6 ways to cleanse your hair without shampoo

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In recent years, naturalistas have been putting down the shampoo and using other methods, such as co-washing, to cleanse their hair without stripping it of the essential oils produced by hair follicles. While you can easily find shampoos that are sulfate free, there’s a number of other ways to keep your hair clean and healthy!

Co-wash: This is the most common alternative cleansing method for women with natural hair. Instead of using a shampoo, naturalistas use a conditioning cream to get rid of product build-up, and excess oil, sebum and dirt particles from the environment. The result is super clean hair that’s still soft and moisturized.

Shu Uemura Hair Oil Cleanser

Oil Cleansing: You may have heard about the oil cleansing method for the face, but have you heard of using oil to cleanse hair? Recently, my mom told me how my grandmother used warm mineral oil to cleanse her waist-length hair as a child. She said my grandmother would have her put her head over the kitchen sink as she poured and massaged the oil into her hair and scalp until every bit of dirt was gone. From there, she’d squeeze her hair to get rid of leftover oil and do a quick rinse.

It’s labor intensive and takes longer than using shampoo and conditioner, but my mom said her hair was super soft, lustrous and she never had problems with split ends or breakage.

You can use basically any oil of your choice, but Jojoba, Amla, or Coconut Oil seem to work the best.

One of Sephora’s best selling dry shampoos.

Dry Shampoo: Dry shampoo is just that — a powder form of shampoo that doesn’t need to be rinsed out. Most come in aerosol form, but there are some that you can shake into your hand and work it through your locks. This form of cleansing is best to hold you between wash days or salon appointments and helps absorb excess oil and sweat.

Ladies with relaxed hair will probably love this option the best since fine, processed hair can easily get weighed down by natural oils and topical oils and moisturizers. Also, if you’re a wig wearer, dry shampoo can be used to keep wigs fresh and knock down the shine on synthetic fibers.

For ladies who don’t want to DIY the clay wash.

Clay Wash: This may seem counterproductive since you’re literally putting dirt in your hair, but plenty of ladies and gents with natural hair have raved over using bentonite or rhassoul clays to cleanse and treat the hair. 

Mix two tablespoons your clay of choice with three cups of water and gently work it through your strands. After you’ve done that, rinse it out with tepid water and follow up with a herbal or ACV rinse to get any leftover clay out. Not into making your own mix? Carol’s Daughter has a rhassoul clay line at Target!

Creme of Nature’s new ACV rinse!

Herbal and ACV Rinse: Much like dry shampoo, herbal and Apple Cider Vinegar rinses are best used to hold you between washes or can help you keep your scalp clean when rocking protective styles. ACV is awesome for the scalp because it balances the PH and keeps excess oil production at bay. It’s also great for clarifying the hair and scalp after experiencing product buildup. 

The only downside is the smell, and that can be minimized by mixing in other herbs and essential oils, such as lavender and rosemary, that offer their own hair benefits. If you’re not a mixmaster, you can check out a number of ACV rinses such as Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil Clarifying Rinse. Plus, it smells good!

Water Only: I’ll admit, I’m not totally sold on this method, but I’ve heard that it can render glorious results besides saving you major moolah on haircare. Water only cleansing supposedly allows your hair’s natural oils and sebum to do their work and helps your hair ‘detox’ from various chemicals, products, and treatments. 

Which method do you like best? Tell me in the comments below!




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