Does No Poo Make Hair Curly?

No Poo can do wonderful things for your hair; making it healthier, stronger, and more voluminous. But does No Poo make hair curly?

Washing your hair with only natural ingredients and no chemicals is called No Poo. Those with curly hair may find that No Poo helps their hair become smoother and less prone to environmental frizz. Many No Poo’ers have stated that since going No Poo their straight hair has become wavy or curly.

There is so much information about No Poo, and how it can improve the health of your hair.

Sometimes though, you hear magical claims where the user claims this method of natural hair care made their poker-straight hair, curly. But are these claims really true?

There have been many reports from people who No Poo that their hair has become curly or wavy since they transitioned to No Poo. I found this idea fascinating, so decided to investigate.

Read on to find out if No Poo does indeed make your hair curly.

Does No Poo Make Hair Curly?

The No Poo movement has been growing in popularity over the past few decades.

We all know that using too many chemicals can be harmful to our health, so going No Poo removes these nasty chemicals from our hair care regime.

Only natural ingredients are used when No Poo’ing, and most of these are readily available or even already in your own pantry.

Curly and wavy hair, often being dry and porous, reacts brilliantly to going No Poo. The naturally produced oils from your scalp moisturize your hair to keep it nourished and healthy.

I will now take a closer look at hair itself, how it is made up, and whether No Poo could make hair curly, or not.

Your hair is made up of 3 sections:

  • Cuticle: The external part of the hair which protects the innermost section from environmental damage.
  • Cortex: This section is underneath the cuticle, twisting around the medulla.
  • Medulla: The hairs core

How your hair grows, the direction from the scalp, and the amount and fineness is predetermined from birth.

However, how you treat your hair can have an effect on its health; so lack of scalp health can lead to fewer hair follicles working at their best, thereby leading to thinner-looking hair.

There are 3 stages to hair growth:

  • Anagen: The growth stage. This lasts between 2 to 8 years.
  • Catagen: In this stage the hair stops growing. The length of the phase lasts from 4-6 weeks.
  • Telegen: This is the last stage, lasting 2-3 months where the hair eventually falls out (source 1,2).

Each of these stages is an important factor in how your hair looks and feels.

Can straight hair become naturally curly is often asked, especially at the beginning of a No Poo journey.

The simple truth of the matter is that whilst going No Poo will most likely improve the health of your hair, it cannot change your hair’s structure.

If you notice after going No Poo that your straight hair has waves, this is likely because the products in your traditional shampoo and conditioner, alongside your styling products, previously weighed your hair down to such an extent that it always appeared to be straight.

By removing these products, your natural style can shine through.

Is No Poo Good For Curly Hair?

The exact origins of No Poo are unknown. There is no ‘start date’ as such.

What we do know, however, is that the No Poo movement developed from the Curly Girl Method.

As it sounds, the Curly Girl method was a concept of haircare that focused on individuals with curly hair.

As such, the No Poo method has curly hair at its heart as the initial focus of the movement was to provide a hair care regime that rejected chemicals, but was more lenient in its approach than the curly girl method.

Curly hair is often very porous, this means that it takes in and loses moisture quickly, causing hair to be prone to frizz since this hair type takes up the environmental moisture and then curls lose definition.

The natural oils produced by our scalps are the best nourishment and moisturizer that our hair can have.

Going No Poo means that your curls will be already full of protective oils and therefore less likely to act like a sponge in humid conditions.

Natural scalp oils are mildly waterproof, adding a further layer of protection against frizz.

If you decide to move away from traditional shampoo, you may ask is no shampoo good for curly hair?

After researching, I found that No shampoo and No Poo shampoo can indeed have benefits for your hair.

No Shampoo

Below are the main benefits of not using shampoo to keep your hair clean:

1. Sebum Only Method

Sebum Only is a No Poo method that uses only the naturally produced sebum from our scalps to clean and nourish your hair.

The benefits of following the sebum only (SO) method are as follows:

  • Nourishes Hair
  • Moisturizes Hair
  • No Chemicals
  • Minimal Expense
  • Time Saving
  • Natural Oils are Slightly Waterproof and Aid Frizz Reduction

2. Water Only Method

In addition to using natural sebum to keep hair healthy and moisturized, a faction of No Poo’ers only uses water to keep their hair clean.

They scritch and preen as usual, but use water to wash out any built-up dirt.

Depending on your hair and lifestyle you may find that this method works better for you, although water only (WO) and sebum only (SO) are generally considered to be ultra No Poo and are known to be more difficult to transition to.

This is especially true if you live in a hard water area.

If you fancy trying water only, follow this step-by-step guide.

No Poo Shampoo

Below are some popular No Poo shampoo ideas, advocated by the No Poo haircare movement:

Baking Soda & ACV

Baking soda made into a weak paste with water is used to cleanse your hair. This is followed by an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse to moisturize and balance the pH.

Click here for the baking soda recipe.

Reetha / Soapnuts

Powdered or whole, these can be mixed with water/boiled to produce a milky shampoo-like substance with which to wash your hair.

The saponin within these items produces a low-level lather which helps it feel a little closer to traditional shampoo.

Rye Flour

This method is particularly good for oily hair and can be mixed with cocoa powder for dark hair.

Other No Poo Washes

There are many other No Poo recipes, so make sure you have a look at my other articles for:

You are absolutely destined to find a recipe that works for both you and your hair.

Is No Poo Bad For Your Hair

Choosing to move away from traditional shampoos and start No Poo is an exciting prospect.

Finding the right No Poo method suited to your own hair type though can take some time and effort. 

The transition phase, before your scalp has optimized its sebum production, is the most difficult.

Make sure you read my article ‘How Long Is The No Poo Transition Process‘ so that you have all the facts.

Much of people’s success at going No Poo though, is not the recipe, but the ease with which it fits into their lifestyle.

As with traditional shampoos, it can take time to find the right one.

With No Poo though, if you find that one particular ingredient is no longer working how you would like, it is simple to either reduce the amount in the recipe or change to something else entirely.

Frequent problems encountered with No Poo hair washing include:

Baking Soda / ACV

Dry and brittle hair can be caused by the BS & ACV method.

This is normally because:

  • Baking soda is too strong: Use more water.
  • ACV rinse is too strong: Use more water.
  • Washing too regularly: Try not to wash with BS more than once per week.

Hair Too Dry

  • Try using a honey mask.
  • Try using oil through your hair ends before washing, this will help if you have porous hair.

Hair Too Greasy

  • Use rye flour to dry wash between normal washes.
  • Reduce the water temperature, especially for rinsing.

Build Up

  • This can happen when too many minerals weigh your hair down: Try rinsing hair with distilled water, or rainwater if you are able to.
  • Fit a water softener

What happens if you don’t wash curly hair?

The short answer is that you will end up with a very poor scalp, and unhealthy hair.

However, you don’t need to use traditional shampoos to keep your hair clean. There are many ways to keep your scalp and hair clean and healthy under the No Poo umbrella.

Best No Poo For Curly Hair

Everybody’s hair needs are different.

Curly hair is both the easiest and the most difficult to No Poo.

Curly hair was the basis of the No Poo movement, so there are many recipes specifically designed for curly-haired people.

However, curly hair often has a life of its own and needs more consideration when choosing a No Po method.

The two best curly hair washes are eggs and clay:

Egg Wash

Egg works wonders on curly hair, providing it with extra nourishment and protein to keep strength in the curls.

The protein repairs damage. 

If you find that your hair becomes ‘crunchy’ it might be that you have overdone the number of egg washes.

Make sure you reduce the frequency and give your hair a moisture-rich mask using honey or aloe vera instead.

Always use cool or cold water for egg washing.

Clay Mask

Clay masks both cleanse your hair and are moisture-rich, leaving your curls with wonderful definition and easy to manage.

How To Go No Poo With Curly Hair?

Going No Poo with curly hair is very similar to going No Poo with any other hair type.

Curly hair though can need a few slight tweaks to make sure that your curls are defined and highly moisturized.

Take a look at the steps below to see how to begin your No Poo journey:

  • 1. Check Your Curls: Take one of your curls between your fingers, and pull down with your other hand. If your curl springs back to how it was, your curls are healthy. If your curl does not return to its original shape, then your hair is damaged. No Poo can restore it to health.
  • 2. Porosity test: Although most individuals with curls have highly porous hair, it is best to test this before choosing your No Poo method. You can test the porosity of your hair by:
    • Remove a strand of hair
    • Place in a cup of water
    • Wait for several minutes
    • Check result:
      • If your hair sinks, it is highly porous.
      • If it floats in the middle your hair is ‘normal’.
      • If it sinks, your hair is porous.
      • If hair doesn’t sink at all, it is low porosity.
  • 3. Select No Poo Method: Choose if you want to go water only, sebum only, or use No Poo diy shampoo.
  • 4. Transitioning: Decide how you want to transition to No Poo:
    • Cold Turkey: Switch immediately to your chosen method.
    • Slow Transition: Reduce frequency of traditional shampoo use, and reduce amount of shampoo used during each wash.
  • 5. Clarifying Wash: This stage is optional and only done to remove the silicons and sulfates from your hair.
  • 6. No Poo Method: Based upon your curl health and porosity test results, choose your No Poo method and start your No Poo journey to healthy, beautiful curls.

These are my top tips for how to do No Poo for curly hair, best results:

Egg Wash

Adds moisture and helps define curls.

If your hair becomes ‘crunchy’ you have too much protein and should reduce the frequency of washes.

You can use the yolk on its own, or the egg white individually, depending upon what you need to achieve.

Honey / Aloe Vera Mask

Adds moisture and helps hair feel soft.

Air Dry

If possible let your hair air dry.

Should you need your hair to dry more quickly, use a cotton t-shirt and scrunch hair dry, do not rub.

Rubbing will open up the cuticles that you closed when rinsing. This will make it easier for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft, leading to frizz.

Rubbing your hair will also open and spoil your curls.

When drying, the less interference the better.


Do not brush wet hair.

When you do brush your hair, use a boar bristle brush to move the natural oils effectively down the hair shaft.

Dry Hair / Pre-Poo

If the ends of your hair are dryer than the scalp, try using argan oil on the tips before washing.

DIY No Poo Shampoo For Curly Hair

The great thing about No Poo recipes is that your imagination is the only limit to the ingredients that you can use.

Most of your cupboard staples can be used as hair cleansers, and your garden can also provide herbs for infusions that are very much appreciated by your curls.

If you are keen to keep your hair healthy, shiny, and have well-defined curls, then the next two recipes are the ones for you:

Yogurt Mask

This is the best (and simplest) recipe for enriching your curls, leaving your hair fully moisturized and combating environmental frizz.

Below is a No Poo approved yoghurt mask:


  • 1 Cup Of Yogurt
  • 2tbs Honey
  • 4 tbs Oil
  • 2 Vitamin E Gel Capsules


  • Mix up all of the ingredients (use the gel from the capsules).
  • Run the mixture through your hair.
  • Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse off

Clay Wash

This is a fabulous recipe for cleansing your hair. Just remember that you must not use metal with clay and that the mixture should not be allowed to dry on your hair.

Below is a No Poo Clay wash recipe:


  • 2 tbs of Rhassoul Clay (powdered)
  • Coconut Milk
  • Water as necessary
  • 2 drops of Argan Oil


  • Mix the clay with water in a non-metallic bowl.
  • Add enough coconut milk until you get the consistency you require.
  • Add argan oil and smooth mixture through hair.
  • Allow to sit for 2 minutes
  • Rinse Off

By using the above recipes you will be surprised at how easy it is to No Poo with curly hair, and how amazing your curls will look once they’re free of chemicals (source 1,2).

Curly Hair No Shampoo Just Conditioner

Co-washing has become increasingly popular recently.

This No Poo method basically involves washing your hair without shampoo, but with conditioner instead.

Conditioners contain small amounts of cleansing agents, so they do a good job at cleaning with the added bonus of keeping moisture levels high.

Co-washing for curly hair works because it keeps the moisture levels high, without stripping the natural oils that help define your curls.

The problem with co-washing is that traditional conditioners, like shampoo, contain chemicals that true No Poo’ers would not allow. The best thing to do therefore is to make your own conditioner only wash.

Alternatively, just keep a close eye on the ingredients if you’re buying from a store.

No Poo Curly Hair Before And After

Curly hair can do amazingly well on No Poo.

No Poo arose from the curly girl method that focussed on the best way to manage curly hair, so this fact is therefore not a surprise.

Although No Poo won’t make your hair go curly, if it has a natural wave that was being weighed down by silicons and other additives in traditional shampoos, your natural hair will be allowed to shine through.

No Poo will help against frizz, and finding the right No Poo method for you will help make your curls more defined and much easier to manage.

Being able to ditch your traditional shampoo and conditioner, plus the everyday wash that goes with them will also free up your time so that you can simply enjoy your curly-haired life.


Does No Poo make hair curly?

In a nutshell, your hair will thank you for going No Poo, regardless of whether you have curly hair, straight hair, or anything in between.

No Poo, without the harsh chemicals of traditional shampoos, will help turn your frizzy, tangly curls, into your crowning glory.

You may have thought that you always had straight hair, but No Poo could show you that your hair had an inner wave, just waiting to be let free.

Related Questions

Is No Poo Good For Thin Hair

Thin hair is difficult to manage; with traditional shampoos, and No Poo alike. However, if your hair is thin from breakage or poor scalp health, you will find No Poo helps restore your locks to great health.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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