View Full Version : Washing out coconut oil treatment.. and some other questions

February 1st, 2014, 08:02 PM
Hello hello! Long time no post :) as you can surely tell by my signature haha. I've still been lurking, and keeping up (for the most part) a healthier hair routine thanks to this site! I have been (mostly) shampoo/conditioner free for a few months now (using baking soda/vinegar), and use a warm coconut oil treatment (via foil and clothes dryer-heated bath towel) on my hair once per week. Beyond that, I stay away from the hair dryer, hair stylers and brushes for the most part, just wide-tooth combing my hair after a shower.

I have a few questions, though. First, how the heck do you wash out the coconut oil with baking soda?! Using it as a normal shampoo leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean. But, no matter how much I use or how long I leave it in after putting coconut oil in (as a softening treatment, not the minuscule amount I use after a shower), it doesn't seem to remove any of the coconut oil at all. For this purpose, I bought VO5 conditioner. I thought maybe I was using too much oil, but just one wash with a normal amount of shampoo gets it all out, so I can't be using too much. How do my fellow baking sodians get coconut oil out?!

Another few generalized questions... I shower and wash my hair daily. I've tried not to, but I work out a lot and just keep going back to daily. Is it okay to do that when washing with baking soda and vinegar? Also, I don't measure my mixes out, I kind of just dump baking soda in and then put in enough water to where it's liquid but cloudy (so still very "strong"). If I use less, though, I will get out of the shower and my hair will still feel kind of greasy. Is a strong concentration okay? I don't use the vinegar/water on my scalp, only my length, so I don't think that's it. AANNDD.. any solution to the whole having to mix the baking soda and water daily thing or else it doesn't work as well? I find if I try to mix it bulk and get multiple uses out of it, it doesn't work as well as when freshly mixed.

OKAY.. moving on to another topic (gosh, I bet you guys missed me :p). I plan on getting a trim soon, which will eliminate all the ombre I currently have in my hair. I plan on putting in 5-8 'balayage' streaks in my hair at home, just for some depth, and not very light, either. Just a lighter brown. My hair is fine but did not freak out after blonde ombre on the tips. However, any tips for preventing as much damage as I can before the bleach would be appreciated. I was thinking putting coconut oil all over and letting it sit over night the night before. Other than that, even though my hair is dark brown, I only plan on using a 20 volume developer for the bleach and for the color to try to minimize damage. It doesn't need to lighten a lot, anyways, just enough for me to be able to use dark ash blonde/light ash brown color on the 5-8 streaks I bleach. For those of you who still use hair color, do you think I could get away with use 10 volume developer, or is there no way that would work on hair as dark as mine?

Sorry for all the questions! I am very thankful for any answers I get. This is what happens when I lurk for a long time and don't post, it all builds up. I hope to be a more active member of the community here again, like I used to be long ago. And for your time and patience, I'd like to share a beauty tip I just discovered. It's not for the hair, but it makes your skin super soft, so there's that :). I remember there being a post here to post your beauty secrets, and if I can find it I will probably add this to it.

SHOWER BODY SCRUB: Before a shower (while letting hot coconut oil sit on my hair), I mix coffee grounds, brown sugar, old fashioned oats and the contents of one green tea bag in a bowl with a small amount of milk; just enough to get the ingredients a little wet. I let it sit until I'm ready to shower. After I shave/whatever, I take some of the scrub in my hands, and rub it vigorously all over the body. It can even be used on the face. You wouldn't believe how soft it makes your skin! It stays soft for a while, too. I use it once a week because it's not super abrasive, and doesn't have any chemicals in it. I think the caffeine in the coffee helps my skin glow, too, but that could be an illusion, or just the exfoliating. It just rinses off, no need to use body wash or anything afterwards, there's no residue. I got the idea of this from a pinterest pin I read about making a body scrub from coffee grounds and olive oil.. but I tried it and hated how oily my skin felt afterwards, so instead tried my own concoction, and ouila! There! Be soft my friends :)

February 1st, 2014, 10:47 PM
Hi! :) I'm a newbie but I have some ideas -- first, I'd really like to exfoliate on a regular basis, its something I love but then 'forget'.
I recall that when I used vinegar for my scalp, it reduced my oiliness dramatically. From what I understand, it balances the skin pH. I didn't even use baking soda beforehand, so try it, it may make a huge difference. Also try to measure your baking soda, so you can try to reduce how !much you use.
One more... I think it wouldn't hurt to try either 10 volume with your bleach, or just a 20/30 volume with color. I believe its better to use an appropriate process 1 time than a double-process. Especially if you just want a slightly lighter shade, it shouldn't be necessary to do both bleach and color -- pick one. I go light blonde and still don't need a double process.

February 2nd, 2014, 03:09 AM
From the bleaching I don't know, but the baking soda and vinegar washes: I, too, would recommend pouring the vinegar onto your scalp. The baking soda is distorting your scalp's pH balance and vinegar helps restore it. Baking soda is alkaline, and your scalp feels best when slightly acidic.

Yeah, the coffee grounds really feel luxurious, don't they! I love exfoliating with them, but I can only do sugar or salt scrubs at our house, because the coffee doesn't dissolve into water like sugar does and can cause clogging in the pipes. Such shame! Though sugar, ground rose petals and a light oil makes a wonderful scrub too, and that I can use at home, so I don't really feel depraved. :)

February 2nd, 2014, 04:34 AM
If it was me, I'd stop with the baking soda. I really don't know why people think it's either "natural" or healthier for the hair/scalp. Baking soda (particularly in the sort of concentrations you describe) is very harsh to both scalp and hair. Finishing with an acidic rinse can restore the pH of the hair and scalp (and you REALLY should be putting the acid rinse over your scalp too!) but the damage caused by the basic pH of the baking soda will not be reversed by that. That damage is cumulative and sooner or later (depending on length and your hair's personal resilience) you're going to come to grief. See this thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=119383) for a discussion of an article where a woman has (unwittingly) bleached her hair via baking soda washing.

Yes, baking soda can be a good cleaner for, e.g. kitchen surfaces or tanin-stained teacups, because it's a moderately alkaline substance which is also abrasive. And, though it's not really "natural", there is a certain merit in the fact that you are more likely to know what's in it than a commercial kitchen cleaning solution. However, that's a far cry from it being good for your skin or your hair. One of the best "natural" low-ingredient kitchen cleaning products I use is 3% hydrogen peroxide, but I'm sure as hell not going to start washing my hair with that!

serin blackwood
February 2nd, 2014, 10:10 AM
I agree that straight baking soda can be harsh on hair, but I have used it to boost other deep cleansing recipes and for getting out heavy oilings. Perhaps this question should have been asked in the Recipes, Henna, Herbal section.
I find that in using any watery recipe, like, say, baking soda in water, it is difficult to really get a good covering and "scrub" because it basically drips right off, you know what I mean?

Try this:
-enough water to make however much no-poo you need
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp baking soda
- an ingredient with mild surfacant and foaming properties like a thouroughly beaten egg or a heaping tbls. of chickpea flour
- guar gum to thicken (found at any health food store). It only takes a couple pinches - i put it in a small wire strained and "sift" it into the mix while I'm stirring so it doesn't clump. It thickens very fast. Adjust water to guar gum till you get a good consistancy.

This works for me on overnight oilings, but I don't use much oil to start with, so YMMV.

February 2nd, 2014, 05:11 PM
I agree with Panth; baking soda is not very good for the hair. Angelfell, your scalp probably feels greasy *because* you are using an excess of baking soda, and no vinegar on your scalp, which is stressing your scalp, and causing it to try to protect and heal itself by overproducing oil. At the very least, I would dissolve the baking soda in water before applying to hair, so that it's not so intense on the scalp and hair, and try to use less (I use no more than a tsp per wash). And absolutely apply vinegar to everywhere that you apply baking soda. Your scalp and hair needs a slightly acidic pH and the vinegar is critical for rebalancing the pH of your scalp and hair after using baking soda.

February 2nd, 2014, 10:02 PM
I think you should research the effect of alkaline agents on hair, and start testing the pH of your mixes. Over time baking soda damages the hair cuticle and can increase porosity, it is illogical to use that with coconut oil which is penetrating and reduces porosity. I strongly suspect those who use such cleansing methods successfully long term generally begin with virgin, low porosity hair that is coarse or has a thicker than average cuticle.

If you are seriously thinking of using low volume peroxide just use a blonde box dye in your chosen shade not persulphate bleach which is generally best for high lifting. Ultimately all lightening is damaging, a major difference is how fast the mix lifts and so how much working time you have. Once your hair reaches a certain level of lightness either the product has stop working OR it will start eating away at your structural proteins instead of the melanin pigment.

Lightened hair is always lower elasticity and higher porosity so is at greater risk from harsh cleansing methods like alkaline soaps and strong sulphate surfactants. The harsh chemicals can access the cortex of the hair meaning it can remove structural lipids and proteins. I'd be interested to know if you are aware of many LHCers who have successfully bleached their hair AND used baking soda long term (say a year plus).