products you should never use on your natural hair

Now you know we have to serve up the real real truth on Trials N’ Tresses and that truth always has to be researched. We know that different things work for different people so, if you have been using these 3 products and they’ve worked well for you… keep doing you boo! But for those of you who notice something is not right with your hair after using these, or you’re thinking about using them please take look below first.

After discussing various “no poo” methods for cleansing your hair a few weeks go, many of you brought up using Apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay and other methods as well. It was a great topic of conversation, but there were a few mentions of ingredients that made me cringe a bit, and here’s why:

2 Products You Should Never Use On Your Natural Hair


1. Baking Soda: I can’t tell you how nervous it makes me when I hear women discussing how they use Baking Soda as a cleanser and a conditioner. I also have heard women using it to help loosen their curl pattern. Uh… RED FLAG! Baking soda is a chemical (sodium bicarbonate) used to clean our floors/ kill germs. That means it is strong and powerful. Placing that abrasive of a product on your hair is a dangerous game.

It also has an extremely high pH level (9.0) compared to a relaxer which has a pH of 14.0. Our hair rests at around 4.0-4.5. Applying baking soda to your hair raises the pH of your hair and leaves the cuticles of your hair wide open for moisture to go in and right out. This is usually where the jagged dry feeling comes from. Your cuticle is raised and hasn’t been shut smoothly back down. You want to  use pH balanced products or products that will atleast bring your pH levels back to where they are meant to be, and 9.0 is definitely too high.

products you should never use on your natural hair

2. Castille Soap: Castille Soap also is an offender that often fools people. Because of Castille Soaps’ gentle nature many people do not realize that using direct potent castille soap on their skin or hair can be extremely irritating and drying. Castille Soap also has a high alkaline pH that raises that pH of your hair dramatically. If you are going to be using or you are already using Castille Soap in your natural hair care regimen it should be in a diluted state. Never ever ever use pure undiluted Castille soap on your hair. It is also advisable to use an acidic rinse like Apple Cider Vinegar to rebalance the pH of your hair after you have used Castille Soap.

Have you used either of these products on your natural hair? If so how does it work for you? Share your experiences with us below.

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15 Responses to 2 Products You Should Never Use On Your Natural Hair

  1. I use Castille Soap: for my hair but not as a regular shampoo. I use it when I have been in very dirty places or haven’t washed my hair in a while. When I use it I add it to my conditioner. After I let my condition sit for a bout 10 mins I add it to my hair before I wash. This normally helps get that build up out with ease. I don’t leave it in there long but long enough to finger detangle my hair. Then I wash it out and wash my hair with two other shampoos one that conditions and the other is a detangler. After I finished my hair feels great and ready for the next creative style.

  2. Baking soda is actually an excellent clarifying shampoo when combined with water. If you experience extreme dryness, etc. on your hair and scalp, it means you did not properly dilute it. You should be using 1 part baking soda to 5 parts water. If you have low porosity hair, such as myself, a 1:4 ratio is acceptable because you’ll have more build up than someone with high porosity hair. The high pH of a product doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not a natural can use it, but moreso how much and how often they can use it.

  3. I have used Castile soap on my hair before and it actually left my hair soft and tangle free. I will however take the advice of diluting it when next I use it…

  4. Although baking soda appears to be an obvious “no no”, I didn’t know about the castille soap. I don’t use apple cider vinegar either on my hair. It may work wonders, yet the only kitchen products I use on my hair are coconut oil and/or olive oil.

    • Try using a ripped avocado once a month. Mix it well, until it’s smooth. Smooth over your dry hair, let sit for 30 minutes then rinse.

  5. I used to use diluted castile soap in the summer, because my seborrheic dermatitis acts up in the heat. I did an AVC rinse after, though. If I went too long between washes, I’d do a baking soda rinse first. I haven’t done either since I started making an African Black soap shampoo. It works a treat year-round.

  6. I use Castille soap in a homemade shampoo. It also has acv, coconut milk and oil, water, fenugreek powder and essential oils. It’s amazing and leaves my hair moisturized. I got it from a natural stylist. So I guess it’s all about how you mix it.

  7. I use castile soap with no problem. I do deep condition almost every time I wash, plus I often do ACV rinses. That or rinses with olive oil, Epsom salt and honey (to make my curls defined and moisturized.

  8. Baking Soda ruined my hair. I used it trying to follow the MHM. I just had to big chop after months of dryness, breakage. Do not use baking soda in your hair!!!!

  9. Yes, I use to Dr. bronners Peppermint liquid all purpose. Why I continued I have know idea but it left my hair feeling dry and stiff, although after applying a conditioner it was soft. I thought this was ok. It’s been years but I know better now

  10. What is the best products to use to strip semi permanent color from hair? Some say baking soda and dandruff shampoo. Is this safe?

  11. I have used the almond castile soap followed by deep conditioning with a heat cap. I only do this when I need a clarifying clean. My hair likes almond oil so I partner with argon and a bit of essential oil to detangle and twist. No issues with dryness in my 4c low porosity hair.

  12. I’ve never not been natural and I grew up using this very brand of Castille soap with no problem. We liked the peppermint which is tingly and cooling and helped with scalp dryness and itchiness. The only reason I stopped using it is because it left a bit of a film that was increasingly hard and time consuming to rinse out so I just started using other things to speed the process. I use those regularly on my skin with beautiful results too. I’d also like to point out that baking soda is not a dangerous chemical and does not kill germs, though it does work great as a natural alternative to cleaning products and keeps cat litter smelling neutral. It’s very edible and used frequently in baking. That said, it is basically salt which is abrasive and drying, but I can see how a salt water rinse could help clarify your hair of excess oil as it does for my dishes and laundry and obviously, the name of the game after any of these is proper moisturization!