Natural Alternatives to Shampoo

natural alternatives to shampoo

Credits: Susie

Going shampoo- and conditioner-free may not be for everybody. While commercially-prepared shampoos and conditioners are, primarily, convenient, they are more expensive than natural alternatives. According to advocates of “no poo”, users of shampoos and conditioners should ask themselves what their shampoos and conditioners contain and what the ingredients do to their hair.


Washing hair only with water is out since water alone will not clean your hair per se especially if you have oily hair. In areas where water is contaminated (water cleaned with various chemical additives), it will also not get rid of the build-up of other pollutants that hair gets everyday from dust, UV rays, and the like but may even worsen hair condition. Listed below are alternatives using ingredients other than water alone for “no poo.”


bragg apple cider vinegarInstead of a rinse, vinegar can be used to make hair shiny and soft. Vinegar’s natural potency as an antibacterial also eliminates harmful pathogens that may have made a home in your hair and scalp. Individuals with oily hair or scalp wounds will benefit from leaving vinegar in sans rinsing, although those who have dry hair should rinse it out. The best one for hair is apple cider vinegar.

In olden days, vinegar was even used to treat head lice! How to use vinegar as a natural alternative to a rinse or conditioner? Simply dilute it with a little amount of water if you find it too strong for soaking your scalp in, but see to it that there is more vinegar than water to obtain best results. Put some in a spray or squeeze bottle to ensure that all of the hair on your head gets sufficient soaking.

Egg Yolks

Before you freak out, consider that eggs as food are good so why shouldn’t they be for hair? Simply use one to two egg yolks – unbeaten – to wash your hair with and then rinse with apple cider vinegar. Some like to mix the yolks with a little honey and leave this mixture in the hair for half an hour before rinsing thoroughly with water.

Oily hair does seem to get a boost from a couple of egg yolks mixed with two teaspoons of vodka and those with dry hair add olive oil to the mixture instead of vodka. For rinsing, water with lime or lemon juice is an excellent way to remove any egg yolk residue that, if left in the hair, may cause dandruff to develop. Not to mention a battalion of ants making your scalp their barracks.

Baking Soda

Those who have tried using baking soda as a shampoo have reported the drying effect it has, meaning those with oily hair will find it the perfect solution but those with dry hair will worsen the condition their hair already has. Just massage a tablespoon or two into your hair and rinse thoroughly to prevent any build-up of stiff residue.


This food item is probably in your kitchen pantry right now but if it isn’t, you can always buy it from the supermarket or grocery store. Mix a tablespoon of gelatin powder with a little water and set it aside for half an hour. Heat the mixture slowly until the gelatin dissolves completely but make sure it doesn’t boil. Let the mixture cool before adding a couple of egg yolks and mix everything well.

Wash your hair with this mixture and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off thoroughly. This concoction is excellent for those with normal and oily hair types. Others add a little lime or lemon juice to the mixture while others prefer some honey. Either way, this gelatin “recipe” for your hair is guaranteed to make it softer and shinier in no time at all.

Borax with Citric Acid

You can use this combination both as a shampoo and as a rinse. To use as shampoo, place an inch of Borax in any gallon jug and then fill it all the way with some filtered water. Always shake well before you use it since the Borax might settle. To use as a rinse, mix a quart of the previously prepared Borax mixture with ¼ teaspoon of citric acid and then shake well.

With the addition of citric acid, however, this will not keep well so make only what you need. Citric acid has the capability to remove any traces of Borax on your scalp, skin, and hair, according to Dr. Hulda Clark, author of “The Cure for All Diseases,” who says that common and rare diseases may be treated with natural remedies.

Wet your hair, pour on the Borax mixture and wash your hair with it. You may feel uncomfortable when you first use it, although it feels soapy like shampoo. Pour on citric acid rinse to flush through your hair. Dr. Clark has recommended allowing the rinse to run down your body to obtain some pH benefits.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Shampoo

wash-hair-with water

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You can also make your very own shampoo using natural ingredients available from supermarkets, grocery stores, and drugstores. The benefit of making your own shampoo is that you know exactly what it contains and how much of each ingredient is there. The recipe below has castile soap, coconut milk, essential oils, olive or almond oil, and vitamin E oil.

Combine ¼ cup of canned or homemade coconut milk, 20 drops of your choice of essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, orange, lavender, etc., and 1/3 cup of liquid castile soap (the Dr. Bronners brand is recommended) in any container like a jar or empty shampoo bottle (foaming and pump soap dispensers are ideal for this but remember to add ¼ cup distilled water if you’re using the former).

Shake well for the ingredients to mix thoroughly before each use. The ideal amount is one to two teaspoons per wash. For those with dry hair, you can add ½ teaspoon almond or olive oil to the mixture. Incidentally, if you prefer to use the foaming dispenser, just add ¼ cup of distilled water and use as a shaving cream.

Cornstarch or Arrowroot

This preparation is especially good for oily hair. You just have to remember to shake the container well before each use. To make: mix ¼ cup of cornstarch or arrowroot, a cup of warm water, ¼ cup of witch hazel or vodka, and a tablespoon of any essential oil in a spray bottle and shake thoroughly. Spray on the roots of your hair or any other part that is oily. Let your hair dry and style.

Check out Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile SoapA lot of people are unfamiliar with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap but this should ring a bell for wellness and environmental advocates since it’s totally biodegradable and organic.

When diluted well, it makes a really inexpensive shampoo. Soap bars such as Naturoli made with natural ingredients are also available for you to try as a shampoo alternative.


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