Homemade Shampoo for (very) Oily Hair

Update: This shampoo worked really well for months, but then my hair started to get overly dry. Only use if you struggle with oily hair, and alternate use with another shampoo. I think using it once weekly would be ideal and using a regular shampoo the rest of the time. 

Greasy hair. It’s a problem many of us have to deal with.

Finding a shampoo that left my hair feeling clean led me from one brand to another . From Biolage to Suave’s Botanicals, nothing worked well. Organic shampoos did nothing. Some days, my hair would be greasy by dinner time.

The humidity down in the South makes it especially bad. I finally found a shampoo, Aussie’s “No Worries” that worked tolerably.

Then a friend told me that the “No Poo” method worked well for her (read more at Passionate Homemaking.) Basically, you mix baking soda and vinegar/water, massage into scalp and rinse.

Intrigued, I tried it.

Sadly, it didn’t cleanse my very oily hair. The thought of a cheap, natural shampoo roused my curiosity however.

After some experimentation, I found a combo that does work for me and leaves oily hair clean, silky feeling and light– even the second day.

  • Baking soda
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Vodka (cheapest kind works great)
  • Dawn dish soap

Dump a scant teaspoon of each in a cup just before washing hair. Add a bit of water and mix, then pour over hair and massage into the scalp. Rinse thoroughly.

Baking soda and vinegar are natural cleansers that gently clean the scalp and leave the hair smooth and silky. The Vodka and Dawn work to gently strip away the grease.

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  1. Darrell says

    I’ve tried the baking soda/vinegar method and it didn’t do enough for my hair. I’m so happy to see a version that will work on oily hair!

  2. sarat says

    Wow! I tried this last night and it works as well as any shampoo!
    (Maybe I cheated tho’, because I added a few squirts of borax / water solution while shampooing (made actual lather!), then did a rinse with 1/4 tsp citric acid in a quart of water.) My oily hair is very shiny and hair and scalp both feel healthy!

  3. schmaudrey says

    Used this on my hair this morning, but forgot basic science from grade school. Baking soda + vinegar = VOLCANO! I put all into a small plastic bottle and shook and then it exploded all over my jeans. It was a fun slapstick moment. We’ll see how this mixture does on my very oil, thin, fine hair. I’m skeptical of the baking soda + vinegar wash, and I’ve noticed that baking soda alone does little to nothing to clean my scalp.

    • anna says

      Lol! That’s hilarious–and I’m sorry too. Hopefully it didn’t put too big of a wrench in your day. I found it worked for quite a while, but may have got it too dry… and my husband didn’t like the smell, lol!


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