Thanks for this, it was very interesting to read and consider.
The idea of what is "damaging" is going to be subjective in terms of what a person is willing to deal with. So while baking soda may not as damaging as a chemical relaxing (on some people's hair), long term over-swelling of the hair shaft in any capacity can't be good, scalp included. If we are to treat our hair delicately in order to keep it in good condition, and one can achieve an increase in moisture using less taxing methods, why not do so, right? JMO really...
4a/3c, fine strands, low porosity, medium density
Last relaxer: Jan 2010 - BC'd: 2/27/11