Why You Shouldn’t Wash Your Hair with Baking Soda
Today I’m going to tell you why you should not wash your hair with baking soda regularly, and how it can ruin your hair’s health. I’m here to make your life a little easier so you don’t go down the same road I did. Read on to see why you should not wash your hair with baking soda!
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Baking Soda Causes Damage Over Time
When I first started my journey to natural living, I focused solely on my hair. I read that the best way to wash your hair was to put diluted baking soda on your roots about once a week. It was not a fun experience. What followed was extremely greasy hair and more damage than I wanted. I was devastated!
I eventually found a great all-natural hair and skincare company that saved my hair from complete breakage. You can read more about it and my initial thoughts below, but their oily hair shampoo was perfect for my hair type, and it lasted me for over a year!
So what’s so great (or not great) about baking soda shampoo? What most people rave about baking soda shampoo is that it restores the life of their hair. It feels softer and has more shine. What’s interesting, though, is that there is no evidence to support this.
Baking soda is a very basic powder. In fact, it gets a 9 out of 10 on the ph scale (10 being the most basic). What does this have to do with cleaning your hair? There is a lot of hidden cleaning power behind the chemical makeup of baking soda. If you’re about to make the natural haircare switch, you’ll want to clarify your hair. And baking soda is the ultimate clarifying agent!
Clarifying means that every trace of grease and gunk on your hair will be stripped off. Sounds great, right? Not necessarily. Diluted “baking soda shampoo” can over-strip and thus cause major damage to your hair. Contrary to popular belief, your hair needs its oils!
People have used and sworn by baking soda shampoo, only to find major breakage on the hair they worked so hard to grow! It can take a few months, or even a couple years, but the over-cleaning power of baking soda catches up to anyone.
Baking Soda Dries Out Hair
For me, the over-stripping power of baking soda caught up to me in a matter of weeks. The first week seemed okay, but the second and third weeks were a complete nightmare. My hair was left feeling so dry and stripped, that anything coming into contact with it made it stand up on end. Even stroking my fingers through my hair made the static come to life.
To top it off, my hair never felt completely clean. I don’t mean the waxy feeling that is common with people switching to the no-‘poo method. My hair was never completely rid of dirt and oil. My hair would look somewhat clean the first day, but it looked as if I hadn’t washed it at all by the next morning.
This greasy root and dry end combo did not look good at all. Unless my hair was tied back in a braid, it looked awful. I fully planned on sticking it out, but I saw that I was starting to get split ends noticeably faster than before. I realized that my efforts to grow out my hair without shampoo were turning fruitless, so I turned to chemical-free shampoo instead.
After hours of scouring Pinterest, I also came across some amazing yet little-known hacks to help grow out my hair. You should really check it out! These things are what actually made a difference in the growth and overall health of my hair.
Baking Soda Could Irritate Your Scalp
Going back to baking soda being incredibly basic, this could cause problems for a sensitive scalp. Your scalp has a ph of around 5.5, so putting it into contact with something that has a ph of 9 causes the protective layer to become irritated (source).
I personally never felt any irritation when I tried it, but you should not wash your hair with baking soda if you have a sensitive scalp. This goes especially for those of you that have dandruff problems! Your scalp is what creates the sebum that makes your hair look greasy, so you want to treat it well!
Even if you don’t feel irritation from the baking soda, it’s still very harsh on your scalp. The cleaning power of baking soda usually over cleans your scalp, making it produce even more sebum! The key with making your scalp produce less oil is to give it gentle products less frequently.
Wander through the “natural” section of your grocery store’s shampoo aisle and see what you can find! Make sure you have a reliable resource with you, like the Think Dirty App. I never make a new purchase without seeing what the app has to say about it first.
Give Shampoo from a Trusted Natural Company a Try!
Did my experience with no-poo convince you not to wash your hair with baking soda? I’ve got a great alternative for you to try! After my ordeal with baking soda shampoo, I decided to go and search for a natural shampoo instead.
Introducing Just Nutritive
I went back onto Pinterest, and I found all kinds of pins for haircare from Just Nutritive. I went onto their site, and they had just about everything hair and skin related. And it was all completely natural! You can read my full review of Just Nutritive’s haircare line here, but I’ll give you the basics.
Just Nutritive is a company that sells all things hair and skincare that are handmade with only the most natural ingredients. One of the things I love most about them is that their site is organized based on whatever ailment you want to fix.
There’s something for oily hair, fine hair, thick hair, African American hair, just about every kind of hair (or lack thereof)! They have styling products and hair treatments too. Just Nutritive’s Oily Hair Shampoo was the very first natural shampoo I ever tried. And I loved it! Plus, their products are so big that I didn’t run out until over a year later!
When you first look at the site and see the prices, don’t click away because it’s too expensive. The size of these products alone justify the price! But if you join Just Nutritive’s newsletter, you’ll get all kinds of discounts and offers. There’s always some kind of 20% off sale going on.
If you have yet to take the natural haircare plunge, Just Nutritive is a great place to start! Click here to go to their homepage! I promise that you won’t be disappointed. I was pretty skeptical of the company at first, but I was pleasantly surprised!
Baking Soda Shampoo is Feasible for Some, but Not Most
Contrary to this article’s purpose, I know that you can wash your hair with baking soda and be totally fine. I’ve have people tell me that they only use it as a kind of clarifying wash once a month or so, and that’s it. Using baking soda on your hair once a month to every other month won’t damage your hair at all. But most people’s hair isn’t that low maintenance, unfortunately.
It takes a lot of transition and “training” your hair to go for long periods between washes. This can be especially hard for people with curly or thin hair like myself. I really wish that I could use baking soda shampoo like that, but my hair is just too greasy. This is one of my biggest struggles with natural living. No matter what I’ve tried, I can’t go for more than a few days without washing my hair.
And believe me, I’ve tried training it to go for longer. I tried washing my hair once a week, but I saw zero change in my levels of greasiness over the course of months. Some day, I’ll figure out how to go longer in between washes. And when I do, I’ll tell you all about it!
You Can Wash Your Hair With Baking Soda Every Once In a While
While using baking soda as a regular shampoo may be a bad idea, it’s perfectly fine to use a little bit to clarify your hair. Sometimes, your hair just needs a fresh start. I used some once after a particularly gnarly visit to the pool to get rid of all the chlorine.
If you’re looking to switch to an all-natural shampoo, I highly recommend Just Natural. They have shampoos, conditioners, and all other skincare products for any hair and skin type!
If you use and love baking soda shampoo, then more power to you! I wish it was something that could have worked for me. If you are going to go “no-poo,” be extra cautious of any breakage on your hair. If you do see some noticeable damage, stop using baking soda immediately.
Just know that you are no less of a person if your hair doesn’t like baking soda shampoo! Everyone is different, and a natural lifestyle is a process, not a destination.
Have you ever tried baking soda shampoo? Let me know in the comments below!
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