Wonders of Baking Soda for Hair

baking soda for hair

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a widely used household ingredient as it has countless usage. It is antibacterial in nature (1) and balances the level of pH in our skin.

It is the most inexpensive thing around that has lots of medicinal properties, as well. Apart from the regular use, like cleaning, it can be used as a beauty product or as a remedy to treat numerous problems of our skin and body.

But, can you use baking soda for hair? If yes, then what are the problems that can be solved with this ingredient? Check them out!

Is Baking Soda Good for Your Hair?

Baking soda has the pH greater than 7, which means it is alkaline in nature (2). The soda can be used to treat several problems of hair like dandruff, hair loss, etc.

But, it may not be good for everyone. People who already have hair with pH more than 7 must not use this ingredient as it will make them more brittle and frizzy.

How to Use Baking Soda for Hair

1. Baking Soda Shampoo

As baking soda is alkaline in nature and is gentle, it helps clear the chemical buildup from hair.

Just mix a small amount of the soda in your regular shampoo and use it to wash your head. Repeat the process at least once a week for natural and strong hair.

2. Baking Soda for Oily Hair

If you are struggling with the problem of oily scalp and want to get rid of it, then baking soda is a wonderful choice. Oily scalp also smells awful as it causes excess sweating, picks up the pollutants; dust and other particles from the environment. Therefore, it may also lead to breakage (4).

To treat all these conditions, just mix baking soda and water in the ratio of 1:3 and apply it all over your damp head, covering every strand. Let it stay for 5 minutes or so and wash off later on. This will eliminate all the smell in just one wash. Repeat it for not more than two times in a month.

  • Alternatively, just dry shampoo your hair. For this, just sprinkle enough amount of baking soda all over your roots and massage for some time. Remove the left over with a brush afterward.

3. Baking Soda for Dandruff

Dandruff is a very common problem related to hair. It is an inflammatory condition that causes flaky and white to yellow scalp (5).

To remove dandruff and prevent further damage, firstly, wet your hair and massage 1 tbsp of baking soda thoroughly. Wait for 2 minutes and wash off with normal water. Do this once every week for best results.

  • Alternatively, you can add the juice of 1 lemon to baking soda and apply the paste thoroughly on your roots. Let it stay for some time and rinse off to remove dandruff. Since, lemon is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, etc., it aids the process of cleaning (6).

3. Baking Soda for Conditioning

It is important to use conditioner on hair to seal the cuticles and make them smooth (7).

Since the soda balances the acidic levels, it is great for hair. Hence, you can use it for deep conditioning as well.

Just mix ½ cup of baking soda with 1 cup of any of your conditioner. After shampooing spread it from roots to tips of your hair. Leave it for at least 15 minutes or as mentioned on the conditioner before washing.

Note: Never use baking soda alone as a conditioner because it is highly alkaline and it must be mixed only in that conditioner that is highly acidic. The pH must be maintained at 5-5.5 (8).

4. All Purpose Baking Soda Rinse

Your hair gets damaged if the chemical products (used for styling) are not removed properly. This rinse is used to remove the excess shampoo or any hair styling product from hair and prevents the damage (9).

To get beautiful hair, Just mix 3 tbsp of baking soda in a mug full of water and after washing your head, apply this to your scalp and use a towel to dry your hair.

5. Baking Soda for Rough Hair

Each hair strand is made up of cortex, cuticle, and medulla part (sometimes, it might be absent). Baking soda, as it is alkaline, swells up the cuticle part and makes it smooth and soft (10). Hence, it solves the problem of rough hair too.

Note: Do not use this method if the pH of your hair is already alkaline. It may lead to breakage as studies suggest (11).

6. Baking Soda for Hair Loss

Hair loss is one of the common problems among women as well as men. It is said that a person looses 100 hair every day. The causes behind the loss may be numerous like heredity, stress, use of chemical products and much more (12).

As we have mentioned that baking soda can remove the excess chemical and dirt build-up from hair. It, therefore can prevent hair loss.

To Felicitate hair growth, you can drink a glass of water containing 1 tsp of baking soda.

7. Baking Soda and Vinegar

This is also an all-purpose remedy, and it also aids hair growth. Vinegar has been used since long as a shampoo or conditioner (13, 14). Since baking soda is alkaline, you must neutralize it by mixing some acidic ingredient if your hair is prone to damage.

So, in order to use baking soda for hair growth, you will need vinegar and baking soda.

Now, at first, wet your hair and apply baking soda thoroughly from roots to the tips. Massage it gently for some time and wash with lukewarm water.

After completing this step, grab a bottle of vinegar and mix 1 part of it with 4 parts of water (adjust the amount according to the length of your hair). Rinse your hair with this and wash with cold water again.

Note: Vinegar has a pungent smell. To minimize it, you can mix a few drops of hair-friendly essential oils like sandalwood, lavender, rosemary, etc. Oils like lavender not only eliminates the problem of smell but is beneficial in hair loss too (15).


1) Overuse of baking soda will open your cuticles as it has a high pH (16).

2) Always perform a patch test before the actual application.

3) If you notice any side effects, discontinue the use of soda.

4) For hair care, it is essential to keep your hair brushes clean. You can use baking soda for this, as well (17).


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