I'm one of the last people to endorse homemade or alternative beauty methods. Not because I think we should all be buying "real" products but because none ever work for me and believe me, I've tried them all. Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, egg washes, egg whites, mayo masks, gelatin masks, etc, etc - no bueno. In fact, I started to get discouraged and decided to go the opposite route and never touch another home remedy.
Cut to a few weeks ago. I've been desperately trying to get rid of a fierce case of dandruff I've had for the last three years. Yes. Three years. I've tried almost everything short of shaving my head or visiting a doctor. I dumped Listerine on my scalp (on the recommendation of my well meaning mother who swears by it. By the way, she's never had dandruff), apple cider vinegar rinses, Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue and T-Gel (and their generic equivalents), pine tar shampoo (stinky and expensive!), coconut oil, tea tree oil, loads of other expensive dandruff shampoos and conditioners and just plain prayer. I also tried taking zinc tablets daily and washing my hair daily. That just resulted in me having to blow dry and straighten my hair on a daily basis. I then tried not washing my hair at all and, as you can imagine, I only ended up with grimy, musky hair full of flakes. I then tried skipping the shampoo and just using conditioner and being very mindful of not putting any styling products on my scalp. Still nothing. My last expensive product was something called Stoppit Dandruff Treatment which I found on yet another of my online pursuits to get rid of my flaky head. Stoppit is a somewhat high priced cream you apply to your scalp daily and leave in. All that did was make my very dry hair into an oily mess. After all that, I decided that perhaps I didn't have traditional dandruff and I was simply suffering from dry scalp because I live in a hard water area. I tried a variety of dry scalp shampoos, conditioners and treatments and even bought that Neutrogena Anti-Residue shampoo. I even gave up straightening my hair thinking the heat was too much for my scalp (or some such nonsense). As you can guess, none of my experiments worked. Finally, at my wit's end, I discovered the no poo method. That's merely cute name for a method in which you never wash your hair with traditional shampoo as the theory is that shampoos contain harsh detergents that do more harm than good. I'm sure there's something in there about shampoos being harmful to the enviroment but I beleive that's the jist. Since I've gotten keratin treatments for the past few years, I haven't used traditional shampoos anyway but I was still a bit hesitant as I have a lot of hair that seemingly soaks in every smell. Plus, I'm conditioned to think that sudsy soap equals cleanliness. By this point, I needed to do something drastic so I threw caution to the wind and decided to go no poo. Whoo hoo.
On one naturalistic website, I found an article written by a woman who recommend a typical no poo routine. I wasn't down with all of it but I thought the tip of using baking soda dissolved in warm water as a cleansing rinse might be doable so I tried it. Lo and behold, my dandruff is gone! Not after a couple of rinses, after ONE. I know this might not seem like much but I've been dealing with huge, disgusting flakes falling from my head for the last three years. I couldn't even move my head or hair without looking down to a see a veritable storm of white flakes showering down and sticking on my clothes, my laptop (yuck) or whatever else was near me. I can't express how discouraged I felt when I would buy a $30 bottle of shampoo, wash my hair and see just as many, if not more, flakes on my scalp as soon as I stepped out of the shower. My dandruff was so bad that I couldn't wear a black shirt without someone pointing out how much "lint" was on my shirt. Nope, not lint! That's dandruff and it made me feel disgusting. Getting a haircut was even more embarassing as I had to repeatedly apologize to the stylist about the gross fallout (to their credit, no one made a face or even batted an eye). Who knew the solution was sitting in my cupboard the entire time?!
For the record, I use baking soda dissolved in warm water as a rinse instead of shampoo. I believe if you use it as a paste, it won't be as effective. I take an empty water bottle, add a good amount of baking soda and warm water. Then I shake it up and ensure the soda has dissolved completely. I keep that bottle in my shower and simply warm it up by running hot water on it. After wetting my hair with pure water, I apply the baking soda water to my scalp and rub it in a bit. Then I let it sit for to soak up the oil and smells while I shower and shave and then I rinse it out with plain water. I follow up with a traditional conditioner because I need one (your mileage may vary). I also still use other traditional hair products because again, I need them. I've yet to use baking soda in any other capacity but I'm super jazzed this works for my dandruff. I have no idea why it works but I'm beyond ecstatic that it does. I also love that baking soda is one of the cheapest things on the planet and in almost every store. I bought a huge box of Arm & Hammer in the baking section for roughly $1.15. I suggest picking the box from the baking section as the exact same baking soda sold by the exact same company is priced more if you buy it from the laundry section. You can also get small box at virtually any dollar store.
If you're dealing with large amounts of build up and a serious case of dandruff, I highly recommend trying baking soda. If it cured my problem, I'm confident it can help others who are in the same boat. Save yourself the years of embarrassment and wasted money on high priced shampoos, creams and other treatments and give it a shot. Even if it isn't a cure for your dandruff, I think it makes a much better cleanser than shampoo
I just started using baking soda again, this time a little differently then before, but so far so good.
I have always suffered acne, my skin is combination/oily, though my skin in my teen years as opposed to my adult years has taken products differently. (funny how our bodies do that) Anywho, a few years ago, my acne flared up BAD, and when I say bad i mean big cystic pimples that look like the blisters you get on your feet that are full of clear liquid. yeah It kind of resembled that. So my mom heard of this neat little mask called the aspirin mask, grind up a few aspirin (anti inflamitory) baking soda (cleaning and exfoliate) and honey (moisturizing and natural healing qualities) both I and my mom did our research before attempting, BTW my mother is a nurse for 20+ years, so she wouldn't suggest something that she didn't feel was safe, or harsh, etc. anyway, I saw results immediately with this concoction redness was calming down, inflamation decreased dramatically. Within a week the cystic acne was gone and has not come back since. I still use this mask for bad breakouts on occasion....
Moving forward (now): within the past few months I've had to come off of my birth control, so with out of wack hormones, stress, etc... I've had some nasty flare ups. I haven't had the opportuity to go out and buy some more aspirin, but I have started using baking soda as a wash/mask. so far so good, because I am a little broken out now, leaving the baking soda on my skin while it dried did sting little, but once that subsided it felt bubbly, like i was getting a deep clean. redness again is calm, drying up some current zits. This is a bit drying so use a good moisturizer. moisturizer is a must no matter what your skin routine is!
I personally cannot say enough positive about baking soda, and there are may uses for it. I know that Arm & Hammer on their website talk about exfoliating skin as a common use of baking soda.
I realize that everyone is different and all products are not created equal for everybody. But I would say a few things to keep in mind would be that YES if you are experiencing a big flare up while in the decision to try it out, it may sting a little ESPECIALLY if you have been picking or squeezing, for me it wasn't too bad. Another thing to keep in mind is with any product on your skin you have to give time BEFORE you consider that it does not work. It takes 6 weeks for new skin to resurface so anything in between like a zit thats going to surface in the meantime will, Don't worry, just ride it out and keep that in mind and wait for your TRUE results. NOTHING is a miracle product, you may see some results imediately, but if you dont stick with it you may never know the good it may bring. Dont get me wrong, If you are one of those people that are sensitive to the effects lie redness and overdrying, then use common sense and dont re use. But from the reviews I've seen there seems to be a lot of wonderful reviews and a small handful of bad. So use your best judgement. With those in mind, it cant hurt to try. The best I can say is from my personal experience and I hope it works as well for you ladies as it has for me.
Oh, and one more thing, about the mask I used to use just google aspirin mask. you will see there are many ways to make it, but I listed what i used above. Just do your research and make the best decision for you. :)
I use this with my no-shampoo method
A lot of you might have turned me off at the sound of "no shampoo" because the no-poo method has sort of gotten a bad wrap these days
BUT YOU CANNOT IMAGINE THE IMMENSITY OF THE CRAPS I DO NOT GIVE ABOUT PEOPLE WHO SAY BAD STUFF ABOUT NO POO.
For those of you who aren't aware, the no poo method is where you completely give up commercial, chemical filled shampoo, and replace it with something else, one of the methods being diluted baking soda for shampoo, and diluted ACV for a conditioning rinse.
Here is a list of lies VS truths about no poo:
Lie: No poo is bad for the hair because BS is not PH balanced.
Truth: Yes, okay, BS is not the correct PH balance of your hair, that is why you DILUTE it, people. The BS mixture I use in my hair is about 95% water. Yeah, putting water in my hair obviously isn't going throw it out of whack on the PH scale. Most shampoo's you buy at the drugstore aren't the correct PH balance, so if you are using a commercial shampoo, please refrain from complaining about the PH balance. Thank you.
Lie: The BS no poo method will dry your hair out in the long term because it is so harsh.
Truth: This could actually be true, if you are using a thick BS paste, but every no poo-er will tell you that this is a huge no no! Diluting is a VITAL step, because by diluting it, you are left with a liquid that will efficiently cleanse the hair without drying it out.
Lie: No poo leaves your hair looking awful, not better!
Truth: This statement ALWAYS comes before the sentence "I only used it for a few days." Because it takes time people. You can't expect immediate results, you have to be patient. The reason your hair will look awful for a couple weeks is because your hair is recovering from all that crap you were putting in it before. Regular shampoo's strip the hair of natural oils, and leave behind a layer on the hair. That is why your hair looks AMAAAAAZING after using that high end shampoo. In the long term, this layer not only damages hair, but also makes your hair oilier, so you must shampoo more frequently, making you extremely dependent on the shampoo. So basically you sell your hair's soul to the shampoo devil. Once you switch to a natural remedy, your hair is going to become extremely oily for the first couple weeks, because it is so used to getting those natural oils stripped away, and now it isn't, so it's like "Yes! Let's produce ALL THE OILS!!!!" So this isn't necessarily a bad thing, although it is a bit annoying. But I promise it will return to normal.
So I think I covered the most common lies about no poo, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
There is such a huge variety of ways you can ditch your shampoo, and you don't have to stick with the BS/ACV method, just do your research and pick what you think will be best for you! Getting rid of your shampoo is a big step, but it is definitely worth it :)
I do a bi-monthly baking soda mask. Just mix baking soda with water to make it into a paste. For me it doesn't do anything much but I do like how the mask feels on the skin, hardly noticable and dries quickly. I use it to exfoliate when washing off and my skin feels soft after.
I don't notice any difference in acne or oil-control. Maybe because I don't use it very often.
I have been hearing about baking soda as an under arm deodorant or in your deodorant to be extremely effective. I FINALLY gave in after hearing about it left and right for several months. I have tossed my other deodorants because of the cancer causing aluminum that is pretty much in every store bough deodorant and it can also darken your underarms as well as the alcohol in the ingredient list. So i wanted to try something as natural and effective as possible, and that is baking soda! I have been rubbing this into my underarm for a week now and no pit stink what so ever! I find it extremely effective, i do not smell what so ever. You still sweat as it is good for your body to release bad toxins, so it will not prevent sweating completely, but you WILL NOT SMELL, and that is the most important for me. So far, i am very happy! I have read that some people said it burned their underarms, this did not happen to me. I guess if you have very sensitive skin, don't try this?
I mix baking soda with my shampoo. it adds volume and takes away dandruff, also takes away any residue. I just take the same amount of baking soda and shampo in my hand and mix it. but I don't like the packaging (I have the arm and hammer one) when I was putting some in my hand it made a hole on the side also the front flapp gets stuck as well so I recommend putting it in a shaker. also, I use this to whiten my teeth. it works great! but only use it every other day or 2 times a week.
good to mix with other products for teeth and gums.
as a shampoo, it opens the porosity of the hairshaft so it may remove buildup of products and WILL strip hairdye - good if you dont like the purple shade your haircolor turned out, really awful if you LIKE your hairdye. it also makes the hair cuticle rough and damaged.
most importantly, baking soda does NOT treat or cure cancer of any type. regardless of alkalinity and ph effects, this is far from what is responsible for cancers development or growth. if you feel you need alkalizing, (you can purchase test strips to know if thats actually the case), baking soda can help if diluted safely, but long term, it is risky to your internal organs - an alkaline diet would be easy and healthy.
LOVE this! It is a staple in my house for numerous reasons!!
1. Great gentle exfoliator
2. Great for washing hair with twice a week
3. Great for cleaning products
4. Non toxic
5. Keeps your body alkaline when drinking a little bit in water every day! (known to prevent/cure cancer-do research cancer cures with baking soda)
6. GREAT for cleaning teeth (as well as with virgin coconut oil)
7.GREAT for also cleaning dog's teeth with!
I take a little bit of organic pure apricot kernal oil with baking soda (organic kind with no aluminum in it like Red Mills) and make a paste to cleanse my skin. I also sometimes use organic sweet almond oil or pure vegtable glycerin as well. ALL of them work so well (and no it doesn't break me out either).
I also sometimes use this to exfoliate in the shower.
YES-it is "known" to cure or prevent cancer. See an acidic body thrives on cancer, and cancer cannot survive in an alkaline one-which drinking 1/4 tsp of Red Mills baking soda in a 34 oz bottle of water everyday is supposed to do. I do it anyway. (Do your research-as too much can strip minerals in your body tho, and too much can cause problems)-but do research the "Ph Miracle" book, and cancer cures/prevention with baking soda ;) (you're welcome-and no I never had cancer, but I am vegan and stay away from acidic foods to prevent this).
Your teeth can also be healed with pure virgin coconut oil. I use this and baking soda to brush my teeth daily (and a drop of organic pure peppermint essential oil). Flouride is known to CAUSE tooth decay. Do your research!!
Baking soda is great for brushing your dogs' teeth!! Research it :)
If you have skin like mine, which is sensitive beyond belief, super acne prone, always clogged with black heads, uneven, and oily- then you should never put this on your face. It's way too harsh, and you can't expect anything good to come from that.
THIS PRODUCT IS A MUST HAVE. It is cheap and it is great for many different uses for your face and even hair (which I haven't tried). I read an article about this women who used baking soda along with her daily face wash to clean her face better and gently exfoliate. I have combination skin and I am prone to acne.
Each time I wash my face (morning and night) I pump my Cetaphil Gentle Face Cleanser on my palm and add about a table spoon or two to my face wash. To be sure to clean your face well and remove excess oil, dirt. etc I gently scrub my face for about 30 seconds. This makes my skin feel so clean and soft!
ALSO on days that my acne has gone crazy and my face is oily I use baking soda as a gentle yet slightly drying face mask. To do this, I create a paste with baking soda and water and leave it on my face for 20 minutes. When I rinse it off my face feels amazing, it is less red, my pores seem smaller and my pimples seem smaller.
I RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT.
Also, I heard you can use it to wash your hair instead of shampoo which can sometimes dry it out...but I haven't tried that yet.