What are the benefits of using baking soda on your hair?
Baking soda, popularly known as the “fat-free” method, is intended to replace commercial shampoos. People say that baking soda dissolved in water removes excess oil and build-up, leaving hair soft and shiny. But this method is not reliable – some people have reported severe hair damage over time.
Read on to find out what the research says about this treatment and whether you should be using it.
What the research says
There is no evidence that baking soda makes your hair soft or shiny. There are many studies that suggest that baking soda can cause hair damage and skin irritation.
The average pH of the scalp is 5.5 and the pH of the hair shaft is 3.67. Maintaining this balance is good for hair health, but baking soda has a pH level of 9.
According to a trusted source of research, products with a high pH can increase:
Your skin’s pH is around 5.5. One study found that alkaline soap (pH 9.5) significantly reduced the oil content of the skin and irritated the skin’s protective layer.
Evidence for the benefits of baking soda is often self-reported. Baking soda can be beneficial at first. High pH ingredients are effective against build-up and dryness on the scalp, but prolonged use can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause scalp irritation.
Evaluating the “non-fat” method
A scrub with baking soda and a rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar to balance the scalp’s pH level is a no-brainer.
The poo-free method does not balance your scalp’s pH level. In fact, the combination of high and low pH levels so quickly can stress your scalp. If you decide to use the stool-free method, do so very carefully. To see if baking soda has any side effects, try a patch on your skin before using it.
In general, baking soda is abrasive and dries out your hair and scalp. Using the powder as a shampoo is more effective for people with more oily hair. For those with dry hair, rinse with conditioner to hydrate your hair.
What other people say
One woman wrote that a few years after starting a no-remove regimen, she noticed that her very long hair had severe breakage. Another woman said that after three years of using baking soda as a shampoo substitute, she noticed her hair becoming brittle and weak. He found that the pH imbalance of baking soda mixed with the high alkalinity of apple cider vinegar caused the damage.
Different leaners have shared similar experiences within a week of starting this method. Some users have found that rinsing with baking soda and apple cider vinegar helps detangle their hair.