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DIY Clarifying Shampoo-1 Step and That’s It!

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If your hair feels weighted down, dull and lifeless, I’ve got some good news! I’m happy to tell you, you most likely have product build-up in your hair and scalp and there’s a super simple fix!! Your hair needs a detox and you don’t have to buy a new product to do it. Plus, results are immediate with this quick and easy beauty tip! Making a diy clarifying shampoo is as simple as adding baking soda to your regular shampoo. Read on to find out the do’s and don’ts of making your own natural clarifying shampoo for a healthy scalp and healthy hair!

Girl with brunette hair

Product buildup on hair can weigh hair down where you have no body or bounce, much less shine! It’s 100% necessary to use a clarifying treatment once in a while. It is important to detox your hair as well as your hair follicles. The problem is that many store-bought shampoos that clarify are full of harsh chemicals and can be very drying to the hair. Today, I’m going to share with you my number 1 beauty tip-a 1 ingredient DIY clarifying shampoo!

Where I live we have very hard water. This means there are lots of minerals in the water. It is 100% a requirement to have a water softener in my area and mine quit working about 3 weeks ago. I’m talking yucky white stuff all over my dishes after a heavy duty cycle in the dish washer, dingy clothes and limp hair. Luckily my new softener comes tomorrow but over the last few weeks I’ve been searching for a way to strip my hair of build up without having to go out and buy a new shampoo. 

While searching around Google I found many beauty gurus were posting about how to use baking soda and water to clarify your hair.

You simply mix the 2 and make a paste. Some included a few drops of essential oil like tea tree oil to up the detoxing power. Massage the paste into wet hair, let it set for 1-2 minutes and rinse with warm water.

I decided that I’d rather add the baking soda into my traditional shampoo since it is much more convenient to use rather than making a paste before my shower.

Benefits of DIYing a Clarifying Shampoo

  • Exfoliates the scalp
  • Strips the hair strands of dirt and product build up
  • Neutralizes odors
  • Dissolves dirt and oil
  • No harsh ingredients unlike regular hair clarifiers
  • Leaves hair light and bouncy
  • Adds shine
  • Relieves dandruff
  • Cheap beauty treatment!

Baking Soda and Hair:

Baking soda is a natural ingredient that can help you achieve or maintain scalp and hair health. Adding it to your hair care routine can do wonders for how your hair feels and looks. Hair care products can lead to product build up which can irritate the scalp and hair follicles as well as weigh the hair down and remove shine. Scalp buildup can also lead to an interruption in hair growth.

Baking soda has a pH level of around 8-9. This level of pH is alkaline. Soaps have the same pH. Baking soda, because of it’s pH is very cleansing and detoxing. Plus, the grittiness of the powder when mixed with a liquid can help manually remove build up.

Baking soda can be used on all hair types, even dry hair. However, there are a few warnings and precautions you should know before you dive in….

A Word of Caution:

As I mentioned earlier, baking soda is not pH balanced. It has a very high pH, meaning it is very alkaline. Daily use of baking soda will wreck your hair and scalp. You should not use baking soda if you suffer from a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis on your scalp. 

Baking soda will purge your hair of it’s natural oils so you’ll want to replenish afterwards.

Keep in mind that some skin types are sensitive to baking soda. If you are concerned about your skin sensitivity I would suggest doing a patch test on your inner arm to ensure you don’t irritate your scalp.

>>Warning: Baking Soda could strip your hair color.<<

Be aware that some people claim that baking soda strips color-treated hair. If you have hair color you would like to keep, I would test strip first. I don’t have hair color on my roots, only faded blonde through the ends. There is no difference to my color. 

UPDATE: Since I originally wrote this post I have continued using this method of stripping my hair. I have even more blonde throughout my hair and I have noticed that if there is any change in my color after clarifying, my blonde is actually brighter. 

Baking Soda also contains aluminum unless it states otherwise. I use THIS aluminum free baking soda.

Girl with brunette hair plus recipe

DIY Clarifying Shampoo Recipe:


  1. Combine your normal amount of shampoo and 1 tbsp. of baking soda. The mixture should feel and look like a paste.
  2. Apply to the entire scalp and massage.
  3. Leave on for 1-5 minutes.
  4. Rinse.
  5. Thoroughly condition.
  6. Spray this ACV rinse to close the hair cuticle.
  7. Rinse.

What To Do After Using a DIY Clarifying Shampoo:

After clarifying your hair and scalp, the cuticle of your hair is open. This is a fantastic time to deep condition your hair. I love using THIS hair mask after.

I suggest following up your conditioner with a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse to restore pH in the skin. An ACV rinse will close the hair cuticle. ACV will also add even more shine!! Just so you know, I don’t always follow up with the ACV and still had amazing results so if you don’t have the time or energy for a second DIY don’t let that discourage you. 

You might also use a nourishing hair oil or a leave in detangler to add moisture back into the hair after you’ve washed and conditioned. This is not an absolute must though.

I recommend not using any heat on your hair after you use this homemade hair clarifier or any other clarifying shampoo. The act of removing build up from your scalp and hair is drying no matter what product or DIY you choose. Your hair will appreciate some TLC after being stripped.

I will say though-refraining from heat is not imperative and I don’t always abide by this rule.

How Often Should You Use Baking Soda on your Hair?

If you have an oily scalp you can most likely benefit from using baking soda once a week as long as your skin isn’t overly sensitive. However, if your scalp and hair are dry, I would only use baking soda in your shampoo once a month.

This is not a beauty treatment you want to overdo. Overdoing baking soda on the hair will dry your hair out and irritate your scalp.

You might not have hard water where you live but I guarantee most of us have build up from styling products like hair spray, conditioners and the ever so popular dry shampoo. 

Enjoy the softest, shiniest, voluminous hair you’ve ever had! Yes, voluminous! 

Can I tell you how bad my hair looked before this special shampoo? It was extra greasy and stuck to my head. No life at all. After the shampoo I couldn’t believe how my hair felt. I went to bible study the next day and anytime someone would look at me I would think, “you’re admiring my hair, aren’t you?” Yeah, no one was noticing my hair but it was nice to feel good about my appearance.

You’ll be thrilled at your healthier hair and thrilled that you got it by just making your own homemade clarifying shampoo with 1 extra ingredient! In minutes product residue is gone!

More DIY Hair Recipes

xx, Jenni

P.S. Be sure to check back in with your results!!

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

9 thoughts on “DIY Clarifying Shampoo-1 Step and That’s It!”

  1. Jenni, your hair looks amazing!!! Wow! I tried the “no poo” method years ago where you just wash with baking soda and water and rinse with ACV and it was very hard on my fragile hair (although some people swear by it). Your method makes much more sense!

  2. Hiya Jenni!
    I’ve been using Wen Cleansing Conditiner for years & love it! So aside from doing my roots & a bit of highlights I don’t use much else on my hair. Would you suggest using the baking soda with the Wen?

  3. We’ve been on well water for years now and I started noticing my mostly grey hair was yellowing. My hairdresser recommendedClairol Shimmer Lights shampoo. and that did help but didn’t eliminate the problem. I researched online I realized I needed to remove the mineral build-up came across the baking soda & dilutedACV treatment and do it once a week. I have thick, rather coarse hair and it tolerates it well, but I think it would be too harsh on thin fragile or processed hair and probably strip out some color if you dye. My hair feels softerandthe texture is improved. I still use the Clairol shampoo to enhance the silver color. ( other blue/purple shampoos) just don’t work. I’m very happy with this regieme. I really enjoy your blog and have recommended it to friends. Thanks for all the advice, recipes and inspiration.

  4. I am such a new person to the DIY skin/hair care. I found your blogs to be very informative and helpful. I am slowly gaining the courage to make my own stuff.
    I was wondering if you have a recipe for a daily-ish shampoo? I see conditioners and treatments, but no regular shampoo. Am I missing something? Any advice or guidance will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Stephanie-Hi and welcome!! I don’t have a recipe for shampoo. As a DIYer I don’t like making cleansers of any kind really. They are tricky to get the texture right without having to add a bunch of non natural ingredients and they are bacteria traps. I leave shampoo and soap based face cleansers to the professionals.

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