Water Only Hair Washing Experiment – Day 20 Update

If you have seen my No-Poo Method video and/or blog post, you probably already know that I ditched conventional shampoo and conditioner around 6 months ago. I reverted to using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. It went great, but my hair was getting less and less oily, I was able to go longer and longer between washes, and lately I’ve started toying with the idea of taking the next step – going with the water only method!

My reasons why

Now, just close your eyes for a minute, and imagine this: you go on a trip and don’t need to bring anything for your hair with you; you go hiking and you’re able to wash your hair in a lake or under a waterfall without using anything, becoming completely one with the nature; you are able to go for a week or more without washing your hair, and when you do have to wash it, it takes just a few minutes washing it. That feeling of freedom is really what drives me on to try and inch towards a completely self-sustainable and natural beauty routine.

I don’t know how about you, but I hate those days when I have to wash my hair. I procrastinate until I can’t wait any longer, I just thoroughly detest the process of washing my hair. However, since I started the water only method, I’ve been looking forward to washing my hair (or should I say rinsing my hair?). It’s so refreshing and pleasant just before going to bed, and the scalp massage I give myself is divine! I really like the ritual of brushing my hair with the natural boar bristle brush, washing my hair using warm water, putting into a little cute braid, and going to bed.

Moreover, the no-poo method is already pretty cheap but being able to spend no money at all is even better, isn’t it? Water is virtually free and is available anywhere you are.

Water only for our whole body?

Another reason why I felt confident enough to go ahead with the experiment is the fact that my husband has been washing his hair using the water only method for the last couple of years. He went through a transition period for a couple of months but afterwards it’s all been just smooth sailing. His hair is super soft and shiny at all times.

We both have been washing our bodies with water only for the same amount of time, and it has worked brilliantly for both. Any acne, itchiness, exema issues have disappeared. I have also started replacing my Oil Cleansing Method for the face with water only on some evenings, and so far it has worked very well, too – my skin is much more content and moisturized.

My Day 20 Update

The first week was easy because I was already used to washing my hair only once a week. But after the 7-day mark I started going into a serious transition. My hair felt really greasy, sticky and pretty rough, even though I kept brushing it through every morning and evening with the boar bristle brush. I also had some flakiness on the scalp. But, the worst thing for me was the itchiness and burning sensation. I couldn’t stop scratching! However, I found that washing my hair with warm water and massaging my scalp really well alleviated the itchiness and flakes quite effectively.

I’m glad to say that yesterday I finally felt like I had a breakthrough. In the evening, I brushed out my hair as usual and it felt much smoother and silkier. It still is today, my scalp is not itchy, and I’m hoping this is going to be the beginning of the end of my transition. I have to be honest and say that my hair is still not clean enough to wear it down, but it looks fine in a ponytail, braid or a top bun. That’s what I’ll keep wearing until I’m comfortable enough to show off my newly found virgin locks.

The pictures below illustrate what my hair looks like right now. It’s not perfectly clean but it’s not looking too greasy either. I’m definitely comfortable enough to go out like this. Can’t wait to see what the next 10 days will bring! Thinking of beating the system never fails getting me super excited! 🙂

Picture of Water Only Hair Washing Experiment - Day 20 Update

Useful Resources

Before I jumped onto the water only wagon, I did some research, and found some extremely useful blogs and forums talking about water only method. These are brilliant if you are thinking about jumping in but need some encouragement:

1. The Long Hair Community Forum
2. Written For Our Learning Blog
3. Mint & Chilli Blog

I’ll be updating again in around 10 days, around the 30-day mark. I hope my hair will behave because I’m going on a trip in two weeks from now to see my family who I haven’t seen for a year. Of course, I don’t want them to see me with a greasy mess instead of my usually beautiful and voluminous hair. So, wish me luck!

Have you tried the water only method for your hair? Or perhaps for any other parts of your body? Let’s share our experiences.

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  1. I love the idea of going water only but I’m happy with my no ‘poo routine. I just don’t think I want to endure a water only detox. Maybe someday…because like you mentioned, I procrastinate on showers because I hate doing my hair.

  2. Brittany – an update is overdue but I don’t think water only works for me. At least not in the super hot climate all year long where I live. Water only definitely works for my body and face but not hair. I’ll be posting an update mid next week – look out for it! 🙂

  3. I am trying the water only method right now in Holland! Thank you for the information

    • Woo-hoo! Good luck! How is it going so far? xx

      • Neeeludry says

        are you still doing the water-only washing method now? You originally did this post in 2013, so just wondering if it’s worked for you long term?

        • NO, I didn’t last long on it. My hair never got out of the transition period and my scalp was itching really badly. I had to go back to washing, but I still use only organic low-poo shampoos or DIY methods. Are you doing the water-only experiment or are you thinking to do it? How is it going? xx

          • Neeeludry says

            I have only done it for one wash and I washed my daughters hair twice with it, doing the scritching and preening in between. I would like to try it for as long as possible to give it a real chance. Our hair is only a little greasy in certain underneath areas, but not bad. One thing that I’ve already noticed is less hair fall and a bit less tangles. If it ends up not working after a thorough chance I will either use soapnuts/amla, reetha, shikakai/or possibly a 100% pure shampoo. I’ve been using shampoo bars for a year and before that doing baking soda/acv for years, but I realized that was way too alkaline for my scalp and hair.

          • Yes, I realized that too about baking soda and vinegar. It’s great as an occasional deep clean, but not as a regular shampoo. I use 100% Pure shampoo and it’s the best thing that ever happened to my hair. 🙂 Since I started using it, I have no wish to try anything else. Good luck with the experiment! If you manage to make it work, it will be brilliant for both of you! xx

  4. Loretta Parker says

    Great post.

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