Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easy, DIY Clarifying Shampoo Recipe

When I started making my own skin and body care products, I had three or four different shampoo and conditioner bottles in my shower, not counting my boyfriend's products!

I alternated daily between brands so that my hair wouldn't get used to one product. I wanted that "it's working" feeling. Now I don't know if there is any science to alternating shampoo and conditioner formulas, but even with this strategy I was never happy with my hair.

Recently, I've stopped using almost all hair products in exchange for an apple cider vinegar rinse every day. I mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water in a spray bottle and keep it in the shower. When I wet my hair, I spray on the mixture and let it sit while I shower. Caution: vinegar may run off onto your face but it's good for your skin too.

I also shampoo about one a week. Right now I'm using either Monica's Cococastile Soap or L'Oreal Sulfate-Free Cleansing Conditioner. These both do the trick without stripping my hair. I follow the shampoo with the vinegar rinse.

This routine has given my hair a chance to breathe and my scalp feels healthy too. The apple cider vinegar (specifically unfiltered) has so many wonderful benefits, but it works on the hair by balancing the PH and closing the hair cuticles for smoother, shinier hair.

In my quest to go totally natural, I am going to try making my own shampoo. I got an easy recipe at the Florida Herbal Conference's natural beauty workshop.

Homemade Clarifying Shampoo:
-1/4 cup distilled water
-1/4 cup liquid Castile soap
-1 tablespoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon jojoba or grapeseed oil

Mix ingredients in a flip top bottle and shake well.

The baking soda in this recipe will clean hair thoroughly, but it can be a little harsh for daily use. Make sure to use this shampoo less frequently, maybe once a week, and then rinse with apple cider vinegar to balance your PH levels.

If you want to wash your hair more often, just take the baking soda out of the recipe for a milder shampoo.

I haven't tried it yet, but I'm looking forward to sharing the results with you. Let me know if you have any great shampoo recipes I can experiment with!


  1. For the past several months I have been using straight baking soda with a few drops of my favorite therapeutic grade essential oils mixed in. I just wet my hair in the shower, dampen a small handful of the baking soda mixture to my scalp, distributing it and scrubbing gently all over the scalp area and a little ways down the hair shaft. I then drizzle a stream of the Apple cider vinegar/water mixture you mentioned over my head, being careful to keep my head tipped slightly back, and let the vinegar run down and saturate the complete length of my hair (I have mid-calf length hair and this has revolutionized my hair care.) The vinegar reacts with the baking soda and foams, creating even further cleansing action. I let that sit for a minute or so and rinse well. It stopped the dry itchy scalp dead in it's tracks!!! I wash my hair only 1 or two times a week and am so thrilled to be able to use natural products. And how easy can you get?!!!

    1. Hi again! I love, love, love apple cider vinegar hair rinses. I infused my vinegar and it works even better. The herb mix leaves behind an oily residue that makes my hair softer than before. I used chamomile, rosemary and nettle. I'm still struggling with baking soda anything. My skin just seems to react too strongly to face scrubs, deodorants and even shampoo with baking soda. Ever try washing soda?

  2. How do you take the smell out of using vinegar on your hair? I'm a natural blond and try to use sulfate free shampoos but I have been recommended to try a vinegar rinse but I can't get past the smell.. Any suggestions would be wonderful! I have never heard of using baking soda in a shampoo even though I know that baking soda is used it lots of products to help remove the odor. I have a pet and baking soda is in her bedding to help with the smell.

    1. Hi Kim! That is a really good question. In the summer, I struggle with this. Winter isn't bad because I don't sweat. I found that making the vinegar less stinky is the best way to avoid the lingering smell.

      I infuse the vinegar first and then it has a much milder, sweeter smell. My favorite infusion for hair is 1 part lavender, 1 part lemongrass, and 1 part rosemary. Make sure the herbs are dry first. I make a big batch, so I use about 1/2 cup of each herb and then I cover them with apple cider vinegar for about 3 weeks. You can use this infusion in a face toner dilution as well. It works great!