Hair washing is an integral part of your hair care routine. While most of you choose to use shampoo to wash your hair, do you know it tends to strip off your hair’s natural lustre at times?
Shampoo is great, but it can have damaging effects on your hair and scalp too. The good news is that you can wash your hair even without shampoo. Natural alternatives to shampoo can help you achieve clean and healthy hair.
Scroll down to know what are the different alternatives to shampoo and how you can wash your hair with them.
Why Is Shampooing Important?
1. Cleans Your Hair & Scalp
Your scalp produces sebum, a natural oil, to keep your hair moisturized. Excess of sebum clogs your scalp pores leading to many scalp issues. That's why cleansing your hair and scalp is important. Shampoo removes the excess oil from your scalp and cleans your hair follicles thoroughly. In this process, it also removes the unwanted dirt, dust and product buildup from your scalp and hair. Dirty scalp is also breeding ground for bacteria and can cause serious scalp conditions such as tinea capitis ( a type of ringworm infection), Seborrheic dermatitis  etc. Hence, keeping your scalp clean is extremely important and hygienic too.
2. Controls Hair Loss
One of our major hair concerns is hair fall. Hair fall can happen for many reasons, some of which includes dandruff, medications, stress, and conditions like psoriasis. Also, your hair tends to accumulate product build-up and environmental dirt and grime over time if you don’t clean it, thus making it greasy and prone to breakage. To control your hair fall, it is important to keep your hair clean and provide it with necessary nutrients that are often found in your shampoo and conditioner.
3. Reduces Cortisol Secretion
Cortisol is popularly known as the stress hormone. If you are stressed, your adrenal gland releases the cortisol hormone. When cortisol level increases, it creates a wide range of health problems in your body such as high pressure, heart-related issues etc. Studies suggest hair cortisol level significantly reduces when you wash your hair. 
What Happens When You Wash Your Hair Without Shampoo?
Whether you use shampoo or not, washing your hair is as important as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. You can’t skip hair washing but you can decide it’s frequency depending on your hair type and needs. Many people avoid using regular shampoos as they contain harmful chemicals and sulfates as cleaning agents that tend to remove the natural oils from your scalp. Even though sulfate cleans your hair follicles pretty well, it dries off your scalp. Natural alternatives to shampoo help you clean your hair gently, without causing damage to your hair.
You can simply make herbal shampoo bars or shampoo liquids at home with natural ingredients. You can also use only water to wash your hair. This method works best for people with curly, thick, coily and coarse hair. Also, if you have tangle-prone hair, you can choose to clean your hair only with water and then go for a deep conditioner. Skipping shampoo will allow sebum to evenly spread over your scalp and keep your hair moisturized.
How To Wash Hair Without Shampoo?
- Wet your hair.
- Scrub your scalp for a few minutes. Scrubbing is vital because it makes your hair appear less greasy. Remember to scrub your hairline and back part of your head.
- Rub the soap bar or the liquid over your scalp in circular strokes. Continue this until bubbles form. Gently massage your hair and then rinse.
- To add on to your perfect hair washing, use a homemade conditioner made with natural ingredients to make your hair soft. It can also help you manage your tangles.
- Make sure to comb your wet hair with a wide-toothed comb and dry hair with a comb that has natural bristles. This way the natural oils from your scalp can get evenly distributed throughout your hair, thus making it appear shiny.
Benefits of Hair Washing Without Shampoo
- Improves the health of your scalp
- Helps in producing a balanced amount of sebum
- Increases the volume of your hair
- Improves the texture of your hair
- Reduces your exposure to harmful chemicals
- No-shampoo method is eco friendly
Alternatives To Shampoo
1. Hair Soap
Hair soaps generally do not contain any synthetic surfactants. They have saponified oils to clean your hair. Palm oil is another ingredient used in some of the hair soaps. Always check the ingredients of the hair soap before buying. Look for oils that provide your hair with ultimate moisturization such as avocado oil, babassu oil, butter and castor oil. Hair soaps make your hair stronger, smoother and shinier. They also prevent scalp irritation.
2. Solid Shampoo
Solid shampoos are not exactly alternatives to liquid shampoos, but you can opt for them if you want to avoid using a regular liquid shampoo. Like liquid shampoos, solid shampoos also contain cleansing agents like SLS and SLES. But there are solid shampoos available over the counter that have natural ingredients that work as cleansing agents. Solid shampoos that are formulated with natural ingredients like green clay, argan oil, bentonite clay are definitely a healthy choice for your hair. It doesn’t make your hair feel greasy, instead, it gives your hair a better texture.
3. Home Remedies
A. Light Rye Flour
Rye flour is a good alternative to wash your hair with. It is packed with vitamins, amino acids, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids. The best part of rye flour is it does not affect the natural pH level of your hair and scalp. It also provides you with regenerating and anti-inflammatory benefits so that your scalp can fight off any type of infection. The vitamin B5 of rye flour works as an antiseptic component . Anyone can use light rye flour as an alternative to shampoo as it is suitable for all types of hair.
How To Use
1. Take a bowl and mix 2 tablespoons of rye flour with water. (Increase the amount if you have long hair)
2. Mix it properly and make a runny paste.
3. Make parts of your hair with fingers.
4. Apply the paste onto your scalp. Do not leave any part.
5. Massage your scalp.
6. Let the paste stay for a while and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
7. Use a conditioner or use apple cider vinegar as a conditioner.
B. Bentonite Clay
Most of you may think that Bentonite clay  is just for facial usage. But that’s not true. Besides being a magic ingredient in your face mask, bentonite clay is also a great hair cleanser. It can clean the dirt, grime, and grease from your scalp. But bentonite clay to an extent strips your scalp’s natural oils, a bit more than what rye flour does. Nevertheless, it is still much less harsh and harmful than the chemical-laden shampoo you use daily.
How To Use
1. In a bowl, mix 1-2 tbsp of bentonite clay with water.
2. Make a smooth paste.
3. Apply on your scalp and hair from root to tip.
4. Massage your scalp gently and clean your hair with water.
5. You can use a conditioner of your choice.
C. Baking Soda
Baking soda  is a bit abrasive and tends to dry out your scalp. That’s why baking soda is not an option for people with dry scalp. But if you have an oily scalp, baking soda would help to strip the extra sebum and make your hair less greasy. You can use baking soda and apple cider vinegar to control your dandruff problems.
How To Use
1. It is best to use baking soda occasionally.
2. vMix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water.
3. Apply the baking soda combination on your scalp and massage gently.
4. Wash your hair with water and apply the apple cider vinegar as a conditioner.
D. Amla Powder
Amla is considered to be a brilliant ingredient for hair care. You will get amla powder in your local stores or you can make it in your home as well. Amla is full of essential fatty acids that help to promote your hair growth. It also stops premature hair greying.
How To Use
1. Mix amla powder with little water and make a runny paste.
2. Apply the paste on your hair from root to tip.
3. Leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Rinse it with running water.
Henna is a popular shampoo alternative. If you like to experiment with your hair as well as take care of its health, henna could be your pick. Henna powder is easily available in the market. It has a lot of natural ingredients that promotes hair growth, reduces hair fall and also provides deep conditioning effects on your hair. You can apply henna once every six weeks.
How To Use
1. Mix a cup of henna powder with a cup of hot green tea.
2. Leave it for the entire night.
3. Next morning, add a few drops of lemon juice.
4. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it for 30 minutes.
5. Wash it with running water.
Tips To Remember For No Shampoo Method
1. Be committed to the no-shampoo method. To see the result you need to practice the method for a long time.
2. Try to avoid heating tools for your hair as much as you can.
3. Try to use soft water in your hair.
4. Removing shampoo from your hair care will require you add a lot of moisture ingredients, opt for deep conditioning products.
5. Know your hair type and choose products that are suitable for your unique hair.
What Can Be The Possible Side Effects?
- You will need time to get adjusted with the no-shampoo method. By the time you get adjusted, your hair may go through minor changes
- Using baking soda as an alternative method to shampoo can dry up your scalp. Many people have complained about hair dryness after using baking soda
- If you are not following the right method to wash your hair with alternatives, your hair may tangle and you will have difficulty in brushing your hair
- During the adjustment period of your no-shampoo method, dirt and excess sebum can accumulate on your scalp which can lead to irritating bumps.
Washing your hair with shampoo is the most convenient way to clean your hair. Since most of the shampoos contain harsh chemicals and harmful ingredients, you may want to opt for alternative ways to clean your hair. No shampoo or no-poo methods are easy but you will need time to get accustomed to it. You can opt for natural alternatives to shampoo to give your hair gentle yet thorough cleaning. Also, remember to maintain a proper hair care routine to protect your hair health.
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