No shampoo, week I-Forgot-How-Many

I don’t remember how many weeks it has been since I started using baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo, but I think it was at the end of February.  It’s been a while since I posted any sort of update, so I guess this is a good time for a recap.

The first several weeks were rough. My hair has always been very oily and I have shampooed daily for 25 years.  The baking soda/vinegar kept my scalp healthy and dramatically reduced my persistent dandruff, but it did NOT get rid of the oil.  It was difficult.  I was sure that eventually the oil production would slow down, but I didn’t see it happening.

Then I discovered that because my water is very hard, the baking soda doesn’t work the same for me as it does for those with soft water.  I started adding some baking soda to boiling water and letting it cool before I used it.  It made a world of difference!

Suddenly my hair was clean and soft! I still use the soda/vinegar every 2 or 3 days, but my hair is nice and soft, clean and shiny.  I can do this forever.  I would like to be able to go longer between washes, but I seem to be in a holding pattern.  Maybe in the winter, when the weather is cooler and drier.

My children have all made the switch as well though some of them switch back and forth, occasionally using shampoo/conditioner for the fragrance.  Some are old enough to have an opinion.  A few held out longer than others, but our discovery about boiling the water encouraged the reluctant ones to give it a try.

One daughter who has had eczema on her scalp for over 5 years found that her eczema was gone after a week of baking soda and vinegar.  When she shampooed the following week, it was back.  She is now a convert.

I would love to wrap up this post with a wise and witty comment, but my laptop is used for movies in our house.  It’s Friday night.  There are about 5 smallish people leaning over me, whispering into both ears, “mom, turn the movie back on.  mom, can we watch the movie now?  how ’bout now?”

Quite understandably, my wit is nowhere to be found.  Instead, I’ll find the “play” button.


  1. Kim, Thank you for posting a reply to my question on Simple Mom. I read this post to my husband and we are both going to give it a try.

    P.S. You have a beautiful family.

  2. I found your blog several weeks ago because I was doing research on going shampoo-free. I used to shampoo daily for at least 15 years and always seemed to have acne on my scalp. I’ve worked my way down to shampoo once a week and baking soda/vinegar once a week. I continue to shampoo only because I have it in the house and hate to throw it away. My scalp acne is gone. Right now my formula is 1 Tbsp baking soda per 8 oz (1 cup) water followed by 1/4 cup of 3:1 diluted white vinegar with a few drops of essential oil to hide the vinegar smell.

  3. Hi Kim,
    I just wanted you to know that you and your updates were instrumental to give me the courage to try the no shampoo… when you made the discovery about boiling water & then adding BS, I decided to go for it.

    It’ll be 6 weeks tomorrow for me. One thing I battle is chlorine damage as I’m a swimmer… sooooo, I add 1/3 c of aloe vera juice and a 10″ sprig of rosemary to my ACV rinse.

    Aaaaand, best of all, after about 2 weeks I was able to stop using prescription treatments for severe contact dermatitis on my scalp. It would get so bad sometimes that my lymph nodes would swell up!

    So, thank you. I appreciate all your updates and I wondered how it was going for you!

  4. I love the picture of your children on the top of your blog. Cute!
    I’m interested in trying out the baking soda/vinegar. I have problems with flakiness/dandruff. How much vinegar and baking soda you use and how much water? Will you please share the recipe?

    • Jenelle,
      We don’t really use a recipe, but I’ll tell you how we do it. We boil about 2 qts. of water at a time, and sprinkle in several tablespoons of baking soda. Be careful – it will foam! Let it cool, and use some of this to “wash” your hair. We find that 1/4 – 1 cup is enough, depending on how much hair you have. It should feel very slippery in your hair. Just massage it in thoroughly, then rinse.
      Follow with diluted apple cider vinegar. Again, we don’t measure. I just pour a couple of tablespoons into a water bottle with a squirt top, then fill to the top. It should look very light in color – there’s no need to use more. Just squirt a bit in your hair, work it around, and rinse it out. You’ll still smell a bit of vinegar, but that should dissipate as your hair dries. White vinegar works too, but has a harsher smell.

  5. I am working on finding all natural ways to care for my very oily hair as well. I love this idea and have one question – do you have to boil baking soda every morning or could you boil a big batch and then use it over several days?

    • Vanessa,
      We make it in batches. With so many of us using it we do have make it nearly every day, but it keeps just fine if you want to make it ahead of time.

  6. I was just wondering how you were doing with that. And it’s holding up good in this heat? We’re just outside of Austin so it’s HOT HOT HOT. And you appear to go outside WAY more than I do! :o) So I was wondering if in the heat your hair was frying and frizzing or you found you needed to do it more often. Thanks for the update!

  7. I am so happy it is working so well for you! Isn’t it awesome that ADONAI has given us everything we need to be healthy!

  8. Thanks for the update. I’m also on week I-forgot-how-many and was just wondering a couple of days ago how you were doing.

    I agree with you that I could keep this up indefinitely.


Don't just think it: say it!

%d bloggers like this: