Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Question: Why are people washing their hair with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar?

Sarah wrote in this postI've seen your posts on co-washing, but wonder about the washing of hair with baking soda and then rinsing with vinegar... seems to be all the rave in blogland.

Huh? Seriously? Really? What the heck is this all about? The idea is that you wash your hair with baking soda - pH between 8 and 11 - and rinse with vinegar of some kind - pH around 3.5 for white vinegar and 4.25 to 5.00 for apple cider vinegar. It's a variation on the no shampoo concept. People comment that you shouldn't wash with baking soda and vinegar rinses more than twice a week this way as it can cause build up (I'm not sure what this means in this context, but no, it won't because there's nothing substantive in this process.) 

I put baking soda in my hair from time to time in the form of a dry shampoo intended to remove the greasiness for those days when I simply don't have time for all that hair washing, but I wash it out as soon as I can (with a shampoo) because it only works for a short period of time before I'm all oily again. Actually washing and avoiding shampoo and conditioner makes no sense to me, and I can't figure out the chemistry of this process. It isn't cleaning your hair - it might remove some oils and smells, but you aren't actually "washing" your hair with baking soda. You will still have residual oils and styling products and dirt in your hair after rubbing it on your scalp. It's also very alkaline, which isn't good for our hair strands. (This is one of the reasons that soap isn't the best cleanser for your hair!) After shampooing with products out of the right pH range, the cuticle of our hair doesn't lie down, and this can lead to abrasion between the hairs, which is a huge source of damage to our hair. 

Rinsing your hair with vinegar is supposed to do what? It can't condition your hair because it's not positively charged and won't adsorb to your hair strand. It won't reduce friction between the hair strands and prevent further damage, which is the whole point in using a conditioner. (Click here for more information on how hair is damaged). My guess is that it's used to neutralize the baking soda - there would be an acid-base reaction between the baking soda and vinegar, like there is in a bath bomb or science fair volcano - but it's not doing anything for your hair. You need a positively charged ingredient to qualify something as a conditioner. And it's not moisturizing your hair either - you need an emollient or humectant to help with that. I'm not really sure what the actual, proven benefits of using vinegar as a rinse on your hair might be, but it's not offering any conditioning power (using the definition of a conditioner as something that adsorbs to your hair strands, reduces friction, and reduces combing forces). 

I'm really confused as to why anyone would want to follow this process - I think that's obvious by now, eh?  I see reasons like avoiding product build up, going green, saving money, and not wanting to use sulphates - because it really isn't good for your hair and could be causing a lot of damage that you aren't seeing yet. It might work for a while, but it seems like eventually you'd cause the damage you were trying to avoid by not using "harsh" detergent based shampoos. It isn't based on any solid chemical concepts that I can figure out - using alkaline products on your hair will make it feel pretty awful and tangly, and I see enough comments on these blogs to indicate that people are having this sensation using this process.

As an aside, one of the comments I read on this blog - full of helpful tips for going shampoo free - was that "greasy hair doesn't mean dirty hair". Yes, it does. That's exactly what it means to have greasy hair. Bits of skin and dust and pollution from the air is trapped in the sebum on your scalp, which I would argue means that you have dirt in your hair, therefore you have dirty hair. Eventually that sebum will oxidize and will be rancid, and that's the smell you can smell when your hair is really oily. (If you've ever sat beside someone who hasn't washed their hair for a while or if you've been unable to wash your hair for a while, you'l know that smell.) I think the definition of dirty hair would be greasy, rancid smelling hair that has trapped bits of skin and air pollution. As you can imagine, I disagree with almost everything written on this particular blog. (Yes, we use detergents to clean our cars and homes, but that doesn't mean detergents are bad. Tsunamis are composed of water, ergo, water must be bad. Faulty logic at best.)

As another aside, if your hair looks dull, this is probably because you're damaging it and the light isn't bouncing off your hair and making it look shiny. The cuticle is covered in a fine layer of covalently bound lipids, which helps mitigate the friction of your hair strands and helps repel water. The lipids include fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, and oleic) and wax esters. These can be degraded by UVA and UVB light, which can lead to fractures in sun damaged hair! The cuticle protects the cortex from damage, but over time the cuticle wears away. The cells can erode, break, lift, and get ragged edges, all of which can leave the cortex unprotected. When this happens - look out! The cortex is laid bare for all sorts physical and mechanical assaults, and this can lead to even more damage even quicker! Even if you treat your hair well, as it grows longer the cuticle will erode from friction from other hair strands and brushing, leading to split ends and gaps in the cuticle! You cannot fix this damage permanently - you can only try to seal the cuticle layer with things like conditioners every time you wash your hair. (Click here for a post on your hair's cuticle!) I think you can see why I'm passionate about this subject - once your cuticle is damaged, you can never fix it! (Click here for a post on damaged hair.)

Example from WikiHow here and from a blog that was the second one I found in a search. Here are some thoughts from people at Metafilter

I know there will be some people who swear by this process and I offer you my kudos for making something like this work, but I am very worried about the damage you might be causing to your hair. If you wish to comment on this post with some information on how it works for you, there's no need to be aggressive about it - let's all be polite and remember that the plural of anecdote isn't data, and that your experiences may be different than other people's experiences! 


Anonymous said...

I actually make bar soap and its the only thing I am able to use on my hair. I can't even use organic liquid shampoo. The soap I formulated is mild and my hair is not damaged at all. In fact everyone always compliments how great my hair looks! It feels great! I have semi regular oily hair. In other words if I don't wash my hair within 2-3 days it would be stinky and oily. My little sisters are the opposite. They can go without washing their hair for 2 weeks and no smell. Could be the difference in our nationalities being we have different moms. I have latin blood they do not. I think I may be more oily and they more prone to dry skin. As far as soap being bad for your hair I think that really depends on the ration of oils and super fatting. As you know two soapers can use the exact same oils and use different ratios of the same oils and come up with a very harsh bar and the other with a very mild bar. I enjoyed the read! Thank you

Anwar Ali Malik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Anwar: I'm sure your chemistry page is very interesting, but what you've done is considered spam and it isn't welcome here. Why not write to me to let me know more about your site and let me choose to link it or not? As of right now, if I see this come up again without a personal email to me, I will consider it spam and delete it immediately.

DuhBe said...

The baking soda works as a water softener so it's a step above washing with plain water (water is a good cleanser all by itself) and the acidic vinegar makes the hair cuticle lie flat which makes the hair shiny and smooth for a while. It's not a real conditioner, but the method is fine for some people - especially if they don't damage their hair with heat and color/perming to begin with.

I tried the baking soda and vinegar and hated it for my hair. The same goes for CP soap, and castille shampoos. I've converted to syndet bars because that worked best for me. (disclosure - I do sell them so I admit my bias towards them)

I think what we should keep in mind is the miracle shampoo for one person is another persons insanely bad hair day. For those sensitive to sulfates or quats - the traditional drug store shampoos and conditioners may fall short. There are better formulas that might be awesome but they tend to be expensive. I think the "no poo" crowd is usually looking for cheaper alternatives, not high dollar brands that might solve all their hair problems. If they find a method that works - then great. But trying to convert everybody over to baking soda, or soap, or a particular shampoo brand is an act of futility. People cling to their beauty rituals as tightly as religios or political beliefs! Different strokes for different folks - makes the world a more fun place to be! :-)

Lise M Andersen said...

Love this post Susan! You're touching on a subject that a lot of people feel passionate about. I still have trouble understanding the 'no poo' concept, and am always curious to hear from those who swear by it - mostly because I just don't get why shampoo has become a no no.

AV said...

I have used both the baking soda and conditioner-only methods of washing my hair, and CP soap, and had very good results with all 3. I think the vinegar rinse (after the baking soda, and after CP soap) helps to bring the pH back to where it should be, to help prevent damage to the hair. I never had issues with hair damage, and my hair was really long when I used the CP soap with vinegar rinse. It was short when I used the baking, soda, though!

My hair was never "dirty" with the baking soda method, either-- no grease, and no rancid smell. It smelled and felt just as clean to me after a baking soda "wash" as it does after washing with shampoo. I did spend a lot of time scrubbing my scalp, though, and I used the baking soda as a paste instead of dissolving it in water. Much of the cleansing may have been mechanical, like when you use a baking soda paste to clean your oven. It doesn't dissolve the grease, but sure scrubs it off well.

The only parts I didn't like were that it was hard to get the baking soda through my hair, and took me longer to wash, and the vinegar smell from the rinse liked to stick with me unless I took a lot of extra rinse time afterwards. (You couldn't smell it when my hair was dry, but if I got caught in the rain or something, it sometimes came back to haunt me.)

Overall, the method worked well for me, but it was inconvenient and that was why I stopped.

Tara said...

I think your preferred washing method has a lot to do with water hardness. There's no way I could get away with washing with anything else other than surfactants because my water is so hard. And then, I think there are other factors that include type of hair and oiliness. My hair snarls easily, therefore I could never get away without using conditioner either. I have tried many methods, including cp soap, baking soda/vinegar and conditioner only. Nope, nope and nope. But just like we all enjoy different types of products, I think everyone can find a method of washing that suits them. Whatever works!

Sara @Osmosis said...

Thanks for answering my question, Swift :)

Sandi said...

Hi Susan,
I'm not sure that baking soda is a good idea for hair because of it's high certainly wouldn't want to use it on colour treated or permed hair! But I have many times used Apple Cider Vinegar (diluted in water) to rinse my hair and my hair is spectacular after.
First - it's a natural chelator which helps remove the hard water buildup on my hair and Second - because of it's low pH it closes the hair cuticle. It works very much like the expensive after colour conditioner that salons use to seal the colour after application. A good quality professional hair conditioner (especially those created for coloured hair) has a lower pH (around 4.5)
Frederic Fekkai - the famous hair stylist created an entire line of hair products containing Apple Cider Vinegar.

Mychelle said...

I have tried the conditioner-only method but my hair just wasn't clean after a few washings (and I'm a professional performer so no 6-week transition period is happening here, as many of the blogs and forums recommend). Baking soda isn't going anywhere near my hair, but I occasionally do an apple cider vinegar rinse and I have to say that it leaves my hair soft and shiny. Once in a while, if I'm between washing days but need happier hair, I just rinse with water and vinegar and my hair is gorgeous. I'm not huge on the smell (though it doesn't smell in dry hair), but it's a nice way to give my hair a break from my mountain of creations and extend the life of my color. I wouldn't do it all the time or in place of shampoo, though, as my thick oily hair is not happy without a proper washing!

Mychelle said...

Adding, my mom used to pour vinegar on my head when I was little, once in awhile, as her mom did to her. The experience takes me back to childhood. We have been using the vinegars to clean ourselves and our environments for a few thousand years. The high ph baking soda I'll skip, thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

Huh? Ok well I went natural 4 years ago I have afro textured hair I am black when I went permed hair to natural hair I could no longer use shampoos with sulfates or surfacatants like that it dried my hair out and we all know that people with very tightly coiled hair need their oil as much as possible because the sebum from the scalp cannot travel down to the bottom, sence I didn't like how the shampoos were stripping my hair of everything that's when I looked into baking soda a little more. I really looked into it because I have low porosity hair which means my hair follicles are so compact that moisture is hard to go in but at the same time its hard to get out! So baking soda is alkaline which those substances raise the cuticle a bit more (of course you dilute it I mix mine with natural conditioner) hydrated hair improves my curl pattern so that is why I use it the apple cider vinegar (diluted of course) closes your cuticle back down so yes baking soda is claryfying but it also raises the hair cuticle which I need bc I was born with low porous hair which is a blessing and a curse. I just wanted to say that bc that's why I do it my hair isn't dirty and it doesn't smell ppl ask what do I use all the time even my friend's hairdresser, but the treatment isn't for everyone I will say that especially if you have highly porous hair which is usually caused by bad chemical processes, I hate sulfate an silicones so I stay away from them at a cheaper price

Storm Crow said...

I'm guilty of having added a little bicarb (by 'little', I mean one metric teaspoon per 100ml of commercial (store bought) conditioner, with another 100ml of water added to that), believing I was washing out any residual gunk from my hair.

I did get the 'squeaky) feeling (my 'it's clean gauge') and yes, I'm also guilty of having rinsed (again, a long time ago) with a very, very diluted apple cider mixture, usually half a metric tablespoon of ACV to one litre of water.

It's an odd thing, because, knowing what I know now, my hair looked shinier to the point where people were asking me if I'd coloured it – to them, it seemed much 'brighter' in colour.

It also seemed to leave my hair very soft, but again, it's an odd thing, particularly if ACV isn't really 'conditioning'.

I do know bicarb softens hard water, which we have a lot of in South Australia, so perhaps that contributed to the softness I experienced in my once very dry, brittle, hair?

I've no idea what ACV was supposed to do anymore, aside from anecdotal comments from people on other blog sites, which I no longer visit (why would I, when this site is all I ever need for all I will ever want to know?).

Thank you for the great education, Susan!

B said...

I recently switched to the baking soda method - basically because shampoos are full of carcinogens and I really don't need to be putting that onto my scalp, or my kids scalp, on a daily basis. There is an adjustment period of a couple weeks or so because your scalp is used to being stripped of natural oils and therefore has gone into overdrive producing more and you can't expect that to stop immediately. I don't think people who use shampoo are crazy, and I don't think people who use baking soda are crazy. It's all a matter of personal opionions and values. Both my straight hair and my kiddos curly hair look and feel fabulous - clean, healthy, shiny, not stinky - using baking soda so for us it works. Not necessarily everyone though :)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi B. I'm a little concerned with you stating that "shampoos are full of carcinogens" as there is no evidence behind your statement. If you've spent any time on this blog, you know we're all about the evidence around here, and something like that really needs to have some serious supporting studies. I'm glad washing with baking soda is working for you!

B said...

Well, ingredients such as tocopheryl acetate and colorings like "FD & C Yellow 6" (which often contains Sudan 1 as a "contaminate") are examples.

Anonymous said...

Also, my process is baking soda wash (1Tb baking soda, 1cup water and 1 drop each organic tea tree essential oil and organic sweet orange essential oil) - no vinegar rinse.

Anonymous said...

I think maybe you should actually try the method before blogging about it otherwise it all just sounds like rambling speculation. Of course if you do a dry method of baking soda you won't get the same benefits of using it diluted in water, which absolutely does clean your hair, baking soda is a cleaner after all. It cleans your hair and scalp really and detoxifies it. Vinegar has disinfecting and anti-fungal properties and it just works to further clarify your hair plus it also lays down the hair shaft giving you nice shiny hair, (I leave it on for 30 min then I rinse and there's no smell when if dries) and follow with conditioner (i use an organic leave-in). The whole process is really simple and no hassle just 1tbs of baking soda to 1cup water and same goes for the vinegar. I'm an African American woman with chemically treated (relaxed) hair and it works just fine for me. I hear there is an adjustment period with this method for some people when using it because your scalp is getting used to it and realizing that it doesn't need to produce as much oil anymore but if you find your hair is too greasy after using it at first you just need to add a little more baking soda, if your hair is too dry just decrease the amount of baking soda. The idea is that your scalp will be more healthy (thats why BS and Vinegar has long been recommended as a treatment for dandruff) and therefore you won't need to wash it as much. I personally didn't have to go through any kind of adjustment period when doing this I think because I had already been using only organic hair products for a while. Anyway I too was very skeptical at first but just give a try and then blog about your experience, I think that would be way more helpful to people reading.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous. I'm not sure if you read the part of the post where I asked people to be civil...there's no need to be rude or aggressive when writing to me. I think there are enough people commenting for a reader to get an idea of how this method works for different hair types, and the point was to start a discussion about using baking soda and vinegar as cleansers and conditioners for our hair. I think it's much more helpful to have different voices sharing their experiences than just mine all the time!

As for trying this method, I have to pass. I am really concerned about the damage this could cause my hair and I'm almost completely sure it won't work for my very oily hair type. This method will not work for everyone, just as using shampoo isn't a choice for everyone. (I see comments from people all the time on this blog and others that they cannot make it work, so I'm not alone in my avoidance of this method.)

I love using baking soda as a dry shampoo and I recognize that it isn't the same as cleansing my hair at all - and that was kinda my point in the post.

As an aside, if you're using something that claims to be a conditioner, there's no way you can call it an "organic leave-in". Anything that is truly a conditioner cannot be considered natural or organic in any way. Unless they're fudging the ingredients or calling something a conditioner that isn't a conditioner at all. And I think the results you're seeing when it comes to conditioning your hair isn't coming from the vinegar but from the leave in you're using afterwards.

As another quick aside, I'm not comfortable with using words like "detoxifies" (what does that even mean?), "treatment for dandruff", and anti-fungal when we're talking about products. These are medical claims and we aren't allowed to use those with regards to our products.

Anonymous said...

You claim baking soda doesn’t clean your hair and causes damage. Baking soda mixed with water would give you two ions, Na+ and HCO3-. This solution is slightly basic, which is why it cleans. Bases saponify oils (like sebum) making them water soluble. Yes, baking soda has a high PH, but that’s why those of us who use it, dilute it. In doing so, you have a very effective cleanser for your hair that removes the dirt, oil and products without completely stripping hair of the natural oils it needs, thus preventing damage. However too much/too little baking soda can cause problems (dull hair). It’s about finding a balance. I’ve been using only baking soda, water and essential oils on my (previously) very oily, long, damage prone hair for about a year. No vinegar (although the point in using it is that it converts any baking soda on the scalp into water, carbon dioxide, and a salt (sodium acetate, to be specific)). Currently, my hair is shiny, no longer oily, and undamaged. This may not work for everyone, but to stress that “I am very worried about the damage you might be causing to your hair” and to write an entire blog about how it can’t work because of some very basic science just looks like poor research.
This misinformation was then followed by a pretty startling comment. Specifically when you responded to B saying “I'm a little concerned with you stating that "shampoos are full of carcinogens" as there is no evidence behind your statement.” For starters, here is a link on DEA which is in many shampoos In fact, this is a lovely website and you can go to for lists of all kinds of carcinogens not just in shampoo, but many other cosmetics as well.
Carcinogens aren’t the only reason to avoid most shampoos. There are other dangerous substances in shampoos that can cause hormone disruption and allergies. Ingredients that are bioaccumulative, are known human immune system toxicants and skin toxicants. The list goes on. The aforementioned website goes into some of that. For more information, go to This wonderful site breaks down products by ingredient and even cites sources. You can read about the problems with the shampoo you blogged about making yourself. You recommend ingredients such as cocamidopropyl betaine (a sensitizer) and Germall Plus (contains ingredients that are known human immune and skin toxicants).
Hopefully I was able to shed some light on how baking soda cleans, and why it doesn’t damage hair. I also hope that you will remember to do some research before you make such a flippant response to someone’s valid comment on your blog. Spreading misinformation doesn’t do anyone any good.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Anonymous. I asked you to be civil and you haven't done that. I do not wish to debate with someone who resorts to name calling and mud slinging. If you wish to resume this conversation in a polite and respectful manner, I'll be pleased to do so.

BLP said...

Obviously, written interactions can be fraught with misunderstandings and miscommunication. I’m not trying to run a smear campaign against you. There was absolutely no name calling or mudslinging. Nothing I said was malicious or unscrupulous. You may have felt defensive of my observations, but it wasn’t an attack. Had I called you names, or said that you were spreading disinformation, I would understand. It seems apparent that when someone tries to refute your claims they are going to be dismissed (as indicated by your reply to B) or branded as aggressive (as indicated by your reply to the anonymous poster who suggested you try the baking soda method before blogging about it (09.24.12). That comment was neither aggressive nor rude, but you made mention that you found it so.) I can’t apologize for the way you feel. All I can say is that I was civil, I did no name calling, and there was no mudslinging.

Emily said...

I couldn't help but notice someone is being a little defensive. I read the comments in this post. I don't find the anonymous is being rude or name calling? ... also this method isn't for everyone, I am new to the method and it is going fine. I agree that if one is to criticize a method in a long post, it is okay for one to suggest that the actually try it first. I don't find that Anon. is being uncivil.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Emily... I didn't see anyone being aggressive, rude or calling any names. As a matter of fact, when I read the response- I had to go back and read what the response was to- because I felt that I had missed a part of the conversation.

Susan- as a blogger, you are putting your opinion out there and you obviously welcome responses and interaction- which are also opinions... Unfortunately, they are not ALL going to agree with your opinion.

I have used baking soda and vinegar for three months and not only does my hair look great- it is thicker than ever, has stopped falling out by the fist-full in each shower and I only have to "wash" it twice a week! I used to shampoo everyday- because my hair was dirty within a few hours!

As for trying this method, you claim "you'll pass". Why even bother writing about it if you haven't tried it and have no intention to?

Ember said...

You asked, "Question: Why are people washing their hair with baking soda and rinsing with vinegar?" Many of us are answering: Because we actually tried it and it works better for us than shampoo and conditioner. Because it's non-toxic. Because it's WAY cheaper. Because it's better for the environment. Because it saves us time. Because our scalps are no longer itchy and dandruff-laden. Perhaps you should read some of the other articles out there on this topic, as well as the excellent comments of peoples experiences, and open your mind to the possibility that this method might actually work, rather than dismissing it because it sounds wrong to you for some reason. You say you like evidence. There's a lot to support that this method works, even on previously heavily oily at the scalp, dry split ended, color-treated, long fine hair like mine. (Now healthier and more manageable than its ever been.)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences. As I've mentioned before, this is an evidence based blog. As such I require solid evidence by reputable groups to support arguments. I would love to see the evidence you have. (You can send it to me by e-mail or post it here. Either way is good.)

For every personal experience you provide me showing that it works, I can provide you with one. (Just look above to see people who like it and others who don't.) Where does that get us? Nowhere! So that's why we turn to tangible evidence instead of anecdotes.

Although opinions are so important and fun, the plural of opinion isn't data, so we can't just say that so-and-so likes it and I like it. We need tangible, tested evidence from peer reviewed sources. I can't wait to see what you can provide!

The EWG, Skin Deep, and Livestrong are NOT reputable sources.

To comment on a few things above...

-Tocopherol acetate is Vitamin E. Was typing that it was a carcinogen what you intended?

-Calling someone's writing "ramblings" and accusing someone of spreading misinformation is being rude and uncivil. Would you like it if I called you that.

-Defending oneself isn't being defensive. I'm a family counsellor. Those two words aren't interchangeable.

- Try mixing baking soda (made into a paste with water) and oil together and see if you make soap.

As of now, I won't be responding to any more comments that are uncivil - for instance, using words like misguided or besmirching me in some way - or opinions that aren't backed up with evidence. I think the topic is exhausted.

Please don't play the "I wasn't rude" thing with me. You know when you're attacking someone. We all know it. There are some good examples of civil discussions above. Why not be nice? It's much more fun!

Anonymous said...

Susan seems like a baby who doesn't like to be proven wrong and doesn't like to read the evidence that was given right to her. You should try soemthing before you even think about writing an article about it trying to say it's wrong.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Read my blog. Read the many many many posts where I admit I'm wrong, change my perspective,, or learn something new and update a post.

I will say this for the last time - your personal experiences aren't evidence. There are a few people in this comment section who found this method doesn't work. Why is your opinion more valid than theirs?
The Skin Deep and EWG sites are not reputable sources.

Notice I didn't put you down, call you names, insult you, or question your integrity. When commenters can behave thusly, I will open the comments again. (You cannot seriously argue that calling me "a baby" isn't uncivil!)

Seriously, what is it about this topic makes rational people behave so awfully? If you caught your child engaging in this type of behaviour, you would be ashamed! Why is it okay for grown women to behave like this? I am baffled...And all because I don't agree with the way you wash your hair. Is it really worry hurting another person's feelings? Do you feel better now that you've insulted me? Did you sit back after writing that post and feel proud of what you'd done?

If you really stand behind what you have written, then post your real name, town, and email address. If you won't, ask yourself why. I put my name on everything. I take pride on what I write and how I behave. Would your mother be proud to see what you've written here?

LaDonna said...

I have only washed my hair with ACV for the past six months. I'm African American and my hair is neither greasy nor dirty.

You claim you have an evidence based blog, but you're only using evidence that supports your claim. If you were running an experiment, then this would be fraud. You're also not even using the most common method (washing hair with diluted baking soda and THEN rinsing with ACV, which you even admit to, and that makes this entire "evidence based" post invalid, especially there is no reaction here). I'm not sure what your last rant was about when people are just trying to figure out why you're being so aggressive against those who baking soda and ACV have worked for. Someone only started called you a baby after you replied rudely to their posts since you're acting childishly. You're not disagreeing with them; you're just dismissing and attacking, which is, by definition, rude.Just because we don't like having our identity all over the internet doesn't mean we're afraid you're going to hunt us down and interrogate us or something. Bringing people's children and mothers into this is completely uncalled for school yard behavior. I found this blog through google and may have become a potential reader, but this is just unacceptable. As a blogger you should have better etiquette and sense when communicating with your readers. I know you'll probably either delete this comment or remove it for not being "civil," but it needed to be said.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I don't delete posts. I think this thread is evidence of that.

You are all right. I am wrong. Your opinions are valid as evidence that this method works. I really don't care any more. Just leave me alone. Are you happy now? A bunch of grown women have bullied me to the point that I don't take pleasure in reading my email or writing my blog. Kudos. I hope you are satisfied with this result.

Please just go away.

Michele Clarke said...

Why are certain posters trying to impose their opinion on Susan to make her change her own? Why can't both parties have a difference of an opinion and leave it at that. Sounds to be that both sides have very strong opinions. I don't think evidence on either side is needed at this point.

This is Susan's blog. You want to enforce the baking soda method then start your own blog and following.

I value Susan's opinion and guidance and not just on beauty care.

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

I have tried this method once and hated it. Alcaline on my scalp is not for me.

Is it possible for a WEAK base to saponify an oil? Isn't this why we make soap with NaOH ,a strong base?

Indeed vinegar can lie down cuticles, like in an instance. But it made my hair look so volume less and funny..

I style it with heat, so I need a proper conditioner.

If You are a raw vegan and see me eat an egg or hear me talking on my porch about the benefits of doing it, don't stop by ro tell me I am a killer as I am denying the life of a tiny chicken and recommend peanut butter to me. I might be allergic to it and if you insisted, well... This is still my home, you can say good bye and talk to another raw vegan friend who is not allergic to peanuts.

People will disagree often. People take pride in their beliefs. Wars start un a blink if an eye.

Is someone takes it personal when Susan says that she does not understand the chemistry of the process, honestly, their issue.

The all natural crowd is, as a majority, very aggressive towards the other half. It's a personal crusade. It's personal. Been there , done that. Now I am in the middle and each time I question a thing that my all natural friends state relugiously I get name calls and hate. It feels like they feel threaten and fear that I might be right and don't want to. Because fighting for the noble cause and the conspiration theory makes you feel important.

Susan, many of us love your blogs. And we know that each time you were proven wrong you admitted it, and we love you for that. Should someone be providing something else than 'swear by!' testimonials, u would love to read as well .

If you, the reader, disagree with the fact that science is required to convince Susan, you are in the wrong place. Belief is for the spiritual path and not chemistry.

Do not blame someone for adopting the method or for not being willing to try it. Remember that toy also would reject someone convincing you to use a gentle pH balanced shampoo.

Sânziene şi Mătrăgună said...

Edit: you and not toy - last paragraph

Anonymous said...

My curly hairdresser is highly rated for my fairly big city, and she recommends occasionally adding a pinch of baking soda to wash.

I wonder if different results might have something to do with your water (excluding people that collect rainwater).

Passes around Fritos and Snickers in the hopes it helps people user nicer tone to a lady that's been helpful to so many for so long!


Organa said...

This technique of passing sodium bicarbonate and then neutralize with vinegar, seems a smoothing technique, now it works is another thing.
I think it works for a particular person does not mean it will work for others.
As for whether certain substances are good or bad depends strictly on how it is used.

Vanessa Saunders said...

Susan, I am sorry that you are experiencing this on your own blog!

I am so grateful to have found your blog and that you have this space on the web - You have helped in my understanding of the science behind bath & body products so much, and I am sure countless others as well.

I guess there will always be contrarians, and those who value emotion over science. I am also curious if B, BLP and Anonymous are the same person using different handles to harass.

I too encourage them to start their own blog and have followers who support their way of doing things instead of trolling.Baking soda and vinegar work for you? Great. Run along now.

Kate said...

Susan, Thank you for your interesting, informed, and inspiring blog. I hope you aren't away for too long because of this behaviour and some people not understanding their personal experience and opinion does not equal scientific evidence. Most of us know that if these people could provide just one piece of actual evidence then you would revise your post accordingly. Please keep up your excellent work, when you are ready to of course. Thank you.

Joe Soap said...

I was so sorry to see some of the comments you have received. You give so generously of your time and energy in helping people, not just on your blog but all the work you do with your craft groups. You are an amazing woman who has inspired me and many others to try new things. Please don't stay away too long, I love to see your new posts, they are always informative, well researched and encouraging. :)

Stacey said...

I too am sorry to see that these people have caused you distress. Your blog is a wealth of information and you've always invited healthy debate. You're knowledgeable and willing to give of yourself so that others may learn. We appreciate and follow you because of it. You inspire experimentation. Thank you for your efforts. We support you.

Open letter to the Bullies: You stated your opinion. You've worked your way through this by being rude and condescending. Unfortunately for you your own behavior has effectively blown any chance of anyone being willing to have an open mind about anything you say. Right, wrong or indifferent...your boorish behavior negates anything you say. It's time for you to move along.

Start your own blog.

Rhapsody said...

Dear Susan,
Thank you so much for your pages. As a newbie to the world of (the bug has well and truly bitten!), I find your blog fascinating and full of really interesting information. Your enthusiasm for the subject is certainly inspiring me to pursue this further.
The posters who have caused you this grief should realise that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we should be able to respect that in others. The fact that we live in countries (I'm in the UK) where we CAN agree to disagree (and not have one rule imposed on us) is something that we should cherish. Please continue with your blog - and it is YOUR blog, not theirs; we would be the poorer for losing you.

Mychelle said...

Wow. Nifty that baking soda makes so many people happy. That doesn't change the chemistry or the alkalinity of the substance. I'm so sorry you are experiencing this Susan. These dogmatic people are trying to force their belief systems on you when you simply presented the compositon of a substance and the theory behind it.

Susan, i apologize that my post came across wrong. I simply meant that I have used vinegar as a rinse once in a while (like after a workout) and it seems to make my hair shiny. That makes sense to me (just intuitively, not scientifically) as we use vinegar a lot in cleaning and acid ph does increase shine. I apologize for sounding rude. :)

Jule said...

Susan, thank you so much for covering this subject. I actually tried the no poo method for 3 months and hated it.
While I did find that after a horrible transition period my hair when clean looked, smelt, and felt clean when it was wet it felt like a greasy mess. My hair did not smell and it did not look bad. BUT - I had to wash my hair more often, I had to use a ton of baking soda in order to get results, and I noticed that my hair was falling out and breaking a lot more than usual. In fact I had to clean my drain every other day instead of about once a month.
I often wondered about the effects on hair and the PH business.
I love your blog because you do not just regurgitate folk lore about products. (Yes vinegar is a disinfectant and anti-fungal but according to scientific research there are better commercial products out there with more disinfectant properties. While I do not make my own products I love your blog for the scientific explanations that you offer as to why things work.

Please keep up the good work, many of us greatly appreciate it and the others should just stop reading your blog and move on.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, Susan, and others. My name is Sara and I felt compelled to comment on this thread for various reasons.
I've now been following this blog for over a month, make that, researching and absorbing every bit of valuable information Susan has taken the time to not only learn, but to organize and share with all of us. I actually happened across this blog while researching for a new product line and never left! I speak of Susan to my family as if she's my best friend...I'm a little obsessed ;-)
Interestingly enough, I hadn't come across this post until today when I saw today's post w/ link. I found out a couple months ago that many of my health issues were from an undiagnosed allergy to coconut. Yep, all things coconut and I've felt SO much better after years of being sick by removing coconut. The problem of course is, it's COCONUT! It's in everything, including most surfactants. Before finding this blog, I had actually found the whole baking soda and vinegar wash. In the past I had tried Wen and many other products, but the only ones I really liked were my salon purchased shampoos and conditions and leave in serums - this was the only time I loved my hair (like most women, I'm not a fan of my hair, however, everyone else seemed to be!) I have long, wavy (depending on humidity and if I feel like straightening)hair. It's extremely thick even though I seem to leave behind a pound of it each day in my brush. Because I couldn't use my coconut shampoos anymore, I began trying this method about a month ago. IT was HORRIBLE. At first, I raved - wow, it's like my hair changed colors and is brighter (I think it was shell shocked from the whole process), however, after the first week it was all down hill. I could go about 4 days in the past w/o washing my hair. However, it became very oily and stinky with this method. It's still recovering. Right now, I've been forced to use a saponified olive and castor oil soap, however I mixed it with babassu oil (saponified) and brought down the pH with citric acid. Again, I'm not doing this for 'no poo' - I could care less if I have poo, just give me back my pretty hair! I'm doing this b/c of an allergy and I really like being itch free and splotch free! This method is working better than the baking soda, however, I miss my shampoos and my hair is still recovering - it's dull, more gray roots (I'm 28 people, I should not be gray!), and lots of dead ends. I can't wait to start formulating my conditioner tomorrow now that I have all the supplies and feel educated enough to create something perfect - that is, perfect for me.
Interestingly enough, I say I don't care about 'poo' meaning the whole no poo hair movement, however, I don't care if others do it and it works - good for them! For many reasons, including my health, I am gluten free, coconut free, and I eat almost completely organic, all natural food - nothing really from a box, except for the occasional gluten free cookie once in awhile since my gluten free baking is terrible and sometimes you just need a sugar fix! However, there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss a slice of pizza or wanna sink my teeth into a cupcake.
The products I'm currently making are as close to 'all natural' as I can get, but you must remember, people, everything is a chemical - even water! All natural most times is a subjective view. I can't use surfactants. (Until I can get my hands on this awesome apple or olive derived surfactant I found, but as of now, I can find no one to sell me it!) I'm stuck using saponified oil soaps right now - liquid as the bars annoy me. I'm creating body washes and shampoos with them with some success, but it will never do what a surfactant can - a surfactant is an easy, cheap, pH balanced (sometimes) way to clean your hair/skin/body/house. They aren't all bad, even though they got a bad name when everyone went crazy over SLS.

Anonymous said...

The point I'm making is, even being on this end of the spectrum and trying to find as many, if not all, organic/ECOCERT products as I can, Susan's research and blog have been so incredibly helpful that I told my husband I wanted to donate money for how much she's helped me and others. I can see how you may have thought Susan was being defensive at first, but you must understand the point of this blog. In fact, the point of any blog, and even social websites like Facebook. Sure, you have a right to an opinion, but that's on your blog/page/facebook. Does Susan run a page where she doesn't want anyone to contradict her? NO! However, she does run a very well organized and researched page where she only states the facts with research to back it up. In fact, when I need to search an ingredient or process this is the first place I go b/c I know I can trust this info. and find what I need. Perhaps you took offense to Susan debunking the baking soda is 'cleaning my hair' idea, but she didn't come to your page and state this! You came to her page, essentially into her home, and decided to go on and on about how it worked for you, but it wasn't a proven fact. If someone told me eating snake eggs cured them of a cold instantly, I'm going to probably laugh, research it, then find a reason why it did or didn't work - with research to back it. However, I'm not going to eat snake eggs - not matter how sick I get. Susan researches everything before discussing a topic - not the research you do - a few google searches - we're talking books upon books, upon internet reputable sites and so on.
When I come to her page, it's for knowledge. I may not agree to use every recipe or ingredient. For example, I'm not a fan of hydrolyzed proteins for many reasons such as a POSSIBILITY they are a form of MSG, however, I can't prove that, so I choose to stay away for now until I do more research, however I don't comment to Susan that she shouldn't use them and they are a health hazzard. In fact, I've never even commented on here before.

Anonymous said...

I felt so strongly to come on here tonight and share this long, rambling post b/c I wanted to explain that Susan defending her research - solid, proven research, doesn't make her a baby. Also, to tell you there are plenty of 'no poo' blogs where you can waste your time talking about how upset you are that the process was contradicted. However, don't come on her page and call her a child when it speaks volumes of her maturity that she even left your post up here for all to see. She has nothing to hide and isn't in the wrong. I see you mentioned EWG and I have been redirected to their site many times recently only to see it's been down for the last month. Most other sites are just restating info. from that site so it seems something that is a 'hazzard' must be terrible b/c 5 other sites agreed. However, you must always seek where this info. is coming from and what referenses they are using.
I think I've said enough, and please excuse any typos since I'm typing from a kindle and don't have the energy to proof read. Susan, please know that you have made such an impact in my life and so many others with the research you've done and shared. You are an amazing woman and this is your blog to share whatever you choose. I can't even imagine the amount of time you've spent on this blog, your research and the outreach programs you take part in. Please don't let something like this stop you b/c then they do win (plus, who will keep me up to date and on my toes with my chemistry lessons!?) I want to thank you for your service, your dedication to research and furthering of knowledge and all you've shared with us. I personally can't wait to try out some of your conditioner recipes this week to try and 'fix' my poor hair after all the damage I did in one month - I can't imagine what months of that treatment would do to my hair. I agree we are all adults here, and we should all act like it. If you have nothing nice to say, just don't say it. Realize you have a right to an opinion and blogs are free and a great way to share all your opinions and thoughts, however, I doubt you, or many others, would have a following like Susan's when it comes to bath and body products b/c she's done her homework. Okay, I've said enough, probably too much! Susan, we love you and beg you to keep doing what you're doing! Take this time to rest and relax! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan! I subscribe to your daily blog and I find what you do wonderful and very enriching! I do NOT know why there are bullies attacking you. It may be the fact that they may not be as great of a person and successful as you so they are envious while hiding behind a computer screen. Continue what you do because there are waaaay more people who are interested in what you do than those who aren't =) So again, if you bullies don't agree with Susan has to say or offer, why are you reading her blog again may I ask? Hum??

mamasan said...

Susan, I hope you won't let this encounter diminish the wonderful information you so willingly share.
People often see things are THEY are, not as YOU are, or IT is. When you're ready, remember there are many who value the knowledge and debate you bring to YOUR blog. Strength!

Anonymous said...

First of all, I hope that you DON'T delete this post. It has a lot of valuable points of view and in this age in misinformation, it is good to have BOTH sides. Susan, you make many good and valid points, but obviously this method does work for some people. I know a lady on another forum who swears by CP soap for her hair; that nothing she has ever tried has helped her hair better than CP soap. Maybe there is no data to back up WHY it works, she only knows that it does. I tried it with my hair, and my hair did exactly as you said it would... rough and lots of breakage.

This discussion reminds me of an episode of Dr Oz. He was discussing the HCG diet. He was like you in that he didn't think it would work, that it wasn't safe. But when he had a whole group of people stand up and say it worked extremely well for them, he qualified it with a statement that maybe the research hasn't caught up with real life experience yet. So maybe that's what's happening here. This method falls under the "different strokes for different folks." Oh, and BTW, the lady that loves CP soap for her hair has hair similar to what I understand yours to be: thick, oily and could have dreads, and she's white. :)

Topcat said...

Hello Susan ~ wow.....

I just wanted to add that I love your blog and you have helped me many times without realising it. I don't agree with everything you post but I don't expect to either (and I also realise that you are probably more often right than I

Please understand that there are many people online who feel overwhelmed by their personal circumstances, that they feel they cannot change, and who crave attention. They are called 'trolls' on most forums I have visited and for good reason. The way to deal with them is to learn to recognise the signs (posting anonymously is the first big one) and then shut them down - no comment, no apology - just do it. By giving them time and energy you are feeding their anti-social behaviour. Stop applying reasoning to their behaviour - they only want to make you feel bad for being different to them.

You are a good person so don't take their comments personally. Big hugs, Tanya xxx

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Interesting blog! For a fact, I know that washing your hair with hard water can cause limescale buildup on hair strands over time (FIY, limescale is the chalky white stuff or build up often found on kettles and showerheads). I suspect that lime scales can buildup between cuticles, causing uneven surfaces and thus flaky & dry looking hair. Since vinegar is often used to descale or remove limescale on kettles. So I am guessing that by washing your hair with vinegar, you are thus "de-scaling" hair cuticles. Additionally, since not everyone have hard water supply, some have soft water, and therefore it doesn't always "work" for everyone.

Anyways, these are just my guesses, I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I understand your problem of logic with this one. I'm an engineer myself. Though I admit to only recalling as much chemistry as is absolutely neccesary for an electrical engineer to know.

All I can speak for is myself a mostly black, some Japanese girl without a relaxer etc. It works! When I washed my hair with shampoos from the dollar stuff to the $20 stuff my hair would get so tangled and not stay clean as long. Whenever I take my braids out, baking soda really helps clean my hair and ergo the tangles. I swim 3x a week and super diluted baking soda 1tsp to about 11oz has really helped over the specified swimming shampoo I used to use.

Sometimes I use vinegar usually the first few days after I henna my hair. My boyfriend who is white swears by it though. He's a mechanic and like alot of whites he washes his hair everyday. He sprays a diluted white vinegar on his hair and beard. His hair is always so shiny and soft, judging from his family tend to have oily hair so I think it just happens to all balance out for them.

though I concur the chemistry never did make much sense to me. But 8 years of doing this about 70% of the time my hair is soft, not too dry, not too oily, and it saves a ton of money so I think I'll keep at it.

thanks for the interesting read.

SS said...

wow! a LOT of discussion about this, most of it useful...the arguments are not worth it folks, hair and skin are as individual as the people they are on...what works for one may not work for another...
so far natural products...ones that are not adulterated have proven to be less there is no argument there...many scientists are turning to natural products to find better healthcare solutions and the jury still loss is a major problem for many and not to be taken try whatever you need to to keep your integument healthy and happy...

Anonymous said...

I tried the no poo, couldn't figure it out and didn't like what it was doing to my hair. Then I started doing my homework. I found a great video on youtube with a aloe vera & coconut milk recipe with almond oil or another beneficial oil. Works great, and is in the proper pH scale of my hair. I don't think it is healthy for the pH of your hair to go through such a rollercoaster, I mean you're only washing it.

Anonymous said...

I have used the poo method and the ACV rinse. I was skeptical in the beginning too but it did work for me. I am a believer in natural products for my body. I never did like all the chemicals in the shampoos and conditioners that you can purchase at the stores. Somehow it makes me cringe every time I wash my hair. I know some people do not want to hear about all these chemical talk that are in our environment and thats ok if you do not mind that. At least you are making an informed decision to use the chemical laden shampoo and conditioner. I like to know what is in the products I use before I use them to my body whether it is food, shampoo, lotion, etc.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Anonymous (and other anonymous posters)! Could you please sign in or sign off with your name next time you post? As per the request on the upper top right hand side of the page, it fosters a sense of community and reduces the mean-ness.

I agree with knowing what is in your products, but the word "chemical" is not synonymous with "toxic" or "bad". Everything you see, eat, drink, breathe, love, and hate is composed of chemicals. Click here for the Chemicals are your friends! post. Any hair care product you might use is composed of chemicals, as is your hair, your skin, and everything everything everything on earth. Natural products contain chemicals because water is a chemical! )I know some people might think this is pedantic, but one of the goals of this blog is to promote chemistry!)

I'm glad you've found something that works well for your hair. Isn't it a lovely feeling? I'm so happy with the new leave in conditioner I made a few weeks ago - my hair is bouncy and curly at the ends and I just love it!

Anonymous said...

I'l;l tell you why I use vinegar. It helps with dandruff. I've used Head&Shoulders, Nizoral, T-Gel etc and these all left my scalp flaky AFTER my hair dried. This was because they tried my scalp. It might have treated dandruff but it made my scalp dry and flaky. When I rinse with vinegar, my scalp feels fine. More importantly my dandruff is significantly decreased! I no longer wake up to a pillow full of dandruff flakes. You have no idea how good it is to finally find a solution to dandruff. The only problem is that it smells a bit. I'm working on that - trying to find a solution that doesn't waste water.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I have asked in this post and on the blog repeatedly that you use your name at some point in the comments, and it's still not happening. I'm going to give everyone who has not put their name on their post in some fashion - log in or "bye, (name") - until April 17th to add their name to their comments in some way or I will be deleting them.

I know some of you will think it's such a small thing that is annoying me, but if it's a small thing, why not do it? It requires no effort on your part and it fosters a better sense of community and reduces mean behaviour.

Future commentors will not be given a chance to revise their comments if they do not include a name - they will be removed immediately. Thank you for doing your part to keep Point of Interest a nice place to visit!

Tolulope Adigun said...

hello there, so I would like to thank you very much for this informative article.
well I use baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair and it's okay for now I guess, but it hasn't done anything awful to my hair because I use conditioner and also shampoo once in a while because honestly, I'm afraid it could hurt me.
but on reading this article not only was I informed but I would like to thank you once more for caring for us.
so the thing I want to ask you is that, if you use it once in a while is it bad?
if you use it with other products because you know it doesn't have the effect as those products do but it's only good in cleansing, is it bad?
I know it's all about the evidence before it is right but my hair is stubborn and one minute it loves something the next minute it wants to compete with a baby's behind.
Please I would really love it if you replied me because I want to be informed about this.
After all, no knowledge is lost.
Thanks once again.

rocky parker said...

hi susan. u rock! i love how your methods are based on solid evidence

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Elizabeth. I did delete your comment because I have decided this year that I have the right to not have to be exposed to insults. I know you'll find something to say about that, but it makes me sad that I put all this work into this blog only to read things disparaging my characterby people who don't know me and generally only show up long enough to say something cruel and leave. You might not think it a big thing, but I stumble upon these things years later, and it gets me down. I'm up for interesting discussions based upon evidence and studies and new opinions, but your comment offered nothing but besmirching my character, and that's not okay on this blog. (If you'd like to review your comment again to see if you added anything new to the discussion, you can see the copy I kept...)

You can do what you like with regards to using baking soda or vinegar. I honestly don't care about this topic any more, and, to be honest, I'm not sure why I've left this post up. I've given up on trying to discuss this matter and I've even stated that the comments are closed quite a few times. This seems to be a discussion in which civility is thrown out the window, and I'm not really sure why.

My last statement on this topic is this - if you want to use baking soda and/or vinegar on your hair, use it. If you don't, don't.

Anonymous said...

I used baking soda to strip my hair of product and now it's dry and falling out. So no thanks to baking soda. 10670

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Benjamin. I was concidering trying baking soda on my scalp because I want to make my own Beuty products that are natural and healthy for my skin and hair and I do suffer with sereporra dermatitis. After reading this blog. I WILL NOT be trying out this method. So thank you for this information it was been very insightful :)
Did someone say coconut is bad? I love coconut :)
And iv also heard beer is good for your hair?
I am a strong beliver in healthy discussions
Thank you for this blog :)
And I do apolagies if my grammer and spelling is not perfect.
Thank you Susan and everyone for the healthy friendly comments.

Nayeli Elyan said...

My hair has been VERY oily in the past. I have very fine oily hair however, Once I got past a two month no-poo (commercial product shampoo) regimen.. the oil distribution has allowed me to go from washing my hair every day (or every other) to once a week!! I started with shampoo bars as I was like you, afraid of baking soda. I will say the natural oils (and from the bars) built up on my hair until I was desperate to remove them with the Baking Soda. It is a great clarifier. Since no poo, I always follow up with the Apple Cider Vinegar whether I used the bars or baking soda. The only thing I have found that works great for me is to put the shampoo bars in hot water (or hot coffee to lower the pH of the bars/baking soda) for 45 seconds to a minute and pour this in a 10oz bottle with 1 Tbsp- 2 Tbsp of baking soda. The oils from the bar condition the hair during the washing and I don't have to deal with tangles or static electricity after. My hair is less oily and requiring fewer washings now just as many who endure this method attest. If I need a dry shampoo.. I will use a solution of Magnesium sulfate/water in a spray bottle (adding a little vinegar to lower the pH).. It doesn't clog your pores as a commercial dry shampoo product or regular cornstarch would and I know when I used regular cornstarch or a dry shampoo aerosol-- my hair reacted the next day with extra oiliness as if I'd washed it!!! Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) are minerals your own scalp produces. It's only Bacteria too that smells-- not sweat so as long as you spritz a product on your hair mid-week to lower scalp pH-- there is no bacteria thriving to contribute to any fungus or hair disease.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Nayeli. I'm glad your regimen is working for you. It's great to find something that works!

I wanted to clarify something - I'm not scared of baking soda. I don't like baking soda and I worry that it will damage hair. I know what an alkaline product can do to one's hair - it can open the cuticle and not have it lay flat again, leading to friction and damage, which is the definition of hair not being in good condition - so I can't endorse it or even think about using it on my hair. If other people want to use it and like it, then that's great for them.

As for hair being clean, it seems like we are using all kinds of strange definitions of clean lately, saying that greasy or sweaty doesn't mean our scalps or hair are unclean. For me, I would define my hair as dirty if it were sweaty or greasy, but that's just my standard, I guess.

Kath said...

I tried the baking soda / vinegar method and ... had mixed results. I have short, fine hair, so one of the reasons I didn't mind trying it was that since my hair's quite short, any damage will be sticking with me for much less time than for most women. But, I also found that it gave me much more volume than I have with normal shampoos. Normally, my hair lays very flat, and if I use products to give it more volume, they tend to flatten throughout the day. I'm wondering if the damage / non-flat hair cuticle was what was giving me the volume? That could be a ridiculous misattribution. If that is the case, any ideas on a way to get that sort of volume without the damage?

vishwa pratap singh rana said...

useful....keep writing like this


How Can I Make My Scalp Less Greasy
Are you suffering from oily scalp? It is very bad to be seemed sticky look. Though you never forget to wash your hair before going out but what if just after few hours your hair looks like you are done with oiling.

Yes! If you are facing such problem then you have oily scalp. If you hair generally thick and yet seem sticky the you must be have oily hairs. This kind of hair type is just irritating because no hairstyle will give you perfect look with such kind of hair type.

Oily hair or scalp is another serious issue. Oily hair can leads so many hair and skin problems. Oily hairs are lays important role in dandruff problems and of course acne problems.

Experts says! Who doesn't prevent oily hairs can rapidly get hair loss problem. even they get hair fall problems from the beginning. So if know for sure about you oily hair or scalp then raise necessary step soon.

jack Cornish said...

about two years ago I washed my hair with about 3 table spoons of baking soda and no apple cider vinegar. Immediately it fried my hair beyond repair, it has been thinning, feels very brittle and weak, finer and very dry. The problem has not gotten better, and I have had probably at least 25 hair cuts since then. My hair is very short but still it has not gotten better, could this one time I used baking soda permanently damaged my hair follicles, cuticles or scalp or something. For some reason it has not gotten better. I have seen derms, trichologists and endocrinologist and they can't figure out what's going on.

Sv said...

Hi Susan, I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to tell you that there are tons of us that are inspired by you because you are real, because you substantiate your claims with FACTS that are easy to check if you wanted to, and because you are not a "sellout" (sorry for the weird language) who promotes "natural" just for the sake of being in the trend, who publishes click-bait articles (or does so based on the sponsorship contracts). I think we, netizens, are missing that kind of honesty and true passion for what one does. You are my hero, in a way. Please keep up the good work for all of us. We <3 you!:)

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Sv, thank you. More than you'll ever know, thank you. I'm having a spectacularly bad day and you just made it absolutely lovely. It's not just that you said nice things about me - although I love that part! - but you get why I'm doing what I'm doing. It makes it days where I'm feeling like chucking it all into a good day. Thank you.