How to have healthy hair - No 'poo method, Washing hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar

I used to buy whatever hair product smelled good!
I used to buy whatever hair product smelled good!

I'm a sucker for hair products, especially since I started growing my hair! I love smelling all shampoos, conditioners, leave-in treatments, you get the idea. I see a hair product that smells good and that feels silky and creamy and I say: “Shut up and take my money!” I was on a never ending quest for the product that would show me the way to how to have healthy hair.

But I stopped. My trips to the hair product aisles have come to an end. “But why?”, you may ask. Because I'm trying to keep my hair healthy.

How to have healthy hair

So turns out I've been wrong all along. No matter how many good smelling chemicals I pile on top of my head, they will never make my hair healthy. In fact, they may even do the opposite of what they advertise by stripping hair of all its natural oils.

Go easy on the washing

The oil your scalp secretes is the simplest secret to having healthy hair. Don't get rid of it! We have been taught that we should wash our hair everyday to keep it clean, shiny and smelling good. Unless you work in a dumpster, your hair doesn't need to be washed every day. Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating for the homeless look. Your hair needs to be washed, but not every day. The oils are what keep your hair healthy, shiny and protected. If you get rid of it, you leave your hair naked and vulnerable to outside dangers.

Use the right wash

Now that we are clear that we do need to wash our hair from time to time, let's make sure we use the right kind of wash. Regular shampoos will just damage your hair. Yes, your hair will smell nice and even feel soft, but don't let yourself be fooled. Shampoos have harsh chemicals that can destroy your hair strands.

Also, by washing your hair with these chemicals, you will be totally stripping your hair and scalp of the healthy oils that keep it healthy. When this happens, your scalp feels lost and unprotected and starts producing even more oil than before. So in other words, the more you wash, the more oil your scalp will produce and the ickier your hair will feel.

So what's the right wash? It's cheap and you probably already have it in your kitchen: baking soda! And for a cheap, home made conditioner you can use apple cider vinegar !

Here's how to use it:

  • Dissolve 1 tbs of baking soda in 8 oz. of water. (I use a squirt bottle to make things easier)
  • Shake until your hand hurts. The baking soda needs to be totally dissolved.
  • Pour on your scalp
  • scrub your scalp with your fingertips.
  • rinse with water.

This wash will not make any suds like your regular shampoo. But don't worry, it will clean just as well if not better. In fact, shampoos are sudsy only to show you that your hair is getting clean, but the suds really serve no purpose.

After washing your hair with baking soda, condition with apple cider vinegar.

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tbs of aloe vera gel dissolved in 8 oz. of water (use a squirt bottle)
  • Pour on your hair and leave it on for 3 minutes.
  • rinse with water

The vinegar smell will disappear after your hair dries, so you don't have to worry about smelling like feet. Of course, your hair will not smell like tropical forest coconut, but you will be on your way to healthier hair.

Awesome fact

Some people, after using baking soda to wash their hair for some time, don't even have to depend on baking soda anymore. Their hair and scalp have gone through this total detox period that the only thing they need to wash their hair is WATER. Awesome!

This is a bad drawing of your scalp being confused. I felt I had to explain it because it looks nothing like what I intended...
This is a bad drawing of your scalp being confused. I felt I had to explain it because it looks nothing like what I intended...

Adjusting period

Some people go through an adjusting period in which their hair feels less than perfect. In fact, some have hated this adjustment period so badly that they have abandoned the quest for healthy hair and gone back to using shampoo. Don't get discouraged!

The adjustment period is your scalp in confusion. After years of being ravaged by shampoo's harsh chemicals, the scalp is used to producing lots of oil to make up for the one we strip away. When you start washing your hair with baking soda your scalp will still be producing the same amount of oil, so you will have oily scalp for 2 weeks or so, until your scalp realizes that it is no longer being abused and will slowly go back to its natural cycle of producing just the right amount of oil to keep your hair healthy and shiny, without being greasy.

Some people have said that their adjustment period has lasted more than a month, but have been elated after seeing how beautiful their hair becomes once the scalp adjusts to this new routine.

Should I wash my hair every day with baking soda?

No. Even though baking soda is less harsh on your hair than regular shampoos, you still shouldn't use it every day. Let your hair rejoice in its natural oils for a while. You can wash it every other day, but if you can wait longer, your hair will thank you.

Does that mean I can't wet my hair until I wash it again?

You can wet your hair when you take a shower, just don't wash it. I like to pour chamomile tea on my hair on the days I don't wash it. Why? Partly because I enjoy chamomile smell, and partly because I'm trying to lighten my hair naturally. After I'm done taking a shower, I pour the tea on my hair and let it dry naturally.

Baking soda washes are super easy and cheap! You will save tons of money and your hair will thank you by shining brighter than ever! Then you will really know the secret to how to have healthy hair.

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Comments 18 comments

Rose Anne Karesh profile image

Rose Anne Karesh 3 years ago from Virginia

Can you do this with children too?

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 3 years ago Author

Hi Rose Anne Karesh!

Yes, this is safe for use with the whole family, although you might want to be careful so that the vinegar doesn't fall in the child's eyes, because if it does, it will hurt!

Thanks for reading!

shana lanae 3 years ago

What kind of aloe vera gel do you buy?

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 3 years ago Author

Hi Shana Lanae:

I pretty much use any aloe vera gel I can find in the health store, but preferably I try to use the natural gel from my aloe vera plant. Thank you for reading and commenting!

shana lanae 3 years ago

Thanks for your response! I just ordered some aloe vera gel with aloe vera, lemon juice, and guar fiber. I looked in stores in my area and they had a bunch of ingredients in them. I've read guar gum is good for hair (helps control static electricity), but also read it can cause build up. I figure since I'll be putting it in the acv & water mixture, it shouldn't build up. I've be poo free for four days and my hair feels a bit dry. Should I leave the acv mixture in my hair for a few minutes? (I've been leaving the baking soda in for a few minutes, so that's probably why it's dry) I'm thinking maybe when I put the gel in the mix, it'll be moisturizing. Sorry for the lengthly post. :P

shana lanae 3 years ago

Err, just went back and saw to leave the acv mix in for 3 minutes. Oops.

techygran profile image

techygran 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

This is the method I have been using for the past 3 years. When I go on a vacation I quite often use hotel shampoos but when I get home again I make sure that I get back to the baking soda- ACV formula and get that (for me, itchy) coating off my scalp. Thanks for the comprehensive hub in favour of this healthy method!

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi techygran:

I'm glad this method has worked so well for you. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Sophie 2 years ago

Is it work for dark hair?

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi Sophie:

Yes, it works for all types of hairs.

Laraine 2 years ago

Should the baking soda be totally desolved in the water until you can't see it? Because it did that for me and I'm scared to add more..

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi laraine:

Yes, the baking soda should be totally dissolved. Just add 1 tbs of baking soda to 8 oz of water and let it dissolve. It might seem like you're not adding anything, but trust me, you are.

Laraine 2 years ago

How long is the transition period because I have school coming up and I don't want to look greasy for that..

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 2 years ago Author

Hi laraine:

It really depends on your hair and your scalp. For some people it takes 2 weeks. For some it may take as long as 6 months. Try it and stick to it as long as you can. You may *occasionally* cheat and use a little bit of shampoo while your hair is getting adjusted.

Dawn 2 years ago

I'm going to try this method. I have been shampoo free for four days and I already notice a big change in mu scalp. Thanks for the recipes.

C L Mitchell profile image

C L Mitchell 23 months ago

Great article, I love my products too, but shudder to think how much money I've spent on them. My friend and I both have curly frizzy hair type. She's been using baking soda and vinegar for a year now and is loving it so has been trying to persuade me to try it. My concern is that I like to straighten my hair sometimes, so how does this method work for blow dried then flat ironed hair?

Silver Q profile image

Silver Q 23 months ago Author

Hi C L Mitchell,

If you're planning to blow dry and flat iron your hair, I wouldn't use the no'poo method, just because you definitely need some kind of heat protector when using heat on your hair, and it could be hard to remove with baking soda and ACV. If you do the no poo method, it's usually best to leave your hair as natural as possible. Thanks for reading!

Erica 12 months ago

If i dont have aloe gel can i use something else? Like Almond oil

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