Baking soda is a common household product that is sold under many different names. It has many more uses than you would think, thanks to its amazing cleaning properties. Baking soda hair care is nothing new but it is indeed extremely beneficial. This is why it can be used to create your own homemade shampoo to rid your hair off residues that commercial shampoos and conditioners leave behind.

How to Make Baking Soda Shampoo

Almost all commercial brands of shampoo contain ingredients such as scents, cocamide and certain sulphate compounds, which are detrimental for your hair. Baking soda shampoo on the other hand is completely free from such chemicals. To use baking soda for hair care, simply add a pinch of baking soda to your regular shampoo or conditioner. Alternatively, you can also add it to plain water and use this water to rinse out your hair. You get the same effect as it absorbs sebum and excess cuticle oils, making your hair look fresh and clean without putting undue stress on it.

What You Will Need

You will need clean water, baking soda and either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. For a more relaxing and therapeutic formulation you may also add scented oils of your choice. We recommend lavender or peppermint!



  • Baking soda and warm water: In a clean squeeze bottle, begin by adding one part of baking soda to three parts of water and mix well. Now pour this mixture onto the head and work it into your scalp. Do not rub aggressively, rather massage in gently and let it sit for a minute or two before washing it out with plain water. For best results use lukewarm water as hot water is detrimental to the roots, scalp and cuticle and can cause dandruff.

  • Apple cider vinegar and cool water: Now proceed by rinsing out your hair with a mixture that contains one part vinegar (of your liking) and 4 parts of clean water. Add to this a couple of drops of a fragrant essential oil to combat the pungent smell of the vinegar and shake well. While washing your hair with this be careful not to get any into your eyes as the vinegar can provoke a smarting sensation. You do not need to leave this mixture in your hair for long and you can wash it off after a few seconds if you wish. We recommend using cold water for this final part. This is because cold water seals the ends and openings of the cuticle helping to lock in shine and moisture that keeps your hair frizz free.


Pay Attention to the pH Value

Human hair lies somewhere between 4.5 and 5 on this scale. Since baking soda can be highly alkaline in nature (pH of 9 in water), it is imperative that you carefully add only the recommended amount to your hair. Overusing this baking soda shampoo or putting too much baking soda in it can result in the hair becoming brittle and weak, eventually leading to hair fall. Also if this is not followed by the vinegar rinse, the hair shaft and cuticle will remain open to the elements which means you hair will become dry and frizzy.


Recommended Frequency

Optimally, you should consider using this natural shampooing method about three times every week.


What Does It Feel Like?

At first it may see a little weird as his concoction does not foam like regular commercial shampoos do. The vinegar rinse too will feel quite different from typical conditioners and may take some effort to spread evenly into the hair as it tends to be quite watery. But once the treatment is over and your hair has dried completely, you will instantly be able to feel the difference so give yourself sometime before drawing conclusions. Your hair will have volume like never before and will be much glossier to the eye. The wash will also last longer as your hair will not get oily as frequently as it used to.

Another Option: Coconut Water and Aloe Vera Gel

This recipe has a pH close to the natural pH of hair.

What you need: You will need one can of coconut milk, one and three quarter cups of aloe vera gel and a blend of your favorite essential oils (for fragrance).

Instructions: To make the shampoo, mix all ingredients with a whisk till perfectly mixed together and pour the contents into an ice cube tray to freeze. You will need only one cue per shower but you must take this out of the freezer the night before and put it into the fridge instead. Start from the roots and work your way to the tips of your hair (again this will not foam) and wash off with cold water.


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  • MeeshaJul.20 12:28
    Hey. I have oily hair with dandruff. I just used baking soda as shampoo for the first time. I started out with great expectations but when my hair dried up its even more gross. All of my hair is sticking together to the extend that its becoming difficult to comb it. Please help.
  • ShayFeb.14 17:10
    It only takes a very small amount of baking soda to really throw off the pH of the water. I have a pool that holds 11-12 thousand gallons of water and just small amount of baking soda can really throw my numbers off. So much so, that I usually stay away from it altogether and instead use borax to adjust pH levels. Good old fashion Borax will drop your pH levels. If someone was going to try this method, they might consider buying reagents to test the water until they get the hang of it. Reagents are not expensive and last a long time as only a few drops are needed to test the mixture. They can be purchased at any pool/spa store. If I try this method I would definitely test the mixture since you mention in the article how important it is to watch the pH level.
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