Hair: Back to basics (plus other uses of apple cider vinegar)

I’ve mentioned that back February, I started on following a baking soda wash + apple cider vinegar rinse regimen. I had wanted to write something for the first month (around March 5), but I was preoccupied so! Have something a tad more belated, as I hit the 7-week mark.

At this point, I have learned that this is all about being sensitive to what feels good for your hair. I felt that it was a good decisions to start off with a “watered down” version of the ratios. Now, I stick to the recommended 1:3 ratio, and just adjust the quantities I use. So — here are some questions that I have come to answer during the course of these seven weeks:

▶ How often should I wash my hair?

I realize that, with the hot and humid weather, I must wash my hair daily. What I adjust, however, is the quantity of wash and rinse formulas, determined by the following questions I ask myself:

◉ Did I just workout or engage in a physically demanding activity?
◉ Did I decide to stay home for a day and not wash my hair?
◉ Did I go out and was exposed to the Philippines’ notorious pollution?
◉ Did I just coat my hair in olive oil and went for a swim?

If the answer is YES, I use a half more of my usual measurement (which I’ll be tackling in a bit!) Otherwise, I stick to the usual, if not a bit less my usual amount when I just went to work.

▶ What is this “usual” amount?

I have experimented on what ways I should measure and prepare my washes. I realized that it’s better for me to prepare the baking soda “fresh”, while I can prepare the apple cider vinegar rinse in a bigger container beforehand (and I add the essential oil when I refill my smaller bottles).

For the ACV rinse, I use cups: 1/4 acv, 3/4 clean water. For the baking soda, I use a Chinese soup spoon. My measure for a usual amount is just one, even scoop of baking soda. “Medium” is heaping, and double is two level scoops. I then adjust the water accordingly.

▶ What are the containers you use?

Again, experimenting. For the baking soda, I use an old jar at home (that happens to be squat and wide), and an old plastic jar used for face cream when I’m off to the gym or sleeping over elsewhere.

I had a bit of a hit-or-miss experience with the acv rinse. I started with a tall jar, but that just lead me to using too much (leading to too moist/greasy hair). My second candidate was an old pump bottle. While it allowed me to control the amount, it wasn’t easy to hold and apply.

I was about to settle for an old bottle of red wine vinegar which had a good nozzle. However, it spelled a hazard for me as it slipped off the rack and broke in the shower stall 😡 Lesson learned: do not use anything that can potentially cause injury in the shower. I was fortunate to not have gotten hurt in the process.

Soon, I found a condiment squeeze bottle — like those ones you put ketchup and mayonnaise in. It’s not fit for transportation, but at least (1) it’s not dangerous and (2) it allows for even application.

For the gym, I just purchased travel bottles, and the size I got allows me three rinses.

▶ What are your favorite essential oils?

I found out later that some of the oils I have been using weren’t essential ones. I had been aromatic ones which are premixed with water and alcohol and they offer no benefit for hair care. Their perfume are also eventually overpowered by the acv.

Thankfully, I found an accessible source of essential oils. I now have:

◉ Lavender
◉ Peppermint
◉ Pink grapefruit
◉ White tea
◉ Sweet pea
◉ Tea tree

The last one is not really for my hair 😉 Again, I’ll get to that in a bit!

▶ That’s it?

Nope! I found that on days in which I just feel that my hair’s especially dry, applying some olive oil 20~30 minutes before washing helps balance moisture again.

I also found that a tiny bit of virgin coconut oil finishes the treatment and adds control to hair.

▶ So how’s it going so far?

My hair’s actually more manageable, and more healthy-looking. Alas, I can’t do much for the hair that has been damaged by coloring, but the layers I’ve cut them into helps a lot, and I apply just a drop more virgin coconut oil to them after blow drying.

I’m currently enjoying wearing my hair down again, walking down the street on a windy day no longer fazes me, and I enjoy it most while dancing. Having that “freedom” about your head is something! I can also wear my hair down at work without worrying that my hair will be a mess.

▶ So you were saying something about tea tree oil…?

I have taken to using it as a facial toner and as a facial cleanser. I had been struggling to find toners that doesn’t have to be part of a ~whitening~ set, or one that’s not excessively expensive.

I have oily skin, and so one of the other articles I’ve read (the link of which I didn’t bookmark oops 😡 ) suggested lavender or peppermint essential oils to get rid of the strong acv scent, but another suggested tea tree oil to help with the oil control.

Right now, I have the acv + water + drops of tea tree oil as toner, and acv + water + drops of pink grapefruit oil as wash. I only use this regimen in the morning to prepare my face for makeup.

So far, it has been very effective. I don’t need to dab at my face with tissues or oil blotting paper and reapply powder as often.

I’m just really glad for these natural alternatives, because not only I’m enjoying their healthy benefits, but it benefits my wallet as well. I don’t have to go to the salon for treatments that are only good for a day or two, I don’t have to spend on “good” face products just to get the results I want. All I need is a bottle of acv, baking soda, and some essential oils, and I’m covered for the year!

You have no idea how GOOD it feels to not have to go through the shampoo and conditioner aisle of stores~ ;3

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About Cielo

I am a paper-pusher by day, a log by night, an aspiring singer-dancer and a wannabe artist in-between. I am also a Professional Space Cadet.
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