Natural DYI Alternative to Shampoo & Conditioner

Barefoot Life, Health & Well-being

For over a year, and thanks to my dear friend and fellow barefooter Christopher Younkin, I have been enjoying the benefits of the “No-Poo Method” to clean my hair. This method is an alternative to the regular use of commercially available shampoos and conditioners; which, as most of us know, are usually artificially produced and contain a roaster of chemical ingredients that are potentially harmful for our health and the environment. With this method, instead of shampoo, I use a mixture of baking soda and water and, instead of conditioner, a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.

I must admit, I was rather skeptical about this when I first heard of it, especially since I regularly use hair gel to style my hair, but I decided to give it a try anyway. The results were immediate. I was convinced I would never use traditional shampoos and conditioners after my second time using this method.

In addition to its health benefits, the no-poo method is also much more cost effective than commercially retailed hair cleaning products.  On average, I figure I save about $8 to $10 a month.

Here is what you will need to make your hair care products

Each of these mixtures should last you about a month:


1 tbsp. of baking soda
1 cup of filtered (or pre-boiled and cooled) water


1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of filtered (or pre-boiled and cooled) water


Mix the ingredients for each of the products separately in small, clean spray bottles (available at any dollar store). Shake well to mix thoroughly.

I keep my product bottles in the shower so I have them ready to go. I use them 2 or 3 times a week, the same way I would use regular shampoo and conditioner:

  1. Wet hair
  2. Apply baking soda mix all over your hair
  3. Scrub with your fingers thoroughly. NOTE:  there is no lather, so it might prove a bit strange the first few times, but believe me, your hair and scalp are getting clean.
  4. Rinse with fresh water, repeat if you wish
  5. Apply vinegar mix all over your hair
  6. Scrub thoroughly and let it stand for about 1 minute
  7. Rinse and dry normally

Some people report a “transition” period, in which their hair apparently gets a bit dull and their scalp oilier than usual, before it normalizes back to their usual condition. This period varies from person to person and, in the worst cases, it can last for about 2 weeks. In my case, I’m happy to report I didn’t experience any of this. My hair and scalp felt clean and “normal” right away. Also, do not worry, your hair will not smell “vinegary”; the smell dissipates almost immediately as you rinse your hair with fresh water. Your hair will have a neutral, natural and clean smell.

I found this great video by Ashley’s Green Life, in which Ashley explains how to make the “no-poo” products and how to use them in great detail.

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