Star 2’s ‘no shampoo’ challenge takes on another level as Bervin experiments with vinegar and baking soda.

I thought it wouldn’t be much of a problem, initially. However, a week into the challenge and it’s apparent that I’ve taken shampoos for granted. It is so convenient to just buy a bottle and store it in the bathroom for daily use.

It has struck me that water alone cannot sufficiently rid the hair of accumulated grime. After two days of washing and rinsing with water, my scalp began to itch and my hair felt oilier.

So, after some searching on the Internet, I came upon this age-old solution – using baking soda and apple cider vinegar surprisingly works well. The theory is that baking soda acts as a shampoo (minus the chemicals), while apple cider vinegar naturally conditions and softens the hair.

The problem is preparing the mix; it’s a hassle having to do this before every shower. You can’t store baking soda in a place where it can get wet. So it’s crucial to remember to take a small amount in with you each time you bathe.

The mixing is simple enough. Add a few drops of water to baking soda, apply to the scalp, pull it to the ends of the hair and rinse thoroughly. Once clean, dilute a little apple cider vinegar with water (1:1 ratio), pour on the hair and wash off.

My mistake was assuming baking soda and baking powder were the same thing. Baking powder is basically baking soda with added ingredients, namely, an acidifying agent. I’ve tried both anyway and have come to the conclusion that baking powder does not remove the oiliness as effectively as soda.

Similarly, apple cider vinegar is not quite the same as ordinary cheap cooking vinegar, although they both achieve the same purpose. While the smell is very strong (read: bad!), having cooking vinegar in your hair is really awful as the smell lingers! But it’s probably all in my head (pun intended) as friends tell me they can’t smell anything unless they really sniff up close.

It’s possible to make do with baking soda alone, but personally, I feel apple cider vinegar makes my hair softer.

For those who take up the challenge, five readers who share their survival stories will be in the running for an exclusive hair treatment worth up to RM400 each, courtesy of L’Oreal Professionnel! Please include your name, MyKad number and contact details to be eligible for the prizes.