TOTW Tuesday: All Natural Shampoo and Conditioner

by Ashley on August 20, 2013

You all know that when it comes to well, just about everything, I prefer au naturale. The fewer the chemicals, the fewer the pesticides, the fewer the ingredients, the better… in my books.  Just as I am cautious about what goes in my body, I am also cautious about what goes on my body, and friends,  beauty products can be harsh. With ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate, which can irritate your scalp, hair and the skin that your hair touches (aka our face, back, arms… only the most important areas but NBD ;-)); Diethanolamine, a possible carcinogen, paraben, and hormone function disrupter; as well as fragrances, which are considered “trade secrets,” meaning the company doesn’t have to list the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of synthetic chemical compounds that are found in the product. Yikes.

Natural Beauty

I’ve shared with you before that coconut oil is one of my most used beauty products for everything from moisturizer, to make up remover, to oral health (via oil pulling) and beyond; and today I want to share with you another one (or two!) of my favorite natural beauty products. One might not ever think that the best beauty products can be found right in your kitchen!

ash hair

If it isn’t obvious through pictures, my hair is long, long and extremely thick. Sometimes it’s as though my hair takes over my body, or at least I feel that way (in some pictures at least!)! It takes a lot to maintain so much hair but short hair just wouldn’t do me any favors. In order to keep it looking voluminous and healthy, I try to keep chemicals off of it (I have “virgin” hair, or so they say in the hair world, meaning it’s never been died or colored), I blow-dry it as infrequently as possible, and I try to keep all other heat a bay too.

During my internship this was impossible. I worked out in the mornings before reporting to Mayo, therefore, my hair was dripping in sweat and un-savable even for the best dry shampoo (what do ya know, more chemicals!). I once told my hair dresser that I was washing, blow drying and straightening my hair everyday and her jaw nearly hit the floor. Apparently, that’s not good. I knew that guys. 😉

In order to return to my healthy roots, I did some research and found the perfect solution. I learned about this trick and tried it before sharing with you all, so trust me on this one friends. I am only sharing it because of how AWESOME my results were. My hair is now full of body, shiny, and looking and feeling healthy again after all that wear, tear and damage due to the excess chemicals and heat.

DIY Shampoo and Condish

So what did I find? All Natural DIY Shampoo and Conditioner. Both of these ingredients are probably in your kitchen right now, so give it a try ASAP. This trick will not only save you money but it will decrease your contact with harsh, damaging chemicals (which do enter the skin and then the bloodstream) as well!

DIY Shampoo: Baking Soda

DIY Conditioner: Apple Cider Vinegar

 How to:

  1. In an recycled peanut butter jar or any glass jar large enough to fit your finger tips in, add 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water in make a paste (you can make how ever much you want). Keep in in your shower for easy access.
  2. In a recycled empty ketchup bottle, shampoo bottle, or any squeeze top  bottle, add 1 cup of water and 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (again, making however much you want). Keep in in your shower for easy access. (Note* Usually the vinegary smell goes away once your hair is dry, however, if you want to cover it up further you can add a drop or two of lavender, rosemary, or peppermint essential oil to give it a natural fragrance.)
  3. While in the shower, rub the baking soda paste all over your wet hair, from the roots to the ends, scrubbing with your fingertips, well coating your hair. Let it sit for one minute and rinse out. (Note* This will not form a lather and it might bother you at first, but once you see the results, you will no longer miss the foaming lather!)
  4. Pour the vinegar conditioner all throughout your hair all the way down to the ends. Let it sit for a few seconds and rinse out with cold water to trap in the moisture.

This takes about one to two weeks to begin noticing the difference, but I can tell you from first hand experience that after about one week my hair felt and looked completely different. It no longer fell flat to my face and the shine returned! Seriously. After the two weeks was up, I now do this about 3 days a week, using Avalon Organics Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner on the other days.

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Also to note, regular shampoos tend to strip our scalps of natural oils which causes our scalps to have to produce more oil just to maintain balance. After trying this natural method, you may notice that your hair seems a little bit more oily than usual for the first few weeks. But with time your scalp will adjust and produce only the necessary amount of oil (which is what we want!). This did not happen for me but I’ve read about others that did have this issues.

Have you ever tried this before!? Any other natural shampoo and conditioner methods that you know about? Please share!

Have a great day!

Good health!


Lauren Fowler, RDN August 20, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Love this! I’ve been doing this for about 4 months now, and my hair feels great. I just found your site & saw your adorable boxers. I’m a new boxer mom and so obsessed with boxers now!

Ashley August 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Isn’t it amazing!!! Who would have ever thought! I’m so happy you stopped by and that we can share a mutual LOVE for Boxers haha!! Wild and crazy but I wouldn’t want them any other way!!!

kanechom chocolate shampoo September 8, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I used not to wash my hair with any shampoo, i was always using conditioners because my hair was so dry, but now i am using the kanechom chocolate shampoo, it is amazing and i love its odor too!

Ashley September 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I’ll have to check that out! Thanks for the recommendation!

Kate November 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Hi! My boyfriend has been making this all-natural shampoo for me for a few months, and I adore it. It’s nourishing and doesn’t strip my hair, plus it makes it soft and shiny. He’s opening an online store since everyone he’s given it to has loved it, and we’re keeping the price down by doing everything ourselves. Consider pre-ordering a sample! 🙂


Ashley November 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Lucky girl you are! I will have to check it out!! Thanks for sharing Kate!

Kate February 3, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi! I just want to follow up on our conversation.
The company Healthy Skin for a Happy Life is now fully operational. You (and all your fans) can get 10% off any order with the code HEALTHYBEGINNING at though the end of February. Thanks for your interest! 🙂

Ashley February 3, 2014 at 10:44 pm

Thanks so much Kate! I will have to check you all out!

Eve September 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Hi Kate, Unfortunately, the Healthy Skin for a Happy Life website does not have a full ingredient list for their shampoo or conditioner. They also don’t have a way to contact the company. These are serious red flags that there is something wrong with their product or company.

natural shampoo guy January 22, 2014 at 9:05 pm

I wonder if men can use this kind of shampoo lol

I’m really concerning about hairloss these days..
Anyway, thanks for great article!
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Ryan January 23, 2014 at 1:31 am

Of course you can! I’m a guy and I’ve been using the BS/ACV wash for almost a year now. I have a different routine that a number of others use:
1) get a pitcher, fill it half way (5 cups of water) and add 1/2 a cup of Baking Soda.
2)Pour it over your all parts of your scalp, and let it dry for 10-20 minutes. This is different from how Ashley does it, but I’ve personally found more people do it this way. If you do it this way, do NOT put more than 1/2 a cup of baking soda, since BS is very basic, you’ll dry out your scalp with more.
3) Get a half pitcher of water again (5 cups) and add your desired amount of ACV. This can very from 1 tea spoon too even 5 cups, but as Ahsley states, you shouldn’t go any stronger than 1:1.

Note: The whole point in ACV is to reset the PH of your scalp. BS is very basic, so it dries out your scalp. ACV brings it back to a regular PH. You technically don’t need to wash it out, it’ll evaporate out.

4) With the ACV, I also add 10 drops of Rosemary Oil, 10 drops of Peppermint Oil, and about 5-7 drops of Tea Tree Oil (it’s stronger supposedly). This helps a lot with scalp itch and dandruff. Everybody uses different amounts, but these 3 oils are considered amongst the very top oils to use in dandruff/scalp itch since with BS/ACV and other natural shampooing techniques.

Ryan January 23, 2014 at 1:34 am

Oh and the 10-20 minutes might seem like a bummer, but I just do other activities in between- shave, brush teeth, floss, etc.

As always, cold water’s best. It might suck at first but once your body’s drenched in cold water it’s not bad at all, and if you have dandruff problems like me, cold water is a godsend in comparison to what hot water does to your scalp.

MyEcoHair February 10, 2014 at 4:39 am

Hi! I just started yesterday my hair treatment with baking soda and vinegar… Let’s see how it works! Anyway, it’s very interesting what you say about “fragrances” in cosmetics. I didn’t know they are a “trade secret”. So they may hide very harmful compounds! Thanks for sharing…

Ashley March 2, 2014 at 10:44 am

Thanks for stopping by! I hope the BS + vinegar treatment is going well. I definitely had to add a little bit of essential oil to block the vinegar odor!

Melvin February 21, 2014 at 3:26 am

Very informative post and i agree coconut oil is a product for everything from moisturizer, to make up remover, to oral health. I always oiling my hairs with coconut oil before bathing. This is one of my favorite beauty products.

Miss D March 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Quick question. How long did it take for your hair to adjust to the new routine?
I haven’t gone all out no poo yet. Really into the organic and natural stuff as I feel it really works.
Miss D recently posted…What Shampoo Should I Use?My Profile

April March 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm

@Miss D I recently switched to a new brand called Healthy Skin for a Happy Life and they say that there could be a one to two week break in period before you rebalance your scalp. I think it depends how often you wash your hair and how natural the stuff really is, know what I mean? I like the feel of natural and organic stuff too 🙂

Dan May 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Thanks, Ashley! We recently rolled out a new section of our site devoted to essential oils for haircare (here: We started compiling different recipes. Based on your great DIY recipes, it looks like you really know what you’re talking about. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Kris July 5, 2014 at 9:32 am

I tried the BS/AVC for over a month. I have very, very hard water. My hair never became accustomed to it I’m sorry to say. I really wanted it to work. I think it is the hard water. What is your idea or recommendations?

Leslie July 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

You might like Healthy Skin for a Happy Life’s shampoo. It contains just enough ACV for all the benefits (plus other great natural ingredients) but no smell. I’ve done a lot of research on their ingredients and my conclusion is that their products are as natural as you can get. This shampoo might help you because you get the benefits of both ACV and shampoo so your hair will be satisfied!

Kate July 28, 2014 at 11:22 am

I always add a few drops of ACV to my conditioner becasue my hair looks so nice after using it. Anyway, thanks for sharing the tips!
Kate recently posted…Check out this post about conditionersMy Profile

Christine August 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm

How long will the shampoo (baking soda water paste) and the conditioner (stay good for in the apple cider vinegar water solution) stay good for in the shower?

Christine August 28, 2014 at 9:12 pm

LOVE your site, please keep me on your list! Thank YOU!!!

Lisa November 7, 2014 at 8:05 am

I have been looking for a way to make my own natural organic shampoo at home.Most products contain a lot of harmful chemicals.Apple cider vinegar and baking soda is available in every supermarket, I will definitely try it! Thanks so much for the tips!
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Jaymie December 31, 2014 at 7:48 pm

So my hair lost its virginity with bleaches and colors will this still help?

Joy Price September 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

Hi Ashley!
I just whipped up this recipe today to try to save our family some $$. We currently use Avalon organics only for shampoo/conditioner, but it’s just becoming too expensive for the 5 of us in our household. Do you think that one could *only* use this shampoo and conditioner instead of also supplementing with the avalon organics or do you find that the it is necessary to use both?
Thanks for your time and creativity!

Ashley December 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Hi Joy! You likely could; however, I think it’s likely trial and error based on an individual basis. Your hair would likely thank you for it if you can stick with it!

bri December 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm

For awhile now I’ve wanted to switch to an all natural shampoo, because the sulphates and other chemicals have been making my scalp itchy. However all of the “organic/earth friendly” products I’ve tried left me hair either dry, unclean or a complete tangled mess. After doing some research The Somaluxe Clarifying Shampoo came highly recommended for being earth and hair friendly. The shampoo rinsed clean leaving my hair soft and nourished. I followed up with the Somaluxe Conditioner. Both products left my hair looking and feeling healthier. Great! Natural ingredients that really work. They really are an outstanding value.

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