I don’t use shampoo any more

Update April 2015: I started using pure baking soda instead of the recipe below. I just keep a bunch of it in a water-tight container in the shower. One less thing to make! I also increased the concentration of apple cider vinegar in the conditioner, to just shy of 50/50 vinegar/water. Seems to help with dry/flaky scalp.

I gotta come clean with everyone: I haven’t touched a bottle of shampoo or conditioner in weeks and my hair is feeling better than ever*. Never mind the price of haircare products, what bothers me is the stuff they put in there. Also, I’m always interested to see if I can make something instead of buying it, and get a equivalent or better effect from my own labor. I’ve had dandruff most my life, and none of the dandruff shampoos seem to work. I read that homemade shampoo will fight dandruff, and I thought it sounded too good to be true. Also, I read that two of the ingredients are baking soda and vinegar, so I had a mental image of a bubbly volcano on the top of my head every shower.

Turns out there’s no volcano, but these homemade haircare products are just as effective as the commercial stuff (though there are so many variables to the dandruff situation). I’m convinced that homemade versions with a few ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen is superior to anything you’ll find on the shelves. The only thing they lack is fragrance and foaming action (both of which are artificially created using toxic chemicals).

Here are the recipes I use (note the ratios are both 1:5 active ingredient to water):


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Fill an empty bottle with the two ingredients and shake well. Shake before each use (the baking soda falls to the bottom). Work into hair just like a commercial shampoo, though you need to use more each time since it’s more watery.


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Fill an empty bottle with the two ingredients and shake well. Use more or less vinegar depending on your tolerance for sour smells. It only smells while you use it, not all day long. No need to shake before use. Just massage into scalp and tips.


My hair went into a detox period for about 10 days, where it was all like “WTF?” It was extra oily and flaky, but now it’s back to normal and I even forget that I’m not using shampoo any more. I have fewer “snow days,” if you know what I mean, and my hair feels full and healthy. And for the fellas: I’m losing less hair (though it still does fall out, only slower…)
Just one less thing to buy every month, and one step closer to living in that Foundry in the Forest.
It’s ok if you want to touch or smell my hair next time you see me in person. I won’t mind.

* The current positive state of my hair can also be attributed to a rad haircut that the Mrs. gave me about a month ago. At 5am on the front porch in my underwear. I was in my underwear. She was dressed.

4 thoughts on “I don’t use shampoo any more”

  1. Cool article! Adding to your non-carcinogenic hair cleaning, this will give you extra pop!!! For really great hair, add essential oils in a carrier base for the best hair you’ll ever see/feel! (EOs are not actually an oil, they’re molecules distilled from plant having slight viscosity w/o texture/oil residue). Here’s my addition to your post! 🙂

    Conditioner: add Turmeric, Kanuka, Lemongrass, Bergamot, (& tiny amounts of peppermint, rosemary) in a base of sweet almond oil. For measurements, diluting the EOs into base oil for shampoo (“flash-use” or for immediate wash off) — usually 4% – 8% dilution for therapeutic which adds up to 12 drops total per 1 TBS.

    Alternatively, switch out sweet almond and use meadowfoam, jojoba or grapeseed oil for super conditioned luscious locks. Rinse after 3-5 minutes THEN “flash-rinse” w/ apple cider vinegar for superior shine & management.

    Here’s the best pre-shampoo to rid scalp issues: Use Aztec Healing Clay 1-2x per month:
    Clay goes anywhere. Apply to hair/head, leave 20 min; that in itself keeps everything balanced & healthy, Add apple c vinegar in the clay for hot application (opens pours/cleans-out), in 20 minutes, clay closes pours while cooling down.

    Most of the high-end stylists are using ginseng, turmeric, bergamot, anise, sandalwood, with derivatives from coconut (non-scent), corn sugars and vitamins A, C & E plus glycerin, salts, along with a fatty acid chain carrier base oils, primarily soy & sunflower with added amino acids (ingredients avail on Amazon).

    Linseed, macadamia nut & aragan is being used as a styling agent. Add tiny amount of shredded/melted/blended beeswax for anti-humectant, jojoba for humectant.

    Scalp issues like dandruff derive from either processing hair (color, chemical or styling) or too much moisture from (fossil-fuel) products clog pours, skin flakes off with hair growth.

    I use “Clary Sage”, “Turmeric” “Ginseng” “Chamomile” when I clarify my hair. Add wintergreen or willow tree (these are beta hydroxy acid, aka; salicylic acid – antibacterial & exfoliate) a kind of ginger is recommended, I prefer turmeric with great fatty-chain base oils for balanced moisture.

    I also keep my hair fresh for 24 hrs by spritzing sandalwood & Jajoba in distilled water (small glass atomizer/spray)


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