Washing Hair with Water Only for Two Months
Are you struggling to find a “clean” shampoo that works well for your hair? Have you thought about trying the “no-poo” method, but have no idea how to approach it? What if I told you it’s easier than you think?! I’ve been washing my hair with water only for the past two months and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Read on to find out how you can ditch the shampoo and find freedom by washing your hair with water only.
The following post may contain affiliate links of products I use and love. You can read my full disclosure here.
Why ditch traditional shampoo?
It started with an itch. An itch that wouldn’t stop.
I cleaned up most everything in my life – my diet, skincare, makeup – everything except for my hair.
I switched to a low-tox shampoo, a shampoo coming in at about a 3 on EWG’s skin deep scale. Turn’s out shampoo is one of the hardest products to keep toxic chemicals out of.
I haven’t been happy with natural shampoo. They all gave me an itchy scalp that drove me nuts. I compensated by using an apple cider vinegar rinse in the shower and it did help a bit.
I’m not sure why, but this process of shampooing and then rinsing with ACV started to annoy me. So then I switched to a DIY baking soda shampoo followed by the ACV rinse. This is the classic method most “no-poo” devotees follow.
Again – annoying. Too much work to not wash but actually wash my hair. So I stopped.
“Let me just try washing my hair with water only and see how that goes,” I thought. Two months in and I’m hooked! My only regret is not doing it sooner.
Reasons you might want to ditch shampoo:
– reduce your toxic load
– balance out the natural oils in your scalp
– reduce waste
– you like a minimalist lifestyle
– just for the hell of it to see what might happen?!
Does washing hair with water only actually clean your hair?
This is a very subjective question. How clean does our scalp/hair actually need to be? Is it more about it feeling clean than actually being clean? What does clean even mean anyway? Shampoo wasn’t always a thing, don’t forget.
For me, my hair feels great. It feels clean to me. It doesn’t smell (I have my hubby do smell tests every now and again).
If you’re used to that squeaky clean feeling and you wash your hair every day, then washing hair with water only will absolutely not feel clean to you (at first). Like everything, you will get used to your new hair.
You might just love the freedom of not shampooing. I know I do! I can be anywhere in the world and not worry about picking up a bottle of shampoo. It’s amazing!
To me, clean hair means more balanced oil production, less overall toxic load, no more itchy scalp and less waste. Now that’s clean.
You will just have to see for yourself how you feel and what your level of cleanliness is. And just FYI – I do not look like an oil slick (I kinda thought I would).
Will there be a transition time where my hair just sucks?
Yup. And not gonna lie – your hair will feel kinda gross for a while. For me, the one-month mark was when things started to turn around and my hair felt normal again.
During my transition time, my hair just felt kind of heavy and blah. I also had a lot of new baby hairs growing in (a good thing?) that would stick straight up from my scalp. Not a good look. I put it up in a bun a lot and that made me feel better.
I also experienced some flaking around the one-month mark. This is totally normal as your scalp is transitioning and trying to balance out. I just kept brushing it with my bamboo brush and eventually, the flaking stopped.
The transition time depends on a lot of factors.
How often do you wash your hair?
If it’s daily, then yes your hair will not like you for a while. Start skipping a few days between washes to prep.
If you’re in the 3-5 day range then you will probably have less transition time. This was me and I would say it took about a month before my hair felt “normal” again.
What kind of shampoo do you use?
If you aren’t using a somewhat “clean” shampoo, you will most likely have a harder time getting your natural oils to balance out.
I was using the Seaweed Co’s Argan Oil Shampoo for a few months and I was pretty happy with it (except for the itch, but most natural shampoos cause my scalp to itch).
It’s a good idea to transition to a lower tox shampoo, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Can I wash my hair daily with water only?
The thing is – you won’t need to and you probably don’t want to. My hair actually looks and feels better on day 3!
Wash your hair with water however often you wash with shampoo.
I have personally kept on the every 4-5 day schedule and my hair responds to this time frame really well. By day 5 my scalp is ready for a good massage.
My Results – Benefits I’ve experienced with the water only method
Before no-poo my hair was extremely knotty after I washed and conditioned it. It took me a long time to comb through all of the knots after a shower. I actually would dread washing my hair because of how knotty it got.
Now that I wash my hair with water only there are NO KNOTS. I kid you not! (he he)
It takes me two seconds to comb through my wet hair. I actually can’t believe it and I had no idea that such a great benefit like this would happen.
Another benefit is my hair is not falling out as much. Before no-poo I could actually pull out strands of hair at any time. My hair was everywhere. And now, guess what? Doesn’t happen anymore! A few strands come out when I comb through it, but nothing like it was before.
Key items you need for washing your hair with just water
Even though you are washing your hair with water, there are a few items that really come in handy. You can get started without these items, but definitely look into purchasing them if you want to commit to the no-poo method.
A shampoo brush helps to massage your scalp and get those oils moving. You could also do this with your fingers, but the shampoo brush feels really really good.
After you wet your hair, take the shampoo brush and do circles all around your scalp. I like to divide my head into sections – I start with the right side, then I do the middle, left and then the back. Rinse your hair a few times and then done!
After your wash your hair, use a rose hydrosol spray all over your hair and scalp. It’s really great for your scalp and it smells amazing. My husband always tells me my hair smells like roses.
Again, this is not absolutely necessary but it’s a nice touch.
A bamboo brush is key for the days between washes. You will want to brush from your scalp all the way down to your ends to distribute the oils throughout your hair. It feels really good too because it massages your scalp!
Why do you want to go no poo?
Having a strong why is really important throughout this process. It’s super easy to just start washing with shampoo again, isn’t it?!
I have tried ditching shampoo in the past and it never stuck. This time, I was committed. I really wanted to have a minimal hair care routine. I also felt like shampoo wasn’t really doing anything for my hair.
Why do you want to go no-poo? Really hone in on your reasons and it will get you through the transition process.
Good luck on your no-poo journey!
UPDATE December 2021: I broke my no-poo streak, you guys. Read all about why here.
Yay Janeen!! I’m going to do a 6-month update soon. It just gets better and better!
Janeen Alleman says
Been doing it since you posted so 4 months now. It works I love it
Yay for one week???? I think the braids will definitely help! I only comb my hair when it starts to look/feel greasy. Leave the braids in as long as you can get away with it!! Good luck! xo Maryjane
Thank you so much for this post! I am one week in???? do you think having African braids done for a bit may help too? It may cover up how they look???? or is it important to comb your hair every day? Thank you!