The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy argues that baking soda is generally too abrasive to be used as a regular shampoo for natural black hair.
If you have thin hair fibres, I wouldn't go near it.
However, if you have thick hair and lots of build up a baking soda shampoo rinse may be just the perfect solution for you instead of buying a clarifying shampoo.
The recipe is in: how to make a baking soda shampoo rinse.
pH and baking soda
Baking soda has a pH of 9. It's weakly alkaline. Hair has a pH of 4.0 - 5.5 so if you use this formula you have to follow it with a deep condition or at a minimum an ACV rinse or a lemon rinse.
Conditioners, ACV and lemon are all acidic and will help to rebalance the pH of your hair as well as close up your hair cuticle which open up under alkaline conditions.
If you just do a baking soda shampoo rinse without following it with something acidic your hair cuticle won't close, the pH will remain out of balance and this could lead to scalp conditions including dandruff and itchiness plus your hair will look dull, instead of shiny.
Have I ever tried baking soda?
No, whilst I don't want to say I never will, I am not interested in trying it mostly because of the pH. I also have a lot of homemade hair recipes which I prefer to use instead.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx