On New Years, I started a hair care experiment using ONLY WATER to wash my hair. I’m calling this water-washing. SEE POST ONE.
No shampoo. No conditioner. No anti-frizz. No anti-humidity spray. No curling mousse. No baking soda. No apple cider vinegar.
Well, filtered water. I wouldn’t wash treated city water, because there are harsh chemicals and sediment in the water that can damage your hair and make it brittle. For the best water filters, check out Berkey accessories and shower filters!
was the worst week of this entire experiment. It’s only gotten better from there. For the first seven days, I had to wash my hair every day. Some days, I washed it in the morning AND the evening because the oil was just too much. It was less frizzy than normal, and became soft and curly (when it wasn’t oily). I only had flaky scalp for three days, but it quickly went away. I just scrubbed more in the shower. I’ve also been blow-drying the roots because my hair is so long, and letting the rest air dry.
I was able to go two days in between washes, which was nice. My hair wasn’t too terribly oily after two days. Frank couldn’t tell just by looking at it, but it FELT oily to me, so I washed it. My hair doesn’t smell weird or anything. It just doesn’t have a scent. Actually, my mom told me my hair smells like spices, but that’s probably from all the Indian food I cook!
I had a REALLY weird hair day, and I caved and washed with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. My hair literally felt [high2]sticky[/high2]! I don’t know why. It was probably oil, but it felt sticky not oily. Anyway, I reset it with the baking soda and ACV rinse, which got rid of the sticky, but then I had a lot of fly-aways afterward.
I made it to 3 days without any oil build up, which was awesome! Lots of people told me it can take a few months for your scalp to adjust and quit producing extra oil, but I seem to be adjusting more quickly. I think this is because I did the baking soda and ACV for 5 months before I went to water-washing.
has been the best week BY FAR! On Jan. 31 I water-washed my hair, and then set off on a four day trip to California. Just due to circumstances, didn’t wash my hair for SIX DAYS, but it was OKAY! There was no oil build up AT ALL. My hair lost its curls/waviness over the week, but there was no oil build up on my scalp. After six days, my hair still felt clean! I water-washed it on the seventh day just to make it perk up a bit and look nicer, but NO OIL. :)
One of the best things about water-washing is that it’s FRUGAL. Not only am I saving money on shampoo and conditioner, but I ended up not needing my other products, either! When I washed with shampoo and conditioner, my hair would get really frizzy and look flat….SOOOO I used anti-frizz and shine&curl volumizing mousse to get it to look the way I wanted it to.
When I switched to the no ‘poo method (baking soda and ACV), I still needed something in it afterward to tame the frizzies. I was using aloe vera. But with water-washing, I haven’t needed ANYTHING. My hair is soft and curly. The frizz is no worse than normal. It looks like I’ve used anti-frizz in it, but I haven’t. Not only am I saving money on my washing products, but I’m saving money by not needing my styling products, too!
Is it too early to celebrate this as a success?
Maybe. I don’t know. Right now, what I know is that I went a WHOLE WEEK without needing to wash, which felt amazing. I’m one of those people that absolutely can’t THINK when my hair is dirty. It makes me feel crazy until it’s clean again. When I washed with shampoo and conditioner, I washed every 3 days. With the no ‘poo method: every 3-4 days. When I can do just water and only wash it once a week if it needs it…well, that’s success to me!
I’ll probably post another update in a month. :) Let me know how your water-washing experiments are going!!
Featured on Party Wave Wednesday and Pennywise Platter.
Do you brush your hair with a boar bristle brush, or just use a wide-toothed comb after the shower?? Thanks, my hair will NOT distribute its sebum at all, has been 3 weeks.
I have only used a wide-toothed comb for years.
Are you still doing this?
I live in a place with harsher water now, so I do hair masks with sacha inchi oil and rinse with hot water.
Started this method last week in Holland, thank you for the information!
I have had great success with water only washing. I think the best way is to transition. I did conditioner only washing and shikaki and then started water only washing one day when it just felt right. I haven’t looked back since. Your hair will have a waxy texture, sort of as if you have used some pomade in it. My hair was very dry and this method has helped it look it’s best ever. Good luck to all my fellow water washers!!
I’ve been doing no ‘poo for a year and a bit now (with baking soda and vinegar) and I always had weird inconsistencies with it. It would be stickier every couple months, so I would need to up the baking soda to water ratio. Then in another few months, I would need to lessen the baking soda concentration. Even then with adjusting and all my hair would always be flaky. Whether it was baking soda incorrectly washed or dandruff, I still don’t know. I thought I’d try this and hope it would go better. Trying to grow my hair out so healthy hair would be great! Take care :-)
Was going to ask about swimming. I started the WO four weeks ago. Today I went swimming. Wasn’t sure what to do so I just water washed before getting in the pool, then after. I still smell chlorine so I plan to wash daily since swimming just might be an every Saturday affair. Totally loving the WO care.
I want to make a comment about PH. Don’t you think that your hair will be the PH of the last thing it comes into contact with ? So if you use ACV to lower the PH, you are still rinsing it out with water. So your hair will be the PH of the water. I do believe ACV brings the PH down from alkaline, but your hair will be the PH of the water you rinsed to get the ACV out.
Technically, water is 7.0 (or should be), which is neither acidic or alkaline (neutral) so essentially it shouldn’t affect the last pH either way…in theory.
I have a question for all the water washers, how does one go to a hairdresser?
I have just started week 3 on water washing after going cold turkey from normal shampoo and conditioners and I think I am finally starting to turn around from the oily stage…
I am going on holiday in about 3 weeks and i desperately need a hair cut before then, I have heard hairdressers don’t like to cut un-washed hair and my hair is still fairly … not normal.
Any thoughts on this?
Water wash your hair just before going to get you haircut. That way your stylist will have clean hair to cut. That is what I do and it works. My stylist is happy with that method.
Up until last week I washed my hair with normal shampoos pretty much every day or at least every 2nd day. It may be silly of me, but I’m going cold turkey not washing my hair except with water (unfiltered, because I’m too broke even to buy a filter). Going to try for 6 weeks minimum and then just see where it’s at. Just over 1 week in with only 1 water wash and my hair is absolutely disgusting haha, but I expected that.
If you don’t have filtered water or soft water your hair will be a complete mess! And stay that way because of the mineral build up from hard water. I’ve been trying to go no poo for the last few months and even just water washed for a bit and it was horrible. Sticky and a weird oily look and feel to it. I finally found out you need to use filtered water for it to work successfully, or boil your hard water before you use it.
I use unfiltered water – straight from the shower – and we have hard water. I went through all the normal stages – the waxy feeling is normal…and once dry (I air dry my hair), hair is soft and shiny. I do not have a filter on my shower head nor on any of the faucets for that matter.
I just stumbled across this post and wonder if anyone will reply but here goes…i don’t have a shower filter either so I’m curious to know, @CMB, if you are still water washing with hard water and if so how is it’s going for you.
Hard water will really frazzle your hair. Please get a water filter. I suggest this one: http://www.revivedkitchen.com/bigberkey