I have curly, frizzy hair and had always felt trapped using expensive products to manage my curls—until I found this natural solution.
Natural Hair Care
I have curly, frizzy hair and have always felt trapped using expensive shampoos and conditioners to try to manage my curls. Meanwhile, my straight-haired friends complained of finding good hair products that would leave their hair soft but not weighed down. Add in a concern for all the strange chemicals found in many hair products—from DEA, an irritant and a carcinogen, to DEHP, a compound that contains formaldehyde—which can make their way into your breast milk and are sometimes hidden within the ingredient list as "fragrance," and it was time to find an alternative.
How to take care of my hair and body, while still looking (something like) normal, though? Turns out the answer is as easy as apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Try this out and use it as your regular hair care method or as a weekly treatment.
How It Works
Essentially, when we wash our hair we're trying to get the gunk off while keeping it strong and soft. Here's how baking soda and apple cider vinegar work.
Benefits of Baking Soda
Baking soda is known as a fantastic cleaning product in general. Its main benefit is the fact that it is a mild alkali with fine, slightly abrasive particles. These two factors work together to break down dirt and grease incredibly effectively, leaving your hair super squeaky clean. It also is not a common irritant and so should not cause issues for most people.
Be aware that baking soda can be rather drying, so you'll want to keep it to the scalp. Don't rub it into the tips of your hair.
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works in complement to baking soda incredibly well. As a more acidic product, it balances out the alkalizing effect of the baking soda to restore your hair's natural pH levels. It also helps kill bacteria (great if you have dandruff issues!) and is a natural humectant, which means that it helps hold in moisture.
How to Use Baking Soda to Clean Your Hair
So now the question is, how do you actually do this? Do you sprinkle some baking soda on your hair in the shower? Do you awkwardly cup it in your hand? There are a few different methods, but here's what I like to do.
What You Need
- A squeeze bottle (I used an old hair conditioner bottle—don't need that anymore!)
- Baking soda
There is debate over the correct ratio of baking soda to water. I don't overanalyze it—I just put several (probably 4-5) spoonfuls of baking soda into the squeeze bottle (mine is 400 ml) and then fill the bottle the rest of the way with warm water, with just enough space at the top that I'll be able to shake it up to mix it all in.
- Get your hair all wet.
- Shake up the water and baking soda mixture to make sure it's evenly mixed.
- Squeeze it out right onto your scalp - I separate my hair into sections sort of like at the hair dresser's and squeeze it right onto my scalp.
- Rub it in well and let it sit for about a minute (during which time you can do something else—I shave my armpits. Too much information?)
- Rinse well.
Remember to keep the baking soda at the scalp level as much as you can. You won't destroy your hair if you rub it in root-to-tip, but it can be rather drying and so you should only do that if you have serious product build-up that you need to clean off.
How to Condition Your Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar
Here's the part that I really didn't believe would work—sure, baking soda will clean, but there's no way my curly, frizzy hair will be conditioned with apple cider vinegar. I used to use deep conditioner treatments almost every day.
Turns out, I was wrong.
What You Need
- A spray bottle
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
The ratio here can vary depending on your hair, but generally about 1:4 of ACV to water. Some people use a squeeze bottle for this as well; I found I got much more mileage out of a batch with a spray bottle instead with the same effectiveness.
- Make sure the baking soda mixture is rinsed out.
- Squeeze excess water out of your hair.
- Grab your spray bottle and spray away! I start off focusing on the scalp, separating my hair into sections again, because I have dandruff and want to the ACV to get in there.
- Make sure you really cover your hair, right into the ends.
- Rub it in a bit, and, like with any conditioner, let it sit for a moment.
- Rinse well.
Before you ask, yes, the ACV kind of stinks. Like, kind of a lot. This is not a great option if you're doing a sexy "let's wash each other's hair" type shower. However, the scent does rinse out well. You can try adding some essential oils to your mixture if you would like to try to mask/alter the scent.
How to Choose Essential Oils for Your Hair
Lightens blonde hair
Good for dry hair
Lightens blonde hair
With heat, a lot of lemon can turn hair orange
May irritate very sensitive scalps
Great for normal or dry hair
Good for oily hair
What to Expect
You will find after you wash and condition in the shower, your hair will feel a little like it isn't properly clean or just kind of weird—DON'T FEAR! Once you get out of the shower and dry your hair, you will find it softer and smoother than you ever expected.
Afterwards, feel free to style as normal. Some of my friends who use this method found they don't need to use any styling products afterwards. I still need to follow my usual post-shower hair routine, but found my curls bouncier, shinier, and softer as a result of this technique.
Warning: This technique should not be used every day. I already only wash my hair 3-4 times a week, and that's about as often as you should use this method of hair care.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Andrea
Ashley Chamorro on December 23, 2019:
Can you still wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner after using baking soda and vinegar
Research scientist by trade on August 30, 2018:
Baking soda: is extremely alkaline, and not recommended at all for hair. Several people found significant hair loss after years of use, even though it initially felt great. The sources are found via google search.
ACV: is very acidic, with pH of around 3. Hydrochloric acid is pH 0-2. There are some benefits for ACV consumption, but this is from limited scientific articles. In no way should ACV be used less than 1:10 dilution for hair, and even then only as a rinse and between 1-3 times a month.
But if course, don't take a my word for it. Be smart and research it.
Rohan Khedkar on August 22, 2017:
i tried this method Baking soda and Apple cider vinegar 2 times.
After Applying baking soda mixture on my scalp i was 15-20 Hair falling rapidly. Why is that !!
i request you to please suggest.
Treina jones on July 30, 2017:
How often are u supposed to wash your hair wirh baking soda and apple cider vinegar
Donna on April 08, 2017:
In answer to why I want to try this recipe, I want to because I need something that will hopefully actually work and make my hair healthier and healthier looking.
Liliya on March 22, 2017:
I also have curly and frizzy hair but natural masks and shampoos have always been a little bit scary :) This recipe looks awesome though, so I think I will step out and try it :) I know the GorgeousGirl website also have a lot of DIYs for natural hair!
Brenda Gatlin on March 21, 2017:
I dont see how much your suppose to mix with what , Can you help me there , Thanks could really use the help , i have very dry hair and it is falling out really bad , Thank You
Lil on February 20, 2017:
I am yet to try. Do I use warm water with ACV mixture when I shampoo? I have an occasionally sensitive to touch scalp that eventually leads to shedding of hair. Thanks.
clifford mckay on December 30, 2016:
if you get thismixture in your eyes what happens?
fred on May 09, 2016:
Can men also use this for thinning hair and dryness
Karen on April 25, 2016:
I have been using the combination since Christmas. My daughter brought the bottles and baking soda with,her.,it has worked fantastically. My hair doesn't show any grease, it is soft, and I have had new hair growth. I am over 70!' My hair has always been thick, but now you can see the new hair growth on my scalp near my forehead. The other thing I have noticed, it has retained my color. It is soft, but the only negative it may not shine quite as much as before.
yogahip on April 17, 2016:
Been using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for 8 months now. Can leave hair for three weeks now and does not get greasy! I wash it once a week or once every two weeks. Shampoo is a con!
Laura Chambers from Mills River, NC on March 27, 2016:
I've been using both of these methods for about a month now because I had awful dandruff, itchy scalp, psoriasis on my scalp and ears, and have always had sensitive skin when it came to fragrance sprays, shampoos, conditioners, etc. I went to my doctor and a dermatologist and they had me try over the counter and prescription products and nothing helped at all so I decided to do some research on my own and see what I could use that was more natural, less harsh for my skin, and had minimal ingredients instead of a truck load of unpronounceable ingredients. I got the recipes I use from www.diynatural.com/homemade-shampoo/. This is a great website with all kinds of DIY projects, tips, info., recipes, and inspirations for the home. I use the homemade shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, and hair gel so far. I plan on also making my own citrus cleaner, dish soap, and laundry soap very soon as well. The recipe on this website calls for 1 cup of water to 1 TBS. of baking soda for shampoo and 1 TBS. of ACV to 1 cup of water for conditioner but sometimes I mix the conditioner with lemon juice instead of ACV and always add in a TBS. of pure unpasteurized honey just for a slight change. Honey is great for the hair as well. It is a natural humectant, loaded with vitamins, antibacterial, and helps get rid of dandruff. I use essential oils as well in all 3 of my shower products. I like peppermint just because it makes my scalp tingle and I like that but I've also used tea tree oil (I don't anymore because I personally just don't care for the smell of it very much but it's an antimicrobial and very good for hair/ skin care and in other diy products to clean the home), lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, and citronella in spring and summer to ward off bugs and mosquitoes. I find that the vinegar smell is not present at all when I use the essential oils. Even when I use citronella I combine peppermint in as well and my hair doesn't stink at all. I make my husband and coworkers smell my hair from time to time and they all say my hair smells, feels, and looks great!! I first reused old shampoo and conditioner bottles then went to Earth Fare and was talking to someone who worked there about what I was doing and they offered to sell me clear shampoo bottles that they put samples in for .99 each and they also sell glass and metal containers with either a screw off lid or sprayer for deodorants, rooms sprays, etc. I wash with the baking soda every other day and use the conditioner every day. I just tilt my head back, squirt a little from ear to ear then straighten my head to let it run down to the bottom of my scalp. I let both sit for a couple of minutes and gently massage with my fingertips and always rinse conditioner mix out with cool water to close the cuticle. I will never go back to using conventional beauty products. It's cheaper making them myself, healthier for me, and kind of fun too!!
Laura Chambers from Mills River, NC on March 27, 2016:
I've been using both of these methods for about a month now because I had awful dandruff, itchy scalp, psoriasis on my scalp and ears, and have always had sensitive skin when it came to fragrance sprays, shampoos, conditioners, etc. I went to my doctor and a dermatologist and they had me try over the counter and prescription products and nothing helped at all so I decided to do some research on my own and see what I could use that was more natural, less harsh for my skin, and had minimal ingredients instead of a truck load of unpronounceable ingredients. I got the recipes I use from www.diynatural.com/homemade-shampoo/. This is a great website with all kinds of DIY projects, tips, info., recipes, and inspirations for the home. I use the homemade shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, and hair gel so far. I plan on also making my own citrus cleaner, dish soap, and laundry soap very soon as well. The recipe on this website calls for 1 cup of water to 1 TBS. of baking soda for shampoo and 1 TBS. of ACV for conditioner but sometimes I mix the conditioner with lemon juice instead of ACV and always add in a TBS. of pure unpasteurized honey just for a slight change. Honey is great for the hair as well. It is a natural humectant, loaded with vitamins, antibacterial, and helps get rid of dandruff. I use essential oils as well in all 3 of my shower products. I like peppermint just because it makes my scalp tingle and I like that but I've also used tea tree oil (I don't anymore because I personally just don't care for the smell of it very much but it's an antimicrobial and very good for hair/ skin care and in other diy products to clean the home), lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, and citronella in spring in summer to ward off bugs and mosquitos. I find that the vinegar smell is not present at all when I use the essential oils. Even when I use citronella I combine peppermint in as well and my hair doesn't stink at all. I make my husband and coworkers smell my hair from time to time and they all say my hair smells, feels, and looks great!! I will never go back to using conventional beauty products. It's cheaper making them myself, healthier for me, and kind of fun too!!
DebMartin on July 17, 2015:
Worked great! Thanks again!
Kristin on July 17, 2015:
I had some major build up and my shampoo was not cutting it. I have thick, fine, curly/wavy hair. I tried this today and my hair looks and feels amazing!! Shampoo and conditioner - NO MORE!! Thank you for sharing this information.
DebMartin on July 16, 2015:
Excellent! Eager to try this so I'm off to the shower. Thanks!
Rayna on June 29, 2015:
Hi, I was wondering what the best baking soda is for no poo method! I have heard a lot that it matters what baking soda you buy!
Adrian Cloute from Cedartown, GA on May 21, 2015:
This worked well - I've been trying to do all natural recipes for my cleaning as well
Daphne on May 16, 2015:
Do this work on natural course hair
I have dandruff and it is disgusting but I usually don't wear my hair I keep it braided or a sewed in
bianca on May 06, 2015:
How much honey can you add to the vinegar, to help the smell?
Besarien from South Florida on May 04, 2015:
I have been doing this for a while now. It works better for me than anything else I have tried and cost next to nothing. It hurts me to remember what I used to spend on janky hair products.
Erica on April 29, 2015:
I workout daily and therefore, I shower daily. Do I just need to wash with regular water the days of not doing this new sequence of 3-4 days with the baking soda and acv?
Dalila C from Denver, CO on April 22, 2015:
I am going to try this! Thank you for sharing!
Jennifer on April 14, 2015:
Thank you for this!! It worked just how you said and the descriptions were so helpful!
Sister on March 08, 2015:
What is the benefit of using apple cider vinager aposed to white vinager?
Katie on March 04, 2015:
is it safe to continue lightening my hair after switching to BS & ACV?
Rebecca Young from Renton, WA on February 23, 2015:
J.M.Z. on February 19, 2015:
I have not washed my hair in almost a year until I recently came across this "no-poo" treatment, so luckily I already made it through that whole greasy hair phase just after I stopped using hair products. My hair was healthy and fine afterwards but I did want to clean it thoroughly so every once in a while and that's when i found this method.
It does work and my hair feels even softer than usual. Only problem is that my hair can get rather frizzy next to having a wavy hair-type which can be pretty annoying. I found that massaging 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into my hair and letting it simmer under a shower cap for 2 hours minimum before washing it out with the "no-poo" method really does the trick. The oil washes out without a problem due to the cleaning effect of the baking soda and yet it still leaves a straightening effect behind with no frizz. A natural straightener. Only thing is that I don't want to do this every week and i thought it to be possible to fight the frizz with this regular method of BK and ACV. Perhaps i'm getting the dosage wrong. Any idea if I should lessen tor up the dosage ratio for both treatments?
Also, there seems to be no difference in effect between ACV and normal white vinegar. The latter one however is cheaper and less smelly.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on February 17, 2015:
I have not used this technique. Does it leave your hair shiny and your scalp healthy?
thanks for sharing Angles are on the way to you this afternoon. ps
C L Mitchell on February 17, 2015:
My friend and I both have curly frizzy hair type. She's been using baking soda and vinegar for a year now and is loving it so has been trying to persuade me to try it. My concern is that I like to straighten my hair sometimes, so how does this method work for blow dried then flat ironed hair?
Lizahn on January 25, 2015:
worked soooo well! I have allot of bushy and curly hair with high lights. After my hair is sooo soft and clean. Can't believe the results! Thank you for the post"
Love form South africa
Andrea (author) from Canada on January 21, 2015:
Kavita - Yes, that means 1 cup ACV for every 4 cups of water, but you can finesse the ratio to suit yourself.
kavita on January 21, 2015:
I have a doubt, I did not understand the quantity of ACV i mean 1:4 is it 1 small cup of ACV and 4 small cups of water, if i stored in that way then what should i do then. give me the clear description about the quantity.
Bec on December 13, 2014:
I have been using this method for around 1 1/2 to 2 years now and its great, i have also in this time grown out all my hair so its all my natural colour. I have been thinking of re-dyeing my hair to red and i was wondering if anyone has used this method with dyed red hair just wondering if it strips the colour or makes it fade more quickly?
LauraS on November 19, 2014:
I color (professionally) my hair. Will using these ingredients cause my color to fade faster? Thanks
Pushpa on November 10, 2014:
ACV 3-4 times a week sounds like an awful lot...it is far more acidic than the hair shaft (even in a dilution) and will degrade hair over time with overuse. Most people recommend ACV only once or twice a month at most.
Jemjoseph on September 11, 2014:
I just read about using Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar as a shampoo a few days ago, thanks for clarifying exactly how they each work.
Mackenzie Sage Wright on September 11, 2014:
Good hub! I gave up conventional washing long ago... don't even bother to wet it more than once or twice per week anymore.
I just give my hair a hot-water scalp massage and combing rinse with my shower set on a strong pulse, then a cold-water rinse. Once every couple of weeks or so I add a little ACV to the rinse water, and once every couple of months I use baking soda just to scrub the scalp.
I think the baking soda just acts as an abrasive to exfoliate the scalp. I don't think it does that much for the hair.
I also brush twice per day with a natural brush (which I clean every day as well) and once in a while I give it a 'dry shampoo' with talc or corn starch to get through till the next rinse. Sometimes I spray the ends with a water/essential oil mix, or I add a couple drops of essential oil to the cold water rinse.
I used to have VERY oily, stringy hair and it was so hard to keep it looking good. When I moved to a subtropical climate I hated using loads of products on it.
When I stopped using harsh products like shampoo and and gels, my scalp stopped over-producing oils. My hair got shiny without looking greasy, and got great body-- it's thicker and grows faster. It's much more manageable and good looking now, and the essential oils make it smell nice, too. I get a lot of compliments.
No one can believe that my secret is as little washing as possible, lol. But it's true... those products really just ruin hair.
Hezekiah from Japan on September 11, 2014:
Great advise there, it would nice to have one for black afro type hair too.
PlainGraces from Nebraska on September 10, 2014:
I haven't tried plain baking soda, but I have added baking soda to my shampoo with wonderful results. I am definitely going to try mixing soda and water in a bottle as you suggested. Thanks for the great idea!
Dawn on September 10, 2014:
I've been trying this for a couple weeks now and no matter what I try my hair stays dirty and greasy feeling even right after washing it. It hasn't felt clean once. Anyone have any suggestions?
Sarah Fletcher from Adelaide on September 10, 2014:
Great advice, I'm keen to try it and aee what my hair does! My hair is super fine and tends to have blow away strands everywhere and waves but not proper curls. Sometimes it can be a bit lifeless and flat. Any suggestions for quantities?
Lauren on September 09, 2014:
I used this method for the first time and I had great results. I color my hair every 4 to 6 months. My hair is normal to dry. My hair feels fuller and holds natural waves well. I only used 2 open containers for each. Vinegar burned my eyes a little who well what can you do. My hair feels clean and is true I can still smell the vinegar a little. Hope it works.
aya on August 15, 2014:
Hi! I've recently been researching on how to care for my low porous natural tightly curled hair (4a) and came across a lot of blogs suggesting using baking soda with a co-wash or sulfate free shampoo to help open up the cuticles and allow moisture in. I tried it this evening and my hair felt amazing and the curl definition was wonderful. It felt a bit oily and conditioned (I used a co-wash with the baking soda), the oil I don't mind since my hair is naturally dry. I used the ACV (Braggs) afterwards (some blogs suggested a mixture of ACV and honey but I don't have any honey on hand at the moment). I wasn't happy with using the ACV afterwards, it seemed to minimize the softness I experienced after the wash. it was still soft but not as soft. I followed up with lightly heated olive oil (not EVOO). My hair still felt soft but slightly dry after I applied the oil. I'm wondering if it is necessary to use ACV after a baking soda wash because I loved the way my hair felt after using the baking soda. I'm just worried that by not using the ACV, I'm leaving my cuticles open and susceptible to drying out, which will defeat the purpose of trying to moisturize and hydrate my hair. I plan to try the ACV with honey next time, but if I don't need to use ACV, I won't. Any suggestions/comments? Thank you!
David BruiseDude from Cleveland, Ohio on August 10, 2014:
Great article...I love articles like these on natural beauty options..
Desiree Savarese from Suwanee, GA on August 09, 2014:
Use about 5-10 drops for each batch. I do 1 tbs vinegar for a cup of water
Suzie from Carson City on August 09, 2014:
This is one I've never heard of...but am very glad I came upon your hub. Great info and well presented. Thanks...Up+++
ljquilts on August 06, 2014:
How much essential oil do you add to the vinegar rinse?
Desiree Savarese from Suwanee, GA on August 02, 2014:
Lauren, I use plain old Kroger brand ACV and it works just fine. It's not organic or anything and it works great.
Lauren on August 01, 2014:
Hey, I've been using this method for a couple weeks and I love it! I just have a question. I started off using organic ACV with 'the mother' and it worked great but I recently ran out. I have a bottle of regular ACV without mother and I was wondering if there was a difference? Or if one works better than another? Thanks!
Desiree Savarese from Suwanee, GA on August 01, 2014:
I can't do the "no-poo" thing. I tried it and just wasn't happy with it. I have a Castile soap shampoo that I use and love that I put tea tree essential oil in. I've also got some eucalyptus essential oil in my ACV rinse. I use 1 tbs ACV for each cup of water. If I use anymore my short chin length hair is a greasy mess.
diane on July 18, 2014:
ive ried this about 2 weeks now . I have thin lifeless hair and this has made my hair fuller like ive never seen it before. Im afraid its SO "straw" like that I can't put a comb or brush thru it without a half hour to 45 minutes to dedicate to it. I tried a lil coconut oil which just greased it out. appreciate the comment about the white vin.. would hate to go back...
Ellen on July 13, 2014:
Hi, One of the problems I have noticed using particualrly the ACV conditioner is that, even after rinsing very well, that the smell can come back later in the day or when I am working out. I am using a 1:4 ratio, and it seems like less than 1/4 won't really have much effect. Any advice?
Kierstin Gunsberg from Traverse City, Michigan on June 29, 2014:
Cool, I've never used the baking soda--always just the vinegar. Sharing!
Niki on June 26, 2014:
So strangely enough, this mix has been drying out my hair leaving it tangled. My hair is naturally thick and wavy. I've been using it for about a week (I know, not long), but everyone has been talking of greasy issues and mine's the complete opposite. Any suggestions??
Andrea (author) from Canada on June 22, 2014:
Buco, try adjusting the ratio of baking soda to water, and use an old condiment bottle or something else that you can squeeze to get good scalp coverage. There are a few more comments in the thread about this issue.
Buco on June 21, 2014:
Hi, I washed my hair with baking soda and vinegar for the first time. And it is greasy :/ I don't if I did something wrong, or is this normal for the first couple of washings?
Andrea (author) from Canada on June 20, 2014:
Bolor - depending on your hair, I would just give it a rinse after a work out. If you really feel like you need to wash.
Bolor on June 19, 2014:
I just tried it out. Very cool. But, now i am going to do workout. After the workout how should i clean my hair if i have to use it 3 to 4 times a week?
Farrah on May 25, 2014:
this is great .
i read it's a great way to grow the hair faster - which what ive been trying to do for the past 6 months - so i tried it today for the first time , i was a bit scared my hair wouldn't get cleaned well . IT IS GREAT !
IJR112 on May 22, 2014:
Good practical info. Thank you!
Elizabeth on May 20, 2014:
Parveen: Do not use coconut oil before washing with this method. I did the coconut oil as a deep conditioning treatment because my hair was unmanageable. The baking soda does not get it out. I had to go days with a greasy mane. It was gross. Turns out my hair was unmanageable because I was using too much baking soda in my mixture so I adjusted that instead. If I do feel I need a little something something on my ends, I use Jojoba oil, sparingly. The coconut oil condition was a disaster.
Elizabeth on May 20, 2014:
Krista: I've been no poo for a little over a month now. Everything is fine, except when I DO blow dry my hair. If I air dry it is fluffy and not greasy. I can go a few days before washing again. But the two times I've tried to blow dry my hair so I could have a nice straight look for a date night, it ended up waxy and greasy immediately. The top was flat to my scalp and the strands stuck together. I had to wear it up both times. Any ideas what I am doing wrong?
kayann 89 on May 10, 2014:
Can these products be used on processed hair?
meek on May 10, 2014:
I used it once I didn't notice no damaging effect I have dyed red hair
Brian Urbina on May 02, 2014:
I've tried this approach before and it's legit. Although I would be careful of getting it into your eyes.
jeanne on April 29, 2014:
I have the same question as andreajoy.
Andrea (author) from Canada on April 12, 2014:
Good question, April! I did a quick google and found positive responses about using baking soda on dyed hair, but I don't dye myself to verify. Does anyone here have personal experience using baking soda and ACV on dyed hair?
April on April 11, 2014:
I have heard women talk about how amazing this is for your hair. I am interested in trying it however I dye my hair every month, will this destroy my coloring?
Andrea (author) from Canada on April 03, 2014:
I just spritz my hair and put in a little styling product (I use a light gel), which usually does the trick. I also use a little bit of a cream leave-in conditioner if the frizz is getting to be too much to handle. So far I haven't found any natural/DIY styling products to replace my drug store stuff with in between hair washing days.
Andrea on April 03, 2014:
Hi, I'm just wondering what you do with your hair in between washes? I have curls too and like to wet them to reset the curl each day. Do you use the ACV each day or spray your curls with water etc? When washing with shampoos I would condition each day but I'm finding that makes my hair way to greasy now. Thanks!
Krista on April 02, 2014:
Parveen: I'm not sure about the oil treatment but I don't think it would make much difference. That said, the thing about this treatment is that it preserves your hair's natural oils, so your hair might be super oily with both the oil treatment and no regular shampoo to strip those oils away. All the baking soda and ACV are doing is cleaning your hair of dirt and neutralizing smell, and softening the hairs (the ACV is, anyway). The hair is soft and shiny because of it's own oils, rather than having it completely stripped by shampoo and re-moisturized with conditioner.
I also colour my hair (about once every 6 months) and I've found no difference to the colour fading. It's about the same as using regular shampoo and conditioner (if you normally use a special colour preserving S/C it might not be as good).
To everyone saying they've been trying for a couple of days/weeks and not had great results: KEEP TRYING! It took my hair about 3 weeks to calm down when I first started. It went super oily, then a bit dry, then finally settled into a natural soft and shiny state (I was also trying to get the mixes right and that took a while).
In my experience (and a few other people I know) your hair goes crazy for a little bit at first. You've been stripping natural oils for years! They flood your head at first, and eventually find the right balance but it takes time.
As I mentioned in the other post, using a hairdryer will help the oiliness/itchiness if you're getting some of that, too.
Krista on April 02, 2014:
I've been using Baking Soda and ACV for about 4 years now, so I thought I might offer a couple of tips based on my experience:
I mix new batches every time I wash. This is mostly because during winter a pre-mixed bottle is FREEZING! I've experimented with various amounts of baking soda and found the results can vary wildly. For me it's about a tablespoon for 500ml. You should definitely try to find your correct amount: too little will leave your hair unclean, too much will dry out your scalp and make it itchy. I have found, however, that the amount of ACV I use isn't as variable: I get similar results with a lot or a little.
I wash my hair every second day. I don't use any other products. It is quite short (a bob), so often I'm happy for it to just fall as it wants. In fact, a hairdresser friend of mine recently asked me if I was using salt-spray as a product, because the baking soda (which is a salt) leaves a bit of texture. Apparently salt-spray is all the rage at the moment!
Towards the end of the second day it will start to develop a bit of a "scalp" smell (if you know what I mean) and oil, but no more than it did when I was using shampoo and conditioner. Often I use the baking soda twice without the ACV, but this might just be laziness/not wanting the ACV smell.
On the point of avoiding the ACV smell: you can use a second treatment of baking soda after the ACV. BS, ACV, and then a small amount of BS (teehee!) and the ACV smell will be completely gone. I discovered this after being rather embarrassed by the ACV smell coming back with a vengeance when I was playing sport and my head started sweating. Blurgh.
Your hair won't be quite as soft as when you finish on ACV, but it will still be much softer than BS alone.
Lastly, here is the BIG TIP!
Use a hairdryer, especially if you have longer hair.
For whatever reason (I suspect the presence of your hair's natural oils) your hair will stay wet for much longer when you wash like this. This can lead to an itchy scalp, dandruff and a lot more oil in your hair.
You don't need to dry it completely, but I've found a couple of minutes just drying my scalp and roots makes ALL the difference.
Parveen on March 30, 2014:
Hi, does the baking soda cleanse work on oiled hair as I like to oil my hair with coconut oil before a wash? Also, I am planning to color my hair (to cover greys), will it strip the color or react? Please advise, thanks!
Andrea on March 22, 2014:
I've been using this method for two weeks now. I used to be SUPER greasy by the end of day two. I am now using a bit of dry shampoo (from an aerosol can, until I finish them all and will switch to cornstarch) on the morning of day three, then I wash again that night.
I was experiencing the dry, straw-like feeling when using ACV. I read a blog that suggested using WHITE VINEGAR instead, and it's been smooth sailing ever since! :) My hair feels much better with the white.
Using a condiment "squirt" bottle and a small spray bottle make a world of difference too.
My goal is to be able to go 4 days in between washing. My hais is about two inches from my pant line, it's VERY thick, wavy and frizzy. So, the less I have to fight it when wet the better! :)
Siobhan on March 20, 2014:
SJ- I tried the baking soda and ACV last week for the first time but I just mixed my stuff in 2 different cups and tried pouring each thing on my head because I didn't want to invest in the containers. I did get the weird greasy heavy feeling! Yesterday I went out and got a condiment bottle and a little spray bottle and tried again and I had MUCH better results. I know by using this method I was using way less ACV than last week. Not sure if that helps.
Andrea (author) from Canada on March 20, 2014:
SJ - Good question! Generally baking soda is considered a "deep cleanse" and so greasiness should not be an issue. Try upping the ratio a bit - more baking soda to water. A friend of mine who does this forms a paste with baking soda and water, and that might be better in your case.
Elizabeth - that's interesting! So far I have not experienced any bleaching (it's been over a year now) and haven't heard of it in others, but would be interested to know if anyone else in the wide interwebs has.
Elizabeth on March 20, 2014:
Does anyone had problems with hair bleaching when using baking soda and vinegar for hair? Some report such issues, but not sure if it is a valid info: http://www.bakingsodavinegar.com/baking-soda-and-v...
SaraJayne455 on March 19, 2014:
I've been trying this method for about 3 weeks now and I haven't really gotten results. :/ My hair is naturally thick, dry and frizzy. I find that I have less frizz and my hair is shiny, but it feels lifeless, greasy and heavy. I've also been losing a lot more in big clumps. I wash my hair every 3-4 days and it feels straw-like and not soft to the touch at all. More like shiny, hay.haha! I used the exact ratios you posted and even rinse the vinegar out with cold water. Should I opt for a different ratio of vinegar or do you think this treatment is not for my hair type?
Thank for your consideration!
Andrea (author) from Canada on March 14, 2014:
Hi purple23 - I do prepare them in advance. I keep a spray bottle of the ACV/water mixture and a squeeze bottle of the baking soda mixture pre-mixed in my shower and just replace them when I run out. The baking soda mix lasts me about a month, the spray bottle a bit longer.
purple23 on March 13, 2014:
hi, my question is how to store these two. can we prepare them in advance and keep them in the bottles until its finished?if yes, how long do u think we can keep them like this? or do we have to prepare a new batch every time we have to wash out hair. thanks :)
Zsa Zsa on March 02, 2014:
Thanks for explaining how. I tried this a couple times, and got discouraged because it felt awkward haha.