Of late I have been switching up my regimen quite frequently. After I cut my hair I was doing the same routine of washing my hair once a week with shampoo and conditioner then moisturising and sealing before twisting in medium sections ready for a twist out. This was working ok for me but it was just that…Ok. I always had issues with dryness by day 2 or 3 and my hair will not be manageable or flexible at all. It might have felt very dry and stayed in the same position I left it in or feel really oily and still stay in the same position. It also looked very limp when left out which meant after the initial day 1 hair the rest of the days were ok or left in a protective style until wash day.
I decided to do some research shortly after my hair cut and 3 months later I decided to begin doing the curly girl method. This did not work for me and whilst on that journey I discovered that I had low porosity hair! This explained the problems I was having with moisture. My hair was not receiving enough moisture and this is why it was always stiff and dry and products will simply sit on my hair which is why it felt oily. A short while later, I discovered the max hydration method. This was designed for low porosity hair and the idea was to gently open up the hairs cuticles so that it was ready for moisture absorption then closing them again. This appeared to be working well for me and I had good curl definition to prove it but the issue was the amount of manipulation on my fine strands. This method required alot of time and very frequent hands on manipulation for up keep. Not long after I started noticing very bad ends (and this is after a short hair cut!) I had knots, feathered splitting on my ends and even mid shaft hair splitting which was quite depressing considering the amount of time and effort that was put into my hair.
I decided that enough was enough and I wasn’t going to go by all of the things we are not supposed to do to our hair. I was going to do what I thought was best for my hair. So I decided that I will try Dr bronner’s castile soap to wash my hair, after all it is a natural soap with a higher PH than my hair therefore it will encourage my cuticles to raise then the water will moisturise the hair before I close my cuticles with an ACV and water mix. I would then define my curls with a gel skipping conditioner. After doing this a few times, I noticed that it had the same effect as doing the MHM as in my curls were defined but when my hair was dry it was very dry. In other words my hair couldn’t cope without the product giving it a moistened feel.
I always knew there was such thing as water washing but have never thought to give it a try until now. I wanted to know how people who washed with only water had moisturised hair. Did they apply a certain product after water washing? What were the secrets? So I decided to do my research. ..
The water only washing method:
So the method is exactly what it says. You wash your hair with water. No shampoo, no conditioner and no additional products (apart from natural oils or butters while waiting to get total sebum coverage and that is optional).
So we all know that we all produce our own natural oil from our sebaceous glands in our scalp. These oils are known as sebum and they moisturise our scalp and hair. People who have naturally straight hair notice the oils more than those with kinky hair as those with straight hair produce it quite rapidly and it is easier to travel down straight strands making it more noticeable after about 2 days of not washing straight hair. Those with kinky/ curly hair do not tend to notice these oils as our hair is naturally quite dry and because of all the kinks and waves, it takes a while for the oil to travel down our strands.
With water only washing the purpose is for the oils that we produce naturally to wash and condition our hair. That’s it. No other products are needed. With massaging you can encourage the oils to come through and with scritching (a light scratching of the scalp with the pads of the fingers) the oil can be gently cleaned to make way for the new growing hairs and lastly preening which is using your fingers or a brush to smooth the oils from the roots to the ends of the hair ensuring that each strand has the natural moisturising agent, sebum, from root to tip.
The amount of times that the hair is washed with water varies from individual to individual based on their hair type and level of sebum coverage on the hair. Those with straighter hair that is more prone to being oily will work towards washing less frequently once the oils being produced become balanced. Those with kinkier types are advised to wash more regularly especially at the beginning so that the oils can be produced more rapidly with the massaging and the use of warm water to distribute the oils.
As I have kinky hair, my hair is naturally dry and through all of the processes I have done, my natural moisture has been completely stripped. Therefore, for the next few weeks I will have to battle dryness while my natural oils begin coming through.
I have decided to twist my hair in small to medium twists and leave them in while my hair gets used to not getting any additional product and produces it’s own oil.
I will be massaging my scalp daily and water washing daily until I have full sebum coverage, which I am hoping will take no more than 3 weeks.
I am choosing not to use any additional oils or butters for moisture as I genuinely can’t wait to see my own oils do the conditioning for me and I don’t want to feel cheated by using substitutes.
I will keep my twists pinned up so even if the ends are dry, it wouldn’t be manipulated and hopefully this will result in no breakage.
I will be brushing my hair with a soft bristle brush from root to tip to encourage my sebum to be moved along the hair shaft to the tips
After I have full coverage I will experiment with styles.
Some people have said it is necessary to clarify every once in a while to get rid of sebum build up which apparently is very sticky and waxy and also has a grayish appearance on kinky hair when it is overloaded. I will see how my hair reacts and note whether I will need to clarify after I have brushed my hair to remove excess. If I can I will stick to just water and nothing else to clarify but if need be I will try oil cleansing as my next resort.
So far I am on day 2 of water only washing and my hair is dry, which is expected. It feels quite moisturised while i rinse my hair and while wet but completely stripped of product once dry. I am excited to see how this will work for me. I have every belief that it will as this is as natural as you can get and I know God created me without additional products to put on my hair, yes he created natural oils and butters too but he also made me to be so beautiful that I can produce my own hair conditioning oils! Why not use what God gave me. I am already experimenting with water only face washing and body washing and who knows, there may not be a need for oiling my skin afterwards as my skin will produce it’s own oils eventually. Okay maybe I won’t go that far lol. But I really can’t wait to update. Yes I will be going through some weeks and possibly months of dry hair days but I’m hoping that the patience will be well worth it.
There is plenty of information online about water only hair washing and if you are willing to give it a try. Have a look and take the plunge. There’s no harm in trying right?