3. Baking Soda is Natural
Pro: Baking soda occurs naturally
Anti: Baking Soda can also be manufactured based on the naturally occurring form. It is therefore not always natural.
Pro: Baking soda is weakly soluble in water which means it takes some skill to be able to wash with it properly (including properly rinsing off any particles). As a cleanser, scientifically it has been shown to have some antimicrobial properties (Journal of Environmental Health, pp 27–31, 1994).
Anti: The primary purpose of shampoo is to remove oil and the dirt attached to it. Baking soda is not known to dissolve oil and is usually used in cleaning as a scourer (i.e scrub clean). It may not be the best choice if your routine utilises a lot of oil.
5. pH of Baking Soda
Pro: You can purchase a ph 7 (neutral) baking soda (which is a mix of baking soda and corn starch). This type of baking soda will be found at confectioners. The neutral pH is achieved only with water mixes (not apple cider vinegar or hair conditioner which may cause the baking soda to react and change the pH to alkaline).
Anti: The natural pH of pure baking soda is around 10. Hair is generally resistant to pH changes within the pH range 4–9 ((J Soc Cosmet Chem, pp 393–405, 1981), and generally hair products are made to a narrower range of pH 4–7, so pure baking soda is clearly out of this range.
Conclusion: Some women have great success with alkaline based cleansers such as baking soda or castile soap. As an example Sera used to use baking soda to cleanse her scalp in between washes. Roshini also used castile soap successfully in the past. Some naturals will not find baking soda to be a good enough cleanser or may be cautious about pH and therefore a shampoo (not soap based) is a better option for these women. Do remember that even when selecting a shampoo, pH is not everything, read the label, see what ingredients are in the bottle. If those ingredients irritate your skin or dry your hair ‚take note of them to avoid in future. If they do not, remember them for the next time you want to try a new shampoo.
Ladies, do you use baking soda in your regimen? Is it too harsh? Or does it work well?