Oct 27, 2013

The Hair Chronicles: Washing With Baking Soda and Vinegar

The end of my second week without shampoo is fast approaching, and my hair right now is not looking great... I have been doing some reading, and a lot of people suggest that for the first 2 weeks you wash your hair twice a week with baking soda and then condition it with apple cider vinegar. After those two weeks you are supposed to go cold turkey. Eventually, once your hair has reached a proper balance of oils, you are allowed to start washing your hair again with baking soda and apple cider vinegar once a week. I decided to just skip to the end step. I had already been washing my hair only once a week before this, and used a very small amount of shampoo, so I didn't think my hair would need the first step.

The other night I decided it was time to finally clean my nasty greasy hair. I was going to a Halloween party and there was no way I was going to wear my hair tied back again! It had been two and a half weeks of no shampoo and my hair was not actually looking that bad. It was only very greasy at the roots. Still, I wanted it clean for the party, so it was time to try the baking soda and vinegar method out.

I put a couple teaspoons of baking soda into a little bowl and put a bit of water in it until I had a paste. I then filled a second little bowl with apple cider vinegar and left them on the edge of the shower. When it came time to wash my hair I basically stuck my fingers into the baking soda goop and then rubbed them into my scalp as much as I could. I used about half of it up rubbing it through my hair. It never actually foamed up of course, but it turned from being gritty to smooth and soft in my hair as I rubbed and I could tell my hair felt cleaner. It took about a minute to get it all through my hair and then I rinsed it out.

Next it was time for the apple cider vinegar conditioning. I normally avoid conditioning my hair unless it is feeling extremely dry. I have very thin hair and conditioner tends to just sit on it and make it heavier and look greasier, no matter how much rinsing out I do after. I decided to use the vinegar anyways for a few reasons. 1) I wanted to do it for this experiment, because everywhere I read told me to use them together. 2) I thought that the baking soda must have somehow dried out my hair. 3) I did really believe that apple cider vinegar would actually condition my hair as much as a regular conditioner would.

Getting the vinegar onto my hair without dumping it everywhere in the shower was a bit of a challenge. I found the best way was to cup one hand and pour some into it and then turn my head sideways and lower my hair into my hand. Then I rubbed it into my hair from the bottom up. I was actually surprised at how soft my hair immediately started to feel. It wasn't as intensely slippery as when you use a conditioner, but you could definitely tell it was working. I don't use conditioner often, so I was actually amazed at the feeling of my hair and couldn't stop running my hands through it in the shower after that.

Once out of the shower, I blow dried my hair to find it was still greasy looking, but most of the grease was in the middle part of my head instead of the scalp, where it had been before! I can't say for certain why this is, but I have two theories. The first is that all the grease in my hair is finally moving outwards to the ends of my hair, to naturally condition it, which is what is supposed to happen. The other theory it that the baking soda actually did a good job of cleaning my hair, but then I overdid it with the apple cider vinegar afterwards, and it made it look dirty. I am not yet an expert on these things, so I have no clue. Regardless of my dirty hair, I still wore my hair down and it wasn't that bad in the end.

Sorry this post was so wordy and without pictures. I didn't exactly feel inclined to photograph my nasty hair at the time. You can see what my hair looked like in my previous post about the sugar skull makeup I wore. If you haven't seen that already, you can find it here.

Have you tried the no shampoo challenge? Does anyone know why my hair turned out like this? Let me know in the comments!


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