Many shampoos found on your shelf are loaded with harmful chemicals, like parabens, sulfates and silicones, that are not really good for your scalp and hair. Over time, these harsh compounds will cause your hair to become dry, damaged and brittle. Using a natural, no-poo alternative can be a life-altering experience, especially if you have a curly or coily mane.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an inexpensive product that can be found in most households. It absorbs grease and its gritty exfoliating texture renders it perfect for removing oil, product buildup and other impurities from your strands and scalp. Start using it as a hair clarifier to get extremely soft, shiny hair.
Sodium bicarbonate has a high pH — about a 9 — which will open the cuticles of the hair shaft to allow moisture in. Open cuticles are beneficial because they allow hydrating ingredients to get within the hair shaft where they are most needed. You must close your cuticles after cleansing, however, or you risk making your hair porous and fragile. Using a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse or an aloe vera mix will help balance hair’s pH level afterward while closing your hair’s cuticle to seal in moisture and reduce frizz. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner to maintain the softness and shine. And be sure to limit your baking soda cleanse to no more than once a week so as not to over-strip your hair.
Baking soda shampoo is super easy to make. Here’s a really simple recipe to DIY at home:
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2-3 drops essential oils for fragrance (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together. It will have a paste-like consistency. If it’s thicker than your liking, add more water until you get it to a consistency that suits you. And please, after you cleanse your hair with the baking soda shampoo, don’t forget the crucial step of following up with aloe vera juice or a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse to close your cuticles and balance your hair’s pH. Otherwise, your hair will be a tangled mess. But if making your own isn’t something you want to do, simply add a teaspoon of baking soda to your favorite sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash and it will clarify your hair just as well.