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Only Wash with Water?

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    Posted: April 03 2007 at 2:32pm
Why would anyone want to do that? Why, for beautiful, shiny, strong, self-cleaning hair of course. Well, supposedly...

WHAT I"M DOING:

So I decided to start a 3 month experiment where I'm only going to wash my hair with water.

Why 3 months? In this article I read (which I talk about in the next paragraph), it took the lady a month for her scalp to adjust. But she had dry hair, and I have a super oily scalp. So, 3 months it is. I wrote a little bit about this in my intro message here:


Hey, My name's Jessica. This seems like a great place to learn how to take care of my hair since I'm trying to grow it out.
I also thought I'd join 'cause I'm trying an experiment on my hair where I'm only using water to wash it (now you think I'm crazy right?). I read this article about a lady who hadn't washed her hair for 11 yrs and supposedly it be came self-cleaning and beautiful so I thought why not try it? I don't mind looking like a bum in public so it shouldn't be too hard.
I was searching on this board to see if any one else had tried it, and I couldn't find anything so I thougth I'd start a thread to share my own experience. I think I'll put it in the alternative hair care section if you want to follow my experiment.
    Anyway, it's nice to meet everyone. From what I've read you guys seem friendly and helpful.

HOW IT WORKS:
So the logic behind this is we're sort of in a viscous cycle with our hair where we strip our hair of it's natural oil with shampoo. Then we use conditioner to imitate our natural oils. Well that seems sort of silly to me. I mean, sebum was made for our hair, so I'm sure it's good for us. But, you might be asking, won't that lead to nasty, dirty hair?
While the scalp is balancing out, the hair will probably be super greasy at first, and I'm sure that will attract dust and whatnot. But once that's done with, the sebum will actually create a slightly acidic environment that prevents most bad bacteria from being able to thrive while allowing the good ones to live. When we wash our bodies with soap, we may kill the bacteria that's on our skin for the moment. But bacteria is everywhere and it's soon back on our skin in no time. So our natural body oils are actually very important in keeping those bad bacteria at bay. That's why not shampooing the hair will actually make it cleaner!
Wooh, thanks for reading all that. Now... to the actual experiment.

THE EXPERIMENT:
So far I'm on day 9. I have really oily, straight, blonde hair. So I usually have to wash my hair every day if I don't want it looking oily. I don't use shampoo though, I've been using conditioner only to wash my hair for the past half-year (if you want to know how that works you can ask me, but I think this post's pretty damn long already).
I've been washing my hair in the shower everyother day with luke warm water and ending with cold. I've also been combing my hair with my horn-comb twice a day, massaging my scalp and using my fingers all to pull the oils down.
Needless to say my hair is pretty damn greasy. I wear it up, so it looks alright in public. The sebum's not all the way down my length yet(hair waist-length), so I've been lightly oiling the ends with cocnut oil when they feel dry so I can comb easier without ripping my hair out.
Oh, and the water here is medium-soft. I think that would be an issue cause when I lived wher there was hard water, it caused alot of build up in my hair, which I think would make it hard for someone trying to do water only washings with hard water.

That's it for now. If anyone else would like to join in, feel free. It would be interesting to see other's experiences (and what works and what doesn't).

Thanks for reading. Hope you found this at least somewhat intriguing.

Edited to add link to the article: http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13291687,00.html


Edited by Sarsvati - April 17 2007 at 1:41pm
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So I'm on day..15 now.  Just going into week 3. My scalp hair is pretty much just as greasy as it's been since about day 3, but the oil is slowly moving down the length.

ON the days that I water wash my hair, my bangs and scalp look pretty good for half the day, only slightly oily. I saw a friend who I hadn't seen since starting this, and she couldn't even tell I hadn't washed (hair was up, but bangs were down).
IF I comb my hair after showering though, I brush the oil right back in 'cause my comb has so much sebum on it.

My length is getting so much softer. Especially the nape hair underneath, which usuially is coarse and tangly. After fingercombing my hair, I can comb through the whole length with a fine-toothed comb and not not have it tangle or rip. Woohoo!
OH and I pretty much have no more flyaways! I use to get a lot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 11 2007 at 4:28pm
I feel like I'm kinda talkin to myself here, but oh well, I guess people don't post in this section alot.
Anyway, I found another interesting news article about a water only experiment.

If you're interested: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=394226&in_page_id=1879
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2007 at 4:59pm
3 full weeks into it now.
I went surfing yesterday. My hair still felt soft afterward, and once it dried it looked like the day after a condition wash (which means good enough to wear down, but just barely).
The oily look now extends to 3in below the shoulder. But when I wring my hair out in the shower, it feels waxy-like all the way to the tips. That must mean all my hair is coated at least somewhat, whic hwould explain why it feels so soft now , woohoo!
Oh, and I've been getting a bunch of greasy lint stuck in my combs.
I pretty much have no flyaways now.
When ever I touch my hair my fingers feel oily. It also feels heavy when I touch it.

I'm still goin' strong and I have no intention of caving in.
On to week 4!....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lola32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2007 at 10:54pm
your brave to be trying this. I would never be able to go more then 3 days without washing my hair. I feel like trying this experiment. well good luck . I hope you keep telling us about your experiment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2007 at 5:02pm
Originally posted by lola32 lola32 wrote:

your brave to be trying this. I would never be able to go more then 3 days without washing my hair. I feel like trying this experiment. well good luck . I hope you keep telling us about your experiment.


Thanks! And thanks for responding. It's good to know someone's interested. I'm not so brave - I was already used to my hair looking greasy half the time, 'cause I was trying to stretch out washing times. Plus there's not cute guys in my classes right now, so it's the perfet time!

Hey, if you do end up trying this too you should post your experiences here. It'd be helpful to see what works for others, since I don't really know what I'm doing right now.

Thanks for the encouragement
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On the days I don't water wash my hair, it looks horribly piecey and greasy. Nasty. I look like a greaser if I comb it straight back LOL.
I'm starting to get worried about pulling my hair out because when I rinse it I pull on it for about a minute straight to move the sebum down. And I also pull the oils down once or twice  a day before combing. Afterwards my scalp at the back of my part feels sore.
I might just be paranoid though because in reality I'm only losing ~30-40 hairs a day. And it would porbably be less than that If I didn't get impatient while brushing sometimes and rip through some of the hairs. Not counting the hairs I rip out, I'm losing ~20-30 a day.
That's not bad. So, we'll see...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2007 at 12:34pm
I'm shocked!
 
I rinsed my hair last night, and was slightly disappointed when it still looked nasty-greasy. Almost wet. Usually it looks alright to wear back on rinse days.
Anyway, I woke up this morning, and it looked like my hair had just soaked up all of the grease. It looked like my hair does after a Conditioner only wash! I was going to water rinse my hair, but I don't even need to. In fact I'm afraid to mess it up. I don't even want to comb it cause I'll probably comb the sebum right back into it. I'm totally stunned!


Edited by Sarsvati - April 21 2007 at 12:36pm
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4 weeks today.

I probably should've combed and rinsed my hair yesterday. because just leaving it, it only stayed nice about half the day.

It looked real nice today after rinsing it.  Icould've worn it down and it would've looked normal.

My hair has been a couple shades darker since starting this. Sometimes I think it looks dull, other times I think it suites me and looks nice. I don't know what the hell I think.

I 've decided to only comb my hair once a day now, before bed. I don't want to be pulling my hair out with too much combing.

Sometimes I'll go to put my hair in a braid and be shocked by the softness. I'll have to run my fingers through it for a bit.

I got pretty excited the other day when I measured my hair, which usually grows 1/2" per month, and found out it had grown almost 1/2" in just 2 weeks! I had gotten my hair cut  2 weeks ago, so eirther the growth's because of that or this experiment. 'cause I haven't done anything else different. I think it's probably from all the scalp stimulation of the brushing.

That's it for now.  Feel free to post in here if you have something to say.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 24 2007 at 12:23am
2 things I realized I've forgotten to mention:
THe first 2 weeks I constantly felt greasy and unclean, regardless of wether I had just washed my face and showered or not. I don't feel that way anymore though.
Also, about 3 of the days now, I've had small patches where skin has flaked off a little. But it was barely noticable (probably partly cause I'm blonde). And it went away by the next day.
My hair looked good enough to wear down the first 1/2 of today after rinsing last night. But my hair is really unpredictable; It's hard to know when it'll look good, and when it does look good I don't know how long it'll stay that way so I still can't really wear it down. Updo's have been there to back me up though. Yo, yo, your my brother updos.
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Minor setback: I went to get my hair cut last wednesday, and it was store policy that they shampoo your hair beforehand (hygenic reasons or some bull$**). So  I let the lady shampoo since she really seemed to know what she was doing and exactly what  I wanted. So I have to start over. And after a whole month! damn
What I noticed after the shamp: my scalp hair felt light, airy and silky, not heavy anymore. The ends felt silky too, but it was drying to run my fingers through them. and the sunbleached parts were dry and tangly again. Before, my ends felt soft and silky, but it was similar so running your fingers over a very soft and smooth candle: it was moisturizing, not drying. Bad anagoly, but its hard to explain. The length also felt much stronger and protected before, now it feels fragile and exposed. Basically, the length was much better off beforehand in every way. And the scalp felt better after the 'poo (except I did notice that my head got colder more easily after the 'poo).
Now it's day 4. Yesterday it had started to look oily, but still felt light and freshly 'pood. this morning it looks freshly pood (which is amazing considering my oily history), but it is just starting to get some of that weight back.

I'm going to stop posting my progress. There doesn't seem to be much interest, so I figure one more post at the end of the 3 months should be enough.
So, see you then...


Edited by Sarsvati - April 29 2007 at 2:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 08 2007 at 1:41pm
I just wanted to popo (lol, i meant to write pop) in and say that doing it this time around with bangs makes it so much easier! I shampoo the bangs, so I can get away with wearing it down and not looking greasy at least part of the day I  rinse.
 And my hair is adjusting more quikly this time around.


Edited by Sarsvati - May 08 2007 at 1:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Divavocals Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2007 at 7:16pm
This is an interesting experiment.. I am curious to see how it turns out..

Edited by Divavocals - May 10 2007 at 7:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ms.Honey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 10 2007 at 11:38pm
 Why are you cutting your hair? How does your hair smell?
   I water washed my hair for a week and it did feel and look better. I have/had dry hair especially before I cut it all off. When I water only wash it I notice that I don't need to add oils or mosturizers to my hair.
   I think water washing is a more natural way, the way God intended for us to care for our hair but I think our chlorinated water makes it harder to do. I think natural water like lake,well etc. has some type of properties made to cleanse our hair and bodies. Have you ever noticed how soft your hair and skin feels after you've swam in a lake or river? They have a silky feel to them.
Keep us updated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Divavocals Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2007 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by MSHONEY MSHONEY wrote:

I think water washing is a more natural way, the way God intended for us to care for our hair but I think our chlorinated water makes it harder to do. I think natural water like lake,well etc. has some type of properties made to cleanse our hair and bodies. Have you ever noticed how soft your hair and skin feels after you've swam in a lake or river? They have a silky feel to them.
Keep us updated.
ITA.. A water filter helps.. I have a shower filter to help keep the city chemicals off of my skin and hair.. Someday the hubby & I want to invest in a home filtration and water softener system for the house..
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ONE DAY MY HUSBAND WILL INSTALL THE WHOLE HOUSE FILTER I BOUGHT THREE YEARS AGO!! I want a water softener system too. They're about $400 up at home depot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2007 at 2:54pm
Wow, I decide to stop posting and suddenly I get some replies! LOL That cracks me up.

DivaV- I'll definitely let you know.

MSHoney-
Originally posted by MSH MSH wrote:

Why are you cutting your hair? How does your hair smell?

I should've specified- I didn't cut all my hair, just my bangs which were half grown out. Still waistlength!
Personally, I've not noticed a smell. I asked my sister and a couple of my friends to smell my hair, and they've all said it has a "hair" smell to it. You know how the scalp smells a day after washing if you get your nose right up in there? That smell. I wouldn't say it's good or bad, it just smells like hair, and they all seemed to have that impression too.

Originally posted by MSH MSH wrote:

I water washed my hair for a week and it did feel and look better. I have/had dry hair especially before I cut it all off. When I water only wash it I notice that I don't need to add oils or mosturizers to my hair.

I'm sorry you had to cut it all off! That sucks.  I'm surprised you experimented with this too though. That's awesome. Do you have any tips? It sounds like water only was working for you. Why'd you stop? (Actually I can imagine it would be hard to get used to something so out there right away. I sort of eased into it by stretching out CO washes, so I was already used to greasy hair). Do you think you'll try it again?
My hair definitely feels stronger and more moisturized with WO too. And just last weekend (when I was 2 1/2 weeks into it) a couple of my friends who knew I was doing WO asked me if I was still doing it didn't look like it was greasy. woohoo! I had just water washed my hair that day and 'pooed the bangs.

Originally posted by MSH MSH wrote:

I think water washing is a more natural way, the way God intended for us to care for our hair but I think our chlorinated water makes it harder to do. I think natural water like lake,well etc. has some type of properties made to cleanse our hair and bodies. Have you ever noticed how soft your hair and skin feels after you've swam in a lake or river? They have a silky feel to them.
Keep us updated.

That's exactly how I feel. My first post was a long rant about that. I also don't think it would be very possible to do this experiment if you had hard water with alot of chlorine or minerals in it because they would build up in your hair with no shampoo to wash them out. Maybe the people who think WO is absurd are those who live in places with hard water and can't go a day without shampoo. I have noticed the silky moisturized feeling after swimming in a lake. I loove that feeling!


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  I had to cut my hair because it was super dry which caused breakage making it super short in areas( especially the sides and very back of my head ) because of hormonal stuff, I have PCOS. Plus after decades of relaxing my hair I wanted to see what my REAL hair looked like. It's curly and wavy but I'm still having issues with the sides and back, poofy and bushy because of the dryness. I'm trying to get it healthy like the rest of my hair.
  It wasn't my intention to water wash only. My hair is so short I can wash and go. Sometimes I didn't feel like conditioning it, just jump in take a shower and jump out. I noticed that it looked the same as it did when I conditioned it so I tried it for a week and liked it. I was still trying to find a good leave in or mosturizer so it wouldn't shrink up after it dried (probably caused by the chemicals and minerals in my water) but stay the way it look wet and found that it was getting gunky. I had to use a clarifying shampoo. I think once I change my water system, I'll be able to water only wash for longer periods of time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 18 2007 at 3:25pm
Well  I hope you find a hair routine that works for you. Even if you don't go WO completely, I'm sure stretching out the washing times will help your dry hair immensely.
If you get a filter and start doing that, I hope you'll let me know how it works out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarsvati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2007 at 10:01pm
So I went swimming in the ocean last saturday. Even though I rinsed my hair before I got in, it felt really sticky when I rinsed it right afterward. It continued to feel sticky (like there was alot of build up) for a couple days. I didn't even want ot comb it cause it was too sticky and i didn't want to rip it. So sun. and mon. I just rinsed it, trying to get the build up out. I helped enough to be able to comb. After 2 more days of combing (and alot of gunky build up on my combs) and 2 acid-rinses, it was finally soft and shiny again. After 4 days!
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