5 Things To Wash Your Hair With If You're Trying To Ditch Your Shampoo

by Imani Brammer
Jeremy Pawlowski

Next to taking a shower and getting a massage, washing your hair can feel like the ultimate therapeutic session. However, is it really self-care if the very shampoo you are using to wash your strands is actually pretty damaging? The truth is, there are many ways to wash your hair without shampoo. It makes no sense to use a product simply for the sake of beauty tradition, when it can in fact, be wreaking some unfortunate havoc on your strands. After all, a good hair rinse, sans shampoo is becoming more widespread for a reason.

Shampoos are loaded with a plethora of chemicals that your hair never really asked for, like parabens. What's the deal with parabens? Well for one, these chemical preservatives are linked to cancer, and secondly, they can alter your hormonal balance. According to celebrity hairstylist of WE TV's L.A. Hair, Anthony Pazos, who spoke with Thrillist, "Even at very low doses, parabens have been linked to reproductive damage and organ toxicity."

Can you believe that that's the sweet stuff you're putting in your hair? Yeah, me neither. Do yourself a favor and see below for the five ways to wash your hair if you just don't feel like dealing with shampoo.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Suzanne Clements

Apple cider vinegar is a great alternative to shampoo because rinsing with it can help to bring your scalp to an ideal acidity level, whereas washing with normal shampoo disrupts the natural pH, affecting the cuticles of the hair and the condition of the scalp. With ACV, your hair gets a relief, because ACV's pH is very close to that of human hair. If you have oily hair, ACV would be an excellent alternative rinse for you.

2. Co-Wash

A co-wash is perfect for those with kinkier, curlier, drier hair strands, as conditioners help to lock moisture within your hair. With this method, it's best to opt for a conditioner without silicones, because that can weigh your hair down. It won't leave your hair as clean as shampoo, but it'll get the job done while leaving your locks looking shiny and moisturized.

3. Lemon Juice

If your hair is oily and tends to lack volume, lemon juice should be your go-to as a shampoo alternative. This natural product is not only inexpensive to purchase, but it expertly removes dirt and grease from the hair by balancing your scalp's production of natural oils. Lemon juice also contains astringent, which is really helpful with removing product buildup.

4. Baking Soda

Gabrielle Lutze

As a shampoo, baking soda works differently for everybody. According to Naturally Curly, baking soda is said to cleanse the hair as a shampoo, yet soften the hair like a conditioner, however, there are some pros and cons with this one.

Pro: It is excellent for oily, straight hair, because it soaks up the oil.

Con: It is terrible for dry, kinky hair, because it soaks up the oil.

Also, it is worth noting the pH of baking soda versus the pH of human hair. Human hair has a pH of between 4.5 and 5.5. However, baking soda has a pH of 9.0, which means that it doesn't provide for a balance of your strands and can actually raise the pH.

5. Dry Shampoo

Admittedly, dry shampoo is for the days you cannot afford to wash your hair. Maybe you're too busy with life or…you simply don't feel like it. Enter dry shampoo. Of course, dry shampoo is nothing like using actual shampoo to wash your hair—your hair will not be cleaner. But it'll hold you over for a day or two by helping to absorb some of the extra oil that's all up in your roots.

Keep in mind, dry shampoo may leave behind a kind of yucky white residue, but as long as you brush your locks out, you should be good.