Alternating This With Shampoo Could Promote Healthier Hair Growth

We hate to be the one to tell you this, but there's a good chance that your very expensive shampoo is damaging your hair. "Le gasp!" you might be saying whilst clutching your pearls. But don't worry, it's not your fault. From the idea that split ends can be repaired to the effectiveness of coconut oil hair masks, we've been fed a lot of misinformation about the proper way to take care of our tresses (via Reader's Digest.) But no misguided hair care tip seems to be more rooted in our psyche than the idea that we should be washing our hair every day.

NPR says that's because there's a lot of money to be made when we lather up daily. But if the good health and growth of our hair is on the line, it's time we stop listening to the marketing masterminds and start following the advice of hair care professionals who've been stressing the importance of shampooing less. If the thought of giving up your daily haircare routine gives you the heebie-jeebies, we have something you can use between shampoo sessions that will leave you squeaky clean while still giving your strands a break from harsh chemicals.

What happens when you wash your hair every day?

It's no longer a secret that many traditional shampoos are loaded with harsh detergents and sulfates, per Style Craze. Armed with the knowledge that those products are depriving our hair of their natural oils — making it brittle and prone to damage — it's no wonder people have begun looking for shampoo alternatives. One such alternative is a hair cleanser, which serves the same purpose as shampoo, but is made with a different, gentler formula, free of chemicals and oil-stripping sulfates.

Mindbodygreen notes that if you're a shampoo loyalist, you don't have to pick sides. You can incorporate both into your beauty routine by shampooing a couple of times a week and using a milder cleanser or rinse on the days in between. And because cleansers and rinses often tote natural ingredients and essential oils that will nourish the scalp, they're a great option for people who require a daily scrub but are still looking to stimulate hair growth.

A shampoo alternative

Your local drugstore or grocery might not carry a cleanser or rinse, but you will likely find them on the shelves of major beauty stores like Ulta or Sally's. If you're not a mall-goer, there are tons of great options online, too! Just be sure to read the ingredient list before buying one. Healthline notes that sneaky ingredients to look out for are sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, hexachlorophene, and phthalates.

If you're the DIY type, you can make your own hair rinse with apple cider vinegar (ACV.) Medical News Today champions ACV for the hair because of its ability to repair hair damage and restore shine. It's important to note, however, that this is purely anecdotal evidence and hasn't been backed by clinical research. 

To make your own ACV hair rinse, combine 1 ½ cups of water and ½ a cup of ACV. Work the mixture through wet hair, and rinse.