A Natural Hair Treatment - PCOS Diva

A Natural Hair Treatment

BS and AC

A couple weeks ago I was lamenting about my hair on Facebook.  It has become increasing difficult to style it because it is shedding again and seems so limp and lifeless.  All my go-to products just didn’t seem to be working anymore.  Lauren reached out and told me about her new discovery.  I have been using her natural hair treatment for the last 3 weeks and all I can say is “WOW.”  My hair looks and feels great.   I am going to let her share her “secret” with you.

Guest Post by Lauren Chiodo-Benmuvhar

I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 14.  Of course at 14, I didn’t understand much of what they were telling me—I just thought the few symptoms that I noticed were annoying and embarrassing.  My hair used to be super thick when I was younger.  You know, the kind of hair that when you put it in a pony tail while it’s wet, it’s still wet for another three hours after you take the ponytail down.  By the time I was 17, all of that thickness was gone.

There are many hormones that play a part in this thinning of hair; however, there are also a lot of external stimuli involved.  Diet and exercise are the obvious answers…though not the only answers.  A major component in hair health—and this is for everyone, not just women with PCOS—is what you are putting on your hair.  The important part here is to understand how conventional shampoo and conditioner work.  Shampoo is a detergent, which acts as a surfactant.  All you need to know about this is that it strips your hair of the natural oil produced by the follicles.  Some of you might say, “but I have oily hair and I want the oil to be washed out!”  The likelihood of you really having oily hair is extremely low.  Your scalp produces oil when it’s running low…so by using shampoo, you are keeping your scalp in constant oil-production mode.  Conditioner does nothing by restore this loss of oil with a synthetic oil.  Your scalp doesn’t actually recognize this as oil, so it continues its cycle of oil production.  The problem with this is that by stripping the oil every day, you are actually ensuring that the oil will need to be stripped every day, just in order for your hair to look clean.

When I was using shampoo and conditioner, I would have to change brands every couple months.  Every six to eight weeks, my hair would get this waxy buildup that wouldn’t go away until I switched brands.  I would get a few weeks of clean feeling hair, but then it would start coming back again.  In addition, I was using 400 styling products to get my hair to stay in place, not frizz up, volumize, and do whatever else all of the bottles promise.  It wasn’t as unruly when we lived in New Mexico, but now that we’re in the humidity of San Antonio, I tend to look like a reenactment of The Lion King.  I decided to look for a natural solution that I wouldn’t have to change every two months.  That’s when I remembered hearing about baking soda and apple cider vinegar, and decided to try it out.

Before using treatment and 40 days later
Before using treatment and 40 days later

My blog post describes everything about how to use these products to clean your hair.  Basically, the baking soda unclogs the hair follicles by acting as a mild exfoliating agent, and the vinegar balances the pH of the scalp.  Your scalp will go through a period of adjustment to not being stripped of its oil every day.  You may feel like switching back to shampoo, but don’t!  Once you go through the adjustment period, it will be better.  Trust me when I say this: if you use shampoo even once, you will have to start the adjustment period over.  If your hair gets too greasy during this period, use more baking soda.  If it gets dry, put coconut oil in your hair for 30 minutes before your shower.

While I can’t say that my hair is as thick as it was when I was 12, I can say that I saw a major difference after only three weeks of use…and after almost four months, my hair is much thicker than it was before.

For an added bonus?  It costs less than $10 per year!

For more info visit: http://mycarbonbasedlife.blogspot.com/2013/04/poo-free.html

Lauren Chiodo-Benmuvhar plays the roles of Toddler Cruise Director and Kitchen Chemist in San Antonio, 39dTexas with her husband (JR), her 16-month old son (Isak), and chihuahua (Vigo).  She is on a mission to eliminate every chemical in their house.  When not working in the kitchen laboratory on homemade cleaners and body products, Lauren can be found playing in the nursery, at the park or botanical gardens, watching SVU, or drooling over everything in Barnes and Noble.  She’s on Twitter at @LaurenCB80.


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    1. I found my hair smelled fine. The only thing I noticed was that when it gets a little wet I can faintly smell the vinegar. I would imagine you could add a little essential oils. They can be helpful for hair loss too.

  1. Hi Amy, can you specify what “wow” means? Have you noticed a thickening, decrease of shedding… ? With hesitation, I am trying this method, since you mark the third person I’ve heard of with PCOS that has had some success with it (Lauren is another!). I tried it this morning and notice that my scalp is itchy and a ton of hair came out in the shower… this may be because the smooth texture of my usual shampoo/conditioner was absent, so I just noticed the hair a lot more. I also tend to have an itchy scalp due to dermatological issues, and I’ve been using an organic neem oil shampoo for the past six years, as a result. I am concerned about my scalp becoming itchy and inflamed again, though only time will tell! I may try applying neem oil at night to calm the itchiness down.

      1. As an update to my prior comment, I have been doing this for two weeks, and I am stopping. It is clear to me that my hair is shedding more. I have noticed more volume, ironically, but noticeably more shedding, more thinning, and no regrowth. I am bummed, as I was so hopeful.

        1. Increased shedding is normal. It’s called “the dread shed”. If you truly have a scalp infection and that is the only reason you are losing hair then the shedding will decrease as the infection clears. If it does not stop, then either you have a more deep-rooted, fully-body fungal infection (such as systemic candida albicans) which no topical treatment is going to help or fungus was not your problem to begin with. Other problems that cause hairloss are high DHEA, low progesterone, or high testosterone. Full-body, systemic fungal infections are treated differently and require heavy diet changes and supplements and sometimes even medications to fix.

  2. Asking for a few more details. For the baking soda, do you put that on in the shower on wet hair? How do you keep it dry if you’re handling it with wet hands in a shower? About how much do you use? Do you leave it in for any amount of time? Massage it into scalp/hair? How bout the vinegar…how much do you use? Also, how often do you do this? I only wash my hair every couple of days to reduce the buildup from the shampoo. I stopped used conditioner a long time ago. Also, I wear a pony tail witha scrunchy because 1) I hate the feeling of hair on my neck and in my face and 2) trying to reduce damage caused by needing more brushing from it waving around all over the place.
    All additional tips are appreciated. Thanks!!!

    1. I put about a tablespoon or so of dry baking soda in a plastic cup and fill with about 1 cup of warm water. I put it on wet hair in the shower and just scrub like I would with shampoo. I leave it on for a couple minutes and then rinse. I use about the same amount of vinegar diluted in a cup or so of water and then put on like a conditioner. I let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse. With PCOS you want to wash your hair everyday because it helps rinse away the DHT that causes hairloss.


    1. There are some great scalp concealers out there. Bumble and Bumble has a nice concealer that works wonders I hear. Wearing hair can be another viable option. Check out my post about Aimee. I’ll also be writing about wearing a hair piece later this year.

  4. So happy for you ladies! Sadly I’m allergic to vinegar 🙁 Here’s hoping there’s something natural out there I can use.

  5. This is a great treatment for women who have fungal scalp infections–which is one reason you have the dandruff/hairloss (insulin resistance is the base problem here, though, so fix that too). You can also do borax / citric acid instead–which is the opposite: starting with a base and ending with an acid. Long term you’d likely want to find a pH balanced shampoo method once your fungal infection is gone and your hair is growing as bicarb/vinegar will damage hair over long periods of time; however, some people can do it for 10+ years with absolutely no problems, so listen to your body.

    I personally like to use a superfatted shampoo bar like something from Camamu or Chagrin Valley (their coconut milk bar is excellent for maintaining a fungus-less scalp once the infection is gone) and rinse still with a bit of ACV in a lot of water. Once a week you can do the bicarb/vinegar or borax/acid rinses to get rid of buildup. Both companies also have bar shampoos specifically for hairloss and I have used both with great success.

    How long does it take to get rid of a scalp fungal infection? Approximately 4-12 weeks. Yeah, long time, lol. Drink ACV and ingest raw coconut oil as well, which is what PCOSDiva recommends anyway (I love all her advice, it’s always very in-line with what I’ve found through my own independent research). Treat any insulin resistance and/or candida albicans infections you have as well to prevent future scalp infections. PCOSDiva has a lot of great advice on how to do this.

  6. This was helpful in so many ways. I always wondered why I also had to constantly change shampoos; did not know that PCOS was a probable culprit. I wasn’t diagnosed with PCOS until my early 20’s. I have been “poo-free” shampoo free for the last three years because my hair started shedding and breaking when I was about 35. Recently Its been going through changes again. I will definitely try this natural solution to see if it does the trick.

    1. Did this help you? I too started shedding and losing hair at 35. Wasn’t diagnosed till I was trying to have a child. I have been using Rogaine but I don’t want to be on it all my life. Scared to discontinue for risk of rapid hairloss.

  7. Your hair looks so great, i will try this 4 sure.

    I have a tip for dry hair, that is also natural: cocoanut oil. I use it as a treatment in hair and scalp before i wash it, as a leave in on split ends and also, i soak my hair in it before i apply haircolour.

  8. Hi Amy, thank you and Lauren for posting this!
    I have been experiencing extreme hairloss since
    puberty and diagnosed with PCOS since 12. I had
    thick hair (as Lauren described) so I was wondering
    If this method helps with hairloss? Does it stop
    the shedding and clumps of hair? Thank you!

  9. I have psoriasis on my scalp which is making my hair fall out more. How will this affect my psoriasis?

  10. Hey amy. Im 18 and was diagnosed with pcos back when I was 16. My hair has become considerably thin and I can even see my scalp now. Is it possible to maintain long hair in pcos after my hair stop shedding?

    1. It is important to eliminate gluten and inflammatory foods. Also look into Morrocco Method products. They have done wonders for my hair. See the post on my site.

  11. Along with pcos, I have psoriasis and I color my hair like crazy!!! Could this possibly help too??