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All You Need Is Less, Eco-Friendly Living, Natural Living

Two-ingredient shampoo & conditioner for healthy, shiny hair- and a book giveaway!

Two-ingredient shampoo & conditioner for healthy, shiny hair! #SweetMadeleine #AllYouNeedIsLess

Taking pictures of your hair without looking like a ridiculous dork is not easy. I call this one, “Moderately successful, but blurry”.

I’m posting this recipe again, because I recently tried something new in my DIY shampoo/conditioner routine, and after test driving it for a few weeks I knew I had to share. I have been telling everyone who would listen about my easy DIY shampoo/conditioner recipe for years, but I think this change might actually make y’all more willing to give it a shot!

(Do you hear me? TRY IIIIIIT.)

For years I have been using a baking soda rinse to wash my hair, and an apple cider vinegar rinse to condition it. I have been head-over-heels in love with this sweet combo ever since the first day I tried it, and I know it sounds strange that some lady on The Internets is telling you that you can have gorgeous, healthy hair with the same ingredients you use to unclog your drain, but this is for serious.

No plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles. No expensive price tags. No nasties like sodium lauryl sulfate foaming all over your head each morning, and washing down the drain each night. Just good, old-fashioned, earth mama hippie nonsense.

I posted this recipe years ago here, and way back in November a lovely soul named Karla commented that you could also use lemon juice in place of apple cider vinegar for the same, or better, result.

This, ladies and gentlemen, was a monumental shift! I’ve never minded the ACV smell, but I think it has turned a few people off of the whole project.

Lemons on the other hand – lemons! Lemons are basically the poster child for clean-living fresh-smelling happy times all around! I knew I had to give it this new version a try- I was already putting baking soda and vinegar on my head, what could possibly go wrong?

I’m not going to ramble on (for once in my life): I tried it, it worked, and I love it! These days I alternate back and forth between the two – lemons on days that I have them, ACV on days when I don’t.

So. Try it. TRY ITTTT. It doesn’t work for absolutely everyone (I’ve heard that it can sometimes take a week for your hair to adjust, although I didn’t experience this, and that some run into challenges around hard water.) but it might work for you! You have nothing to lose! And if it does work you will feel like a magical witch every time you prepare your shower potion, and you will be rich- RICH!- from all the money you’ll save on fancy shampoos and conditioners.

You can spend all of that spare shampoo and conditioner money on goat cheese! Or vodka! Or vodka-infused-goat-cheese! (Is that a thing?)

Here’s how you do.


Mix 1 cup warm water with 1 TBSP baking soda. Stir until dissolved and pour over wet hair. Give yourself a relaxing scalp massage, concentrating on the hairline and the crown of your head if you tend to have oily hair. Rinse well.


Mix 1 cup warm water with 1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar OR LEMON JUICE! (!). Typically I’d use 1 TBSP if you have oily hair, 2 if your hair tends to be dry. Pour over shampooed and rinsed hair, massage into scalp and let sit for a few moments while you tackle the onerous task of finally shaving your winter-legs, exfoliating your elbows or what have you. Rinse well.

That’s it. Seriously, that’s it! Two ingredients and zero weird shit on your head to end up with gorgeous, shiny, tangle-free hair.

( 9/19/2014 ETA: If you live in an area with hard water as we do here in Edmonton, Alberta, you MUST boil the water for 5-10 minutes to remove all of the hard mineral content before using as a mix for shampoo/conditioner. This is not as terrible as it sounds. Boil some extra for tea, and by the time you’ve finished your tea your shampoo and conditioner rinses will be cool enough to get started!)

Two-ingredient shampoo & conditioner for healthy, shiny hair! #SweetMadeleine #AllYouNeedIsLess

If you DO decide to take the plunge and try this – please post a picture of your results to the Sweet Madeleine Facebook page, or Instagram/tweet it with the hashtag #SweetMadeleine or #AllYouNeedIsLess! I want to know if it worked, if it didn’t work, what kind of hair you have, where you live, what you’re wearing, and your feelings on Benedict Cumberbatch (look I’m not saying the man looks like a scarf, but HE LOOKS LIKE A SCARF.)

Honestly though I truly would love to hear if it worked for you, and whether you’ll keep doing it.

ALSO, as if this post wasn’t tangential enough, would you like a free copy of All You Need Is Less? Of course you would. Here’s why:

In it you will learn: 

  • The best, natural way to clean hardwood floors
  • How I really feel about plastic
  • The secret to a stress-free, organized home
  • A recipe for Magic tea that will cure your worst cold or flu
  • A tragic tale of hamster-cannibalism
  • How to make your own toothpaste, laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner, deodorant AND MORE!

To enter, simply click on the Rafflecopter widget below. The contest closes at 12:00 AM this Friday, but don’t worry if you don’t win this one – I am giving away a copy of All You Need Is Less every week for the next four weeks! It’s like Christmas! But with more vinegar!

All You Need Is Less by Madeleine Somerville

(Also, I am an equal-opportunity environag. These giveaways are open to anyone in the world! )

Allons-y, kittens! Click below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway