If you search online, you will find many videos and written tutorials for creating mixtures for washing hair with baking soda. These videos often tout the cleanliness of baking soda and how it can bring life back to your hair, it is important to thoroughly research any product, including a natural product before placing it in your hair.
It is important that you understand the chemical makeup and biology of any product that you want to place on your hair because it can cause more damage to your hair than good. So, is baking soda good for your hair when it is mixed with a shampoo or conditioner? The good news is that there is a way that you can tell.
There are some people who have natural (unprocessed) hair that have claimed that baking soda is an effective ingredient that can be used as both a cleanser and a softener for the hair. Even some curly haired individuals have claimed baking soda is responsible for making their hair’s curl pattern looser.
But, is washing hair with baking soda effective?
The first thing that must be understood is that baking soda is a chemical. In order to understand how it affects the hair you will need to understand what pH is and how to measure it.
The pH range goes from 0 to 14 and that equals acid to alkaline. Simply put, when something is considered acidic it has a lot of hydrogen ions. When it is alkaline, it has a lot of hydroxide ions. For example, distilled water is considered neutral because it has a pH of 7. On the other hand, a lemon is considered acidic because it has a pH that is between 2 and 3.
Human hair is kind of acidic and this means that the products added to the hair should help to balance the hair. In fact, water can increase the pH of hair when showering or shampooing your hair.
How Does Washing Hair With Baking Soda Affect The Follicles?
Baking soda can raise the pH of a person’s hair. How does this pH affect your hair? This means that the cuticle of the hair strand is raised. Although a raised cuticle will allow moisture to enter into the hair, it will also allow it to leave out of the hair strand.
Even the temperature of the water used to shampoo your hair can affect the cuticle. Warm water opens the cuticle and cold water helps to close the cuticle. This is why many people prefer to wash their hair in lukewarm water.
When the cuticle remains raised, the hair will feel rough, dry and unmanageable.
Those with naturally straight hair will likely benefit more from using baking soda, while those with curlier and kinkier hair types may notice a more adverse effect with their hair when applying it.
When washing hair your with baking soda, you will need to experiment to see what works best for your particular hair type. Apply it to shampoo and conditioners to see which combination suits your needs.