*This post was updated on May 20, 2013 to include apple cider vinegar*
Many naturals like the “no shampoo” or “no poo” approach to hair care (although we should note that shampoo is not inherently bad, and there are quite a few that do a great job of cleansing without stripping), and have to decide which cleansing alternative is best for them. We’ve compiled a list of 5 shampoo substitutes that are effective and reasonably priced.
Apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is a perfect cleanser, gently lifting dirt and residue off the hair and scalp while also laying down the cuticle for a smooth finish. Just make sure that you dilute this highly acidic product so that it doesn’t dry out your hair. One part ACV to one part water is a good mix.
This mud wash is known for cleansing hair without leaving the “squeaky” feeling, and for increasing the ease of detangling and condition post-wash. Many naturals feel that it’s the perfect pre-styling cleanser, because it leaves the hair so soft and conditioned. Plus it’s 100% organic! Check out Naptural85’s review:
A detoxifier that can be used on hair, skin and internally (to release body toxins), bentonite clay is a highly effective cleanser. Like Terressentials, it leaves the hair feeling soft and moisturized, and is known for producing defined curls post-wash.
4. Baking Soda
While baking soda is too harsh for some naturals (because of its high pH), it’s a highly effective cleaner for others. Check out this post weighing the pros and cons of baking soda to determine if it’s the right option for you.
Yes folks, you heard it right, beer. It’s a cleanser known for also adding body to the hair, possibly because of the protein it deposits. TruthinAging.com breaks it down:
As we’ve seen in the many ways it is believed beer can help your hair, there are special components within beer- including B vitamins, wheat proteins, and maltose sugars- that make drinking a bottle less useful than pouring it on your head. The complex carbohydrates in beer have a hydrating effect, while proteins coat each strand, giving them more strength and elasticity. Not only does hair appear shinier in the short term, but it also becomes stronger to avoid long-term breakage.
6. Castile Soap
Castile is an oil-based (usually olive or coconut) cleanser that can be used on hair, skin and even for laundry! However, this cleanser is very alkaline and can leave the hair with a super squeaky feeling, and even agitate the scalp (particularly if you suffer from dandruff). If you choose to use this make sure to dilute it (1 parts soap, 3 parts water).
Ladies, do you do the “no poo” method? If yes, what products do you use to cleanse your hair?