So, Water-only Hair Washing? Yep; And You’re Missing Out

by Danielle Bennett

When it comes to cleansing our hair, can less really mean more?

As the concern continues to grow over the slew of chemicals found in hair care products, folks are eager to cut down on its consumption. And for good reason.

They aim to adopt a more natural approach, so alternative practices like washing the hair with only water have swiftly caught their attention.  

Here’s the scoop on why so many swear by this popular method…and its transformative perks.

Image Credit: Big Stock

What is water-only hair washing?

A centuries-old technique, it involves cleansing the hair and scalp by massaging in lukewarm water. No additional shampoos or products are used.

How Does Water-Only Washing Work?

The scalp produces a natural oil called sebum. It soothes and protects the scalp while it nourishes and strengthens the hair.

While regular shampoos tend to strip strands, making them dull, dry and brittle, plain water removes dirt and debris without depriving hair of its natural oils. 

And although conditioners work well, their effectiveness often falls short of sebum’s built-in, holistic rewards. Sebum leaves hair softer, more shiny and more resistant to breakage.

Which hair types benefit from water-washing?

Thick, curly and coily hair textures stand to benefit most.

  • Water-washing forces the scalp into a transition period. As it normalizes and adjusts to a life without shampoo, it compensates by overproducing sebum. 
  • When sebum production is high, the hair becomes exceedingly lubricated. 

What to do after you’ve washed with water

Now, it’s time to condition!

Saturate hair with a deep, hydrating masque.  Use it after the water-only wash (not as an initial co-wash).

In this order, it serves as a powerful protectant and sealant.                                                                                                 

Image Credit: Big Stock

Are there any drawbacks to water-washing?

Those with severely oily scalps that are susceptible to large amounts of dandruff aren’t ideal candidates. Water can only dissolve water-based impurities, not oils.

And if you live in a region that has hard water (find out here), its minerals can be drying and damaging.

Our Final Thoughts

While water-washing isn’t for everyone, it is a game-changer for many and continues to gain traction. It might be the answer you’re looking for.  

Give it a try.

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