Knowing how to clean your hair without washing it is an important skill to have in your repertoire. It can come in handy whether you are in a survival or wilderness situation, are out of shampoo or without water for a period of time, or simply want to give your hair a break from harsh shampoo formulas.
Read on to learn all about how to clean your hair without washing it—and why good hair hygiene is important in any situation!
Why It’s Important to Keep Your Hair Clean
Having clean hair is important for more than just the sake of appearance. Good hair hygiene can have an effect on your whole body. Dirty, unkempt locks can invite infestation and parasites, while a scalp full of buildup and oil can become unbearably itchy.
An itchy scalp begs to be scratched, and excessive scratching can lead to tearing the sensitive skin of your scalp. These small wounds, if exposed to grime and buildup in the hair, can even become infected over time.
This is just one reason why having clean hair is crucial, even in unfavorable circumstances or survival scenarios. Another is that when hair is left untreated for a long period of time, it can lead to hair loss which can be difficult to reverse.
All of this and more is why knowing how to keep your hair clean without washing it is so important. This knowledge will prepare you to maintain hygiene in any scenario, long or short term, and keep yourself looking and feeling your best regardless of the circumstances.
How to Clean Your Hair Without Washing It
There are a few fairly straightforward ways for how to clean your hair without washing it at all. You can rely on a good hairspray or mousse if handy. You can also massage your scalp to loosen oils, then brush it through with a dense brush to distribute the natural oils.
Another option is to use a hair mask. This is a type of treatment that helps clean and condition your hair without any washing required. Hair masks come in a variety of different types, tailored to different kinds of hair.
In the same vein, you may want to consider a scalp scrub. This solution is helpful for how to clean your hair without washing it because it exfoliates your scalp; this removes oil, dirt, and dead skin cells without the need for washing your hair.
How to Clean Your Hair Without Shampoo
The major key for how to clean your hair without washing it with shampoo is actually to start the process ahead of time! You will want to prepare your scalp to receive the washing treatment so that it’s as effective as possible.
Begin by massaging your scalp with your fingertips in slow, small, gentle circles. This will help loosen up the natural oils in your hair. Then, pinch small sections of hair between your fingers and sweep from root to tip to help distribute the natural oils.
Next, take a brush—preferably a boar bristle brush, though other coarse brushes can do the trick—and brush in small sections beginning from the ends of your hair. If you find the ends are dry after this step, you can add a natural oil to the ends, such as coconut or shea butter.
Now, it’s time for the actual steps on how to clean your hair without washing it with shampoo! You want bathing water that is very warm, but not extremely hot. Part your hair down to the scalp and repeat the same steps of massaging and sweeping for each section of your hair.
Finally, use a T-shirt or microfiber towel to pat your hair dry, then comb it with a wide-toothed comb and allow it to air dry.
This is just one of the methods for how to clean your hair without washing it with shampoo. Another method would be to use a shampoo substitute. You can use baking soda or apple cider vinegar in a 2-to-1 ratio of solution to water.
It’s important to bear in mind that any of the methods for how to clean your hair without washing it with shampoo will require some adjustment for your hair. It likely won’t feel how you’re used to with traditional shampoos!
However, cleanliness is the key factor. And in that regard, these solutions for how to clean your hair without washing it with shampoo will do the trick, even if they take some time to get used to.
How to Clean Your Hair Without Water
If you are camping, out in the wilds, or in an emergency situation, such as with burst pipes and no access to water, you will want to know how to clean your hair without water. Luckily, there are several different tricks you can try!
One is to simply use a dry shampoo. These types of products are formulated specifically to negate the need for a full shower experience, so no water is required. As an alternative, you can make your own dry shampoo using cornstarch and cocoa powder.
If you do not have access to dry shampoo or the ingredients to make an alternative, you can also try sprinkling 2 to 3 shakes of baby powder directly onto your roots. It will do the same thing as dry shampoo, which is to help absorb the oils from your scalp.
Believe it or not, rubbing alcohol can also be used on the roots to help remove oil! The same is true for a blotting cloth, which is often used to remove oils from the face. Simply blot your scalp instead for a quick way for how to clean your hair without water.
How to Clean Your Hair In the Wilderness
Out in the wilderness, you may find you have access to a lot fewer alternative methods for how to clean your hair without washing it.
As part of your preparedness when going camping or hiking in the wilderness—or preparedness for a survival situation in general—in addition to soap or shampoo, consider keeping a tin or can of dry shampoo or some baking soda or apple cider vinegar handy. This will ensure you can keep your hair clean in a number of different scenarios.
In a pinch, you can always rely on simply washing your hair in a safe water source, about 8 to 14 hours after massaging your scalp to open the pores. Be sure to avoid stagnant, murky water. You can also use things like Castille soap for hair washing or even prepacked shampoo if you have these things in your survival hygiene kit.
Considering How to Clean Your Hair Without Washing it While Making a Preparedness Kit
A preparedness kit with hygiene items is important for just about anyone to have on hand. This is true whether it’s something you keep in your trunk for possible car breakdowns or slide-offs, as part of a survival hygiene kit or bug-out bag, or even just to carry with you when traveling, hiking, or out in nature.
When you are putting together a preparedness kit, be sure to take into account the different scenarios which might require you to know how to clean your hair without washing it. Assess your circumstances and decide for yourself which hair-cleaning solutions and alternatives you might want to include.
Ultimately, certain methods for how to clean your hair without washing it may be useful in a variety of scenarios, but less effective overall. You may even want to prepare your hair ahead of time for a certain style of washing in the event of a prolonged survival scenario.
It’s up the individual to decide what they can make room for in their preparedness and with the time they have. But it’s certainly important to take some method of keeping your hair clean into account when preparing for the known and the unknown!
Wrapping up How to Clean Your Hair Without Washing It
Knowing how to clean your hair without washing it is just one of the many valuable tools to have in your hygiene arsenal if the need calls for it. To learn more steps you can take for survival hygiene preparedness, check out our Hygiene Sanitation resource!