The Baking soda hair fad is supposedly the new rad thing and thanks to the ‘no-poo’ method popular all over the internet, people have been switching over from commercial shampoos to this chemical compound, sodium bicarbonate.
There have been several personal anecdotes by people that have reported baking soda when dissolved in water, tend to remove excess sebum (oil) and buildup. However, amongst the anectdotes, there have also been quite a few alarming reports stating that overtime baking soda caused more harm than benefits.
Did You Know!
Baking Soda for Hair Loss
Why Does it work?
This question tends to have an ambiguous answer. There is particularly no evidence that supports the reported benefits such as softening of the hair, or restoration of the shine. To add to that, there is more research that tends to show the other side of this chemical, as there is a risk for hair damage and skin irritation.
To understand the way baking soda works and how and till when to use it, it is imperative that you understand the science behind it.
Usually, the average scalp has a pH level of 5.5 and a hair shaft, 3.67. This balance has to be maintained because that is how you would have flawless hair. However, baking soda has a pH of 9.
In a study(1), it was seen that an alkaline soap (9.5 pH) drastically reduced the skin’s fat content and had also tended to cause the irritation of the epidermis.
Research(2) also tends to show that products with a higher pH could increase hair damage, frizz, irritation, cuticle damage.
Now, it may seem like you are going through a lot of articles that allegedly are telling you to use baking soda. However, mostly this evidence has been self-reported and nothing actually is based on a scientific ecosystem.
However, it is truly possible for the chemical to produce/impart its benefits whilst the initial period, however, as the usage time interval increases, the high pH buildup dries out the scalp and even long- term use could potentially stip your hair of its natural oils and cause irritation.
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How to Use?
Although there have been several methods of using baking soda. However, the internet has been raging around the no-poo method that recommends using baking soda in the form of scrub and an apple cider vinegar rinse to rebalance your scalp’s pH level.
However, the problem with the no-poo method is that it doesn’t balance your scalp’s pH level. In the retrospective, it may cause stress on the scalp and may lead to dry hair. However, it is recommended that you try this method after a path test and only for a week to wash away your build up over the months.
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Note: Avoid this method if you have dry/brittle hair, color or treat your hair chemically, straighten your hair.
Using baking soda directly without dilution may result in hair damage. An effective shampoo can be made using baking soda.
- Dilute the soda by mixing it with water. A recommended dilution is to use three portions of water for every part of baking soda.
- However, the proportion can be varied for longer hair. The simple trick is to use more baking soda if you have long hair.
- Apply this mixture to your scalp. First, massage your scalp a little bit. Then apply the mixture down the hair. Do not rub ends. It may cause split hair ends.
- Leave the mixture on the scalp for a couple of minutes.
- Wash off the mixture using warm water. Baking soda can disturb your scalp’s PH balance.
- To avoid this issue, create a mixture of ACV with water. The recommended proportion is 1:4 for ACV to water.
- You may add essential oils to the mix. These oils boost treatment. They also reduce vinegar’s smell.
- You may use lemon juice instead of ACV. Close your eyes tightly. The mixture can irritate your eyes.
- Apply the mixture to your hair. Ensure that your hair is wet when applying.
- Rinse the mixture off with cold water.
In fair and in the conclusion, every experience with baking soda has been different and some people tend to have reaped the benefits and others have not. Overall, the research doesn’t support using baking soda as a replacement to your shampoo, but once a while as a deterrent to breakdown and wash away the buildup for a few months.
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1. What are the recommended times baking soda treatment may be done?
Excessive use of baking soda can damage your hair. It is recommended to use direct remedies only twice a month. For the regular shampoo, alternate between pure shampoo and soda-induced shampoo. Your physician may provide you with a better idea.
2. Is baking soda same as baking powder?
No! The formation process and the components of both are different. Chemically and physically, these both tend to differ. It is to be noted that you should only use baking soda, as baking powder could be dangerous to your skin.
3. Can I use essential oils with this treatment?
Essential oils can provide aroma-therapy to the scalp. Thus, adding them to baking soda treatment can boost the treatment’s efficiency.