Homemade Hair Shampoo Recipes

| Modified on Nov 19, 2022
Homemade Shampoo Recipes

Who doesn’t love a freshly washed head of hair? We do, which is why we’ve set out on a quest to come up with the best options for caring for your hair and cleaning it naturally. With just a few simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry, you’ll be on your way to beautiful clean locks in no time with our homemade hair shampoo recipes!

What’s Wrong with “Regular” Shampoo?

We, like many of you, have had our favorite “regular” shampoos that we “couldn’t live without.” But, when it comes down to it, shampoo is just as toxic as any other product we may be using in our homes, and why would we want to put those toxins on our scalps?

There are two basic problems with most shampoos: (1.) shampoo is a detergent and (2.) it contains chemicals. As a detergent, shampoo strips the hair of the healthy oil it produces. Likewise, shampoo contains an array of unpronounceable chemicals that may leach into the skin and bloodstream with regular use.

Should I Try “No-Poo” First?

If you’ve done any research on natural hygiene, you’ve probably come across the “no-poo” trend that literally involves using no shampoo. While this approach works for some, it doesn’t for others, which is why we’re offering you our favorite natural shampoo options.

How Do I Make Natural Shampoo?

Making natural shampoo is typically fairly easy. Read below for a few of our recipe suggestions and to see what natural shampoo you may want to try first.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is great for removing buildup, treating dandruff, and absorbing excess oil. All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 1-2 cups of water and use the mixture as you would a normal shampoo.

2. Lemon and Cucumber

This shampoo naturally cleanses and nourishes even the driest hair and scalp. To make it, peel a lemon and cucumber, toss them into a food processor, and let them form a smooth paste. Use the paste as you would a typical shampoo but be sure to rinse very well to eliminate any remnants of lemon.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV alone helps get rid of buildup, oil, and any other hair issues. If you mix it with 1 egg, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil, though, it’ll be even more effective.

Whether you have an “old favorite” or are looking for something new that works, try one of these three natural shampoos and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear your favorite DIY shampoo recipe!

Baking Soda

6 User Reviews
5 star (5) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Denise (Us) on 11/20/2018 50 posts

Wow, loved the way my hair felt so clean, and I only tried the EC formula with the baking soda and water, wonderful! My hair is still looking clean and not static in it since I didn't even use conditioner of any kind. I will try it again maybe once or twice a week. I want to find a recipe here for a conditioner too possibly, although not sure I'll need it. I want to try the lemon and cucumber next, then the ACV shampoo. I could use each on different days so I'm not over doing. I think instead of every day (which I've shampood my hair almost every day of my adult life.) Very excited about actually bettering myself by eliminated one chemical at a time. Thank you EC and the many contributors!

Baking Soda
Posted by Jane (Ontario, Canada) on 03/25/2008

Baking soda reduces oily hair and cleans up product build up. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 (more for longer hair) of baking soda with water and mix it with water to make a thick paste. Put the paste on wet hair and scrub into roots/focusing on the more greasy areas. Scrub in and leave in for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Your hair will feel dry or cottony when its wet, but once dry it will be soft. You can use conditioner after use, but not needed. I used this on my oily hair without washing my hair with shampoo first, actually i didnt use shampoo at all, and my hair was swqueeky clean!

Replied by Avonlea820
(Warwick, Ri, U.s.a)

I agree that baking soda is a useful cleanser. I think that people should be careful of the heavy toxins found in most commercial products. There are some good naturals out there on the market that use very pure ingredients and blends. Does Baking Soda cleansing have any negative side effects?

Replied by Rob

I've been using baking soda as a standard basis of my home - made natural shampoo but I've also begun experimenting with other products to create scented products for a more refined yet still cheap and cheerful product that can be made at home.

If you want free weekly tips for keeping your hair shipshape on the cheap let me know and I'll send you a link to my website.

Cheers! Rob

Replied by Siony
(Manila, Philippines)

I would appreciate receiving tips on how to use baking soda as shampoo. Thanks.

Replied by T-ann
(Tallahassee, Fl)

Hi~ I would like the information you wrote about, concerning home-made shampoo. Thank you in advance!!

Replied by Kimara

What do we use for making dry hair shine but scalp dry and oil free?

Replied by Dee


Hi, After using baking soda as my shampoo and apply cider vinegar as my conditioner for 4 months, my hair is severly damaged!

The highly alkaline baking soda had damaged my hair, making it dry and frizzy with heaps of split ends. I googed to find out why and found that pH balanced shampoo is very important!

Your hair has a pH of between 4 - 5. Baking Soda has a pH of 8-9!

...Diluting/Mixing it with water to try to balance the pH doesn't work! (I googled it) Research has shown that DILUTING baking soda with water or other liquids DOES NOT LOWER THE pH, so even when its mixed with water it still has a very alkaline pH of 8 or so.

Replied by Janet

Indeed, baking soda is considered a clarifying agent/shampoo and it is suggested that it not be used every single day.

Replied by Waynos!
(New Zealand)

Bicarb is awesome depending on where you get it. In Australia there's only really one brand that every supermarket sells (blue box). It's pure white and goes dissolves really easily.

I do the 'vodka/bicarb skin clean' regularly and have been soap free for ages. It's awesome when I use that Australian Brand.

After spending some months in Fiji and now New Zealand I've discovered that all brands of sodium bicarbonate are not equal. Every other I have tried has been comparatively nasty.. only partially dissolves.. remains grey coloured instead of pure white, is abrasive on my skin.. smells slightly of urea. I question it's purity and how it might affect my health.

My point is not to judge the bicarb skin cleaner as bad if the product you buy is gritty and won't fully dissolve. An ultra pure version of the stuff may not be available in your country. This being the case, try one of the alternatives.

Replied by Anji C

I am currently using a method called the maximum hydration method that uses ACV and BS with a variety of other applications to the hair with amazing results. I apply the regimen every 3-5 days followed by a conditioner for a minimum of 30 min and bentonite Clay. Again phenomenal results. How often are you treating your hair? BTW I have kinky/coily hair and never have washed my hair daily.

Baking Soda
Posted by Kerry (Launceston, Tasmania....Australia) on 03/03/2008

Baking soda or Bicarb which it is called here...is fantastic to wash hair with I use 1/4 cup of bicarb mixed with a cup of warm water in the shower and just tip onto my hair and rub for just a couple of seconds...then rinse...its amazing when it dries its like ive used shampoo... soft and bouncy if hair is a tad dry at times...iI just add a very small amount of organic conditioner to the ends ..and yes I use organic cold pressed coconut oil for a monthly deep condition...

Replied by Lelly
(Kingston, Jamaica)

what is the best way to get rid of hair loss in women? I have tried massage, aloes, castor oil. I did not follow any instructions in terms of measurement. just went by hear say and experimented.

Replied by Karonv
(Renton, Wa)

Hey there this is in response to the question of hair loss... May I recommend OIL PULLING. I started 4 months ago and am shocked at what great results I've got. Check out my website I'm doing a little write up (right now) on everything I've experienced with it and the benefits.. Truly the cheapest hair restoration and dental therapy available. Check it out Karonv. Wordpress

Replied by Angela
(Los Angeles, Ca)


Replied by Sylkiestrands
(Wichita, Kansas)

First, let me say, I am a cosmetologist. I am not a "hairdresser. " Not that I think there is anything wrong with that, I am just more concerned with the chemistry of my industry.

We, humans, are more acidic than not. Our hair and skin registers on the pH scale as more acidic so... Using baking soda as a shampoo acts like a softener. You'd think this is a good thing but... Let me put it this way:

Think of a strand of hair like a snake. The cuticle of the hair (it's protective layer), looks like scales when micro'd. It's more acidic so when you put an alkaline like baking soda on those scales (causing a chemical reaction), it's going to blow them open and make them stand up. A snake wouldn't want it's scales doing anything but lying nice and flat because, then, what's the point? The scales are supposed to protect the inner layers of the strand of hair. If they are not lying flat against the shaft you will be more prone to tangles, the hair will look more dull, and after time your hair will weaken and break.

Also, in school, we used baking soda as a primer to strip those clients that came in with box color (NASTY STUFF! ) from hair before we used the chemical lighteners (bleach). The baking soda works, somewhat, to strip some of those larger color molecules out of the scales of the cuticle. Hair color? Alkaline! Needs to get in there and make the color molecules stick! Perms work off the pH scale, also. The perming solution is very alkaline and blows the cuticle WIDE open so that the very structure of the protein bonds found inside the layers under the cuticle can be broken (softened), and when the neutralizer (acidic), is put on it reforms (hardens), those bonds back into the shape that you have forced it into (rods).

If you use this science and logic, it makes sense to use an apple cider vinegar solution, as a shampoo, instead (which we all know from grade school science projects), is an acid. Hair loves it. It does strip the nasty product buildup and brings the (beneficial) natural oils down to a manageable level. Plus, because it is acidic it helps make those scales seal down tight.

Replied by Francisca
(Zug, Switzerland)

Sylkiestrands, interesting explanation! I tried baking soda on my hair but it became very dull and dry, so I stopped right away! Now I was interested in trying out borax as someone advised here but if I am not wrong borax is more alkaline then baking soda so according to your explanation wouldn't be good. What do you think? I was going to try it today but maybe I will wait for your answer!

Replied by Tiff
(Chgo, Il)

Hi All, Well this is a response to Sylkiestrands from Wichita, re: baking soda

While I respect your profession the statement you made about baking soda does not operate in the manner you are explaining. For one baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is an amphoteric (reacts as an acid or base). It is not like the chemical alkaline/acid that you use in your hair care products which are of a different alkaline/acid and/or strength. Your average household baking soda does not compare. When added to water the sodium separates from the bicarbonate. Both performing their jobs. Now as to opening up the cuticles no it will not do such a thing. But yes it will help to strip and/or remove acidic/alkaline impurities. The key word is impurities. Things that are not natural to the hair. If your hair is highly acidic or highly alkaline the baking soda only works in a natural way to bring your pH down to a normal range. It will not in any way make it more acidic or increase the alkaline.

If that is too hard for you to grasp look at it this way. If you have an upset stomach (highly acidic) and take baking soda it will not make it worse it will only neutralize the acids because it acts as a mediator. If you spill battery acid and add baking soda it will not make it worse. It will even neutralize battery acid. If your hair has a high alkaline measurement baking soda will only neutralize it. Even though it is more of an alkaline base. Just like Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic, it will not make your hair more acidic, but it helps to maintain a neutral balance. These products are not harmful because they are natural neutralizers. And I am sure you are aware that pH is EVERYTHING!

As a cosmetologist you are dealing with processed chemicals. Many may have started out natural but if one molecule is changed it will make a big difference. Just keep in mind when advising clients on a product that can possibly help them in a situation when you are not available. If a client does a home perm/relaxer and does not wash it out properly the chemical is still working on the scalp. It begins to itch or burn. A quick wash with baking soda can help to neutralize and bring the pH level back down and wash out the impurities.

Now if that is still too hard to grasp. Let me let you in on a secret. Your body is made up of sodium bicarbonate. That is why it is so natural to you. Sodium Bicarbonate are widely used throughout the hospital. Don't believe it. Ever know of someone who went into cardiac arrest, diabetic shock, metabolic acidosis, certain drug overdose or severe dehydration. Well, sodium bicarbonate is what is given IV because as stated earlier it neutralizes a bad situation. (this is only for medical usage only may I add, do not try this at home the strength is entirely different)

Well, after all that I hope the info clears up any further questions about baking soda. Just my professional medical opinion. From one professional to another. And all others who just wanted to know.


Baking Soda
Posted by Anonymous (USA)

If you mix baking soda and shampoo in your hand once a week it will not only remove all hair spray, styling gels, and other products, it will remove impurities from the water and lighten your hair. I learned this from my hair stylist! Also, mix baking soda with hair conditioner in your hand and condition the ends of your hair it will give your hair more volume, body and health.

Replied by Janie
(Nj, Usa)

I am told by my colorist that baking soda would inadvertently remove the professional coloring from my hair? Is it like sulfates in that regard?

Replied by Francisca
(Zug, Zug, Switzerland)

Hi Janie, it would be interesting to know whether it is true or not! I also have dyed hair and was about to try to wash it only with baking soda as some people seem to have very good results with it but no one ever says whether their hair is colored or not.

Replied by Morgana
(Sydney, Nsw, Australia)

Baking soda/bicarb actually 'digests' proteins quite efficiently and many a cook uses a pinch in their marinade to tenderize meat. Yes, it will eat away at hair dyes and colouring if not used judiciously.

It can also be very drying if used too frequently and, conversely, can also exacerbate oily scalp conditions.

Personally, I avoid using baking soda/bicarb, preferring to wet my hair, then apply Aloe Vera gel to my scalp and hair, 'scrub', and then rinse.

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Phoenix75 (Carmel, Ca, U.s.a.) on 01/14/2010

I used baking soda as a 'shampoo' to wash my roots with and then I used apple cider vinegar to rinse my ends with; the results are amazing!!! My hair is soft and full of body. My hair is really long and I am not sure what results it will elicit when it is tangled, but so far I am extraordinarily pleased with the outcome!

Replied by Francisca
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)

Do you use baking soda mixed with water or the powder on its own to wash the roots of your hair? I have dyed hair, no idea whether this will work...

Replied by Phoenix75
(Carmel, Ca, U.s.a.)

I mixed approximately two tablespoons of the baking soda, with some water, and I made a paste out of it, then I applied it to my scalp and I massaged it in. You may require less, or more, depending on your hair type...mine is long, so I tried 2 tablespoons...and then I mixed the vinegar with water as well.

Replied by Kaya
(Knoxville, Tn)

So, did you just use the vinegar on the tips or did you use it on all the hair?

Replied by Asdf
(Stamford, Connecticut)

I do this too ad I find a half gallon container, fill the bottom half an inch to an inch of apple cider vinegar then fill the rest with water and dump it in my damp hair then I rinse it out in a minute.

Replied by Doddie
(Lawrenceville, Georgia, Usa)

Are you using water from the faucet or shower head to wash your hair in or filtered water? I do not have a whole house filtration system, will this still work?

Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Accomplicekim (Chicago, Il) on 09/27/2009


I've been commercial-product-free for nearly 6 months & it's AMAZING! A few things I'd like to add:

STEP 1: Baking soda/water shampoo (1:5 ratio) should be mixed in cold water, Shake before & during application) applied to a DRY scalp (so you can maintain control over solution) via condiment or hair-coloring bottle) and massaged lightly. Extending this mixture to the ends of the hair *after the first use* will strip the hair and make it dry/frizzy. If this mixture gets in your eyes, it will feel like when you're swimming in the ocean with your eyes open. :) You can let this sit on your scalp if you're inclined. The conditioner sitting makes more difference. With the Baking Soda 'poo, for longer hair, I put up in pigtails to keep ends from getting scrubbed. Try it once- you have nothing to lose & I hope you are as happy as I am!

STEP 2: *RINSE WELL* with your regular shower temp/water before proceeding or your scalp will exfoliate & you will look like you have the worst case of dandruff in your life.

STEP 3: Conditioner: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) (also 1:5 ratio with water) can be either poured or sprayed into the hair. I got a large spray bottle from a dollar store that has markings for mix-ratios & holds a liter; this lasts a looooong time. :)

Step 3 and 1/4: While this sits on my hair, I usually scrub body down with Baking Soda (I make a thick water-paste to control it better, then *before rinsing body*, spray down with ACV conditioner mixture (spraying over my hair again, too) and sort of scrub down with it.

STEP 4: Rinse well from head to toe all at once. Wrap hair in towel until shower complete.

STEP 5: Usually, the dead skin will start to come off the body during the rinse process, so I often scrub down with Baking Soda again. I just got Borax today, so I am going to see how the second sloughing goes with that. Incidentally, if my heels have gotten thick, the mixture literally makes the skin on my feet come off with my fingernails by the wrap-up of the shower as opposed to soaking forever!

I have very long hair and I have zero problem getting a comb through *after* towel drying!! PLUS, it only seems to take about 15 minutes for my hair to dry! I would not have believed it if I hadn't tried this myself!

Also, natural-bristle brushes will do wonders distributing the natural oils.

To test my experience, I used the commercial shampoo/conditioner & my hair ended up, well- crappy! No body, no luster, thin and "hay-wire"! 'Took about 20 min to dry with hair dryer)

I only have to shampoo once every 4 days. Immediately following my first wash/condition (where the Baking Soda went the length of my hair), my hair felt thicker, was a LOVELY shade of brown with red highlights and WAVY! Honestly, I feel and look like a movie starlet!! And I will be 40 years old Oct, 2009!


* Don't use white vinegar- it doesn't have the same effect and stripped my hair down to a dry mess.

* You can vary the ratios, if you want to try it, but I came back to this ratio for my hair.

* I tried adding Tea Tree Oil, Cinnamon Stick, Vanilla Bean to shampoo & conditioner & found that I didn't "need" any of these, but they were better when added to ACV mix & shaken before spraying. I personally found the basic 2 ingredients, separately, were the most effective for me.

* I found that the daily Baking Soda/ACV body washing actually made me feel more content.

* I only use Pure Cocoa Butter in stick for as a moisturizer now.

* When mixing with castille (sp?) soap, the soap left a film that I disliked; I tried this on the hair & body only because of my "addiction" to the sudsing effect of commercial products.

I hope some of you enjoy this!

Replied by Tricia
84 posts

Accomplicekim - I have been following the Lorraine Massey protocol for about two months now and it has worked wonders for my hair. I always thought that pregnancy had contributed to my bad hair(curls gone, dries out etc.) but it turns out that sulphates in shampoo don't suit me anymore. Anyway because this is working so well I am always looking for alternatives to sulphate shampoo's. So I have a question. This system involves using conditioner & brown sugar as a shampoo and then condition as normal. This allows the natural hair oils to work their way down the hair shaft but also leaves a lot of product on the hair. When I want to colour my hair (and, boy, do I need to) I have to use a sulphate shampoo first. This irritates the living daylights out of my scalp and tears my hair assunder again. Do you think that if I followed your way would a colour take in my hair without the sulphate shampoo first. Also, Are you using the cocoa butter on your body skin or on your scalp. Thanks.

Replied by Avonlea820
(Warwick, Ri, U.s.a)

I think that it is important to moisturize our scalps too. In fact, I believe stimulating the scalp and moisturizing is important. Someone else pointed out the benefits of the natural bristle brushes.

Replied by Gazelle
(Oslo, Norway)

Start colouring your hair with henna. I'm 32 and most of my hair is white already, and it makes me look very tired :( I started using henna instead of commercial colouring, and oh boy is my hair beautiful now :)

Also I would deeply recommend argan oil as conditioner, especially since henna and baking soda both can dry out the hair. Argan oil, try and get it pure is the BEST oil I've ever tried on my scin and hair. It is made from argan tree, which is only to be found in morocco, and it is one of the most nutritious oils we have, much more than coconut and olive.

Also, I used to pluck my eyebrows really thin ever since my teenagers, a year ago I stopped and tried making it grow back out, and it was just so thin :( I've been rubbing argan oil in it every night for a month, and I can already see it is much much fuller. So I have started rubbing my lashes as well :) good luck ladies, and thank you for the tips you shared :)

Replied by Francisca
(Zug, Zug, Switzerland)

Do you use the Argan Oil before you rinse your hair, before you wash, a little big every day?

Replied by Rondamommie
(Kansas City, Mo, Usa)

Thank you for the baking soda/ACV/Argan oil tips! I will start using them as suggested here and report back ladies!

Replied by Sindee
(San Diego, CA)

FYI, Most pure Argan Oil comes from Israel, been using it for a while now on my hair with great results. Plenty of argan tree orchards there as well.


9 User Reviews
5 star (8) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Kimberly (New Braunfels, Tx) on 02/06/2012

Very definitely a big fat YEA on borax! I have been using only this for over 6 years on my very long, curly colored (red) hair. I make a rinse of borax and water and use it maybe once or twice a week. The rest of the days I just use conditioner. My hair is very soft and healthy and is the one thing I get complimented on the most.

I see everyone here asking for exact ratios and frequency of use but please relax. I have found borax to be very gentle, you can't make a mistake. I put a very imprecise amount, anywhere from a couple teaspoons to maybe a quarter cup in a plastic one-cup measuring cup and fill the rest with water. The amount doesn't depend on anything except what fell out of the box! Then just tilt your head back and let it pour through. Usually I will massage the scalp a little to make sure I get out any hair spray or conditioner build up. Pretty simple.

Although I don't have oily hair, I also don't have dry hair. I would classify it as normal, maybe a little on the fine side and I only need to wash it once or twice a week. I love this because it's natural, it really does leave my hair in great condition and it's so very cheap!

Replied by Francisca
(Zug, Switzerland)

Hi Kimberly, thanks for telling us that your hair is colored. Mostly people forget that detail but it is really important as colored hair reacts differently from natural hair! I think that I have a bit the same quality of hair you have, except for the curls, I don't have any! I am going to see if I find Borax in a pharmacy (Switzerland is not big on anything but pharmaceuticals, unfortunately, at least in this canton). Right now I am trying washing with conditioner and it seems to be working well although I have only done it twice. Let's see how it works out with the Borax. Baking soda as a rinse or instead of shampoo didn't work because my hair became very dry.

Replied by Francisca
(Zug, Switzerland)

Hi Kimberly, do you rinse the borax from your hair? If I understand well you put a couple of tspoons in a cup of water?

Replied by Maura
(Chevy Chase, Md)

Isn't the arsenic in borax a health concern?

Replied by David

There is no arsenic in borax.

Replied by Jean Pierre


good morning I am french which type of borax can I use for hair shampoo thanks JPS


Hello Jean Pierre, if you can find 20 Mule Team borax powder in France, they sell pure borax. If it's not available in your area, look for pure sodium tetraborate powder. This is another name for borax.


20 Mule Team Borax is sold on the same aisle as laundry detergent.

Posted by Kantuckee (Green Road, Kentucky, Usa) on 10/21/2009

Years ago I picked up a small book of old timey cleaning recipes from the 1900s. In the last century before there was store bought bottles of cleaning concoctions people made their own products. Women with the long hair used Borax Water to clean their hair very efficiently. The recipe I use is 1 cup of Borax to 1 gal of very hot water. Let it sit for 24 hours and shake it occasionally. Use only the water from this jug to wet your hair and just squeeze through, don't scrub. Rinse throughly and if needed do a vinegar rinse to clean any buildup.

When you are low on the borax water I add water and/or borax to keep the level right in the jug.

I hope this helps.

Replied by Sd Fincher
(Fort Worth, Tx, Usa)

You know borax is technically listed as a poison, right? Even cockroaches won't cross a line of borax & almost nothing bothers them.

Here are some medical and U. S. government fact sheets about its toxicity:

SD Fincher

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

Hi Sd Fincher,
The first two of your links well their server can't be found, the third link says that site has been removed. As for your forth link, have you read the whole of it? Did you notice the difference between the results of borax and boric acid? They then used the word boron when ever they refered to the boric acid study. In the next study they refer to the high dose of borax as showing some effect on the dogs but a low dose of boric acid had worse effect on some of the dogs. These results were following subchronic exposure. Subchronic exposure means they were given these doses for 10% of the dogs lifespan. If you read the whole article you would have seen the following summery of the limitations to the dog study:

"Some limitations of the dog studies include (1) the small number of test animals per dose group (n=4), (2) the use of shared control animals in the borax and boric acid studies so that at most two control animals were sacrificed at any time period, (3) the observation of testicular damage in three of four control animals, and (4) the NOAEL and LOAEL were taken from two different studies of different duration. Also, the study pathologist considered the histopathological findings as being "not compound-induced. " Based on the small number of animals and the wide range of background variability among the controls, these studies do not appear to be appropriate at this time for establishment of an RfD."

So the quoted testicular damage caused by boron also happened in 3 out of the 4 dogs in the control group who had no boron!
If you scroll almost halfway down, this is also what was written there:

"The Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2002) considered the essentiality of boron and have yet to establish a clear biological function for boron. They looked at human toxic doses citing Culver and Hubbard (1996) (see Toxicological Review Section 4. 1. 1) who reported no adverse effects at chronic doses of 2. 5 mg/kg-day boric tartrate (approximately 1g of boric acid). IOM (2002) also cited Litovitz et al. (1988) where minimal to no toxicity was found at high doses of boron in 784 cases of boric acid ingestion. Nine infant cases were also cited by IOM (2002) where increased sensitivity of response was not noted in chronic exposure to boron compounds. Tolerable Intake Limits (UL) (see Toxicological Review Section 5. 1. 3) were set for pregnant women at 17 mg B/day for 14-18 years of age (using 57 kg as a median body weight for females of this age group). The UL for pregnant women at 19-50 years was set at 20 mg B/day (using 61 kg as the reference body weight for this age group). "
The recommendations here on EC for the use of borax (NOT boric acid) are 4 days on and 3 days off and at a very low dose I might add. Especially when you compare the doses per kg that the rats, mice & dogs were given.

There are many things that are poisonous at high levels but in smaller amounts are necessary to human life eg: sodium.

Could you tell me where borax is officially listed as a poison, to humans that is? Just to be clear I'm not meaning boric acid, as it is not the same as borax.

Replied by Avonlea820
(Warwick, Ri, U.s.a)

I think you make a good point here. It is very easy to assume we know the reputation of a certain chemical when really we are confusing it for something else or just not accurately educated. This was very helpful for me! Thank you

Replied by Mitzi
(New Mexico)

Borax is highly toxic to anthropods and kills them in minutes (if they eat the borax). Cockroaches, mites, etc are arthropods and "groom" themselves and eat it.

Replied by Jecha

Yes, it dries them out, that is true, but you always have to consider quantities in relation to body weight. Our bodies naturally contain borax, and as long as you don't eat large quantities of it each day, it is healthy. The dose makes the poison, that has long been known. Sugar is toxic, too, salt is, and you can even drink too much water and poison yourself and die.

Replied by Susan P

Very good points. Table salt is 50 to 100% more toxic than borax. But you want your french fries drenched in it. There have been incidents of death caused by ingesting too much water in too short a time; a form of hazing at some colleges. It is important to remember than many things that are necessary for life can be toxic in too large a dose. It is all in how the substance is used and in what quantity.

Replied by Salninertriplezero
(New York, Ny)

Is there boxes of powdered food grade Borax that can be bought at pharmacies like Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS and stores like that? I've seen Borax on this site recommended for internal use for some ailments, but have no idea where to find it. I asked at a very good health food store and they said they don't carry it. Can the same product that could be taken internally also used as a laundry additive and therefore available at large supermarkets in the laundry section? Thanks in advance for even partial answers on where to get borax.

Replied by Susan

I buy 20 Mule Train brand Borax at the grocery store. I drink it (1/8 tsp daily), do laundry with it AND wash my hair with it.

Posted by Janette (Calgary, AB) on 03/02/2009

I have a question what ratio of borax to water should I use if I am using it as a shampoo?

Posted by Marcie (Dallas, TX) on 01/27/2009

i was using baking soda and borax mixed with my shampoo for a while and loved the results! i have very dark brown hair w/natural red highlights and i love it that way. over time i noticed that my hair was getting lighter in color. after some research i found out that baking soda will lighten your hair if used continously. since i didn't like the reddish brown hair i stopped using that mix and swtiched over to only Borax and water.

i've been using just the borax and water for close to 2 months and my hair isn't as light as it was but it is still not my natural dark dark brown that is growing in from the roots. obviously, the borax is still lightening my hair only not as drastically as the baking soda. i only wash my hair about once every 5 days or so. i really don't like the whole lightening effect but when i find the right amount of borax my hair can hold a curl and looks FABULOUS!! i'm not sure how borax will affect color treated hair, but i don't have to use conditioner at all with Borax.

Replied by Tierney
(Springfield, Ohio)

Hi I was wondering how much baking soda, borax, and water to use if I use all three? I want the lightening effect so that won't be a problem. Also Can I use this daily? If not daily than what should I do? Do I use commercial shampoo in between uses or just not wash my hair everyday? Thanks

Replied by Francisca
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)

Do you mix the borax with water and then with the shampoo, or do you mix the powder directly into your shampoo? How do you do it exactly? I will skip the baking soda then as I like my hair dark as it normally is (dyed now in its natural color).

Posted by Katya (Grand Rapids, MI) on 09/06/2007

WOW! This is great i never knew Borax could do so much! I've been using it for almost two years to wash my hair and body with. My hair is soft and shiny, like baby hair and i'm 54 years old! I rinse with 1/4 teas. of citric acid mixed in a pint of water. Together they are the best! No more itchy scalp, no more chemically laden shampoo! Now i'm going to try using it to get rid of Candida!

Replied by Thersa
(New Orleans, Louisiana)

How much borax should you use as a shampoo? Do you mix it with warm water? Does it affect color treated hair?

Replied by Nanette
(H.B., Calif.)

I have the same inquiry about using Borax shampoo on color treated hair. Will the Borax change the color at all? I have chronic scalp (and skin itching) like biting and crawling but no bumps, rashes or visible sign of fungus or infestation. In addition to the intense itchiness, I often feel like another woman here mentioned, 'like my hair is not strongly rooted in my scalp and have the inclination to pull it. I am experiencing hair falling out and looking thin and scraggly. I am anxious to try the Borax shampoo to be rid of the constant itching.

Replied by Vanessa
(London, Uk)

Hi Can someone reply to Nanette's entry as I have the same problem. Itchy scalp. Keep pulling for relief. Suspect fungal infection. Where it has been severely itchy, the hair has then fallen out. Sore pimples in the itchy areas. I am in UK and can't get borax off the shelf. Any alternative to using with Apple Cider Vinegar?

Replied by Ceybeyona
(Great Falls, Montana,usa)

This was out of curiosity, aloe plant that I used was very bitter. I first filleted it an put the aloe fillet in a blender into a pulp. Then just put the pulp throughout hair for any amount of time 15-20 minutes, of course then rinse. I treated the pulp as a shampoo and put about two drops peppermint or teatree oil in the pulp. This first method can be messy, but it was so worth it for the severity of itching , hair fall out, and break off I had.

The next method I did was much much cleaner, I would cut a slice of the plant , squeeze and apply the fresh gel directly to scalp in sections, message the gel into my scalp until it disappeared. The best part was that the gel can be left in and I experienced NO build up! No joke, I experienced instant results that was just me though, everyones condition is different. Talk about a miracle in a plant GOODNESS! Google Melissa's produce or you may be able to obtain the whole aloe plant locally, the bitterness in the plant does make a difference from experience. Hope it gets better for you.

Replied by Critical
(Perth, Australia)

Hi there

Chronic itching and dry scalps can be relieved by spraying or rinsing it with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar but it won't solve the problem permanently. (Add two caps of ACV plus water in a water sprayer bottle or whatever you can put it in - Spray it on your hair after coming out of shower and leave it for half hour and re - rinse it with cold water. )

The problem will be with how much toxic shampoos / hair dyes/ head lice solution you have used on your head in your total life time, contributing to these problems of itching! 24/7.

This is the most natural solution I have found but another problem is trying to find a shampoo containing very simple natural ingredients without adding like 30 herbal ingredients in it or harsh chemicals ruining the surface of the scalps.

Replied by Claire
(London, Uk)

Nanette & Vanessa,

I haven't started using this yet but I'm about to. I have read today (and in the thread above yours) the Borax lightens coloured hair less than Baking Soda. I read on 2 sites that it will strip the color from your colour treated hair (as it appears to strip natural color a little also?) but you need to wash your hair less than with commercial shampoos it shouldn't be too bad. Other than that, from what I've read, there are no 'reactions' with coloured hair. I hope not as I colour and I'm going to try it. All the best!

Replied by Claire
(London, Uk)

Vanessa, I forget to add that you can get Borax in some Boots or they'll order it in and in some Tesco's in their Naturally cleaning range.

Replied by Teri In T Town
(Tacoma, Wa Usa)

I had the itching scalp, substantial thinning and some dandruff several years ago, and cleared it all up in two treatments.

I used about 1/8 teaspoon of Tea Tree Oil and a few drops of lavender oil in 3 Tablespoons of sweet almond oil (you could use any carrier oil, I think). I parted my hair and poured it on my scalp all over and left it there for an hour, massaging it around with my fingertips some, before I showered it out.

Whatever was wrong is gone, I have no itch and my hair came back thick.

Replied by Belisa
(Gurabo, Puerto Rico)

I agree with Teri, about the tea tree and almond oil , it works for itching scalp is great. And thank you for all your tips.

Replied by Kévin


I'm using borax as a shampoo and I saw that we got to use acid citric (1/4 tsp diluted in 2 cups) as a final rinse. (the only thing that can remove borax from your scalp)

I've never use a condidionner (short hair) so I don't know how to proceed. Do I have to rinse the acid citric with water? If yes do I have to let the acid citric sit on my scalp a bit before washing?

And finally do I have to rinse the borax solution with water before pour the acid citric? Or rinse directly the borax solution with acid citric?

Thanks, Kévin

Posted by Jennifer (Windsor, CA) on 08/26/2007

Hi read Jackie's post a week or so ago regarding her results with borax and water to shampoo hair. I gave it a try and my hair felt great. I have long, heavy hair and it felt clean, soft and not dried out at all. Is anyone else doing this? I'm curious to see if anyone else had done this long-term as I want to make sure I'm not going to destroy my color-treated hair in the long run. I found a shampoo recipe online last week that included borax, castille soap, glycerin and a couple other ingredients. It turned out to be a disaster - after using a second time, my hair was a matted mess. I'm thinking it was the Dr. Bronner castille soap - which I love for face cleansing, but not on my hair. I used the straight borax and water this morning and my hair feels soft and clean again.

Replied by Kathy
(Chatham, Ohio)

Hello, I have been using borax on my hair for about 2 weeks, now. I lost my hair (,chemo treatment about 10 years ago) and have been coloring my hair for about 10 years. My hair color is remaining true, it is soft and seems thicker than it has been in 10 years. I am rinsing with lemon juice because I have not been able to get a hold of any citric acid. YEAH!! Thank you to BORAX.

EC: Kathy, we found a huge jar of citric acid in an Asian grocery store for just a couple of dollars! Think it was in the spice section...

Replied by Cehowell
(Sv, Az)

Found this when researching what Borax was:


"Risks Associated with Borax

Borax is natural, but that does not mean it is automatically safer for you or for 'the environment' than man-made chemicals. Although plants need boron, too much of it will kill them, so borax can be used as an herbicide. Borax may also be used to kill roaches, ants, and fleas. In fact, it is also toxic to people. Signs of chronic toxic exposure include red and peeling skin, seizures, and kidney failure. The estimated lethal dose (ingested) for adults is 15-20 grams; less than 5 grams can kill a child or pet. For this reason, borax should not be used around food. More commonly, borax is associated with skin, eye, or respiratory irritation. It is also important to point out that exposure to borax may impair fertility or cause damage to an unborn child."

Personally, I would not use this on my skin or scalp. It sounds just as bad as commercial shampoos.

Replied by Jane
(Portland, Or)


Boron and Borax are two different elements. I have seen this twice on this site. Look it up. Confusion can stigmatize a good thing.

Replied by Bill
(San Fernando, San Fernando, Philippines)

It's quite true that Boron is a chemical element and Borax is more well known as sodium tetraborate. But boron never ever exists as the free element boron in nature.

I went to a well known health shop recently and found some boron supplements. On checking the back list for the ingredients it said the capsules contained Sodium Tetraborate -- or Borax. Anyone can verify this for themselves in any health shop like I did. Personally, I really can't understand the fear about borax -- I use it internally and externally quite often in water mainly as an anti-fungal, but if people prefer to pay more for "Boron Tablets" than for something as cheap as 20 Mule Team Borax, then this is simply up to them.

Some also complain about the purity of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda or 20 Mule Team Borax and seem to implicitly trust the purity of the compounded tablet. I made the mistake of buying European made Magnesium Citrate tablets the other day. They were huge -- nearly an inch long -- but only contained 400 mgs of Mag Citrate. When I checked the back list it had several additives -- Mag Stearate, Stearic Acid, Calcium Diphosphate, Cellulose starch(??), Silica, Titanium Dioxide and Vegetable Glycerin. So I crunched one of the pills to powder and put it on a teaspoon -- I know what 1000 mgs looks like on a teaspoon and lo and behold it was over 1000 mgs.

So my question is this -- if that huge pill contained only 400 mgs of mag citrate then what did the other 600 mgs contain ? Hint: Think Codex Alimentarius.

Secondly, I have mentioned several times on EC that sodium tetraborate is less toxic than common table salt. What is advised as a borax dosage by Ted from Bangkok represents a micronutrient dosage -- nowhere near a dangerous dose.

You can also easily verify this by checking the MSDS(Material Safety Data Sheet) for sodium tetraborate and sodium chloride(table salt) online and compare the LD50 dosages (lethal median dose) for yourself. MSDS is the absolute bible for usage, toxicity and disposal of all chemicals and is the main standard used in the world today.

Replied by Mary
(Regina, Saskatchewan)

Thank you Bill: I really look forward to your posts. Thanks for further alleviating my concerns about 20 mule team. I am about to do something very similar. What I mean is the product I am going to try is not from the health food store but from the vet supply place. This product I am referring to is called Diatomaceous Earth. I have tracked down a manufacturer, the middel supplier and the farm supply store. Only 2 stops. I believe it will be safe but I am concerned. Have you any experience with this product? I recently got a bio feedback analysis and was told I was loaded with yeast, fungus, worms and a tape worm. I was horrified but I have to agree I have NO energy. I do feed my dogs the raw diet and maybe somehow I was contaminated.

Any info you have, or even anyone else reading this would be greatly appreciated.

Replied by Andrea
(Norwalk, Ct, Usa)

Have you tried a cleanse? I'm doing Dr. Natura colonix and toxinout 2-3month program. It targets parasites.... Also there are Chinese herbs that are good for getting rid of parasites and yeast... talk to an acupuncturist/herbalist. Good luck

Replied by Intirb
(Long Valley, Nj, Usa)

PLEASE be careful when using Borax. As someone already stated, Borax can be very toxic!

For anyone confused, Borax is the salt form of boric acid, and when you add borax to water, it dissolves to become boric acid and sodium. Boric acid is dangerous!

For more information, check out wikipedia:

It states very clearly that borax can be toxic, especially to infants!

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

Intirb, I have read the wiki site you quoted and could not find where it stated that if borax mixed with water it becomes boric acid. Maybe I missed it. What I did find though was in the refrence section #16 Here is the link: http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/8663/1/IJCT 12(4) 488-500.pdf On page 12 it states that borax when mixed with water becomes an alkaline solution. I have just disolved borax in water, enough borax till no more would disolve, and tested it with my ph meter and it reads 9.1 If you click onto the boric acid link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boric_acid , within the link you gave it says "Boric acid may be prepared by reacting borax (sodium tetraborate decahydrate) with a minral acid, such as hydrochloric acid: Na2B4O7·10H2O 2 HCl %u2192 4 B(OH)3 [or H3BO3] 2 NaCl 5 H2O" Also if you scroll down to the Toxicology section it says "Based on mammalian median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2, 660 mg/kg body mass, boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled in large quantities. However, it is generally considered to be not much more toxic than table salt. [4] The Thirteenth Edition of the Merick Index indicates that the LD50 of boric acid is 5. 14 g/kg for oral dosages given to rats, and that 5 to 20 g/kg has produced death in adult humans. The LD50 of sodium chloride is reported to be 3. 75 g/kg in rats according to the Merick Index. Long term exposure to boric acid may be of more concern, causing kidney damage and eventually kidney failure (see links below). Although it does not appear to be carcinognic, studies in dogs have reported testicular atrophy after exposure to 32 mg/kg bw/day for 90 days. This level is far lower than the LD50. The rate for a death to occur in adults is 5 - 20 grams per kilogram of body weight. So for a person who weighs 60kg (132 lbs) that equates to 300 - 1200 grams.

You say it states that borax is toxic especially to infants, I could only find that Boric Acid solutions used as an eye wash or on abraded skin are known to be particularly toxic to infants, especially after repeated use, because of the slow elimination rate. (21) This is taken from: Goodman and Gillman's: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 6th edition, chapter on Antiseptics and Disinfectants, page 971. I find it interesting that a few sites (who talk about borax being toxic) quote this as a reference but there is never a reference where this came from. I would still err on the side of caution in regards to infants.

There is NO WHERE on EC that borax is recommended at these levels, not even close. Nor is boric acid recommended to be taken orally. Plus it is only recommended to be taken 4 days on and 3 days off.

Replied by Lc
(Washington, Dc)


Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, is not acutely toxic. [17] Its LD50 (median lethal dose) score is tested at 2. 66 g/kg in rats:[18] a significant dose of the chemical is needed to cause severe symptoms or death. The lethal dose is not necessarily the same for humans.

Sufficient exposure to borax dust can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Effects on the vascular system and brain include headaches and lethargy, but are less frequent. "In severe poisonings, a beefy red skin rash affecting palms, soles, buttocks and scrotum has been described. With severe poisoning, erythematous and exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure." [19]

Replied by Margen
(Sydney, Nsw, Australia)

With respect to the safety of borax.

1.Yes it hydrolyses (is split up when in water) into boric acid and a salt. But it is actually quite a complex situation. Some of it will also form a borate anion (charged particle) which acts as an alkali. This means that overall it acts as a buffer (pushes mixtures back to neutral when they become too acidic or too alkaline, either of which would be undesirable on your hair or skin). So you need to read information about borax, not boron or boric acid, to find out safety data - as it will be describing the overall situation, not just part of it.

2. Most materials are toxic or dangerous if used to an extreme. For example, Warfarin is used as a heart medication, but is also a rat poison. Vitamin A is toxic in excess. Drinking alcohol can also be toxic if you consume enough in one go. Just because something is toxic if you consume enough, doesn't make it dangerous in small quantities. Borax is used in food, health supplements and eye washes. So it is probably reasonable to assume its is safe diluted on your hair.

3. If you are going to read information like safety data sheets, or pharmaceutical information, make sure you read it all, and check what it means if you don't understand it. The 15 to 20 grams quoted as being toxic, is as already pointed out by Maria, is 15 to 20grams PER KILOGRAM OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT. That is a lot (especially if you weigh what I do)!

4. I am not a cockroach or ant. The method that borax uses to kill insects is not a mechanism that works on humans. It may sound dramatic to say it is a poison, but it's not relevant to human use.

5. Be aware when reading Material Safety Data Sheets that different countries have different rules about what is included and how it is said. They are intended as guides for professional or laboratory use not really for consumers. Its a good idea to read them to look for dangers but it is necessary to put them in context.

For example, some will say to wear gloves when using all materials in a laboratory. For example the UK version for table salt says this. The requirements to wear gloves can sound sinister, as if you need to do it to avoid terrible skin problems, but in fact it is a standard comment for most things.

Try looking up the US MSDS for acetic acid (the main ingredient that along with water makes up kitchen vinegar) http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9922769. It lists all kinds of dangers of skin exposure and toxicities.... it's even corrosive to metals (Borax data looks like no problem at all by comparison), but knowing that these are referring to extreme circumstances, and that in vinegar it is greatly diluted, I am happy to use it (diluted even further) to rinse my hair.

Replied by Avonlea820
(Warwick, Ri, U.s.a)

It can be so complicated... And for those of us who have trouble following along, I will say this: I prefer to leave it to the experts at my favorite Organic Haircare Specialists' website. I can trust their quality and their system is easy to use.

Replied by B.a.
(Albuquerque, N.m. Usa)

I used Borax 20 mule team mixed 1/4 cup into a quart of hot water and rinsed my colored hair with it for over a year. My hair grew longer than it ever had before (I live in the desert and it was impossible to get it past my shoulders because of dryness) BUT - after about 14 months it became very brittle and just broke off like crazy, until I cut my hair into a bob. I stopped coloring, and am now about to go back to using the borax - but this time without the coloring and most importantly, I am going to use an ascorbic acid rinse to neutralize. I think that was the mistake I was making, not neutralizing. I did try at first to use ACV, but it is not strong enough, I think, and I didn't like smelling like an easter egg ;)

Using Borax allows the natural oils to migrate down the hair shaft, and eventually it can feel waxy when wet. When you pour the borax water over your hair it won't feel clean, but it is! When it dries your hair is very soft, and if you have waves it will hold a curl. Just make sure to neutralize. Also, for itching - grapeseed or jojoba oil mixed with ascorbic acid and vegetable glycerin make a nice scalp "mask" for dryness. Leave on and rinse out. Also - you can spritz a little glycerin w/oil and water on your hair for dryness. Make sur eto include the grapeseed oil if you live in a dry area!!

Replied by Benni
(San Diego, California)

This is the same formula I use for my dark blonde hair. 1/4 cup borax per (or a few inches in the bottome of a ) one liter bottle filled with warm water.

I keep a bar of castille soap, an old shampoo bottle filled with borax and water, and a water bottle filled with lemon juice and water in my shower. That's it.

I tried the borax formula with baking soda and didn't like it as much as straight borax. Also, the combo seemed to create more crystals in the bottle which were annoying. I still get crystals from the borax though. I were less lazy, I'd strain the crystals from the cooled water/borax mix through a mesh screen before pouring into the bottle.

I rinse with lemon juice mixed with water. Pretty much in the same proportions - an inch or two in the bottom of a water bottle, the rest is water.

I just buy some organic bottled lemon juice from Costco. It's not the best tasting (prefer fresh for food) but it's 100% lemon, and works well as a rinse.

Apple cider vinegar works better as a rinse, although both lemon and ACV work as totally awesome conditioners. Like most people, however, I don't want to smell like a pickle. Lemon is a very acceptable alternative because I want my hair to have lighter highlights.

I only partly, very, very quickly, rinse the lemon out of my hair before turning the shower off. Again, if I weren't so lazy, or if I were recommending this to a friend, I'd say "run the lemon juice through a mesh strainer" but I haven't noticed any pulp bits in my hair. It provides the added bonus of highlights.

Another bonus, perhaps, is that I seem to have less acne issues on my face and back since using this on my hair. I tend to let both the boron and lemon juice dribble onto then stay on my skin for a while (lazy person's toner) while I shave my legs and soap up other areas.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has noticed improved skin with this "shampoo" formula.

My hair tends to be oily - as does my skin and needs to be washed daily. On particularly oily-hair days, I use a little of my coconut/castille bar soap on the areas of my head/hair that seem oiliest (near my ears and forehead), lather it up, then proceed to add the borax.

Someone else mentioned that the hair feels waxy while wet (with the borax solution). That is true. It's very weird feeling -- for me, it feels as though I doused gobs of oil onto the ends of my hair when I've finished massaging into my hair and am ringing out the borax while rinsing it (my hair is long). But when dry, it's just looks and feels soft and luxurious; and it ends up less oily than when I used regular shampoo.

Also, even if you want to continue using your shampoo, I highly recommend you at least try lemon juice (if your hair is light, or if you intend to rinse well) because it's just the best conditioner I've ever used other than the stinky apple cider vinegar. No more tangled rat's nests after the shower and all day long. It's amazing.

My hair is completely straight and is of average thickness. I'm not sure how well this would work on other hair types but other reviewers with curly hair seem to agree it's great.

This formula isn't a science - maybe someone else out there has it perfectly proportioed for maximum benefit but I agree with other reviewers who say to relax on the meassurements.

I like this much better than shampoo and it's so cheap! Would like to work out how to add in some chammomile to help with the highlights. Not sure whether to mix that with borax or lemon juice. If anyone has ideas, would appreciate them.

Last thought: I read somewhere that for the first week or so, the hair can seem more oily than usual using this formula. I wasn't really able to tell for sure but I think that is true. (Just remember to use soap or other shampoo as needed while going through this transition.)

Castile and Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Briar Rose (Phoenix Arizona) on 03/22/2014


I chose to stop coloring my hair and stop using commercial shampoo and conditioners. I tried baking soda and was unsatisfied with results and began using my home made castille (olive oil) soap for shampooing and rinsing with 1 teaspoon vinegar in 1 quart warm water. I was unhappy with results yet chose to stick with my program. I figured since commercial products hyper dry hair and scalp there may be a period of adjustment. Dry scalp will overproduce sebum, a naturally produced waxy substance, and my scalp substantially overproduced for approximately 2 weeks and I immediately noticed burning, itching, soreness with nasty smelling stuff coating roots of my hair especially over ears and along neck hairline about 2 inches wide. (Old commercial product residue my skin was forced to store?) I also noticed 'stuff' in the crown area. Symptoms diminished steadily and by 5 weeks scalp was symptom free and hair was looking substantially improved.

Six years have passed and my fine hair has thickened, strengthened and is beautifully shiny. I intend to add borax to my hair and skin regimen. Sometimes patience is required to remove all the crap ignorantly put into the body and all the icky, smelly stuff bodies exude are signs of grateful release of all the garbage the body was forced to endure

Castille Soap

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Cindy (Wichita, Kansas) on 08/17/2008

I use a bar of Kirk's Castille soap in the shower and as shampoo. I have very long hair and the Kirk's rinses almost instantly. Then I use regular conditioner which also rinses very quickly since using the Kirk's. I love it. I hate modern soaps. It takes 5 gallons of water just to get it off your hands! I use Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint soap in foaming soap dispensers for hands and dishes. I use regular dishsoap for greasy dishes and then use the Dr.Bronner's to get the regular detergent off. Yuck!

Replied by Maeryn
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

I am seriously loving Dr. Bronner's liquid peppermint Castile soap for my hair! I have really thin/baby fine brown hair (genetics). I also have combo skin, and my scalp doesn't start to show its oil till day 3 after shampooing/conditioning. Currently the length is playing around my shoulders - I'm growing it out. My hair is ridiculous. I recently moved to a very humid climate, and so it is hard for me to use a flattening iron without the ends flying away. I can't even use oil/lotion for my ends, it just makes my hair super heavy and oily cause my hair is that thin. I noticed that I needed to start moving away from conventional harsh shampoos and conditioners because I would get acne on my scalp and really bad acne on my forehead.... and I have a healthy lifestyle! I tried regular organic shampoos/conditioners. They treated my hair like the other shampoos did, minus the acne.

But when I tried the Castile soap yesterday (no conditioner) - WOW! So much body, I can straighten it, do whatever I want with it, and it looks amazing. I woke up this morning, brushed it (with my handy boar bristle brush) and it looks like I've just blow dried my hair. The Castile soap gets the dirt out of my hair, but leaves my natural oils. This really helps distributes the oils through my hair and gives my ends just the right amount of weight they need so they don't fly away. Yayyy!!! <---happy woman

Chemicals in Commerical Shampoo

Posted by Dee (Philadelphia, United States) on 04/17/2008

Until about a month ago I too was using those same commercial shampoos etc. until I happened to come across some information by accident. I was searching for some homemade shampoo recipes etc. and the reason I was searching is because I had noticed for quite some time that my hair was not in the condition that I thought it should be especially since I haven't had any chemicals ie hair dyes in it since 1996. The only thing I have put in my hair has been Henna the real kind from plants not that fake a** stuff you can buy in beauty stores. I DC my hair twice a month with castor oil and rosemary/lavender EO combo oil yet my hair looked damaged. I kept wondering what is the problem? The ONLY other things I was using on my hair was shampoo and conditioner. Hmm...could there be a link?

So, when I found this link and clicked on it and it talked about recipes and such and how there are so many dangerous chemicals a vast majority of the shampoos etc. on the market today and have been for a long time. I was shocked. I knew that there were alcohols in shampoos as well as some other stuff but I didn't realize it was this bad and I had no idea how hazardous some of those chemicals could be to one's health!

By accident I found this cosmetic database website called cosmeticdatabase.com and looked up some of the ingredients of the some of the shampoos and conditioners I have been using on my hair for years and what I found pissed me off royally. Did you know that some of chemicals that are used in our shampoos and conditioners etc. here in the United States have been banned in Canada and Japan? That right there is a BIG red flag.

Needless to say after finding all this out I went on a mission to find a company that made chemical free shampoo. In the past I have done business with a internet company (Emporiumnaturals.com) but at that time wasn't aware of the harmful chems in shampoo etc., well it turns out that they make their own shampoo and the ingredients are virtually chemical free they are: Coconut, Castor, Palm, Jojoba, Distilled Water, Soy Protein, Vegetable Glycerin, and Potassium Hydroxide.

So, I purchased some and I really like it the ONLY downside was that with me being African American I needed more moisture so I separated some shampoo into a 4oz bottle and added two small capfulls of castor oil and one capfull of jojoba oil and my hair felt wonderful! My goal is to eventually make my own shampoo but until then this shampoo is great!

I am going to try some of the washes on this website too and think that with time my hair will get better and better. I will update and let everyone know.


Replied by Patricia
(Asheville, North Carolina / USA)

To: 04/17/2008: Dee from Philadelphia... I also looked up ingredients on cosmeticdatabase.com
Hate to tell you this, but Potassium Hydroxide, one of the ingredients in Emporiumnaturals.com shampoo,
is considered toxic as well.

Replied by Alice
(Manama, Bahrain)

Sodium Hydroxide in natural products is an ingredient that when mixed with any fats like coconut oil etc..forms a salt which is HARMLESS. The end product of the reaction will not contain sodium hydroxide. Some natural companies like to include that on their list, and some companies don't, they put "soap base" or something not to cause confusion since the end product itself doesnt contain it.

Replied by Karen

Potassium hydroxide is lye, the only way to make soap. Potassium hydroxide is eliminated during the soap making process through a reaction called saponification. It's no longer caustic at this point.

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn.)

HI U KAREN, , , , , , , , , guess I missed your point, because the soap my Mississippi GrandMaw made from wood ash and lard would take the hair off your arms. 'Course that was some 70 years ago and maybe chemistry has changed since then.


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