The No Poo Honey Wash

There are a great number of recipes that are used by No Poo followers. One of the best known is the No Poo honey wash. Honey is a wonderful natural ingredient that has many benefits for your hair.

No Poo followers do not use traditional shampoos that contain harmful chemicals such as sulphates and silicons. Instead, natural products are used. Honey especially is often used as a No Poo wash for its many beneficial properties. It is a humectant that helps your hair to retain moisture. It can also benefit your scalp health.

In addition to the many other natural ingredients that are used in No Poo recipes, honey can have a positive impact on your hair.

Read on to discover all of the benefits of honey and the many uses it has.

The No Poo Honey Wash

No Poo followers have restrictions on what they put on their scalp and use to wash their hair.

Natural ingredients are used instead of traditional shampoos, many of which can be made at home from products already in your pantry and garden.

Harsh synthetic chemicals such as silicons and sulphates are avoided.

No Poo is beneficial not only to your hair but to the environment too.

If you are wondering what the No Poo honey method is, then the first thing I will tell you is that it includes both washes and masks.

Honey is used in many hair wash recipes but what benefits does honey have on your hair?

Take a look at the list below which details the key benefits of using honey in your hair. As you can see, honey has a whole wealth of benefits when used in your hair (source 1,2):


Natural unprocessed honey has antibacterial properties which can improve the health of your scalp.

Many people have recorded that their dandruff and other scalp conditions significantly improved after using honey as a wash or mask.


Honey is an anti-fungal and can help keep your scalp in balance.


A humectant helps your hair to retain any moisture that it has taken in. This can be helpful to individuals with high porosity and dry hair.


Honey is an emollient that seals in moisture that helps those with hair prone to frizziness.


Honey is said to have cleansing properties, removing dirt and debris from our hair.

These properties are very mild, so if your hair is particularly dirty or greasy honey should be added to a stronger cleanser for your hair to be fully cleansed.


Although scientific research has yet to provide substantial evidence of this, anecdotal evidence suggests that when honey is used hair growth is improved.


The proteins and minerals in honey can strengthen hair meaning that it is less likely to break or have split-ends.


Honey allows us to detangle our hair more easily.

This means that breakage is reduced and our hair looks and feels softer and healthier.


Honey cleans but does not strip natural oils.

Because of this, you may need to wash your hair less frequently.

Does Washing Your Hair With Honey Work?

There is little scientific evidence to support a number of the claims made about the benefits of honey.

However, there is enough data and anecdotal evidence to make honey of definite benefit to those of us who want to follow a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Honey is packed full of nutrients that can boost the health of your hair. It is included in so many recipes and even used just on its own.

Many people believe that honey is responsible for the improvement in their hair and scalp health, they would all agree that honey most definitely works.

Its antibacterial properties and cleansing nature can help those with different skin conditions, including:

  • Dandruff
  • Eczema

If you mix honey with aloe vera you add soothing properties too which can also help your scalp.

Additionally, adding just a few drops of essential oil to your honey wash can expand the benefits greatly.

It should be noted however that there are followers of No Poo that consider essential oils as against the doctrine of No Poo. The decision is yours to make.

Make sure you read our guide on No Poo essential oils to find out more.

DIY Honey Shampoo (No Poo Approved):

One of the best things about using honey to cleanse your hair is that it is readily available almost everywhere and the recipes are simple to make in your own home.

It is important to remember that No Poo shampoos rarely contain ingredients that lather and sud though. Instead, they are also often very liquid. The honey wash recipe below is no exception.

Best Honey Shampoo Recipe

The best honey shampoo recipe I have found is detailed below and only has 3 ingredients.

This is a quick and simple recipe that should be made directly before your wash, it doesn’t store particularly well and works best fresh (source 1).


  • Honey: Preferably raw/unpasteurized.
  • Filtered Water
  • Essential Oils: Only a few drop are required, this ingredient is optional.

Method (Step By Step)

  1. Add 1tbs honey to 3tbs filtered water into a saucepan.
  2. Stir the ingredients together over a low heat.
  3. Wait for the honey to dissolve.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour into a jug for ease of pouring.
  6. Add a couple of drops of essential oil if desired.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Wet your hair.
  9. Pour the liquid carefully over sections of your hair to make sure that all of your hair is covered.
  10. Massage the liquid through your scalp and down to the very ends of your hair.
  11. Rinse well with filtered water.
  12. Your final rinse should be filtered water that is cold. Make it as you are willing to stand so that your hairs cuticles close and your hair can look and feel at its best.

How To Apply Honey On Hair

Honey can be used on dry hair, but it is most effective on damp or wet hair.

It is also easier to apply if your hair is damp.

If you have short hair the application of a honey wash should not be too difficult. Just remember to pour the mixture slowly over your hair so that you can cover each hair strand.

If you have long hair then it may be a good idea to use clips to part your hair into segments, then treat each segment separately before massaging your whole scalp and hair.

Whilst you can apply honey onto greasy hair it may end up making your hair feel heavy and limp.

Ideally, a light honey wash before a honey mask will give your hair the very best chance of being:

  • Well-Nourished
  • Stronger
  • Moisturized

If your hair is dry and damaged, it may take several honey treatments to show an improvement.

How To Wash Honey Out Of Hair

Honey, although it has a huge number of benefits is also quite sticky. This is why it is often mixed with water to make it easier to apply to your hair.

Use either of these methods for washing honey out of your hair:

  • Distilled Water: Warm distilled water can help remove the honey residue from your hair. You may need quite a lot of water depending upon how much honey you distributed through your hair.
  • Vinegar: A dilution of apple cider vinegar will remove honey. You must remember to dilute the vinegar sufficiently so that it does not harm your hair though.

From personal experience, I have found that honey washes out quite easily.

If you find that you are having difficulty it is more likely to be some of the other ingredients you have used in your wash or mask (oil is often used with honey which can be more stubborn to remove).

Adding Honey To Shampoo

If you are happy with your normal shampoo or wash but think that your hair could do with a boost or extra shine, then honey could be the answer.

Simply adding a tablespoon of honey to your shampoo could be the perfect solution for your hair.

Honey can add shine and strength. It also moisturizes and nourishes, and can be handy when trying to rid yourself of dandruff or any scalp or fungal infections.

Just a small spoonful of honey goes a long way, so remember not to use too much, otherwise, it would be just as simple to make your own honey wash from scratch.

Honey Hair Mask

Not only is honey useful as a No Poo wash, but it really comes into its own when used as a hair mask.

By using a hair mask you can harness all the benefits of a honey wash but to an even greater extent. Think of it this way, if a wash that is only on your hair for a matter of minutes can do wonders, then the benefits of a mask that stays on for an hour or more cannot be exaggerated.

You can mix honey with many other ingredients to make a hair mask that is suited specifically to your hair type.

If you want to use a honey mask that covers all the bases for those with dry and damaged hair, whilst improving texture, preventing dandruff, and improving hair strength, then the banana and honey hair mask is the one for you and your hair:

Banana And Honey Hair Mask

This mask should leave your hair soft, strong, silky and smooth (source 1):


  • Manuka honey
  • 1-2 ripe bananas


  1. Peel bananas.
  2. Mash in a bowl.
  3. Add 2tbs honey.
  4. Mix until your have a smooth consistency.
  5. Apply to damp hair.
  6. Make sure that you cover and massage the product into your scalp for best results.
  7. Cover in a warm towel or shower cap.
  8. Leave on for 15 minutes before washing out with lukewarm water.

Side Affects Of Applying Honey On Hair

The great thing about honey is that honey really has very few negative side effects.

The only downsides of using honey on your hair are listed below:

  1. Lightening: Honey can lighten your hair (obviously only a negative if you do not want lighter hair).
  2. Allergies: If you are allergic to bees and/or honey, then this product should be avoided.
  3. Mad Honey: Honey from bees that have feasted on Rhododendron can make honey that has unwanted side effects (source 1).

As when using any new product, carrying out a patch test is advisable.

To do this place a small amount of the product on your skin (the inside of the wrist is often used).

Wait for 24 hours. If your skin swells, itches, mottles, or otherwise looks different when the substance is washed off, then it would be wise to rinse the area thoroughly, consult a physician if necessary, and avoid any further use of the offending product.

Is Honey Good For Greasy Hair?

Honey can ultimately be good for greasy hair.

A honey wash will remove the excess oil successfully but will not dry out your hair by removing all of the natural oils.

Since honey is mild on your scalp you should not find that your scalp is stimulated to produce even more oil. This means that eventually, you should be able to wash less frequently as your sebum level will return to optimum levels.

Honey is a mild cleanser. If your hair is particularly dirty or greasy then a different method for the first wash may be advisable.

Is Honey Good For Dry Damaged Hair?

Honey is incredibly good for dry and damaged hair.

It is both an emollient and a humectant, which means that not only will it moisturize your hair, but it will help your hair keep holding onto this moisture. This will help if you have frizzy hair.

Honey can nourish and thereby strengthen your hair which will help reduce breakage and help make your hair look thicker and with more volume.

Whilst the damage cannot be repaired overnight, honey will be one of the best options to get your hair back to health quickly.

Other benefits of honey are that it softens your hair and adds shine.

If you have suffered from dry and/or damaged hair then using honey as part of your hair recovery treatments is a sensible place to start.

You could try combining honey with the following ingredients for the best results:

  • Banana: Great for flaky scalps. Contains natural silica which can improve shine and add volume.
  • Aloe Vera: Soothing to your scalp and moisturizing.
  • Coconut Milk: Adds moisture and ‘slip’ so that breakage is reduced.
  • Egg: Adds protein which is wonderful for strengthening and repairing damaged hair.
  • Avocado: Moisturizing and nourishing properties that complement honey beautifully.
  • Yogurt: Helps with skin conditions and dandruff.

All masks like those listed above can be used fortnightly to give your hair a fantastic boost and quicken the repair process.

Can I Leave Honey In My Hair Overnight?

Honey masks can be left on your hair overnight if you choose.

If you have mixed it with other ingredients however it is a good idea to check that those too can be safely left on for multiple hours.

A recipe that can be safely left on as an overnight honey mask is detailed below (source 1):


  • 1 glass of milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey


  1. Mix ingredients together well.
  2. Apply to damp hair.
  3. Massage well into the scalp and down through the hair.
  4. Cover with a shower cap.
  5. Sleep.
  6. Wash off with cool water in the morning/use a No Poo wash as required.

Does Applying Honey On Hair Make It White?

This is a well known and long-held myth.

As with all long-held beliefs, there is the tiniest particle of truth in it.

Honey has long been used as a lightening and brightening agent. There is scientific evidence of chemical interactions which make lightening your hair with honey possible.

We are all aware that hydrogen peroxide is used commercially and at home to bleach hair.

We also know that honey contains glucose as this is what gives honey its sweetness.

What you may not know is that honey also contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase. This enzyme breaks down the available glucose and leaves hydrogen peroxide behind. Voila, a natural hair bleach.

The pigment that gives our hair (and skin) colour is called melanin. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to successfully bleach melanin i.e. lighten our hair.

Although honey can lighten hair, do not expect to go from dark brown hair to blonde overnight. The lightning process is very subtle and can take some time.

Realistically, you should expect only one shade difference at most. Should you wish to go any lighter, it is likely that you will need a commercially available product (source 1).


A No Poo honey hair wash can benefit your hair by nourishing, moisturizing, and strengthening it.

If left on long enough it has the potential to mildly lighten your hair.

Honey can be mixed with other ingredients to impart its benefits in addition to theirs.

It has its best effects on dry and damaged hair. As both an emollient and humectant honey is wonderful for frizz-prone hair.

No Poo Method Water Only

The water only method uses water to keep hair clean and healthy. It relies on scritching and preening the natural oils through your hair for nourishment and rinsing away the dirt and debris with water.

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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