Water Only Hair Washing Experiment – Final Update

Picture of Water Only Hair Washing - Final Update

First of all, let me apologize for taking forever to write my final update on the water only hair experiment. I’ve been on the fence for quite a while – couldn’t decide if it was worth continuing or if I should just go and try something else.

The final push came when I finally flew to see my family. Remember what I wrote in my Water Only Day 20 Update? That my hair needs to be beautiful for that moment – you know, when you come out through the arrivals gate and your family sees you for the first time in a year’s time. If something isn’t right, my mum and sister would surely give me a hard time!

I’m a natural beauty and health blogger, so it’s important to look good – otherwise, how is anyone going to believe in what I’ve got to say? Nobody wants to be healthy but look like a scarecrow! 🙂

So guess what happened?

It was a bit of a hair nightmare. The night before, I put a tiny bit of olive oil on my hair ends before washing to nourish them a bit before the flight. I then washed my hair with water only and went to bed. When I woke up a few hours later to go the airport, my hair was still damp, so I put it into a bun on top of my head and proceeded to the plane.

When I arrived, my sister and mum commented that my hair was really greasy. I was of course denying it until I undid my bun and realized the top of my head was completely greasy and sticky. My version of the events is this: the oil I put on my hair ends didn’t get washed off properly using the water only method (in fact, didn’t get washed off at all), and when I put my hair into a bun all the grease migrated from the ends to the top of my head.

For the next four days I washed my hair every single night hoping to eventually wash off the excess oil but it kept being unbearably greasy. I had to finally give in and wash with an organic completely natural shampoo. My first shampoo in ages! My hair finally wasn’t greasy anymore but it felt so static and dry! It was a good reminder of why I started the no-poo journey in the first place.

Final Thoughts on the Water Only Hair Experiment

So sorry if you think I’m rambling outside the topic but I feel it’s important to provide you with the whole picture of what happened. I guess I can say my water only hair washing experiment failed. It’s good to wash with water only in between no-poo washes to stretch it a bit longer but not as a long term stand-alone solution.

This is a picture of my hair during the experiment – the ends don’t look so bad, although my hair looks more straw-like than usual. The oiliness on top of the head is clearly visible. Not the kind of look I appreciate.

Picture of My Long Hair - Water Only Hair Washing Experiment Final Update

The climate I live in could be to blame for as well – it’s hot and sunny all year long, so my scalp naturally sweats quite a bit. It might be different for someone living in a colder climate or it could be the same as my scalp gets extremely dehydrated and, as a result, super oily in cold climates.

Perhaps I could have waited longer but the itching and flaking was unbearable.  My hair didn’t look beautiful at all – it was straw-like, matte-looking and quite greasy. I was missing badly the silkiness I get after no-poo. So I’ve gone back to it. Yay!

Water only will definitely continue being a staple for me in skin and body care – I wouldn’t imagine using anything but water there. But, considering I have a pretty gigantic mane, I need something extra to make sure my hair is presentable, and the scalp is feeling comfortable.

I know for a lot of you baking soda and vinegar might seem too extreme, and it’s not the most convenient combination for travelling, so right now I am trying out a couple of different hair washing methods, and will be updating you soon. Keep an eye for it!

What’s your favourite way to wash your hair? Have you tried washing your hair with water only? Have you got any hair “nightmare” stories to share with us? 

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  1. I am lucky to call Vita a friend and I can say that everything she is saying is true. She and her husband are walking embodiment of what eating and living Paleo can do for your life. I have never seen someone eat so much salad and love it…and the tasty meat to. Thanks for showing me more about how to put this into my life. Hugs.

    • Thanks Joy! I really appreciate your comment. It’s always lovely sharing the pleasures of Paleo lifestyle with others. I bet you never knew salads could taste so good before you met us! 🙂

  2. I only wash my hair every three or four days. When its greasy looking I use baby powder or cornstarch to absorb it and it seem to work. My hair is 2 1/2 feet long so I try to let my natural oils nourish my hair. I’ve gone weeks with out washing my hair and use the water only method and it is a nightmere!

    • Beth, thanks so much for sharing your experience! And you hair is so long – it must be looking amazing. Your experience with water only method seems very similar to mine – a real nightmare. I’m so glad to be back to the no-poo method as nothing else gives me such silky and manageable hair. The water only method does work for some though – my husband, for example. But I think that’s because he has short hair! 🙂

  3. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that you shared your detailed experiment with water-only hair washing. I believe my hair is very similar to yours – long, naturally curly – and I also live in a very warm and humid climate (New Orleans – it’s summer about 9 months a year!) Add to that the fact that I work out every morning & sweat a LOT. So . . . . yeah, I don’t believe water-only would work for me! I’ve tried baking soda & vinegar, and depending on the weather, my hair’s ‘personality’ (or attitude, as it sometimes has), I don’t get consistent results. Lately I’ve been loving shampoo bars from Chagrin Valley, with the Coconut Milk & Chamomile Citrus being my two faves. Using something that’s all-natural, and handmade, makes me feel better about my frequent hair washing. (They also make a TON of other amazing products – thankfully my husband is understanding and doesn’t mind my natural beauty care ‘obsession!)
    Anyway, thanks again for sharing your experience and keep the great posts coming.

    • Thank you so much, Rosie! Once again you made my day (or evening). 🙂 I find that nothing works for me as well as baking soda and vinegar, although I’ve been trying out some natural shampoo bars (just because I want to find something I can recommend to people who aren’t willing to go for no-poo 100% yet). I think I might have found one I like but not sure yet. I got it from etsy.com. I looked into Chagrin Valley but they don’t ship to Europe. 🙁

  4. I’m a dude who has tried no poo method to help my scalp psoriasis. Best thing I ever did, and I transitioned to water only, and wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar once a month. I noticed that Bragg’s apple cider vinegar works best. I can tell the key to making water only work is getting a high quality boar bristle brush. I brush my hair when I wake up, before I shower if I wash my hair with water that day, and a lot before I sleep. It coats the hair evenly and it is awesome. I can go three to four days between washes and the brushing helps a lot. Wanted to put that out there.

    • Cool, thanks for sharing your experience! My husband is also washing his hair with water only and has been doing it for a few years now. He never even uses no-poo, just water. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to make it work for myself, even though I brushed with a boar bristle brush a few times a day. Life is easier for dudes sometimes, osn’t it? 🙂

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