Best Low Poo Shampoos: The No Poo Method Explained

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There is an increasing awareness surrounding harmful ingredients used in cosmetics and in hair care products. Many of us have had the unpleasant experience of using an unnatural shampoo filled with harsh chemical ingredients that worked a little too well, stripping our hair of all its natural moisture and leaving it dry and frizzy. Then there are the silky conditioners that leave unwanted silicone residue in our hair that can build-up over time. Is there a better solution for haircare? Is there a way to wash our hair without having to subject it to unnatural, damaging chemical ingredients? If you’re open to trying new hair care routines, the no poo or low poo method might be for you.

Low Poo Vs No Poo Explained 

Woman washing her hair.

Woman showering.

The no poo method involves using water only – that’s it. It’s not for everyone, I won’t lie, but there are people who swear by it. It’s especially useful to repair damaged hair and grow longer hair faster. It’s also ideal for frizzy hair and curly and wavy hair types which can dry more easily than straight hair. Whether or not it works for you also depends on the climate you live in and on weather conditions. If you’re living in a hot and humid climate and sweat a lot, the low poo method might be a better option for you to cleanse your hair. 

The main advantage of the no poo method over the low poo method is that it’s 100% natural. So if you suffer from severe dandruff or have extremely damaged hair and would like to give it the maximum chance of healing, the no poo method would probably be the most beneficial until your scalp and hair are restored to their natural health. 

The downside is that you will experience a period of having oily and gunky hair until your hair and scalp adjust to your new hair care routine. This occurs because your scalp is accustomed to producing excess oil to combat the drying, unnatural hair products that strip your hair of its natural oils. Once your body regulates its oil production to your new hair care routine, you should notice a drop in oil production, and your hair will start to feel soft and clean. The transition period could last for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. During this time you can rub a small amount of corn starch through your roots to remove the greasiness. If you feel like your hair stays permanently oily even after giving it time to adjust, consider switching to the low poo method.  

The low poo method employs minimal, all-natural ingredients, such as essential oils and aloe vera, to gently cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils. There are a variety of low poo shampoo bottles and bars available for sale in stores and online. You can also create your own DIY low poo shampoo from natural ingredients that are hair and scalp healthy. 

Top Low Poo Shampoos To Try & DIY Recipes

No-Poo Shampoo Tea With Yucca

This is an interesting no poo shampoo because it isn’t sold as a bottle or a bar. It’s sold in a 1 oz or 3 oz package containing a dry powder (shampoo tea) made from a combination of all-natural, cleansing, and hair-healthy plants. The product description claims that it is a “better ‘No-Poo’ method than Baking Soda. Much gentler, more cleansing, and totally biodegradable.” All the ingredients are plants based and they each contain hair healthy properties. Rich in essential fatty acids, the product gently cleanses hair without drying it out. 

The No-Poo Shampoo Tea contains Yucca, Soapwort, Soap Nuts, Amla, Brahmi, Shikakai, Burdock, Flax Seed, Horsetail, Ginger Root, Bladderwrack, and Hibiscus. Yucca cleanses hair and encourages hair growth. Organic Soapwort works as a natural cleanser and as a mild antifungal. Soap Nuts and Amla strengthen hair follicles and leave hair looking full and shiny. Shikakai is an antioxidant that aids in hair growth and soothes inflammation, treating dandruff plus a dry and itchy scalp. Burdock stimulates hair follicles and promotes blood circulation in the scalp, and Bladderwrack is rich in fucoidan which has anti-inflammatory properties that help heal skin.

Some people complain that the product is a bit messy and they needed to brush out leaves from their hair after using it. It is up to you to decide if this would be an issue for you or if it’s worth the mess to cleanse your hair with an all-natural, organic product that is hair and scalp healthy. You can order a 3 oz package of the Shampoo Tea through the Etsy or Ziryab’s Body Brew websites for $6.70. Compared to many of the pricey organic no poo products out there, the No Poo Shampoo Tea is extremely economical for a product that goes a long way. 

Biome Shampoo Bar

Smooth Operator Biome Shampoo Bar.

Smooth Operator Biome Shampoo Bar.

The Biome shampoo bars are made from all-natural, organic ingredients that are hair and scalp healthy. The company sells three versions of the shampoo bars: 

  1. The Ditch Dandruff Shampoo Bar is designed to treat dry and itchy scalp. It contains saponified oils of Coconut, Olive, Organic Neem. Organic Jojoba oil, Lavender, Spearmint, Rosemary, Tea Tree Essential Oils, and Rhassoul Clay.
  2. The Oily No More shampoo is formulated to combat oily hair by providing a deep cleanse. It’s made from saponified oils of Coconut, Organic Castor, Apricot Kernel. Organic Jojoba oil, Lemon Myrtle, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, and Patchouli Essential Oils, Artesian Salt, and Australian Bentonite Clay.
  3. The Smooth Operator Shampoo Bar for sensitive scalp gently cleanses hair without irritating the skin on the scalp. It contains saponified oils of Coconut, Organic Castor, Sunflower, Apricot Kernel. Fresh Aloe Vera, Organic Jojoba oil, Rose Geranium and Lavender Essential Oils, Australian Pink Clay, and Australian Kaolin Clay.

Biome’s shampoo bars can be ordered through the company’s website for $10.95 each. The nice thing about the biome bars is that every single ingredient is natural. Sometimes companies advertise products as “natural” but when you read through their ingredient list there’s a whole lot of unnatural ingredients mixed with the natural ingredients – thankfully this is not the case with the biome shampoo bars. 

Overall, the shampoo bars received a good customer satisfaction rating. They smell lovely, are gentle on the hair and scalp, and leave hair soft and clean. They’re also compact, great for traveling, and one shampoo bar goes a long way, lasting for several months for some customers. Some say that the product is hard to wash out of your hair and leaves build up. If this occurs, you might need to wash your hair a second time to remove all the shampoo from your hair. 

DIY Rye Flour Shampoo

Rye flour is rich in vitamins B’s, E, omega 3 fatty acid, and pantothenic acid. It’s vegan, natural, economical, and incredibly gentle on the scalp and hair. You wouldn’t necessarily expect rye flour to work as a cleansing agent, but it does! Unbelievable, the rye flour solution gently cleanses hair of greasiness and gunk, leaving hair soft, hydrated, and clean. It’s completely natural, and a lot more economical than using store bought shampoo. 

To prepare the Rye Flour No Poo Shampoo, add 2-3 tablespoons of rye flour to a cup of boiling water. Pour the mixture into a bottle and shake vigorously to mix the flour into the water. Allow to cool before working the mixture into wet hair, focusing on the roots which are oily. Rinse off well to avoid rye flour build up. 

No Poo Before And After Explained

Woman in the shower looking up at water.

The idea behind going no poo is to let your hair and scalp be the healthiest they can be by refraining from using any potentially harmful or unnatural ingredients whatsoever on your hair. Chemical ingredients in unnatural hair products can be harsh on the hair and scalp causing negative side effects such as clogged hair follicles, frizzy hair, dry, itchy, and peeling scalp, and hair breakages and hair loss. 

Conversely, the no poo shampoo method is gentle and healthy on the scalp, contributing to the ultimate environment for hair to grow to its maximum potential. For this reason, many people notice an increase in hair growth after going no poo and have thicker and healthier looking hair. Furthermore, people who suffered from dandruff before going no poo often find that using the no poo method cures their dandruff. Using gentle ingredients (or water only) on their hair and scalp allows the skin on their scalp to heal. 

In addition to promoting hair growth and treating dry and itchy scalp, going no poo treats frizzy and dry hair. Hair is no longer stripped of its natural oils by strong unnatural cleansing agents, and as a result looks hydrated and frizz-free. Overall, going no poo gives hair a fuller, thicker appearance together with a healthy-looking shine. If you are seriously considering trying the no poo method, it’s important to remember that the results are not immediate. Most people experience a short period of greasy hair before the scalp accustoms to producing fewer oils and adjusts to the new hair care routine.  

Conclusion

You can jump on the no/low poo bandwagon even if your hair isn’t curly, frizzy or damaged. Using natural, vegan ingredients in your hair care routine benefits the environment and often saves you money. After adopting the no poo or low poo routine, you might find that your hair is so soft, smooth, and full of life that you can get away without styling it at all! Remember, though, to hang in there for the first week or two while your hair and scalp adjust to the no/low poo method and your hair is oilier than usual. Good luck on your new, all natural, hair care journey!