Art & Culture

Low-Poo, No-Poo, Co-Wash: What Does It All Mean?

Claire Miles
Aug 18, 2021

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you have definitely heard the terms Low-Poo, No-Poo and Co-Wash before. Even though the concept of not using shampoo to wash your hair has existed for a long time, it was hairstylist Lorraine Massey who made it globally famous when she created the Curly Girl Method.

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Getty Images / Moment / F.J. Jimenez

This technique prioritizes the use of mild cleansing agents that treat your hair instead of masking its health like regular shampoo and conditioner tend to do. Avoiding traditional shampoo, heat tools, sulfates, silicones, waxes, mineral oils, alcohols, and towel-drying, you will be able to heal and enhance your hair so it can reach its true potential. Originally aimed at people with curly hair, the Curly Girl Method has taken over the heads of curly, wavy and straight-haired people all over the world.

Low-Poo is short for “little shampoo”, this technique avoids sulfates and petroleum derivatives. No-Poo, as you might have guessed, means “no shampoo”. This method avoids all water-insoluble products such as silicones, mineral oil and paraffin since they stick to the hair and require sulphate to be removed. Co-Wash, on the other hand, means “conditioner washing”. It means that instead of using shampoo to wash your hair, you use conditioner. To follow this method, you should look for a conditioner that does not contain sulfates, petroleum derivatives, mineral oils, paraffin or insoluble silicones.