For a few years now I have been on a mission to find the best way of washing my hair naturally without using chemical-laced shampoos. I’ve gone over several recipes and put the strangest things in my hair, from a mixture of flour and herbs to eggs and beer. I was too lazy to write them even though some of them worked, but this one I feel I must share with you as it has been the best, easiest, cleanest and cheapest solution!!

The secret ingredient is…BICARBONATE SODA.

Not to be confused with baking soda, its slightly different.

Bicarbonate of soda

Bicarbonate soda is a naturally occurring compound found on the Earth’s surface, that is mined and used for a huge number of purposes. For me personally, its a miracle cure for everything! Do be careful though, there are some chemical fakes out there, but in reality it should be mined and boxed straight as it is, kind of like salt.

How do I use Bicarbonate Soda instead of shampoo to wash my hair?

The amount you use will depend on how long your hair is. My hair is just past my shoulders and I use about 3 heaping tea spoons of soda, but I use that for my hair and body (so probably 2 would do).

Take a little cup (plastic is better since you don’t want glass or ceramic breaking in the shower) and put 2 tea spoons of soda into it.

Bicarbonate soda in a plastic cup for a natural shampoo

This is 3 tea spoons of bicarb soda in a plastic cup

Turn your tap to the hottest and pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of hot water into your cup with soda (it doesn’t need to be boiling).

Mix it with your fingers or a spoon for a second.

Bicarbonate soda in a plastic cup for a natural shampoo

The soda will not fully dissolve in such quantities (as you can see in the picture above), so you will need to mix it quickly just before putting it in your hair. I do one handful of the mixture at a time – one on top of my head, 2 more on the sides and one or two on the back. The rest I use to wash my body and what is left I just pour on top of my head again.

Rub it into your scalp a little and wait maybe 30 seconds – it does the job fast.

Rinse and dry like you usually would a normal shampoo.

Will the Bicarbonate Soda foam up or feel like other shampoos?

No. When you first use it, you will feel like you’ve done it wrong, even though you probably haven’t. It will feel grainy to the touch, a little like sand (don’t worry, nothing will stay behind) and it will not foam. You just need to trust that it’s doing its job and you can help it by rubbing your head a little.

How will it feel when I rinse it off?

This bit may throw you off as your hair will feel greasy when you rinse it. Trust me, it is not. You just need to dry it to see the final result.

Once it’s dry, you will be AMAZED at how clean it will feel!!

Woman With Towel On Her Head

Is Bicarbonate Soda safe to use on my body? What if I get it in my eyes or genitals?

Soda can even be ingested so don’t worry, there’s no way you can harm yourself by using it.

If it goes in your eyes it may sting a little because it’s “sandy” but it won’t for long if you wash it with some water.

It is also completely safe to wash your private areas with, and it’s actually one of the best things to use against yeast infections for both men and women. For those suffering from candida, just put your finger into the same mixture described above and stick it up your…ejem… to relieve itchiness and to speed up the healing process.

How long will my hair stay clean for?

Well I have been “training” my hair for years now to not have to wash it too frequently. When I used to use normal shampoos it would get greasy after just 24 hours, with store-bought natural shampoos I got it down to washing it every 2 days, and with soda I now wash my hair just once a week and it stays super clean!

Do I need to use conditioner?

If you usually need to, then you may have to to start with. With time, you can train your hair not to need it anymore. A couple of good natural conditioners include vinegar or chamomile (boiled and cooled).

Anya Andreeva in Ronda, Spain

This is me on a windy day in Ronda, after about half a week of not washing my hair. Not bad eh? 🙂

Is there any chance this will not work for me?

Of course – everyone is different so you will just have to try it to see if it works for you 🙂 I know several people who wash their hair this way and all with amazing results, though I don’t know anyone with really thick black hair. It will probably just need more mixture though, I don’t see why it would work – if you have thick hair and have tried this method, do leave a comment to tell me how it went!

The only time it didn’t work for me was when I was in Nottingham and the water was too “hard”. Hard water makes my hair super dry as it is and I walked out of the shower with hair looking like straw. You can probably fix that with some conditioner though but I didn’t have any at hand to try.

Where can I buy bicarbonate soda?

The easiest thing you can do is buy it online, here’s a cheap and organic option. You can get it in most big supermarkets, either in the bath-stuff section or in the baking section, but they will be more expensive. The best place where I would recommend buying it from would be a local Russian shop, if you know one. They will be much much cheaper, I buy 500g for just 0.75 euros, whereas in a local Spanish supermarket they cost 3-4 euros for 250g. Look out for the one that looks like this photo.

Russian bicarbonate soda