I have had so many people email me about how to do this that I thought maybe I had better just post it here. You can read about our experience with it here. The “recipe” is as follows.
I fill a jar with baking soda and water–making a paste (I store the jar plus a squirt bottle full of vinegar in the shower). I use that to scrub my hair then rinse with water. Afterwards I pour vinegar over my head (upside down so it doesn’t get in my eyes) and rinse again.
I have super thick long hair and it takes about 2 Tbs regular shampoo for me to cover my hair. I have found that the same goes for the baking soda paste: 2 Tbs baking soda/water then a cup or so of vinegar.
I buy a huge bottle of white vinegar at Sam’s club and it lasts me 6 weeks or so. The thing is that you can wash it less often as well which is also better for your hair. With regular shampoo I have to wash every other day or so or it gets greasy–this way I can go as long as 5 days without a hint of grease, not to mention no longer needing styling products for my very frizzy wavy hair. I can now let my hair air dry –I comb it as soon as I get out of the shower and either braid it or pull it back in a low pig tail until it dries.
I know some people who have done this and have had time when their hair got dry or flaky. Someone mentioned using a bit of brown sugar in the mix to keep the flakiness away. I have also, in the past, used an egg mixed with some olive oil every 2 weeks or so which deep conditions your hair (leave it on for 3-5 minutes.) You can also use a fruit smoothie on your hair to condition and clarify (same ingredients you would put in a smoothie–fruit, yogurt, honey–awesome for your hair and also makes a great facial mask. One thing that I do is use mineral oil to keep my skin from drying out (I have it in an old Skin-so-soft bottle) –after I rub this into my skin I run my fingers through my hair which seems to keep my hair from being so static-y and lets it dry less frizzy.
You can find lots of recipes for homemade body care products on the Dollar Stretcher.
Update as of June 3, 2009: We are still using this and have made some changes for the better which you can read about here.