No Poo Method: The Complete Guide to Start No Poo

No Poo Method

Like everyone, I was intrigued when I heard the term “no poo”.

No poo? What’s that?

No shampoo.

While you might immediately think that not using shampoo is too crazy of an idea, you should know…

Shampoo was only invented in 1927 so generations of people have gone without using shampoo and they looked absolutely fine.

But wait…

  • Does no poo hair smell?
  • Is the no poo method good for hair?
  • Does no poo make hair thicker?
  • How do you start the no poo method?
  • How long does the no poo method take?
  • Do you use conditioner with no poo?

We’ll go over all of these questions in detail below.

But first…

No Poo Shampoo


What is the no poo method?

No poo is not using standard commercial shampoo to wash your hair.

Does that mean people following the no poo method don’t wash their hair?


They just don’t wash their hair using shampoo.

They use natural ingredients instead.

So no – no poo hair doesn’t smell.

No Poo Method Benefits

Why go no poo?

4 reasons:

1) Shampoos often contain harmful ingredients.

This includes parabens, formaldehyde and sulphates (like sodium laureth sulfate). Some of these ingredients are linked to diseases.

2) You’ll save lots of money by not having to buy shampoo.

On average, U.S. consumers spend $73.4 on hair care products per year. That’s just over $1800 in 25 years.

Depending on the no poo method and practice that works for you, you can save lots of money!

3) You’ll have healthier hair.

By going no poo, you’ll have healthier, thicker, shinier and smoother hair with more body. Your hair will grow much faster.

When you use shampoo, you strip your hair of its natural oils. The result is that your scalp ends up producing excess oils to overcompensate.

Excessive oil production can lead to hair loss and makes your hair oily fast (hence why you feel the need to shampoo often).

Your hair doesn’t have the opportunity to be conditioned by its natural oils. The natural oils moisturize your hair and protect it from getting dry and breaking off – it helps keep your hair healthy.

4) It’s more environmentally friendly

If you don’t use shampoo, there will be less consumption and waste (less shampoo bottles in landfills).

How do you start the no poo method?

One warning:

There’s usually an adjustment period.

Your hair is used to being washed with shampoo all the time. When you start the no poo method, your hair will be extremely oily for a while before it normalizes to your natural oil production levels.

I’ve heard some people say it takes 1-4 months!

How do you deal with this no poo transition period?

You can wear your hair up in a pony tail or bun.

You can also wear a thick head band or put on a hat.

Just remember that this is a temporary stage.

This period is going to be difficult! You’ll question every day when the transition period will end. Your hair will look greasier than it’s ever looked.

Be strong!

At the end, your hair will look and feel better than ever!

There are MANY different no poo methods – ways to wash your hair when it gets inevitably dirty with your daily life habits and style products.

Now that you know there’s an adjustment period, the next thing you should know is…

No Poo Methods

The main no poo methods are:

  • Water
  • Honey
  • Egg

Some people use only one of these methods or a combination or move from one to the other.

You can start with the method you think will work best, see how your hair reacts and then try a different one for comparison.

1. No Poo Method Water Only

With this no poo method, you use water to clean your hair. You depend on the oils on your head to condition your hair.

How do you apply the no poo water-only method?

  1. The first thing many people do is scritch and preen their hair. Scritching is when you gently massage your head, loosen the dead skin cells and oil and transfer your scalp oils to the pads of your fingers. Preening is running the pads of your fingers down the length of your hair to distribute the oils throughout, particularly at the ends.
  2. Run warm water on your head. Don’t run hot water as it can cause damage to your hair.
  3. Pat your hair with an old cotton shirt or cotton towel and let it air dry.

If you’re planning on scritching and preening frequently, you might want to invest in a boar bristle brush to make the process faster. Just don’t forget to clean your brush regularly.

Here’s a video on how to scritch and preen:

no poo guide

How often should you do this no poo water-only method?

As often as you like.

Some people decide to scritch and preen every night and wash with water once per week. It’s based on your preference and how your hair reacts.

What if this no poo method doesn’t work? Now what?

If you have hard water, you can install a water filter for your shower.

Hard water can cause hair to become dry. The build up of excess minerals from hard water can leave behind residue on your hair and weigh it down so it’s looks flat.

If you find your hair is too dry afterwards, you can use diluted apple cider vinegar to condition your hair.

You can mix in 1/3 cup of diluted apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of water. Put this in a spray bottle.

Spray on your hair, particularly the ends of your hair shaft. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes and then rinse with water.

What if my hair smells like vinegar?

Don’t be concerned about the vinegar smell. It should be gone in 15 minutes.

If it isn’t gone, it might be due to the brand of vinegar. This is the brand I recommend.

It could also be due to the amount of vinegar. Feel free to decrease the amount of vinegar accordingly.

2. No Poo Honey

Rich in antioxidants, honey is a great ingredient to put in your hair. It strengthens it, stimulates growth, and makes it shiny!

How do you apply this no poo method?

  1. Mix 1 tbsp of raw honey into 1 cup of water. Put it in a squeeze bottle (like an old shampoo bottle).
  2. Rinse well with water.

How often should you do this no poo egg method?

2 times per week.

What if this no poo method doesn’t work? Now what?

If you find your hair is too greasy, you might want to add arrowroot flour.

Arrowroot flour has a lot of vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron and Vitamin B.

Many people often use arrowroot flour as a dry shampoo.

After the honey rinse, you can sprinkle 0.5-1 tsp of arrowroot flour on your roots and massage it all around to absorb the excess oil.

Then brush your hair out.

3. No Poo Egg Wash

One of the great things about egg is that it’s an all-in-one cleanser and conditioner so you don’t need a separate conditioner afterwards.

How do you apply this no poo method?

  1. First, beat 1 egg in a bowl. Then apply it to your scalp from your roots to your ends. You can add a tbsp of cool water as an option. It has to be COOL and not hot as you don’t want scrambled eggs on your head.
  2. Leave this in for 10 minutes.
  3. Then rinse it off with cool water.

You don’t need to have a conditioner like apple cider vinegar afterwards, but you certainly can do so if you want.

How often should you do this no poo egg method?

Even if your hair seems fine after the egg wash, you still might not want to make this your regular no poo method as your hair can’t handle too much protein.

You can just do an egg wash every month or 2 in between your other no poo methods.

What if this no poo method doesn’t work? Now what?

Egg has a lot of protein, which is great for you hair.

Too much protein though and your hair becomes stiff. You also might just not have the type of hair that benefits from an egg wash.

If your hair is stiff, you need to deep condition your hair with coconut oil for at least 20 minutes. You can put it in a shower cap if it’s easier. Then rinse with cold water.

What about the baking soda and apple cider vinegar no poo method?

Using baking soda and then apple cider vinegar is the most COMMON no poo method people use.

In theory, baking soda cleans hair and apple cider vinegar conditions hair.

Recently, I have heard warning after warning from long-time users that this no poo method eventually harms your hair. That it will make your hair dry, brittle, and break.

There will also be more knots and tangles.

That’s why I can’t recommend this method.

Alternative No Poo Shampoos

If the no poo method seems too extreme, you can ease into it by going low poo instead and get a more natural shampoo.

Here’s a list of natural shampoos:

Shampoo bars

This shampoo bar is made of natural and organic ingredients.

It’s sulfate free, paraben free, cruelty free, vegan and naturally scented. As a shampoo bar, there’s no plastic involved!

Another shampoo bar that’s often highly recommended is aleppo soap.

It’s called aleppo because it’s associated with the city of Aleppo in Syria.

Each bar contains only olive oil, laurel oil, sodium hydroxide and water.

Clay shampoo

Mined from Morocco, rhassoul clay has a host of minerals that are beneficial for your hair. This particular shampoo works particularly well with curly hair.

My No Poo Experience

I’ve done no poo with my daughter since she was born.

She’s only had her hair washed with water. She has never used shampoo and she’s a 3 year old.

Her hair always looks clean and healthy. It smells and feels great.

I plan on continuing the no poo method with her indefinitely.

For myself, initially, I tried the no poo method for a few weeks. I did the water only method and used a boar bristle brush.

The second week was definitely less greasy than the first.

I didn’t continue for very long as I had to go back to work. I didn’t want to undergo the transition period at work.

When the office shut down and I started working from home, I gave no poo another try.

I’m happy to report I’ve continued the no poo water only method for 8 months now. I wash my hair with warm water every 3 days.

Recently, I’ve finished washing my hair with cold water to seal the hair follicles.

My hair is the strongest and healthiest it’s ever been.

I’m going to continue the no poo method water only indefinitely.

Final thoughts on the No Poo Method

There are so many no poo options available.

The key is to keep on trying options until you find the right one or combination that works best for your hair and lifestyle.

It’ll be great learnings about your hair and yourself through this experience.

Resources for Saving Money

Looking for other ideas to save money?

Here are my favorite money saving resources:


Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is great because you can get up to 40% back for shopping online at over 2500 stores – many of which you would normally shop at like Amazon, eBay, Macy’s, Kohl’s etc. It’s FREE to sign up.

For U.S. residents, Rakuten will give you a welcome bonus of $10 after making your first online purchase of $25 or more. For Canadians, it’s a $5 welcome bonus for signing up. You can read more about how to use Rakuten here!

$5 meal plan

If you spend hours meal planning every week only to stress out some days and eat out, you might be interested in the $5 meal plan. For $5/month, they send you a weekly meal plan where every meal will cost approximately $2/person! They save you time and money so that you can focus on doing things you enjoy like hanging with your kid!

They offer a 14 day FREE trial (approximately 40 recipes) – regular or gluten-free – that you can cancel at any time with no questions asked.

Amazon Prime

This membership has 2 great benefits: free 2 day shipping and free access to movies, TV shows, music and books. You no longer have to worry about last minute items. You can cancel your other movie, music and book subscription services. You can also get 20% off diapers and baby food when you have more than 5 subscriptions.

Get the Amazon 30 day FREE trial here. You can cancel at anytime. No questions asked.

Related money saving articles

Enjoyed this post?

It would be great if you could share it and follow me on Pinterest and Facebook.

How to Start the No Poo Method

What’s your no poo method experience?

Similar Posts


  1. Thank you. Yours is the first review I have found of someone who not only hasn’t given up after/before 2 weeks, but also the first review that has persevered AND properly evaluated the methods available and recent updates/advice relating to the pH level imbalances one of the methods can cause. You actually give me more hope as someone who already currently only uses commercial shampoos on a weekly basis.

    1. Thanks for your message! The transition period can be really tough! During the transition period, I wore hats and tied up my hair a lot! I’m lucky I work from home so I had the opportunity and space to really give this method a go! I’m so glad I did. My hair is healthier than ever now. All the best with your no poo journey!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *