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Not everyone is a fan of shampoo, especially in the curly community. While keeping your hair and scalp clean is essential for healthy hair, curly girls have a love-hate relationship with shampoo and all of its powerful ingredients. Sulfates can be harsh on our hair, making it dry and frizzy. Opting for sulfate-free shampoos or cleansing conditioners are what most women gravitate towards, but there are other cleansing options. Hefemeda from Curly Q&A wants to know more about shampoo bars. 


Can coconut soap replace the shampoo (without sulfates)?

Hi! I'm 3b type and high porosity. Actually I’m using coconut soap for washing days (also I use a non-silicone conditioner). I'd like to know if this soap removes the product accumulation like a normal shampoo or a shampoo without sulfates, I'm afraid to be mistreating my scalp.

Thanks for answering :)


Yes, coconut soap will cleanse your hair. There are several types of cleansers that will effectively and gently cleanse your hair like clays, cleansing conditioners, and shampoo bars. Clarifying shampoo is still necessary for removing product buildup, chlorine, or hard water on an as-needed basis, but for regular cleansing consider exploring gentler options.

What is coconut soap?

Coconut soap or coconut oil soap is created with coconut oil or milk and lye or a natural citric acid. The lye aids in saponification of fats and oils and completely disappears from soap when cured completely. You can either create your own coconut soap or try popular commercial ones like Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Soap.

Many DIY shampoos or shampoo bars have coconut oil/milk

You are not going to go wrong with using some form of coconut to wash your hair. Many curly girls have ditched regular shampoos for those formulated with more oils to keep moisture in the hair. Coconut oil has antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and seals in moisture. OBIA Naturals Coconut Shea Shampoo Bar is a great shampoo bar to consider.

Check the ingredients

Looking at the ingredients will definitely help you be a more informed shopper. If your hair is happy with a particular brand or product, then worry less about what others may be using. There are several factors as to why a product may work for you and not someone else like climate, curl pattern, porosity, age, and health.

Remember, your scalp and hair will let you know if what you are using is not effective. If you see or feel a film on your hair despite washing and rinsing thoroughly on wash day, your cleanser may not be doing a great job. Don’t forget your hair may simply need a good washing with a clarifying shampoo. Also, if your scalp is irritated, flaking, or itchy, then you will need to determine whether it is buildup, drying products, or a dry scalp. A good scalp exfoliation will always help and you can check these tips for a healthier scalp if problems occur: 4 Easy Ways to Get a Healthier Scalp Today.