How To Clean Your Hair Without Shampoo

The last time I used shampoo was sometime in November 2014. I am one of the many who has jumped on the no 'poo method craze. To be honest, I never intended to completely disregard my favorite natural 'poo. I really just meant to scale back on my shampooing; instead of shampooing every week, I wanted to shampoo every month. Alas, the holiday season was cray, and the cold weather made me want to stay in bed instead of spending extra time on my extensive weekly hair routine. Suddenly I realized it had been three months since I last washed my hair — and it looked better than ever. Did I really need to shampoo my hair ever again?

My roommate, a curly babe herself, confronted me about my no 'poo routine. I was immediately defensive. How dare she think that I, an individual, would jump on any bandwagon! "Of COURSE, I'm going to shampoo my hair, I'm just like... super busy," I would say, laying on the couch with take-out containers, a marathon of Revenge on our television. Still, with every week of not washing, I just kept seeing my afro grow bigger. The breakage I was once obsessed with seemed to be miraculously growing with the rest of my hair. So I finally had to admit that she was right: I was hooked on the no 'poo method.

If you haven't heard already, the no 'poo method is here and for me? It's here to stay. Although natural shampoos, free of sulfates and parabens, are certainly gentler than their unnatural counterparts, many sources state shampooing is still damaging to our hair. This basically stems from the fact that stripping the natural oils in our hair stunts growth, promotes breakage, and dry locks.

For those of you gagging at the idea of dirty strands, let me be clear: I am definitely cleaning my hair, just not with shampoo. In fact, I still try to clean my hair once a week, since I literally walk out of my house into a giant machine that's sweeping the dirt of Brooklyn into the air AND my hair. Gross. Natural rinses are totally legit ways to clean your hair without shampoo, which means no stripping your hair and scalp of precious oils.

Though it's most popular amongst girls with afro textured or generally thick, curly hair, pretty much anyone can benefit from the no 'poo method. anyone can benefit from it. It just takes some trial and error finding the right clarifying substitute. When starting the no 'poo method, many people with finer, oily hair claim that at first there hair feels slightly greasy or limp while women with coarser, dry hair find little difference in their strands, but an itchy scalp. If you play with different ingredients, you'll eventually find your perfect rinse! Start your adventures in quitting shampoo with the three rinses below.

For Oily Hair: Baking Soda Rinse

A simple rinse of one cup of warm water and a half cup of baking soda could be your new weekly 'poo. If so, consider yourself lucky, because baking soda is cheap AF. You can get four pounds of baking soda for just over $2! This rinse is best for oily hair because baking soda is alkalizing and often drying, so you'll probably want to skip if you have afro-textured hair that needs extra acidity.

For Waves & Loose Curls: Manuka Honey & Vodka Cleansing Mask

This mask is tha bomb for loose curls. Infuse your honey with enough water to loosen up that honey (it'll be easier to wash out this way) and then add two tablespoons of vodka. Why am I adding vodka? Even though honey has antiseptic properties (as well as the ability to pH balance the crap out of your scalp), vodka is also great for hair and has strong cleaning properties. Trust me, I pour vodka on wounds. Leave your mask on for up to ten minutes and rinse well.

For Afro-Texture And Super Curly Hair: Apple Cider Tea Rinse

I've been cleaning my hair on the reg with this rinse and I couldn't be happier. I use one cup of jasmine green tea, a half cup of rose water, and a third of a cup of apple cider vinegar. I have a lot of density in my hair, so I use a quart each time I rinse. Apple cider vinegar is a great cleanser for natural, afro-textured hair and diluting it with tea or flower water is a great way to mask that vinegar-y smell. Leave your mask on for up to ten minutes and rinse well.

After you've tried your rinse, be sure to condition! Even though you've skipped shampoo, your hair will still be craving moisture.

Image: Kate Sumbler, Rachel/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson