Baking Soda and Vinegar Wash for ‘No Poo’ Hair



On the ‘No Poo’ method, baking soda serves as your shampoo and vinegar as your conditioner. HOWEVER, this is only to be used about once a week (longer the more used to this method your scalp gets). I know you are probably thinking I’m crazy, but I’m telling you, I am loving this and it’s totally working! I can tell a difference in the length of my hair and it’s been 14 weeks since I last got a trim and I don’t have split ends! My hair has so much volume and I try to get away with air drying it as much as possible. On days that I don’t style it, it is full of volume and naturally has a perfect wave to it. On days that I use a curling iron (way less than I did before) I can get away with curling 3-4 pieces and the rest is perfectly wavy as is. 

Here’s what you need for your baking soda and vinegar rinses:

  • 2 spray bottles
  • water
  • baking soda
  • vinegar (either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)  

You’ll kind of have to play around with amounts and see what works best for you, but this is what you’d typically use:

  • 1 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of baking soda in 1 spray bottle
  • 1 cup of water and 1 Tablespoon of vinegar in the other spray bottle 

The first time I made my rinses, I used tap water. The next time I used distilled. I think I like distilled better, but it could be that my hair was a little more used to it by the second bottle, so tap may be fine. Depending on if you have hard water or not, you make the decision on whether distilled is the better option for you. Also, the first time I made my baking soda rinse, I used one tablespoon of baking soda, the next time I used 1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. I read that it was supposed to feel “slimy” and one tablespoon didn’t feel slimy to me. But, depending on the thickness and length of your hair, what works for you may be different than what works for me, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Also, I use white vinegar right now, which is working fine for me, but I think based on what I’ve read that I may switch to apple cider vinegar the next time I make it.


FIRST: CLARIFY! I did not do this (you live and learn) but I guess I was supposed to and it would have made my transition easier. Since I skipped this step but don’t recommend that you skip this step, I’m going to give you the link to Almost Exactly Blog’s step by step on clarifying: Step SIX is where she explains how to clarify. (I apologize for overusing the word step in the last two sentences.) 

Anyway, after you clarify, this is what you’ll do 3-5 days later for your first baking soda and vinegar rinse. 

1. Get in the shower and wet your hair like you’d do before shampooing.

2. Spray your scalp all over with the baking soda mixture. Lift your hair up in places to make sure you are getting your whole scalp.

3. Rub/massage into your scalp like you would with shampoo. Like I said before, it should feel slimy. I usually try to do this for about 2 minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly while rubbing/massaging your scalp to make sure it’s all out, just like you would with shampoo.

5. Next, spray only the length of your hair with the vinegar mixture. It will smell like vinegar when you spray it in the shower, but I promise you will not smell like vinegar when you get out! (I was worried about that the first time I did it, so I know you’re wondering about it, too.)

6. Do the other stuff you do in the shower (shave, body wash, face wash, sing, etc.) while you let the vinegar rinse sit on your hair.

7. Right before you get out of the shower, rinse out the vinegar.

And don’t forget! This is only for once a week, tops! All my hairstylist buddies that are freaking out about how dry and damaged my hair is going to be, I know it would be bad for my hair if I did this every day…I assure you that I am not doing this every day! 🙂  

(More posts to come featuring deep conditioners (which are important) and how to wash sweaty work out hair on your non-baking soda and vinegar wash days.) 



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