club soda with mint

Club soda is right up there with vinegar for having multiple uses inside and outside of the home. Club soda is often confused with other carbonated waters like seltzer, mineral water, or tonic water. So what actually is club soda? Well, it is created by infusing water with carbon dioxide. Now that you understand the differences, did you know that people are using club soda for their hair? If you need to clarify but worry about damaging your hair or drying it out, then a natural clarifying method is exciting to hear about, but does it really work?

Many women use products with water-insoluble silicones in them that can cause buildup on the hair, leaving your strands limp, greasy, and lifeless. Overuse of these products or putting off wash day can cause reason for wanting to clarify. When people speak of "clarifying" their hair they are typically talking about using special shampoos that help to remove product buildup, dirt, and those pesky silicones that we have a love/hate relationship with. They work harder than regular shampoos and co-washing conditioners so our hair stays healthy so oftentimes they can be harsh on the hair as they rid the hair of the extra buildup.

Some curlies avoid clarifying products because of their reputation for stripping the hair, opting instead for natural and gentler methods to clarify.

What does club soda do for your hair?

Club soda is perceived to mildly clarify the hair but it is more popular as a frizz reducer.  For clarifying purposes, people who use it feel that the sodium properties in the club soda act as a clarifying agent when used as a rinse after shampooing the hair. Some even use it as a final rinse after a shampooing and conditioning to remove the magnesium that can be found in tap water and can make the hair appear dull and, if you are a blonde, brassy.

Use with hard water

This can be used especially if you live in a hard water area and do not have a shower filter.

This can be used especially if you live in a hard water area and do not have a shower filter.

According to scientific consultant Yolanda Anderson, M.Ed. Club soda has a few advantages for clarifying the hair as opposed to clarifying shampoos. It is cheap, easy to obtain, and you control how strong the solution is or is not, by the amount of club soda used to the amount of water. A solution that is too strong can leave hair dry, and you must remember to close the cuticles immediately after using club soda to prevent tangling and stress on the hair.

Use after swimming

The carbonation can remove chlorine after a dip in the pool that is less harmful than using a chelating shampoo which is similar to a clarifying shampoo but is geared towards removing minerals and chlorine. Yolanda also goes on to say that pool water is very chlorinated and this addition of Cl2 can be harmful to the hair. When dissolved in water, chlorine converts to an equilibrium mixture of chlorine, hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and hydrochloric acid (HCl): Cl2 + H2O  HOCl + HCl

Chlorinated water is composed of many minerals and over time these minerals build up on the hair which can make your hair appear dull and brassy (especially if the hair is chemically treated with color). Club soda is known to decrease the damage chlorine can do to your hair, absorb the chlorine, and aid in the recovery of slightly damaged hair. It has also been recommended to blondes who have had their hair turn green from the chlorine in pools because rinsing with the club soda will restore the hair back to its original color, according to Dr. Oz.

The verdict

The carbonation in club soda does aid in fighting frizz and clarifying the hair. Using a clarifying shampoo is still necessary, but the club soda will naturally remove some dirt, oil and minerals as you can control the strength of the solution to ensure you get the best solution that will work effectively but not dry out your strands.

Using a clarifying shampoo is still necessary, but the club soda will naturally remove some dirt, oil and minerals 

Keeping some around is a good idea for fighting frizz, rinsing all of your shampoo and conditioner out and helping to remove chlorine. It is cheap, easy to find and a great DIY for extra cleansing when you need a mild cleanse.

Read more: 20 Clarifying Shampoos Gentle Enough for Damaged Hair

Have you tried club soda in your hair care regimen?