Am I Still Using Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar on My Hair?
Yes! It has now been nearly two years since I ditched shampoo and started using baking soda/apple cider vinegar (ACV) to wash and condition my hair. I am still loving this method of natural and frugal hair care.
My hair and scalp are healthier than they have been any time in my adult life, so using baking soda/ACV has allowed me to grow my hair out much longer than previously. Even without a hair cut in over a year, I do not have any split ends. My hair is soft, shiny, and seems to resist tangles with this method.
Have I Made Any Modifications to the Method?
With my new longer hair, I noticed that my hair was getting to be a bit dry. I changed the mixtures of baking soda and apple cider vinegar a bit, and this has remedied the problem. (You can read more about how to modify the baking soda and apple cider mixtures to accommodate dry or oily hair here.)
Additionally, thanks to a tip from my sister-in-law, I sometimes add a couple drops of essential oils to the ACV conditioner for a nice fragrance. While I actually like the smell of the plain apple cider vinegar conditioner, I am also really enjoying mixing things up a bit with the essential oils.
I am currently using the following shampoo and conditioner mixtures (which I premix in old shampoo and conditioner bottles for ease of use):
- Shampoo: 1/2 Tb baking soda for every 8 oz (one cup) of water
- Conditioner: 2 Tb apple cider vinegar for every 8 oz (one cup) of water plus a couple drops of optional essential oil (lavender and/or jasmine oil are my current favorites)
With my longer hair, I have also changed the method of applying the baking soda and apple cider vinegar mixtures slightly. The method I am using is as follows:
- Wet your hair. Apply the baking soda mixture to your scalp, roots, and hair (only as far down as hair may be oily). I run the shampoo bottle all along the roots on the top and back of my head, which lets a trickle of the solution out. I only apply the baking soda mixture just as far down as my hair may be oily. There is no need to apply it all the way to the ends of my hair. Then I use my fingertips to scrub my scalp.
- Thoroughly rinse the baking soda mixture from your hair.
- Apply the apple cider vinegar mixture to the scalp, roots, and hair. With my longer hair, I find that I need to apply the apple cider vinegar mixture to the full length of my hair. I let it stay on for a few minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse your hair. Then rinse it some more. Sometimes, the vinegar solution will grow some tiny SCOBY strands (these are like what is used to make kombucha), so I need to rinse my hair very well to make sure no little bits get left behind.
Other Hair Products and Methods I am Using
- Curly Girl Method: I am using the Curly Girl Method which allows me to get the most curl out of my wavy hair. (The Curly Girl book gives detailed instructions for all different types of curly hair, from kinky curly on down to wavy hair.) The method I'm using for my wavy hair includes:
- scrunching up my hair while using my baking soda and ACV mixtures in the shower to prevent the water from over-straightening my hair,
- drying my hair with a microfiber towel after showering,
- letting my hair air dry most of the time, and
- protecting my hair from being over-straightened by the blow dryer by using a diffuser on days when I blow dry my hair.
- Dry Shampoo: I typically wash my hair once every two days, and my hair does not look oily on the second day. Sometimes, though, I don't have time to wash my hair on the 3rd day, and to combat oil on those days I use dry shampoo made from equal parts of cocoa powder and arrowroot (the link recommends using cornstarch, but I use arrowroot in mine).
- Giovanni Sunset Styling Lotion: Most of the time, the only product I use on my hair after showering is Giovanni Sunset Styling Lotion. This is a very lightweight product that contains essential oils, and has a watery consistency. I use it because it reduces frizz and flyaways in my very fine, wavy hair. I apply a small amount of Giovanni Sunset Styling Lotion right after towel-drying my hair. Giovanni Sunset Styling Lotion has a score of 3 on the Skin Deep Website. (I have yet to find a homemade or frugal alternative to this, as all hair gels I've tried are far too heavy for my very fine hair. However, I use such a small amount that one bottle of Sunset Styling Lotion lasts me nearly a year. If my hair had a more robust curl that wasn't so easily weighed down, I would try using plain aloe vera gel on my hair.)
- Giovanni L.A. Hold Hair Spritz: On days when I want to look a bit more polished, I use a bit of Giovanni L.A. Hold Hair Spritz to smooth out any frizz in my hair and help hold my curl. I apply this by spraying it onto my palm, rubbing my hands together lightly, and then smoothing/scrunching it into my hair. This results in a very soft hold that doesn't feel crunchy or hard. With the small amount of Giovanni L.A. Hold Hair Spritz I use, one bottle will last me around 6 months. Since I don't use much hairspray, I've never looked much into homemade alternatives; but in looking up the Giovanni Hair Spritz for this article, I was surprised to see it is given a score of 5 (moderate hazard) on the Skin Deep Website (whereas I prefer to use products that rank 0-2 if possible). So I will be experimenting with these homemade hairspray recipes in the coming months to see how they compare:
What natural hair care products do you use?
This post is part of Traditional Tuesdays!