How to Wash Hair with Baking Soda: Recipe and Steps

This shampoo recipe is great for oily hair and is very easy to prepare and use. I especially use this recipe when I have too much oil build up on my hair. I tend to get a tad bit crazy with my coconut oil, castor oil and olive oil combo but this shampoo works wonders to remove any build up of excess oil. Please note that when washing hair, it should be washed from the scalp and from the scalp only. The rest of the hair should be washed or rinsed by default.

Baking Soda Shampoo

  • 1 tbsp. baking soda
  • 3 to 4 cups water


Combine the baking soda and water to form a paste. Wet hair thoroughly and part hair into four sections, apply the paste to you scalp rubbing the scalp as you apply the mixture to the different sections. Let it sit in your hair for three to five minutes and then rinse out.

Warning: Baking soda stings when it gets into your eyes. So be careful in that regard.

Benefits of wash Hair with Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a very good cleaning agent and mild enough to use on hair. It removes impurities, product build-up and excess oil without stripping the hair. One cautionary note though, if your hair is extremely dry, use baking soda as a rinse diluted with plenty of water.

Edited to Add:

Use a finishing rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar to close the hair shaft or you can use your regular conditioner.


  • Nikki said:

    Thank you for this. I am New to the hair care journey and never used to put anything in my hair after conditioning. However, this week I tried the water based moisturizer and then castor oil to seal. I didn’t even use a lot and my hair feels gross and greasy. Now I feel like I need a clarifying shampoo mixture so I was happy to find this. My problem is that my hair is typically dry on its own (I am abt 3 months post relaxer). I don’t quite understand how to use the baking soda as a rinse as you suggest for dry hair.

    • Brenda said:

      You are welcome. The baking soda recipe can be used instead of regular shampoo, combine the ingredients above, apply to hair scalp and gently massage scalp (just as if you are washing your hair) rinse out and then condition. It is a great hair clarifier and makes the hair feel clean without drying it out. I use it once per month for a good hair clean, then I condition as usual. Some people use it as an alternative to shampoo every week.

  • Candy said:

    Hi Brenda,
    First thanks for sharing such wealth of information.
    Do you use commercial shampoos, Since there are so many natural ones. If so how often and why.

    • Brenda said:

      Hi Candy,
      You are welcome, I love to share the information. The truth is I use the information for my own hair and it is a great place to check back when I want to do anything for my hair. I do use commercial shampoos, I have a bottle on standby for those wash days when I am either rushing or can’t bother to fix anything for my hair or my beloved Castile soap is finished. I wash my hair with shampoo once per week, with a mixture of Castile soap (hair butter, various teas, milks, essential oils or vegetables). For months I will have a different shampoo every week with Castile soap as my base. Sometimes I mix my Castile soap with baking soda and I get a really good shampoo. To take the confusion from the several natural shampoos that are on the market, I found a good base with Castile Soap and then jazz it up from time to time. Here is why I use Castile Soap as a base for my shampoos. Castile Soap a Great Alternative to Harsh Shampoos

      • chis said:

        Castile soap is not residue free how is it good for the hair? I use it on my body.

        • Brenda Barrett said:

          Hi Chis,
          I have used it on my hair for years. Admittedly, when the water is hard my hair feels sticky, I simply give it an ACV or a baking soda rinse and it feels soft to the touch (almost as if I don’t need a conditioner). I also use it on my body and face.

  • Natalie said:

    So I have lots of oil on the roots of my hair but the ends are split and dry. would you recommend using this, even though my hair is dry at the bottom? or would this damage it even more ?

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Natalie,
      I would recommend cutting off the split ends ASAP. Use this only twice per month if you want to and make sure you deep condition after.

  • Amanda said:

    Baking soda nd baking powder are they thesame

  • ozy said:

    Hey all,
    I’m really into this no poo regime and follow my routine religiously.. basically it all comes down to your hair type.. I’ve tried BS and lemon juice with some honey as a conditioner.. I could see my curls and none of that fizziness anymore, it was like a dream come true! until letting the conditioner(lemon juice/water mix)sit at the shower for some time(3 days+).. It had an unpleasant scent which grossed me out and pushed me towards ACV(not that it smells like flowers).. What I’ve experienced with ACV is that it kind of dried my hair out(I was happier with lemon mix.), or maybe that’s the BS’s fault, can’t say.. So tonight, perhaps I’ve come up with an improved remedy by adding some black tea, honey and some dried rosemary to my ACV.. Can’t wait to try it. Wish me luck peeps..

  • Lisa said:

    Hi Brenda

    When i use your recipe it does not form a paste,it just water with baking soda in it.

  • Edwina Reed said:

    Hi Brenda,

    First I want to say thank you for this great tip, I recently did the big chop because I wanted to go natural, leaving the relaxers alone, and grow my hair naturally. I am on this big health kick from the inside out, anyway I did the Cherry Lola method and my curls were very defined and bouncy even though I have a TWA(teeny weeny afro) this recipe makes me appreciate my hair, I followed the baking soda with the ACV (apple cider vinegar)and it just enhanced the true beauty of my curls…. I also used as a co-wash- black castor oil and coconut oil as a deep conditioner, this method is good for my Low Porosity hair.

    This is a great method and I love it..
    Thank you again

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Edwina,

      You are welcome. Glad it’s working out for you and I wish you the very best with your healthy lifestyle, inside-out is the best way to do it.

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