With the increase in toxic chemicals in hair care products, we are not surprised that more and more people are adopting a more eco-friendly and natural lifestyle. Men and Women all over the world are skipping the shampoo and are returning to water only hair washing. Shampoo free or “No Poo” is an old concept that dates back to our ancestors a few hundred years ago. Abrasive chemicals were unavailable at that time and water only hair washing was commonplace.
However, that changed with the introduction of the first synthetic shampoos in the 1930s. By the 1970s, daily shampooing became the norm. Nowadays it is unthinkable for many to adopt a water only hair washing lifestyle, because how can washing your hair without shampoo and conditioner possibly work?
Why Water Only Hair Washing Works
Washing the hair frequently with shampoo removes the natural oils (sebum) from the scalp. In return, the scalp will produce more oil to compensate for the loss. This causes a vicious cycle, as it becomes necessary to shampoo frequently to compensate for the excess oil produced by the scalp, which was produced in response for the oil lost by the previous shampooing.
Washing your hair with water only, will stop the cycle and allows the oil production to return to normal within six weeks. Once the oil production is stabilized, the hair will be less greasy and less frequent washing will be necessary.
How Does Water Only Hair Washing Work?
Water only hair washing is as easy as it sounds. No shampoo. No conditioner. No anything.
You can wash with water as often as you like. Just follow the steps below:
1. Scritch, Preen and Brush
The following steps are very important and should be done right before washing your hair. It will help loosen up the natural oils and will spread them over your hair.
– De-tangle your hair with your fingers
– Scritch. Massage your scalp with your fingers to help loosen up natural oils and dead skin cells.
– Preen. Place two fingers on either side of a small section of hair and slowly spread the loosened oils down to the ends of your hair.
– Brush. Take a boar bristle brush and repeat the previous step but this time with the brush. After preening your hair, a boar bristle brush will help spread oils from the mid-shaft all the way down to the very ends.
Confused? Don’t worry, simply watch the video below for further details.
2. Scrub and Rinse with Warm Water
The right water temperature is the key to success. If the water is too hot you will damage your hair and if it is too cold the natural oils on your scalp will not loosen up. You want the water to be in between hot and lukewarm. Once you reached the right water temperature, use your fingertips, not fingernails, to gently scrub away the dirt on your scalp.
3. Rinse with Cold Water
After you washed all areas of your scalp, rinse you hair with cold water. This will lock down the cuticle of the hair, keeping it shiny.
4. Dry with a Cotton T-Shirt
To reduce frizziness pat down your hair with a cotton t-shirt instead of a towel.
5. Hydrate Hair Ends
If you have long hair or damaged ends, we recommend applying some coconut oil on the ends of your hair. After a couple of weeks the natural oils should have been distributed down all the way to the ends and this step will become unnecessary.
6. Air Dry
Things to Keep In Mind
The hair will feel greasy for up to six weeks while the scalp normalizes its oil production. Be Patient. Avoid the temptation to shampoo your hair. Simply hide your greasy hair under a hat or disguise it in braids.
If you are not ready yet to go completely “no poo”, use a natural shampoo that is free of parabens, sulfates and other harsh chemicals instead.
Did you make the jump to water only hair washing? If so, share your experience with us below.
I did go no poo, for the second time. The first time I made it about 3 months, hair was gorgeous, I just missed using shampoo? I know, makes no sense. So I amon the second no poo routine. After embracing my gray, I noticed a change in texture, more wirey and flyaway… I have fine hair, so I do wash with water about every other day, but my hair after a week is simply gorgeous.
I went condition only for about a week before starting my water only journey. I love it. I scritch and preen twice a day, morning and evening, seems to work well for me.