Is It Safe To Use Baking Soda On Hair?

Getting beautiful hair has an unending suggestions on how to go about it, the "no shampoo" and "no poo" trend doesn't leave out using baking soda as a part of it's trend.

Though anecdotal proof shows that baking soda aids in the cleaning of hair, the medical community is not fully backing this proof on the basis that it might not be 100% healthy.

We look at possible risks and benefits in this article.

Possible benefits

A solution of baking soda and water aids in the removal of soaps, oils and other skincare ingredients in typical hair care products.

Baking sode tends to leave the hair squeaky-clean, soft and shiny by removing this buildup.

Also, the powdered consistency of baking soda makes it an exfoliant, so it can help to remove dry skin from the scalp.

Baking soda maybe a preferred alternative for those people who are worried about the ingredients added to commercial shampoos, or the cost.

After washing the hair with baking soda, some people rinse their hair with apple cidar vinegar. Since, baking soda has a high pH, in an attempt to restore the scalp's natural pH balance people then tend to rinse with vinegar.

Though a person may try this every day, but many people use this technique once a week.

Although there are no scientific backing to support this technique but good reports come from people who wash with baking soda.


Baking soda has proven to be a very cleanser for stainless-steel sinks, stoves and grills solely because of its abrasive composition. However, backing soda can be seen as too harsh for the hair because of the small crystals present.

Baking soda has a much higher pH than the scalp and more alkaline than the commercial shampoo.

Risks of using baking soda on hair include:


Though baking soda does a good job in cleaning the hair, it may also in the process strip the hair of all it's natural oils thereby leading to dryness.

As individuals vary so does the amount of oil in the hair vary as well. Although excess oil can lead to a greasy hair yet some oil is necessary to keep the scalp healthy.

The hair becomes dull when all the oil is stripped away. Usually, commercial shampoos consist of ingredients that help keep the hair clean and moisturize it.

Applying natural hair conditioners having coconut and argan oil in them help restore moisture.


Baking soda is a type of salt and consists of tiny, abrasive crystals.

The delicacy of the hair may cause these small crystals to tear hair fibers, causing its ends to split and break.

Scalp irritation

Baking soda may also irritate the scalp. It is not recommended for people with dry skin, dry scalps, or skin conditions such as eczema.

What the evidence says

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and is considered a strong alkali or base because it has a pH of about 9. The scalp and the rest of the skin has a pH of about 5.5.

It has been researched that using a product with a pH higher than 5.5 could cause damage to the scalp and could also increase static electricity and friction within the hair fibers. This could lead to serious damage to these fibers and also lead to frizz.

Finally, baking soda opens up the hair cuticles, which causes water absorption. While some moisture is good for the hair, too much absorption can weaken it.

Other natural shampoos

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is best to choose a shampoo based on the hair's type.

Before selecting a product, consider whether the hair is thick, thin, or oily. People who dye their hair should find products designed for color-treated hair.

For those who prefer to use natural products, baking soda is not the only option. Many products on the market are suited to specific hair types. Natural ingredients for hair care may include:

  • Coconut oil: This can be really good for people with dry hair cause it helps in sealing moisture within the scalp. This product is readily available for purchase online or all these food shops that carry products containing coconut oil.
  • Aloe Vera: This can lead to the growth of the hair because it contains an enzyme that stimulates hair follicles. It may also soothe dry, irritated scalps.
  • Jojoba oil: This can really help in treating dry hair and balancing oil production as it may be similar to the oil produced by the scalp. A variety of jojoba oil products can be purchased online.


Using a product like baking soda with such a high pH far higher than that of the scalp, could really cause damage to the hair.

Over a long period of time, baking soda have the ability to strip the natural oil from the hair, cause breakage, and make the hair fragile.

Baking soda would be really beneficial to people with very oily hair, but this should be just a for a short time and with extra caution.

Please note, just because a product is natural doesn't make it the right choice for the job.

Though baking soda helps remove excess oil from the scalp, it is probably not the first or best choice for most people.

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