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.

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.
  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!!

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  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! It worked so great in my hair, first time my hair has actually looked decent in a long time. I used a chamomile, rosemary, lavender tea instead of water. Now I want to wash my hair with this combo everyday!


  2. Your site is amazing! The only bentonite clay I was able to find was in a liquid version, in previous comments you did say it was fine to use but was just wondering about the amount I should be using given it’s already diluted in water. Thanks!


  3. I am having a little problem. My hair smells like ACV, even though you said it’s not supposed to smell. Please tell me what I can do to fix it. Otherwise this mix is amazing and I am loving what it’s doing to my hair :) I have also gone chemical free with a lot of other products, and they are all great as well!


    1. If you haven’t already, add essential oils to the mix and they will combat the vinegar smell. Peppermint and Spearmint are my favorites.


  4. Love your site! Love natural homemade stuff. Tried this clarify shampoo first, my hair feels awful, ha, well, hopefully part of the transition. Gonna moisturize it with honey, put some coconut oil in it…not wash it for a few days. We’ll see how it goes. I have dye in my hair, was told by hairstylist I have hair breakage, so really interested in getting my hair strong and natural.


  5. Tried it for the first time last night wasn’t sure if I did it right my hair still feels dry :( is it just supposed to cover your scalp or from root to tip, also the only bentonite clay I could find was a liquid form and it was an edible kind hope it still works trying it again tonight


  6. Hi. Question. Is the shampoo supposed to be liquid? Like actual runny
    Liquid? Because mine is. It’s also a lighter color than yours. Does this matter? Thank you so much!


  7. I’ve been no pooing for 6 months now washing my hair with bs/acv once a week. My scalp and hair are feeling really dry so I was really excited to find this shampoo recipe! I also feel like I lose too much hair during and read about aloe gel so I tried this recipe this morning and added aloe to it, following the directions to a T. I definitely lost a lot more hair this morning and am not sure what it’s from. Any suggestions?? Also, I accidentally used metal measuring spoons to make the shampoo. How bad is that??


    1. You need to massage and brush your scalp at least once a day. That stimulates oil and blood flow which keeps hair from falling out, the people that go no-poo tend to forget that your scalp still needs regular stimulation in order to remain healthy like it normally would be getting when washing and combing regularly. Hope this helped!


    2. Hi April, bs/acv also dried out my hair. Argon oil seems to add moisture if you don’t use too much. I use a small drop (I have short hair) twice a day to help moisturize.


  8. I’ve always wanted to treat my hair right but never really knew how till now. My hair is thick but each strand fine I don’t know if it’s just natural or because the store shampoo i use? I never style or do anything with my hair in fear of frying it. I recently looked up how to curl hair with heat but have not tried it out yet.


  9. Brilliant!!! I’ve been doing the no poo method for two months and this is my favourite recipe yet by far, I even like it more than the Morocco method and is much much cheaper. Thank you so very much!!


  10. Can you recommend a natural clarifying shampoo or recipe? I would like to no ‘poo but am hesitant at the thought of buying another chemical-laden product.


  11. This is by far the best homemade shampoo I’ve yet to try. It’s been rough battling with the no poo journey to the point of almost giving up. Thank you for this, it saved me and my hair!


  12. I would really like to try this shampoo but I have a problem; this past week I have been washing my hair with honey (1T honey and 3T water) but I didnt clarify first because I didnt realize the importance. should I just switch to this shampoo or clarify first?

    P.S. before I washed with honey, I washed with egg whites on my roots and then did an acv rinse but by my next wash decided to do it with honey because of the messiness and how much time it took


  13. question…can you use aloe vera juice with this recipe instead of ACV? i was looking at the ph of ACV and it is around 3…and aloe is around 6…and your scalp is around 4-5. i feel like ACV is too heavy for my hair and was wondeing about using aloe to bring it back into balance. am i way off base here?


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