Natural Substitutes for Shampoo

by Kimberly Caines ; Updated September 28, 2017

Think twice about what you are massaging into your scalp.

shower series 2 image by Alexey Stiop from

The chemicals sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, and sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES, found in many foaming shampoos and soaps are also used at car washes and as engine degreasers; both can cause many health complications. According to the Natural Health Information Center website, using SLS-based products with concentrations as little as 0.5 percent can cause skin irritation, while concentrations of 10 percent to 30 percent can cause skin corrosion and severe irritations. To avoid these effects, substitute all natural ingredients for shampoos containing SLS or SLES.

Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute for your normal shampoo. By mixing 1 tbsp. of baking soda and a little water, you can make a paste and massage this through your hair and scalp. Massaging the scalp will stimulate blood flow, get rid of build up and clean the pores. Use water to rinse out the mixture and follow it with a rinse made of 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. The apple cider vinegar will soften the hair. This natural shampoo is suitable for all hair types, and if your hair is frizzy or dry, you can add some honey to the baking soda paste.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil provides a good nutritional source for hair because it contains fatty acids and antioxidants. It promotes healthy hair growth and shiny hair and prevents dandruff and head lice. Using coconut oil instead of regular shampoo is easy and affordable. Just massage the oil onto the scalp and hair, and then rinse it out thoroughly to prevent clogged pores.

Homemade Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos are often used in hospitals and aside from being quick, they also save you money and energy. You can make dry shampoo right from home by blending 5 oz. of cornmeal, 30 drops of lemon oil and 20 drops of castor oil. Massage the mixture over the scalp and hair while bending forward, and comb it out completely. Any excess oil will be absorbed and the hair will be left shiny. Dry shampoo works best on short hair.

Photo Credits

  • shower series 2 image by Alexey Stiop from