No Country For Old Trends | How To: Water Only Hair Washing

How To: Water Only Hair Washing



Only a bit of gel on the edges
Only a bit of gel on the edges

Today’s post is a LONG one! So let’s jump in. If you rather watch me talk about it, I’ll be doing a 3-Part Series on my YT channel! Make sure you tune in Wednesday through Friday for each part!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

As soon as I heard of the water-only washing method last year in 2015, I immediately gave it a try. If you haven’t heard of it, you can check out YouTube and my videos for some explanation! Naptural85, probably the most popular natural hair guru, and others have made videos on the topic.


But for a quick explanation: the purpose of water-only washing is to eliminate the use of outside products to moisturize your hair.

To start, you essentially rid your hair of all product/chemicals with a natural agent, like apple cider vinegar for example. ◊ Tip: Shampoo may still leave some chemical residue in your hair! After all, doesn’t your hair have a sweet smell after shampooing? This is what you DON’T want.

After you’ve washed your hair of all product, your hair WILL be a dry mess. But from that day on, you do NOT put any product on your hair! You will wash your hair EVERY DAY for a month, making sure to MASSAGE your scalp. ◊ Tip: Keep your hair in large twists after washing when first starting! You can then gradually transition to smaller twists once you become more comfortable and produce sebum!

Massaging is meant to trigger your scalp’s sebum production. Sebum is the oil your body naturally produces to take care of your hair strands. Personally, I was attracted to using sebum because I was eating healthy anyways. Why not use the benefits from my healthy eating to allow my hair to flourish!?

It may take up to 2 weeks to notice any type of sebum, but once you’ve started production, you’ll notice a difference in your hair. It will be more manageable from the dry, tangled mess you had before. Your hair will have more of a shine. And your hair may even feel softer.

After producing sebum, the goal is to coat the entire strand of your hair with sebum. Pull/massage the sebum from your scalp down to your ends so your entire strand is nourished.

After washing you hair every day for a month, you can cut back on washing, and maybe just wash every other day or a couple days each week, user’s choice!



I’ve tried water only washing twice now. And each time, I’ve stopped the process after about 3 months. ◊ FYI: My natural hair texture is a 4A.

More about my experience below and on my YT channel!


Cheap: Water-Only Washing is cheap! It’s just water and massaging. No chemicals, no products, no money spent.

Natural: Sebum is meant to condition our hair and skin! It’s better to work with our bodies to take care of our health than fight it!

Quality/Manageable: Hair actually feels softer, less tangled AFTER sebum production. You’ll really notice your pretty curl pattern. And your hair has a shine all of its own.

Quick: You may think it’s work to wash your hair every day, but remember you’re eliminating all product you would usually use to wash your hair! So wetting & massaging my hair every night was SUPER easy & relaxing and it was always dry by morning or in a couple of hours. Hair dries faster when there is zero outside product.

◊ Tip/Life Hack: Most people who start water-only washing have trouble styling their hair to go out the next day. I suggest starting water-only washing with WIGS!! It seems I’m the only one who’s thought of this. If your hair texture isn’t wash-and-go friendly, hide that bad boy under a wig or headscarf!

Convenience: Whenever I’m doing this method is when I wear wigs for months straight. And having different wigs make you feel less limited in hairstyles.

◊ Tip: If you don’t want to wear wigs, you can even wear your hair in mini twists OR mini twists with a faux marley hair bun. You’ll just have to re-do some of your twists when they get fuzzy from washing! Check the gallery below for pics!

Growth/Results: I’ve definitely noticed positive results after washing every day! Which is why I always return to the method! I think it’s making my hair stronger, longer, and healthier in addition to making my curl pattern more noticeable and less shrinkage! My strands sit longer with this method!


Smell: Type of food you eat affects the quality and smell of your sebum. My sebum had a pleasant smell when I was eating healthy. I’m not a scientist, but I assume what you put in affects what you put out. Eating healthy may be more beneficial to water only washing method than to eat junk.

NO PRODUCT: The reason I’ve stopped this method two times? I wanted to try a style that required gel or manipulation of my own natural hair! Sebum was not enough to tame my hair into the sleek look I desired!

◊ Tip: You can try to make your own natural gel, like flaxseed gel to combat the use of commercial gels. Naptural85 does have a tutorial for that! But I found flaxseed gel didn’t slick my hair as much as I liked. If you do use flaxseed gel, that’s easier to wash out with just water and less damaging to sebum. Check below for a style with flaxseed gel!

Excess Sebum: There’s a delicate balance that needs to be maintained. Too much sebum can actually be a bad thing! It can start to clog your pores, your hair might start to look a bit dirty/dull, it can even hinder hair growth. ◊ Tip: At that point, you need to do a light washing of your hair with more ACV to get rid of excess sebum! Be careful not to get rid of all sebum!


Overall, I do REALLY LIKE the water-only washing, but I can only do so when wearing wigs and when I’m not itching to play in my own hair! Also I would more so recommend this for people who have resilient, strong hair to start with! My hair can take quite a beating – meaning not too susceptible to heat damage, not falling out in clumps in the shower, etc.

Maybe it’s best to start water only washing as a protective style challenge! Try this to give yourself a month to 3 months break from products!

*This method is very controversial. So I’d love to hear your opinions/questions. If you’d like more in-depth tutorials on how I handle my hair while on the water only hair washing method, definitely comment below! 

♥ Have you tried the water-only washing method? What’s your experience? Any thoughts?

Until next time!

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