but my only problem is my hair has been really staticy and it is really annoying. Do you have any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would try less baking soda and more vinegar. For example, maybe only 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda, well dissolved in warm water. Scrub and rinse your hair out very well with the BS mixture. Then follow with a very generous amount of vinegar and rinse again. Good luck!

      Delete
  28. Quick question: Should you use the vinegar on your roots as well, or will it make your roots greasy like conditioner.

    I tried the BS ( baking soda, not bullshit) a while ago and it worked well for cleaning my hair, but for the rest of the day my bangs felt sticky and were very tangled. I guess I am just weak cuz I stopped the baking soda right afterwards. I was wondering if vinegar would help with this because I really do want to transition to no-poo.

    Also, do you think this will help with my oily-hair problem, because for my hair to look decent, I have to wash it every other day, and even then, my roots still get a little greasy overnight. Since it is currently summer and I will probably just be surfing in the ocean all day with wet hair and no one will even be able to see if the baking soda makes my hair icky, I figure it is the perfect time to start. My hair has gotten so hard to deal with that I am actually thinking of chopping into a bob just because my long hair gets so dry after. Being in the ocean, and I never have time to put any product in it so I have been quite frustrated.


    Oh and I know that I said it was a quick question..... But one thing led to another and it ended up turning into a looooooonnng question. So thanks for reading it and sorry for rambling :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I actually spray the vinegar right on my roots and then all the way to the ends (I have lots of hair). It does take awhile for the pH of your scalp and hair to adjust to not having regular shampoo or conditioner, so hang in there.

      If your hair gets too dried out from the ocean, you could reduce or even eliminate the BS (yes, soda ;) and just use vinegar. You could also add a touch of olive oil or coconut oil to the ends if you're in the water all day. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  29. I have been doing this for a little over two months now and I have not noticed any improvement in my hair. It still seems to be the usual dry and frizzy mess its always been. And this will probably sound strange, but ever since I made the switch, my skin has become very oily, after having always been more on the dry side. I don't understand how it could be from this, since my hair isn't oily (never has been either), but the timing does seem to fit. Have you heard of this happening before? Does it even make sense? I just really don't know what to do here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessica, that sounds pretty frustrating! My hair took awhile to adjust, but 2 months?!! As far as dry and frizzy, I'd say you might be using too much baking soda and/or not enough vinegar. Where I live it's dry in the summer so I've been skipping the baking soda altogether sometimes. Some people even spray a little vinegar on afterward as a leave-in conditioner.

      I'm not sure about the oily skin issue. Did you mean on your scalp or the rest of your body? If it's your scalp, it could be your head changing pH as it adapts to not having soap (shampoo) strip the natural oils. With a nice brush, you can actually brush those natural oils into the rest of your hair on days you don't wash, which might help with the dry/frizzy.

      You could also try just using baking soda & vinegar once in awhile instead of completely replacing regular shampoo and conditioner. During dry climate, I'll use a deep conditioner to fortify my hair then go back to just vinegar. I also put a little olive oil on the ends before washing my hair and that helps seal in some moisture.

      I hope this helps!

      Delete
  30. I've been using Wen for over a year and I LOVE it, but the price tag....not so much!! I color my hair regularly and Wen is a real advantage to keeping the color "fresh" looking. Can anyone please tell me about their experience using this method on color treated hair?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baking soda can fade colour because of its clarifying properties.

      Here is some info
      http://www.conscientiousconfusion.com/2012/01/no-poo-color-treated-hair-and-hair-cuts.html

      http://www.how-to-boost-your-immune-system.com/baking-soda-shampoo-okay-for-color-treated-hair.html

      Delete
    2. You might have better luck with a ph balanced no poo method like a mixture of coconut milk (no sugars added, canned) and aloe vera juice or gel as the shampoo/conditioner 2-in-1. I don't know for certain though because I don't color my hair, but it makes sense to me.

      Delete
  31. i have oily dandruff hair..wil dis work for me??
    n also my hair is black so wil it bleach my hair on long use??
    plzz help me..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the baking soda and vinegar should work for dandruff and oily hair. You may have to play around with the concentrations for awhile until you find a 'formula' that works for you. As for bleaching, NO, this will not bleach your hair out. You may notice it getting more shiny though :)

      Delete
  32. As a 26-year old woman, I've suffered from scalp folliculitis for the past three years. I tend to think that I hide it fairly well, but it has been a frustrating and tearful journey nonetheless. Just two weeks ago, I stumbled across the baking soda/ACV method and I’ve been doing it ever since.

    I have a much more elaborate process due to the severity of my issue. I want to share my formula in case there may be others, like me, who stumble across your post. (Hope you don't mind!)

    “Shampoo”: 1/2 baking soda, 1/2 water in a bottle with a drop or two of tea tree oil (great for cleaning scalp).

    “Rinse”: 1/3 lemon juice, 1/3 vinegar 1/3 water

    "Conditioner": Lather handful of honey into hair and rinse

    After showering while hair is still wet, I apply the tiniest amount (just enough to coat two finger tips) of castor & vitamin E oil to my scalp (supposed to be great for scalp health as well).

    I still experienced a few bouts of minor folliculitis in the first week but I noticed that the inflammation that was there died down significantly and my skin feels less irritated in general. My hair also feels thicker.

    I'm hoping after six weeks, I'll experience similar results as you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caitlin, thank you for sharing this! It sounds challenging to live with but I'm glad this technique works for you. I'm sure your contribution will be appreciated by others in your situation.

      Delete
  33. i use mousse on my hair daily when i curl with heat. will the bs & vinegar work for me? i'm worried that the bs cant wash out the mousse entirely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I think the baking soda will help prevent build-up from the mousse, even if you just use it once in awhile!

      Delete
  34. Do you have any recommendations for a sunburned scalp?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure, but I would probably start with aloe vera!

      Delete
  35. My hair turned silky soft today after three weeks on the baking soda vinegar wash. AMAZING. I've also started washing a lot less frequently. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  36. baking soda doesn't dissolve in water.. not completely. I'm not sure how this is going to work but I just tried a baking soda paste scrub through my hair and an apple cider vinegar rinse (my hair is thin and fine and I've been worried about hair loss since I had a baby).
    I think next time I might try a vodka rinse since I am trying the vodka/baking soda body scrub for the summer.
    Does anyone have any tips for simplifying the mixing and application processes? I just took a shower with a kitchen pot... i don't want glass in the bathroom and I'm a mommy quick, easy, through showers are a MUST.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baking soda will dissolve in warm water pretty easily. I put it in an empty liquid soap bottle (i.e. an old Dr. Bronner's bottle), add warm water while in the shower, then shake it like crazy to dissolve.

      I've also started using an empty bottle for the vinegar so I can squirt it on easily, much faster than a spray bottle. I leave the bottle of vinegar-water solution in the shower and just restock as needed. You could probably do the same with the baking soda to streamline shower time :)

      Delete
  37. I've been no 'poo four about two months now, and I really like it, except that my scalp is SUPER itchy. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem, or could maybe offer some suggestions to help me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I had that too. You might reduce or even skip the baking soda. You could also do a deep condition on a regular basis.

      Delete
  38. I just tried this! I have super short hair and I put product in it to tame it just about every day. Is it ok to rinse your hair with water when you don't use the BS/ACV method? I have a feeling the transition will be bad for me if I don't at least rinse it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will still need to use water with BS/ACV and rinse very well!

      Delete
  39. Please anybody tell me if u have experienced stopping of hair fall or itchy scalp with this method?
    I want to try this but I have hairloss problem I don't know if it will be good or not?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I tried the liquid BS shampoo and I thought it was horrible. Looking back, I realised it was because I was using way too much BS! I wanted to give it another try so I tried the paste method. It worked for a little while but now my hair is...sticky? I much prefer the paste method. Is my hair just transitioning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it might still be. Make sure you use plenty of ACV and do a deep condition on a regular basis. Good luck!

      Delete
  41. Hi, I've been doing the bs/acv method for about a month now, and I can wash every 4 days and it's not greasy much anymore, but it still doesn't look awesome yet. Do you think it will? It feels dry and looks a bit dull, and by day two after washing I wouldn't call it "greasy" but it's not like soft and run your fingers through it per se. Also, when I do wash, so much hair comes out and it's really knotty and I can't even finger-comb it without it breaking. Am I using too much bs or can my scalp just not handle it? My current ratio is 2 tsp baking soda in 1 cup distilled water, 1 tbs + 1 tsp acv in 1 cup distilled water. I'm not sure what to do. I added 1 tsp aloe vera juice to the baking soda mix last time to maybe help with the dryness and my itchy scalp, and i think it worked a bit. should I add maybe some vitamin e oil, argan oil, or raw honey to the acv mix? I'm just confused and waiting for my hair to finally be beautiful and not breaking all the time! :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would try more ACV and doing a deep conditioning treatment (once every week or two). I also have lots of hair fall out as my scalp adjusted away from regular shampoo or if I go too long without washing. Good luck!

      Delete
  42. Hey, I've been doing the bs/acv routine for about a month now. My hair is just not as soft or moisturized as i would like, it looks kind of dull, and it looks okay for maybe one day after washing, but then even though it's not "oily" it's not pretty and I want to put it up. I'm pretty sure I'm past the transition period and only wash my hair every 4 days, but idk it's not how I want it yet, not super shiny and easy to run my fingers through, and every time after I wash so much hair falls out and it's so knotty that I can't even finger comb it. how much hair is normal to lose each time I wash it? idk if it's the baking soda making it fall out more or if I just think it is because i'm going longer between washings so the normal hair that would fall out is building up and coming out at once? should I change the ratios and use less bs and more acv? i currently use 2 tsp baking soda in 1 cup distilled water, 1 tbsp + 1 tsp acv in 1 cup distilled water, and last time i added 1 tsp aloe vera juice to the bs mixture to help with the dryness and the itchy scalp which I think it did a bit. should I add a little vitamin e oil, argan oil, or raw honey to the acv mixture to help moisturize? i'll be going abroad next semester and it would be nice to not have to wash my hair so much because I might not always have hot water, but I want my hair to look rockin' with the no-poo method!

    also side note, i've heard some people say that acv used too often can actually make hair greasier or brassy...is that true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about making it greasier, but ACV can strip away moisture over the long term. Very important to use a deep conditioner if your hair is susceptible to drying out!

      Delete
    2. Hi, first of all thanks for the wonderful website:)
      Second of all wondering if you could help.....
      I have very fine, thin hair and my regular shampoo made my hair come out very flat. Therefore, seeing as I'm pretty open minded generally I decided to give this method a go.....
      I have been doing it for a bit over a week - for the first week my hair was totally amaaazing - really clean and fresh and full of volume - better than its ever been in my life!!!!
      However, after just under a week, I washed my hair and it came really greasy!!:(
      I've now washed it a second time and again it came greasy.
      I wash it with half to three quarters of a tsp baking soda to one cup of water and then the same with vinegar but I don't use all the vinegar as my hair is naturally very soft - I just use it till my hair is soft and comb-able. I don't rub it into the roots yet they are also just as greasy as the rest of my hair. I've never before had a problem with greasy hair - my hair is naturally curly and doesn't get greasy often.
      Am i doing something wrong?????? Or is this just the transition stage?? And if so how long does it usually last?
      I don't want to give up both because I don't like doing that and also because my hair was so very amazing the first week. Please help me!
      Thanks:)

      Delete
    3. You could try alternating the BS/ACV routine with a regular shampoo & conditioner. It might also just be the transition...it can take several weeks for your hair to figure out how much oil to produce without the help of product. Good luck!

      Delete
  43. Just so I'm sure I've got this right... I'll need to use 1/4 cup baking soda dissolved in 1.5 to 2 cups water EVERY time I wash? I've been reading a lot of different posts on how to do this and some people are using 2 tbsps in a cup of water and using it for the week... I tried this method last night and my hair looks greasy and gross today, perhaps your method would make more sense for me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I've been using BSV (Baking Soda Vinegar) for 2 weeks now and when I started the top 2 inches of my hair were completely silver...now there is hardly any silver left and my hair is getting dark again.

    I'm in a hard water area and this method works very well for me.

    I use 1 TBS of Baking Soda per cup of water and boil it until it is completely dissolved (and it works great for cleansing without the gritty feel) I put it in an old mustard bottle for easy application. I leave it on for 10 min then rinse well. (I make up 4 cups at a time)

    Then I use a mixture of 1 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar per cup of water in a spray bottle to spray my hair thoroughly top to bottom and leave it in for 10 min, then rinse well. (I make up 2 cups at a time since it's so easy to make and I don't use as much)

    I found that it's easier to comb out if I wrap my hair in a towel for 10 min first - my long hair is almost impossible to comb out when it's totally wet.

    The first week was my worst so far, but that was before I started boiling the Baking Soda to dissolve it. It still has that slippery, slimy feel on your hands and that is the goal when mixing it. I'm reading that people are using huge amounts of Baking Soda when very little works best for me.

    My hair is soft, shiny and no longer gray!!! Win/Win for me!

    ReplyDelete