What’s the difference between Low Poo, No Poo, and Co-Washing techniques

People who are aware of the ingredients of their hair products and take care of their bodies tend to read all labels looking for answers to “is this product organic”, “is it toxic at all”? But those who are not familiar with product formulas and components might get confused. Just because you do not know a component, it does not mean it is “bad” and just because you know it doesn’t mean it is natural either. 

It is not a secret that many people associate foam with cleaning. The white, bubbly foam produced in baths, washing our faces in the morning, or to portray a sanitized hand is almost a synonym with deep cleaning in our modern culture (it wasn’t always the case in the far past). What many do not know is, that in order to produce foam, these products need cleansing agents: the sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). However, these sulfates are highly aggressive to hair because they remove their natural protection as well. SLS is found in about 90% of hair care products but is also found in several harsh floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash detergents.


For this reason, many people started using products that do not have those components and are more gentle to hair. This way, new techniques like Low Poo, No Poo, and Co-Wash were developed. So if someone asks if a shampoo or conditioner is natural, he is probably referring to the presence of sulfates, petrolatum, and silicones in its composition. Only the products that have none of these components may be used for these above-cited hair washing techniques.

Now, the real question is: what is the difference between these washing techniques?


What is Low Poo 

Low Poo is a technique that uses shampoo without aggressive sulfates, insoluble silicones and petrolatum derivatives to wash hair. In order to do so, it is necessary to substitute any shampoos that contain aggressive substances because they remove the natural protection of hair. Instead, look for hair products and brands that value natural components and formulas. Besides, petrolatum could be harmful to any hair type over time.


What is No Poo

Differently from the Low Poo technique, No Poo does not use shampoo to wash hair. It uses cleansing balsams without insoluble silicones and petrolatum in their composition. Baking soda and apple cider vinegar are often used, although results vary and are deemed controversial between users. Among its followers, many have wavy and curly hair due to the sensibility of hair strands.


What is Co-Wash

Co-Washing consists of washing hair with conditioners only. That is why the term is often associated with the practice of No Poo. For Co-Washing it is necessary to only use conditioners without sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oils, Vaseline, liquid paraffin or insoluble silicones in their composition. It aims to maintain all those important natural oils to keep hair hydrated.


Do you follow any of these techniques? We would love to hear your experiences, good or bad!


Check out our new Go Vegan, low poo line of hair products!