Water Only Hair Washing Update! 3/13-4/13

Update #1

“The Sebum Experiement”

Do any of you remember the cartoon “Pepper Ann“? I would casually watch it as a kid whenever it was on. (Too young to really understand shows like that.) One scene that I recall is when Pepper Ann became very  lazy for whatever reason, and stopped bathing. She came into school one day and one of her friends said that she had enough grease on her hair to grease up a pizza.

Similar to that scene was a moment in the book “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”. One of the characters befriends a young girl, who either suffered from a terminal illness or a cancer of some sort. The young girl later passed, and the one character became very depressed. She stayed in her room for days and days, never leaving. She mentioned how her hair became very oily from lack of washing, and then the oiliness when away and her hair was normal again. (Mentioned in my Water Only Hair Washing article as your hair finding its “equilibrium”.)

(Note: I do not recommend the cartoon nor the book for entertainment purposes!)

Well, trust me, I am not depressed, nor am I lazy…

I just decided to let my hair go for a week.

I wanted to go one whole week without washing, and spend the time instead BBBrushing my hair, massaging, and scritching and see how my hair would react.. The picture above shows my hair at about 5 or so days. My hair was now clumping together, and if you lifted a section it was definitely thick under it.


This was my hair after brushing with my BBB. Very slick. Not much dandruff! I had made sure to scritch well, brush in all directions on each layer of hair, and washed the brush before and afterward to ensure that the brush would do its job.

Each night I made sure to put my hair into a braid. It’s more protective, allows the hair to stay close, which enables it to absorb oils better. (The best protective do to wear when deep conditioning your hair.) My hair almost looks like it does when I deep condition with coconut oil!

The next day I  washed my hair. I couldn’t effectively wear it up without it looking blatantly dirty, and my scalp was beginning to itch. I didn’t get a picture after washing, but my hair was totally fine! When I washed I paid more attention to each step, because I really didn’t want to have to wash my hair twice. My hair was no greasier than normal after a washing, and it felt stronger, softer, and very manageable. Looked pretty good, if I do say so myself!

Update #2

“Changing Hair Parts”

This was the night before Wash Day, so excuse any appearance of dirtiness.

Normally I only ever have my hair parted down the middle, and I normally clip my bangs back. I like to wear my hair down, and this is the easiest method for my to get my hair out of my face. But I would like to wear my hair down and not depend on hair accessories if I need to.

(Yes, I am a little envious of the natural beauties who can just wear their hair down, with their natural part, not having to worry about it, and look perfectly fine.)

One day, as I was getting my hair ready before bed, after I unclipped my bangs, I noticed that it was laying pretty nice. It was a side part, but different from the way I had ever done them.

My Grandma has always said that a side part fits my face more so than a middle part. But I never liked how it looked on me. But that night I discovered the reason why!

When I would part my hair to the side, I would make it a straight line. One side of my head would be thicker, and the other would be thin. I didn’t like the imbalance, and thought it made me look weird. The way my hair was laying in the picture above, it was all even! My bangs were parted heavily to the left, then the back of my hair more towards the right.

I liked it! I haven’t really worn it in this fashion, but I hope to do so more often.

I remembered a video that a fellow curly posted on YouTube once regarding hair parts. She instructs how you can part your hair as a curly and not mess up your curls. WO’s, you can easily convert this to your own hair routine!

  Update #3

“Please Don’t Pity Me as a Water Only Hair Washer”

My transitional stages when I was started the No ‘Poo method was ugly. Flat out awful. I felt like a prepubescent kid again. No matter how bad it was, though, I was determined. I WAS going to do this! I was a new Crunchy, full of passion and goals. They WOULD be met and I WOULD show everyone the results of not using cancer-causing chemicals, and give them a chance to be liberated from the grip of money-grabbing companies!!! 😉

I did  survive and eventually got over my transitional period. No one really noticed anything different with my hair compared to those who used shampoo, so I never really got a chance to share the great news. 😉

But during that time, I remember people telling me that it looked bad (thanks, I wasn’t aware), I had bad dandruff (10+ years and going strong), and that being clean wasn’t a bad thing (because I desire to be a dirty neanderthal).

Snark aside, I did feel discouraged during that period. I wished I got more encouragement from people. My Dad didn’t really mind me experimenting, which was helpful. And it wasn’t everyone I knew making these comments. (Although, facial expressions is a form of communication, and well, some people’s faces told the opposite of what they said when they saw/found out.) But I knew that wasn’t what I should base my actions off of. As a Christian, we’ll get that. Anytime you go against the crowd you get it. In the end, I was so happy to have done what I did, and was thankful for all the learning along the way.

I would later embrace a new perspective and view on Education, Health, and a Christian lifestyle in general. Naturally, I am not a contrary person. I like pleasing and helping people. My nature is a very shy nature. But the shell has been more than chipped, and has made me a better person for it. But what keeps me going with what I do?

Results.

This was on a day where I felt like my hair was doing fantastic. If I hadn’t been such a genius (sarcasm) and wore a brighter shirt so you could see better, than you would be able to properly see all of my nice ringlets!

My hair wasn’t very frizzy that day. Wasn’t dry. Felt clean. Mangeable. Had bounce. A good amount of volume to it. All the perks!

No weird flat spots, all even. (My hair length is about BSL-Mid Back when dry and Midback-Waist when wet.) My hair may appear to me a little frizzy, but part of that is the lighting. And I actually prefer a little frizz to my hair.

Towards the end of my hair, you can see that my hair had finished in great ringlets at the end of my length. (And you can also see that my hair was clipped back in my famous, day to day fashion I mentioned earlier.)

This is not uncommon for me to experience. I rarely suffer from bad hair days anymore. My ringlets do not break very easily. They have become resilient. While on No ‘Poo, I had to be careful not to touch them or there would be immediate frizz and the clumps would break apart.

I do suffer from dandruff, but I figure that’s just allows me that much more room for improvement!

No turning back as far as I can tell!

Update #4

“The Further I Go, the More Benefits I Get”

This is a very small update. It was just something I thought was really neat, and never really happened before.

One night as I was BBBrushing my hair, I noticed that my hair didn’t really look frizzy at all. In fact, I still had ringlets!

I probably would have not worn my hair like this; it was still somewhat frizzy, not very organized, and needed cleaned. I found that when I ran my hands down my hair (not detangling it, but using the palms of my hands to glide against the hair) my hair curled better. Interesting for anyone who is considering to go “Sebum Only” and has curly hair!

The future holds more experiments, projects, and tests. I hope to share most of them here with you all. Until next time!

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22 comments

  1. Oledys · · Reply

    I’ve been lurking around in your posts about WO for awhile and I love how informative they are! I’ve been WO for like a month and so far so good! A few weeks ago I noticed flakiness but it looks like its gotten better these days, my hair feels soft and is very shiny! I only have like an inch of hair(I shaved my hair like a month ago) so I’m excited to see how my hair will grow doing this method 🙂 please keep updating us whenever you can!! Keep it up!

    1. Thank you so much!!

      I definitely will! I plan to make video’s soon, since I think it’ll do better to demonstrate different methods with WO, and perhaps be a little more personal, haha.

      I noticed a major decrease in shedding. In three days I would shed as much as I used to shed daily. For those with straight hair they may notice it differently because they can detangle daily, while I detangle every three days or so. As far as growth my hair has been growing pretty steady. I used to supplement with biotin, but I don’t find a need to do so any more! And I don’t miss doing castor oil scalp treatments to increase growth, lol. Perhaps I’ve just grown less desperate? 😉

      Many blessings on your journey with WO! Keep in touch to let me know how it goes. Since starting WO, I always wondered what it’d be like to start TOTALLY over and be WO. I’d consider it giving your hair the best start it possibly could, haha.

      Thank you, once again!

  2. Oledys · · Reply

    Hey again, thanks for replying hehe and yes! I would love it if you start a YouTube channel! The information about WO on YouTube is almost nonexistent, which is a shame knowing how great this method is! And about hair growth, I came across about something interesting yesterday. I became curious about the composition of sebum so I searched about it and I found that sebum carries vitamin E(it’s one of its main purposes) and I’ve read that vitamin E aids in hair health and to hair growth :O so maybe that’s why sebum is keeping our hair healthy and growing nicely? Haha but that’s what I think :p whatever it is it’s doing I like it! Lol I’m also a Christian so I’m glad you are as we’ll! 😀

    1. There are about two people that I know that have posted WO YouTube videos, but they were just one informational video, and from a while ago. I would like to do a series and cover different things. I just need to set apart some time, and find a good editing program! lol

      I figure God gave us sebum for a reason! Everyone demonizes it, but surely it’s gotta be good for your hair! I feel that it’s more of a protective oil than anything.

      That’s great! :] Glad to see a fellow believer, haha! Being a Christian was what led me to the more natural route, ironically. A lot of people go the other way, it seems. lol

      It’s no problem to reply black! I love hearing from other people! :]

  3. Love your transformation pics, they’re so helpful!
    I’m wondering if going WO would work with finer hair, I’m currently experimenting a bit now and looking around at a lot of articles on this, but nothing seems to explain about what it would do with different hair types and most of the people who go to WO seem to have curly hair, or am I just looking wrong? I hope that eventually I can quit the shampoo though( I use a sulfate/paraben/harsh preservatives-free shampoo, but still) and get hair with more body. Have you noticed you hair became thicker when you went WO?

    1. You may be looking wrong, or perhaps I need to get back into searching about WO. LOL! When I was researching it, it seemed only those with straight hair were doing it, lol! Or perhaps that’s due to me being a curly and thus having a different perspective.

      I think it could definitely work. I was really encourage you to purchase a BBB brush; a soft one. I have fine, curly hair. I use a soft-medium. Considering you have fine hair, you may want to go with the same. They offer some through Amazon and are pretty inexpensive. Just make sure they are authentic boar bristles.

      Have you read my Water Only Washing hair guide? I think it would answer some of your questions. I believe I broach the subject of hair thickness and hair loss in it. (I noticed that I lost less hair, and my hair seemed to become thicker. It also depends on the weather. First day hair is less voluminous than second day hair, but that’s to be expected, lol.)

      https://writtenforourlearning.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/water-only-washing/

      I hope this helps! 😀

  4. Love your posts on WO washing! I am 7wks into no ‘poo and 5 wks into WO, but I’m frustrated with my hair and I’m not sure what to do about it. I have naturally wavy hair that I used to help be curly with mousse or straight with a straightening iron. Having not used product on my hair all this time, my current routine is to WO wash every 3-4 days. I find my hair to 1. Still feel waxy more than I like, 2. My hair seems to need “help” deciding on straight or curly but I’m not sure how to do so, 3. My frizz is unbearable, and 4. Like you, I’ve struggled with dandruff for years and it’s no better for my “all naturalle” routine. In fact, it had gotten so bad that last week I used an ACV rinse which helped reign it in, but I still have it. And I had to wash my hair two nights in a row to get the extra oily feeling out after that conditioning. Adding any amount of oil, coconut or otherwise, seems to make my hair oily and doesn’t have a lasting defrizz effect. I recently installed a shower filter to help with hard/contaminated water, but I can tell no difference. Am I still in some sort of transition phase? I am having trouble finding resources to help give me insight into all of this!

    1. I am so sorry; your comment got buried somehow!

      First question: Do you own a boar bristle brush?

      Second: Since this has been so delayed, do you have an update? lol

      1. Lol. Thanks for getting back to me. I have been using a BBB AND I do an update. 🙂 So. The week after I wrote that comment, I felt like my hair just “got it”, or “clicked”, like I’d read elsewhere happens at some point (just later in the game for me, I guess). I am still working through issues, like frizz, I don’t like that I can’t ever tell what my hair will do from day to day (therefore cannot “plan” hairstyles), and I find that I still need a light ACV rinse every couple of weeks, but I’m not nearly as gunky feeling. It would be nice if my hair would at least decide on wavy or straight….or I could get used to the wild and crazy yet cool “do” it does sometimes, if it would just stick with it. :/ Ahhh, I dunno. Most days I’m so busy with three littles, one I’m homeschooling and the other two in cloth diapers, I don’t pay heed to appearance (like today). But there are days I would like to look in the mirror and feel like I look nice. It seems that it is harder to accomplish those days being WO. Any insight/suggestions?

      2. I find that with curly hair, I need more than just WO and sebum. I will use coconut oil VERY LIGHTLY on the length of my hair. It helps to combat with frizz. I final rinse of cold water when showering helps with that too. Alternating weeks, I braid my hair to keep in moisture; to give my hair a “break.” Depending on the weather, I may just have frizzy hair. lol

        I also incorporate tea rinses every once in a while; watered down honey hair rinses; EO rinses on the length of my hair; lemon juice on my scalp for persistent dandruff..

        WO is a great routine, but I am not a legalist. Find what works best for yourself. :] You may have to veer off strict WO to find that good balance for your hair, but that’s okay.

        I would consider taking small steps first, like VERY LIGHT applications of oil on the length of your hair, braiding occasionally, trying out moisturizing tea rinses, etc. For the most part, I leave my scalp alone, but I’m not too careful. I just do “whatever” now, lol.

        The point of WO is freedom.

        Like scripture says, don’t claim liberty when you’re only putting yourself in bondage.

        Test the waters! lol

  5. Hi, I have extremely tight coily hair. Afro textured. I haven’t used a BBB, and I have just used my fingers for the last 2 years minus the RARE time I go to a salon. I don’t particularly like going to salons, and I’m not 100% sold on brushes or combs. I have been looking into a seamless comb, with WO and a seamless comb, would that work, or should I just stick to my fingers?

    As an afro haired person, I find it really REALLY hard not to use oil. My hair dries up too quickly. Currently, I use black soap, green tea/acv rinses, and an oil mix of castor, sunflower, and jojoba oil. I find that this works really well for me. I also so oil rinses with coconut, peppermint and rosemary oil. I want to make it simpler, but keep my moisture levels. What do you suggest? Oh, and I do a monthly clean with bentonite clay, and DC with avocado, banana, coconut oil, and hydrolyzed protein.

    I can’t wash my hair loose, it gets WAY TOO tangled (minus the DC and clay), and a boar bristle brush, really not sold on those at all, but may lean to a seamless comb.

    Any suggestions?

    1. If your fingers work best for you, then keep doing it! I have 3a, non-textured curls. For me, using a come makes everything a little more neat and even. For you, a comb may not be necessary. However, it might be worth experimenting with!

      Moisture is VERY important to keep with curly hair. Perhaps eliminate one oil, or one procedure, and see how your hair does with less over time? The sebum from your roots should help balance everything out. Experimentation really is key here.

      I wouldn’t use a BBB with your hair. I rarely use it on my hair anymore. You have to find what works best for you, as an individual. All that I’ve shared are basic guidelines.

      The fact that you’re switching to WO is already simplifying your routine. I wouldn’t be too concerned right now with your efforts to moisturize your hair. Over time, you may find yourself needing less.

      I hope everything has been going smoothly for you!

  6. Anonymous · · Reply

    I have been researching on no-poo methods and the WO method seems like the only method I feel safe trying. I was going to do the baking soda and ACV method, but I have been very hesitant of it because I read how bad baking soda is for the hair and causes damage in the long run. That’s just too much risk for me to try. How do I keep my scalp and hair clean from dirt and whatnot with just the WO method?
    Can I still use hair products like a heat protectant serum for my hair? I flat iron my wavy/curly hair when needed.

    TIA

    1. When you wash your hair using the WO, make sure to massage your scalp thoroughly under the shower head. This will help loosen up any dirt and debri. If you must, find an herbal tea that might work best for your hair, and rinse. If you’re a brunette, simple black tea would be fine.

      If you flat iron, it is best to use some sort of heat protection. I’m not sure how well it will wash out, but only time will tell for that. I don’t use heat on my hair, so I don’t have any experience with this.

      You’re welcome, and thank you!

  7. So I found your WO washing post (the one that summarizes everything you do, what tools you use, etc.) a few weeks or so ago and decided that I would just bite the bullet. Back in 2008, I spent a couple of weeks in India and noticed that the young women I was working with only used water on their hair with a weekly or biweekly coconut oil deep conditioning. Their hair was GORGEOUS, but I never really thought much about adopting the practice myself. I’ve gone ahead and purchased a couple of BBBs and plan to pick up a wooden bristle brush soon. The last time I used shampoo was a week or more ago, and I had already been stretching out my shampooing by using just water every few days.

    I am definitely in the dreaded transitional phase. I want it to be over already! 😦 I do, however, like how soft my hair gets when I “preen” at night. I just wish my hair would figure out what it wants to do already! How long was your transition overall?

    1. I would say a little over a year, including the time I spent with the “No ‘Poo” method. It sounds awful, but it really wasn’t that bad. lol

  8. Hi! Just curious to see how long your transition period lasted. I have been doing water only washing for 14 weeks and it is still very greasy and I am unable to wear it down. I have fine wavy hair that does curl if dried right. I scritch and preen 1-2times a week and rinse my hair with water 2x per week. I’m about to go back to my all natural shampoo and conditioner bit I’ve invested this much time and hate to give up.

    1. Really, it was like a year. Since I followed alternative methods to cleaning my hair, it gave me an advantage when I switched to just water. Ultimately, I left it for a different method since I do have curly hair. My hair needed more moisture than WO could give me. (Plus, I love experimenting!)

      The beauty with the method is you can experiment and do what you need to do to what works with you. Consider using natural products (that can be found in your kitchen!) to modify it to fit your needs. Egg yolks can act as a very gentle cleanser. Maybe use this on your scalp once in a while to ease your hair into the method.

  9. Hi Tia, thank you so much for your very detailed review, it’s very interesting !
    I started the WO method one month ago, convinced by the method but not so much by my ablity to take care of my kinky hair everyday… And finally, one month later, I’m astonished to see how well defined it becomes, and shiny too! 🙂
    I just wanted to talk to you about another change I made for a natural lifestyle : I don’t use soap anymore for my body. My skin is very dry, and I realized that it would be interesting to let my skin do its job as I did for my hair. So I just do massages every day with hammam gloves (it could be a loofah, too) to free the skin from dead cells, and I “wash”quickly my body with clay mixed with water (it has to be quite liquid, as a gel). The clay finishes the cleaning process, leaving my skin soon soft and glowing !
    I advise you try that, I guess you could appreciate very much ! 🙂
    For my face, I use clay too and/or honey (I let it work while I take care for my hair), and if I have some, I use a Konjac sponge and then I don’t need to add anything else but water. 🙂
    For the intimate washing, clay is wonderful, too.
    I just have to find now a way to take care of my dry feet (my hands really appreciate the hair routine, the don’t need anything else), and I will be totally freed from commercial products to take care of myself. 🙂
    I hope you will enjoy, let me know when you have tested those new tips ! 🙂
    Nathalie

    (sorry for my bad english, I’m a french gir! 😉 )

    1. That sounds very interesting! I found soap is too harsh for my body as well. What kind of clay do you use? I’m concerned to use bentonite, as it might clog up my drain.

      Thank you for the tip!

      1. Hi Tia,
        I use Montmorillonite clay (green clay), that i buy at the bio shop, but I guess you could use another one, all the clays are so great! I didn’t precise, but I rub my body with the glove before I use the clay, in order to have my pores wide open to be purified by the clay.
        Since my previous comment, I found a very easy solution for my feet, too : I simply use the same hammam glove to wash them, I just insist a little bit more, and they remain absolutely soft and smooth. I had very very much horn, you can trust me, and that’s over!!! II’m so happy!!! I just put a drop of oil (olive or cocoa are the ones I prefer)
        I really love this routine to wash my body, I feel cleaner than ever thanks to the combo clay / glove, and I heard that this kind of “massages” have many benefits for the health, so that’s totally perfect ! 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on hannchula.

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