Does Baking Soda Lighten Hair?

Washing hair on a regular basis with baking soda causes gradual lightening over time. The effect is minimal on darker shades of hair. Mixing baking soda with other products helps increase the effect.

Baking soda is a good solution for gently lightening hair color over time. It is ideal for people who do not use shampoo to wash their hair and only apply conditioner when cleaning follicles. Unlike boxed dyes and bleaches, baking soda has a much more minimal, incremental method of lightening hair over the course of many washes. This results in a natural look to lightened hair where boxed products create an orange hue or bleached strands.

Mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide helps enhance the effect, especially on hair that is naturally dark or thick. This lifts more pigment out of the strands and adds volume to the resulting strands. Lemon juice has a similar effect on a smaller scale but also helps condition hair and leave it smelling pleasant.

Letting the baking soda mixture sit on the follicles longer before rinsing also accelerates the lightening process. It is important to condition after use and avoid blow drying so that breakage and further damage does not occur.