low-poo no-poo

My Experience With No-Poo and Low-Poo Methods

To poo or not to poo?! If you’ve never heard of the no-poo or low-poo method, you may think I’m kind of crazy. No, I’m not talking about holding back from the bathroom! No-poo and low-poo methods are different ways of reducing the amount of shampoo you use.

It may seem strange to want to stop shampooing your hair, but after hearing about this method on YouTube and doing a bit of research I found so many people who had benefitted from not washing their hair. I recently switched to a simple and natural skincare routine and significantly improved my skin, so I was inspired to switch to a more natural hair care routine.

What is No-Poo?

So what exactly is the no-poo method? According to nopoomethod.com,

“The theory of “No-Poo” is this: by washing hair with a gentle alternative to shampoo, such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar or even just water only, you’ll achieve clean hair without the damage or dependency on daily shampooing.”

So basically, no-poo is just completely skipping out on shampoo or any store-bought shampoo alternatives.

*If you are thinking about trying no-poo, DO NOT try the baking soda method! I have heard from so many girls who have tried this method and ended up with permanently damaged hair. The baking soda will remove the oil from your hair short-term, but is much too harsh and will make your hair weak and brittle if used for an extended period of time.*

My No-Poo Experience

When I first decided to try no-poo, I was super confident and thought that I would end up with perfect mermaid hair. By the end of week one, I had lost all faith in my new water-only washing method!

I first tried washing my hair with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, but that surprisingly made my hair more greasy than just rinsing it. For the majority of my time doing no-poo, I literally just rinsed my hair super well with water and massaged my scalp in the shower.

One week and a few days later, my hair was AWFUL. It felt stringy and greasy, was extremely limp and had lost its natural curl, and my scalp was dry and flaking. It took everything in me not to run to the shower and douse my whole body in Head and Shoulders, but I was so determined to stick to not washing my hair!

The next day I decided that I had to use some sort of shampoo because my hair and scalp were miserable. I ran to Whole Foods and picked up a tea-tree shampoo with minimal ingredients. I’m not sure if it was the result of not washing my hair for a week or if I had a reaction to the shampoo, but I was even more itchy and flaky than I was before.

I know that there is supposed to be a greasy transition period when switching to no-poo, but I don’t think I can deal with it. I have heard many testimonials from other people who have tried no-poo, but even a few months in they are still experiencing a dry scalp and limp hair. I was way too uncomfortable to make this a permanent change! 

What is Low-Poo? 

The no-poo method is definitely not for me, but I found a happy medium with low-poo!

According to Google’s definition from creationbasedhealth.com

“Low-poo is a commitment to washing your hair once every few days with a small amount of shampoo. Some choose to use their regular shampoo or there are, of course, certain shampoos marketed as “low-poo” shampoos which are usually natural and sulfate-free.”

In my opinion, low-poo is much more do-able for the average person. I have even been told by my hairdresser on multiple occasions that washing your hair every day is way too harsh! 

My Experience With Low-Poo

The first low-poo shampoo I tried was a total dud! I ended up returning it and purchasing the Acure Clarifying Shampoo based on positive reviews. I also purchased the Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner due to its awesome ingredients list!

After washing my hair a couple times, I felt a million times better. Even though my shampoo didn’t contain any actual soap, I could tell my strands were so much cleaner and softer. My hair finally got its volume and life back, and is healthier than it has been in years! 

Although the Acure shampoo is labeled as a “clarifying shampoo” it doesn’t strip the oils from your hair like a traditional clarifying shampoo. You can tell how gentle it is when you massage it into your hair. It also doesn’t get very sudsy since it does not contain sulfates. Personally, this doesn’t bother me because my hair is so damaged from coloring it in the past that I love a gentle shampoo!

The Shea Moisture conditioner is also a winner! I am not kidding when I say my hair is extremely dry, so I know a good moisturizing conditioner when I see one. I’ve tried so many different conditioners and this one takes the cake! Even on days when I do not shampoo my hair, I run a little bit of this conditioner through my ends and leave it in for extra moisture.

Right now I wash my hair every three or four days, but am slowly trying to work up (or down?) to only once a week! My slow transition to less shampoo has left my hair extremely healthy and has reduced breakage in only a month or so.

The Bottom Line

If you want to try a more natural hair care routine, I say go for it! Just don’t quit washing your hair cold turkey and expect to have luscious mermaid hair like I did. Purchase a natural sulfate-free shampoo, and slowly transition to using little to no shampoo. A slow transition is much less likely to cause irritation and greasy hair like I experienced!

Are you thinking about trying the no-poo method? Have you already tried it? Leave a comment below with your experiences! Don’t forget to share this post if you enjoyed it and subscribe for more cruelty-free beauty and hair care!


  • Reply Sandra January 26, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Great article. Well written and researched.

    • Reply Ciara January 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply Lauren February 9, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Great article. It’s good to give people a middle ground option because we tend to want to swing to one extreme or another. That being said, the no poo method works great for me, so far. I quit using everything but water in my hair and it was greasy for about 10 days but after that. I was AMAZED by the results. And it’s free! But then my husband tried it, and it was a mess. The grease just wouldn’t go away. My theory is that it works great for brunettes, especially if you tend towards dry and frizzy hair. My hair was so dry that I could just brush the grease through and spread it out. With my husband’s short, blond hair, the grease had nowhere to go! So I love it. He hated it. Life would be so much easier if one trick worked for everyone!

    • Reply Ciara February 9, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks so much! I am so glad you are loving no poo! 🙂 I wish it worked better for me, like you said it would be so much easier! I might give it another go sometime when I don’t have to be in public often. You may be on to something with your theory!

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