Baking soda effectively removes impurities and product buildup from the hair. In conjunction with apple cider vinegar, it is used in the “No Poo (no shampoo)” method. Baking soda cleans the hair, while apple cider vinegar conditions it. It works, too; the method’s proponents boast of naturally clean hair, and they say they only need to wash their hair every four or five days. Yes, that’s how clean their hair is. The advantages of going no poo is reduction of expenses, as a box of baking soda will last longer than a bottle of shampoo; reduction in one’s contribution to environmental harm, as all those chemicals in commercial products that get washed down the drain may end up poisoning water and aquatic life; and reduction in one’s contribution to personal harm: less chemicals in your personal care products, less harm for you.
However, I am not ready to join the No Poo movement just yet. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar alone provide little nourishment to the hair, I think, and my diet doesn’t include enough healthy food to feed my hair from the inside. Right now, I’m using natural hair care products that contain plant-derived ingredients, and my hair is happy.
I recognize the clarifying benefits of baking soda, though, so I recently tried it on my hair. I just mixed about 1.5 tablespoons in my shampoo and rubbed my scalp and a bit of my hair with it. The first thing I noticed was how much lighter my hair was. Obviously, buildup had been weighing it down. It was a bit shinier too. On the second day (I wash my hair every other day, you see; I think washing it everyday would be too drying), I was pleased to see it still wasn’t greasy. It usually is on the day after I wash it. Such a simple product, such benefits. Ah, nature will never cease to amaze me. Baking soda can be harsh, though, so it should be used only once a month like any clarifying shampoo.