Nature provides many ways to achieve soft, clean, manageable hair, but I want you to know that baking soda will not provide the satisfaction you are seeking for natural hair management. Your best friend, mother, co-worker and many other well-meaning acquaintances may tell you that baking soda is the magical solution for your desires to train your unruly mane. Yes, friends and family have the best of intentions when they are giving their hair care advice, but they likely do not know what I am about to teach you about using baking soda as a hair care product. Once the smoke and mirrors are removed, the magic of the baking soda will be gone and you will be left with horrifying consequences. Repairs will not be easy and the damage could take months to reverse. Many people won’t even experience the magic. They simply go straight to the destructive results. So I am asking you to avoid washing your hair with baking soda for the following four reasons.
- First of all, with a pH level of 9.5, baking soda is too alkaline for the acidic 4.5 to 5.0 pH level of hair. Hair cuticles are supposed to close to prevent moisture loss after washing. However, because of this extreme difference on the pH scale between baking soda and your hair, washing your hair with baking soda will not allow the hair cuticles to close. Therefore, the open cuticles will, instead, cause the hair strands to lose moisture after washing. This happens because the open cuticles break down the disulfide bonds in the hair’s internal composition and cause the hair to become dry and brittle, which will cause breaking and tangling and produce an end result of split ends. Contrary to what you may have been told, tests have proven that diluting baking soda with water is not enough to reduce the pH level below 9.0, which is still too high in pH to effectively be used as a hair product.
- Secondly, baking soda is also absorbent. So baking soda will also strip the hair of its important oils while it is softening and making hair manageable during the first few uses – this softening and manageability that will soon fade. These oils are needed to maintain the hair’s moisture while also protecting it from air pollution, chemicals, microscopic pathogens and other contaminants. This results in additional drying, more brittleness, more tangling, more breaking and more split ends.
- The third problem is that the damaging effects of baking soda are not associated only with the hair. As you recall, I mentioned that skin has the same pH level as the hair; thus the scalp – being skin –also has the same pH level as hair. Because of this pH imbalance, an increase in dandruff production and loss of hair is highly possible when you wash your hair (and scalp) with baking soda.
- Finally,since baking soda is often used as a household cleanser, it is abrasive as well. This abrasion will only add more afflictions to your adored tresses.
As an enthusiastic advocate of natural remedies, I feel that it is just as much my duty to inform you of not only natural products that provide satisfactory results but also of any natural product that may not deliver positive results you are seeking. Please avoid using baking soda as a hair product and you will avoid many tears. The pH discrepancy, natural absorbency, possible scalp damage and hair loss, and the abrasive characteristics of baking soda are four perfectly good reasons to elude this product for hair care. No ‘poo is definitely a positive action you should be seeking. But pursue natural no ‘poo products that are close to the natural pH of your hair and skin. Subscribe to my newsletter using the form below to find out what those natural products are. I will write about them in my future articles.