problems with no-‘poo or low-‘poo? here’s the holy grail of natural shampoos…

crunchies. i think i’ve done it… i think i’ve created the magic hippie shampoo for all hair types. i don’t wanna get ahead of myself, but get excited.

i’m always trying to learn more and more about the crunchy lifestyle. i want to find 928374 ways to wash hair, wash dishes, clean bathtubs, etc. i want people to become educated in natural alternatives and empowered…and still  be able to make choices! this blog has taken a turn to be focused on all-natural hair care (as per my lovely readers), so anything hair-related especially peaks my interest.

aside from the comments of gratitude and support for the crunchy community, i still get a lot of comments saying that certain hair care routines didn’t work, and asking what to do next. those are the hardest comments to answer because it’s SO different for everyone. i’ve been wanting SO badly to find something that everyone can start with, no matter their hair type or current hair care routine.

and guys, i think i’ve done it!



–       all natural

–       not stripping

–       all hair types*


–       mix keeps a week at a time

–       can be tricky to travel with

jeez! okay alexraye, what’s in it?!

  • bentonite clay
  • apple cider vinegar
  • raw honey
  • filtered water
  • essential oils of your choice (optional)

yea, yea, so some of us have seen the honey shampoo… or the benny clay hair mask… or using the acv rinses… but it’s not always for everyone! honey can leave some people’s hair heavy; benny clay can be too drying; acv can either leave an oily feeling scalp or nothing at all. BUT, all of these together are pure CRUNCHY HAIR MAGIC!!!

i’ve always adored clay hair masks, as well as raw honey for a conditioner. i thought “why not combine them?!”

why those ingredients?

  • bentonite clay – benny clay draws out serious toxins; clarifies hair (stay tuned for more on this); defines curls (if you have them); cleans away extra hair grease without stripping it all away
  • apple cider vinegar – helps rebalance your scalp & hair’s pH; soothes dry scalp/dandruff; smoothes hair cuticle for less tangly and shinier hair
  • raw honey – acts as a humectant and locks in some serious moisture; soothes dry scalp and dandruff; antibacterial properties; leaves hair soft and shiny
  • filtered water – it needs to be filtered so your benny clay isn’t binding to any toxins in tap water. the water allows the mix to be runny enough to run over your hair without much effort. it also prevents the benny clay from being too drying.
  • *oils – feel free to add any of your favorite nourishing oils to the mix. argan oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil would be great!

how do i switch?

if you’re already no-poo/low-poo/’poo alternative, just switch over for your next wash. no steps needed to ease into it! if you’re currently using traditional store shampoos and will be using this to go all-natural, you’ll need to clarify first.

here’s where the cool part comes in… benny clay can act as a hair clarifier, without stripping hair or throwing off hair’s pH! just mix equal parts benny clay and water, and apply the paste, gently massaging, to hair from root to tip as a hair mask. leave on for up to 5 minutes and rinse with cool water. done!

how to:

  1. in a small glass cup (and using a non-metal spoon and in this exact order), mix 1 spoonful of benny clay, 1 1/2 spoonfuls of ACV, 1 1/2 spoonfuls of raw honey, and 5 spoonfuls of filtered water. it will bubble a bit from the acv, but that’s okay! it won’t burn you or harm you in any way! feel free to dilute the mix into more than 5 spoonfuls of water, too, but don’t go below 5. if you’re adding in oils, add 1/2 teaspoon and mix well.
  2. on dry hair, pour small amounts straight from the cup onto sections of  your scalp, rubbing in the mix as you go. it won’t hurt if it runs down the length of your hair.
  3. leave on for 5 minutes (do NOT let the mix dry on your scalp!! benny clay can be very drying to hair when left on longer than a few mins, but the honey will help prevent any extreme drying, as well as not letting it dry), and rinse thoroughly in the shower with cool/lukewarm water. read again: rinse thoroughly!
  4. done! seriously. if you find your hair needs some extra lovins in the conditioning dept, use some raw honey on your hair after you rinse the clay mix out. leave that on for a few minutes and rinse out well with cool water.

it was very runny, so don’t think you’re doing anything wrong! instead of trying to spoon it out or use my hands, i found it was easy to mix it in a small glass cup and just pour small amounts on different parts of my scalp and gently rub it. i only had a little bit run down my neck and shoulders that way.

and no, your hair won’t smell like vinegar after! i know some people are wary of that :)

after your wash, your hair should feel soft and clean, but not stripped. if your hair is feeling a little dry, use less benny clay next time and/or increase the amount of honey. also, you won’t necessarily need to condition after. if your hair does need it, you can use plain ol raw honey! score!

>> by the way, this same exact mix can be used as a detox-ing face mask! if you have any leftover from your “shampoo”, rub onto clean facial skin and let sit until dry (only takes a few minutes!). then wipe away gently with a warm washcloth. mmm happy skin!


where to get these ingredients:

  • bentonite clay – this one is also edible; this one is for external use only (you can find this clay in most organic stores. i’ve heard it’s at walmart, too!)
  • raw apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”) – any grocery store
  • RAW honey – just about any grocery store/health food store/organic store
  • filtered water – any grocery store

are y’all as excited as me?!

go try it and let everyone know how it goes!!


257 thoughts on “problems with no-‘poo or low-‘poo? here’s the holy grail of natural shampoos…

  1. Ok, question…I got off salon shampoo about a month ago. I did a clarifying wash with the Dr Bronners and ACV. Then started on the Shea Moisture shampoo/conditioner you recommend (I’m a mom with 3 kids 4 years old and under, so anything that’s less work is awesome). It was working great until about a week ago…now my hair seems weighed down and limp and just kinda blah. I have unevenly wavy hair (I think it’s considers 2a hair?) that’s very fine but very thick… I don’t have any problems with dry hair. My hair has always been on th oily side, which has balanced out some since I switched to natural shampoo, but I think the Shea moisture is just too much for my fine hair. Is this shampoo a good alternative?? Has anyone else had the same issue as me with natural products?


    1. I just tried this shampoo and I absolutely love it!!! I have hard water and my hair has continued to feel super heavy and waxy, that feeling went right away when I used this!!


    2. Yes, @Amber! The top b of my head was very heavy. Until I washed with an African black soap bar. Yay! I am finally happy with my hair again. And I ha e been no mm poo for 1.5 years.


  2. Hey Alex,

    I’ve decided to get into the all natural way of things. I’ve already started cleaning with natural mixes. Now I’m ready to start with my hair and face. You have a great blog and I’m so glad I found it. I wanted to ask about this natural shampoo vs the baking soda and avc shampoo. After clarifying my hair which do you suggest I start with? And how long should I clarify my hair? Is just one wash good or what?


  3. Hey! So I had finally found some bentonite clay, but its a liquid verson, would that still work?
    Also, what would be the measurements if you wanted to fill a mason jar with it?


  4. Hey, I’ve been No Poo for about two years and currently switched to water only. I’ve had all sorts of issues especially as my hair is getting longer. I won’t go into it all but very dry, tangles, keeps breaking when combing etc to name just a few.

    So I just started looking for a natural shampoo and this pops up on Facebook, perfect <3

    One question tho, I'm Vegan and don't want to use honey, do you think I could substitute it and if so have you any suggestions?


  5. Hi! I’ve been using baking soda and ACV for almost 3 years. I recently switched to honey but my hair was unbearably greasy. I tried this recipe today but it’s still sticky and greasy. Any ideas? Thanks!


  6. When I used this hair mask my hair is very dry and I can barely brush it. Do I need to use less Benny clay and maybe add more water and do a honey rinse after. Plz help!


    1. hey erica! sorry you’re having troubles! this is a shampoo, not a mask, so it shouldn’t be left on hair to dry at all, as the clay is very drying. try using some aloe and your favorite oils to replenish the moisture back into your hair. i’m sorry! i hope this helps!


      1. i meant use the aloe and oils without the clay to help get moisture back into your hair. it’s best to apply pure aloe vera onto your hair when it’s dry, allow it to soak for 30 minutes, and rinse well with cool water. :)


  7. Hey :) Just for clarification, is this shampoo supposed to be used as a normal shampoo ? Or is this shampoo considered a low-poo method ?


  8. Hi, I’ve been going no-poo for several months now, I have very sensitive fine hair and it hasn’t been happy from the beginning of the no poo transition (ignoring the beginning when it does nothing but fight) and commercial shampoo feels weird on my hair now. I’ve done a lot of the no-poo trouble shooting, switched and mixed recipes to see what is best, asked people for advice to no avail. I tried this recipe and my hair has never been happier or softer in my life! So, I want to say THANK YOU! :D


  9. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I went off the hard stuff, and started using a homemade shampoo with bronner’s baby mild barsoap melted into water. After a month, my fine, oily, blonde hair looked heavy, oily, and my scalp was dry and irritated. The limit was reached when my two yr old told my hubby that she didn’t like all my hair in the drain (serious wooky action.) Must’ve been too alkaline, plus it didn’t do anything for the oil spill on the top of my head. After some research, I thought my hair would benefit from clay- then I came across your recipe. Amazing results from my first use! Excited to see how this will work in the long term. I do have one question- is this safe to use exclusively for my shampoo needs? I really don’t want to cause any more damage! Thanks again, I have always enjoyed playing in the mud. :)


  10. I am currently a store bought shampoo gal, and I’m considering switching over because I want hip length strong and healthy hair sooo bad. I’m using more natural shampoos, and it has helped, but it could be better. Im wondering if I could use this method on wet hair? In the shower? I’d be way more comfortable doing it that way. And also, could I run some coconut oil through my hair as conditioner afterwards? Do you think I would need to rinse it?


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