Thursday, June 16, 2011

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Have I ever mentioned that my mother is hairdresser?

If you keep reading, it's information that will prove to be relevant in a minute.

So today's topic hair.

In January I decided to stop washing my hair with shampoo and I switched to using baking soda a few times each week.  This is not total insanity and apparently a lot of people are doing this.

The very first time that I used baking soda (about a tablespoon dissolved in 8oz of water) I was totally amazed at how soft and shiny my hair was.  And I was able to comb it while wet without any tugging on tangles!  I was really impressed.

But the sad truth is that in 6 months that was only time my hair felt that great.  You know how they say that a drug addict is always searching for the feeling of their first time getting high?  That's been me with the baking soda for the past 6 months.  Yes, I'm pathetic.

I had read that it takes 2-4 weeks for your scalp to adjust to its natural pH level and for your hair to start to feel normal.  I'm not sure what my 'normal' scalp is supposed to feel like.  Sometimes after I use the baking soda my head feels fresh and clean but my hair feels coated and slimy.  Other times my head feels raw and itchy and my hair feels dry and frizzy.  It's enough to give a girl a headache.

So last week I said to my mother, "I've got to do something with my hair.  It acts like clean hair and it looks like clean hair, but it doesn't feel like clean hair.  Do you think some highlights would help?" 

And my mother said, "Well, actually, Patti, it DOESN'T look like clean hair."


Well, that was like a splash of cold water on a humid day!  I sprang to action--by which I mean that I jumped to the computer to find out what I was doing wrong.  Imagine!  I had been running around the city with hair that didn't look clean!  The Internet did not fail me and I found the solution--vinegar! 

Specifically, apple cider vinegar.  Two tablespoons in 8oz of water. 

I used it 3 days in a row and now my hair is shiny and clean.  And my scalp feels refreshed the way cucumbers make your tired eyes feel refreshed.  Awesome.

So now I have to figure out the right balance of baking soda and vinegar for my hair and scalp.  Some people only use the vinegar on the ends of their hair.  Some people use the vinegar every day, some only once in a while.  I'll manage.

So now you know why I needed to mention that my mother is a hairdresser.

Although to be honest, her opinion on my hair would matter even if she wasn't a hairdresser.  Thank goodness she said something.


  1. HA!! This had me laughing out loud. So glad we have family members and friends in our lives to tell us the truth.

    I've always been too scared/wimpy to try no poo, but I'll tuck this info away for a rainy day when I feel up to it. :) Glad you've found a system that works!

  2. Oh man! My mom told me the exact same thing! lol. But she's not a hairdresser. I've been experimenting with no-poo but I have yet to try baking soda and vinegar. Thanks for the "recipes", I'll have to give it a try :)

  3. Very cool. Have you found the right balance now? How much of each are you using? I might just have to give it a try.

  4. that is the oddest thing I've ever heard for cleaning hair. hmmm... wonder if it would work. certainly seems like it would avoid that "sensitivity to shampoos" i have. Intriguing notion...