Baking Soda & Vinegar…what isn’t it good for?


I’ve been doing this No Poo thing for a while now, but I’ve never gone into all that much detail about my technique.  This journey into a world without commercial shampoo and conditioner has taught me that it’s not as simple as “use baking soda and apple cider vinegar” and there is definitely a learning curve.  Much like no one tells you before you get preggers that even giggling will cause you to pee yourself, everyone is very hush-hush about this learning curve.

Most resources I’ve found online say to use 1Tbsp. of baking soda to 8oz. of water and then rinse with 1Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar also in 8oz. water and…that’s about all they say.  A select few others will tell you to be sure to use the baking soda more on your scalp and apple cider vinegar (ACV) more on your hair ends.  While that’s very true, there’s more to it than that.  I tried that “technique” and my hair just felt matted or ended up completely oily afterwards.  I’m not talking detox oily, I’m talking my hair isn’t freaking clean oily.  After that I set out to find the perfect balance for me.  I’m stressing the for me part because I truly believe that you have to tailor this method to your own body chemistry.  This is not a blanket kind of recipe that works for every person just like every commercial shampoo isn’t best for every type of hair.

I’ve been saying for a while to my friends that I would make a blog that details my routine, so that’s what I’m going to do.  After that I’m going to give you some tips to tailor the No Poo method for you and your hair.  Here’s my method…
Before each shower I take the glass container pictured above and dump some into an 8oz. cup.  I didn’t take a picture of the cup because I have adopted a Hello Kitty cup from my daughter to do this and she probably wonders where it went.  I don’t need evidence linking me to it’s disappearance (even though I did just out myself).  I don’t measure, I don’t have that kind of time and I simply don’t really care all that much as long as it looks semi-right by eyeballing it.  For me one “splat” of baking soda tends to be approximately 3Tbsp.   My hair is naturally very oily and this is how much I need for it to not look like crap.  I then fill the cup up approximately half way with water, so about 4oz.  8oz is all fine and dandy and if you want to go that route…go for it.  However, for me to be able to really massage it into my scalp nicely I like it to be thicker than that.  So then I’m in the shower and I slowly stir it with my finger and pour a bit onto the part in my hair.  Massage it into the scalp in a circular motion.  Part hair in a different place, repeat process.  It sounds lengthy, but in the end it’s only taken me about one minute, two tops, and I’m done.  Then I run my fingers through my hair and continue to massage the baking soda mixture into my hair kind of like they do commercial shampoos at a salon.

Mix baking soda with water and massage it into your scalp.  I use 3Tbsp baking soda to 4oz water, but this isn’t for everyone.


Now about the second step, the apple cider vinegar.  See that bottle in the picture above?  Hey mamas, does that look familiar?  If you guessed that it’s the peri-bottle they send home with you to squirt water at your healing vag after giving birth then DING DING DING we have a winner!  I never used it for that and when I was going through stuff one day I found it and thought, “Hey, bet this will work,” and it does.  I put a splash of apple cider vinegar in there (you see how much is pictured) then I fill it up almost all the way with water while I’m in the shower.  Can you premix it?  Sure, if you want to squirt cold ass water on your hair every time you shower…be my guest.  I, however, like to relax a bit in my shower.  So I still at this point have the baking soda in my hair and I take my hand and pull my hair away from my face/neck and squirt the ends with the ACV mix.  I do this all over my head then I scrunch my hair ends up a few times.  The more ACV you get on your scalp, the more likely you are to have oil issues so just don’t do it.

You really should read all of step two because I think I said some funny stuff, but if you don’t then the TL;DR is:
Put some ACV in a bottle, add water in the shower and spray on your hair ends.  Scrunch hair.


STEP THREE…Rinse.  Rinse and massage the water into your scalp.

…and there you go.  That’s how I do it and my hair is awesome.  If you’d like your hair to be awesome too, try it my way.  If it doesn’t work then it’s time to tailor the recipe!

Here are some tips for you:

1. If your hair is prone to being oily, you want to use more baking soda and less vinegar.
2. If your hair is prone to being dry, you want to use less baking soda and more vinegar.
3. Another thing to help oily hair is adding lemon or lime juice to your vinegar rinse.
4. If you no poo and your hair starts being really dry even with changing the mix, try a cold rinse before you get out of the shower.  Don’t ask me how it works, it just does.
5.  If your hair comes out feeling waxy, consider using tea to rinse instead of apple cider vinegar.

In the oncoming months I’ll try to give you all some more tips on No Poo customization as well as post about how I kept my hair from looking like a hot mess whenever I went through transition.  You won’t believe the chocolaty tip I have for you!

Until next time…


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sam on March 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Thanks so much Christina! I am going to switch to No Poo as soon as my shampoo runs out. 🙂


  2. Posted by Kiki Yo on November 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    THIS is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I have very fine thin hair and I needed to know how to tailor it to me. And thanks for the momma humor.. I can totally relate ando just knew that little miracle bottle would come in handy again. 😉


  3. Posted by Kiki Yo on November 18, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Also, how many times per week do you wash your hair? And did you start out more frequently and then taper off to less? I currently wash my hair every other day because its so thin and looks a greasy mess if I don’t. Just wondering if I’d be able to lighten up and spend less time getting ready in the mornings after my hair detoxes.


  4. Posted by Libby on November 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Thanks. I’m way past the detox period and I still get frustrated with my hair being oily & tacky or overly dry. This is helpful. Many of the blogs seem to be focused on curly hair & not combing it too much. But my hair is long, straight & fine.


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