Reader Alicia says;

I know you did a post on this last year, but I’d love if readers could give their updated preferences. What are the best shampoos and cleansers for cleaning buildup off of the hair and scalp, without stripping it? Also, I’ve been looking for a shampoo/cleanser that leaves the hair pH balanced. If your readers know of a pH balanced cleanser, that’s a plus!

Ladies, let us know. What is your shampoo/cleanser of choice, and why do you love it?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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88 Comments on "Best Shampoos and Cleansers"

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Urban Sista

Henna Sooq shampoo bars — they are great and they don’t strip your hair. My favourite is the berhempsu. I’m trying out Morrocco Method mud cleansers — we’ll see how that goes.


I have come to looove Morrocco Method cleanser, especially the Sea Essence one. They are not at all like traditional cleansers. The consistency is like muddy water- they don’t lather and have no slip but, they leave your hair feeling nourished and (for lack of a better word) alive!


Where can i buy morocco method cleanser? I have a pet-peec about buying stuff off the internet and I wanted to know if there was a store or pharmacy where i could buy it.


Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo. Phew! Although I don’t believe there is any more than a drop of olive oil and aloe, the product does not strip my hair, it’s reasonably priced, and can be bought at most stores.


Don’t use this shampoo too’s a chelating/clarifying shampoo. Before I went natural I used it alot and my hair felt like straw…switched shampoos and my hair went back to normal. I still use it now but only once a month to clarify. If you keep using it and your hair doesnt dry out then you can prob keep using it just be careful.


Shea Moisture African Black Soap Shampoo is my staple cleanser. I use it for the health of my scalp. I find that it it cleanses with out stripping. With that said, I always detangle w/ oil before shampooing so that may serve as a “pre-poo” or sorts.


Apple Cider Vinegar, water, oil. I mix a 12 once spray bottle with a bit less than 2/3 water, a bit less than 1/3 ACV, and two table spoons of olive oil. It removes build up like no one’s business…without stripping the hair. The acidity of ACV smoothes the cuticle and pH balances the hair. The oil keeps the hair from being tooo too squeeky clean and stripped.

It is cheap, good for the hair and effective


So is that a shampoo or do use it after shampoo…do you rinse it out afterwards? and Then condition?


I use the mixture as my shampoo…i prepoo overnight with some oil and honey, get in the shower, rinse my hair a bit with just plain water then spray on the ACV mixture…like i said before I use it as a shampoo. Then i get out and let my hair air dry for like 10 mins/whenever it is damp not dry, and add my deep conditioning mixture which I leave on for 3 hours.

i have 4b/4c hair, fine dense strands, just below colar bone length, porosity that is a little bit high.


Do you use raw unpasteurized ACV or regular? I got organic but it’s pasteurized. Can I ask what’s your deep conditioning? Thanks for the info!


Poo bars! They’re awesome!
I use Chagrin Valley’s bars right now, but I want to try Oyin’s and J. R. Liggett’s next (just for a lil variety). I don’t know if African black soap counts, but my hair loves it too. It gets the hair/scalp REALLY clean without feeling stripped/dry.
When I use sulfate shampoo (rarely), I use plain ol’ Isoplus neutralizing shampoo. I know that may sound crazy, but it gets my hair clean with no problems.

Curly Film Chick

I really like bentonite clay, Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream, and Curlicious Curls Shampoo. I’m not sure about their pH balance but I know that when I wash with Jessicurl or Curls my hair is defined and feels clean after rinsing.

Chantel Jones

To remove buildup, I use 100% Natural African Black Soap. It lathers great, doesn’t tangle or strip my hair, and is available as a bar and liquid. I purchase the bar from Coastal Scents. For ph balance I do an ACV rinse, but am considering purchasing this ACV Shampoo Bar from Etsy:


can cane vinegar be used as a substitute for apple cider vinegar?


Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo is my cleanser of choice at the moment. It oesn’t strip me hair and leaves it soft, no sulfates too! ^^


@nap85 on Twitter, naptural85 on YT highly recommends Terressentials which is a mud cleanser, I believe. Sounds too glam, but her hair is gorgeously healthy, so I’m thinking it must effective in some way. She has a YT vid about how she came to start using it. Check it out!


I love shampoo Bars. For the past year or so I’ve only used Anita Grants Peppermint or Amla shampoo bar. Once those ran out I bought two samples of Chagrin valley shampoo bars (Babassu and Marshmallow root and the Honey Butter Beer.) I love them both. My primarily wash my scalp with the poo bars and even though some of my hair gets sudsy it never feels stripped! I will never use liquid shampoo again.


Giovanni TTT shampoo. I have no clue about the ph. It leaves my hair feeling clean but not stripped. Plus im a tea tree oil freak and the Peppermint smell is a plus.


I love Kinky-curly and Taliah Waajid’s Black Earth Shampoo. I use the Kinky-curly when I need my hair deep cleansed. Also carol’s daughter Tui shampoo is really nice, doesn’t strip your hair and detangles my hair great which is rare for a shampoo.