Give Your Shampoo a Lift with a Little Baking Soda

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Baking soda is most often used for deodorizing refrigerators and, of course, baking. This multi-tasker also has medicinal uses, can scrub your tub and – surprise! – can be used to green up your beauty routine.

While some people swear by ditching the shampoo all together and using baking soda instead, my trial of that last year didn’t go so well. I so wanted it to work, so I could really simplify my routine and pare down the number of products I use. Unfortunately, my scalp’s just plain too oily for that.

My favorite use for baking soda is to give my shampoo a little extra oomph on those days when my hair’s gotten so dirty, it needs some super-strong cleansing. Instead of reaching for a clarifying shampoo – which is more than likely loaded with toxins – just pour about a teaspoon of baking soda into your hand, add your usual amount of shampoo and lather up. You’ll find that the lather is extra rich, and helps your shampoo go a little further. Work it into your scalp with your fingers for a soothing massage and extra oil-fighting power.

You can also mix baking soda with your face wash for an exfoliating scrub that will eliminate oil and leave your skin feeling extra clean. Simple, natural, and oh-so-cheap.

About Stephanie Rogers
Stephanie Rogers is a fashion- and beauty-obsessed freelance writer with an abiding love for kale and organic wine, living in Asheville, North Carolina.

22 Comments

  1. I never thought of that! I’ve been hesitant to switch to only baking soda because my hair gets greasy super fast but this I’ll do. :)

  2. Great tip! I like to use a little bit of baking soda mixed in with my facial cleanser for light exfoliation.

  3. Pingback: Kick your shampoo up a notch! « Beauty Blog - Beautyschool.com

  4. Wow, is there nothing that baking soda can’t do?! I use baking soda more for cleaning, it adds a little extra oomph when mixed with powdered dishwasher soap. I also use it to clean baked on crud off of my stove, I sprinkled baking soda over it and added a splash of vinegar to make a green version of scrubbing bubbles (it worked a lot better than any other cleaner I used.)

  5. Yeah, I use it for EVERYthing too! Don’t forget deodorizing cat litter boxes and also you can make toothpowder with it (i used straight baking soda growing up for about 5 years and I’ve never had a cavity!)

  6. It really does work adding baking soda to shampoo. When you have used a shampoo for a while it does not work as good as it did the first time. The baking soda helps keep you shampoo working great and leaving you hair clean and fresh.

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  8. Thank you for the great tip of baking soda in shampoo…

    aka the good witch

  9. I started making a baking soda paste (3 parts baking soda to 1 part water) to use after washing my face. I love the results! I still need to use lotion but my face looks amazing. I’m trying the shampoo one next shower!

  10. Just tried this. I feel soooo clean! :)

  11. Shanna Salazar says:

    Did any try the mixture? i tried it with 2 different kinds of shampoos Caprice and suave the smell of the mixture was very strong very similar to peroxide and now my scalp itches :(

  12. Kimberly says:

    This works well, Thanks :)

  13. it work great
    can i add baking soda into my shampoo bottle

  14. Its amazing I just came across this. I just finish washing my daughter’s (5 years old) hair this way. I took a 1/4 cup of shampoo and 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a tablespooon of water. Then I washed her hair with my baking soda shampoo mixture. Her hair was so shiny and clean. We use Suave Shea Butter and Almond shampoo (for now until I can find a natural shampoo). She is biracial, but has thick curly (3c and 4a) hair more like me. Loved the results and will keep using it.

  15. Putting a little baking soda with your daily routine is great, but every day is bad for your hair. Because it strips your hair of everything,baking soda is used well once a month or every few weeks but, every day is bad for your hair.

  16. lilydalelah says:

    I have mixed baking soda with my shampoo and now my hair looks almost normal

  17. Wow what a coincidence! Another lilydalelah in the world! I’m curious how you got your screen name “lilydalelah”? I’ve had it about 12 years and until recently I’ve been the only one. But here you are! Please do tell what’s the story behind your name?

    Baking soda – a great multi-use product! I use it for cleaning, sometimes mixed with vinegar, but never tried it in my hair. Neutrogena clear is my “must have”. Luckily my hair is so easy to manage and looks very nice most of the time; all I have to do is wash, condition, go. I’m glad I don’t need to cart enormous hairdryers that take up half a suitcase, series’ of brushes, products, special towels and so forth even for short weekend trips to a rustic desert park for hiking, or refrain from washing it for days due to hours of work toward making it look semi-normal. I feel bad for people who waste so much time and destroy the environment over silly hair obsessions.

    Vinegar is a favorite product of mine for cleaning instead of using smelly chemicals — haven’t tried it in hair yet but that might work. It is a great rinse for laundry instead of fabric softener. And it cures hiccups.

    And Lilydalelah, my doppelganger … i hope to hear your story so let me know. It’d be a great coincidence if your name is also Lauren. And good luck with your hair issues.

  18. Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing work.

  19. oh and doppelganger, please unlink from MY GRAVATAR. Now my face shows up next to your impersonated post.

  20. Hello, I am Lauren Hayes, aka Lilydalelah. A pic of me and my hair that the doppelganger impersonating me says is “almost normal” can be found at about.me/lilydalelah

    But it is not baking soda related. It’s natural hair without “issues”. I would just like for her to stop using my username and likeness and now my gravatar. The hair obsession is also a little weird as this is the third site she has mentioned hair; here impersonating me and twice elsewhere insulting me in photos.

    But since it is the topic:
    I use Neutrogena clear (the green) and alternate with the clarifying. pinterest.com/lilydalelah/products-i-love/ showcases some of my favs. I keep various spraycans of white vinegar for cleaning and shining computer or iphone screens too. Baking soda is great for whitening my husband’s favorite hat when it gets dingy.

  21. I sometimes find baking soda works wonders in the final rinse cycle of the laundry especially when mixed with a little vinegar. Gets the excess soap out and eliminates need for fabric softener.

  22. Will mixing baking soda with my shampoo strip my dyed colour out?

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