The “No Poo” Movement: A Revolutionary Haircare Trend?

woman washing hair

While some haircare trends may come and go very quickly, others stick around, making the move from a short-term fad to a revolutionary hair movement. The ‘no poo’ trend is one of these. Early adopters started following this haircare technique back in 2010 and it has only exploded in popularity since then, with more and more people jumping onto the ‘no poo’ bandwagon.

Curious about what ‘no poo’ entails and whether or not you should be doing it? Read on as HerStyler explains exactly what the ‘no poo’ trend involves, as well as its potential benefits. We’ll also talk you through how to add the ‘no poo’ method to your haircare routine so that you can give it a try for yourself!

What is the ‘No Poo’ Trend?

Hemp Shampoo

Simply put, ‘no poo’ refers to no shampoo. This doesn’t mean that you skip washing your hair altogether. Instead, you still wash your hair regularly but use alternatives instead of regular shampoo.

The movement began when people started to become increasingly aware of the various harmful chemicals that are commonly used in shampoo formulas. While those harsh detergents get the job done when it comes to removing dirt, sweat, and grime, they’re also infamous for stripping away too much of the hair’s natural oil. This then affects the scalp. For some, it leads to severe dryness and flaking while others experience hyperactive oil glands that then leave their hair even greasier than ever.

The ‘no poo’ trend aims to forgo all of these shampoo-related problems so that the scalp, as well as the hair, can feel balanced and healthy in the way that it should.

The Benefits of Going ‘No Poo’

Would the ‘no poo’ trend be advantageous to you? Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits that you’ll experience:

How to Wash Your Hair the ‘No Poo’ Way

So, how do you go about transitioning your mane to the ‘no poo’ movement? Is it as easy as simply not using shampoo anymore?

It can be! Some people decide to go cold turkey and completely ditch the shampoo straight away, immediately moving to the alternatives. This works particularly well for people with thick and curly hair that’s prone to dryness.

Another option would be to slowly make the move to ‘no poo’. This involves gradually reducing the frequency at which you wash your hair, leaving it a little longer in between washes each time. This can be beneficial for those with thin or fine hair as suddenly abandoning the shampoo could send your scalp’s oil glands into temporary overdrive.

Once you’ve decided how you want to transition to ‘no poo’, you then need to consider which shampoo alternatives you want to use. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options:


Conditioner Argan Oil and Biotin

Ever heard of co-washing? It involves washing your hair with a conditioner instead of a shampoo, making this trend go hand-in-hand with the ‘no poo’ movement. You would simply continue on with your haircare routine as normal but switch out your shampoo for a conditioner.

Does this actually work? Yes, very well! Unlike many of the DIY alternatives out there, such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar, using a conditioner, which has been designed for the hair, means that you’re less likely to end up disrupting the pH of your scalp. Doing so would only lead to more issues, which you’re trying to avoid in the first place by taking the ‘no poo’ route.

Conditioners also provide the added benefit of being packed with key nutrients that the hair needs to thrive. The HerStyler Argan Oil & Biotin Conditioner, for example, is exceptionally moisturizing. It will leave your hair feeling stronger and more elastic. Meanwhile, the Rosehip & Sage Conditioner is packed with essential oils that will hydrate your strands to give them a softer and silkier finish.

The only downside to co-washing is if you don’t properly rinse your conditioner off. As you can imagine, this can weigh your hair down, with product buildup contributing to scalp issues. Fortunately, giving your locks a thorough rinse is an easy way to get around this potential problem!


Sleek Hair Conditioner

If you’re trying to keep your haircare routine as simple as possible and also want to minimize your usage of haircare products, water on its own can sometimes work well as an alternative to shampoo.

This method is as easy as it sounds. All you need to do is wash your hair in the same way you would if you were using a shampoo, but using only water. It’s best suited to those who have thick, curly hair that’s prone to dryness.

The downside to the water method is that it may not leave your hair feeling quite as clean or as soft as you’re used to. However, you can counter this by following up with a rich conditioner, such as the HerStyler Sleek Hair Conditioner. This will seal moisture into your strands while leaving your hair feeling refreshed and loved.

Coconut Oil

As you may know, oil attracts oil. This means that using an oil to wash your hair is actually a great way to remove excess oil without leaving your locks feeling stripped or dried out.

This is why coconut oil is commonly utilized by those following the ‘no poo’ trend. Since coconut oil repels water, using this instead of a shampoo helps to seal your strands, allowing those natural oils to maintain balance.

Again, just like when co-washing, how you rinse your hair plays a big role in how successful this method will be for you. You’ll need to remove every trace of oil from your locks to prevent them from feeling heavy or greasy. Since oil repels water, the rinsing process can be more time-consuming compared to if you were to use a conditioner.

Which ‘No Poo’ Method is Best For You?

How do you pick the right ‘no poo’ method for your hair?

This is where you’ll need to practice some trial and error. Each method has its pros and cons. The only way to find out which one is best suited to your hair is by testing them out. 

There’s also nothing wrong with mixing and matching different methods. You may want to do a twice-weekly wash with just water but then co-wash a few times a month. Customizing this trend to suit your hair’s individual needs is what will bring you the most success.

How Long Does it Take to See an Improvement?

Many people initially set out to try the ‘no poo’ trend but then give up too quickly. Why? Because after a couple of weeks without shampoo, their hair often starts to feel even oilier. 

This is down to how your scalp needs time to recalibrate. After all, you’ve spent years stripping your scalp of its natural oils. This means that your sebaceous glands have spent years overcompensating for this. Leave those oils in place and the amount of new oil that’s produced will decline, but only after a while.

This adjustment period can take anywhere between two to six weeks. If you decide to give the ‘no poo’ trend a try, you’ll need to practice patience. Don’t expect instant gratification. Instead, give your scalp the time that it needs to recalibrate and you’ll soon see results after that.

Missing Your Shampoo?

If you’ve stuck it out with the ‘no poo’ trend for six weeks and are still not happy with how your hair looks or feels, there’s nothing wrong with returning to using a shampoo. Not every shampoo is bad, so finding yourself a gentle formula that won’t strip your scalp will allow you to continue shampooing your hair without any of the associated damage.

With that said, when you’re making the move back to using shampoo, be aware of how often you shampoo your locks. One of the reasons why people end up with shampoo-related problems is because they wash their hair too often. They tend to fall into a routine, washing their hair every certain number of days out of habit. They never skip a scheduled wash day, even if their hair doesn’t actually need to be washed.

Save yourself from the harmful effects of over-washing by limiting your shampoo usage. How often you wash your hair should depend on your hair type. If you have fine, thin, or oily hair, you may need to shampoo it two or three times a week. However, if your hair is dry, curly, or damaged, you can wash it even less than this. Once a week, or even once every 10-14 days, can be beneficial.

If your hair needs a pick-me-up in between washes, a dry shampoo won’t let you down. It’ll soak up excess oil to leave your strands feeling fresher. Alternatively, you could also still incorporate co-washing every once in a while. By all means, shampoo your hair regularly, but try swapping your shampoo for a conditioner every so often to give your hair a shampoo break.

The Bottom Line

The ‘no poo’ movement is definitely not a short-lived trend. The fact that it has been around for over a decade now is proof of that! It’s a technique that so many people have experienced great success with, making it worth trying if your scalp or hair has been feeling out of balance lately. 

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