April 21, 2013 8:45 AM EDT
Did you know that baking soda is an incredibly easy way to clean your hair? Yep, the rumors are true. What shocked me even more than the fact that this actually works is how much better my hair began to look when I started using baking soda compared to traditional shampoo!
I’m a complete DIY gal when it comes to my beauty routine and I’m always on a mission to reduce my exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, so I was psyched that this method gave me such great results.
You might be wondering: what's so bad about regular shampoos? Well, they can contain a lot of harmful ingredients. Some of the worst chemical-offenders are:
- sodium Sodium Lauryl
- Laureth Sulfate
The word fragrance might not sound so bad, but on a label, it can mean the presence of over 4,000 separate chemical ingredients. How scary is that?!
There are lots of great natural brands of shampoo that don’t contain these ingredients, but as my short hair began to grow, it became really limp and flat due to the rainy weather here in Seattle. I tried to fix this with mousse and styling products, which then caused build-up.
To fix that, I started incorporating a clarifying shampoo every few weeks, but this dried out my hair, so I added in an intensive conditioner, which only made the lifeless hair problem worse. Plus, with the cold, my hair was getting really static-y.
I was ready to chop it all off and go back to short hair when I found my way to the baking soda and vinegar hair care method which solved all my problems.
My hair now has more body, volume, and strength than it did with all the crazy shampooing, products, and special hair care nonsense from before. And now my routine is incredibly simple: wash with baking soda, rinse with vinegar, blow dry, and maybe flat iron the front strands if I feel like it.
Since shampoos strip our scalps of natural oils, this tend to increase oil production so as you stop using shampoo you might find that you hair seems oiler than normal for the first few weeks until your scalp adjusts. Now that I've been using this method for awhile, I've found that my hair doesn't get as oily as it did before and I only have to use this method every 2 - 3 days. The baking soda and vinegar method is cheap, effective, simple and chemical-free and I think you'll love it as much as I do. Here’s how you can get started:
It might be hard to adjust to the lack of shampoo foaming action at first, but I promise this is worth it in the end.
Start by mixing 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water. I have shoulder length hair and mix about 2 to 3 tablespoon of baking soda with 3 times that amount of water in a small squeeze bottle. You can adjust this depending on your hair length.
Apply the baking soda and water mixture to dry or wet hair by starting at the roots and working to the ends.
Let it sit for 1 - 3 minutes then rinse with warm water.
After washing and rinsing with the baking soda mixture, you'll want to apply a vinegar rinse.
Mix 1 part white or apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water. To minimize the vinegar smell, I also add lavender, peppermint, and/or rosemary essential oils to the vinegar mixture. I like to mix a big batch of this ahead of time and keep it in a squeeze bottle in the shower.
Tilt your head back, close your eyes (to avoid getting this mixture in your eyes), and distribute through your hair.
If you have longer hair like I do, I like to then (still keeping my eyes closed) tilt my head forward and distribute more rinse through the ends.
After a few seconds, rinse with cold water. The cold water helps to seal in moisture, smooth the hair, and add shine. I have straight hair and have noticed that this really made a difference with eliminating frizz and static.