Is Baking Soda Bad For Your Hair?

Now usually I am of the opinion that anything that you can eat is perfectly acceptable in your hair, hence the caramel treatment or avocado moisturizing mask. But how about baking soda? I’m not one to use it often on my own hair but it has been touted often as a good alternative to shampoo to clense your hair but are we missing something.

Many of us know that baking soda is alkaline with a ph of about 8.3-9.0 but what many don’t know is that our hair and skin’s ph is about 4.5-5.5 which is mildly acidic. Can changing the ph of our hair so drastically even for a few minutes while washing it cause lasting change/damage to your hair? This lady certainly seems to think so and when you have some time, watch all 4 videos in her series to get a better understanding on the structure of hair. Now I wouldn’t necessarily check the ph of all my hair products like she does but some of her findings are eye opening and a good watch for the curious among us.

Having watched the videos myself I have to admit that she makes a compelling case against baking soda. If using sodium hydroxide aka lye which is used in relaxers causes such a dramatic change in afro textured hair i.e. straightens it permanently, then what unseen changes would baking soda make. Incidentally lye has a ph of 14.

I’ve heard some ladies claim that baking soda ‘loosens’ or softens their hair texture and on the other hand I’ve also heard ladies say that baking soda dries out their hair which based on the ph it makes sense as they are both traits of texturizers and relaxers.

According to many top hair care gurus, hair care products should not stray very far from the natural slight acidic ph of hair and I’m inclined to agree.

If your hair is relaxed and it’s already been through the drama of an excessive alkaline treatment, it probably makes sense to avoid further stress on your strands and keep its ph at its natural level. As a natural head, you may want to avoid anything that could be considered permanently altering to your curls and kinks so again, caution is advised. With the large range of sulphate free shampoo available or even the option to avoid shampoo altogether, why risk it with baking soda? Think about it like this poison ivy is a natural plant but I don’t see many people making salads with it. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for your hair!

About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.

  • The health of MY hair has never been better. I use it only once a month and follow up with ACV. My hair texture is still the same. It ain’t for everyone tho. Ppl with high porosity hair shouldn’t take this route.


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