I recently read an analogy that made so much sense, it changed my entire perception towards hair maintenance. When a person feels thirsty, they drink water to quench their thirst. Similarly, when our hair feels dry, we should ‘feed’ it with water, not oils, butters, or any supposed moisturising products. Water is the best answer to quenching our strands’ thirst for moisture.
Gone are the days where we spend seven hours putting on products and rinsing them out immediately in the name of a wash-day. The water-only hair washing method will save you from the torture of that.
How does it work? The scalp produces a natural oil called sebum that lubricates the hair. Shampoo can strip these natural oils, leaving the hair dry, dull, and brittle, and while conditioner is made to hydrate and add moisture to post-shampooed hair, it can fall short compared to sebum. Hence, the interest in water-only hair washing.
4C natural hair enthusiast Dephne Madyara swears by this method. She says that it also eliminates the need for you to replace the oil that was stripped with shampoo via conditioners and other oils. In the process, it can help get rid of dirt and buildup.
The Water Only Hair Wash blog explains extensively the pros of this method. “Because sebum has the perfect ph balance, 4.4-5.5; the same as my scalp and hair, my hair is almost always soft and moisturized. This is a pro.”
You should start off with squeaky clean hair, and then slowly adapt to the water-only washing method. Massage the scalp daily and do daily water rinses until the sebum has completely coated your hair strands from root to tip. This can take several weeks. Once your hair is fully coated, you can water wash and go each day, detangling with your fingers or a seamless tool. You are not expected to use any products within the period.
1. Reduced tangles
Tangles are a nightmare. They take a lot of time to comb through, and in the process, you end up losing a sizeable chunk of hair. We are all trying to reduce or prevent tangles as much as possible, and the water-only hair washing method is a great way to do this. With more natural oils lubricating the hair, just by washing it with water, the hair shafts slide over one another, resulting in fewer tangles. You will not have to be at war with hair tangles and break combs every so often. That sounds like a dream.
2. It is a healthy option
Hair products are mostly made up of chemicals, and these may not always be healthy. There has been a lot of uproar about certain chemicals found in products and for this reason, you may want to adopt the water-only hair washing method. Excessive washing of your hair with these shampoos can not only deprive your hair of its natural oils, it can also cause product build-up and toxins into the bloodstream, leading to myriad health problems.
3. Your hair becomes stronger
Strong hair does not fall off easily and is resistant to excessive manipulation. With stronger hair, it will easily grow out and remain healthy. Rinsing hair with water every day only removes the use of sulfates, a common additive in shampoos. Sulfates are extremely effective at removing dirt and cleaning the hair and scalp, but many claim they make hair dry and brittle. When your hair is dry and brittle, it falls off.
4. It saves you money
Let’s be honest. Products are extremely expensive, and especially those supposedly best for natural hair. The water-only hair washing method will save you from the troubles of buying oils, butters, creams, hair foams, and the likes.
6. It saves you time
There was a period when we were made to believe that for your hair to thrive, you would need to spend hours in the bathroom, beginning with a pre-poo and ending with complex moisturising processes like the LCO method. With the water-only hair washing method, you spend much less time in the bathroom. With as little as 30 minutes, you can finish with your hair and move on to the next thing. It makes life easier.
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