Hey y’all! A couple folks have been asking for an update on how using baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo is going for me, so here’s my reply. 🙂

Please overlook the headphones slowly moving around (I was using them as a microphone) and the sound of my ex-navy neighbor who was shooting turkeys or armadillos or something. :p
The video cut out where I explain that the vinegar I use is just straight white vinegar with some lavender essential oil in it. The vinegar smell totally washes out, no worries. 🙂
And I also forgot to mention that it took about 3 weeks of washing every other day for my hair to adjust to the new routine and not go crazy producing oil.

So, let me know if you have any questions! Have a great day!

37 thoughts on “Baking Soda and Vinegar Hair Care”

  1. Love this idea. I have been using honey, baking soda, oatmeal and frankincense to wash my face and the Frankincense/coconut oil for my moisturizer, lotion and I put a little on the ends of my hair for fly aways

  2. Thanks for sharing this Olivia! I've been dying to try baking soda, but I'm afraid if I use it, because an event [a.k.a. church] usually pops up, and I don't want oily hair :-/


    1. The baking soda gets the oil out really well, it's just how often you need to "shampoo" that changes. So, people shouldn't really be able to tell that you're trying a new cleansing method. 🙂

  3. I do this too, but my hair is so dry that I had no problem adjusting. Unfortunately it gets a little brittle after a while, especially in the winter, so I've been sort of switching back and forth between baking soda + vinegar and regular shampoo. I also definitely agree about the brushing…you're lucky that you can just finger-comb your hair! (Mine's super thick and curly and wavy and just…a mess. I have to comb it pretty often.) Your hair looks lovely, though! 🙂

  4. In the recent past, I stopped shampooing completely in order to experiment with my flakes. I wouldn't really say they're dandruff because other than the flakes I didn't have any other "symptoms". It always seems to go away when I've had short hair and since that's not an option really I've always battled flakes from scalp/soap/skin buildup. Anyway, my experiment was to not shampoo and do a thorough rinsing of my hair weekly. My hair became accustomed to the routine and with combing every day it looked normal without much oil or grease build up. I started using shampoo/conditioner again recently and my scalp issues came back. The question is, why put anything in your hair at all? I'm not asking to be difficult. Just curious.

    1. In the summer when I swim in the creek, I don't have to shampoo my hair afterwards for a loooong time because the creek water is so smooth on it. But, I find that my well water at home leaves my hair too crunchy to not use something on it and with my light hair grease shows up easily. I only have to use the vinegar rinse maaaybe every third time I wash it, and I use the baking soda just on the roots where oil builds up. 🙂 Glad you don't have to worry about using anything!

  5. Hi Olivia! It's Hannah here! And yes I am the ONE, that my friend Hannah recently sent you an email about the FOFM post, um I was trying a new "hair treatment" with olive oil and Teatre Oil, I have oilly hair, and so I didn't know if this will work or not, but any how, here's what I did:
    I took about 1/2 of olive oilm with a few teaspoons of teatre oil and spread it ALL over my hair, I used gloves so my hands wont get all messy. After I did that, I put a shower cap and slept with that all night. Next morning, I washed my hair twice (I use natural shampoo but I'm sure the baking soda you use will be great!) then I took Apple Cider Vinegar, about 1/4 of a cup maybe…maybe a little less, and then 1-3 cups of warm water, I used that for conditioner, and my hair is SO soft! I did this a few days ago and still love it! it's looks clean and my hair isn't oilly!, So, I will let you get back to life, and have a great week! (Btw, I can't wait to see my friends gorgeous outfit on here, she told me you wrote back!}

    God Bless!


  6. Thanks for sharing Olivia! I started this method about 3 weeks ago, and my hair is adjusting MUCH better than I thought it would! I have extremely oily hair, so I was terrified to start this, but I also don't like to use chemicals on my hair and skin if I can possibly avoid it. So anyway, thanks! =)


  7. Awesome! I've been using this technique (minus the essential oils and spray bottle) and I've been having problems with accidentally spilling the vinegar down the drain… The vinegar in the spray bottle is a great tip! I'm going to try it today. =)

  8. I've been doing this for about a month now and I really like the results. I have thick, curly hair and it works amazingly for my type! I tried mixing it with some carrier oils once or twice, however it works fine just plain.

  9. I tried this for about a month and it really did not work for me. I'm not sure why; I guess my scalp must be different from yours (and from the other people over the web who have tried this method and succeeded!). I mixed a cup of water with two tablespoons of baking soda and three or four drops of lavender essential oil and just left it in an old shampoo bottle to use twice a week. For the vinegar rinse I took a third of a cup of water and mixed it with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. I also tried to use hair masks once a week for moisturizing, but by the end of the month my scalp had actually turned red with irritation. And it was so itchy! Now that my hair is back to conditioner, shampoo, and coconut oil treatments, I've noticed that it's a lot "happier"–much softer, and my scalp doesn't get irritated nearly as much. (Sometimes when I shampoo it still itches, but I'm thinking that it's just because I didn't wash the shampoo out well enough.) I just don't get why it didn't work for me and it seems to work for so many other people. Oh well . . . not everybody's the same, I guess 🙂

    Thanks for the update, Olivia! I enjoyed it 🙂

  10. Wow! I just tried this today, so it is kind of funny finding this post. 🙂 This may be my first time using baking soda and vinegar in my hair, but I love it! Sure, my hair is a little oily – that was expected. But my hair is soft, the natural waves in my hair didn't pull out when I brushed my hair (which usually happens), and my hair isn't as "fluffy" as normal. Despite the slight oiliness, I love the way my hair looks!

  11. Hey Olivia! Thanks for this great idea! I just have one question, Do you think this method would help at all if you have problems with fizziness. My hair gets SO frizzy, even if I use special conditioner for that. Do you think this would help?

    Thanks again,
    Ashley B

    1. Well, I've heard that shampoo is one of the biggest contributors to frizziness (ever heard of the "no-poo" method for curly girls?) so I would imagine that this would certainly help! Let me know if it does! No harm in trying. 😀 I think it's helped my hair behave better in humidity.

    2. Rinse your hair with cold (as cold as you can stand it) water after washing. Oh, and try not to brush it when it's wet. Those two tips never fail to decrease the frizziness from my hair! =)

  12. I have a tip for the "frizzies". After a normal shampoo and/or conditioner wash; towel dry your hair and then apply a little conditioner and leave it in. DON'T handle your hair too much. For some reason the oils in your hands contribute to the frizzies. I've been doing this for a couple of months and it has cut down on the frizzies A LOT!. I have naturally curly hair so it can get that way easily. I either brush or finger-comb my hair after a wash than put in the conditioner. You can use just regular conditioner if you don't want to buy the special "leave-in" kind. Both works well. I've not tried a homemade/natural kind, but I'm sure it would work just as well.

    1. Thanks so much! I'll totally try that…another friend suggested putting a touch of lotion in my hair, just to add moisture. But I will definitely try your trick!

      Thanks again,
      Ashley B.

  13. I have been doing the no shampoo routine since Labor Day. Initially, I had trouble with either a lot of grease or hair that was rough and tangly. Lately, I have discovered some "tricks" that are working well for me. I am currently doing my routine a little bit differently than yours, Olivia. Since I have hard water, I boil my baking soda and water together. I use a one Tablespoon baking soda to one cup water ratio. I put that into a squeeze bottle. I use a vinegar rinse with one cup water to one and a half Tablespoon vinegar. I put that into a spray bottle. I get my hair wet and then sprinkle the baking soda solution on the top and back of my head. I gently rub it in and then leave it on my head for one to two minutes. I wait until my hair feels slippery and slimy. (It's honestly not as gross as it sounds!). Then, I rinse it well. I then spray the vinegar mixture all over my head avoiding the roots, so that they don't get greasy. I wrap my hair up in a t-shirt and let the vinegar sit on my hair for 15 minutes or so. Then, I rinse it well in cold water. I dry my hair with a t-shirt to avoid frizz. Every week or so, I deep condition with chamomile tea or eggs. As long as I do not use too much baking soda, I have noticed that my hair much softer and shiner than when I use shampoo.

    -Molly Catherine

    P.S. Sorry for the long comment.

  14. Hi Olivia ! What a great post ! During your "question and answers" period last year I asked you about your hair routine and I'm so glad you put this video up !
    My story with hair cleansing started at the summer of 2012. I was having a lot of oil in my hair was decided to try vinegar and baking soda. I ended up having to stop this method (I was doing pretty much the same things than you, minus the spraying bottle, and I think I put a lot less baking soda – maybe a tablespoon for a cup of water). My scalp became really dry and I couldn't really control my dandruff. So I went to a all-natural store where I found a shampoo that is sulfate free (the sodium laureth sulfate is a really bad chemical that works wonder to take the grease out, but in the process it stripes your hair of their natural oil that is necessary. So the scalp produced more oil afterward…Since it's cheap, you'll find it in pretty much all the store bought shampoos). This shampoo is really nice on my hair. It's really gentle, this only thing is that i have to use a lot more than regular shampoo because it doesn't make a lot of foam. I've adjusted to this method. I occasionally do baking soda to get rid of any buildup (maybe once a month or less). I don't do vinegar anymore. My hair is a bit curly so I have to comb it when I shampoo, so I guess I cannot avoid it ! Oh and I also tried an indian powder that is called shikakai (I have no idea if you can find it in the US, I buy it at indian stores in Paris). Basically you mix the powder with some water and you applied it on sections of hair. You then let it sit for a couple minutes and rince it. It's kinda gross because it make a brown "mud" but it's really efficient and gentle on my hair.
    All of this combined, I was my hair every 4 days, and sometimes (when I don't have to go out usually) I'll try to keep it until 5 days. I would love to go to 5 days all the time, but I guess I'll have to find another trick to make it work ! 😉
    Anyways, I really enjoyed your video. And your outfit looks lovely too (I love stripes and the burgundy cardi is really cute !)
    I'm looking forward to another outfit post soon !

  15. This is very inspiring. I've tried using white vinegar as a conditioner and liked it, but for some reason I've only done it as an occasional thing. Now I think I'll make it part of my permanent routine. The baking soda also sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the video!

  16. Hey Olivia, I have never tried this method before. It however look interesting. My question is (it is kinda a weird question), does your hair smell nice afterwards? Because I really would'nt want to go to church with my hair smelling like I have been canning pickles all day. It is important you know 🙂


    1. Haha! Yes, my hair has not a hint of vinegar smell and just smells clean. Sometimes I'll catch a wiff of whatever oil I put in the bottle with the vinegar, but never smell the vinegar after the bathroom's aired out– it does smell that up for a few minutes. 😛 I understand, I was worried about that too!

  17. I used baking soda and vinegar for a while after reading about it on here. It worked great, my hair was soft and shiny. But after several weeks the acid in the vinegar started lightening my hair. It is naturally a rich brown/coppery color, but the vinegar turned parts of my hair blond and the rest a medium/light brown! So I quit using the baking soda/vinegar method, and now I use a natural bar shampoo which works great.

  18. You said that you only wash your hair every 5 days. Do you get it wet in the shower in-between washings or do you only get it wet when you shampoo it? Also, I heard once about baking soda stripping hair, do you know anything about that? Thanks for sharing! I loved the gun going off in the background – made me feel at home. 🙂

  19. Not trying to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but just something to be aware of…I used to use the baking soda/vinegar method, but I found out how much the pH balance of products can help or hurt your hair…healthy skin and hair should maintain a slight acidity…baking soda is very alkaline and vinegar very acidic and even though they balance each other out, taking your hair from two extremes like that can be very damaging over time, particularly to the hair follicles. I use baking soda for many different things, but it really shouldn't be used straight for skin or hair because of its pH. I do use an herb-infused diluted raw apple cider vinegar rinse, though, and it is great for your hair!

  20. I tried baking soda instead of shampoo and now my hair is so soft and less frizzy than before! Thanks Olivia 🙂 I'll have to try the vinegar next

    – Liz

  21. Hey Olivia – I love your blog, read it every time you post and just adore it. 🙂

    I thought you might be interested in the random fact that there is a girl here in New Zealand who goes to my Church who looks extremely similar to you! The resemblance is so striking, in fact, that I keep looking at her and mentally calling her Olivia!!

    So there you go. You have a double. 🙂

  22. Okay,I have a question. I've commented on your blog several times before and none of them have shown up.Did I do something wrong?

  23. Hi Olivia!
    I have a question…I was using this method to wash my hair, but with Apple Cider Vinegar. It made my hair have kind of an auburn-y tint to it. I saw that you use white vinegar. Does it work the same? I stopped doing this method because of this auburn tint reason and switched to another type of shampoo. But the only one I found that works for my hair (super dry and dandruff issues) is a really expensive bottle. I think I wanna try this again. (:

    Thank you for the post! and the shooting in the back sounds like our neighbors (; lol


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