no-‘poo/low-‘poo for dyed hair

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

the long awaited post is here! (and the long awaited source list is on its way!)

we’re finally going to formally address going no-‘poo/low-‘poo with dyed hair!
insight on going no-'poo or low-poo with dyed hair

when i first decided to follow my hippie heart and become a no-‘poo-er, i had dyed hair…that had been dyed over dye…over dye.  it wasn’t a good hair situation, haha. i’m a natural brunette that accidentally dyed my hair almost black, let it fade, lightened it to a honey brown, dyed it to a medium auburn brown, let it fade, and then dyed it dark brown (wait for iiiiit….)… all within a year and a half and all out of a freakin box! before that, i dyed it dark brown every month to 2 months. and this was post-bleach blonde, post-cherry coke, and post-black-underneath hair. my hair hadn’t been it’s natural color since about the 7th grade. no joke. like i said, it wasn’t a good hair situation!

my hair started to split on the ends in between my yearly cuts (yes, yearly), and i was SO fed up with my hair. i knew i wanted to stop dying it, so i also decided to look into “healthier” shampoos to help my hair, too.

little did i know that my life was LITERALLY going to change because i decided to not dye my hair. but that’s a story for another time i suppose.

so is going no’poo/low-‘poo with dyed hair possible? YES.   is it safe? YES.
but here are a few things to consider before your switch (or during!)

some things to consider:

  • how damaged is your hair?
    – ANY type of permanent/semiperm/etc, hair dye is damaging. period. end of story. it sucks, i know! so for example, if your hair is dry and breaking with your current store-bought shampoo/conditioner/products, chances are that the bs/acv routine isn’t going to the best option for you. long story short, if your hair is damaged, go low-poo. if your hair is healthy, you can try no-poo, and always keep low-poo in your back pocket 😉
  • are you okay with your dye fading quicker?
    – you won’t be using the specialized shampoos that help color last. my hair dye faded between 3/4 of the time and 1/2 the time it would’ve usually taken with the bs/acv routine. i know that’s a deal breaker for some people. but that’s where low-poo is your best bet! low-poo won’t fade dye quickly like no-poo.
  • are you okay with finding more natural dye alternatives?
    – because your hair will thank you! and it’ll fit into your no-poo/low-poo routine!
  • are you going to continue to dye your hair?
    – if you’re an avid dyer, chances are no-poo isn’t the route for you. you can try low-poo. never think you need to stick to commercial products! but please do keep in mind the damage will be more apparent. the damage is the same as it always is, but commercial products smooth out hairs and “glue” split ends together. you don’t get that with no-poo/low-poo.

how to successfully transition away from commercial hair products as a “dyee” :

  • only wash your hair every few days or longer. it’ll be less harsh on your color-damaged hair.
  • keep. your. hair. moisturized!! whether that means CO masks weekly, or raw honey conditioning every wash (or both), you have to listen to your hair. YOU know YOUR hair better than anyone.
  • eat right & supplement when you need it.
  • avoid heat as much as possible! whether than be a curling iron, blow dryer, or hot shower, it’s all heat to steer clear of.
  • nurse your hair back to health!! & be patient with it! you may need to treat it with a heavy dose of protein (egg yolks), or seal in some serious moisture (raw honey). it’ll get better as time goes on.
  • use a boar bristle brush to pull scalp oils to the ends of your hair. your own scalp oils and sebum are magic for your hair!

some other posts you might find helpful:
low-‘poo options
no-‘poo resource page (where you can find info on everything from deep conditioners to salon trips to troubleshooting)
coconut oil mask

any tips from fellow dyers out there?


41 thoughts on “no-‘poo/low-‘poo for dyed hair

  1. I also highlight my hair but only about once every 3 months or so. Could I go no ‘poo? If so do I just carry on with the clarifying routine and start the no ‘poo as directed after that phase or should I do something different? How long do I need to wait after highlighting to start the clarifying? How long do you think it takes to know whether the routine will work for you? I would really like to carry on highlighting my hair if possible. 😁


  2. I’ve been struggling with this for ages! I went no poo and used baking soda etc, but I have highlighted and bleached hair and I had to go back to shampoo as it just dried it out 😦 I tried the brushing, I only wash my hair twice a week max anyway but it just went so dry and wiry!! I’m trying to find natural alternatives now as I really want to go chemical free, but it’s so hard to know what will help, be good for my hair, and won’t dry it out. I’ve not dyed my hair for about 6 months so hopefully soon I’ll find something that works!! Your post has helped as I wasn’t finding anything about the no poo for dyed hair!

  3. I have been no poo for almost 5 months. I haven’t noticed a big difference in how long my color stays since I wasn’t using specialized color shampoo to begin with. I get colored every 6-8 weeks but I only ‘wash’ with baking soda and acv about 1 time per week. The rest of the time, I just scrub my scalp with water everyday.
    My stylist does use sulfate-free shampoo so as to not set me back on my no poo. I love having one less thing to do in the shower and my hair feels great!

  4. Can I infuse a honey conditioner with rooibos tea to add red to my hair? I saw rooibos on your diy shampoo list, but I’m wondering if it would work ok as a conditioner.

  5. Hello Alex! I’m a bit confused, how do you clarify when you go low-poo? thanks! and also, can you give us a list of the ingredients a low-poo shouldn’t have? I can’t seem to find that information on your blog, thanks 🙂

  6. Hi Alex,

    I went no-poo month ago and although my hair is still greasy I can feel it getting better. My natural hair color is brown, but I dye it red and now I’m thinking about using henna instead of hair colors. Are there any side effects of using henna while no-poo? Is that going to damage my hair? Should I try something else?

  7. Hi, I have been considering doing the low-poo or no-poo for about six months but I haven’t been able to decide. Naturally, I have a dark and dull blonde hair color and I am not a fan of it, so for years I have gotten high-lights to a more golden-blonde color. It also runs in my family to have dry skin and hair, so the dying just adds to that dryness. I really want hair that looks healthy and not broken all the time. What do you suggest I do? I also workout a lot and I am not sure if the sweating will change the effects of one of these regimens. Thank you so much! I am very inspired by your blog!

    1. Victoria, I started running about 6 months ago. I will say that around weeks 5-6, was the worst of my hair’s life. straw feeling, greasy, just nasty all over but using baking soda and acv several times a week helped me get through it. Once that transition period was over, I can get by with only doing this once a week. Every day that I don’t use them, I just scrub my scalp under the water just like I was washing it and I haven’t had any problems since the salt is what makes you itch. Water helps take that out.

  8. Ever since 6th grade i’ve been torturing my hair. I dyed it, bleach on bleach on bleach, and straightened every day, sometimes twice a day. In 9th grade I found out my hair actually looks good natural, i’ve come to love my wavy curls. So, within the last few years i’ve left straightening to once every few months and my hair is finally growing! It took from 8th grade to now, my senior year, for my hair to grow from shoulder length to the longest layer being about my waist. (6 or 7 inches. granted a good two or three inches on my bottom layers are split ends 😦 ) I’ve stopped bleaching, and switched to a beautiful deep but bright(?) red and i never want to go back! I only go in maybe every 4-6 months so its not toooo terrible.

    Anywhoo, my point, haha. After coming across your blog i’m changing my whole beauty routine! My hair is my favorite, and all I want is for it to be long and healthy Because of the amount of damage I know i’ve done to my hair i’m going start out low-poo, and hopefully transition into no-poo. I usually only wash my hair every 2-3 days, so starting out won’t be too bad. Also, to keep my red, without the damage, i’m looking into henna! And not to mention starting the OCM. But is there any way to keep my split ends for the length? I usually have just a little trimmed off the ends and have it layered, so i’m hoping they’ll gradually be cut as my hair grows? Or is that wishful thinking?/: Cutting those couple inches off is a years worth of growth for me…

    Thank you sooooo much for giving my hair this second chance!(:
    (and sorry for the novel!)

  9. Hi,
    First of all, I love your blog! Super helpful to a fellow crunchy. I have decided to make the switch to no-poo as of yesterday. I have some issues that make my case not so typical I guess. I live in Denver which is an extremely dry area. I have hard water. My hair is dyed but not far from my natural color and not extremely damaged other than needs a cut. I am a personal trainer and do fitness competitions so I have to lift weights and sweat a lot 5-6 days a week. Do you have any advice? Because of the dye/hard water I am not even sure where to start. Plus the sweating heavily every day makes it hard to not wash my hair other than once a week. HELP.

  10. Hi there, absolutely amazing blog, i love the coconut oil, argan oil methods and the rest! i just wanted to ask, i have dyed hair (blond) and coconut mask worked perfectly, but if i add honey and egg yolk to the overnight mask to have better effect, will it be safe in your opinion? mask recipe i found was: 2 egg yolks, 2 spoons of coconut oil (melt in microwave) and 1 spoon of honey, all mixed together. Just need your opinion as the no-poo/all natural professional 🙂

leave your comments and questions below -

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s