Natural Hair

Most Popular Ways to Cleanse Your Natural Hair

February 19, 2019
Pardo Naturals Shampoo Bar. Ways to cleanse natural hair. | NaturallyMadisen.com

How do you cleanse your natural hair? I’m going to take a wild guess and say you use shampoo, because who doesn’t, right? Shampooing your natural hair is important to remove product build-up and give your curls a fresh start.

Although using a shampoo is the most common choice on wash day, some naturalistas don’t like using them because of the stripping effects it can cause. If you’re one of those people, there are other natural, effective ways to cleanse your natural hair when wash day comes around.

Shampooing your hair is important if you want to maintain a healthy hair regimen, however, it’s not always required. Since the colder months are here, you may not want to use shampoo often because it may leave your hair feeling even more dry.

In this post, we are going to discuss different ways to cleanse your natural hair. These natural alternatives can still get the job done without drying out your hair or causing any damage.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more details, see my privacy policy here.


Clay Washing

Let’s start off with one of my favorite ways to cleanse natural hair, clay washing! I didn’t know much about clay washing in the beginning of my journey, however, once I found out about it, I loved it!

Clay washing is a gentle way to detox your hair and scalp while removing product build-up and providing conditioning effects.

There are two different clays you can choose from, and we’re going to talk about the benefits of using both on your natural hair:

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay is an excellent cleanser. It’s rich in minerals that help to soothe scalp conditions, reduce breakage, and add shine to your curls.

It has the ability to absorb impurities from your hair and scalp without stripping its natural oils and causing dryness.

Rhassoul Clay

I’ve been using Rhassoul Clay in my beauty routine for awhile now. The difference with this clay is it’s more gentle and moisturizing than Bentonite, however, it still draws out impurities and removes product build-up.

Rhassoul Clay is rich in natural minerals and has the following benefits for natural hair:

  • Provides moisture
  • Improves elasticity
  • Soothes an irritated scalp
  • Leaves hair manageable + soft
  • Can help relieve scalp conditions

When using either one of these clays, the best thing you can do is customize it based on what your hair likes. You can add different ingredients such as:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Natural oils
  • Ayurvedic Herbs
  • Rosewater
  • Organic honey
Chocolate Kinks & Kurls Clay Wash. One way to cleanse natural hair. | NaturallyMadisen.com

One of my favorite clay washes to use is from a small black-owned brand called Chocolate Kinks & Kurls. The ingredients are amazing, it smells delicious, and it leaves my hair + scalp feeling clean, moisturized, and soft.

Reetha or Soapnuts

Reetha is an Ayurvedic herb that is used for strengthening the hair. It’s also one of the effective ways to cleanse your natural hair without the stripping effects.

Using Reetha as a cleanser is more gentle for your curls. Here are some benefits of using this on your natural hair:

  • Keeps scalp free of dandruff
  • Conditions + nourishes the hair
  • Reduces frizz + split-ends
  • Leaves your hair soft + shiny

To use this herb, you can purchase the powder and mix it with another herb called Shikakai. Shikakai has a mild lather, low pH, and also won’t strip the natural oils from your hair.

You can mix both together with water until you get the right consistency so it can be easy to work through your hair.

Co-washing

A co-wash (cleansing conditioner) is another way to cleanse your natural hair. It’s formulated in a way that will leave your curls and scalp feeling clean and moisturized.

When choosing a co-wash, you want to ensure it’s designed to cleanse and add moisture at the same time. You can’t purchase any type of conditioner and expect it to effectively cleanse your natural hair.

Although using a co-wash has many benefits, it can’t completely take the place of your shampoo. If you rely solely on co-washing, it can eventually lead to product build-up.

It’s okay to co-wash every now and then, but make sure you clarify your hair as needed!

Shampoo Bars/Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Pardo Naturals Shampoo Bar. Ways to cleanse natural hair. | NaturallyMadisen.com

Yes, I know this blog is about alternative ways to cleanse your natural hair without using shampoo, but I have to include both of these options because using a shampoo every week isn’t a bad thing!

Using a shampoo bar or sulfate-free shampoo can be beneficial for your natural hair. Since neither one contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, you don’t have to worry about your hair becoming stripped. Majority of the time, these don’t contain any harsh ingredients.

Personally, I shampoo my hair once a week without an issue. Of course I switch things up from time to time but using a sulfate-free shampoo or shampoo bar will always be my go-to!


I honestly believe the key to a good wash day is a quality cleanser, whether that’s a clay wash, co-wash, shampoo bar, or Ayurvedic herbs. If you use a good cleanser that doesn’t strip your hair, your wash day will go much more smoother.

If you haven’t tried some of these different ways to cleanse your natural hair, I suggest trying one to see how you like it! Using natural ingredients are great and you can only expect the best results when doing so.

Have you tried any of the above ways to cleanse your natural hair? Which one is your favorite? Comment below!


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Cleansing your natural hair regularly is important. Here are a few ways you can wash your natural hair.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Aisha February 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I have tried the Rhassoul Clay on my scalp to remove product build and to relieve and an itchy scalp.

    • Reply Madisen February 19, 2019 at 6:37 pm

      Nice! Rhassoul Clay does feel amazing ??

  • Reply Derecka McCants (ohseauxnatural_) February 23, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Great detailed post! ❤️ I’ve been wanting to try bentonite and rhaussol clay for a while. I’m going to try the bentonite clay first!

    • Reply Madisen February 23, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you for reading sis! Yesss I can’t wait to see how your curls look after using Bentonite!

  • Reply Sally March 5, 2019 at 3:55 pm

    Great post boo! I love co-washing, clay washing. Used the shampoo bar but gotta gotta give it another try!

    • Reply Madisen March 5, 2019 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you love! Yes try another shampoo bar because they are so convenient and amazing to use! Plus they last longer than liquid shampoos.

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