Baking Soda makes my hair smooth?

I've looked through the threads and also did a google search - no one else seems to have commented on this:

When I rinse my hair with baking soda, it feels like silk. It's incredible what it does.

Because I read you're meant to follow that with ACV to "close the cuticle", I do that - but the ACV makes my hair rigid (so clean that it's tangley).

What gives?
Does anyone else feel silky with BS? Can I just use that without anything else?
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/x...air/CG%20Hair/
I think it can be drying so I would watch it. But hey, if it works I say keep at it. There are no rules in this.
All Natural Since July 2009
Avatar Pic: HESMU gel over Tresemme Naturals as leave-in 7/25/10. I hadn't had time to SOTC but it got nice and full later (no pic)
Last Relaxer: February 2008
Type: 4a canopy, 3c mid, 3b nape, semi porous, ii
Current Favorite: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Trying: Castor Oil
Have you tried it and found it to make your hair silky when rinsing it out?

I'm wondering if maybe it's a ph-balance thing and it makes my hair balance, or whatever.

I haven't used it on its own without ACV after.. I may do that next
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/x...air/CG%20Hair/
Well, I've read that you should always do an ACV rinse after you washed your hair with baking soda, because baking soda is alkaline which means it opens the cuticle so that moisture and / or proteine can enter the hair shaft. After that you need to balance the ph of your hair by doing an ACV rinse, since vinegar is acid and thus closes the cuticle. Without that your hair would lose all the moisture you've added before.

My hair does not feel silky at all after washing it with baking soda. Quite the contrary, it feels pretty rough, since the cuticle is open. It only feels silky because of the ACV rinse afterwards, since the cuticle is closed.

I wouldn't suggest doing a bs wash without the ACV rinse, cause you leave the hair open and vulnerable. You should achieve the same results with warm and cold water, meaning you should wash your hair with really warm water (shampoo or co-wash, whatever you do), then rinse with really cold water. This has the same effect as bs and ACV, just not as aggressive on the hair.
*2c*
*low porosity*
*coarse texture*

Low Poo / Condish: AO HR shampoo and condish
Stylers: KCKT, KCCC, AO B5, AO Sea Buckthorn,
coconut oil, aloe vera

Last edited by sonea; 09-05-2010 at 04:52 AM. Reason: word
But that's my point - everyone else reports rough after baking soda, smooth after ACV. I'm the opposite, which makes me think that something is off about the balance of my hair.
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/x...air/CG%20Hair/
You may need less ACV. Try cutting the amount in half.
If that's still too much, dilute it even more.

I use 1T to 4 cups water.
I know that you can use a pinch of baking soda in cooking beans to make hard water act more like soft water. So maybe it is because your water is hard and the baking soda is adjusting it somehow?

I'd still be very cautious...because alkalinizing your hair all the time will eat at it. Also if you do have hard water, the Daily Fix Cleansing Conditioner rocks.
2c / C / iii (FIA)
Med-Coarse, LowPorosity, NormalElast (LCLF)

Shoulder-Length now.

Wash: DevaCare Low Poo
Detangle & Rinseout: Walgreens or Sally's Conditioning Balm (always)
Leave-in: DevaCare OneC (budget choice is GFTN)
Style: ReCoil & DevaCare Arc Angel (budget choices are HESMU or Got2BSpikedUp)

Henna!
You probably have low porosity hair. Here is some additional information on ACV from the Natural Haven (chemist hair blogger):

Final additional question from me - Can an ACV rinse close my cuticles to stop porosity?

I have to admit I am guilty of thinking of the hair cuticle in this way. However, after setting up this blog and doing the research I have to come to the conclusion that the hair cuticle just doesn't behave like this. It cannot just be opened and closed in a simple way.
I have not found research specific to ACV, but certainly to acid conditions. ACV is a weak-ish acid and has a pH of about 3 (mine from my cupboard). Research shows that water absorption and surface roughness of hair appears to be quite similar at pH3 (acid) and pH7 (water). It actually only appears to change at high pH values (like for example relaxers at pH9/10). (J Invest Dermatol, pg 96-99, 1995 and Scanning, pg 431-437,1997).
If the cuticle was 'closed' at low pH, then water absorption should be lower and the surface roughness should change substantially. These two factors do not change, therefore the cuticle has not undergone a dramatic change. I therefore would think that an ACV rinse would not be able to drammatically change hair porosity.


I personally like baking soda on my low porosity hair, but I am sure to follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner, then seal with oil.
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
YouTube

Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
You probably have low porosity hair. Here is some additional information on ACV from the Natural Haven (chemist hair blogger):

Final additional question from me - Can an ACV rinse close my cuticles to stop porosity?

I have to admit I am guilty of thinking of the hair cuticle in this way. However, after setting up this blog and doing the research I have to come to the conclusion that the hair cuticle just doesn't behave like this. It cannot just be opened and closed in a simple way.
I have not found research specific to ACV, but certainly to acid conditions. ACV is a weak-ish acid and has a pH of about 3 (mine from my cupboard). Research shows that water absorption and surface roughness of hair appears to be quite similar at pH3 (acid) and pH7 (water). It actually only appears to change at high pH values (like for example relaxers at pH9/10). (J Invest Dermatol, pg 96-99, 1995 and Scanning, pg 431-437,1997).
If the cuticle was 'closed' at low pH, then water absorption should be lower and the surface roughness should change substantially. These two factors do not change, therefore the cuticle has not undergone a dramatic change. I therefore would think that an ACV rinse would not be able to drammatically change hair porosity.


I personally like baking soda on my low porosity hair, but I am sure to follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner, then seal with oil.
Originally Posted by ellepixie
Hmm, I'm not sure I understood all the PH business. I have high/med porosity hair - or at least, I thought I did. It soaks products easily and takes ages to dry. I don't get 'beads' of water and it's not hard to get it wet.

I'm just wondering if I can bakingsoda and then condish - without ACV. Since no research has actually proven that ACV closes the cuticle, and it makes my hair really rough - i'm thinking it's OK. But because BakingSoda opens the cuticle, I'm worried - why does my hair feel the nicest when it has the cuticle open?

Weird, right? No one else seems to have smooth hair with Baking Soda..trust me to be the oddball.
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/x...air/CG%20Hair/
I did it that way 3 times in 2 months - baking soda and then conditioner ... without ACV ...

So yeah, I got the most incredible smooth hair only with baking soda and it cleaned my curls like nothing before. They have never been bouncier and shinier!

Go for it!
You probably have low porosity hair. Here is some additional information on ACV from the Natural Haven (chemist hair blogger):

Final additional question from me - Can an ACV rinse close my cuticles to stop porosity?

I have to admit I am guilty of thinking of the hair cuticle in this way. However, after setting up this blog and doing the research I have to come to the conclusion that the hair cuticle just doesn't behave like this. It cannot just be opened and closed in a simple way.
I have not found research specific to ACV, but certainly to acid conditions. ACV is a weak-ish acid and has a pH of about 3 (mine from my cupboard). Research shows that water absorption and surface roughness of hair appears to be quite similar at pH3 (acid) and pH7 (water). It actually only appears to change at high pH values (like for example relaxers at pH9/10). (J Invest Dermatol, pg 96-99, 1995 and Scanning, pg 431-437,1997).
If the cuticle was 'closed' at low pH, then water absorption should be lower and the surface roughness should change substantially. These two factors do not change, therefore the cuticle has not undergone a dramatic change. I therefore would think that an ACV rinse would not be able to drammatically change hair porosity.


I personally like baking soda on my low porosity hair, but I am sure to follow up with a good moisturizing conditioner, then seal with oil.
Originally Posted by ellepixie
Hmm, I'm not sure I understood all the PH business. I have high/med porosity hair - or at least, I thought I did. It soaks products easily and takes ages to dry. I don't get 'beads' of water and it's not hard to get it wet.

I'm just wondering if I can bakingsoda and then condish - without ACV. Since no research has actually proven that ACV closes the cuticle, and it makes my hair really rough - i'm thinking it's OK. But because BakingSoda opens the cuticle, I'm worried - why does my hair feel the nicest when it has the cuticle open?

Weird, right? No one else seems to have smooth hair with Baking Soda..trust me to be the oddball.
Originally Posted by LongDarkWavyHair
LoL apologies, didn't mean to get all chemical. Long story short, yep, I think you can do it. I do it and I love it!
BC'ed: 26 Dec 09
YouTube

Grand Duchess Fierce Freckles, Mistress of the Mighty Snap and Doyenne of the Potent Products Pavane in the Order of the Curly Crusaders
Thanks Inka and Ellepixie, I'mma do it!

I was holding off until someone confirmed whether it would hurt my hair more than help, but I guess going by feeling, it made my hair feel softer than anything I've ever put on it before, and since both of you have done it sans ACV, I'm going in!
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/x...air/CG%20Hair/
Oh I just must reply because I have been scolded for saying the same -- baking soda rinse makes my hair DIVINE! "No, no, no, you must then follow up with a vinegar rinse to re-acidify the hair and close the cuticle" I have been told. Oh yeah?
Okay, baking soda is basic -- do you know how bleach feels on your hands? Slippery, slimy. So do most "bases" or things with a high pH like lye (sodium hydroxide). They are good at dissolving certain things because they oxidize. (Hair is one of them). Vinegar is an acid, diluted vinegar (1-2 tablespoons in a cup of water) is close to the pH of the thin layer on top of your skin. Your skin itself doesn't have its own pH. Only liquids have measurable pH value.

Bear with me. Dry hair does not have a pH value.
I don't think that, in healthy, undamaged hair which is not especially porous or coarse, using a reasonably diluted rinse of vinegar or baking soda makes a difference to the hair's cuticle.
Here is my normal-low porosity hair, from left to right: in plain water, in straight (not diluted!) vinegar, in a baking soda solution of pH 7, and then pH 8. That last baking soda one was equivalent to about 1 tablespoon baking soda in about half a cup of water. I saw no change in the cuticle visible in the photos, and also on the edges of the hair which I did not post photos of; I did leave the hair in the solution about as long as it would stay on my hair. The addition of heat (hot water) may open the cuticle some, but these solutions alone made no change.
If baking soda does wonders for your hair and doesn't ultimately dry it out, go for it. It works well in washing laundry and scouring sinks and bathtubs too.
Vinegar rinses sometimes leave my hair feeling wonderful, and sometimes like straw. They're good for removing oils and soap residue. Trust your own results.
Attached Thumbnails
Baking Soda makes my hair smooth?-plain.jpg   Baking Soda makes my hair smooth?-vinegar.jpg   Baking Soda makes my hair smooth?-bakingsoda_7.jpg   Baking Soda makes my hair smooth?-bakingsoda_8.jpg  
http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/

Last edited by IAgirl; 09-06-2010 at 01:06 PM. Reason: typo
IAGirl - I love your scienceyself!

Now how do I take pictures of my hair like that? Do you have a microscope in your house?

I want to look at my cuticle!
2c/3a. Fine-Medium, Med-High Porosity. NO elasticity.

Mainly CG (co-wash daily; no poo, no cones)
Current products:
Co-wash: Desert Essences Organics (lemon for clarifying)
Condish: Desert Essences Organics (coconut for moisture)
Hair Gel: KissMyFace, HFSG

Occasionals:
Coconut Oil
Baking Soda/ACV
Trying:
Gelatin/ACV Protein Treatment
Biotene H-24 Condish
VO5 Hot Oil

Hair Pics: http://s754.photobucket.com/albums/x...air/CG%20Hair/
Okay, baking soda is basic -- do you know how bleach feels on your hands? Slippery, slimy. So do must "bases" or things with a high pH like lye (sodium hydroxide).

I always thought that bleach made your hands smooth because it ate off the top layer of your skin!
All Natural Since July 2009
Avatar Pic: HESMU gel over Tresemme Naturals as leave-in 7/25/10. I hadn't had time to SOTC but it got nice and full later (no pic)
Last Relaxer: February 2008
Type: 4a canopy, 3c mid, 3b nape, semi porous, ii
Current Favorite: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Trying: Castor Oil

I always thought that bleach made your hands smooth because it ate off the top layer of your skin!
Originally Posted by Torimom
LOL. It does do that!

I'm an ecologist, but I work for myself so I can use my microscope for soils, plants... or hair! I have loved microscopes since I was a kid.
http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/

Last edited by IAgirl; 09-06-2010 at 01:04 PM.
Cool experiment! Just goes to show that what works for some, may not work for others. Reminds me of the whole soap/shampoo bar discussions - for some soap is wonderful, for others not. And soap has a higher ph like baking soda. Hmm, you might want to try a natural soap bar and see how your hair reacts...
2C wavy with some spirals. CG since April 07. Medium texture and porosity.
COs: Yes to Cucumbers
Stylers: Krystal Ecostyler, KCCC,


Unique and Useful gifts & accessories
www.EweniqueEssentials.artfire.com and www.EweniqueEssentials.etsy.com
I have never heard of this but I'm totally trying it! I guess what's good for teeth is also good for hair?
Why oh why won't my curls behave?
Wow, ok now I'm disillusioned. I really thought this would make a difference, but the photos are pretty definite.

I may have to rethink my washing strategy. If baking soda doesn't open the cuticle, then what does? I thought this was crucial to get moisture to enter the hair shaft, but if bs doesn't do the trick, I doubt anything else does. Or maybe it's not about pH at all and the temperature is what's important, meaning hot water will open the cuticle and cold water will close it.

Thanks for the info, IAgirl. It's really interesting.
*2c*
*low porosity*
*coarse texture*

Low Poo / Condish: AO HR shampoo and condish
Stylers: KCKT, KCCC, AO B5, AO Sea Buckthorn,
coconut oil, aloe vera
Heat is supposed to open the cuticle in skin and hair. That's why you're not supposed to wash dry skin (or hair) in hot water -- or delicate fabrics like wool for that matter. If you want to help a treatment penetrate, heat works better. And then the cold-water rinse that is so much fun in winter for shine (it really works!)
Hmm, I'll have to try looking at that too.
Baking soda is not a very strong base. That has less to do with pH than it does with the ability of the base to oxidize things. If you made a solution of bleach with the same pH as baking soda solution, it would still discolor your favorite shirt if you spilled on it. Baking soda would not.
I think the beauty of the baking soda rinse comes from its ability to remove positively charged particles from hair. Most conditioners and detanglers have positive charges to help them stick to hair, this helps in combing, controls static/flyaways, and adds shine. The baking soda is like a water softener -- it provides negative charges to attract the conditioners and products, and then washes them away.

I think baking soda is good to use on occasion to clean well and remove build-up without doing too much damage, even if it doesn't do what we all though it did. So long as it doesn't irritate the skin of the scalp, neck, and shoulders.
http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/

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