Recipe for Making Your Own Shampoo


Yesterday, I shared about why I decided to make my own baking soda-and-water shampoo, as a healthy shampoo alternative and a way to keep from having to wash my hair daily. Today, I wanted to give you a glimpse into what it was like to use this stuff to clean my hair, followed by the recipe to make your own!

My Experience Using Baking Soda Shampoo
Day 1 - Can't tell whether it's working, since there are no suds to go by. Fingers crossed!

Day 2 - What do you know, but my hair has not yet turned oily. Hallelujah! This might just work!

Day 3 - Still not oily, but I figure I shouldn't press my luck. Let's kick the every-other-day routine into gear!

Day 6 - Yesterday was a wash day, but for some reason today my hair decided to turn oily all of a sudden. I ended up washing it halfway through the day. Hoping it doesn't let me down!
Day 12 - Hair seems to be adjusting to baking soda shampooing and oil levels evening out. I think I figured out that the culprit is the fact that it's gotten hotter outside and likely more sweat on the brow, so to speak. I expect that when the weather turns cooler this fall, I can start experimenting with going two days between shampoos.
I'm now about two months into the process, and I just finished my second full bottle.

The main thing I've noticed is that my hair's texture/oil is much more consistent now than before; usually after shampooing my hair, it would be on the dry end (even with conditioning) and by the end of the day or the next morning, it'd be super oily to compensate. Now, whether it's right after a shower or the end of the day, it's about the same oily-ness.

Around the middle of day two, sometimes it will start to feel oily, though often when I go to check in the mirror, it doesn't actually look oily. By hour 48, the oil does start to show (some days more than others), but even then, it still has not gotten as oily as it used to at hour 24.

Which, for the simplicity of the product, I count as quite impressive. I wouldn't claim it to be a miracle solution (but, then, what is?), however I do think it's much more reliable and effective than previous shampooing, which is why I've decided to stick with it.

Recipe to Make Your Own Baking Soda Shampoo
All it is a mixture of baking soda to water; I took a bottle with a pump-head that I'd saved (there's always some use waiting!) and filled it 1/8 the way with baking soda, the rest with water. (The ideal ratio is about 1 tablespoon of baking soda per 1 cup of water.) I'd read online about adding rosemary to your mixture if you have dry scalp, so I added some dashes of that, as well.

Then you shake it up and are ready to go. (If you end up adding rosemary, like I did, the water will start to turn brownish like in the photo above. In my first batch, I just dumped the herbs in but after awhile they started clogging the pump and also would sometimes squirt out into my hair--not quite the accessorizing I'm often going for. One alteration I made with my second batch was to bundle the rosemary in a swatch of gauzy fabric, kind of like a homemade tea bag to avoid that, which has worked exceptionally well so far.)

One thing is that the mixture is really runny, which means it takes a little longer to get my hair fully coated with it because I keep squirting more on. Once I can feel it's coated my hair, I let it sit for a minute and then rinse it off. Some people choose to use an apple-cider-vinegar rinse for conditioning, but I don't need to do that at all.

I can finally go more than a day between shampoos. Who would have guessed the answer would be as simple as a kitchen staple?!

P.S. If you are new to this blog, thank you so much for stopping by! You can feel free to browse all my other posts about my journey toward a lifestyle of simplicity and DIY, as well as some of the ways my husband and I are learning to save money. I also write about my faith, my marriage and everything in between, which you can explore in the archives.

Related Posts
Why I Started Making My Own Shampoo

Recipes for Making Your Own Cosmetics (including Lip Stain, Mascara, Eye Liner & Eye Shadow)

54 comments:

  1. Do you use anything as conditioner along with this? Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Alissa! Personally, I don't, but I've found I don't need to at all. Some people do use an apple-cider vinegar rinse as conditioner.

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  2. YOU ARE SO BRAVE! :) How great! I'm so impressed but not sure I could ever pull it off! I bet an every other day wash is such a time-saver! I am so picky about my conditioner, though. A while ago, I switched to "Dove" shampoo and conditioner and quit using 'the cheap stuff' and I LOVED the difference. Even now, I can run my hand through my hair and there's not a tangle to be found. Wonder if the acv rinse would work just as well...hmmm...may have to try it! :)

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    1. Ha, I love that what you consider "bravery" is probably more aptly called "desperation." I had no other choice! Fortunately, it all worked out well for me. Let me know if you try it and your thoughts!

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  3. I so want to do this! I read a blog a while back about someone who had just stopped washing with anything at all except water and how her hair adjusted to it and she loved it more than ever. I like this solution better though- I think the suds they put in shampoo are purely psychological. Thanks for sharing with us!

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    1. Ha, I love that what you consider "bravery" is probably more aptly called "desperation." I had no other choice! Fortunately, it all worked out well for me. Let me know if you try it and your thoughts!

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  4. Carmen! You're turning into such a hippie! (love it!) Its only a matter of time before you start a compost pit in your backyard! ;O)

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    1. You totally nailed it, and I have no problem with that! The composting (and subsequent gardening!) will have to wait until we get a yard though. Someday... ;)

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  5. I have done a similar thing with my deodorant. Although I found that the baking soda broke me out a bit. I recently found an aluminum free deodorant at Target by Soap and Glory called one pit wonder! I love it!

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    1. I'm not familiar with that deodorant, but I appreciate the head's up. We use the aluminum-free one from Arm & Hammer, which can be hard to find, but we get it at Kroger or Rite Aid and love it, too!

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    2. The deodorant is AWESOME. I use it and now swear by it. I used to be a Degree girl. I sweat a lot. I found the recipe and watched a video and it was so simple I couldn't resist. If you buy coconut oil from the grocery ocooking oil section it should tell you that it holds solid up to 76 degrees. That is the only catch when mixing. You must be in an area that is 76 degrees or below. There are other alternative coconut oils online I believe that hold solid at higher temps but this one worked fine. At any rate, take the coconut oil, about a tablespoon and break out the baking soda. Simply mix and mix add oil or baking soda until you get that stick deodorant consistency. Since the coconut barely holds a scent you can add a few drops of your favorite fragrance oil. I will never buy deodorant again. I found that one, it works wonderful, two, it goes on clear, two it only takes a swipe of a finger with such a small amount.
      A baby jar full has lasted me over a month!!!

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  6. So I saw you on "dulce candy's" Blog. I wanted to invite you to follow my blog. I developed the idea for "Featured Followers by Elle © " where I promote my followers. Check out my blog @ www.edkdolce.blogspot.com
    *Elle

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  7. I started washing with baking soda a few weeks ago, every other day like you, and it keeps getting better! I'm really liking how it works.

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    1. Yes, it does keep getting better! I already gave away all my old shampoos and conditioners, I'm so sold on this new tactic!

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  8. I just found you on Totally Tutorials. Baking soda also works well to get rid of styling product build-up - my stylist recommends it about once a week. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  9. so I am officially trying this. I figure I'll add a touch of lavender as well as rosemary and condition with my coconut oil :)... so excited because I really hate using CHEMICALS in my hair. But up until now I was like what other choice do I have in this world??

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  10. Hi! Just found your blog through Moneysavingmom.com! I am enjoying it! I have been wanting try this baking soda shampoo! Are you still using it? What are the results? I have thin/fine slightly oily hair and I can not imagine washing it every other day! Every day is a must right now!

    Whitney

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    1. Hi Whitney! Thanks for your question. Yes, I am still using my baking soda shampoo and it still works like a charm, only having to wash every other day. Like you, my hair tends to be fine, thin and oily. I never thought I could go more than a day without washing but this baking-soda mixture has totally changed all that. It's so easy and cheap, I think you should definitely at least give it a try!

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  11. I think I will give it a try! Probably won't tell my husband though! He'll think I'm crazy! I' m glad to have found your blog.

    Whitney

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    1. Haha! Well let me know your thoughts if you do give it a shot. Another friend of mine tried it and she's sticking with it as well! Take care :)

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  12. I started doing this 2 months ago and love it. Now I'll go three days without washing it and it's just fine. I actually used shampoo once because I was in some super salty water and my hair actually felt worse from it. Back to the baking soda!

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  13. i have difficult curly/wavy hair and since washing my hair this way i finally like my hair. wish i had tried this in high school. i never have a bad hair day now, and my hair is less frizzy, less greasy!
    it's been a year and a half and i don't think i'll ever shampoo my hair again.

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    1. That's great! Thank you so much for sharing. I have straight, fine and thin hair so it's good to hear from someone who's locks are different and that the baking soda works for you, as well!

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  14. Good for you! I'll be trying this. I'm thinking I'll use rosemary essential oil.
    Thanks!
    Renee

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  15. I don't think anyone mentioned this yet, (maybe I missed it) but Bob's Red Mill has a premium baking soda, that is chemical free & aluminum-free!

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  16. I am going to try this as well. I always had to shampoo every day because my hair would look so oily in the morning. This year I switched to Loreal Sulfate Free shampoo and I can go 2-3 days and my hair doesn't look oily. That sulfate chemical stuff was the culprit.
    When I work thru my Loreal I'm going to give this a try.
    Thanks for sharing.
    ♥ Joy

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    1. Interesting! I didn't even know Loreal made a sulfate-free shampoo! I'm glad to hear companies are wising up and offering more and more alternatives!

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  17. I have had one problem with natural shampoos, my hair doesn't feel oily until the third day, it just feels over conditioned. Does this shampoo have this same issue?

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    1. Hmm, thanks for your comment, Sara Cart. I don't really know what you mean by "over conditioned," but I don't think so. It feels pretty balanced to me--not too dry, not too oily, not too shiny, etc. I finally feel like my hair is just "normal"! Does that answer your question?

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  18. I tried this today and I can't say I have been very impressed. I mixed up about 2tsp in a cup of warm water and used about half of it. I wasn't sure how to get it into my hair since I wasn't using a spray bottle...I think maybe I used too much because my hair is like straw! I put some heavy conditioner on it and even used a portion as a leave in conditioner but it still is pretty dry. Any suggestions?

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  19. Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, Andrea! It does sound like you used an awful lot. Normally each batch I make is one cup with 1 tbsp. baking soda mixed in (as per the ratio mentioned in the post). And each batch usually lasts me about 2 weeks, using it every other day, so I only use about 1/8 cup each "application."

    I'm not positive what's the cause (some of the comments on the Money Saving Mom post suggested that water hardness can also interfere), but I would suggest going a day or two before shampooing your hair again. Then maybe try it again and use less and see if it re-adjusts or not? You can also try using an apple-cider rinse as a conditioner. I don't need that so I haven't used it, but many people do with great success!

    I'm so sorry you didn't have a good first experience with it! Please let me know if it gets better.

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  20. I tried using baking soda, along with my shampoo to get out product build up and it tended to dry out my hair. Will this happen with this shampoo? Is it safe for colored hair?

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    1. Hmm... to be honest I'm not sure how this may or may not affect color-treated hair, because I don't dye my hair at all. Does anyone else have any input??

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  21. Does anybody have a recommendation for how much apple cider vinegar to use? I am all prepared for baking soda shampooing...round 2! I even have my spray bottle.

    I talked to a friend yesterday who said her hair dresser recommends doing this about once a month to revitalize your highlights.

    ~Andrea

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    1. Everything I've read says, 1T ACV to 1C warm water.
      I didn't like the smell, so I rinsed with cool water after.

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  22. I have been shampooing with baking soda for about 2 weeks now, and my hair had never looked better. It's even curlier. I shampoo with baking soda and water. For conditioner I use a mixture of oatmeal water, honey, and apple cider vinegar.

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  23. It takes awhile for your hair to start producing the right amount of oil. My hair was very oily at first but now its just perfect.

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  24. I would like to try this. Did you miss having the lovely smell of highly fragranced shampoo? What does your hair smell like now? I am curious since if I skip a day of washing, my hair has this oily smell that I do not like.

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  25. I have been alternating between baking soda and regular store bought shampoo. So far I am liking the results but I have yet to figure out how much vinegar to use.
    www.awaitingmaiden.blogspot.com

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  26. I've been all over the internet researching different methods of applying the baking soda washes... and I came across some You Tube vids and they call this "Poo Free" and it cracks me up!
    I've been using the Baking Soda for a month now and LOVE IT! I'm saving so much money by not using "poo" (he he) and my hair looks great!
    Thanks!

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  27. Love it! Thanks for the post. I've actually just been using a vinegar rinse- straight white vinegar in a spray bottle spritzed into my hair after a shower, and it's been working great!

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  28. I tried this last year and actually really liked it. I find that I occasionally like to use something else just to change it up- an essential oil shampoo maybe or WEN which I love

    (http://www.wenhaircare.com/index.php?uci=ous116&refcd=GO576T006894s_wen&tsacr=GO7829211376&s_kwcid=TC|8124|wen||S|e|7829211376)

    Thanks for sharing this :)

    www.sandrafraser.com

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  29. We have several friends who have kids with extreme chemical sensitivities, and have been forced to find other alternatives. There's a great website with all kinds of tips for making all kinds of chemical-free household toiletries/cleaning solutions - www.momsaware.org. She has recipes similar to the one above, and lots of ideas/suggestions for adding fragrance, etc.

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  30. I found a website that used baking soda for DIY microdermabrasion. It called for a specific ratio. I laughed at that and just put a little in the palm of my hand and went at my face in the shower. I found a baking soda container that is plastic with a flip lid and three pouring holes, waterproof. I keep this in the shower and once I ran out of shampoo and figured if it worked on my oily face then try it on my hair. I felt sooo confused with out the suds, but amazingly it worked. I just pour some on my hands and apply it to my wet scalp. No need for measuring. I am a licensed hair stylist and I approve this method!!

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  31. Do you have trouble combing through your hair? I have been doing this method for about a month now, using the ACV rinse as well. I LOVE how my hair looks, but it is SO painful to comb through when it is wet. Also, I am not a fan of how it smells. Did you find that putting the rosemary in the shampoo helped the smell?

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    1. Hmm. I actually don't have any trouble combing through my hair, but I have pretty fine, straight hair to begin with and have never really needed detanglers. So I'm not sure if it's due to the shampoo or if your hair is naturally prone to tangle itself up. Unfortunately, I don't have any tips other than getting a good wide-toothed comb. If anyone else has tips, I'd be curious to see if there are some good tips for naturally detangling your hair!

      As for the smell, I personally don't find that it smells like anything at all. And that's fine with me. I don't really find that the rosemary adds any scent, but you can always add essential oils (start with a drop or two at a time until you find the combo that works best for you.) I haven't done that but I've heard others have successfully.

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    2. Hey, Storms, I cannot STAND the smell of ACV in the shower or otherwise...so I use white vinegar. The white vinegar is still a little strong for my (now pregnant) nose, so I soak grapefruit peels in the vinegar for a week or so to combat the smell in-shower (you can then "strain" them out). The peels mellow the smell quite nicely. I find that after my hair dries, the vinegar smell disappears. I was hoping that the peels would leave my hair nice and "grapefruity-smelling" but no dice.

      My plan is to eventually try to make an after-shower or during-blow drying mixture of water and some essential oils, to re-capture that nice-smelling hair sensation (versus the no-smell-hair). But I haven't gotten around to it yet.

      And, as I'm thinking about this, I've used a lemon essential oil in with the vinegar before and that also helps with the smell, but it doesn't leave a lemon-scent in your hair afterward. That was a bummer too. You could use the EO of anything you like the smell of. I prefer citrus because it makes me feel happy and more awake in the morning. :) Always a plus.

      I also have no trouble combing through my hair. Try brushing BEFORE you go into the shower. Otherwise, you may want to try adding a little more vinegar to your mixture (think teaspoon/tablespoon) to find something a little more moisturizing. I have also read of people using lemon & honey & water to moisturize, but as I have naturally oily skin, I find I don't need extra moisturizing. I hope this info helps!

      ~Coco~

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  32. We are trying to make some serious changes in my home and getting away from chemicals, so I was searching all kinds of different shampoos and I came across your site. I am now pretty excited to make this change for our shampoos, so thank you!!

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  33. I've been 'poo-free' for 3 years now - wouldn't have it any other way! My hair was horrible for the first 5 - 6 weeks when I started, but it turns out I was making my baking soda mix too strong thus still drying it out too much & stripping it of all its goodness and making my scalp want to make a lot more oil - the vicious cycle we were all in with shampoo & conditioner previously!
    Once I got that settled down my hair finally stopped being dry / oily (it would swing between both in the space of a day) and now it's just always somewhere in the middle, perfectly naturally nice :)
    I don't add any smellies to mine because I prefer no smell - quite happy for my hair to smell of nothing at all :)
    I do use ACV for conditioning after I've rinsed the BS off. I can't believe I used to pay so much for stupid chemicals to damage my hair and I thought I was doing the right thing... Lesson learnt now. In fact it started a whole hippie movement in my life. First my hair, then my washing powder, then my soap, now there's almost no chemical ickies in my house at all :)

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  34. My girls (14 & 11) and I have been doing this for 3 months now. We mix 1T baking soda, 1T lemon juice and 1C warm water ... we all have long hair, so this is just for one washing. We've found pouring it onto the scalp and rubbing it in, dipping the rest of our hair in the rest and then pouring any left over all. We rub it in well and wait about 5 minutes before rinsing with warm then cool water. The lemon juice gets rid of the "straw" effect and helps to lighten our hair. I've quit coloring my hair and we're not going back to shampoo!
    I have VERY DRY scalp so twice a month I coat my scalp with coconut oil and wrap my hair with a hot, damp towel and let it set 30 minutes or more before "washing" out with lemon juice and water rinse.
    We find our hair is easiest to work with and looks better when we clean it at night and wait til morning to brush or comb it. Hope this helps!!

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  35. Oh, neat. I hadn't heard of adding lemon juice, so I'll have to try that. Mine does sometimes start to feel "straw"-like, so that's usually when I do an ACV rinse. Thanks for the tips!

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  36. Has anyone considered adding aloe vera gel to the shampoo to give it some body? I would think it would add some moisturizing effect as well!

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  37. Are you supposed to work the mixture into your scalp or just spray it on?

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  38. I was just reading the above post, and I wanted to throw an idea out - you could always boil your water for your shampoo and steep the rosemary in it like tea after, and then use Rosemary Essential Oil as well. I might have to try this experiment.

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