Is Washing Hair With Coke a Good Idea?

Ok, for those looking for a quick answer to the “Coca Cola hair question”, here it is: Nope.

But if you want a little more details, we’ve got you covered. So, what happens when you pour coke on your hair?

The question of whether it’s smart to wash your hair with Coke is both new and old. It’s old because there have been many similar questions like it in the past about soda water and other sugary drinks. There was even a whole separate yet identical discussion about “beer hair” several years ago. The driving arguments and the key rebuttals, in either case, were always the same:

  • The proponents of the idea claimed – rightfully so – that the Coca Cola and other similar carbonated beverages add texture and volume to the hair. And that’s not wrong, at least in the short term. That’s precisely because these beverages are carbonated and contain phosphoric acid. It’s that phosphoric acid that gives them a low pH which is good for closing up your cuticles. Together with that, the sugar in the drinks gives your hair a more voluminous “bed hair” look which some people like.
  • However, and this is important, Coca Cola has NO cleansing properties and NO conditioning properties. In other words, it’s not good neither for your hair nor for your scalp in the long run. On the contrary – if you use Coke frequently and you keep skipping the shampoo and the conditioner, the Coke will further damage your hair and scalp.

So, it is true that you will achieve a different look if you pour some Coke on your hair, and it’s perfectly possible that you might like it. However, washing hair with coke definitely isn’t something you should do in the long run.

Is there a middle ground?

Sure there is. If you go through the whole “Coca Cola in hair” exercise only rarely – say, once per month – and you keep using a good shampoo and conditioner in the meantime, you should be fine. The occasional Coke hair rinse won’t be that damaging to your hair and scalp in that case, and if you like the results, you can do it.

Keep in mind that the results only last for about a day so this makes sense only as a styling choice before events. It’s not something that will improve your hair’s condition in the long-term.

Who even came up with this?!

Well, the world has always been full of whacky ideas and, as we mentioned above, this isn’t even a new one. However, Coke hair has definitely been getting more trendy recently and this can be traced back to Hollywood actress and model Suki Waterhouse who told Us Weekly recently that “I don’t like my hair when it’s washed — it’s fine and limp — but Coca Cola makes it tousled, like I’ve gone through the Amazon or something.”

So, that’s about it. Another Hollywood-inspired fad that’s likely to pass pretty quickly. We can only hope it won’t lead to too many folks ruining their scalps in the meantime. Or that they don’t also start watering plants with soda as they did in the Idiocracy movie.

Categories Boldbarber hair advice
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