Porosity: the uses of baking soda and ACV

Discussion in 'Hair Care Tips & Product Review Discussion' started by afiya27, May 15, 2009.

  1. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Greetings,

    Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this but...

    If I understand this porosity thing correctly, it involves the degree to which your hair absorbs and releases moisture. This is apparently related to the degree of openness of the cuticles (more open = more absorption/loss). The degree of cuticle opening depends upon pH (acidic = closed cuticle, basic = opened cuticle) ...

    Presuming that that is all correct, would it be useful/logical to do some variation of the following every week?

    1) Wash hair (diluted shampoo = to get out built up product)
    2) Baking soda wash (high pH/basic = pore/cuticle opening in order to absorb DC)
    3) Apply DC (let it seep into the wide open pores/cuticles = deep penetration)
    4) ACV rinse (low pH/acidic = pore/cuticle closing/sealing in order to seal in the benefits of the DC)

    **Note: I am presuming that ACV is acidic. But a Google search didn't really give a clear answer. Any insight on that would be appreciated too.

    Thanks.

    PS - If the above line of thought is correct, then wouldn't using baking soda to open cuticles/increase absorption minimize the need to sit under heat during the DC?
     
  2. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    IMO.....


    Cleansing is really an electronic process. The degree of cuticle opening does play a factor but washing with a high pH solution every week is overkill and can cause damage to the hair and scalp. Your hair cuticles are never all shut or all open at one given time. After we dry our hair and go about our business, the cuticle layer isn't going to stay in one static position.

    When you wash your hair, the cleansing is done by the surfactants. These are the detergents. These molecules go out and surround the insoluble reside on the hair and act like carrier molecules that remove it with water. Now I know everyone has seen the whole sulfate strength chart but in truth that is not always an accurate way of judging the strength of a product but that is another story.

    Your cuticle layer is going open to a degree from just getting wet. Dry things do not have a pH so the hair doesn't become charged until it makes contact with water. The physcial act of massaging shampoo through your hair opens the cuticle layer. Using a high pH product to do that for a weekly cleansing is just asking for more trouble. First off, when you open the cuticle layer up, you make the hair very soft. I know everyone loves the feeling of a baking soda rinse and the reason being is because the high pH throws your cuticle open and affects the bonds of your hair (all 3). It might feel good but you make yourself open to damage your hair. It is easier for pieces of the cuticle to chip off and other things of that nature. High pH solutions are also not healthy for the scalp. You can cause the scalp to slowly thin and weaken, making you more apt to have burning during relaxer processes and more thinning hair. A shampoo with a low pH still cleanses the hair without leaving you open to damage your hair as much.

    As far as closing the cuticle....ACV really isn't that acidic. Its just vinger and since you add water which has a pH of 7, you aren't looking at a super acidic product. ACV works well as a acidifying rinse product yes but there are still better commerical options. ACV, like all acidifying products will help close the cuticle and realign the salt bonds in the hair which give you greater shine and elasticity (Which gets into the difference between "Fortifying" and "Reconstructing"). Conditioners by nature have lower pHs than most shampoos and some brands in particular have lots of options for conditioning products with pH's of 4 or lower. This really is enough to close a cuticle, especially if you don't open it up as much as you possibly can during the cleansing process and you are maintaining a PROPER moisture and protein balance. When you are experiencing a pronounced porosity issue, additional acidifying agents are benefical but there are other things you also need to address when dealing with that as well.

    Clarifying shampoos do a deeper cleansing which is why when you look at many salon product systems, they are designed to be used before a deep conditioning session.
     
  3. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Wow! Thanks for the information! :drunk: So I get from what you're saying that it might not be necessary to open one's cuticles within an inch of their life using baking soda rinses because plain water/shampoo does it pretty well...?

    But if that's the case, if the cuticles are already open to their max with just water/shampoo, why do DCs say to sit under heat to help penetration?

    I ask all of this because I want to minimize heat-use and maximize DC effects. So I thought that the baking soda could help by making every cuticle stand on end... Then I'd be able to have the DC in for 20 min (I go by the manufacturer's instructions) WITHOUT heat, and it would thoroughly close all cuticles. I'd follow with the ACV just to make extra sure everything closed...Then a leave-in for good measure.

    BTW - As my hair grows out, I plan to use Chirico's method. She first finger detangles dry (I'll use a hot oil treatment though), and keeps her hair in 4-8 braids all throughout the entire washing/deep conditioning process. So, given what you've said, I understand that adding shampoo (a base?) AND baking soda (a base) to hair will likely make it velcro-rough and easily tangled. But what if I don't really manipulate it at all until AFTER I've tightly resealed everything with a DC (acidic) and ACV (acidic)? I don't see how harm would be done in that case....Plus (hopefully) the DC will have penetrated more deeply. Seems like a win-win....

    Are you saying that the risk of damage from applying too much base is going to be too high regardless of what I do afterward? :ohwell:

    Thanks.
     
  4. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class

    To the first bolded
    The cuticles are not going to open to their max with just shampoo and water but you don't want any extremes. You don't want your cuticle WIDE open as you also don't want it so constricted and tight that you can't get any thing as well. During the relaxer process, your cuticle is wide open and that is why when you look on the relaxer instructions, they say to minimize manipulation during the neutralizing process. Cleansing is more about the effectiveness of the actual cleansing agent than the degree of cuticle opening.

    To the second bolded....

    I want to preface this by saying that stuffing as much conditioning as you can each DC session can damage your hair. You risk too much cuticle swelling and compromise the ability of the cuticle to constrict back. The amount of flex room you have is also GREATLY dependent on your hair type but that within itself is a different thread :lol:
    Your hair is only going to absorb but so much at one time. Heat helps does help penetration and its going to be more effective with less damage potential than opening your cuticle WIDE open. Generally after 20-30 minutes, your hair has absorbed all its needed too. When you start looking at extended conditioning times, you start looking at the potential to over swell and chip off cuticle so. Opening your cuticles up too much gives you that risk as well which is why if you want to maximize the conditioning effects, its more about consistency of a product and not each magnitude of each conditioning session. I like to clarify the day I know I am going to dc personally.

    If your hair is in good condition and you are using quality products, you might not need a ACV rinse every wash, unless you are dealing with a current porosity problem and in that case there are other things you have to do as well in conjunction with acidifying. Don't forget, the leave in serves as additional protection as well.

    To the third bolded....

    Regardless of whether or not you manipulate your hair until after you condition, just the physical contact of basic solutions to your hair can cause a degradation in the integrity of the hair and scalp. The extreme back and forth of the cuticle layer from just the pH change alone is going to cause a slow breakdown of the quality of your hair, negating your whole purpose of taking care of it. Think about it like the hinges of a door. When you go through a door, you open it up as much as you need to get through. You don't swing it completely open until it is nearly flush against a wall just to swing it back hard to shut it.
     
  5. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Okay... That makes sense. You say that by opening my cuticles wide open with baking soda (and water/shampoo), then DCing, I risk OVER conditioning which would overload my hair shafts and cause swelling/weakness right? Well I just hand another idea that might actually be good in that it could save time! :drunk: If I'm using baking soda and diluted shampoo (and thus opening the cuticles to the max), maybe I could SHORTEN the time for my DC (say from 20 min to 5 or 10) and get the same results? If so, THAT would be great! Could that be the case in your opinion?

    Thanks!
     
  6. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    That is just part of it. Its not just over conditioning. In general, extreme, just like with many things in life, is just not a good thing.

    :lol: Girl, you are trying to do too much. Leave the baking soda alone. Think about it like this.... Mixing baking soda with diluted shampoo is like taking a bottle of Aphogee treatment and mixing moisturizing conditioner in it. Why do through all of that and compromise the effectiveness of the final product when you could have bought a bottle of mild protein treatment. Same with your baking soda. Just clarify the before you dc if you are really that obsessed with it.

    Yes, your conditioning time theoretically would be shortened but now you have started potentially damaging your scalp and started weakening the hair. No net benefit. If you want to make sure your hair is benefiting from the products you just need to stay consistent with usage. Nothing you add or subtract on wash day is going out weigh the benefits of staying consistent and using everything in moderation.
     
  7. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    I also wanted to add that when you talk about the ranges of cuticle opening, you have to also mention that the degree in which it will affect someone (and I guess I should say at what point it would affect someone because it will effect everybody) is directly dependent on the amount of cuticle layer someone has. That is where we talk about the differences in fine, medium, and coarse hair and hair that is already damaged verses hair that is relatively healthy and just needs maintenance and not restructuring.
     
  8. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Thank you so much for your insights! :thankyou: You are obviously very knowledgeable! So basically, you've said that doing both shampoo (diluted or not) AND baking soda is like using a super clarifying shampoo each week. If that's what I want, I should just go out and buy a clarifier. That WOULD make sense. But the thing is, I have a lot of products/shampoos that I want to use up b4 going out to buy MORE shampoo (I'm trying not to be a pj and/or waste things! LOL!). Plus it might be good for me to do a weekly clarify at some point. I'll likely be using a lot of products on my hair each week at a certain point in my growth journey. Maybe it will be appropriate at that time...Until then, since I don't have to put much in my TWA, I think I'll take your advice and hold off from the baking soda.

    You've been a LOT of help! Probably saved me some hair too! :spinning:

    Peace.
     
  9. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    BTW, just to be clear, some of what you mentioned pertained to those who relax their hair. Specifically, you said something to the effect that baking soda would compromise the hair when you get a relaxer. What about natural folk? Is the threat less relevant? Or are there other risks?

    Sorry for all of the questions...:look:
     
  10. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    No problem :)

    With natural hair....not necessarily. It would depend on hair type and their current regime. In general though, everyone would have problems with it eventually. Baking soda is not bad per say, you just don't need it every single week.
     
  11. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Oh! I didn't see this post. Very interesting! So, I have type 5 textured (ie high shrinkage when wet and no defined curl pattern even with product). My hair is also fairly fine, and rather on the thin side. It's not damaged though. Actually, I barely have any right now :grin:. However, I'm studying up on here now that I know I'm growing it out. So I don't plan to have damage in the future either....What are the implications of my texture, thickness and density for my options in terms of baking soda use? Should I stay away from it all together in your opinion (even when I need to clarify)?
     
  12. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class

    The would be fine with clarifying but yeah, put it down for weekly use.
     
  13. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class

    Hello fellow fine haired chica! I have fine hair too but I have a lot of it:grin:

    Fine hair has a lower cuticle to cortex ratio. We didn't luck up with lots of cuticle layers so we have to focus on preserving the ones we have. Cuticle changes are even more potentially damaging to us since we don't have lots of cuticle layers. Because of that, we need a more steady flow of protein in order for our hair to stay healthy without over conditioning or weighting it down. We need to make sure our products have lower pHs more so than other types because the acidifying products help strength and reinforce the cuticle we have.
     
  14. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Great tips! You mentioned protein for fine hair. Is cholesterol an adequate protein treatment? The DC I have (African Pride Cholesterol DC) has wheat protein, keratin et al proteins in it, but they're not the first listed ingredients (thus they might not make up the bulk of the product--most of the ingredients seem to be herbs actually)...Do you think that I need something more heavy duty? I'm kinda scared of strong ones. If I recall correctly from 10+ years ago when I last had loose "natural"/texlaxed hair, (ie b4 my dreads which I BC'd a year ago) they make my hair hard...Of course, I plan to follow up the cholesterol DC with a moisturizing leave-in (Nexus). So maybe that can cut the dryness?

    Thanks!
     
  15. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    One LAST question (I think :spinning:). One thing that I neglected to emphasize with the whole diluted shampoo piece is that I plan to pre-poo each week using a hot oil treatment that will double as a detangling aid. So basically, I intend the diluted poo to serve to get the oil out. In that case, wouldn't it have less of a drying effect given that it will actually have something to clean out aside from my bare hair (I hear a lot of fine haired folk co-wash instead of poo...tried that and didn't like it)?

    Thanks.
     
  16. charmtreese

    charmtreese Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    2,234
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    VA
    This is so true. I started using BS with WEN weekly because I feel in love with the smooth results. after awhile my hair started to tangle really bad when wet and I had to cut about 2-3 inches of progress off (do to bad knots and tangles). At the time I didnt know it was the BS, I thought my hair was just acting up. :spinning: I was also dealing with 2 textures because I stretch for months on end, but Ive never had tangles like that from stretching.

    Now looking back, It makes me mad that I had to get rid of 4-6 months of progress for a few weeks of smooth feeling hair!!!:wallbash::wallbash::wallbash:
     
  17. Sequoia

    Sequoia Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2007
    Messages:
    880
    Likes Received:
    168
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    London
    This is a very interesting thread. Thanks to the OP for starting the thread and thanks to gymfreak for all the useful info. :yep:
     
  18. loolalooh

    loolalooh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,631
    Likes Received:
    10,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    ^^ I agree! Thanks y'all.
     
  19. Lucky's Mom

    Lucky's Mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OMG - awesomeness.

    Thanks gym!!!:worship2:

    The fine hair thing - will change my life - I am sure

    :yep:
     
  20. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    Cholesterols contain chosterol which is a fatty substance that will give hair pliablity. From what you describe, it sounds like a nice product.

    I don't like to say that something may or may not be sufficent because it depends on so many other factors. Instead I will just remind you to just be mindful of your hair and not be afraid to step it up if you start to notice signs that you need to switch it up. Also remember that strengthening doesn't always equal protein and that protein in a product doesn't make it a strengthening product by default.

    With "hardcore" proteins...we can talk via PM about these in more detail
     
  21. Lucky's Mom

    Lucky's Mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Where is your Book Gym??? We need it!
     
  22. loolalooh

    loolalooh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,631
    Likes Received:
    10,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Wise words. I'll remember this. Where have you been all my life? LOL. J/k. Thanks so much for dropping your knowledge.
     
  23. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    Loolalooh

    Let me give you an example.

    Here are the ingredients for the Keracare Intensive Mask which claims to make hair up to 42% stronger

    Water, Cetearyl Alchohol, Petrolatum, Cethyl Esters, Trideceth-10, Behentrimonium Chloride, Gylcerin, Trideceth-5, Soybean Oil, Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone, Poloxamer 407, Amodimethicone, Water and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Propylene Glycol and Water and Apple Fruit Extract, Propylene Glycol and Water and Lemon Peel Extract, Propylene Glycol and Water and Sugar Cane Stalk Extract, Perfume, Polyquarternium-10, Tocopheryl Acetate, Simethicone, Methylisothiazolinone

    Okay....Here are the ingredients of Silk Elements Olive oil Moisturizing conditioner

    WATER ,CETEARYL ALCOHOL ,DICETYLDIMONIUM CHLORIDE ,STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE ,ISOHEXADECANE ,ISODODECANE ,GLYCERIN ,ETHYL ESTER OF HYDROLYZED SILK ,HYDROLYZED JOJOBA PROTEIN ,HYDROLYZED SWEET ALMOND PROTEIN ,GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) PROTEIN ,VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT ,HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) EXTRACT ,CYCLOPENTASILOXANE ,QUATERNIUM-91 ,CETRIMONIUM METHOSULFATE ,PANTHENOL ,HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN ,POLYQUATERNIUM-59 ,DIMETHICONE ,OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL ,QUATERNIUM-80 ,FRAGRANCE ,METHOXY PEG/PPG-7/3 AMINOPROPYL DIMETHIC ,BUTYLENE GLYCOL ,BENZOPHENONE-4 ,CITRIC ACID ,DIAZOLIDINYL UREA ,IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE ,BLUE #1 ,YELLOW 5 ,BENZYL BENZOATE ,BENZYL SALICYLATE ,LINALOOL ,BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL ,HEXYL CINNAMAL


    No protein in the first one and multiple proteins in the last one. Is the last one a protein treatment? Not a chance.
     
  24. gymfreak336

    gymfreak336 New Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Messages:
    20,772
    Likes Received:
    230
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    In chemistry class
    :lol: I am not there yet. Working on it but not there. If I ever did one it would be a collaboration with Artemis for sure.
     
  25. loolalooh

    loolalooh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,631
    Likes Received:
    10,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    WOW. Great example. Impressive. I see what you mean!
     
  26. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Hi,

    Okay. Since Gym said Baking soda isn't bad ONCE IN A WHILE, I couldn't resist trying the strategy I originally posted (minus the hot oil treatment and shampoo). I figure, I have a VERY small TWA, so what do I have to lose? Well, I made a mixture of Baking soda (1/3 cup) and water (3 cups) based on a recipe I found online (I actually used less baking soda than called for). But after putting just two handfuls of the stuff into my hair, I started to panic! There was this strong smell that I think was my natural scalp oils dissolving/reacting to the baking soda (I hope it was just the oils and not my HAIR proteins)! I NEVER experienced that before with my shampoos! So I quickly rinsed it out and immediately put on the conditioner. I put in generally the same amount that I always to. A good coat over my hair. But after letting it sit for the regular amount of time, it felt different. Almost like I hadn't put any in at all. My hair seemed to have literally DRUNK the conditioner! I rinsed it out, and then put in the ACV to completely "seal" the cuticles...Then I dried and moisturized with my usual pomade.

    Results:
    It feels tighter. Not as soft. Definitely seems like my hair has been stripped. I know it wasn't the ACV because I tried that last week with great results. So...this baking soda stuff might not be good. Especially when my hair gets longer... Just think if I'd have tried this WITH shampoo!

    Peace.
     
  27. Spidergul

    Spidergul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    17,856
    Likes Received:
    19,957
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lonestar state of mine
    Thanks Gymfreak336!!! I have been wanting to add BS-Baking Soda that is...:look:to my reggi for a while, just was not sure how. After the disastrous experience I had using the indian powders...:nono:I am not so prone to jumping on the next best thing to quick these days. I have moved into the K.I.S.S. camp.
     
  28. Lucky's Mom

    Lucky's Mom New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Gym, You are awesome. I am going to crack a few more eggs for this fine hair.

    Thanks again. When I incorporated more protein, I had much great length retention.
     
  29. msa

    msa New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    9,495
    Likes Received:
    313
    Trophy Points:
    0

    You got those results (tight/stripped) because you used wayyyyyyyy to much baking soda.

    When you do a baking soda rinse it is supposed to be very diluted, just like an acv rinse is diluted. I've been using baking soda for a long time and I've never ever used 1/3cup on my hair and especially not with only 3 cups of water. That was way way way too much. It wasn't the baking soda's fault, it was your measurements.

    If you do it again, use a much more diluted solution. For example, I generally put 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in a big bottle of water (a nalgene, which has more than 20oz). For a first-timer I say use 1 tablespoon and just work up to more.

    Now, everyone doesn't have favorable experiences with BS even when they dilute it a lot. But, you might find that you like the results if you use a more dilute mixture. Whenever I do it, it helps the conditioner take better but even when I don't follow with conditioner my hair is clean and not stripped bare.
     
  30. afiya27

    afiya27 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC Area
    Greetings,

    For the record, I'd like to note that I did try the baking soda rinse one more time. This time, I diluted it to on tblspn to one liter (32 oz) of water. I first washed with diluted shampoo. Then I poured the 32 oz solution over my head, rinsed thoroughly with shower water, and put in a 10 min conditioner. Finally, I rinsed out the conditioner and did an ACV rinse (1 tblspn followed by huge amounts of shower water). It worked GREAT! My hair feels wonderful! Thanks for the tips gals!

    Peace.
     

Share This Page