Co-wash vs. baking soda & ACV

I'm new to the no-shampoo method and only started on this regimen a couple days ago. From what I've read online, I've heard about people who co-wash exclusively so they only use conditioner to wash and nothing else. I've also read about people who use baking soda and then rinse with apple cider vinegar. Is it common for people to use both methods - co-washing and baking soda/ACV? Or do people generally use one or the other?

I've also read some say baking soda is really harsh on hair so I wanted to have this info ahead of time in case I experience this and need to switch up my methods. Thanks.


  • Corrina777Corrina777 Registered Users Posts: 3,204 Curl Connoisseur
    I've seen people use one or the other, a combination of the two, plus a bunch of other variations (low-poo, cleansing conditioner, occasional clarifying, etc). It comes down to what works best for your hair.

    And yes, the baking soda can be harsh if it's used at high concentrations or too frequently. (The same can be said for ACV as well- make sure to dilute properly).

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9800 using Tapatalk
    Modified CG since 11/5/11
    CLEANSE: CJ Daily Fix, DevaCare No-Poo, CHS Treatment Shampoo
    RO: SS Caitlin's Conditioner, CJ Beauticurls Strengthening
    LI: SS Repairing Protein Treatment, CHS Silk Leave-In
    STYLE: Re:Coil, Curl Keeper, Deva Ultra Defining Gel, Curls Rock Amplifier,Sweet Curls Elixirs Okra Gel and Hard Hold Gel, SS Curl Enhancing Jelly and Firm Hold Gel
  • cindyc8000cindyc8000 Registered Users Posts: 2
    Thanks very much for the info!
  • tots5678tots5678 Registered Users Posts: 472
    I have never used the baking soda (& bit scared to do so) but I have done the ACV rinse a few times & love the clarity in my hair.

    I haven't used it since doing the CG method. I may use it again but want to wait until I'm at least 2 months into the CG method & can tell a true difference in my hair especially being that I'm trying to get my hair to ne truly moisturized.

    There are some YouTube videos on ACV that will give you the exact measurement to use on your hair. I wish you well on your journey!

    Sent from my PC36100 using CurlTalk App
  • caramix3acaramix3a Registered Users Posts: 462 Curl Neophyte
    A couple of months ago I had to give myself what I thought would be a good clarifying treatment using Strutt'sWife(?)'s method of mixing a table spoon of baking soda into 3 tablespoons of one's washing conditioner(in my case the Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut conditioner which has been a standby for a good while now)followed by an ACV rinse and then deep conditioner. I had to do this because for 2 weeks I had been visiting southwestern Arizona which has THE hardest water I've ever encountered in my life(trust me, co-washing does NOT work there)because with only cleansing my hair a very few times while I was there I had such build-up of minerals that were drying my hair out something fierce plus it felt coated and dry all at the same time. Anyhow, after I got home, I did this treatment, and I thought everything was improved until, a couple of days later my hair felt even DRIER than before. I think even that little bit of baking soda did it. My hair was dry before, but I honestly think it made it worse. I'm still trying to fix my hair:(
    Moral of the story, be CAREFUL with baking soda. Yes, I know it's cheap and it's recommended all over frugal living websites on "how to save money on beauty products" but it is NOT worth it IMO. I also had a BAD experience using it as a cheap facial exfoliator. Never again on both counts. Sometimes one has to spend the money on something that's better and more efficient. I love the idea of DIY for some stuff as much as anyone else and I do do that with a couple of things, but when it comes to harsh stuff like baking soda and the like, I draw the line. But YMMV, as they say over on MUA.
  • bird19bird19 Registered Users Posts: 66
    Just to add something from the other side on BS/ACV, I've happily used it exclusively for probably five years. I never had any problems except some dryness because I wasn't using any conditioner at all!

    I have fairly hard water, and discovered that i have to mix the BS with very hot water to get it to dissolve (it fizzes and bubbles, very fun).

    But on the other side, I've recently started using a commercial conditioner, and I seem to be having buildup from that which the bs doesn't touch. My hair gets droopy if I look at a conditioner wrong, so I definitely couldn't co-wash.

    As others have said, YMMV! :)
    2a/2b, fine and thin
    new wavy!

    currently using:
    cleansing: BS/ACV rinse weekly
    PT: Gelatin PT
    Conditioner: Desert Essences fragrance-free
    Styling: LOTD Aloe
  • jeepcurlygurljeepcurlygurl Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Posts: 20,730 Curl Virtuoso
    I'm not fond of using baking soda in my hair (tho I love it as a face scrub!), but I've been doing vinegar rinses for nearly 40 years. I use a stronger solution that most people but it has never hurt my hair.
    I would never use soda and vinegar together (maybe to clean the toilet but not on my hair).
    As with all things you need to experiment.
    --I'm located in Western PA.   --I found NC in late 2004, CG since February 2005, joined the forums in May 2005, started going grey in late 2005.   --My hair is 3B with some 3A, currently at mid back length when dry,  texture-medium/fine, porosity-top is low, middle is medium, ends are porous, elasticity-normal.   --My long time favorite products are Suave & VO5 conditioners, LA Looks Sport Gel, coconut oil, honey, vinegar.   
    --My CG and grey hair progress -   
    --My article at NaturallyCurly about going grey -

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