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What is the no poo method for hair?

20 August 2021|3 min read

There’s a hair care method that’s becoming popular, but it's curious name has raised a few eyebrows. The no poo method, often used for curly hair, means no shampoo.

But no poo doesn't mean not cleansing your hair. People are attracted to the no poo movement because it's about having healthy hair and avoiding harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of its natural oils.

Why is no poo a good thing?

The no poo journey may help people:

  • Reduce the amount of chemicals used in their hair care routine.
  • Avoid harsh shampoo ingredients , such as sulphates, parabens and silicone, that can strip away the natural oils.
  • Decrease the amount of hair-care related plastic bought, used and tossed into landfill. 

Why is the no poo method popular for curly hair?

The No Poo method is popular for curly hair – and fine hair – because:

  • The scalp may be less irritated by chemicals such as sulphate. It can balance its production of oil, which results in healthier hair.
  • The hair shaft isn’t suffocated by silicone. It can retain moisture which increases the volume of the hair. This is why no poo can be good for fine hair.
  • Curly hair is naturally more porous, so rinsing out the shampoos and conditioners can be difficult. There can be a build-up of product which makes the hair more frizzy than curly. No poo means no product build-up and less frizz.  

The thought of not washing your hair can seem a bit strange.

What is the curly girl method?

The curly girl method works on a similar principle to No Poo. It begins the same way with the reduction in chemicals and build-up of products.

No poo can be used for all hair types. Curly Girl goes further to support curly hair with the introduction of natural products where needed, removing heat styling, and using casting, clumping and plopping. These techniques are commonly used by people who want to care for and amplify their natural curl.


It can take a while for the excess oils to balance out and even then, the No Poo method doesn't work for everyone.

How does no poo work?

When your hair feels greasy, most of us will use shampoo and conditioner to make the hair and scalp feel clean.

However, the chemicals that some shampoo contains may be harsh and may have the potential to strip away the natural oils on your hair and scalp.

The no poo movement is about breaking that cycle. It is believed to encourage your hair to balance the oil production so you don't need to wash your hair as often, or even at all.

Soda and cider to the rescue

The most simple method for No Poo involves baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

Baking soda is dissolved in water and can be an effective way of cleansing the oil build up on your hair. This can be a bit drying for some scalps so the next step is to use diluted apple cider vinegar as a moisturising rinse.

The amounts you need to use vary for different types of hair, so make sure you do your research before using these products. There are other products that can be used, such as aloe vera or coconut oil, but they’ll depend on your hair type. This is why it's important to tailor your No Poo journey specifically for your hair.

Low Poo instead of no poo

If No Poo sounds a bit much, you could always try low-poo first. Shampoo bars are a good way to move away from standard shampoo as they often contain more natural ingredients and use less plastic. 

There are bars for all sorts of hair types, so check out at your options before buying one.  

Anything else I can do to keep my hair healthy?

Make sure you are including the right food for healthy hair in your diet. Not only will your hair benefit, having a balanced diet rich in nutrients may help you to look and feel better about yourself.

If teenage pimples are an issue in your household, looking after their hair may be a good step to helping their skin clear up. Many pimples appear along the hairline so if you can help keep their hair follicles healthy and clear of excess sebum, pimples may be less likely to develop.

To poo or not to poo... that is the question!


Everyone’s hair is different so you need to find what works for you.

The thought of not washing your hair can seem a bit strange. It can take a while for the excess oils to balance out and even then, the no poo method doesn't work for everyone.

If you’re worried about your scalp becoming more irritated, it's best to seek guidance from a health professional such as a dermatologist. Everyone’s hair is different so you need to find what works for you. 


Reviewed by the healthylife Advisory Board July 2021.


This article is for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your health you should consult with a health professional.