No Poo Method And Exercise

You may be thinking that it is impossible to follow the No Poo Method and exercise on a regular basis.

Whilst it can be difficult though, especially if you want to swim regularly, it is not impossible, and this article should help you to continue, or start, exercising without having to give up on your No Poo lifestyle.

Exercise leaves us sweaty with the urge to shower immediately using plenty of lathering shampoo. With the No Poo method, where traditional commercial shampoos are rejected in favor of natural products, it can be more problematic. If you exercise regularly, tweaking your No Poo regime could be the answer.

Trying to follow a No Poo haircare regime when you first start an exercise program may be a bit daunting. For starters, washing your hair away from home with no facilities is stressful enough, let alone it not being the right day to wash your hair!

These factors can prove overwhelming, so in this article, I have detailed some useful tips to help you No Poo and exercise at the same time.

No Poo Method And Exercise

The No Poo method is a simple concept to understand. Those who follow this method only use natural products to keep their hair clean and healthy.

Traditional shampoos and conditioners are rejected.

Apart from being environmentally friendly, the No Poo method is also brilliant for your hair. It will not take long for your to notice an improvement in your hair once you start following this natural hair care method.

If you already exercise regularly before trying to go No Poo, then you will need to find the right combination of wash frequencies and natural products that work for you and your hair.

On the other hand, if you have been No Poo for a while and then take up regular, or even sporadic exercise, you may find that you need to alter your No Poo method along the way to keep your hair feeling clean, healthy, and in fabulous condition.

Sweat and No Poo do not necessarily have to be at odds with each other.

When we exercise, we tend to get hot and sweaty, much more than during normal day-to-day activities. This sweat, whilst easy to rinse from our bodies, can be more problematic to remove for our hair.

Below are my top tips to help you on your No Poo method and exercise journey:


If you are only exercising now and again, try to make your wash day on the day that you exercise.


If you are regularly exercising, then use the power of water to rinse your hair afterward.

Here’s what I recommend you do:

  1. Hot Water: Start with hot water to open the cuticles so that you can really rinse the sweat out properly.
  2. Massage: Massage your scalp well.
  3. Rinse: Do a final rinse with cold water; as cold as you can stand. This will close the cuticles and leave your hair more manageable.

Herbal Rinse

If you are happy to use a herbal rinse after exercising, this may allow you to continue being No Poo, and be gentle enough for regular use.

Air Dry

Try to use a cotton t-shirt to remove the majority of the water before letting your hair dry naturally.

Heat will damage your hair if used daily, so keep heated tools to a minimum.

Remember to scrunch hair dry with the cotton t-shirt rather than rubbing, as rubbing will open up the cuticles which will lead to frizzy hair.


For the best advice, read my article ‘No Poo Method After Swimming‘ for more top tips.

What’s The No Poo Method?

No Poo followers rely on natural products to keep their hair clean and healthy.

Followers of this hair care movement believe that traditional shampoos and conditioners are damaging to their hair, and bad for the environment.

The No Poo method developed from the Curly Girl Method. As it sounds, the Curly Girl method gives rules for those with curly hair.

By comparison, No Poo is all-embracing and has recipes and advice for all hair types. It is far less strict than the Curly Girl Method and can be successfully accomplished by almost all people.

The No Poo Method is not just one set of rules. Instead, it is a bunch of different methods that all come under the same umbrella.

The basis of No Poo is simply that no chemicals or unnatural products should be used to keep the hair clean and healthy.

Many followers have reported how much better their hair looks and feels when they stop using traditional shampoos and move across to the No Poo alternatives.

There are a variety of different No Poo Methods that you could follow, including:

  • Water Only: No Poo Water Only is used to keep hair clean and healthy
  • Sebum Only: The sebum that is naturally produced by our scalps is used to keep hair shiny and nourished.
  • Co-washing: This is washing your hair with conditioner only. The conditioner can be traditional (not recommended), Low Poo, or DIY No Poo.
  • Low Poo: Whilst a method in it’s own right, Low Poo can be used as a transition phase when moving across from traditional shampoos to No Poo.
  • No Poo: This is the umbrella term for all of the above, but normally includes all those who use natural products and DIY recipes to improve the health of their hair.

There are many reasons why individuals opt to move across to a No Poo hair care journey. The main reasons include:

1. Chemical Rejection

People do not wish to use chemicals for keeping their hair clean.

2. Environmental Concerns

To avoid chemicals and plastics going down the drains.

Plastics going to landfills are also reduced.

3. Time

If you are not washing your hair every day, you are saving time that can more positively be used elsewhere.

4. Improved Hair Condition

Many people find that using only natural products leaves their hair and scalp in far better condition than when they used traditional shampoos.

Best No Poo Method If Exercising

The best No Poo method of exercising is the one that works for you and your hair best.

It is also the one that:

  • Does not throw you out of your regime
  • Keeps your hair healthy and nourished

Only you will know what works for you, and depending upon other factors such as the water type in your area, the season of the year, what works well for 6 months, might not be right for the next 6 months.

Ultimately, No Poo is a journey and is all about trial and error.

The best thing about No Poo is that there are no hard and fast rules; as long as you leave out chemicals such as sulfates, silicons, and parabens, then you are free to use any combination of natural products that work for your hair and lifestyle.

The key is to listen to your hair and be aware of what it is telling you.

Below are the best No Poo Methods if exercising:

Herbal Or Acid Rinses

Herbal or acid rinses after each bout of exercise may be just the thing for you.

These rinses are easy to make up at home and transport to the gym.

They can be both cleansing and moisturizing, and gentle enough to be used on a regular basis.

Learn more about the different No Poo Rinses in my article.

Clay Mask

If you exercise once a week at home, then you could use this day of the week to wash your hair, or you could use a No Poo clay mask that will cleanse and moisturize effectively.

This would not be good to use more regularly than every week and is a difficult wash to achieve if you are away from home.

Water Only

With No Poo sweaty hair after exercise, it can be difficult to rid yourself of sweaty hair without doing a full wash. As an alternative, you could try to go water only.

This No Poo Method works best in soft water areas. Alternatively, you could collect rainwater in a bucket and drain it through a fine muslin cloth to take out any impurities.

So, does water wash away sweat?

Water-only washing (see ‘Does Water Only Washing Work‘) will work when exercising as you will be able to wash your hair in water and then go, home, without damaging your hair.

Hot water will wash out the sweat, whilst a cold water rinse will close the cuticles to keep frizz at bay and increase shine.


If you do not want to wash your hair or get it wet after exercising, then you could try using talc in small amounts through your hair to remove some of the moisture.

Talc works well with light-colored hair.

If you have dark hair, then adding some cocoa powder can darken the mixture so that you do not end up looking like you have white flakes in your dark hair.

No Poo Method Conditioner Only

Co-washing, or using conditioner to keep your hair clean and healthy is especially good for those who have porous and dry hair, particularly if it is also curly.

Whilst it is always worth an attempt, conditioner-only washing after exercise may only work for a small percentage of people.

When co-washing the conditioner is normally only put through the ends of the hair before being rinsed out.

If you use conditioner up to your scalp, although it will cleanse your hair, you may find that if done regularly your hair becomes weighed down and looks limp rather than voluminous.

Is It Bad To Workout And Not Wash Your Hair?

This is not an easy question to answer as it depends upon an individual’s type of exercise and how much they sweat during and after exercise.

If you have a hard workout and sweat a great deal, then not washing your hair will leave it feeling unpleasant and dirty.

Sweat contains a great deal of salt that will remain in your hair after the water content has evaporated. There will also be trace elements of urea, ammonia, and fatty acids. Leaving these on your hair on a long-term basis will compromise the health of your hair, and make it smell unpleasant (source 1).


How you follow a No Poo method and exercise at the same time is a personal choice that only you can determine.

However, exercising to the degree where you produce significant amounts of sweat, and leaving it to sit on your hair will cause poor hair health over the long term.

Choosing how and when to wash your hair after exercise will be determined by trial and error for the most part. Some may find that a rinse will be sufficient, whereas other people will need a full wash to keep their hair healthy.

Related Questions

No Poo Shampoo Recipe

One of the most versatile ingredients to use is an egg. The yolk is a softening cleanser whilst the white promotes shine and condition. Combining the two and using it as a wash or mask has many benefits.

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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