Friday, 17 January 2014

Baking Soda Rinse

After my holiday, my hair was desperately dry, despite always co-washing after swimming.  In my last week at the coast, I used coconut oil in my hair every night after a wash and I believe this helped a lot, because it penetrates the hair strand, nourishing and strengthening the hair from the inside out.  Although it was extremely humid, and despite adding glycerin to my spritz, I believe it was the daily exposure to chlorine (and to some extent, salt water) that was the main cause of the dryness. So the first thing I did the day after our return home was to have a full wash and deep condition day.

Following my research on removing chlorine from hair, I decided to try a baking soda rinse because I had it in the house. Convenience is key to being a happy natural. 

First, I washed my hair with a sulphate-free shampoo in order to remove any dirt and product build up to give the baking soda a clean slate to work with. There is no science behind this, just my humble 2+2 :)

I divided my hair into four, two-strand twists and began by completely soaking the hair. I then applied a small amount of shampoo to my palm and massaged it into my roots. When shampooing your hair, their is no real need to shampoo the actual hair as the excess while rinsing off should be sufficient. 

After rinsing, I dissolved 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water and applied it to my hair, roots first and working it down the hair strands.My hair felt a little slimy but this rinses off easily with plain water. I then followed this with a co-wash using diluted Tresemme Naturals and my hair was squeaky clean after that. Not a texture I enjoy, truth be told.

I then applied some of my homemade DC and left it on under a heat cap for 30 minutes before rinsing it off, using it like an oil rinse to detangle in the process.

CONFESSION TIME! The detangling was hard work! I hadn't had a proper detangling session for about a month and my hair was tangled with a capital Tangle. Plus I was tired, tired, tired! of handling my hair daily for weeks; my patience was low. So I reached for my wide tooth comb... You may remember that I have been on a finger detangling challenge since September so I did this with lots of guilt in my heart. My hair was pretty matted. I could barely get the comb in through the ends, let alone working up to the roots. The clump of hair that came off was the size of my palm (*sob) but all in all I don't really regret doing it; my hair really needed it. I will however go back to finger detangling as I feel it is much gentler on the hair than using a comb.

My hair feels wonderfully soft and back to normal. Really tempted to seal with my QB butters but as I have already tried two new products today, I want to be able to give an uncompromised review. Next time. Instead, I seal with Kakena's Hair Butter and twist and bantu knot my hair.

My hair still felt soft a week later when the time came for my next co-wash and DC. I don't know whether it is the baking soda, the DC or washing my hair with salt-free water or all of the above but it feels great to be back.


  1. Hahaha, forgive me for laughing at you, but that is baking powder not soda..

    1. Baking powder is actually just baking soda plus an acidic agent to speed up the reaction. In Baking, you can use baking powder in place of baking soda, although not the other way around.

    2. but they are different, I use baking soda, am low-po, why dont you try?

    3. If I do it again I will certainly try plain baking soda out as I would like to see if my hair feels any different. I suspect there wont be much of a difference, a little like using pure shea and a whipped shea. The only real difference is the addition of an acidic agent.

    4. The addition of the acidic agent lowers the pH of the basic soda, so, scientifically, the reaction will be different for sure..

    5. Well, like I said in my post, I'm no scientist so I just go with how my hair feels *shrug*