Baking Soda & Honey Shampoo: A Weekly Fresh Start For Your Hair !

baking soda honey hair

In the realm of DIY beauty, some things perform for me so well that I am astonished.  Today’s “shampoo” experience with baking soda and honey to clarify and moisturize hair is one such day of lovely performance.  My hair has been confused by the weather, too-frequent washing and lots of conditioners that I think built up to a point of yuck.  While I’ve done apple cider vinegar rinses before (I do about a 1/4 cup of cider vinegar in a mason jar full of water) to clean my hair, it wasn’t quite doing the trick this time.  I need to clarify my strands and give them a fresh start.  Last time I tried “clarifying” shampoo I wound up with hair like a Brillo scubbing pad, so I felt that the folkloric baking soda shampoo was about to have its day in the sun. 

I put one tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of warm water.  I’ve read that it should go in a squeeze bottle, but not many people have a squeeze bottle handy, so it went in a big cup.  It wasn’t dissolving well at first so I added more warm water (about 1/2 cup more) and stirred it until it seemed pretty clear.  If you leave the mixture sit the baking soda can settle out, so give it a good stir before you use it.

Now, for the honey.  The idea is that honey is a humectant- it is great for creating and maintaining moisture.  While some people follow up the baking soda step with the apple cider vinegar rinse I described above (if you have fine hair, oily hair or super-product-loaded hair, I would try that)  I needed more of a conditioner. The idea is that the honey mix stays on your hair, so this one requires a really diluted solution of honey in water.  I used a tablespoon of honey in 4 cups of very warm water.  Stir, stir, stir!  You do not want a glop of honey in one part of your hair and none in another.

I carted both into the shower early yesterday, and out loud to myself wondered as I was headed off to a big day and could potentially be creating a disaster, ” Let’s see if this works…!”  Once my hair was wet, half of the baking soda “shampoo” was poured slowly onto the top of my scalp and then, tossing my head foward, the rest was poured from the nape of my neck into my hair.  I massaged it in a bit and did more of my usual shower while it sat on my hair for a few minutes.

When I rinsed out the baking soda mix I massaged my scalp a bit under the stream of water to be sure I got all the powder- and any product build-up remaining- out of my hair.

Next step:  the honey mix gets glazed over the hair.  I really concentrated on the ends since it is moisturizing, but first I poured some over the crown of my head.

That’s it.

I put a little super-natural curl potion on my very ends (a very small amount) and spent the morning astonished at the shine, freshness and fullness of my hair.  The waves were in full swing and my scalp feels fabulous.

I’ve read that lots of people wash with baking soda frequently.  For my hair, that tends to be dry and coarse/curly, it will be a once-a-week event.  If you do too much with the baking soda, it can dry your hair in a big way.  But as a weekly fresh start, the honey & baking soda shampoo is genius for me.

If you try it, let me know how it goes! I am going to try to tweak this with essential oils mixed into the honey , and will try it with raw honey, too, as the weeks progress!  xoxo Dana

Elisabeth September 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I wilk definitely try this (just tried a vinegar baking soda water shampoo today)…i definitely need a conditioner for my extremely curly hair.

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Clo October 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi Dana,
I tried the baking powder shampoo and it really got rid of all the built up i had. The honey-water conditioner left my hair a little dull, perhaps I should dilute the honey in distilled water since my water is very hard. I wanted to ask you, what is the ” super-natural curl potion” you mention? My hair is wavy but I would love more curls without the sticky or dull residue of commercial products. Thanks =)

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danaclaudat October 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

I’ve used the homemade flax gels floating around Etsy… and also, Shea Moisture brand products.
If yu have hard water, try to rinse with a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar mixed into a few cups of water and add a little conditioner on the ends afterward. It does the trick for me. 🙂

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Julie March 7, 2014 at 4:19 am

Hi, is this still what you wash with? I have been doing the “no-poo” (baking soda and ACV rinse) for a moth. Although I like the idea, I have a feeling that the BS is damaging to my hair, and I am interested in using another rinse than the ACV. I’m also curious about how you got into the no-poo movement, and how long it took to work your hair up to not being washed but once a week? I try to stretch out my washes to every 2-3 days, but I’d ideally like to be more of a once or twice a week kind of girl. Help?

P.s. I also have curly hair, and since washing with BS and ACV I have noticed that my hair has less volume and less shine. 🙁

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danaclaudat March 7, 2014 at 5:27 am

i am 100% no sulfate (and wash about 3 x a week when I am needing to put lots of styling stuff in my hair and doing filming stuff, etc) and do the BS/honey and cider vinegar as a clarifying shampoo… but I can go all in with baking soda and wash even less depending on my schedule.
did you start by using a silcone-free clarifying old-school shampoo to get the residue off your hair? if you get a travel size or a beauty supply packet and use it to start off the no-poo stuff, it really makes a difference. it creates a “clean slate” so that when you get into the no-poo it really does wonders.
also, don’t use that much of the acv— it is strong stuff. i have over-done-it and the results were not pretty!
right now I’m in the thick of transitioning back to super curly. its the flat, icky, yuck stage.
what helps: awesome hair gel. (queen helene makes a crazy good one with royal jelly and no phalates/ silicone/ sulfate.
i will blog the spray I have been using when my hair is really “on”… as long as I put lots of the gel in it, day two and three i can just spray water with a bit of conditioner and lavender oil on it (in a standard little squrt bottle from the dollar store) and my hair looks amazing.
you just motivated me with this question to get deeper into making the curls fly this season!
keep me posted…. i can say that at my curly height, i had massive massive ringlets that were unstoppable. so, it definately does work 🙂 xoxo

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Shea August 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I’ve been on the no poo method for about a month and the results have been great. I was worried about the long term effects of using too much baking soda so thought I would try this honey recipe. My personal experience has been terrible, it’s left my hair greasy and heavy and every time I touch my hair I’ve had to wash my hands because of all the sticky residue. It’s been 3 days and I still haven’t been able to wash all the honey off.

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danaclaudat August 30, 2014 at 9:21 pm

Hi! How much honey did you use? And did it dissolve in water? I am sorry to hear this happened but its such a small amount of honey for such a large amount of warm/hot water and while its not everyones cup of tea (our hair varies drastically in texture, condition, etc) it shouldn’t be this way and I am wondering why? you can rince before shampoo with a tbs of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water to fully clear it- but honey will typically just wash out with water. In curly girl, some mix honey directly into their conditioner too. hm…..

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Jadyn May 17, 2016 at 3:35 am

Helpful tip: this mixture also actually help with acne and ance scars!

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