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The Pros and Cons of Cleansing Your Scalp With Baking Soda Shampoo

Updated 05/13/19
Russell Sadur/ Dorling Kindersley/ Getty images

If you're tired of forking over big bucks for commercial shampoos with questionable ingredients, there's an easy alternative. Grab a box of baking soda and make it your new shampoo.


This is maybe the most simple shampoo mixture there is. And it requires two ingredients that are in every household.

1. Mix together 1 part baking soda with 3 to 4 parts water to form a paste. Experiment to see which mixture you like best.

2. Scrub the paste into your hair and scalp. Let it sit for a minute or two; then rinse clean.

3. Finish with a .


Using baking soda shampoo has many plus-sides. It contains no paraben, sodium laurel sulfate, DEA/diethanolamine, dye, or fragrance. Instead, it is made of a single, all-natural ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. It doesn't create build-up, and it helps to keep your hair free of dandruff.  And obviously, it costs basically nothing, nada.

Tips and Warnings

For a successful experience with shampoo, check out these tips:

  • Baking soda shampoo works best when it's mixed right before you use it. Pick up a small travel-size bottle or reuse a bottle that you already have and whip up enough for a single wash. Just a scoop of baking soda, a bit of water, and a quick shake, and you're ready to jump in the shower.
  • Commercial shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, causing your scalp to produce more and more. Baking soda doesn't do this (and that's a good thing), but it will take time for your body to adjust its oil production. Don't be surprised if your hair feels greasier (or drier) than usual when you first make the switch. As soon as your body adjusts, your hair will look and feel better than ever, and it'll stay clean longer, too. Most baking soda shampooers find that they only need to wash their hair a few times a week.
  • As with any shampoo, you should avoid getting it in your eyes.

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