Washing Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar


how to wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar

A friend had told me quite a while ago that you could wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar. I had seen ‘no poo’ people around the internet and just thought that they were not using anything to clean their hair. Didn’t sound like anything I wanted to try.

I was still pretty skeptical about the vinegar and baking soda, I was convinced it would leave my hair dull, dry, and vinegary. But after seeing how well vinegar softens up wool when I used it on my son’s longies, I thought I’d give it a try as a conditioner. I had some baking soda leftover that I had been using for my teeth (switched to tooth soap, which works way better).

Once again, I was surprised at how well natural alternatives work. I had been using Herbal Essences (which I know are quite not natural) after a failed attempt with Burt’s Bee’s natural shampoo and conditioner. The baking soda cleaned super well, it was a little harder to work into my hair than regular shampoo, but it easily rinsed clear. The vinegar was amazing and left my hair easier to brush out than the chemical or natural conditioner ever did.

I’ve been using just the vinegar on my toddler’s hair too, her hair is really dry so I don’t need the baking soda. I just rinse her hair out with water (she showers with me) and then put some vinegar in and rinse it.

Washing Hair with Baking Soda

To wash my hair with baking soda I use half a handful (about 1 tablespoon- I keep a bulk bag of baking soda under my sink) dry, and easily work it into my hair before getting in the shower.  In the shower rinse clean, then rinse with the vinegar rinse.

Using a Vinegar Rinse to Soften and Detangle Hair

Using a spray bottle, old shampoo bottle, or other tub-safe container filled with 1/4 vinegar to 3/4 water, I use a couple tablespoons of the vinegar portion, and work on the ends of my hair. I don’t use on my scalp, as it tends to make my hair look oily too soon.

If you’re looking into washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar (No Pooing), you’ll also be interested in the following:
Homemade Humidifier Additive
Homemade Deodorant that really works
Essential Oils
Tooth Soap
Other Natural Home and Body Care Products
Soapberries- All Natural Laundry Detergent!

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About Cara

Cara is the main author here at Health Home and Happiness. She loves the health and energy that eating well and playing well provides and has a goal to share what she's learned with as many families interested in making healthy changes as possible.

She helps other families achieve health in simple steps with the GAPS Starter Package, The Empowered Mother Pregnancy Resource, and helps them stock their freezer for busy days with Grain-Free Freezer Cooking Guide.


  1. i’ve tried that too! it so amazing how soft your hair feels!

    • First time to try baking soda followed by vinegar wash! Very skeptical BUT it works, my hair feels great and as good as using salon shampoo and conditioner. I will save a small fortune in products with this method. I colour my hair so does anyone know what will happen? Will the colour fade faster?

      • Unfortunately yes, your hair probably will fade quickly with this method. Baking soda is a common at-home remedy for dye jobs gone wrong, and I’ve heard vinegar can lighten hair too. So this isn’t the best option if you want to maintain your color.

        • That’s some great info, Rilee! I too was wondering if baking soda & vinegar was going to be trouble for colored hair. Now I know and it makes sense. I can’t wait to give it a try. Also, now I know how to fix a bad dye job! (-: I don’t like using conditioner because it is so hard to wash out of my hair.

      • I just tried this too just yesterday and it worked great!
        No tangles, clean hair, smells good (I like the smell of vinegar).
        Thank you for writing about this! Going to share it on my Facebook & Twitter pages.

  2. lintonpair says:

    I use 3 tbs of bicard and mix it with 700mls of water.
    shke it up and wash my hair in it then add 2 tbs Apple cidre vinegar to a litre of waer and rinse.
    tis dandy. Much easier than using dry bicarb

  3. I’ve been using baking soda to wash my hair, but not the vinegar. It sounds like a good idea though. I have also been using the baking soda as a facial and body exfolliant. My skin which usually itches in the winter no matter how much lotion I used doesn’t seem to have that problem this year since I started using the baking soda. I do make sure that I slather my body with a good coating of lotion when I’m done. I think that if I didn’t have the lotion, I’d try olive oil instead.

    • Hi,

      How do you use baking soda as your facial cleaner? Do you use other moisturizers also after washing with baking soda?

  4. I really need help with a lotion I can make at home that is not made with oil or beeswax, it makes my skin clog. my skin is sooo dry and itchy, I have given up putting any lotion on because its not worth the outcome. help!

    • You could try avocado. Just rub straight avocado into the areas where you usually moisturize before you get in the shower and then rinse off in the shower. The water will not wash all the oils off and you will be left with very lightly moisturized soft skin when you get out. Just pat your self dry with the towel so you don’t rub it all off.

      • Another good way to use avovado is just the peel – scrape the flesh out of the fruit, and use the inside part of the peel as an exfoliant scrubber – sjould help with the itchy areas.

    • try using 100% natural olive butter, or 100% natural extra virgin olive oil on your skin. both of them work wonders, are cheap, and leave your skin baby soft. there both all natural, and i use them on my skin all the time. hope this helps! =D

    • Have you tried coconut oil? If you like the scent of coconut, purchase the virgin coconut oil, if you don’t care for it purchase the regular. I use it any where on my body that is dry. It absorbs quickly, is luxurious on you skin, hair and to your nose and takes only a finger’s touch of the oil. Try putting some in a lovely short wide mouth jar and store it at room temperature. It melts at 80 degrees but is still usable. It is outstanding on hair, easy on the pocket-book!

    • Try coconut oil. Many uses and feels great. Just get a small dab on hands till it melts and massuage into hands and/or body, works great!

  5. I have been “no poo” since July 2007. I keep a plastic container with a screw on lid in the shower, an old bottle of Herbal Essence (that’s what I used to use, for years… anything else made my scalp itch) filled with apple cider vinegar and a plastic 16 ounce cup. I put a tablespoon or two of baking soda into the cup and fill halfway or all the way up with water while in the shower. I pour that on my head and scrub with my fingers as if I were using shampoo. I rinse all the baking soda from my hair. Then I rinse the cup thoroughly and pour in a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar and fill with water. Pour over my head. Then rinse. One day our water pipes were frozen and I only got to use the baking soda and rinse. My hair was very flyaway without using the apple cider vinegar, which I guess works very much like conditioner. It has been almost four years for me, and I am very happy doing no poo.

    • Kristina sloan says:

      Tonight is my first night trying, my hair is
      Really oily at the top though. I used bs throughout and the vinager on the ends. What am I doing wrong?

  6. might try this with some diluted lemon or lime juice instead of vinegar, good for dandruff aparently, is a bit bleachy so hence diluted. Also I always put a small drop of tea tree oil in my hair when showering as I get spots on my head sometimesa

    • I was told by a natural-skin-products shopperson to watch out for lemon, as it makes the skin sun-sensitive, which is probably what gave you the spots.

  7. penny mason says:

    For several months have had a problem with itchy scalp and a build up of white stuff on my scalp even though I wash my hair with castile soap every other day and sometimes every day. Does not flake like dandruff, but exfoliate my face with baking soda and decided to try it on my hair, Viola! no itching, no build up of white stuff, had been rinsing with vinegar after the castile, and continued that after baking soda. Did not dilute either soda or vinegar, just pour in on, scrub in well and rinse the dickens out of it. So pleased!! Googled wash hair with baking soda, and here it is already!

  8. →http://cort.as/18N8

  9. I’m going to give baking soda and vinegar a try. First, I’m going to oil my hair with coconut oil and let it sit for a bit (I found out that coconut oil is a GREAT detangler!).

    I’m sick of paying through the nose for chemicals!

  10. I have not tried it, but my aunt uses citric acid to condition her hair. she uses a 10% solution, and makes it with citric acid crystals. 10 parts water to 1 part crystals. she says it works great.

    as for the vinegar, the chinese have been using it to wash their hair for many many years.

    It also can be an invigorating face wash, but they recommend using white vinegar for face washing. My Chinese friends will add some white vinegar to a pan of water, rinse face with vinegar water, then rinse with clean water. It’s pretty refreshing.

    • Ramona Q. says:

      Be careful washing your face with vinegar – it will sting your eyes. Also, wash the vinegar out of your hair before you shave your legs, because it will sting your legs like heck.

  11. I use vinegar and baking soda too! I wet my hair, add a good portion of vinegar and while it’s still in I add the baking soda. The idea behind it is like those paper machete volcanos we made in school. The vinegar interacting with the baking soda, can sort of fizz away any sebum on my scalp. Then I rinse it out and put on lemon juice, then rinse that out. The lemon juice acts like a conditioner on my hair. I also use just lemon juice to wash my face. My skin is clean and soft. =)

  12. I am writing a book with all these sorts of idea for natural health care and I would love you all to get involved and comment on the experminents I will be trying.


  13. Kerstin says:

    ok, so I’m reading all this and it makes sense. BUT, I’m thinking this is working great for natural, long hair. I have short, layered, bleached, highlighted hair…maybe not an option for me. Any comments?

  14. After reading this, I wanted to give a try too.. It looks good and no more bubble shampoo.. :-)

  15. totally hooked on the baking soda and vinegar. my hair is fine and used to be a little frizzy when I used regular and this was organic shampoos and conditioners…. also high end salon shampoo and conditioners. i was skeptical too, but my hair behaves so much better with the soda and vinegar! I put a little lavender oil in the vinegar rinse. Also I mix my soda with water in a shampoo bottle and use it wet and follow with the vinegar.

  16. Baking soda and vinegar stopped my hairfall… hurray!

  17. It stopped the frequent itching on my scalp too. I now feel dumb for having used all those expensive chemicals for years. Have seen through their marketing tactics.. won’t fall for it anymore :)

  18. Catherine Kennedy says:

    Baking soda removes build up in the hair. Hence, it may gradually lift your color. As a cosmetologist and researching alternatives for hair care, I have used baking soda and water mixture over the years for build up of hairspray and other products from clients who receive color.

  19. I love using baking soda as a dry shampoo as well when you don’t have time to wash hair or it’s just a bit too oily around the scalp – work it in well into dry hair with fingers and let it absorb oil for few minutes. This can make styled hair last days – great for moms on the go. I wash my hair much less frequently now – and that’s great for the scalp.

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  23. I use club soda as an alternative shampoo – use at least twice – and then use a tiny bit (maybe the size of a dime) of grapeseed oil as my conditioner. My hair is feels super soft and is detangled (before the grapseed oil) and has stopped shedding :)

  24. I’ve been researching about this topic for a while now, I am still not quite convinced that it is a good idea in a long run. People are reporting some issues regarding using baking soda on their hair after several months of use. I found some info on this also here:

  25. I was looking for alternatives to cleaning my hair. It is waist length, thick and is unmanageable most days. Frizzy, fly aways, knotting up if I leave it down, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. I absolutely hate vinegar so I am replacing it with a homemade conditioner. But I am going to try this out. I hope it works as well as everyone is raving about. Maybe I can take my hair out of this bun and leave it down for a while.


  1. […] have a giant container of vinegar in your […]

  2. […] The only things left that I haven’t given up are my shower wash and my beloved Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner (body envy). I’ve been contemplating switching to baking soda and water for my hair. You can read all about that here. […]

  3. […] soda and vinegar Washing Hair with Baking Soda and Vinegar | Health, Home, & Happiness Become a CF Site Supporter Today and Make These Ads Go […]

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