Since my recent setback for which my overzealous lathering up with herbal essences hello hydration shampoo is partially to blame, I have been on the hunt for a gentler way to clean my hair. I have been using the hello hydration shampoo for a little over a year and never noticed the striping effect. Probably because I always washed my hair with a watered down mixture of the shampoo. I'd basically squirt a few drops of the shampoo into a bowl of water and wash my hair with the mixture. However, this time, for some reason I applied the shampoo directly to my hair without diluting, lathered, rinsed and was left with striped, tangled, dried out strands. Even after repeatedly conditioning my hair, it still felt striped, dry and tangled. I was eventually able to detangle my hair using the method described in this post hair woes...
After this experience, I had no intention of using the hello hydration shampoo again... and so began my hunt for a gentle non striping alternative. My search led me to the apparently well known and widely discussed baking soda wash (for cleaning) and apple cider vinegar (for conditioning) routine.
Baking soda does a 3 things: It cleans your hair, 'thickens' it by coating the strands and opens up the cuticle to let moisture in
Apple cider vinegar removes build up, conditions your hair and closes the cuticle (trapping moisture and making your hair smoother and shinier)
So this is how it works:
- Make your baking soda mixture. Different people do this in different ways. Some use a teaspoon of baking soda in 3 cups of water, some use a cup of baking soda in a cup of water. I guess you have to experiment to figure out what works for you. I went with a heaped tablespoon of baking soda in 2 cups of water
- Pour the baking soda mixture on your hair and scalp and gently scrub your scalp
- Rinse thoroughly
- Make your apple cider vinegar mixture. Again, different people use different ratios. I use a mixture that is 1 part ACV and 2 parts water. So a cup of acv and 2 cups of water.
- Pour the mixture on your hair
(I would not recommend detangling at this point because the mixture does not give your hair any slip)
- Rinse thoroughly
(I usually air dry)
I found that the smell of the acv disappeared once my hair was dry. My hair appeared thicker, was easier to detangle, easier to comb through and very soft.
- My hair appeared thicker (I know this is faux thickness as the baking soda coats and fills out the strands making them appear thicker... However, it's good enough for me especially as thicker strands = easier detangling)
- My hair was soft and had a sheen to it. (It wasn't super shiny but had a nice lustre)
- The time it takes to make the mixtures. (It's a weak con but a con nonetheless)
- Figuring out what to do with my stash of shampoos and conditioners...
Have you tried cleaning and conditioning with baking soda and ACV? What was your experience with it?