December 12, 2012

Back to Co-washing: Baking soda, Apple cider vinegar and Tresemme Naturals Conditioners

Long time readers may remember that I went on a no-shampoo, curly hair fling 3 years ago (click here if you need to refresh your memory). It worked really well and my hair was sporting really pretty waves. I ended up giving it up once I got back to Malaysia as I couldn't find the right silicone-free products and it was too hard to maintain as I was on the go all the time.

I wasn't planning to jump back on the conditioner-cleansing bandwagon but my scalp has been all kinds of funny after coming to Australia. Maybe its the dry weather or the water, but my scalp started itching really badly and it was even worse after washing my hair. My roots suddenly turned oily and I started seeing dandruff flakes on my clothes as well. 

Never had dandruff before in my life. I freaked out.

I tried different shampoo brands. Washed my hair more frequently. Washed less frequently.

It got to the point where I had scabs all over my scalp and was scratching in my sleep. It was really just that bad. I will never join a "Shave your head for Cancer" drive because I have scars all over my head.

Desperate, I tried washing my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

I have written about using baking soda and ACV as a clarifying hair treatment before and it worked really well. It removed all build-up and I was left with gorgeously shiny hair.

Baking soda can be pretty hash so you can imagine how desperate I was to actually use baking soda on a head full of scabs. It did sting but it wasn't as bad as using shampoo. And I swear I heard my scalp give a happy sigh of contentment once I rinsed with ACV.

No itching. Less dandruff. It was the first good night's sleep I had in months. Just to be doubly sure, I tried washing my hair with shampoo and was immediately greeted with a new scab and dandruff outbreak.

I have been using the Tresemme Naturals conditioners for co-washing for the past 3 months and my scalp is really happy. I usually use the Radiant Care conditioner (normal hair) for co-washing and mix baking soda with the Nourishing Moisture version (dry or damaged hair) on days that I think my hair needs extra cleansing. If not, Nourishing Moisture is used as a conditioner.

Tresemme Naturals is not as affordable as the old Pears conditioner I used to use -- AUD 11.95 versus AUD 2 -- but Pears seems to have been discontinued and I can't find any other cheap silicone-free conditioners. Happily, Tresemme goes on sale quite frequently with 2 for AUD10 deals.

My scalp seems happy and my hair has adjusted to the new routine so I am probably going to start looking at ways to enhance my waves and to maintain it (KY Jelly, maybe?) when I go back for Malaysia the Chinese New Year holidays. The humidity! The water! But that's a headache I'll tackle then.


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Kahani said...

Hey Eli, dear goodness you poor girl! Why didn't you go see someone about your poor scalp? Thank god you solved it!

Beauty Box said...

Oh poor thing. Glad you found your sweet spot though. Might I suggest using Dr Bronner's Magic Soap as another option. It's good for oily scalp as it's one of those squeaky clean type soaps, but the beauty of it is that it has oils and surfactants in the ingredients list. Very pared down and non-irritating. I use it as a body soap, a facial wash, and a clarifying shampoo. My skin has never been happier.

Petra said...

Eli, baking soda eliminated the boils on my scalp, hairfall and increased volume. The boils come back immediately after washing with L'oreal's shampoo for damaged hair. Am sticking to baking soda for now. My hair looked pretty thin when I swapped shampoo for soda, and when I restarted shampoo recently, even when the boils came back, the volume didn't reduce - which means my hair grew back while I was off shampoo.