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Blackfire
July 10th, 2013, 06:48 PM
Long story short: Its hot in MO... Real hot. I work in a building with no air, and all I have at home is a window unit, and that's not in the bedroom so I'm ALWAYS sweaty. :( Okay, add the fact that Ive been a water only, once a week washer almost all winter... AAAAND It equals the STANK. My hair smells like the dirtiest old attic full of dusty cobwebs and old newspaper and add some sweaty scalp in there and you got it. Ugh. Ive been using dr bronners and sometimes baking soda, moved up to washing two to three times a week... but still.... the stank comes back in a day. Any ideas? Anyone else going through the same thing this summer? SHOULD I SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION?

ravenreed
July 10th, 2013, 06:57 PM
I wash my hair every day in the worst heat of the summer. Not only is my hair sweaty-grossness and needs the extra cleaning, but it helps me cool off.

tigerlily.
July 10th, 2013, 07:04 PM
Maybe try rinsing your scalp with just water between wash days? This might help rinse out any sweat. It's been so hot in London recently I've gone from washing every 3 days to every day.

Firefox7275
July 10th, 2013, 07:30 PM
I'm normally the one advocating a diagnosis sooner rather than later but not in this case. Honestly it sounds to me like you have created the ideal environmental for weak opportunistic bacteria to grow - warmth, food (sebum only), water (sweat) and destroying your skin's natural protective mechanisms by using harsh alkaline cleansers (soap, baking soda). It's a myth that baking soda and soap are 'natural' and therefore healthy, they are damaging to both skin and hair. Back in the stone age humans were cleansing themselves with natural extracts like soap wort and soap nuts which are acidic.

I think you should start cleansing your scalp thoroughly and regularly with a super gentle sulphate free shampoo at an acidic pH of 4.5 to 5.5 that will allow the protective acid mantle and beneficial skin flora to recover. Throw the baking soda and Dr Bronners in the trash! Also review your diet making it as anti inflammatory and nutrient dense as possible. If that doesn't make a difference within a month see your family doctor.

Foxylocks
July 10th, 2013, 07:39 PM
Hmmm...Instead of using Dr.Bronners try a very fragrant soap. It may leave a lasting odor and help to mask the stank. One very fragrant natural brand is Pacifica, or you can try Nubian Heritage. They smell lovely! ;)

ravenreed
July 10th, 2013, 07:44 PM
Dr. Bronners is one of the few soaps I can use without upsetting my ridiculously sensitive skin. I also occasionally use Dr. Bronners as a scalp wash without issue. I then cleanse my hair with my conditioner like normal. However, I always follow with an ACV rinse.




I'm normally the one advocating a diagnosis sooner rather than later but not in this case. Honestly it sounds to me like you have created the ideal environmental for weak opportunistic bacteria to grow - warmth, food (sebum only), water (sweat) and destroying your skin's natural protective mechanisms by using harsh alkaline cleansers (soap, baking soda). It's a myth that baking soda and soap are 'natural' and therefore healthy, they are damaging to both skin and hair. Back in the stone age humans were cleansing themselves with natural extracts like soap wort and soap nuts which are acidic.

I think you should start cleansing your scalp thoroughly and regularly with a super gentle sulphate free shampoo at an acidic pH of 4.5 to 5.5 that will allow the protective acid mantle and beneficial skin flora to recover. Throw the baking soda and Dr Bronners in the trash! Also review your diet making it as anti inflammatory and nutrient dense as possible. If that doesn't make a difference within a month see your family doctor.

Kelikea
July 10th, 2013, 07:52 PM
Try a vinegar rinse and then maybe rub a few drops of tea tree and lavender oil into your scalp. Baking soda mixed with a fragrant oil, like sweet almond, and a bit of tea tree oil works on the under-arm odor.

Firefox7275
July 10th, 2013, 07:55 PM
Dr. Bronners is one of the few soaps I can use without upsetting my ridiculously sensitive skin. I also occasionally use Dr. Bronners as a scalp wash without issue. I then cleanse my hair with my conditioner like normal. However, I always follow with an ACV rinse.

But you are not the OP who is reporting symptoms?

You can't see what is going on at the microscopic level and not all irritation and inflammation is visible, vinegar rinses only reset the pH they do not rehydrate the skin, replace the acid mantle nor the beneficial skin flora. Alkaline cleansers are known to be damaging as are sulphate surfactants, they may not damage every skin enough to produce symptoms but they will damage enough to produce signs if the skin is studied.

It's possible the OP started out with micro irritation/ inflammation due to the water only washing - the oleic acid in sebum is irritating to susceptible individuals - which has tipped over into clear symptoms by using harsh alkaline cleansers. Semi educated guess/ theory only of course.

Blackfire
July 10th, 2013, 08:03 PM
Hmm.. could be although I might stop using sodium bicarbonate and dr bs.. I wouldn't throw it away... I can always use those things for other purposed! I use the peppermint dr bs so Its got a pretty strong smell... I also want to note that I don't think that's the issue since I DO always use a vinegar rinse after I use either the baking soda, or the soap.... and Im Pretty good at getting my dilutions right to get the balance I want but that could change due the horrid heat... I should also mention that I use a VERY weak dilution of both. like, a splash of bronners in a hige pitcher of water, or a dash of baking soda when I want to clarify a bit. I really don't want to go back to shampoo... but you may be right about finding something with a proper PH balance, if at least just for the summer. Le sigh.

biogirl87
July 10th, 2013, 08:04 PM
Seconding Firefox's suggestion.

Blackfire
July 10th, 2013, 08:07 PM
anyone want to recommend a particular shampoo? do I need conditioner? I have been avoiding products for so long that it feels really crazy to be thinking about using them again. :(

Firefox7275
July 10th, 2013, 08:14 PM
Hmm.. could be although I might stop using sodium bicarbonate and dr bs.. I wouldn't throw it away... I can always use those things for other purposed! I use the peppermint dr bs so Its got a pretty strong smell... I also want to note that I don't think that's the issue since I DO always use a vinegar rinse after I use either the baking soda, or the soap.... and Im Pretty good at getting my dilutions right to get the balance I want but that could change due the horrid heat... I should also mention that I use a VERY weak dilution of both. like, a splash of bronners in a hige pitcher of water, or a dash of baking soda when I want to clarify a bit. I really don't want to go back to shampoo... but you may be right about finding something with a proper PH balance, if at least just for the summer. Le sigh.

Why are you willing to use soap but not shampoo? Soap is created from oil by an unnatural chemical reaction, many of the common surfactants in shampoo are similarly derived from oil (usually palm or coconut). Don't get me wrong I conditioner only myself, so I'm not a shampoo advocate for those with healthy scalps but I am for those with dermatological complaints that are not doing well with shampoo free methods. Vinegar rinses do not reverse the damage done to acidic skin and hair by alkaline products.

If I went back to shampoo I'd use this one http://www.komazahaircare.com/moja-shampoo.html

Mesmerise
July 11th, 2013, 12:12 AM
I sort of feel that if you're only using the bicarb or Dr Bronner's really dilute, they may not be doing enough to actually cleanse your hair properly? On occasion I use Dr Bronner's with an ACV rinse, but I use it full strength! (I haven't found that it's too harsh, either, but who knows, it may be on some people!). I would imagine that doing WO only once a week you'd get a fair bit of build up of sebum, and to be honest, probably dirt and stuff that isn't being washed away properly, and simply using a very dilute soap isn't going to be enough to solve the issue. Even one REALLY GOOD wash may be enough to solve the problem!

Honestly, I understand the desire to go all natural, but if it's not working, it's not working. Sometimes you have to make compromises for your own comfort!

Blackfire
July 11th, 2013, 12:15 AM
I sort of feel that if you're only using the bicarb or Dr Bronner's really dilute, they may not be doing enough to actually cleanse your hair properly? On occasion I use Dr Bronner's with an ACV rinse, but I use it full strength! (I haven't found that it's too harsh, either, but who knows, it may be on some people!). I would imagine that doing WO only once a week you'd get a fair bit of build up of sebum, and to be honest, probably dirt and stuff that isn't being washed away properly, and simply using a very dilute soap isn't going to be enough to solve the issue. Even one REALLY GOOD wash may be enough to solve the problem!

Honestly, I understand the desire to go all natural, but if it's not working, it's not working. Sometimes you have to make compromises for your own comfort!

I'm just confused as to why it worked for a while and then just stopped? I guess the heat... maybe Im a winter WOer

Blackfire
July 11th, 2013, 12:16 AM
Why are you willing to use soap but not shampoo? Soap is created from oil by an unnatural chemical reaction, many of the common surfactants in shampoo are similarly derived from oil (usually palm or coconut). Don't get me wrong I conditioner only myself, so I'm not a shampoo advocate for those with healthy scalps but I am for those with dermatological complaints that are not doing well with shampoo free methods. Vinegar rinses do not reverse the damage done to acidic skin and hair by alkaline products.

If I went back to shampoo I'd use this one http://www.komazahaircare.com/moja-shampoo.html

What makes you recommend this in particular? because this sooo looks like something I want to buy!

Mesmerise
July 11th, 2013, 01:10 AM
I'm just confused as to why it worked for a while and then just stopped? I guess the heat... maybe Im a winter WOer

I think it's probably just the heat. Many bacteria and yeasts don't really start to proliferate until they're in warmer conditions. You may have been able to keep it under control in winter while doing WO because it was cool enough that they couldn't really start to multiply, but now it's summer all bets are off! When the weather starts cooling down again you may be able to go back to your old routine.

leslissocool
July 11th, 2013, 01:59 AM
You could have a yeast infection, I'd use monistat very diluted on it and just cut the processed sugars and carbs ( heck all grains) because yeast needs sugar to breed. I wash once a week and do only scalp washes the rest CO and it doesn't smell even when I work out, there is something else going on there when smell is just foul.

Natalia
July 11th, 2013, 03:18 AM
A bit of an unconventional tip but if you eat fenugreek regularly your sweat will smell like maple syrup :p ive found this true of other bodily secretions as well :o .

clioariane
July 11th, 2013, 09:55 AM
I would also invest in a dry shampoo.

coconutinsight
July 11th, 2013, 10:00 AM
I agree, you should try dry shampoo.. if you want you can make yourself a natural one. Cocoa powder works great with me.

Firefox7275
July 11th, 2013, 12:27 PM
What makes you recommend this in particular? because this sooo looks like something I want to buy!

pH of 4.5 which respects the acid nature of healthy hair and skin, generally Komaza Care use research proven ingredients like hydrolysed protein, aloe vera, coconut oil, a raft of vitamins and antioxidants, all the foaming surfactants are non ionic or zwitterionic so much gentler than the anionics (which includes sulphates). The products I have used of theirs I liked except one which is simply far too rich for my hair - own fault for not reading the blurb properly, doh!

I'm also swayed by the fact Komaza Care offer hair and scalp analyses that are raved about being very detailed - it's clear to me they have a good knowledge of hair and scalp health. I am absolutely a fan of harnessing the power of natural ingredients but I'm also a scientist/ geek, I know some natural ingredients are toxic, irritating, allergenic or just plain don't work, whilst some lab made ingredients are proven to be highly active, gentle and effective. Ceramides are one example: we can manufacture them bioidentical so same as our own, there is no natural rich source.

starlamelissa
July 11th, 2013, 12:47 PM
I am getting into daily hair washing, and have washed my hair everyday for the past two, maybe three weeks. It's hot here!

I wash with normal sles shampoo, detangle with vo5 conditioner and a comb, and condition the ends again with conditioner. The next day I just detangle with vo5, no shampoo or second conditioner.their Kiwi lime squeeze conditioner is very fresh smelling and leaves my hair shiny. I recommend a daily cleansing routine like this for the hot months.

Cinnamon hair cowashes every day, and she has healthy knee length hair. Nobeltonya shampoos everyday with classic length hair. Really, I don't think the daily wash is so bad. It's the stuff post wash I'd avoid, flat ironing, rough towel drying, rough brushing, sleeping with it loose....etc.

starlamelissa
July 11th, 2013, 12:56 PM
Creme of nature makes several very gentle shampoos, geared toward delicate African American hair types. The sulfate free argan shampoo is very highly reviewed. It's cheap as well, with is important for a daily use product.

Shorty89
July 11th, 2013, 01:02 PM
I don't know about the stink, but I think other posters have the right idea. As for Wo only working in winter, well, I know I have to use different wash methods in summer from winter. I don't think it's that unusual. Good luck with finding a solution :)

ravenreed
July 11th, 2013, 01:09 PM
All that is possible. Or maybe she just needs to up her concentration of soap and wash every day for a while. I usually try adjusting what previously worked for me before jumping off into something completely different. *shrug*


But you are not the OP who is reporting symptoms?

You can't see what is going on at the microscopic level and not all irritation and inflammation is visible, vinegar rinses only reset the pH they do not rehydrate the skin, replace the acid mantle nor the beneficial skin flora. Alkaline cleansers are known to be damaging as are sulphate surfactants, they may not damage every skin enough to produce symptoms but they will damage enough to produce signs if the skin is studied.

It's possible the OP started out with micro irritation/ inflammation due to the water only washing - the oleic acid in sebum is irritating to susceptible individuals - which has tipped over into clear symptoms by using harsh alkaline cleansers. Semi educated guess/ theory only of course.

Firefox7275
July 11th, 2013, 01:21 PM
All that is possible. Or maybe she just needs to up her concentration of soap and wash every day for a while. I usually try adjusting what previously worked for me before jumping off into something completely different. *shrug*

That may well work to relive the smell because it would indiscriminately destroy the entire skin flora beneficial, opportunistic or pathogenic. It can also destroy the acid mantle, strip fatty acids from the structure of the skin and hair themselves, harsh cleansers don't distinguish between what is on the surface and what is bonded to or an integral part of the tissue. Temporarily relieving symptoms is not the same as effectively treating or curing a problem.

"Another very important ingredient to avoid for long, curly hair especially is soaps. In the past, I have written an article cautioning users of soap to be careful, but basically concluding that it was probably okay to use soaps with an acidic rinse and lots of moisturizing agents. Based on the following information obtained from the research of Dr. Ali Syed (a hair care researcher who specializes in African and curly hair), I cannot in good conscience advocate use of any soap products on curly hair.

Soap molecules are salts of fatty acids found in plants and animal fats. They are somewhat alkaline and cause the hair to swell and the cuticle to raise up away from the surface of the hair shaft. These molecules are then able to penetrate through the cuticle and into the CMC where they neutralize the fatty acids in the lipid layer, rendering them water soluble. The fatty acids are then rinsed away in the shower and are gone forever. Use of soap to cleanse one’s hair, especially long curly hair, seems to be a really effective way of permanently destroying the cuticle layer and making the hair very highly porous. This is an example of why natural may not always be superior. It is no surprise that researchers have invested years and many millions (billions) of dollars to develop more gentle cleansers for our hair."
http://www.curlynikki.com/2012/03/indepth-look-at-porosity.html

jacqueline101
July 11th, 2013, 01:25 PM
I'd try a vinegar rinse.

Blackfire
July 11th, 2013, 11:15 PM
Hey, I did a more concentrated wash with the baking soda. a vinegar rinse, and a heavy oiling. The smell is close to gone, I get paid tomorrow and will get some good curly hair friendly shampoo and conditioner, and just except that Im going to be a summer washer. :P

truepeacenik
July 11th, 2013, 11:50 PM
Hmm.. could be although I might stop using sodium bicarbonate and dr bs.. I wouldn't throw it away... I can always use those things for other purposed! I use the peppermint dr bs so Its got a pretty strong smell... I also want to note that I don't think that's the issue since I DO always use a vinegar rinse after I use either the baking soda, or the soap.... and Im Pretty good at getting my dilutions right to get the balance I want but that could change due the horrid heat... I should also mention that I use a VERY weak dilution of both. like, a splash of bronners in a hige pitcher of water, or a dash of baking soda when I want to clarify a bit. I really don't want to go back to shampoo... but you may be right about finding something with a proper PH balance, if at least just for the summer. Le sigh.

Maybe use The Dr Bronners and a stronger ACV mix for a while?
I've even used ACV with a few drops of DrBs, all by itself.
It wasn't the greatest long term, but it worked a treat in the situation.

Agnieszka
July 12th, 2013, 06:23 AM
I would just use a shampoo and see how it goes. Maybe some sulphate free?

Blackfire
July 12th, 2013, 06:41 PM
Okay, I went out today and got some garnier triple nutrition gold shampoo, conditioner, and the mask treatment. Did good wash with the shampoo and then used the mask. Used a argan oil leave I had leftover under the sink... and today I have an afro. THIS is why I stopped using products.... I went to some black hair shops out near where I work since my hair is on the mixed side with me being 1/4 creole...... I was recommended a product called Wet n Wavy.... I spayed my hair down and applied some of that so lets see how it goes. Rreally hoping it calms down this dryness/poofiness.

Isilme
July 12th, 2013, 07:15 PM
Try CO only if your hair doesn't agree with shampoo. Honestly, it seems like WO is something that only works for a few people. I don't think there are many who do it long term. (or soap)

sumidha
July 12th, 2013, 09:22 PM
Hmm I would say definitely don't be afraid to rinse your scalp with water when it gets sweaty, and swapping the vinegar rinse for a lemon juice rinse might help with the smell?

spirals
July 12th, 2013, 09:57 PM
I personally don't want detergent shampoos because of the fragrances and chemicals, and they were drying my hair out. I have been using Dr. Bronner's (not with baking soda every time) for a year. The only damage I see is from combing. I'm still alive, my scalp is fairly happy, and my non-colored hair is healthy. Sure, soap isn't natural, but neither is shampoo. I read that the skin regains it's ph balance about 20 mins after soap use. As an aside, I have less summer heat rash than when I was using detergent-based bar soap. Use whatever works for you.

mz_butterfly
July 12th, 2013, 11:55 PM
I wonder if it's just yourself thinking that you smell so bad? I know that sometimes I will sweat and think that I stink really bad and will ask my boyfriend if I small awful. He usually says no, that I just smell a bit sweaty. I think sometimes we are overly critical and are harsher on ourselves than others are.

Maybe you could CO wash like others have said. CO washing is a good way to gently cleanse your scalp and hair and not mess with your curls.

Get a second opinion on your smell, maybe it isn't as awful as you think it is and although you dislike it and it's unpleasant to you, it may not be as bad as you think it is.

ravenreed
July 13th, 2013, 01:10 AM
I sometimes mix up my Dr. Bronners with a tea mix of rosemary, nettle, horsetail, and lavender, and add a drop or two of tea tree oil. My scalp really seems to like it. Perhaps the added herbs might help with the cleansing, odor and general scalp happiness. I would patch test if you allergies.

Blackfire
July 15th, 2013, 01:18 PM
LOL, I asked a lady at work if she noticed any strange smells.. she said no... I asked her if she noticed any coming from me and she said no but she would tell me if she did! haha, made for a funny convo. I am kinda liking using shampoo again.. didn't realized that I missed doing these things.. I kinda want to get a blow dryer with a cold setting...and now I can do what I wanted to for a while and manic panic my hair black! Works so much better while using synthetic products.

starlamelissa
July 15th, 2013, 09:09 PM
blackfire, maybe try scrunching in a little gel to set your curls in place , just a cheapie like la looks sport (if wet n wavy is a gel or hold product, by all means, just use that) personally I like washing with shampoo on one day, and conditoner only on the next. Everyday I have freshly washed good smelling hair, without the dryness. Works for me:)

Firefox7275
July 17th, 2013, 05:01 AM
I personally don't want detergent shampoos because of the fragrances and chemicals, and they were drying my hair out. I have been using Dr. Bronner's (not with baking soda every time) for a year. The only damage I see is from combing. I'm still alive, my scalp is fairly happy, and my non-colored hair is healthy. Sure, soap isn't natural, but neither is shampoo. I read that the skin regains it's ph balance about 20 mins after soap use. As an aside, I have less summer heat rash than when I was using detergent-based bar soap. Use whatever works for you.

The pH can reset relatively quickly because all the skin needs to do is pump out sebum and/ or sweat, that does not repair the damage done to the skin barrier itself (thinned/ stripped of structural lipids), nor to the acid mantle including beneficial skin flora. That is basically part of your immune function just as the gut flora is, and can take weeks to repair or regenerate. Anionic surfactants (includes but not limited to sulphates) in most commercial shampoos and alkaline soaps are damaging to skin and hair - baking soda is generally a lower pH than traditional soap so could be seen as a 'lesser evil', but may be rough grains if poorly dissolved so cause mechanical as well as chemical damage. There are gentler surfactants: the non ionics, cationics (in conditioner) and zwitterionics if in an acidic formula which respect our largest organ's innate protective mechanisms.