The problem
It’s your shampoo. I know it smells nice, but at what cost? Let’s take a look at a few common ingredients in shampoo:

  • Sodium Laryl Sulfate – This is what makes those awesome suds that power the shower mohawk! But it also strips your scalp of the good, natural oils and moisture. It has been named a skin irritant, and has been linked to cancer.
  • Parabens – They are responsible for maintaining shelf life, but they are also linked to hormonal imbalances in the body and cancer.
  • Fragrance – This can mean a hundred different things. Companies don’t have to disclose what chemicals they use to make the fragrance in the name of protecting their signature scents. To me, this is terrifying.

Along with these, there are too many other chemical ingredients that I can’t pronounce for me to feel confident that using traditional shampoos and conditioners was the right choice for my hair. These ingredients cause your hair to become co-dependent, relying on chemicals to do the work rather than producing and maintaining a healthy amount of oil.

Shampoo: A History

As I was researching shampoo, I stumbled upon some information that left me baffled. ​Shampoo is a luxury. I was mind blown. I’ve used shampoo for 26 years, how can one live without it and still have flowy locks? I thought the only people who didn’t shampoo were dirty hippies, and as cool as dreads are, it’s not a look I’m going for. Turns out shampoo first came about somewhere in the 1700’s as a head massage with scented oils, and ended up progressing to a sudsing cleanser about 100 years ago. So this means, if you look at the span of humanity, most people didn’t use shampoo.A better way

After being confronted with all the harmful and mysterious ingredients in shampoo, I began searching for one that I could make at home so I would be sure of exactly what was in it. This lead me to something called “no poo” where people are using everyday items from their kitchen to maintain their hair. Apparently, baking soda is a gentle, mild cleanser, and apple cider vinegar has incredible conditioning properties.
The really great thing about this method is that it lets your body regulate the amount of oil it needs to produce to keep your hair healthy.
Making the switch
After reading so many testimonies about this no-poo method and how people are declaring better, stronger, healthier hair, I made the switch. Now, when your hair is used to relying on chemicals for performance, switching to a natural method where your hair needs to figure things out for itself can be a bit of a shock. There may be a detoxification period where your scalp is figuring out just how much oil it needs to produce for healthy hair. This detox time can vary from a few days to a few weeks depending on the person. This stage can take the form of too oily or too dry hair. Personally, I didn’t go through a detox stage, but I was only shampooing 2 – 3 times a week as it was.
It’s been 7 months since I’ve made the no-poo switch, and I can safely say that I will not be going back. My hair is softer, stays cleaner much longer, and is more manageable. Here is how it all works:


  • 1 Tbsp Baking soda
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Jar or other container (We put ours in a squeeze bottle like the kind you get at a beauty supply store)


  • Put your baking soda in the cup, and take the cup with you to the shower to add your water there (you can pre mix it, but the water will most likely be cold when you pour it on  your head, and I don’t like being cold).
  • Shake or stir it up so the baking soda is all mixed with the water, and pour evenly all over your head.
  • Scrub as normal, and rinse. Remember, this won’t suds up like normal shampoo, but that’s a good thing; suds are chemicals, and we don’t want those.


  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic is best)
  • 1 Cup water


  • Same deal, you can even use the same cup. Mix it up with the water and pour it evenly over your hair.
  • I let mine sit for a few minutes, then rinse clean.

Some people only condition the ends, but I’ve found that conditioning my whole head gets me better results, and it helps make sure the baking soda is completely rinsed out.

There you have it! A safe, natural, ridiculously cheap way to keep your hair healthy and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to play around with the recipe, as everyone’s hair is a little different, so you may need to adjust the amount of baking soda/ACV that you use. If this is something you’ve been debating about trying, I want to encourage you to be brave, and just do it. This isn’t something you can just try for a few days, as your hair needs time to detoxify and adjust. Give it a month or two, and I’m confident you will love the results.

Kristin Bishop
Kristin lives in a little town in Washington with her husband (Kyle), and dog (Nimbus). Her passion is to bring her readers the art of clean-living, self-acceptance, and the natural path to longevity in a basic, attainable manner. You can learn more about her at