The concept of water-only hair washing dates back hundreds of years. Our ancestors didn’t have man-made chemicals to wash their hair with, and instead, they cleansed their bodies and washed their hair with rough brushes and good old hot water. This abrasion technique breaks up all the dirt and oil on our skin and in our hair and the hot water rinses it away. Chemically-enhanced shampoo, on the other hand, strips not only the dirt and bad oils but also the good oils, known as sebum. Without these natural oils, our scalp produces more sebum than it actually needs, which is what makes our hair greasy and oily.
Here are 10 alternatives to washing your hair, without chemically-enhanced products, which will give your mane a clean, glossy look and feel that becomes healthier over time:
Baking soda shampoo
Good old baking soda will cleanse your hair of styling product build-up and ‘bad oils’, leaving you with clean, manageable hair. Simply sprinkle one tablespoon of baking soda onto your wet scalp, massage into your roots, rinse well with warm water and follow with the apple cider vinegar rinse below.
Apple cider vinegar hair rinse
Following your baking soda wash with an apple cider vinegar rinse will balance the alkalinity in your hair and close the hair’s cuticles for stronger strands. Pour approximately half a cup of apple cider vinegar over your hair after washing it with baking soda, then rinse.
Aloe vera hair treatment
Aloe is antibacterial, antiseptic, softening and moisturising, with studies showing it may even enhance cellular regeneration. Use aloe vera gel to soften and strengthen your hair by gently massaging it into wet hair and scalp and rinsing as you would shampoo. This makes for a good treatment between washes.
Soapwort – a woody flowering shrub – contains saponins, which work as a gentle but effective cleanser. By mixing two tablespoons of fresh soapwort root or leaves and stems with a cup of warm water, you’ll get a sudsy lather. Strain the mixture, massage half into your scalp and rinse. Store the remaining mixture in the fridge for up to a week.
With its anti-inflammatory properties, calendula is ideal for sensitive skin. To make a shampoo, fill a glass jar with dried calendula flowers and cover with an unrefined oil such as avocado. Close the jar tightly and store it away from sunlight for two weeks, shaking it every day for the first seven days. Strain the oil into a clean glass jar and use as you would your regular shampoo.
Coconut oil conditioner
Packed with vitamins E and K, and with incredible moisturising ‘powers’, coconut oil is one of the best hair conditioners provided by nature. For a deep conditioner, massage a spoonful of coconut oil into your scalp and through the tips of your hair. Wrap your hair in a towel and give the coconut oil an hour to get to work before washing it out with a gentle shampoo.
Egg yolk shampoo
Massage one or two broken egg yolks through cool wet hair, allow to sit for a few minutes and rinse well with cold water. It’s important not to use warm water as you could end up with a mane full of scrambled egg! However, when done properly, this technique can be great for repairing damaged hair thanks to the protein found in eggs.
Tea Hair Rinses
Steeping tea in hot water and massaging into your scalp can help cleanse your hair, make it smell lovely and provide various benefits depending on the kind of tea you use. Some people find a black tea blend gives colour and shine boost to brunettes, while chamomile tea can help soften your strands. Ask about our huge range of teas next time you’re in Plant Essentials.
Mayonnaise Hair Treatment
It sounds pretty awful, but it makes sense when you think about what goes into mayonnaise - eggs, oil and vinegar. We’ve already covered the benefits of each separately, so think about what they could do with their powers combined! Try massaging a dollop of mayonnaise into your hair and rinsing after 10 minutes – after a few applications, you’ll discover, smoother, shinier, thicker hair. Just be sure to rinse well to avoid that eggy smell.
If you’d prefer to wash your hair without supermarket brand chemicals and without the risk of smelling like a packed lunch, we recommend our very own range of shampoos and conditioners – Rosemary Herbal Everyday Shampoo and Conditioner; and Lavender and Ylang Ylang Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner.
All of these products are made with natural ingredients, with absolutely no petrochemicals, synthetic preservatives, colours or fragrances.
Keeping your hair clean and conditioned chemically-free has never been easier.
When switching to natural products, remember that it takes six weeks for your scalp to normalise its sebum production. You may experience a transitional period of oily hair but when your scalp reduces its sebum production, your ‘do’ will look shinier and healthier than ever before.