Natural Hair

Most Popular Ways to Cleanse Your Natural Hair

February 19, 2019
Popular, effective ways to cleanse your natural hair

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 hair is important to remove product build-up and give your curls a fresh start.

Although using 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.

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

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Ways to Cleanse Natural Hair

Clay Washes

Let’s start off with one of my favorite ways to cleanse natural hair, clay washing! I didn’t know much about clay washing at 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 popular clays that can be used to cleanse your hair:

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite Clay is rich in minerals that help to soothe scalp conditions, reduce breakage, and add shine. It also absorbs impurities from your hair + scalp without stripping its natural oils. Here are more benefits:

  • Can encourage hair growth
  • Moisturizes + conditions
  • Reduces frizz
  • Encourages curl definition
  • Provides softness

Rhassoul Clay

I’ve been using Rhassoul Clay in my beauty routine for a while 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:

  • Provides moisture
  • Improves elasticity
  • Soothes an irritated scalp
  • Leaves hair manageable + soft
  • Can help relieve scalp conditions
Chocolate Kinks & Kurls Clay Wash. One way to cleanse natural hair. |

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. I’ve been using this since my transitioning hair journey and it hasn’t disappointed!

She has a variety to choose from such as Bentonite, Rhassoul, Rose, and Green Clay.

Reetha or Soapnuts

Reetha is an Ayurvedic herb that is used for strengthening the hair. It’s also an effective way to cleanse your natural hair without stripping it. Using Reetha as a cleanser is more gentle for your curls. Here are some benefits of using this:

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

To use this, you can purchase the powder and mix it with another herb called Shikakai. Shikakai has a mild lather, low pH, and won’t strip the natural oils from your hair. You can mix both with water until you get the right consistency so it can be easy to work through your hair.


A co-wash (cleansing conditioner) is another way to cleanse your natural hair. When choosing a co-wash, you want to make sure it’s designed to cleanse and add moisture. You can’t purchase any type of conditioner and expect it to provide an effective cleanse.

Although using a co-wash has many benefits, it can’t 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, however, make sure you clarify your hair regularly!

Shampoo Bars/Sulfate-Free Shampoo

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

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. The majority of the time, these don’t contain any harsh ingredients.

Related Post: 6 Amazing Shampoos That Won’t Dry Out Your Curls

I shampoo my hair once a week without an issue! This is what has worked best for the health of my hair and scalp. Before shampooing, I recommend doing a pre-poo treatment to reduce the chance of it drying out your curls. You can also follow up with a rinse-out conditioner + deep conditioner to add moisture back to your hair. Once a month, I use a clay wash to give my curls a fresh start.

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 smoother.

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

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  • 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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