Beloved readers, I am so excited to share this with you!
This just knocks the socks off of Yogurt, Sour Cream and Lemon Juice, and Coconut Milk and Lime, in terms of relaxing tight curls and adding amazing softness to all textures, chemically-enhanced and natural alike.
Before I go any further: Beloved readers, USE DISCRETION. If you have sensitive skin or extremely fickle hair, try it on a small section first or not at all.
This does not truly “texturize” or “relax” curls in the traditional sense. While I say “looser curls” and that it “loosens” or “relaxes” curls/coils/kinks/napps/corkscrews what I am referring too, more accurately, is that curls may clump more easily and become heavier (due to moisture retention and the alkaline nature of this treatment) which can cause them to “hang” a bit lower or appear looser.
This makes hair soft, shiny, and depending on your hair type will loosen curls and reduce shrinkage greatly.
Why the disclaimers?
Because, my dear, baking soda is very alkaline.
Yes and no.
No as in relaxers are at a ph of 12+ and Baking soda is a 9 on the pH scale. Blood is close to 7. That said, from box to box ph can range from 7-9 on the pH scale.
So…what does that mean?
It cannot do anything a couple of DCs cannot erase. The same can’t be said of relaxers.
That said there are very NOT FUN consequences to doing this improperly and some VERY IMPORTANT details to get right to have this treatment be as succesful as possible.
THUS, I will relate my “Bad Experience” and what I did wrong as well as my “Good Experience” and what I did right as well. This way you can learn from my mistakes AND successes! Huzzah!
So, let us begin with our list of ingredients, shall we? Off we go!
You will need: ¾ to a cup of baking soda for the very adventurous. Otherwise start off with 1 T.You could be wise and work your way up from 1 T, but, if you think you “know” your hair as I feel I do, go for the ¾.
You will also need: ½ Cup of Conditioner if you use 1 T of baking soda or 1 cup conditioner if you use 3/4 cup of baking soda.(Or just enough to make the baking soda have the consistency of a heavy, thick, crème).
Optional: Oil. I do not use any because I add it to my DC afterwards. Do what you hair likes.
Let me say again, my darlings: CHANGE THIS RECIPE TO SUIT YOUR HAIR’S NEEDS!
Do not say this little, golden lamb did not warn you! If your hair is fine or relaxed it may become dry from being overly cleaned by the baking soda. It makes mine soft. I have not had dryness issues but, EVERYONE IF DIFFERENT!
Yes. The BAD. This is what I did first on an insane whim. Not the best way to experiment with your hair. Keep in mind though I was 90% sure of what was going to happen. This lamb is not THAT silly. Cute DOES have its limits, you know.
This is what I posted after the results of my less than planned attempt at using Baking Soda.
DO NOT FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE FOR CURLS SAKE! It was titled: Baking Soda Ate My Scalp…if that tells you anything. Yes, “titled” it was written as a narrative.
“Last night, on an insane whim I decided to mix 1/3 of conditioner with 3/4 a cup baking soda, slather it on my head and go to bed.
Five hours later I woke up with a scalp on fire. It didn’t just burn, there was a horrible, unholy ache that brought tears to my eyes and I prayed my hair wouldn’t fall out. I was in agony as I tried to wash it out as gently as possible.
Even after it was out my scalp raged, burned, ached, itched, and just HURT.
I immediately put in a DC and left it in the next 5 hours. I washed it out…my scalp felt better-ish. Still sore, but (most) of the burning and mind-numbing ache was gone.
Fast forward five hours to now and it still aches and makes me cringe when I apply pressure to it.
Aside from these horrors…it totally texturized my hair. It looked so fantastic I didn’t know what to do with myself, while running errands today.
I’m serious. I about passed out when I saw it in natural light. Such succulent lovely little ringlets.
Disclaimer: I already have little ringlets no matter what I do, but these were with 50% less frizz and were “fatter” some how! My 4″ TWA still shrank down to an inch, –but it was a good-looking inch.
I know, I know my dears, I used a ton of baking soda. It DID however change my texture noticeably, but not enough to take me from 4a to 3c.
Still…baking soda does significantly change hair texture.”
You can suffer needless discomfort if this is done incorrectly, but no my hair did not fall out, break, or so much as shed an extra hair. Can you say that after leaving a relaxer in for five hours?
You may be thinking: “So now, what went wrong Little Golden Lamb? Maybe you got too cute and its affecting your brain?”
Do not look at me like that.
Back to topic: I thought long and hard about this experience and figured out what I did wrong. Believe it or not it is NOT the amount of baking soda I used.
You see, this little golden lamb is a WILD sleeper. As I slept, the shower cap through my wild tossing and turning rubbed the baking soda briskly against my scalp, in a hot, steamy environment for HOURS. It exfoliated my scalp as I tossed and turned, over and over, until it was over-exfoliated. The heat from my body trapped by the shower cap did not help it feel any better. The satin cap on top adding extra heat did not help either. Ergo, my angry, ANGRY scalp.
I was not dismayed. Not the way these curls look, so frizz-free, soft, and shiny! After my scalp returned to normal (it took about 2 nights and a day) I tried again.
SAME AMOUNT but, a totally different method.
That method, I bring to you, along with IMPORTANT DETAILS to keep in mind. If you read anything, my lovely ladies, read all of this. Please. This little golden lamb begs you. Who can say “no” to a dewy-eyed, little lamb? Other than wolves, lions, tigers, bears, chefs, rabid dogs…er, I am just going to stop with that thought, right there.
The RIGHT way, I have found, follows as such:
1. Wash hair with gentle SLS-free poo. Dry to 80%. REPEAT: TOWEL DRY HAIR TO EIGHTY PERCENT DRYNESS!
If you do not the water in your cheapie conditioner will add to that in your hair and will cause the baking soda to run down your neck. It will dry in layer and will over exfoliate your neck.
2. Mix Baking soda and conditioner. Hair should be 85-90% dry.
3. Apply from roots to tips.
4. Pop on a shower cap.
5. WRAP A SCARF, SWEATBAND, ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS, SOMETHING around your hairline. I HATE drippies! Drives me madder than a just-neutered Jack-Russell Terrier on its fifth can of Red Bull!
6. I leave my mix on for 5-6 hours. Yup. You heard me. Start at 30 minutes and work your way up if your hair is finicky. An hour will make sure you see SOME benefit without much worry.
7. Rinse out. DO NOT DETANGLE though your hair may feel soft enough for it.
8. Immediately add your DC. I would suggest you err on the side of caution with adding protein at this time. Stick with DEEPLY nourishing ingredients like avocado or coconut oil. DO NOT USE SEALING OILS LIKE CASTOR OIL! You will seal out PRECIOUS moisture when your hair DESPERATELY wants it!
Because I leave mine on so long, I tend to sleep overnight in a THICK, UBER RICH conditioner. I live in the Wash N Go when natural, so this works just fine for me. Adjust to suit your needs, but do not think you can do this for 5 hours and then DC for 15 minutes! If you leave it on for lesser amounts of time, you will need to DC for a shorter amount of time.
9. Detangle with conditioner in your hair.
10. Rinse hair.
11.Style as usual.
I hope this helps you in your baking soda endeavors! Doing it this way I enjoyed GORGEOUS results without any discomfort what so ever!
Baking Soda also works as a shampoo that removes all silicones! You can add it to your normal shampoo to supercharge it (DC afterwards) or mix 1 part baking soda to 4 parts water and rinse your hair with it until it is build-up free!
From My Mane to Yours: Happy Hair Growing!