Now we rewind a bit. One of my school friends actually started doing this last year, and I definitely turned up my nose at it. Really? Vinegar? I've always had difficult hair: oily, tangle-prone, frizz-prone. And it's curly, which means the wrong shampoo leaves me with residue weighing my hair down and making it not-so-fabulous. And, once I started dyeing it, I went straight for the color protection stuff because of course I picked the color with the highest fade.
On a more ideological level, I've never really been one for "hippie" stuff. You only really have to look at the amount of Mountain Dew I drink to know how I feel about putting chemicals in my body! But I've gotten really into DIY and the kind of offbeat domesticity that's going around the blogosphere these days, and, well, I'm cheap. If I could take the $14 I spend on shampoo/conditioner and buy lipstick instead? I would be a very happy camper. So when my (now ex, sob!) roommate Claire decided to take the leap, I leapt right after her!
It's definitely a process. I'm still experimenting with the right amount of baking soda, and being at home changed everything up -- the water here is very hard (we have a well), and has always made my hair coarser. I mix a few tablespoons of baking soda into a glass of water, and a tablespoon or two of vinegar into another glass. And I resist the temptation to pour them on at the same time and make a volcano on my head.
The vinegar has almost completely detangled my hair. What used to be a fight is now just a few strokes of the comb. When I have the right ratio of baking soda to water to hair, my hair is completely residue-free and curls up into fat ringlets that I totally love. And, my major concern: my hair does not smell like vinegar. I'm not sure if I'm on the baking soda and vinegar train for good, but so far, I'm happy (and thrifty!)
Baking soda, by the way, is apparently the superhero of the world. I had no idea! But I googled it when Claire and I were trying to figure out the reasoning behind this method, and you can use baking soda for...everything, basically. It's obviously used in baking, but also as a meat tenderizer, to lower acidity in sauces, to clean pretty much anything in the household, to deodorize to soothe sunburn and poison ivy, to put out grease fires, to keep ants away, to brush your teeth, or to balance the pH of your pool! (Source!) That's a lot of work for something so inexpensive!
What do you use baking soda for? Just cookies, or for something cool? Share your best tips in the comments!