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Baking Soda & Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifier

If you have been using lots of leave-ins, oils and butters in your hair for a long period, you may notice that your hair is not “acting right.” Maybe your styles aren’t lasting, you aren’t getting a healthy sheen on your hair, it feels dull and your products aren’t doing the same job anymore. Instead of trying new products, do a clarifying treatment first.

 Clarifying shampoos can be really drying to your hair. There is no way to avoid that because these shampoos are formulated with ingredients to strip the hair of its coating of product and in the process strip the hair of its natural protective oils. So for that reason, it is not a good idea to use a clarifying shampoo more than once a fortnight unless you have a really bad buildup problem that requires multpile treatments to get rid of it.

If you think you need to clarify your hair every week you may be using products that coat your hair too much, or you arer simply using too much (or too many) leave-ins or products at once. One thing I will say is that I see this problem happening with people who use hair products containing waxes in their formulations, especially bees wax which is a notorious hair-coater and buildup-causer. If you use a wax, always shampoo in between uses - do not use wax over wax.

Getting back to clarifiers, you don’t have to spend money on these specialty shampoos and treatments. You can make your own clarifier that is just as good, if not better than the commercial ones and costs only a few cents. This is my recipe for a solid clarifying treatment that really works.

Baking Soda Clarifying Treatment

¼ cup baking soda
1 cup filtered or bottled water
1 squeeze bottle with nozzle.

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly.
  2. Pour the water into the bottle first, then add the baking soda.
  3. Shake it until there are no lumps and no baking soda stuck to the bottle.
  4. Part your hair and starting at the scalp, apply the mixture all the way to the ends and let sit for about 2 – 3 minutes
  5. Rinse with warm water.

ACV Rinse

  1. Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 4 parts water.
  2. Close your eyes tightly and distribute through your hair from hairline to nape. You do NOT want to get this mixture into your eyes. It is painful (I promise you).
  3. Rinse immediately with cold water. The cold water will help close the hair cuticle.
  4. Now you can continue with your regular styling routine on your freshly clarified hair.

You can use a conditioner right after this treatment if you want to. I usually don’t because I like the freshness of my hair after this. I will just use a light oil and hair mousse when I style if I am going to twist or wear an “out” – twistout, braidout, knotout…

NOTE: If you leave any Baking Soda on your hair when you do your ACV rinse, your hair may fizz. So you need to rinse the baking soda out thoroughly before doing the ACH rinse. Just a heads up.

I hope this works as well for you as it does for me - and now with all the money you save you can spend more money on some luscious hair butters and exotic oils. 


Last modified on Thursday, 19 September 2019 04:15

Patricia Gaines aka Deecoily is the founder and creator of Nappturality in 2002, the beginning of the natural hair movement. Since 2000 she has been blogging on all things natural hair, Black culture and politics.

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