How Long Is The No Poo Transition Phase?

So, if you are keen to learn how long is the No Poo transition phase, and various No Poo tips and tricks that might help you speed through this less attractive phase of moving to No Poo faster, keep reading!

It can take your scalp and hair up to 6 months in extreme cases to transition to No Poo. Generally, though 6 weeks is considered normal. Everything depends upon the system you use, the water in your area, and how your scalp reacts to the withdrawal of chemicals.

To cut a long story short, the simple truth of the matter is that the transition phase will be different for everyone because each individual scalp reacts differently to change.

There are, however, ways to make the transition smoother and easier.

Many people want to reduce the number of chemicals they use, both around the home and on their skin.

The No Poo movement, whereby you move away from traditional shampoo to more natural alternatives is a good start.

The transition phase timescale is sadly not a one-size-fits thing though.

Having experienced it on multiple occasions though, I have found the following tips to help make the journey far smoother.

How Long Is The No Poo Transition Phase?

The No Poo movement has been in existence for many decades but has gained traction in recent years with many celebrity endorsements.

It is not only women who want to reduce the number of chemicals they’re using; even some very famous male celebrities have moved to a No Poo lifestyle too.

The transition phase is something that is talked about a great deal when discussing a change to a No Poo approach.

It is the stage between finishing using traditional shampoos, and the time that your scalp has adjusted its sebum production to optimum levels.

When using traditional shampoos your hair is non-greasy, has volume, and is shiny and manageable.

Exactly the same can be achieved without using natural products, but between these two stages, you may experience greasy and unmanageable hair for some time.

This is what is called the transition period. The time it takes for your scalp and hair to appreciate the lack of chemicals and grow more healthy.

Whilst the length of the transition phase depends entirely on the individual and their environment and lifestyle many experiences the following whilst their hair and scalp react to the withdrawal of chemicals:

  • Greasy looking hair
  • Lank hair with no volume
  • Dandruff
  • Unpleasant smell

No Poo Transition Phase Methods

The length of the transition period can be influenced by the following:

1. Cold Turkey Method

Completely removing shampoo. This will most likely lead to the shortest transition period

2. Reduction Method

The reduction method involves reducing the amount of shampoo when washing, and also the frequency of individual washes.

This transition method allows your scalp to adjust more slowly to the withdrawal of chemicals and sulfates.

This method takes longer but the problems associated with the transition phase are lessened.

3. Co-Washing

This involves washing your hair with conditioner only.

Users should consider checking that their condition is silicon and sulfate-free (source 1).

Although this tends to prolong the transition period, it does potentially make the transition period easier for those with non-porous and curly hair.

4. No Poo Formulated Shampoos

No Poo formulated shampoos are available for those who want the convenience of traditional shampoos but without the chemicals.

There should be little if any transition phase with these shampoos as they claim to work as effectively as more traditional brands.

How To Transition To No Poo

Deciding to take the plunge can be a scary proposition, with so many questions to be asked.

The ways of transitioning to No Poo are as infinite as your imagination. No one way is better!

We are all just working towards the same goal of not putting chemicals in our hair, and working towards a natural lifestyle without compromise.

  • If going cold turkey and reducing the transition period is right for you, then go for it!
  • If making the transition in lots of little steps works better for you, then go for it!

Reducing the amount of shampoo you use for each wash will give your scalp a chance to adjust without putting it under unnecessary stress. As will reduce the frequency of washes.

Combining the two might ease you into the No Poo lifestyle without feeling like you’ve lost control of your hair.

The key to success is to see and know that your contribution, though small, is really making a difference, whilst still maintaining a beautiful head of hair.

If this for you, means going cold-turkey and accepting the full-on transition phase effects, then great, if transitioning slowly to No Poo works better for you and your hair, then fabulous, you’re still contributing and helping your hair in the long run.

There is no ‘right’ way, just the way that feels best for you and your hair.

The transition phase is different for everyone, some people experience very greasy hair, a slight odour, and potentially, dandruff, for the first 6 months.

Others simply transition over 2 weeks and notice very little difference.

There are many ways to transition to No Poo:

a. Reduce Shampoo Amount

This way reduces the amounts of shampoo and conditioner used over time and eventually leads to using very little traditional shampoo.

This method of going No Poo leads to a very short transition period as the scalp has already adjusted to fewer chemicals.

b. Reduce Frequency

This method is very much like reducing the amount of shampoo you use.

Reducing the frequency of washing reduces the use of chemicals and stimulates the scalp to self-regulate. Therefore, the final transition to No Poo will be quicker and smoother.

c. No Poo Shampoos

No Poo shampoos are ready-made shampoos with a natural base to complement the No Poo lifestyle.

If you don’t want to spend the time using apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses and baking soda (BS) to clean your hair, then these specially made shampoos take out all of the efforts.

These specifically designed shampoos allow you to transition to No Poo in a quick and effective way.

d. Cold Turkey

Cold-turkey involves completely withdrawing traditional shampoo and conditioner and embracing all-natural products immediately.

This transition method helps to reduce the transition period.

The downside to this idea, however, is that whilst transitioning your greasy hair, dandruff, and lanky hair might be more visible to others, even if only for a short time.

These are simply signs of your hair getting rid of the chemicals already on it, and readjusting the sebum production. The result however is shiny and healthy locks in half the time.

No Poo Transition Tips

During the transition period, you may feel that your hair does not look at its best.

Don’t worry, this ‘dirty’ feeling stage will pass! And, once this phase is over your hair will thank you and hopefully feel silky, smooth, healthy-looking, and manageable.

There are many No Poo transition tips that I can teach you. These are ways that you can keep your hair looking great during this period without resorting to using traditional shampoo:


These are the Go-To trick for many No-Pooers. Braids look great, are easy to achieve, and hide the fact that your hair may be slightly greasier than usual.


Especially in the summer, hats are useful for covering up any hair imperfection, and with so many different choices from baseball caps to wide-brimmed sun hats, there is a style for every person and every occasion.

You really can’t lose when wearing a hat!

Silk Pillowcases

If you need an effortless solution to oiliness, try swapping your cotton pillowcases for silk ones.

When you go to bed, the silk helps to move the oil down your hair whilst you move about in your sleep, giving your hair an even better chance of absorbing the oils.

Plus, if they’re evenly distributed you don’t end up with the greasy scalp look (source 1).

Boar Bristle Brush

Purchase a boar bristle brush, and make brushing your hair over and over your very own religion!

Using a boar bristle brush will effectively move the oils from your scalp to the very tips of your hair.

This will lead to lovely nourished and moisturized locks that scream ‘healthy’ and will make keeping up motivation during the transition phase a cinch.

Cut Your Hair

This may seem like an extreme option, especially if you have long hair, but it is an option to consider.

It will give you much better control over transferring oils down your whole hair shaft and will allow your scalp to gently ease into the No Poo lifestyle.

Hard Water

If you live in a hard water area this will make your transition period more difficult as mineral build-up on your hair could become a problem.

If you know that your water is ‘hard’ then boiling the water before rinsing, or installing a filter to your shower will help to make the transition easier, and help your hair long term.


If your hair is feeling too greasy whilst you are in the transition period, then why not try using talc between washes to soak up the excess oil.

This method works on all hair types, and the addition of cocoa powder doesn’t leave dark hair looking caked or dusty.

Many serious No Poo’ers argue that using talc is not technically a product that should be used on your hair during the transition, since it is considered a dry hair wash.


Everyone is different, and it may take some time for your scalp to adjust to produce the optimum amount of sebum for your hair.

The results will be worth it but remember it’s not an overnight fix.

How Long Does It Take For Hair To Get Used To No Shampoo?

Taking away traditional shampoos with their sulfates and silicon is going to be a big change to your scalp and hair.

Patience, time, and determination are key to achieving your goal.

The majority of people state that they completed the transition period in a month or so.

For some, the transition only lasted up to 6 weeks, although a minority of people have said that it took 6 months to really get to the breakthrough moment!

The time for your hair to get used to a No Poo approach will also depend upon how you transition in the first place.

  • Cold Turkey: If you go cold-turkey then the transition phase will be shortened, but you may find that your hair is not looking at its best during this period.
  • Transition Slowly: If you transition slowly, gradually reducing the amount of shampoo used and the frequency of washes, then whilst the overall time will increase, your hair will more gradually get used to having no traditional shampoo used.

There is no ‘right’ way, only the ‘right’ way for you.

No Poo Waxy Hair

Many No-Pooers say that during the transition phase their hair becomes waxy and unpleasant to touch.

Waxiness has caused many to reach out for the traditional shampoo, but it doesn’t need to be this way.

Here are some natural products that I used to help remove the waxy feeling on my own hair:

1. Apple Sauce

A natural product that you can even grow and make yourself.

To remove waxiness wet and detangle your hair. Smear the apple sauce on the places where you feel the waxiness is at its worst, or over your whole head if desired. Massage in thoroughly.

It’s best to leave this natural product on for 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing out with lukewarm water.

2. Use A Cotton T-Shirt

Using a cotton T-Shirt to dry your hair can lessen the chance of waxiness, to begin with.

Remember to pat dry your hair rather than scrub, as otherwise you will be opening the follicles and your hair will become frizzy.

3. Egg

This is another easily available natural method to rid your hair of grease and dirt.

  1. Whisk up an egg (or more depending on hair length) and add a small amount of lemon juice.
  2. Wet your hair and apply the mixture and massage in.
  3. I’d suggest putting on a shower cap at this point as you need to leave the mixture on for 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Once the wait has passed rinse out the egg and lemon juice with cold water. As cold as you can cope with. Certainly do not use warm water as this could cook the egg and be very messy!
  5. If you can leave your hair to dry naturally even better, but you will notice when it dries that it’s cleaner, not waxy at all, and smells amazing (source 1).

4. Scritch And Preen

Scritching involves massaging the scalp, the aim being to loosen dirt and dead skin cells. Preening helps to evenly distribute the natural oils. Scritching and preening are the foundation of a No Poo lifestyle.

If your hair is waxy make sure that you are scritching and preening effectively, on both wet and dry hair.

If you don’t undertake these steps correctly and thoroughly then there will be a residue of grease and dirt that will make your hair feel waxy and unloved (source 1).

Boar Bristle Brush

Make sure that you are brushing regularly to distribute the oils.

Clean your brush every time you use it so that you don’t clean the dirt and skin on one brush, and reintroduce it on the next.

Essential oils on the brush can also help with waxy hair.

Hard Water

Hard water with all its impurities can lead to waxy hair.

If possible, install a filter on your water supply. This will not only help your hair but will be beneficial to the rest of your body too.

If this is not an option, then try boiling water before washing your hair and using this water (cooled) for the final rinse.

No Poo Before And After

There are many benefits to adopting a No Poo lifestyle; fewer chemicals, fewer plastics to landfills, and more money in your pocket.

Additionally, you will also achieve healthier, more nourished, and amazing hair!

The thing that you have to remember is that the transition phase can take some time and your hair may not look and feel at its best during this phase.

You should remember that transitioning is only a phase.

Whether it takes 2 weeks or 2 months, or sometimes longer, eventually you’ll see the benefits of healthier and easier to manage hair.

Not having to shampoo every day will also save you time and effort.

The transition phase is different for everyone, as our scalps shed and produce sebum at different rates.

There are numerous methods used in No Poo, and not everyone will suit your hair.

Finding the right combination of ingredients can last as long as the transition phase itself.

From ACV rinsing and baking soda cleaning, to water only methods, and using flours and other natural ingredients, all can be tried before reaching the ideal combination for your hair and scalp.

When transitioning to No Poo, patience and perseverance during the transition phase are necessary for your journey to be successful.

No Poo Transition Period Pictures

To keep yourself motivated and log your journey, why not take photos every week to show how your hair is changing for the better as your journey progresses.

For inspiration, or when you are feeling a little dispirited during the transition phase, why not take a look at other people’s No Poo transition.

The knowledge that other people have had the same challenges as you and have overcome them will no doubt give you that little bit of extra motivation.


So, having started on your No Poo journey you want to know how long is the No Poo transition phase?

Well, before you panic I can assure you that this is a very normal and sensible question to ask!

The simple answer is that it depends on so many different factors:

  • It depends upon how you transition.
  • It depends upon your scalp.
  • It depends on your lifestyle, your environment, and the type of hair that you have.
  • It can also depend on how long it takes for you to find the right combination of natural ingredients to make the most out of your hair.

The important thing to remember is that whether your transition period lasts 2 weeks or 6 months, it will end.

When that happens, you’ll be over the moon at how your hair looks and feels as it pays you back for not covering it in chemicals on a daily basis.

Related Questions

Poo Free Shampoo

There are many Poo free and Low Poo shampoos available these days. If you don’t have the time or desire to mix your own products, this may work for you.

No Poo Method Conditioner

Now that No Poo is gaining followers, many No Poo conditioners are available online and in the shops. Natural No Poo conditioners such as honey and argan or coconut are also very popular choices.

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.

Recent Posts