Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bicarbonate of Soda Actually Works

I was expecting to come out of the shower with hair as greasy as when I went in. But this week's revelation is: bicarbonate of soda does actually clean my hair.

I've used it twice so far and my hair feels pretty much normal. However I have two things going in my favour:

a) I only washed my hair every two days anyway, and I didn't use much shampoo; and
b) We have really soft water.

For anyone interested, I read around a few websites and decided to use a softly-softly approach to begin with. So I am only using one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda mixed with a cupful of water (200ml to be precise). I pour about half of that on my head, massage it into the scalp for a couple of minutes then rinse. I thought I would gradually increase the dosage if it wasn't working, but so far it seems to be cleaning my hair well enough.

I still have a bit of conditioner left in a bottle so I've been using that after the wash. When it has run out I'll start experimenting with cider vinegar.

I keep wondering why I've been using shampoo for thirty years when that bicarbonate of soda sitting in the kitchen cupboard would do the job just as well. It's quite amazing.


Kandy said...

I've been having great success with the baking soda method you suggested. Using more than the diluted amount was drying my hair out.

I've found that 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar to two cups of water is ideal conditioner for my hair and lasts for 3 showers.

Great news is, it's only day 14 and I think I'm through the transition period!

Joxy said...

Summer Naturals website sells large bags of bicarb too.

You will need a bristle brush though, eventually the natural oils of your hair will build up and you need to brush it through the hair. It will feel odd after brushing..b ut then the heavy greasy feeling should pass and your hair won't feel quite the same as when washed with conventional shampo..but oh, it should look lovely and healthy.

I recently heard that nettle root steeped for a few weeks in vinegar and used diluted as a rinse also works fabulously for dandruff.

Kat said...

I was going to suggest trying the chinese supermarket for bicarb in large bags but internet so much easier!

Cave Mother said...

Joxy - Cheers for the tip. I'm not sure I like the idea of grease building up in my hair, but I'll persevere and see what happens. I have a really old Mason & Pearson hairbrush which I assume will do the job. I don't think it's real bristle but it is very bristly, iykwim.

Since I don't seem to be experiencing a troublesome transition period, I wonder if I could wash with shampoo just once every few months if the grease does become too much?

Cave Baby's hair does not get a build-up of grease and is never washed, but I wonder if that is just because she is a baby and does not produce as much oil?

Joxy said...

Well, it's your natural oils, and they need brushing through your hair to protect the strands and keep them strong. You may find you need to dab your hair dry too rather than wringing it dry (which damages the hair shaft).

I suppose you could wash with a diluted amount of shampoo (castile shampoo is best) and just the roots every few months. I've seen a few blogs where folks do that and they seem to retain the beautiful glossy hair without stripping away all the natural oils (a major cause of dry and frizzy hair).

And yes Cave baby is not producing as much oil, this, like body odour, spots etc, is something that tends to develop during puberty.

Also, your body, or so its argued, recognises the oils are stripped from the hair when its washed and over compensates... the transition period is normally your body readjusting to producing just the amount of oil needed to protect the hair.

It may well be you've not experienced it yet as using hte bicarb/vinegar way of washing hair can slow down the oil build up.

IN a sense using bicarb and vinegar is a transition to no washing.. after a while you may decide to do the just wetting and massaging of the scalp and forego bicarb and vinegar all together.

Now I've stopped dying my hair and am letting the grey though, (and once I@ve used up the bottle of shampoo I have) I will be doing this again. Although the very hard water here does tend to mean one's hair feels heavy and greasy after washing with bicarb, though usually better once dry.

MamaEm said...

I've been thinking of trying this- thanks for sharing your experience. Everyone's experiences are so different with this, as no two bodies are exactly alike, and I'm a bit nervous to make the jump! Would love to hear how it goes! Good luck.

Linda said...

Just this week I decided to try bicarbonate of soda in between shampooing. I find that my hair gets oily quick in the back and yet is more dry on the top and sides. I put baking soda on my brush and brushed through the oily section only and voila! It was like a miracle! It absorped the oil and my hair looked great and not oily.