That’s a myth. Water is the ultimate moisturizer. Our hair loves water. It’s our hair’s best friend.
Have you heard about the new trend in the natural hair community? The water-only washing (WOW) method? I’ve never done this method but I’ve watched a video of Naptural85 talking about her experience with this method. This method is quite straightforward. There are many other videos on YouTube that explain this process, as well as show their results with this method.
Regular washing of hair does not dry out the natural oils but instead is a great source of moisture for the hair. It assists with dryness as opposed to promoting it. The issue begins when a sealant, such as a leave-in conditioner or a natural oil is not applied after washing. As a result, the water in the hair evaporates leaving us with dry hair. For textured hair it is recommended that we wash our hair once a week but this WOW method is done every day (can you keep up with that?). Clean hair is healthy hair. Remember: Water is the only true form of moisture, if water is not present, neither is moisture. -Reign Elle
I was followed on twitter by @LeeTorreyOMG, editor at BlackHairOMG. I clicked on the link in the bio and I was directed to the BlackHairOMG page where the first post I say was the Water Only Hair Washing for ULTIMATE Natural Hair Health! I remembered I was doing a Factual or Mythical Series on whether regular washing or water dries out our hair and I mentioned the WOW method. Since I have never done this method and don’t think I’ll ever do it I figured I would use a few info from their blog post to educate my readers about the WOW method. From reading I think this method is a great method but it’s quite time consuming and my life is quite hectic, therefore simple does it best. Now onto educating ⇓.
BlackHairOMG, states that this method goes a lot further than cowashing. The purpose of washing hair with water only is to allow your natural sebaceous glands to produce the natural occurring sebum, your natural sebum nourishes, moisturizes and protects your hair follicles and scalp. You want to achieve Total Sebum Coverage.
Your natural sebaceous oils also work to help your scalp maintain a healthy pH level and protect it from nasty fungi and infections. Your natural sebaceous oils were created to be the perfect moisturizer and hair conditioner.
Transitioning can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks, I know that seems like a long of time, and maybe it is for some ladies. But, the key to success is to be “patient” and let nature take its course, raving fans of the WOHW method claim that it will definitely pay off in the end.As with any new method you try, there will be a transitioning period before your hair adjusts to the WOHW method, and there’s also that issue of how long it takes some women to mentally to adjust.
The water only hair washing method of is actually pretty simple.
The method goes something like this:
To begin the process, you will have to clarify your hair and scalp of any previous products and build up with a clarifying shampoo (herbal or regular both will work).
Even though using a commercial clarifying shampoo will work, it’s suggested that in the beginning of this method you try for the most natural products (like apple cider vinegar shampoo) to clarify your hair and scalp with.
Here are just a few suggestions:
- Amla Powder
- Aretha Powder
- Fenugreek Conditioner
- Bentonite Clay
- Mud Wash
- Rhassoul Clay
- Or you can try my modified DIY clarifying shampoo
All herbs can be used by themselves or together. Make sure you’ve thoroughly detangled your natural hair either before or after you have clarified with your wash.
Once you have clarified your hair, pick a style; two strand twists (medium to large size) are highly recommended for naturals who have type 3c-4c hair (in other words, afro textured or kinky, coily, cottony-textured hair).
Putting your hair in two-strand twists will make the transitioning period go much smoother than if you decided to do the water only hair washing on loose natural hair. Flat twists or braids are also good alternatives hairstyle as well.
The following section is a quick jump-start instruction list, that’ll break down and explain how to do Water Only Hair Washing:
Quick Jump Start Into The Water Only Hair Washing – WOHW Method!
Step 1: Clarify your natural hair (use any clarifying shampoo or herb you like) and detangle your hair.
Step 2: Put your hair in medium to large two-strand twists.
Step 3: Massage your scalp daily for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Step 4: Start the rinsing process daily.
Step 5: Pay attention for when you start to recognize a oily or greasy feeling on your hair; usually the first few inches of hair will have the “oily/greasy” natural sebaceous oils and you’ll a slight sheen on your fingertips after massaging your scalp.
Step 6: When you start noticing your natural sebaceous oils, start preening the sebum down your hair strands daily.
Step 7: Once your sebum comes in, it’s time to start scritching your scalp daily, so that you don’t get build up of sebum sitting on your scalp. These steps need to be done daily or almost daily until you have reached Total Sebum Coverage. Once you have Total Sebum Coverage throughout your natural hair, you can begin making your twists smaller or wear your hair loose.
IF NEEDED, It’s strongly recommended that you use a natural oil or butter to supplement your hair.
It’s important to avoid to avoid all products that are not plant/food-based, as most commercial products will absolutely strip your hair’s natural sebaceous oils and slow your Water Only Hair Washing transition greatly.
Maintenance on The Water Only Hair Washing Method For Natural Hair
On the Water Only Hair Washing Method you’ll need daily, weekly and monthly maintenance. Starting with the first step; CLARIFYING. As your hair’s sebum continues to be produced, you’ll have to remove the excess sebum from your hair every so many weeks or months; it really depends on how much sebum your scalp produces.
In time you will find out, but, if you produce low-levels of sebum, this means that you can go longer before you have to clarify again in order to remove the excess sebum. If you are a normal to high sebum producer, this means you have to clarify/ remove the excess sebum/debris more often. During the process of removing the excess sebum, you are never stripping your hair bare.
How to know when it’s time to remove excess sebum:
1. Your hair has become stickier, oilier than normal.
2. There is a grayish film on your hair.
3. Your hair has begun to break at the ends.
4. Your scalp appears to have a sheet of dandruff (it’s not actually dandruff, it’s dried sebum) and has become itchy.
These are the most common signs that you need to clarify your hair of excess natural sebaceous oils. It’s highly recommended to figure out your hair cycle in terms of; for example: If you have noticed that you can usually go 2 months before clarifying your hair, then instead of waiting 8 weeks to clarify, do it on the 7th week.
That way you won’t have to deal with the issues that come with allowing excess sebum to form on your scalp.
What Do I Use When It’s Time To Clarify?
When you clarify your hair on the Water Only Hair Washing method, it’s best to choose an all-natural shampoo or conditioner that won’t strip your your hair and scalp of it’s naturally produced sebum.
Fortunately for you, there are many different herbal powders that can be whipped into conditioner and that will successfully clean your hair of the excess sebum without completely stripping it. For example… Amla (Gooseberry), Aretha Powder (Soap Nut), Cassia, Henna,Shikakai Powder etc…
Make sure to look for a natural plant/food-based product to make your conditioner or shampoo from (they prevent total sebum stripping). Many naturals find that a more holistic and natural approach is best with the Water Only Washing method.
Until next time,
Peace & Love.