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Baking Soda Shampoo: Effective against Itchy Scalp and Odor

重曹 シャンプー

Have you ever thought “I have heard about baking soda shampoo but what’s the merit?” or “How to use it?”
As the name indicates, basing soda shampoo is using baking soda as shampoo agent.

I myself tried baking soda shampoo and was pleased with it and continue using it until now.

With baking soda shampoo, you can expect improvement in sebum on scalp and odor.

Since you cannot purchase baking soda shampoo on the market, let’s make one at home!

Today, I am introducing my comment after I use and how to enjoy it at home.

1. To begin with, what is baking soda shampoo?

”Baking soda shampoo” is to wash your scalp with baking soda dissolved in hot water but no commercially available shampoo is used.

Baking soda is alkaline and has polishing action and antibacterial action.
Shampoo using the baking soda cleans sebaceous glands clogged in the scalp and improve itchy and order of the scalp.

2. Tried baking soda shampoo

Recently I had been somehow worried about itchiness of the scalp, so tried using baking soda shampoo in practice.

Depending on the person, you might feel irritation when you use pure baking soda from the first day, so start from shampoo + baking soda until you get used to it.

And my hair lost silkiness after washing with pure baking soda, so I also challenged citric acid treatment after shampoo.

* My length of hair: Shoulder length hair
*Usual shampoo: Non-silicon shampoo (+treatment)
* Time required: 15-20 minutes (Almost same as usual)
*Actual steps 1)Shampoo +Baking soda +Treatment 2)Baking soda shampoo+Citric acid treatment

*Things I used:
1)Usual shampoo (Approx. 5g) ・a pinch of baking soda (Approx. 1g) ・Treatment (Approx. 10g)
2)Baking soda 1 table spoon (Approx. 10g) ・Washing bowl・citric acid treatment original solution 2 table spoons (Treatment original solution: Citric acid 2 table spoons (Approx. 20g) + Water 500ml)


1)On the first day, start from mixing baking soda with usual shampoo.
Brush your hair and wash your whole hair well with shower (lukewarm water of 38-40 degree).

Add a pinch of baking soda (approx. 1g) and hot water (approx. 5g) to your usually used shampoo (approx. 5g), and froth up well.

I might feel little powdery at first, but it is actually same as usual shampoo when you use.

After well frothed up, place the shampoo on your scalp and massage longer than usual. After massaging for 2-3 minutes, rinse well with shower (lukewarm water), and use usual treatment for finishing.

2)On the following day, let’s try “Baking soda shampoo” made with baking soda + hot water.

Same as the previous day, brush first and wash your whole hair well.

Add baking soda 1 tablespoon (approx. 10g) into the washing bowl, fill half of the washing bowl (approx. 1L) with hot water (lukewarm water) as mixing.

Pour it to the scalp divisionally 5 times and massage well.
When you use all the hot water in the washing bowl, rinse well with shower.
At this stage, you have no silkiness and no smooth passing of fingers.

Next step is citric acid treatment.
Add citric acid treatment original solution (water 500ml + citric acid 2 table spoons (approx. 20g) and fill half of the washing bowl with hot water (approx. 1L).
*Please see “4-1. How to enjoy baking soda shampoo – How to prepare” for the preparation of citric acid treatment original solution.

Soak your hair into the washing bowl.
You will feel relieved that your unsmooth hair becomes silky hair.
After soaking for a while, rinse well with shower (lukewarm water).

After rinsing, absorb water gently with a towel. Apply cold wind with a dryer for finishing.


I could not feel major change since I used usual shampoo on the first day, but somehow felt fresh on my scalp.

For baking soda shampoo on the following day, I did not notice any itchiness since I massaged my scalp well.

I was kind of shocked when I felt my hair became unsmooth after rinsing shampoo, but also enjoyed it became silky smooth after soaking into the treatment water.

After rinsing the treatment, my hair was no longer unsmooth, back to silky hair.
I noticed that my hair became little dried when I soaked it into the treatment water for long time, so do not leave it for long time.

I have been using for short period only, but feel like the itchiness of my scalp got eased after continuous use.
My hair can be neatly fixed now, so I guess the baking soda shampoo goes with me.

3. Merits of baking soda shampoo

I tried and loved baking soda shampoo, but it is generally said that there are 2 merits.

1)Remove sebum dirt clogged in pores

Baking soda works as scrub and remove sebum dirt clogged in the pores.
You might not feel the fluffy foam and freshness as you feel when you wash with shampoo on the market, but it can properly remove the dirt.

2)Prevent scalp’s itchiness / odor

Itchiness is caused by when sebum remained on scalp oxidized and scalp gets irritation.
Since baking soda is slightly alkaline while oil / dirt are acidity, so baking soda can neutralize it. After neutralizing, oxidized sebum will be dissolved in water and removed.
And oxidized sebum causes odor.
Baking soda can remove it, and also absorb odor by neutralizing / antibacterial action.

4. How to enjoy baking soda shampoo

Here is how to enjoy baking soda shampoo at home.
Since you cannot buy baking soda shampoo, please understand well how to make and use it at home.

You might feel irritation if you use pure baking soda on your scalp from the very beginning. So I recommend you to mix the baking soda with usual shampoo until you get used to it, and reduce the amount of shampoo little by little.
Since you hair becomes unsmooth if you use baking soda shampoo only, so it is recommended to use it with citric acid treatment.

4-1.How to prepare

* Things to prepare

1)Baking soda + shampoo:・Usual shampoo (approx. 5g) ・a pitch of baking soda (approx. 1g)
2)Pure baking soda:・1 table spoon of baking soda(approx. 10g) ・washing bowl
3)Citric acid treatment:・2 table spoons of citric acid (approx. 20g) ・washing bowl ・500ml container (plastic bottle etc.)

Baking soda and citric acid are available at pharmacy, drug store, super market and internet shop. If you want to buy large amount of these, you can avail these on internet at reasonable price.

There are 3 kinds of baking soda such as for medical, industrial and cooking, and since its purity and prices are differ, please use one for cooking if possible.
Most of the baking soda for cooking is sold around 100 yen per 200-300g.
It is available at confectionery corner in the super market.

1)The first step of getting used to baking soda is to combine shampoo and baking soda together

重層 シャンプー 作り方


Add a pinch of baking soda (approx. 1g for shampoo 5g) to shampoo you usually use with hot water of same amount as shampoo, froth up well.
*Use treatment or conditioner as usual after shampoo.

2)When you get used to it, try: Baking soda + hot water”

重曹 溶かす 洗面器

Add 1 table spoon of baking soda (approx. 10g) into the washing bowl, fill half of washing bowl with lukewarm water (38-40 degree), and dissolve well.

3)”Citric acid treatment” after baking soda shampoo

ペットボトル 振る

*Original solution: Pour water 500ml + 2 table spoons of citric acid into the container (plastic bottle etc.) and shake it vertically for 10-20 times to mix well. This liquid will be original solution of citric acid treatment.
*When you use: Fill half to 80% (approx. 1L-1.5L) of the washing bowl with hot water and add 1-3 table spoons of original solution of citric acid.

4-2.How to use

It is important to wash your hair while being conscious about your scalp than hair.
Remove the dirt as gently massaging the scalp.
This time, I am introducing how to wash with “Baking soda + hot water” until “Citric acid treatment”.

1)Brush your hair well


After brushing your hair, dirt on each hair and scalp will be easily removed.

2)Prewash your hair and scalp well with lukewarm water. Wash whole hair and scalp.

髪 すすぐ

This is very important like brushing. The pores open when you wash it before shampoo, and dirt can be easily removed.

3) Pour about 1/5 of baking soda shampoo in the washing bowl to your scalp and massage well. Repeat this until the bowl becomes empty.

はちみつ 美容 頭皮

Wash gently whole scalp like massaging with finger pulps and palms of hands.
Be careful not to use your nail or rub strong to avoid your scalp gets damage.

4)Do not scrub your scalp roughly

Since baking soda has polishing action, you might damage your scalp if you scrub it. Do not scrub but wash gently like massaging.

5)Use cold air of dryer

Your hair will get dried when you apply hot air on it.
It is not limited to baking soda shampoo, but you should absorb water gently with a towel before using a dryer, and apply cold air of dryer to avoid your hair getting dried by heat.


How was it?

There are many merits using baking soda shampoo on the scalp.

I used it in practice and now love the baking soda shampoo!

You can easily start it, so if you have any trouble you’re your scalp, try baking soda shampoo after due understanding of cautions.

This article is updated as of April 11, 2016.
Further, please understand that the effects / results differ among individuals.