10 ways to cleanse your Natural Hair

African Naturalistas Hair Products
Looking for an alternative to your boring shampoo? Look no further! Below, I have listed 10 different products that can be used to wash your hair with.

1. Sulphate Based Shampoo
This is the most widely available and cheapest type of hair cleansers that you would find in the market.

Plus: It cleans the hair really well by removing dirt, grease and any build up
Minus:The harsh sulphate can often leave the hair stripped of its natural oils and feeling dry.
When it should be used: This type of shampoo shouldn't be a part of your weekly regimen. It should only be used as a clarifier to remove the layers of products in your hair. And this type of shampoo shouldn't be used more than once a month.

2. Reduced Sulphates Shampoo
https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/img/b/R29vZ2xl/AVvXsEgcVfCig0NRK6cX9Pa30LlPi-t5gWLL_ImkajHY_8iayygbdlvdOJ0hSrc4tKIKdU3gqNUccEJ9sNfs21HHKRpCwyEyjpiR556KwnhyphenhyphencvCbKwwW7wKoWZNjpQjiVxKSRojMCVfqTbRzmjY/s1600/DSC_0306+copy.pngThis is a great alternative as the sulphates in these shampoos are more gentle and they don't leave the hair feeling too dry. It's also a great alternative for those who like to see their hair foam up when washed.

Plus: It cleans the hair really well by removing dirt, grease and any build up
Minus: Though the sulphate in this shampoo is gentle, it's still sulphate and it may leave your hair feeling stripped.
When it should be used: It should only be used as a clarifier to remove layers of products in your hair and it shouldn't be used more than once a month. 
It can also be used by those who use silicone, mineral oil and petrolatum based products in their hair.

3. Sulphate Free Shampoos
This is a type of shampoo that doesn't foam as much and isn't as slippery, so one might be temped to use up an entire bottle.

Plus: It's not harsh and it doesn't leave your hair feeling dry after a wash.
Minus: It doesn't foam up like a regular shampoo would, so there's a tendency to keep washing until the hair foams up. It also doesn't leave the hair feeling squeaky clean, which is actually a plus because your hair shouldn't be 100% clean each time.
When it should be used: This can be used by those who use shampoo on a weekly basis. The absence of sulphate in these shampoos makes them gentle and friendly enough to be used often.

4. Clarifying Shampoos
I call these shampoos a super shampoo because they leave the hair 110% clean!

Plus: Removes mineral deposits from hard-water and swimming pool water, dirt, oil and other impurities from the hair.
Minus: This is a very strong shampoo which can leave your hair hard and brittle.
When it should be used: not more than once a month. It's also a good shampoo for those who swim regularly, have hard waters in their homes, use silicone, and petrolatum based products.
It's crucial that you follow this shampoo with a good moisturizing deep conditioner after use to restore hair's elasticity.

5. Shampoo Bar: A solid form of liquid shampoos. These types of shampoos comes in different varieties as they are made to meet different hair needs.
Examples: Raw African Black Soap which can be used on a weekly basis by those who feel like they HAVE to wash their hair weekly.
Plus & Minus: Similar to liquid shampoos

6. Castile Soap: a multipurpose soap which can be used to wash just about anything. Be it your skin, hair, clothes, plates, teeth, carpet and anything washable.
Plus: Less harsh on the hair, only if diluted with water.
Minus: It doesn't foam as much and you may be tempted to use up an entire bottle. It is also highly alkaline and so I would advice mixing it with some water and apple cider vinegar to reduce its pH level.
When it should be used: Castile soap is highly basic, which is contrary to the hair's natural acidic pH level, and so I wouldn't recommend using it so often.

7. Baking Soda: This is a common cleanser used as a face scrub, body scrub and even to wash the teeth with. It's no surprise that baking soda can also be used to clean the hair.
Plus: none, in my opinion
Minus: Like castile soap, baking soda has a high pH level and shouldn't be used often. I also wouldn't recommend it because baking soda is a great scrubbing powder which can be used to remove tough grease from a hard surface. It is these harsh properties that makes me cringe each time I read about someone using it on their hair.
I definitely wouldn't recommend mixing it with ACV either because these are the 2 ingredients I sometimes use to wash my oven and unclog the sink!
When it should be used: Never! I only mentioned it here because I know many people use it on their hair and I'd like to warn you against using it.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Plus: less harsh cleansing method
Minus: not an effective cleanser in my opinion. To prove this theory, I poured undiluted ACV into a greasy bowl and waited a few minutes to see if the bowl would be clean, well, my bowl was still as greasy as it was before I poured vinegar in it.
When it should be used: it must be diluted with water and used as a final rinse after washing and DC to balance the pH level of your hair and scalp and to solve any scalp and hair issues. It shouldn't be used as a hair cleanser

9.  Clays
This is probably the most effective, organic and environmentally friendly way to clean your hair.
Example: Bentonite clay, Moroccan clay and the like
Plus: Mother Nature's gift to us, so you know it's great
Minus: It's not a soap and it can get messy during application

10. Conditioner
Conditioners have some cleansing agents in them to remove dirt from your hair.
Plus: hair is clean, soft and moisturized after use
Minus: it doesn't leave the hair squeaky clean, so there's a tendency to believe that the hair hasn't been cleansed yet. It also doesn't completely remove impurities from the hair like a regular shampoo would, so it's best to still shampoo every once in a while in order to remove heavy products from your hair.

Which ones have you used to "wash" your mane? Which ones do you use often to cleanse your hair?

The Mane Captain

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  1. Wow, great post. I concur with you, on your comment about Baking Soda. The plus is definitely none.

    1. Baking soda's shouldnt make it to anyone's hair, unless it's medically necessary. in which case, I'll let the medical experts decide

  2. U dont mean the normal clay from the ground do you? (dumb, i know)

    1. yup, clay from the ground, mother nature's gift to us :). As you can see in the pic, the clay really looked like dirt. I'm not sure about the brown clay we dig up in Nigeria, but i'm sure it has similar benefits as the ones mentioned. Perhaps someone can try it out and let us know?


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