This Is What Happens When You Wash Your Hair With Coca-Cola
What if your best new shampoo was sitting in your refrigerator right now?
That may sound crazy. But a trend that has been taking the internet by storm is that more and more people are washing their hair with Coca-Cola. Every day, more and more people rave about how this soda was able to transform their hair in a way that traditional health and beauty products never did.
But where did this trend come from? And what really happens when you wash your hair with Coca-Cola? We decided to get to the bottom of things!
How did the Coca-Cola shampoo craze start?
Just as every supervillain has an origin story, every crazy internet trend has an innocuous beginning. In this case, the craze of washing your hair with Coca-Cola began with Suki Waterhouse, pictured above.
If that name doesn’t ring a bell, Waterhouse is an English model and online sensation. Many aspire to achieve her kind of beauty and style, and they are always eager for new tips to unlock their inner beauty.
And since Waterhouse dated Hollywood hunk Bradley Cooper for two years, she obviously knows a thing or two about looking fabulous. Eventually, she disclosed her craziest beauty secret to Us Weekly: “I rinse my hair with Coca-Cola sometimes.”
Perhaps anticipating everyone screaming “Why?!”, she continued: “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.”
It sure sounds crazy. But is it crazy enough to work?
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What washing your hair with Coca-Cola does to your hair
Believe it or not, there is a possible scientific method to Waterhouse’s madness. And it all comes down to the special ingredients that make up Coca-Cola.
First of all, many of the ingredients (including sugar, carbonated water, and phosphoric acid) can help add more body to your hair. It sounds gross, but chemically, it’s not that different than using a salt spray.
Secondly, the acidic pH of the soda can make your hair look shinier. That’s because it helps to close up the cuticles in your hair.
Do you think your hair could benefit from washing with Coca-Cola? If you’d like to try it yourself, we have some simple instructions you can follow right now!
How to wash your hair with Coca-Cola
Before you get started, you need to gather your ingredients together. This includes a one-liter bottle of Coca-Cola, a big bowl, and a good towel. For best results, you should detangle your hair before you get started.
To begin, gather all of your hair into the big bowl. Next, saturate your hair with the soda. Be careful during this part: it’s easy to accidentally create a sticky spill!
Next, dip your hair into your soda bowl several more times, taking the time to wring the extra liquid out of your locks.
The final step is to simply shampoo your hair (this gets the soda fully out) and then let it air dry. Some who use this method skip the shampoo and just wash their hair out with water to get a wavier look with even more texture.
Is washing your hair with Coca-Cola bad for your hair?
If you have some Coca-Cola around the house, you can start washing your hair with the soda as early as today. But the question remains: would it be wise for you to do so?
Maybe not. The Independent consulted with several different trichologists. These are the specialists who study how different diseases and other issues can affect your hair and scalp. Suffice it to say they do not recommend trying this technique!
According to Philip Kingsley, your hair may have more body. But the process “will leave dirt particles in the hair” and “will be unpleasant for the scalp and hair” over the long term.
Anabel Kingsley agrees with the premise that Coca-Cola can make your hair look shinier that because its acidity will close off your cuticles. However, she says that “other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup would make the hair sticky and gritty.”
And Glenn Lyons summed it all up quite nicely: this technique may give “the illusion of more body,” but “there are absolutely no cleansing benefits for the scalp and hair whatsoever. It really isn’t healthy for the scalp at all.”
Okay, that’s what the scientists say. But what about real women who tried washing their hair with Coke?
Here’s what women who washed their hair with Coca-Cola say
We know what you’re thinking.… Those scientists may be knocking it, but they probably haven’t tried it. To get a final verdict, we decided to see what results different women who tried the Coca-Cola wash reported to Seventeen.
Liz reported that the technique made her hair softer, but gave her way more texture than she wanted. And while she enjoyed the shine it gave it hair, she is curious if she could achieve the same result by simply washing with cold water.
Jelani reported that after washing with Coke, she really enjoyed the thicker texture of her hair. As a bonus, she enjoyed that her hair air dried in about half the time that it normally does. But the moment she put some leave-in conditioner in, “my hair turned to mush.”
Thalia reported generally mild results. She enjoyed how smooth her hair felt and she had more volume and shine. But she ultimately didn’t think this made a big enough difference to do very often.
Finally, Noelle enjoyed that the soda reduced her frizziness and improved her curls. But she said the results simply weren’t worth constantly buying soda and then having to wash her tub out after applying it.
Final verdict? It seems like washing your hair with Coca-Cola will definitely provide some of the advertised results. But based on the reports of real women who tried it, the results aren’t worth the effort in the short term. And based on a trio of scientists, the long-term results may be scarier (and quite a bit dirtier) than anyone expected!