I dreaded the idea of using baking soda.
I started entertaining the idea of a shampoo bar, like the one on Frugally Sustainable. I am not quite ready to make it, though. Then, I found a soap that just might be what I was looking for. I thought I would give it a chance.
African Black Soap is made with coconut oil and/or palm oil, Shea butter, oats, aloe leaf juice, plantain extract, vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, and essential oils. It has a reputation for fighting acne, detoxifying and healing skin conditions. I also read that it works miracles on curly hair… let’s see!
Although I was going to buy a bar from Butters-N-Bars.com, but decided to order the Nubian-Heritage bar from Vitacost since I was making an order anyway. I even read all the reviews; most of them mentioned how soft their skin was and a couple did say that they used it on their hair. I’ll take that as a good sign.
I decided that taking out shampoo chemicals should coincide with taking out conditioner too. I took a small spray bottle and filled it with ½ Apple Cider Vinegar and a couple drops of lavender oil. After washing I sprayed my hair with the ACV and left it in while I dried before I wrapped my hair in the towel and let it sit a little longer before combing it out.
Wash #1 – So glad the vinegar smell goes away fast. My hair feels dry but combed out easily enough.
My skin feels awesomely soft from the lather!
Day 2: The next day the hair in the back of my head, close to my scalp was really oily.
Wash #2 – Soap seemed to lather more in my hair than before. Still felt dry when I combed it.
Day 3: The next day I could tell there was some improvement. It wasn't as oily, but still feels a little thick and sticky.
Day 4: (usually wash my hair every other day) I woke up with a head of nappy hair. There is no other word for it. It was nasty and sticky dread-lock like; though it didn't look bad when brushed out. And was not frizzy either, like it normally would be if I brushed my hair when dry.
Wash #3 — I was thinking that the stickiness of my hair could be because I have not been rinsing the vinegar out. So this time I let it sit, combed through it with a wide-tooth comb and then rinsed before getting out of the shower. It seems less sticky. We shall see.
Day 5: Every day seems to get a little easier. My hair is still stiff/sticky (which really is a bummer!). BUT the hair by my scalp is soft and easier to run my fingers through. So that makes me think that I need to stick it out until my hair grows out.
Day 6: Wash #4 – This time I used barely any vinegar and caved in a little by using some stay-in conditioner spray. I don’t really think it helped though. I might go back to the chemically-rick Suave if my hair doesn't improve soon!
Day 7: Blah.
Wash #5 – I think and hope that my hair is getting better. I would hate to quit and go back to Suave.
Day 8: I went through the whole day with my hair up again.
Wash #6 – My hair felt a little oily at the roots. Funny how light and normal my hair feels when it’s wet…
Day 9: Wash #7 – I know I shouldn't wash my hair 2 days in a row. But I have a meeting tomorrow and I can’t look like this! So I decided to switch it up (couldn't look worse than it does…) I used Baking Soda mixed with water in a squirt bottle first. Then added a little bit of the African Black Soap before rinsing. This made my hair dry! But the ACV made it easy to comb through. Wow! I can feel a difference, but since it was still a little dry so I put a little coconut oil on my fingers to comb through my hair when I got out of the shower.
Day 10: I might just stick to last night’s routine! My hair feels much better today and looks better too. Not perfect, mind, but getting there and I feel encouraged.
Day 11: Wash #8 – I did the same thing, minus the coconut oil. Next time I buy the Black Soap, I will buy the kind without the oatmeal, which feels great on my skin but my hair tends to stick to it.
|Wet hair. It does dry much faster!|
Day 12: My hair is less dreadlock-thick feeling. Still a little sticky but getting better
Day 13: Wash #9 – After letting my hair down it feels dry on the end and oily by my head before I washed. Same wash as #8.
Day 14: At least my hair looks a little better than it did a week ago. But I am still unsatisfied. I hope this continues to get better or I might have to start testing more methods. Blah.
Day 15: I woke up looking like I was balancing a nest on my head. This seems to be the norm lately. I had to comb my hair which made it look like a frizz ball (typically I can only comb it when it is wet so the curls stay intact). Luckily it looks great when it is up and hidden from site.
Wash #10 - Baking Soda. Soap. Vinegar.
I am going to stop there and post an update again in a month or so since I don’t have much else to report in the encouraging department. I am just hoping that this whole icky hair business goes away and I get my silky feeling back (without resorting back to the chemical stuff). We shall see.