How To Quit Shampoo And No Poo

How to quit shampoo easily and effectively is different for every individual. In fact, it is safe to say that going No Poo is a whole lifestyle change. The part where you leave out traditional shampoos and conditioners is often considered the easy part.

Difficulties tend to arise when it comes to finding a No Poo method that works for you. This can take a little more effort, but there are some ways to make life easier.

A No Poo life where traditional shampoo is not permitted, can be a challenge. Even more so in the first few months when you quit shampoo and transition to natural products to keep your hair clean and healthy. Without silicons and sulphates though, your hair will find new vitality and you’ll wish you had No Poo’d sooner.

In this article, you will find hints and tips that will let you know how to quit shampoo for good whilst keeping your hair in great condition and looking fantastic, naturally.

How To Quit Shampoo

The No Poo movement has been growing in popularity for many years.

Whilst there is no definitive time that No Poo ‘started’ it does appear to have evolved along the same lines and times as the Curly Girl method.

The Curly Girl method is similar to the No Poo Method since both are hair care methods that believe sulphates, silicons, and parabens should be rejected, and natural products used instead.

The Curly Girl method, however, is far more strict about not using heated styling tools though and was primarily developed for individuals with naturally curly hair. By comparison, the No Poo method rejects traditional shampoos with their chemicals and has ideas and recipes for everyone.

Whether you have curly hair, straight hair, thin hair, or thick hair, No Poo has a strategy for you. No Poo method results are said to give you healthy, strong, and naturally nourished hair that looks fantastic.

With all the No Poo methods rhetoric, you might be wondering how the No Poo movement became so popular. Here are just a few of the reasons so many folks love this haircare routine:

  • Good For Your Hair: The silicons and sulphates in traditional shampoos are damaging to your hair. The No Poo method offers a way around this.
  • Versatile: No matter what your hair type there is a method that is right for your hair. If your hair needs change, it is simple to swap to an alternative method without breaking the bank or having lots of left over shampoos cluttering up the bathroom.
  • Cost: Traditional shampoos are often quite pricey. By comparison, No Poo shampoos can be far cheaper and often can use up left-overs from your pantry.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Reducing our reliance on chemicals removes these chemicals from the environment and therefore reduces the damage they can do. Fewer empty bottles at landfill, and fewer chemicals in our water can only be helpful to our planet.

There are many different ways to quit shampoo and move over to a more natural hair care regime.

How to quit shampoo without becoming disgusting is an important consideration though! No one wants to go out with horribly greasy hair that smells when you get downwind. Thankfully, I can assure you that it is possible to quit shampoo without becoming disgusting.

Ultimately, the No Poo path you decide to follow, plus your decision of how quickly you want to be shampoo-free, and how difficult a transition period you are able to withstand, will determine the length of your No Poo transition.

Most people dream of a quick transition to No Poo and are happy to tolerate less than wonderful hair during the transition stage, for roughly 6 weeks, or so. The fact of the matter however, is that I cannot guarantee you it will only take 6 weeks. Instead, your transition might take many months like mine did when I first transitioned.

Other people prefer a longer and slower journey, but with fewer of the transition downsides. One popular method to achieve this is by gradually stretching your washes out, or initially moving to a low poo shampoo from full poo.

Ultimately it does not matter which option you chose. The important thing is that moving to a No Poo hair care routine will improve your hairs health immeasurably.

How To Stop Using Shampoo Successfully

Are you looking to stop using shampoo completely, but want the experience to be successful?

If this sounds like you, make sure you check out my list below on ‘how to stop using shampoo successfully’:

Clarifying Shampoo

Before you begin the process of removing traditional shampoos from your life, make sure you use a clarifying shampoo.

This is important because it will start to remove the silicons and sulphates from your hair, and can give you the quickest start to your No Poo journey.

Cold Turkey

The most drastic and shortest transition option you have is to go cold turkey.

The downside of the cold turkey hair care regime is that the transition period (where your scalp finds the optimum sebum production levels) can be quite brutal, albeit much shorter.

Let me explain this method in greater detail:

  1. Choose a day to stop using traditional shampoos, and just stop.
  2. Never use traditional shampoo again, and do your best to ride the oily transition storm that you will inevitably face.
  3. Make sure you scritch, preen and brush your hair continually. Clean your brush on a daily basis.
  4. Select the No Poo wash method you wish to follow in the future, and decide how many weeks you are comfortable waiting before washing your greasy hair. Will power is key at this point.

Long Transition

If you are worried about coping with the transition period, then you could use a slower method to transition. This normally, but not always, guarantees that the oily transition phase is not so overwhelming.

Here are a few tips on how to complete a long No Poo transition:

1. Wash Stretching

With traditional shampoos, it is normal to wash your hair more regularly i.e. every day, or every other day.

To move across to No Poo you could first stretch out the time between each hair wash. For example, if you wash your hair every day, then try moving to every other for a week or so.

Once your scalp has gotten used to this stretch, you can increase the length of time still further, perhaps every 4 days. Your scalp will gradually adjust its oil production slowly during this time.

Once you are only using traditional shampoos every 5 days/once per week, then moving across to No Poo methods and ditching the traditional shampoo for good will be simple.

2. Shampoo Reduction

Along the same lines as reducing the frequency of washes, reducing the amount of shampoo in each wash is one way to start thinking about going No Poo.

3. Co-Washing

Washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo will reduce the chemical loading of your hair, and ultimately make the transition to No Poo much easier.

4. Lo Poo Shampoo

If you are not ready to go across to No Poo, or make your own cleansers, then Low Poo shampoos (now commercially available) may be the way forward for you.

You can still benefit from reducing the chemicals in your hair and know you are helping the environment at the same time.

If the idea of a No Poo transition fascinates you, why not read my article ‘How Long Is The No Poo Transition Phase‘ for more in-depth tips and hints.

How To Keep Hair Clean Without Shampoo

There are many ways to keep your hair clean without using shampoo.

How to not use shampoo anymore doesn’t mean that you let your hair get dirty and unmanageable. Instead, it means that using traditional shampoos are not the only way.

Here are the most common No Poo methods:

No Poo MethodDescription
No Poo ShampooEither DIY or commercially available
Water OnlyUsing only water to keep hair clean
Sebum OnlyUsing sebum only to maintain hair
CO WashingConditioner has a slight cleansing effect which
can be less damaging than traditional shampoo
No Poo Methods

Benefits Of Not Using Shampoo

Traditional shampoo contains sulphates that damage and dry out your hair. The reason silicons are used in shampoo products is to replenish moisture lost from the hair cleaning process.

The stripping effects of sulphate means that you need the silicons to make the hair look moisturised.

However, stripping the natural oils stimulates the scalp to produce even more oil, which means that you need to use shampoo again in ever more frequent occurrences.

These silicons then wrap the hair shaft and do not let moisture in or out, so not only does the shampoo strip the moisture, but the silicons make sure that the hair cannot be moisturised in any other way.

This leads to a vicious cycle that only ends up with dry and brittle hair that is prone to breakage and damage.

Below are the benefits of not washing your hair using traditional shampoos:

  • Healthy, Strong Hair: Without silicons and sulphates hair is allowed to nourish itself with naturally produced sebum. Hair becomes stronger and healthier.
  • Scalp Health: Without constant chemical interruptions your scalp is allowed to find its optimum sebum production and is less prone to flakes and dandruff. If you suffer from dandruff, read ‘How to No Poo With Dandruff‘.

Is Shampoo Necessary?

Traditional shampoo is not really necessary, however, some form of hair and scalp cleanser is.

The hair cleanser you select may not be a ‘product’ as such. Instead, many people are very successful using the

Is Shampoo Bad For Your Hair?

It is not the shampoo that is necessarily bad, just the ingredients of most traditional shampoos that are causing an issue.

There are many shampoos now available that do not contain silicons, sulphates, parabens or other manufactured chemicals that are so damaging to our skin and hair.

What Happens When You Stop Using Shampoo On Your Hair?

If you don’t use shampoo does your hair wash itself? … I often hear this query when people are looking at transitioning to No Poo.

The sebum only method of No Poo uses only sebum to keep your hair and scalp clean, so in a way, not putting shampoo on your hair is completely possible.

However, the sebum does not do all the work on its own, you need to pull the sebum down from your scalp to help nourish the whole length of your hair. You will also need to scritch your scalp to make sure that all the dirt and dead skin on your head is possible to remove.

My article ‘How To Scritch & Preen Your Hair‘ provides invaluable information for keeping your scalp healthy.

How Long Does It Take Your Hair To Adjust To No Shampoo?

The No Poo transition is different for everyone. My article ‘How Long Is The No Poo Transition‘ is a great place to start if you are interested in this subject.

In reality, the time it takes to successfully go No Poo will all depend upon the transition method you chose and your individual hair type.

How To Transition Away From Shampoo

It is always difficult to know how to transition from shampoo to water-only hair washing quickly, and easily.

When you stop using shampoo, the transition can be the most stressful part. Your hair can go greasy quickly, and not look as good as you would like for several months.

The best trick, and it’s not really a trick, is simply to be prepared before you start your No Poo journey:

  1. Set a date to start your transition and stick to it.
  2. Have different ways to keep your hair looking good whilst sebum production settles down i.e. braids, up-dos, hats etc. can be a godsend if you need to go out and your hair is not playing ball.
  3. Keep a record, perhaps photos, of how your hair is changing for the better. Look through these if you feel like No Poo is not working for you.
  4. If you have already decided upon a No Poo wash, see if you can make it in advance. Some recipes can even be frozen into wash sizes! This means that you do not have any waste, and can cut down on the time it takes to make your No Poo washes fresh each time.
  5. Mostly importantly, be patient. Remember that transitioning takes time.

Some people will be successful in only a few weeks, whilst others will still be in the transition stage after a few months.

NEVER give up, and if your hair is still not how you’d like it to be after a couple of months, look at changing your No Poo wash method.

Just like traditional shampoo, not every No Poo method works well for every individual.

Can You Really Train Your Hair To Be Less Oily?

It is not so much that you can train your hair to be less oily, more that there are sulphates in traditional shampoos that strip away all the natural oils every time you wash your hair.

Your scalp then produces even more sebum to compensate for the removed oils.

When you go No Poo you effectively break the cycle and allow your scalp to regulate its own sebum production. The result is that in time your scalp starts to produce less sebum, since your body is being allowed to nourish your hair at its own pace.

Self Cleaning Hair Myth

It is a myth that if left to its own devices your hair will clean itself.

Pollutants and dirt from the local environment will stay in your hair and will build up along with dead skin and hair cells on your scalp.

If these are not removed regularly then you will experience all sorts of scalp problems, from dandruff to fungal infections. Your hair will most likely become prone to breakage and you’ll suffer from split ends and lack of growth.

It is possible to go sebum only (see my guide), but your scalp and hair will still need you to help out by distributing the oils, stimulating the scalp, and brushing out all of the dirt and impurities that can stick in your hair.

Will My Hair Grow Back If I Stop Using Shampoo?

This will all depend upon the reason for your original hair loss/lack of growth.

Remember though that it is natural to shed hair. The number of hairs will be as individual as you are, but you will be able to determine a pattern.

You may think that having transitioned to No Poo that you are losing more hair. No Poo hair loss is likely to be simply that as you have moved away from washing every day to once a week, that it just looks like your hair is falling out in greater numbers.

In fact, it is likely that you will experience less hair loss when going No Poo.

Scalp Health

If you have been suffering from poor scalp health that has affected your hair growth, then many of the No Poo recipes are primarily designed to improve your scalp health.

They contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients that will soothe your troubled scalp and help to balance the scalp bacteria that we all have, and need, to keep our scalp in tip-top condition.

Once you have found the right method for your scalp, you will find that your hair follows suit and becomes everything you could dream of.

Hair Loss

The No Poo method should never cause hair loss.

However, if you are worried about hair loss, make sure you read my fab guide: ‘Can No Poo Cause Hair Loss‘. This article is brilliant because it goes into depth regards why your hair loss may be happening.

Finding the right No Poo method for you though may mean tweaking a few of the recipes, or diluting acid rinses further than usual.

Hair Breakage

If your hair loss is because your hair is breaking off too soon, or because your hair strands are less healthy than you thought, then No Poo may be able to help.

No Poo focuses on the health of your hair and scalp so that your hair can be as healthy, strong, and as nourished as possible.

Once you have moved over to a No Poo regime, you should see a difference in your hair growth and a lessening of breakage.

Washing Too Little

Can washing your hair too little cause hair loss? … Perhaps, if you are neglecting your hair.

Once you find the best No Poo method for you, you will almost certainly start washing your hair significantly less than you would have done with traditional shampoo.

Can I Stop Using Shampoo And Only Use Conditioner?

Lots of people start moving across to No Poo by using the Co-washing method (read our guide here).

This No Poo method involves using conditioner to keep your hair clean and healthy instead of using traditional shampoo.

Conditioners tend to have small amounts of cleansing agents in them though, so this is a small step towards reducing our reliance on manufactured chemicals.

Using a conditioner also means that individuals with highly porous and dry hair can keep the unwanted frizz at bay more easily.


Knowing how to quit shampoo effectively is difficult as everyone’s hair is different. Trial and error is the best way to find out what suits you and your lifestyle.

There are many ways to quit shampoo, from cold turkey to slowly reducing traditional shampoo amounts. The key is to find the one that you’re happy with.

Related Questions

No Shampoo Hair Growth

Going No Poo can improve and increase hair growth. Build-up from traditional shampoos can stifle natural hair growth, so changing over to a No Poo regime means that your hair will grow more healthily.

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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