Pig Tits and Parsley Sauce

Slash your grocery bill by living sustainably

Someone else’s take on Baking Soda for Shampoo/White Vinegar for Conditioner

Here’s a blog I pinched off the rubbish free web site just to give you someone else’s opinion. What cracks me up if that she was pretty sceptical at the start, but that is to be expected when you are changing lifetime habits and belief’s that have been reinforced with advertising. I’ve personally been using this hair washing method for 18-months and reinterate – my hair has never been better. Even gets rid of dandruff…. saves money and works better – what more could you want.

It’s been a long time since I, Waveney, blogged – but I want to tell you all about my hair! During our Rubbish Free Year I felt that nice, expensive salon shampoos and conditioners were ‘permissible’ – partly because I had chosen brands with hard plastic containers that can be recycled at kerbside, but mostly because my hair isn’t what it used to be. I know that’s the cue for the 50 somethings to say ‘honey you haven’t seen anything yet’ but nevertheless, as the sun has set on my silky 20-something hair a growing dependence on allsorts of hair products has steadily risen.

I say all this as a defense of some sort because I don’t use the shampoos and conditioners at my local bulk eco food stores where I can refill my own container. I also have to confess to not trying any of the completely natural, and rubbish free, suggestions that people in the know have offered – until two weeks ago that is. My mum rang me all excited, she had been told that cider vinegar is an amazing hair conditioner and she had just tried it, “Its silky” she said, ‘’you’ll have to feel it to believe it.” And when I next saw her I actually was impressed. It sat better, it looked better, it really was silky.

Do you get that problem when a hair product that used to work really well starts to be less and less effective? My conditioner has been getting that way recently and mum’s hair was looking better than mine (and she’s 60 something). It was all the convincing I needed, I tried it and actually couldn’t believe it. It worked better than my salon silky treatment stuff, in fact I don’t know if my hair has ever looked and felt so nice.

And that’s not the end of the story. A few weeks earlier I had actually read a blog, by the legendary Lyn of Taranaki (Pigs Tits and Parsley Sauce), saying that cider vinegar conditioned and baking soda cleaned hair. And Lyn was raving about it, saying all the heady things I’m saying now. Although I hadn’t quite believed it, I did remember it. So yesterday I went back to the blog to sus out the baking soda thing feeling convinced that Lyn could be trusted and that I was on to a winning ticket. Consequently, my hair got the double-hippy-whammy, first the baking soda then the cider vinegar! I waited expectantly as it dried. And the verdict? Silky, shiny 20 something hair! With results this good saving a serious bit of cash and helping the planet out almost fade into the background. I couldn’t recommend it more. But if you don’t feel quite ready to flush decades of lab tested, break through developments down the drain, then next time you think your product of choice isn’t working as well as it used to, wash your hair just once with baking soda, it will completely strip away the build up of the hair product out of your hair thus allowing it to become fully effective again.


  1. Hi,
    I was wondering if it works on died hair?
    I hav blonde foils put n my hair regularly, I know it’s not good. I have tried to stop but I don’t like my natural dark blonde/ mousey brown hair and just like having a few highlights to lift it. But I’m keen to try washing my hair this way!?

  2. You could try it on a small piece of hair first Emily and see what happens (just to be on the safe side). My hair is dyed and I have suffered no ill-effects. I’d definitely give it a try but spot test first. It is no harsher than shampoo, probably more gentle I’d say. Let me know how you get on.

  3. another alternative – after developing incredibly itchy flaky scalp with no relief after trying so called ‘natural’ shampoo, I stopped using any shampoo and lo and behold, a simple scrub in the shower and no shampoo needed! Not even after using hair gel type products for some body required by very fine hair! Also do a leave-in-rub-thru brown vinegar treatment which seems to greatly mitigate appearance of greying hair!

  4. how does it work? do you just rub it in when its wet? and I hate to be so shallow..but I am and just have to ask, does it smell awful? do you go around smelling as if you have just pickled onions or anything? is there an essential oil that can be added to mask the whiff?

  5. Rub in the B-Soda to wet hair. Rinse out. Spray on White Vinegar, massage through – Rinse out. No lingering smell. No need for additives. Give it a try.

  6. Hi Lyn just to let you no I started using baking soda n water as shampoo and white vinegar n water as conditioner a year ago and would not go back to our normal products at all….My hair is so much softer and healthier… Also great with hair colours and streaks as they hold longer…

  7. Hi Sheryl
    Great feedback. Thanks for that. I’m the same, I hate shampoo now…. it is such a bad concept.

  8. just did a wash with Bs this morning then put concentrate vinegar in… not sure if i was supposed to make a mixture of BS with water, but just sprinkled it straight into my hair. The vinegar stung my scalp so nxt time i will water it down… am i doing this right? And have you got a recipe for making soap? or is it just straight BS on your skin?

    • Yes it sounds like you are doing it right. I do have a recipes for soap but it is quite tricky to make… we just rub baking soda onto our skin and it is a really good cleanser – slightly exfoliating. Have had no problems with it but might pay to spot test first. Also make sure you rinse off properly or it leaves a white powder on you. Psoriasis is gone after 4 years.

    • The easiest way to apply the baking soda (BS) is to put some into a bottle and add water and keep in the shower, shake before using.I use an old plastic mayo bottle with a screw on, flip top lid which makes it easy to fill and easy to apply.

      I have found that using BS directly and undiluted lightens my (dyed) hair colour and is not so easy to distribute through out long hair even though I mainly use it on my scalp area.

      And of course I use BS as an exfoiliant.

      The white vinegar I keep in another recycled plastic bottle with a small holed lid like the BS bottle but having read this article I will try the spray bottle with apple cider.

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