What Can I Use Instead of Shampoo?

WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

In today's world, where we are becoming increasingly conscious of the ingredients in our personal care products and their potential impact on our health and the environment, many individuals are seeking alternative options to traditional shampoos. Whether you're looking to embrace a more natural approach, reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals, or simply switch up your haircare routine, there are various substitutes available that can effectively cleanse and nourish your tresses.

What Can I Use Instead of Shampoo?

Here are some popular and effective alternatives to traditional shampoos:

  • Baking soda and apple cider vinegar
  • Castile soap
  • Aloe vera
  • Rye flour
  • Egg wash
  • Dry shampoo
  • Co-washing (conditioner washing)

Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the most popular and affordable alternatives to shampoo is the combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Baking soda acts as a gentle cleanser, removing dirt and excess oil from the scalp, while apple cider vinegar helps to restore the hair's natural pH balance and add shine.

Castile Soap

Castile soap, made from plant-based oils like olive, coconut, or hemp, is a versatile and mild cleanser that can be used as a shampoo substitute. It effectively removes dirt and oil without stripping the hair of its natural moisture.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel, derived from the aloe vera plant, is a gentle and nourishing alternative to shampoo. It contains enzymes that help remove excess oil and buildup while providing hydration and conditioning benefits to the hair.

Rye Flour

Rye flour, when mixed with water, creates a gentle cleansing paste that can be used as a shampoo substitute. It helps to absorb excess oil and dirt while adding softness and manageability to the hair.

Egg Wash

An egg wash, made by whisking together eggs and water, provides a natural cleansing and conditioning treatment for the hair. The protein in eggs helps to strengthen and nourish the hair strands.

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a powder or aerosol product that can be applied directly to the roots and scalp to absorb excess oil and refresh the hair between regular washings. It's a convenient alternative for those on-the-go or looking to extend the time between traditional shampoo sessions.

Co-washing (Conditioner Washing)

Co-washing, or "conditioner washing," involves using a gentle, sulfate-free conditioner to cleanse the hair instead of shampoo. This method is particularly beneficial for those with dry, curly, or color-treated hair, as it helps to maintain moisture and minimize frizz.

Why you can trust Scandinavian Biolabs?
TrichoAI Hair Loss Analysis
Our free, anonymous and dermatologist-developed AI analyzes your hair loss in 30 seconds, suggesting personalized solutions to combat thinning. Understanding your hair condition has never been easier.
Yes, I want to fix hair loss

Tips for Using Shampoo Alternatives

When incorporating shampoo alternatives into your haircare routine, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Start gradually: Transition to shampoo alternatives gradually to allow your hair and scalp to adjust to the new routine.
  • Adjust quantities: Experiment with the appropriate amounts of the alternative ingredients to find the right balance for your hair type and needs.
  • Rinse thoroughly: Ensure you rinse your hair thoroughly after using any alternative to remove all residue and prevent buildup.
  • Deep condition regularly: Incorporate deep conditioning treatments into your routine to maintain moisture and prevent dryness.
  • Be patient: It may take some time for your hair and scalp to adapt to the new routine, so be patient and consistent with your shampoo alternative.

Considerations for Choosing Shampoo Alternatives

When deciding on a shampoo alternative, consider the following factors:

  • Hair type: Different hair types may respond better to certain alternatives. For example, those with dry or curly hair may benefit more from co-washing, while those with oily hair may prefer baking soda or rye flour.
  • Accessibility: Choose alternatives that are readily available and convenient for your lifestyle.
  • Environmental impact: Consider the environmental footprint of the alternative ingredients and opt for sustainable and eco-friendly options whenever possible.
  • Personal preferences: Some alternatives may have stronger scents or textures that you may or may not prefer, so factor in your personal preferences as well.


Embracing shampoo alternatives can be a rewarding journey towards a more natural and sustainable approach to haircare. From baking soda and apple cider vinegar to aloe vera, rye flour, and co-washing, there are numerous options available to cleanse and nourish your locks. Remember to consider your hair type, accessibility, environmental impact, and personal preferences when selecting an alternative. With patience, experimentation, and a willingness to adapt, you can discover a shampoo substitute that works best for you and your hair's unique needs.

Tired of seeing more hair in the shower drain than on your head?

Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum is a clinically tested, drug-free approach to combat hair loss and promote new growth. Our unique formula, with plant growth factors derived from stem cell technology, nourishes hair follicles and extends the hair growth phase.

Here's what Bio-Pilixin can do for you:

  • Help reduce hair loss by 93% (clinically tested!)
  • Experience thicker, denser hair after 150 days
  • Safe and gentle for everyday use
  • Botanical, vegan ingredients you can feel good about

97% of users see results, and 85% prefer us over other products.

Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum | For Men
Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum | For Men
Drug-free & clinically tested
Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum | For Women
Bio-Pilixin® Activation Serum | For Women
Drug-free & clinically tested

Read more:

Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.