Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner

When people hear that I make my own shampoo, they always say, “You what?”  Yes, I make my own shampoo and conditioner, but technically, it isn’t shampoo or conditioner.  Curious?  Today’s experiment: Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner.

Here we go.


  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup water

Pour into an old shampoo container and shake.


  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Pour into an older shampoo container and shake.

Let’s get real.  I wash my hair about three times a week.  That corresponds exactly to how many times a week that I run.  Also, my skin tends to dry out quickly, so any more showers than that and I feel brittle.  This amount lasts me about three weeks and takes about five minutes to prepare.  SO simple.

When you wash with the baking soda, pour some of the shampoo onto your scalp.  Don’t worry about your hair.  The scalp is where the oil originates, so taking care of the scalp will take care of the rest of your hair.  Rub the shampoo into your scalp, especially in any extra oily areas, then let it sit for a couple minutes while the baking soda absorbs the oil.  Rinse and you’re ready for conditioner.

This conditioner is not stinky, but has a very distinct odor that is strong, even after diluting it in the water.  Don’t put the conditioner on your scalp.  Use it on your hair, especially the ends.  Let it sit for a little too, then rinse it out.

This is a super cheap way to clean your hair and has left me with great results.  I was initially skeptical, but now I wish everyone would do this.  No, you don’t have hair that is perfumed, but you are not putting chemicals onto your scalp everyday.

The only drawback to this is that you need to give yourself up to six weeks for your scalp to get used to it.  Shampoo strips your scalp and hair of its natural oils (that’s why we need conditioner).  When you initially start using the baking soda and vinegar to wash your hair, your body will still be producing a ton of oil.  It’s been doing this to combat the stripping.  After two to six weeks, your body will regulate the oil output to match the cleaning with the baking soda.

Personally, I didn’t find this transition period too traumatic.  Yes, I was oily but I just did ponytails and undoes while I was waiting for it to even out.  It’s normalized the oil now and I can wear my hair down without a trace of oil on top.

Try it!  You’ll like it!

11 thoughts on “Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner”

  1. Patty, I agree. I used this on my daughter when she was younger, but now we simply use the baking soda and apple cider vinegar cleansers for her too. It has helped with her eczema.

    Amanda, it would be safe to use everyday. If you do use it everyday and it makes your hair feel very dry, I would suggest cutting back on the amount of baking soda you use in your solution. We started the washing every other day practice in Europe, where we got used to not showering when we didn’t have water!

  2. Sounds great. I’m going to try it. Would save a ton of money on shampoo and conditioner. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Does the conditioner work with long hair? My daughters hair is always tangled and is impossible to brush til we wash and use conditioner on it! Or is there a homemade remedy for a detangler?

  4. Jennifer, my hair is a bit past my shoulders. Not very long, but getting there. The conditioner isn’t a great detangler. I’ve found that it’s easier to brush my hair from the bottom up instead of the scalp down. I get the tangles out first, then brush from the scalp.

    I’ve never made homemade detangler, but I have heard that people have used cocoa butter and coconut oil with good results. Those oils are also naturally conditioning. However, they are expensive unless you buy them in large quantities.

  5. Very Nice website. I just finished mine and i was looking for some ideas and your website gave me some. The website was developed by you?


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