Baking Soda Shampoo Review

I’m ditching my drugstore brand of shampoo & conditioner for 7 days and replacing it with a baking soda paste to cleanse and an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition (as well as an occasional olive oil deep conditioning treatment). I’ve started this challenge today and will report my review of it as the days go by. Read my Day 1 & 2 review…

I was a little skeptical to begin this challenge but am willing to try almost anything in the name of beauty (yes, I am a little vain). This may not be the best method for colored hair but we couldn’t find anything stating one way or another and am due for a coloring anyways. Some people stated that it helps color last longer because you don’t have to wash your hair as much and some said that it slightly lightened the hair, being a blonde, I’m okay with that;) I was also curious to see if it would help the irritation I’ve been experiencing lately from, I’m guessing, my shampoo/conditioner. I have sensitive skin and developed one small irritated patch of skin along my hairline, nothing too noticeable but annoying to a vain person;)

Day 1
Baking Soda: Suds were missing with this method and it did make me a bit skeptical that it was actually doing anything (funny how we equate bubbles with cleaning) but once my hair was dry it looked just as clean as with my store bought and there was no noticeable change in color, phew!
Apple Cider Vinegar: After rinsing with this, my hair was not silky like it is after using a palm full of my regular conditioner but I could still get my comb through it. (I like to brush my hair before I get into the shower to get all the tangles out, then use a wide tooth comb while the conditioner is in. I did the same thing this time except I used my wide tooth comb in the shower after I had rinsed out the ACV). I was a little nervous because my hair felt a little straw like but I moved onto styling…
Styling: I told myself it wouldn’t be cheating if I used a little of my Aveda damage control Thermal Protection but then I decided I wanted to try at least once with no products whatsoever. My hair is down my back and only took my 10 minutes to dry! (at least half the time it normally takes) It tangled a little easier than normal but nothing major and the end result wasn’t silky smooth but it wasn’t a frizzy mess either. I just used a round brush and blowdryer which usually leaves my hair a little too smooth and limp but it has more body this time and feels like it has that bit of texture that would help a curl hold.

Verdict after Day 1: nothing amazing but nothing horrific either…

Day 2
I get asked every time I go to the salon “you don’t wash your hair everyday do you?” and every time I say “yes :(“. I’ve tried countless methods to extend the time between shampooing but my hair always gets oily and I have the urge to lather. People have mentioned with the baking soda method, their hair gets really oily at first, and other people respond that basically it’s your hair detoxing from the toxic shampoos. Supposedly your scalp gets use to producing more oil to make up for the oils that are stripped every time you shampoo. Either way, I didn’t notice too much of a difference but I would say it feels a little less oily than my normal 2nd day. I expect that if there is going to be a change, it will be more noticeable as time goes on and my genius scalp adjusts;)

Day 3
I washed my hair again and followed the same regime of baking soda and apple cider vinegar but this time I had to use my Aveda spray. My hair was a straw-like frizzy mess. I couldn’t do anything with it and just let it air dry then threw it in a bun. I’ve decided to continue with just the baking soda and add a “clean” conditioner in. I’m starting to feel like I’m damaging my hair (I hope not!).

Day 4
Today I used the baking soda and made a thicker paste so I could just get it on the scalp and followed up with Kevin Murphy Hydrate Rinse (conditioner). On the plus side, I was able to use a fraction of what I normally do for conditioner and still comb through my hair. So far I love the KM products. It smells so good too (I guess anything would after bathing in vinegar), it reminds me of Aveda. My hair seemed to really soak up the conditioner and once dry it was still a little straw like. Better than yesterday but not at it’s peak.

Day 5
I gave my hair a break today and did not wash it. It was still clean enough that I could have left my house with it and not feel greasy…but I didn’t 😉

Day 6
I tried out the olive oil deep conditioner this morning. I couldn’t leave it on as long as I would have liked but I warmed it up in the microwave, poured it on my straw like strands and kept it in for about 15 mins. I had to use some of my Kevin Murphy shampoo to wash out the oil on the ends, but I still used the baking soda on my scalp. Again I followed up with the KM conditioner. My hair feels soft and like it’s back on it’s way to being conditioned. I really don’t think this natural method should be used by people with bleached hair, it’s too drying, but the olive oil did help. One more day and I’ll give my final thoughts :)

Day 7 – Final Thoughts
Well, I got through 7 days of ditching my shampoo for regular old baking soda. I missed my suds, I missed my coconut scents and I missed my silky strands :( I will say that using baking soda or apple cider vinegar as a once a month cleansing to get rid of product build-up will probably become a part of my regime and I will move forward with using a safer non-toxic shampoo/conditioner, but I just can’t do the b.s everyday 😉 I found it too drying and felt like I was washing my high priced dye job down the drain. This method may work with someone who doesn’t dye their hair and has naturally silky strands, however for my bleached, wavy, coarse hair, it was just too much for them to handle. I’m not sure I used it long enough to see if it would make a difference in the length of time I go between shampooings but I may continue to use the baking soda just along the hairline (where I notice oily strands the most). I did use baking soda to wash my face everyday and I will say that my skin has never felt so smooth or been so normal (as in not an oil slick). I believe this is normally the source of my greasy hairline so hopefully this will help me out in more ways than one.

Baking soda gets two thumbs up for my skin and a wavering thumb (mostly pointing down) for my hair.


  1. Mich
    October 4, 2011

    Inspired by reading that an “everyday washer” was attempting this hair regime I decided to give it a whirl too!

    With the weather changing my long hair has been feeling a little dry so I added about a 1/3 cup of olive oil to my ends, and then wrapped my hair up in a towel and left it for about an hour before I went back to the ol’ spice cupboard and dug out the baking soda, and ACV to go jump in the shower.

    And let me just pause here and say that there is no amount of wanking baking soda or vinegar that will get olive oil out of your hair!!! After it was baking soda “washed” twice, I gave up and was already running extremely late, so I put my very wet looking, greasy hair back in a bun, and went out for dinner.

    The next day, it took 2 shampooings to get it manageable, and even after that it was still a little on the greasier side, (not exactly the freshly washed hair we’ve all come to expect when you just step out of the shower if you know what I’m saying). But after a nice natural dry, I can say that damn my hair felt fricken soft!

    All in all, I say the baking soda is a totally decent way to wash your scalp, and the ACV doesn’t seem to do shit-all for moisturizing or detangling. BUT that olive oil really does work if you don’t use a ridiculous amount like myself, and shampoo it out;)

    Thanks for the inspiration ManeDish!!

  2. Melissa
    January 17, 2012

    Based on everything I read, it sounds like you are using too much baking soda. That is what is drying your hair out, not the baking soda itself. The regimin I follow is 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water. That last 2-3 washings. If you hair still dries out, use less baking soda.

  3. Mane Dish
    January 17, 2012

    Thanks for your suggestion Melissa! I definitely may have been using too much to make up for the lack of suds I was use to.

    I’m trying out some vegan lines right now ( but still like to add a bit of baking soda to my shampooing once and a while to get rid of build up.

  4. blanka maria
    September 10, 2013

    My hair is thick, course and blonde and highlighted. I have been using Kerastase for years and it has gotten to the point of being so dry I can barely wash it – it is hard and brittle even when wet. Silicon build up is the culprit. It doesn’t wash away and takes a while to wash out, even with a silicon free shampoo. But after one wash with the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo, my hair is back to feeling baby soft again! I love Shielo and I have never even heard of this brand! I am going to use this as my regular shampoo until it is gone. Its from the Shielo brand, called Shielo Hydrate Shampoo.

  5. Kaity
    March 4, 2014

    I’ve been using baking soda/white vinegar for nearly a month now and my hair is still greasy every single day… I’ve tried increasing the amount and using that for a week, but I’ve also decreased the amount and gone for a week with that.. It kinda makes me sad cause my hairs extremely soft and healthier than its ever been but my scalp is somewhat greasy almost 24/7! I don’t feel quite ready to give up yet though.. one day I had it in a bottle that previously had a bit of shampoo in it that wasn’t rinsed out 100% and I went two days with no greasy hair.. Maybe I’ll just have to use a mixture from now on of 3/4 baking soda 1/4 shampoo.

  6. Pamela
    May 22, 2014

    HELP! Today is my 3rd day for using this new (at least to me), “No-pooh” method of shampooing and conditioning my hair. My hair is breaking off. And not just a little, but a whole lot. I know I will now need to go for a haircut, and I do soooooo dislike me in short hair. But, it will get short on it’s own with the breakage anyway. :-( Why is this not working for me? I barely use 1 TBSP Baking Soda and mix with 3x the amount of water. We have soft water, which generally has made my hair feel soft and silky. But I wanted to try less chemicals, as I think we get enough “gunk” from some foods and just the environment anyway. But now…….I want to go and bury my head in the sand. And wished scarves for your head were in style. I was just getting my bangs to a good grow out length, and now they are so badly dried out and broken, it looks awful. Does anyone have any ideas? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you so very much.


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