So you guys know I’ve been talking a lot about growing your hair and the basics of hair care; here’s another with cleansing. Here’s how it works; hair strands grow out of follicles which are like sacs, these sacs could get clogged with dirt, hair products and dead skin. This clogging slows the growth of your hair. Since your hair isn’t allowed to “breathe”, it could get itchy and irritable with time. A dirty hair also prevents natural oils from properly moisturizing the hair, which would in turn lead to the hair looking ugly and dry, no matter how well you condition!
I consider that enough reasons to keep your hair clean.
Below are 8 methods to cleanse
For a proper deep cleanse, I’d go with this. Sulphate-free shampoos are simply those without sulphates, this is a good thing because sulphates tend to dry out the hair while cleansing. The most common sulphate is SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate), and most shampoos contain this, only the few labelled ‘sulphate-free’ are without it. Keep in mind, even the sulphate-free shampoo could dry out your hair if used too often, so you may want to find another lighter method of cleansing in between major wash-days.
In Nigeria, this is one of the cheapest alternative to the shampoo. The black soap is quite strong and should be used in the treatment of scalp problems such as itchiness and the likes, it shouldn’t be used too often on a normal scalp. The black soap is still an affordable alternative to shampoo and most people would go for it.
Note: to make your black soap easier to use as shampoo, dilute it in boiling water and add oils of choice to make it less strong and more moisturizing. Then use when it’s cool.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This is another of my favorite methods of cleansing. ACV is highly acidic and so helps to loosen dirt and debris. It also acts as a natural conditioner, and makes hair feel really soft. Due to its acidic nature, it can help to seal hair cuticles for those with highly porous hair. I mostly do an ACV rinse when I’m in a protective style, to cleanse my scalp or when rain hits my hair and some other random times, when I just feel my hair needs some light cleanse and softening.
It helps to cure scalp infections as well. Great stuff right!
It has to be diluted with water, and never used alone. I use a ratio of 1 part acv to 3 parts water.
This is specifically for those with low porous hair. Baking Soda in contrast to ACV, it is highly basic, and so helps to open up the cuticle while releasing debris on the scalp (like ACV). I use this method more regularly than my shampoo, before I deep condition, because of my low-po hair. It cleanses and allows my deep conditioner work into my strands better. Those with highly porous hair should do an acv rinse after to close the cuticles back or just simply avoid this method.
This should also be diluted. I use about a tablespoon of baking soda to a cup of water.
i. The acv and baking soda rinse are not thorough cleansers, they only release dirt, but they do not wash dirt away like deep cleansers. So you should rinse thoroughly with lots of water or cowash afterwards and massage properly to get the dirt off.
ii. If you want to stick to these methods only, no shampoo or deep cleansers, you’d have to be very consistent to keep your hair clean, like once to twice a week.
This is simply washing with conditioner only. For my full post about it, click here.
Yes, you read right; this involves water only. Normally, this should be the best form of cleansing as water is the purest cleanser ever. I mean it’s from heaven! It really is good, but doesn’t cleanse at once; you have to use a lot of water, and do it everyday consecutively. Its a whole different method from the usual, I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about it. If you have enough time on your hand and your hair is long enough to be styled when shrunken, then sure you could go ahead with this routine. Keep in my mind though, there are very few styles you could achieve with this method.
The clay or mud wash has been around for a while, it is all-natural and detoxifying. There’s bentonite, rhassoul, kaolin clay and so many others out there. I haven’t tried any personally cause I haven’t found it in my area, but I hear it’s really good, as it cleanses perfectly and not too drying; it’s also great for curl definition. This is one method I’d love to try. Let me know if you’ve tried any and what the results were.
Yes, wipes, as in baby wipes and the likes. I was also surprised to hear this. But no, its not for general cleansing. Sometimes, you might have some leftover conditioner on your hair that wasn’t washed off and you don’t want to pour water again, don’t let it dry on your hair, wipes work perfectly. For protective styles too, when you don’t want to get water on it, you could do a quick one with wipes. Baby wipes are more preferable, cause facial wipes might be too strong for your hair.
Try out different methods, and see which works best for you. Work on sticking to some kind of wash routine for your hair, this helps it stay balanced and also helps you keep plan your time.
Keep your hair clean, like you would do to your body! What methods have you tried out and what’s your routine? Comment below.
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