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Is Baking Soda Good For Gray Hair?

Baking soda can be found in kitchens all over the world, from the baking cupboard to bathroom cabinets. However, did you know that it is also an excellent natural remedy for gray hair?

Read on to find out why baking soda is good for gray hair and the benefits of using baking soda for gray hair, to improve your hair color.

A middle-aged woman with long gray hair, wearing a white vest top on a bright yellow background

Why Does Our Hair Go Gray Over Time?

As we age, graying hair is a natural part of the process. The color of our hair is determined by the pigment called melanin, which is produced by special cells called melanocytes.

Over time, these melanocytes gradually lose their ability to produce melanin, leading to gray or white hair. But what is going on at a cellular level, and is there anything we can do to slow down this process?

Interestingly, gray hair is not actually a result of the hair itself changing color, but rather the decrease in melanin production.

As melanocyte activity decreases, the hair shaft ends up with less melanin, leading to strands of hair devoid of color. This is why, as your hair grows out, you might notice gray hairs mixed with your natural color.

Factors that can contribute to the graying process include genetics, stress, and nutritional deficiencies.

While we cannot change our genetic predisposition, there are steps we can take to improve our overall hair health and potentially slow down graying.

One such step is ensuring that your diet is rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins B12, D, and E, as well as minerals like copper and iron.

Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can support overall hair health and potentially delay the onset of gray hair.

Is Baking Soda Good For Gray Hair?

Benefit Description
Clarifying Baking soda helps in clarifying the scalp and hair strands by removing buildup from hair products, dirt, and oils.
Balances pH Level By balancing the pH level of the scalp, baking soda helps in maintaining a healthy scalp which is essential for gray hair care.
Exfoliation Exfoliating the scalp helps in removing dead skin cells which is beneficial for a healthy scalp and gray hair.
Cost-Effective Baking soda is a cost-effective alternative for expensive hair care products designed for gray hair.
Softening It can help in softening the hair by removing minerals and other substances that may harden the hair.

Baking soda is a natural product that, when used correctly, can help improve the appearance of your gray hair in several ways.

Firstly, washing your gray hair with baking soda can prevent further white hair discoloration. This common issue occurs when white hair starts to turn brassy yellow due to too much exposure to sunlight, excessive dryness, or other factors.

Using baking soda in your hair care routine can help remove this unflattering coloration and even add a healthy-looking shine to your white or gray hair.

To achieve the best results, wash your hair with baking soda between one and three times a week, using hot water or warm water in between.

As well as using sodium bicarbonate, you can also use vinegar or lemon juice on your gray hair. These ingredients can produce similar effects, adding vibrancy and enhancing your hair color.

To make a simple hair rinse, mix a teaspoon of vinegar (white or apple cider) or lemon juice with a cup of water and wash your hair with it in addition to the baking soda treatment.

While these natural remedies can improve the appearance of your gray hair, it is essential to understand that they may not reverse the graying process itself, which is caused by a depletion of melanin in the hair.

So while these treatments can brighten your natural gray shade and protect it from discoloration, they may not restore your original hair color.

Consistent use of baking soda and vinegar on your hair can provide numerous benefits, such as increased shine, nourishment, and protection from damage.

Woman with waist-long gray hair

Benefits of Using Baking Soda for Gray Hair

Some people claim baking soda can restore your hair’s natural color and prevent further graying. But first, let us explore some benefits of using baking soda for your gray hair.

One of the most common issues with gray hair is the buildup of various hair care products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and styling products.

Over time, these products accumulate on your hair and scalp, making them appear dull and rough. Enter baking soda.

Acting as a natural clarifying agent, it helps remove buildup while also dissolving excess oils and impurities, leaving your gray hair looking much healthier and vibrant.

Gray hair tends to have a unique texture that may require special attention and care. As it turns out, baking soda works wonders for gray hair by providing a soothing effect that improves hair’s overall texture and manageability. 

But that’s not all, baking soda is also great for your scalp! By working as an exfoliator, it helps remove dead skin cells and other debris, promoting a healthier scalp environment that encourages hair growth.

Plus, baking soda helps balance the pH levels on your scalp, preventing various hair issues and keeping your scalp in prime condition.

Unlike other hair care products laden with harsh chemicals that can cause damage over time, baking soda is a natural ingredient that is kind to your hair. This makes it a perfect option for those with sensitive hair and scalps.

Baking soda’s basic compound and high pH level also make it effective in increasing your hair’s volume. By removing buildup from styling products and oils, it allows your hair to regain its natural bounce and thickness.

Finally, baking soda acts as a natural remedy to restore shine to your hair. Its cleansing action not only eliminates impurities, but also boosts hair’s ability to reflect light, leaving it looking beautifully shiny.

Woman with waist length gray hair, with a tousled wave hairstyle and a grey mesh dress

How to Use Baking Soda for Gray Hair – Tips and Tricks for Best Results

There’s a simple and natural solution to help maintain the health and vibrancy of your gray hair: baking soda. Baking soda is a fantastic natural cleanser that can remove buildup in your hair while also adding a healthy shine.

One of the primary benefits of using baking soda is its ability to prevent white hair discoloration.

This discoloration can occur when your gray hair starts to turn brassy yellow due to excessive sunlight exposure, extreme dryness, or various other factors.

To keep your gray hair looking great, try washing it with a mixture of baking soda and water. Simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of hot water and use it to wash your hair.

For optimal results, aim to do this between one and three times a week. Be sure to rinse your hair thoroughly after each application.

Another useful trick for gray hair is to wash it with a combination of vinegar and/or lemon juice. Both vinegar and lemon juice have similar effects to baking soda when used on hair.

Mix a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice with a cup of water, and gently wash your hair with this solution. This process can be used alongside the baking soda treatment, as it helps provide an extra level of protection against discoloration.

Middle-aged woman with long gray hair in a tousled wave hairstyle

Baking Soda vs. Apple Cider Vinegar As A Brassy Gray Hair Remedy – Which Is Best?

Two popular home treatments for brassy gray hair are baking soda and apple cider vinegar. But which one should you choose? Let’s compare their effectiveness and discover the best option for you.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a common household item that is known for its many uses, including deodorizing, cleaning, and even tooth whitening.

When it comes to hair care, baking soda can function as a clarifying agent that penetrates the hair shaft, removing dirt, oil, and product buildup. As a result, gray hair becomes brighter, smoother, and less brassy.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a natural acidic solution made from crushed apples, and ACV has been touted for its numerous health benefits, and, similarly to baking soda, it can work wonders for your hair.

It is especially helpful in balancing the pH level of your hair and scalp, which can improve hair’s overall health and appearance.

Regular use of ACV hair rinses can help remove dullness and brassy tones from gray hair, while also making it smoother and more manageable.

So, which remedy should you choose for tackling brassy gray hair? The answer largely depends on your unique hair type and specific needs.

Baking soda is more powerful when it comes to removing impurities and buildup, whereas ACV is gentle and focuses more on maintaining the hair’s natural pH balance.

If your gray hair has been exposed to harsh chemical treatments and needs deep cleansing, then baking soda may be your best bet.

Alternatively, if you prefer a gentler approach for maintaining hair’s natural balance and overall health, then apple cider vinegar would be the way to go.

Middle aged woman with a short lob hairstyle and gray hair, wearing a gray buttoned shirt

What Are the Potential Risks of Using Baking Soda on Hair?

While baking soda can certainly offer some benefits for gray hair, it is essential to understand and consider the potential risks associated with using it on your hair.

When used improperly or too frequently, the baking soda may cause more harm than good. So, before you decide to incorporate baking soda into your hair care routine, let’s discuss some of the possible negative effects it can have on your hair.

Baking soda can strip away the natural oils in your hair, which are essential to keep it healthy and moisturized.

Without these oils, your hair may become dry and dull, as well as more susceptible to breakage, and leave you with dry hair follicles.

Therefore, you should be cautious about the frequency with which you treat your gray hair with baking soda to avoid this type of damage. Instead, consider using it just once a week or even less frequently, depending on your hair’s specific needs.

Another potential risk of using baking soda on your hair is the abrasive nature of its tiny crystals. The hair strands are quite delicate, and these small crystals can potentially tear the fibers, causing split ends and breakage.

If your hair is already prone to breakage, consider using less abrasive alternatives such as coconut oil, which is known to provide nourishment and strengthen hair fibers.

Baking soda is also known to have a high pH, which can be harmful to your scalp. The natural pH of the scalp is generally around 5.5, while the pH of baking soda is about 9.

Using a product with a higher pH may cause scalp irritation, dryness, and even damage, especially for those with sensitive skin or existing scalp conditions.

Lastly, the high pH of baking soda can open up the hair’s cuticles, potentially causing excessive water absorption.


Baking soda is a great natural remedy for gray hair, as it helps to clarify the hair and scalp while also restoring vibrancy and shine, especially if you’re struggling with hair loss.

Plus, baking soda can prevent discoloration due to exposure to sunlight, extreme dryness, or other factors.

That being said, it is essential to consider the potential risks associated with using baking soda on your hair. Excessive use of baking soda can lead to an imbalance in the pH level of your scalp and cause dryness and breakage due to its abrasive nature.

As well as using baking soda for gray hair, there are many other natural remedies available that may prove beneficial.