If you are just now following along with us, you should check out the first post about washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the subject. There are lots of positives but there are some negatives as well. Some of them can be remedied I think, but as of right now they definitely exist. I will put all of these updates into one big post about the process later but so far this is the deal...
I have been washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar for a couple of weeks now. Generally, there is a period of time where your hair is not at it's best because the oils in your scalp are trying to regulate and recover from shampoo and conditioner. In certain ways I am feeling a transition and I am still hopeful it will even out. However, as far as my curls go.....they get better with each washing. Here are the picks in order of washings. Most are a day or two between. I have been letting my hair air-dry without adding any kind of styling products or shaping the curls. I wanted to see if the curls started doing better on their own and I didn't want to interfere with the process of my scalp's own oil regulation.
This was the first time. My hair felt soft and my scalp was no longer itchy after my hair was dry. Though it looked dull.
This is the second washing. I was pleased with the texture. My curls felt lighter and bouncier and my hair didn't take as long to air dry as usual.
Close-up of the curl action.
This is after the third washing. I noticed that my hair was more dull and not as soft. It seemed a little frizzy, now it was raining outside this day so that could have been the difference with the frizz. I also noticed that all of the lingering smell from my other shampoo and conditioner was gone so this must have been the final clarifying wash.
Fourth washing. My hair still felt more dry than I would like but the curls were starting to get bouncy again and the shine started to come back which means my natural oils are regulating.
Fifth washing. In this picture my hair was mostly wet. It was a ponytail kind of day and I couldn't wait for it to dry before throwing it all on top of my head, but I wanted a picture to post first. The curls are still doing great as far as shaping, texture, bounciness goes. Here, you can see the shine is definitely coming back.
Ok. Sixth washing. This time I actually styled my hair. I didn't have time to make any kind of natural styling product so I just used the mousse that I already had, then blow-dryed. I forgot to take a picture until we were in the car on the way to church, haha! This is pretty much how my hair always looks when I style it so...not better not worse.
I would like to present the positives and negatives as I have encountered them. I will start with the negatives, because I would rather end on a positive note!
1. the process takes FOR-EV-ER. I don't have a lot of time for a shower anyway and this takes just waaaay too long. I don't know yet if it will get easier and therefore eventually take less time, but I am willing to stick it out and see. Currently I use about 2 Tbs. of baking soda, make a paste then wet my hair and try and scrub my scalp with it. TRY. It is not easy to actually get the soda mixture on your scalp, I miss spots a lot or just end up with a tangly mess where the mixture glopped on my hair. I tried flipping my hair over to see if I could better distribute the baking soda but that just made it all go in my eyes. Some people use little squirt bottles to apply directly to the scalp, I may try that next and see if it helps. Right now, once I get the soda on and scrub what I can, I then run a comb through it. THEN I have to try and rinse it out and THEN pour the apple cider vinegar over my hair. This brings me to the next negative.
2. I have a really terrible time getting the baking soda rinsed out which is bad news for itchies and if I don't get it all rinsed but I still add vinegar to the mix.....HELLO science experiment! Hah! I don't know if this is just a curly thing or not? My hair doesn't like to separate and gets really, super tangled when it's wet.
3. Ok. IT STINKS. The smell is not good. Once my hair was rid of the shampoo/conditioner build-up, all you could smell was the vinegar. It's lessened after my hair dries, but definitely still smells like vinegar. I did notice that the styling products covered up the smell but if you don't add anything, it stinks. I even diluted the vinegar after the second time I washed my hair. I now have a 1 to 1 water and vinegar ratio but it didn't seem to help. I read that some folks were adding essential oils to the vinegar mix in order to decrease the scent, but for me....that's just going to add another step to the already lengthy process and probably just smell like essential oil AND vinegar! I personally, prefer the smell of white vinegar so I may try that and see if the smell gets better. If not, I may find another method. Coconut milk? Castile soap? We'll have to see.
1. I love what washing my hair this way is doing for my curls. They really look a lot better and require less effort, at least when air dried. However, I didn't notice much of a change when I styled them.
2. My scalp is far less itchy. (provided I get everything rinsed properly) In the past I had to use tea-tree oil shampoo to keep the itchies at bay and it was still not wonderful.
3. Obviously this is a cost efficient method of hair care!
4. No chemicals!
Ok, so there ya have it thus far! I am going to continue my little experiment and let you know what I decide to do about it all. On the 'coconut oil moisturizer' front...
LOVE IT! My skin has never felt better, including the skin on my face! My husband has problematic skin and he has been liking the coconut oil as well! This is also extremely cost efficient! A little goes a long way and I can usually get a 16oz jar on sale for 6-9 dollars. I have noticed that you must use virgin or extra virgin though. The regular coconut oil was not strong enough. The only difference I have noticed between the virgin and extra virgin is the smell. Extra virgin is stronger but they both fade after it dries.
Have a good evening!