In May I posted about the beginning of my shampoo and conditioner alternatives journey. Since then I have to make more changes to the quantities I have been using.
I had opted to use bicarb and cider vinegar to wash and condition my hair, following a outbreak of Urticaria. I had started with a tbs of each in a pint of water, before finding that that made my hair too dry. So I switched to using a paste of bicarb and a little water applied to dry hair, rubbed in and washed out to wash my hair and the same quantity of vinegar to water that I had before, as a conditioner. After using this method for six weeks or so I found that my hair was getting very greasy. I thought it was because I was using too much bicarb, so I reduced the amount and made a more watery paste and continued with the same mix for the conditioner. No change. I knew that the mix I was using was stripping my hair of its natural oils and my hair was then overproducing to compensate, what I did not know is what was doing the stripping.
I tried not washing my hair for two weeks, my hair is long enough to be tied back or up. It didn't get any greasier in that time, but it did start to hurt from being pulled into a different position all the time. I needed to do more research. I discovered that if you are experiencing greasiness using bicarb and vinegar you need to reduce the vinegar. Why was that not obvious to me, as an acid it was bound to strip natural oils!
So I am now still experimenting with exact quantities. I am using more bicarb and water mix to shampoo and a lot less vinegar and water to condition. I have found that the amount of vinegar is critical as too little and my hair is heavy and lank. I can feel it is the right amount now. Just need to work out the optimum quantities for the bicarb.
I live in an area with very soft water. If I go to my mum's house the water there is very hard and the mix does not work. The bicarb will not dissolve in the water due to the minerals already present. I have read that it will work if you boil the water first, some have even suggested using this boiled water to rinse your hair was well as mixing to make shampoo and conditioner.
I do not have the option of returning to using shop bought hair products as I do not want to risk the urticaria returning. It has been a slow journey to find what works for me but I am sure I will get there in the end, I hope!