hair · no-'poo

no-‘poo/low-‘poo routines for various hair types

with all the no-‘poo info here, i still get a LOT of questions on a specific routine to follow. i’m so so so glad you guys are reaching out for help & asking questions!

starter routines for various hair types to help with starting no-'poo or low-'poo

to make life a little easier and to help more than 1 person at a time, i’ve come up with these cookie-cutter starter routines for those wanting a little more guidance. as i always say, it’s very different for everyone, AND it’s going to be very different a year down the road compared to when you started.

for example, here was my routine when i started:

day 1- wash hair with 1:9 ratio of organic liquid castile soap and water. then rinse with diluted acv. after washing, i wait till it’s a bit damp and run about a pump or argan oil through the ends of my hair, and what’s left over on my hands, i wipe on my hair (like grab it into a ponytail with my hands, and just wipe down…if that makes sense lol). let air dry.
days 2, 3, 4: use tiny bits of coconut oil or argan oil to tame fly aways and moisturize the ends of my hair. no washings!
day 5 or 6: do the coconut oil mask and let it sit alllll day (two hours is my minimum). wash hair with the diluted liquid castile soap a few times (to get all the coconut oil out).
days (6,) 7, 8, 9: argan oil & coconut oil for moisture & fly aways, but no washings!
day (9) 10: wash hair with the diluted soap, rinse with diluted acv and use the argan oil once my hair is damp again & let air dry.
days (10,) 11, 12, 13: use argan oil or coconut oil for fly aways and a little extra moisture. no washings!
day (13) 14: wash with the diluted soap and rinse with acv

aaaand here’s my routine now::

day 1 : wash with water only. air dry.
days 2-8 (no set days anymore): nothing… not even getting it wet.

so when i say it’s different for everyone, it REALLY is. it’s even different for a single person as time goes on. heck, i don’t even have the same routine that i started with almost 2 years ago or even had 6 months ago.

so here’s what i can advise as a routine, depending on your hair type:

dry/breaking hair:

  • clarify using a cheap, detergent-like shampoo. this can be the $1 suave shampoos and the like (but NOT the clarifying version. make sure none of the ingredients are silicones: -xane. -zane, -cone, or -conol). if you have heavy product build-up, add a couple pinches of baking soda to the shampoo in the palm of your hand and wash with that mix.
  • right after you clarify (same shower), deep condition. rinse very well with water and let your hair air dry. the best deep conditioners for dry/breaking hair are egg yolks and/or raw honey.
  • anywhere from 2 to 7 days (or longer) after you clarify, you can begin your LOW-‘poo routine. no-‘poo will be too harsh on your already dry/breaking hair. for some low-poo options, check here. you can also go water-only! it’s the most gentle and nourishing thing possible for your hair.
  • wash every 2-3 days or longer. try going as long as possible between washing. your transition time will be reduced, but you will be greasier in the short term.
  • you can wash your hair with water-only between “washes”
  • deep condition your hair as often as it needs it. if it’s dry, do it! if it’s okay, hold off till you need it. since you’re going low-poo, you can use the coconut oil mask. doing this at least weekly till your hair is nourished back to health will work Wonders!
  • try some leave-in conditioners. they’ll keep your hair moisturized between washes and deep conditionings.
  • be sure to use a boar bristle brush to pull the oils from your scalp down to the ends of your hair. your own scalp oils is the best conditioner for your hair in the world!

oily hair:

  • clarify using either a baking soda paste (if you have heavy product build up), OR a strong castile soap mix (1 part soap to 4 parts distilled water. avoid if you have hard water. and if you use this, rinse with apple cider vinegar after.), OR a cheap $1 shampoo with no silicones (no -xane. -zane, -cone, or -conol) and add a couple pinches of baking soda to the shampoo in the palm of your hand.
  • after your clarify (same shower), deep condition. for oily hair, the best deep conditioners would be acv, aloe, &/or raw honey. rinse very well with water and let your hair air dry.
  • wash every 2-3 days or longer. try going as long as possible between washing. your transition time will be reduced, but you will be greasier in the short term. you’ll also find your hair will be less greasy as time goes on. you can use the true no-poo method, a castile soap mix, any no-poo alternatives, or go low-poo to wash your hair. choose whichever one sounds best, and don’t be afraid to switch! you won’t need to re-clarify if you’re switching methods.
  • you can wash your hair with water-only between “washes”
  • deep condition your hair as often as it needs it. if it’s dry, do it! if it’s okay, hold off till you need it.
  • be sure to use a boar bristle brush to pull the oils from your scalp down to the ends of your hair. your own scalp oils is the best conditioner for your hair in the world!
  • use dry shampoo as needed, but steer clear of it for the transition period as much as possible. you want your scalp to adjust on its own as quickly as possible!
  • if your hair is still super oily, wash your hair with egg yolks at the roots. that should do the trick!

normal hair:

  • clarify using either a baking soda paste (if you have heavy product build up), a strong castile soap mix (1 part soap to 4 parts distilled water. avoid if you have hard water. and if you use this, rinse with apple cider vinegar after.), or a cheap $1 shampoo with no silicones (no -xane. -zane, -cone, or -conol) and add a couple pinches of baking soda to the shampoo in the palm of your hand.
  • after your clarify, deep condition. rinse very well with water and let your hair air dry. you can use any of the deep conditioners listed. raw honey is my favorite!
  • wash every 2-3 days or longer. try going as long as possible between washing. your transition time will be reduced, but you will be greasier in the short term. you can use the true no-poo method, a castile soap mix, any no-poo alternatives, or go low-poo to wash your hair. choose whichever one sounds best, and don’t be afraid to switch! you won’t need to re-clarify if you’re switching methods.
  • you can wash your hair with water-only between “washes”
  • deep condition your hair as often as it needs it. if it’s dry, do it! if it’s okay, hold off till you need it.
  • be sure to use a boar bristle brush to pull the oils from your scalp down to the ends of your hair. your own scalp oils is the best conditioner for your hair in the world!

dyed hair:

curly hair:

all hair types:

  • once you clarify and deep condition, you can do the ROM (rinse only method..aka, water-only!). that’s what i’m currently doing. and lemme tell ya.. the transition can be a pain, but not having to pack ANY hair products (or not having to buy them for that matter) is FANTASTIC. at least check it out and see what you think!
  • once you clarify and deep condition, the next time you wash you can use THIS “shampoo.” it’s a clay and honey shampoo, and i think you’ll quickly fall in love. it’ll leave your scalp/hair nice and clean!

still have questions? check HERE for trouble-shooting help and Common questions! also, check THIS page for a whole slew of things no-‘poo!

*these sample routines are just to get y’all started. YOU know your hair better than anyone 🙂 don’t be afraid to switch methods, switch deep conditioners, etc. if you switch methods, you do NOT need to re-clarify!

i really hope this helps you little crunchies!! much love!

AND DON’T FORGET!!! >> the Lemongrass Spa Give-away is ending VERY SOON!!! ENTER HERE for your chance to win!!! (& here’s the original post)

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105 thoughts on “no-‘poo/low-‘poo routines for various hair types

  1. I just wanted to let you know that i saw this guide after contemplating going “no-poo” for a while. And when I saw this i thought “oh what the heck why not. I’ll give it a shot.” And i have never been happier. At first i was afraid because of the transition time, but after i clarified using baby shampoo and baking soda, i deep conditioned with coconut oil for like 5 minutes and that was a MISTAKE!!!! But after two days i washed it with the baking soda rinse and deep conditioned with yogurt (not using the ACV rinse because back when i was not as educated about this method i had a bad experience) my hair was AMAZEBALLS. That was about two weeks ago. And i love my hair now. Sure it’s not super soft and shiny like yours in the pictures, but i also did not have a horrific transition period where my hair got super oily. I would say i have roughly normal/dyed hair but i didn’t have a slick head problem…. or maybe that’s because i washed it every 2-3 days so i didn’t let it get that way… I have now started using the ACV rinse in conjunction with the BS and WHO KNEW MY HAIR COULD BE SO SOFT. And yogurt?!?!?!?!?! Who knew it actually worked!!!!

    I have already noticed my hair is tons softer and much healthier. I don’t do anything to it besides brush it with the boar brush after i get out of the shower and let it air dry. My hair has never behaved this well and i have never felt more confident and at peace with my natural hair texture (slightly wavy with random curls) than i am now. And i know i haven’t finished the transition process but i can’t wait! This guide really is helpful and answered all of my questions and trouble-shooting issues. I’m currently trying to grow my hair back out to it’s natural color so that i know it will be the healthiest possible. So thank you so much for your commitment to a cheap and natural way to embrace my natural beauty. I have never been happier!!!!!!!!

  2. A tip for clarifiying: Silicone is liposoluble, which means it can be dissolved by oils. I think the coconut oil hairmask helped me a lot to get rid of it in a very stressless way for my hair.

  3. Hi, I have curly hair and so feel like I need a little extra product to keep the frizz down. I have been doing the no poo thing for years, but I get a lot of build up right where my ponytail sits on the back of my head. Should I try baking soda just on that spot? I am worried about drying out the rest of my hair. Thanks!

  4. Hi i have a question if you could answer that would be great. I have started noo-poo and it seems like my hair isn’t as think as it used to be.. Is there anything thing I can do to make my hair thicker?
    M.coco

  5. Hi Alex! I have been doing a lot of research on going ‘less poo’/’no poo’ and I was just wondering: even when searching for shampoos, my hair is this awkward combination of oily and brittle. So would I treat it more as oily or dry? My scalp get oily–very oily. I can barely go a day without washing because it looks like my scalp is literally wet, but the mid shaft and end of my hair is dry and breaks often. I also shed a lot. My reasoning for considering making the plunge into the ‘no poo’ life-style is because I simply want to feel like I have beautiful hair for once. I just don’t know if I should treat it as oily or dry.

    I would appreciate it if you could help me (or anyone who has any suggestions)

    Thanks so much!

    Erica

  6. Hi I started the no poo BS and ACV method on Christmas eve. The first result was beautiful. Now every time I do this method, it’s leaving me with a greasy scalp directly after washing. I was doing 2 tbsp to water but I’ve reduced to 1 tbsp to a pint and I’m still getting the same result. What do I need to do?

    Thank you xx

  7. Hi there,

    I started the no poo BS and ACV method on Christmas eve. The first result was beautiful. Now every time I do this method, it’s leaving me with a greasy scalp directly after washing. I was doing 2 tbsp to water but I’ve reduced to 1 tbsp to a pint and I’m still getting the same result. What do I need to do?

    Thank you xx

  8. Hi! Greetings from Sweden 🙂 I just wanted to share my no poo-experience with you guys. So, a month ago i decided to quit shampoo and conditioner cold turkey. I had done some research (mostly here on AE) and just felt this strong gut feeling that this was exactly what i needed. I have shoulder long thick hair which i had to wash EVERY day. I started my no poo with BS/AVC and went 5 days between my clarifying wash and my second wash. It was quite rough, but i kept telling myself that this would be worth it (i was sooo excited on day 5 to actually wash my hair – it was almost all i could think of lol). I deep condition my hair (honey and aloe vera) and use some argan oil in it when damp. I also use rosemary essential oil in my BS wash and in my AVC wash – love the smell.

    Now, almost a month in my hair feels great. I mean i still get greasy hair on day 3, but i just stick with it. Im not really annoyed by it (its not gross… and i actually feel beautiful) On the evening of day 3 i do a wash only. Before entering the shower i spend approx. 5 minutes working my hair. I massage it (breking up the oils), distribute the oils with my fingers section by section and finally brush my hair – section by section – with my BB brush. My ABSOLUTLEY best tip to survive day 4 and 5 (even after a WO) is to sleep with two french braids on each side of your head. Great volume in the morning and you hide all hints of grease! I then just put it in a nice bun (lawyer-appropiate).

    I must say that what i love with this the most is my new self-love. I know i know…. but really! I feel great, and my skin has actually cleared up! I have very sensitive skin and have had problems with cystic acne on my chin. Its gone! I sort of feel that the chemicals in my shampoo must have messed with my skin or something. I must also say that i only use argan oil on my face as night and day cream now. My face is like a baby’s bottom lol. I just feel great.

    Good luck to you all!

  9. Alex, I love your blog! Thank you for sharing all your research and results with the world. I have been using only acv, baking soda, and coconut oil for a few years on my hair. Occasionally I have use a shampoo or conditioner just on the tips. Because of that I suppose there could still be various chemicals and/or silicones in my hair.
    Without following the steps here, to clarify my hair, I am already a few weeks into washing my hair with only water. My friends can’t tell that I haven’t “washed” it. It does feel different but it isn’t insanely greasy (which I assume is due to the length of time I have used just acv and baking soda). Despite all that, my hair doesn’t look as nice as yours! Sorry to have such a wordy post, but I just wanted to explain myself in support of my questions. Do you think I have done something wrong, or missed a step? I am sure this is going to be a different process for everyone who tries it, but how long do you think it takes to have naturally functioning hair? Lastly, do you think that my hair not becoming overly greasy is a sign of a missed step?

  10. I’m a little bit confused on the baking soda paste for clarifying…do I make enough to coat all of my hair or just the roots? And what is the ratio for that?

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