Kitchen Cures: Natural Clarifiers For My Locs

Anybody that knows me, either in real life or from this here Internet knows that I am a Loc Rocker © Brittany of locrocker.com I decided to go natural in 2004 after a horrific experience with a relaxer. It was my last relaxer, February 13, 2004. The Big Chop came a year later in February 2005 and my locs were born in August of that same year. That was the best decision I ever made for my hair. I can honestly say I’ve never been happier with my hair as I’ve been in the last six years.

After going to only two locticians in 4 years, I started doing my own hair last summer (save a few interlocking sets by my friend Yonna). The biggest problem I’ve had is being able to get my hair as clean as I’d like it to be. Locs hold on to EVERYTHING: Lint, dust, pollen and any type of product you put in them (which is why I try to use the lightest and most natural things I can find in my hair). I’ve tried all kinds of shampoos, conditioners and rinses and still struggled with yucky build-up in my locs, especially at the base of the individual locs.

I got an idea while cleaning my kitchen, using baking soda to clean the stove top and some cookware that had stuck-on grease: “I wonder if I could use baking soda in my hair to break down that build-up?” Yes, I’m crazy, I know. But I’m sure if you’re an intelligent person that has any experience with baking soda, you can see the logic in this!

I went straight to Google and searched “washing locs with baking soda” and I found a post entitled “Natural Clarifiers” on this blog called Loc Diaries. The young lady who writes the blog pulled five hair clarifying recipes from different sites as remedies for the kind of build-up I deal with in my own locs. The first two involved Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) which most Loc Rockers have at least heard of as a rinse, if they haven’t used it already. The second one is the one that intrigued me, because of the baking soda factor. I was reluctant to try it because the article she linked back to was written by a non-black person and they went on to mention the use of beeswax for locs. I disregarded that thinking that must be a necessity for non-blacks with locs, but something told me that there was some merit in the baking soda/ACV combo.

So I got my generic brands baking soda and ACV…

I buy generic brands of basic sh*t like this.

And followed the instructions:

Recipe BThe Combo — ACV+BS

For a proper cleanse, a combination of vinegar and baking soda should be used. First, pour the baking soda into the palm of your hand. It should be enough to cover your palm. Then, place both palms together and then release them over and into wet hair. Rub the baking soda around and into your dreadlocks. Then, get your vinegar spray bottle and spray it all over the head. This will cause the baking soda to bubble up, which causes a deep cleansing. If no bubbling up occurs, add more baking soda and spray the vinegar again. Now, rinse out the vinegar and baking soda thoroughly with water. Purified water works best, but many people would rather not buy water for each time they wash their hair. Once the dreads are rinsed, shampoo following the instructions on your clarifying shampoo. The clarifying shampoo will clean away any residue left from the baking soda, as well as bring the hair to the consistency needed to keep the dreads locked and healthy.

I sat with this kitchen-ass combo up on my hair for about 15 minutes. In that time, I went back and took a look at the third recipe. This one involved adding some vodka (!!!!) to a clarifying shampoo and washing your locs with that:

Recipe C: Vodka Hair Clarifier

Add a bit of vodka into your shampoo! It’ll help to detoxify your hair, removing buildup from products and minerals in your water. You’ll notice an increase in shine and a vast improvement in flat, lifeless hair.

The vodka also deep cleanses the scalp, which can stimulate the follicles and promote healthy hair growth. So this is an inexpensive practice to possibly ward off hair loss by keeping the scalp ultra-clean and free of growth-retarding buildup on the follicles.

Condition afterwards with a quality moisturizing conditioner to restore softness and manageability to the hair.

Nothing about that sounded like anything I’d tried before. It sounded strange, yet attractive.  So, I tried it. I got my shampoo and my standby bottle of Absolut…

I didn't have a lot of vodka left, so I definitely felt some kinda way about putting some in my hair.

mixed a little bit in a plastic cup and headed for the shower. I made sure to rinse as much of the baking soda/ACV prewash combo out of my hair first and then washed twice with the “Clarifying Cocktail” (yes, I’ve given it a NAME) and followed up with a deep conditioner.  Here are my results:

This part of my hair & scalp are usually the dirtiest. Not anymore!

Scalp looks good, doesn't it?

Base of my locs, all clear.

My locs have NEVER been as clean as they are now. My scalp felt revitalized and my hair is light and shiny. It looks absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know what chemical reaction popped off with that shampoo/vodka combo, but it was like the vodka was some type of booster! I towel dried my hair, applied some tea tree oil and let it be. I could not be more pleased.

I know some people don’t like to use “kitchen products” in their hair, but historically speaking most of women’s beauty/hair products started out in SOMEBODY’S kitchen when a lady somewhere got tired of nothing out in the stores working for her. Ain’t nothing wrong with getting creative with some basic stuff in the house. Don’t be afraid!

Needless to say, I’ll be using these clarifying methods once a month from now on. I love when an experiment goes right! If you give either of these recipes a try, send me a few pics and your impressions and I’ll post it here on DirtyPrettyThangs.com.

~pbg

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  • Vanitysnob

    Sounds pretty damn interesting to me Peebz. I might try it out to see how it feels in my hair.

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  • Vanitysnob

    Sounds pretty damn interesting to me Peebz. I might try it out to see how it feels in my hair.

  • Yanaebella4

    Thanks for sharing! I’m going to try it on my son’s locs.

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      If you do, please send pics & a testimonial. I would love to feature your results here.

  • msdailey

    your hair looks great, nice and shiny and better in person :)

  • Yanaebella4

    Thanks for sharing! I'm going to try it on my son's locs.

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg PrettyBrownGirl

    If you do, please send pics & a testimonial. I would love to feature your results here.

  • msdailey

    your hair looks great, nice and shiny and better in person :)

  • I Am Your People

    I love the vodka recipe. Now you can say, “I’m not an alcoholic, seriously! I have a dandruff!” (Kirstie Alley actually had that problem. The paparazzi found a bunch of bottles of cheap vodka in her recycling container. Turns out she uses it to clean toilets and sinks)

  • I Am Your People

    I love the vodka recipe. Now you can say, “I'm not an alcoholic, seriously! I have a dandruff!” (Kirstie Alley actually had that problem. The paparazzi found a bunch of bottles of cheap vodka in her recycling container. Turns out she uses it to clean toilets and sinks)

  • http://the-inspire-experience.com Manya

    I have natural hair but I do not have locs. I wear my hair in all kinds of styles-including those that hilight my natural texture and styles that do not. Do you think these recipes are beneficial for non-loc wearers who need to get rid of product build up? Iam willing to try it out on myself before I take this to my clients, just wanted your opinion.

    manya@the-inspire-experience.com

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      I don’t see why not. I say give it a try. If I had to choose between using only one of the two treatments, I’d try the “Clarifying Cocktail”.

  • Deent1

    Because I have scalp issues, I am wondering if just the “clarifying Cocktail” would work on my scalp?

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      I’m not sure. I feel like if you have serious scalp troubles, you should consult a dermatologist first.

  • Jocelynhoward33

    Ooo…I can’t wait to try this on my hair….thanks a million!!!
    Grace&Peace~Jae

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      Thanks for reading. I hope it works for you!

  • http://twitter.com/BsoFabulous B Fabulous

    i am totally going to try the vodka thing! BTW, where are you getting your shampoo? I’m somewhat of a shampoo product junkie, bad i know, but the one pictured looks interesting! can you let me know where you purchased it?

    Thanks!

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      I have a habit of trying a bunch of new shampoos. Marshall’s always has a large selection of beauty products, usually inexpensive. I got that gigantic bottle of shampoo from there, along with a corresponding conditioner. Thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/LocRockin Brittany

    I am sooooo going to be trying this. I gave up on ACV because my heavy-handed behind would always use too much. Baking soda=love but I have never thought to use vodka. Will be picking up a bottle with the quickness. And of course I’ll report it on Loc Rocker. You da bestest!

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      The key to the ACV is to put it in a spray bottle to use it. Don’t pour it in. That was so much better! Hugz n’ luv, Baby Sis!

  • http://the-inspire-experience.com Manya

    I have natural hair but I do not have locs. I wear my hair in all kinds of styles-including those that hilight my natural texture and styles that do not. Do you think these recipes are beneficial for non-loc wearers who need to get rid of product build up? Iam willing to try it out on myself before I take this to my clients, just wanted your opinion.

    manya@the-inspire-experience.com

  • Deent1

    Because I have scalp issues, I am wondering if just the “clarifying Cocktail” would work on my scalp?

  • Jocelynhoward33

    Ooo…I can't wait to try this on my hair….thanks a million!!!
    Grace&Peace~Jae

  • http://twitter.com/BsoFabulous B Fabulous

    i am totally going to try the vodka thing! BTW, where are you getting your shampoo? I'm somewhat of a shampoo product junkie, bad i know, but the one pictured looks interesting! can you let me know where you purchased it?

    Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg PrettyBrownGirl

    I have a habit of trying a bunch of new shampoos. Marshall's always has a large selection of beauty products, usually inexpensive. I got that gigantic bottle of shampoo from there, along with a corresponding conditioner. Thanks for reading!

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg PrettyBrownGirl

    Thanks for reading. I hope it works for you!

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg PrettyBrownGirl

    I'm not sure. I feel like if you have serious scalp troubles, you should consult a dermatologist first.

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg PrettyBrownGirl

    I don't see why not. I say give it a try. If I had to choose between using only one of the two treatments, I'd try the “Clarifying Cocktail”.

  • http://twitter.com/LocRockin Brittany

    I am sooooo going to be trying this. I gave up on ACV because my heavy-handed behind would always use too much. Baking soda=love but I have never thought to use vodka. Will be picking up a bottle with the quickness. And of course I'll report it on Loc Rocker. You da bestest!

  • Neicy

    I wonder if the codka would work on chemically tredated hair as well. If if doesn, at least I can get a buzz, right?

    • Neicy

      *Vodka.
      *Treated
      Oy.

  • http://twitter.com/thepbg PrettyBrownGirl

    The key to the ACV is to put it in a spray bottle to use it. Don't pour it in. That was so much better! Hugz n' luv, Baby Sis!

  • Neicy

    I wonder if the codka would work on chemically tredated hair as well. If if doesn, at least I can get a buzz, right?

  • Neicy

    *Vodka.
    *Treated
    Oy.

  • Tonda

    I will try this with my next wash, and I love the spray bottle idea for the ACV, that seems waaay easier than pouring the stuff over my head.

  • Tonda

    I will try this with my next wash, and I love the spray bottle idea for the ACV, that seems waaay easier than pouring the stuff over my head.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been trying to figure out a good build up remover for my locs, thanks for the ideas!

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      I hope it worked for you! Thank you for reading.

  • http://twitter.com/tiology What's in a name?

    I've been trying to figure out a good build up remover for my locs, thanks for the ideas!

  • Boogie

    I’m going to have to definitely try this!

  • Boogie

    I'm going to have to definitely try this!

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  • Shatani

    im going to get some vodka tomorrow! i’ll send along some before and afters too! is there a particular ratio of vodka to shampoo i should be looking for?? or maybe a consistency that is ideal? does it tingle? i love a good tingle! lol

    • http://dirtyprettythangs.com/ The Pretty Brown Girl

      I say don’t use more than a shot glass of vodka. Mix it in w/enough shampoo to wash your hair twice. It’s going to be of a thin consistency, but the suds will burst like you’ve never seen before. I wouldn’t say it tingles, but you can definitely smell the alcohol.

  • Shatani

    im going to get some vodka tomorrow! i'll send along some before and afters too! is there a particular ratio of vodka to shampoo i should be looking for?? or maybe a consistency that is ideal? does it tingle? i love a good tingle! lol

  • PrettyBrownGirl

    I say don't use more than a shot glass of vodka. Mix it in w/enough shampoo to wash your hair twice. It's going to be of a thin consistency, but the suds will burst like you've never seen before. I wouldn't say it tingles, but you can definitely smell the alcohol.

  • PrettyBrownGirl

    I hope it worked for you! Thank you for reading.

  • Rachel

    I only just discovered your website today. I moved to Australia 8 years ago and struggled to find quality and affordable products for my locs. I had to get creative in my kitchen and thank goodness I did! This shampoo recipe of yours sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! I rarely use conditioner in my hair for fear of buildup — I brought back a few vats of Organic Root Stimulator hair mayonnaise from the states a few months ago and dilute it to before use to avoid buildup.

    PS: LOVE your blog! I’m joining!

  • sonicsilence

    I added vodka to my shampoo and my hair is amazingly clean…my scalp is happy now too. Going to start using cider vinegar as a rinse again, but without the baking soda (not ready for a volcano on my scalp lol) Love your blog!

  • AI

    I like! But does it have to be the good vodka? I’d rather use some Burnett’s or sumn like that lol than waste some Absolut.

    • ThePBG

      Use whatever vodka you choose. I’m not convinced that there will be a big difference in the results.

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