Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Water Only Hair Washing Experiment- Take 1

I'm lazy, you guys. Or rather, I prefer not to do things which I don't want to do. So when I heard that washing your hair with water only was a "thing," I figured I'd give it a try. Why not? I've tried just about everything else on my hair including henna dye, no-poo, and even being bald. (The only thing I haven't tried yet that I want to try is dread locks. One day.)

Me bald. It was awesome, and so liberating. I recommend everyone try it!

My Hair Backstory-

I have very fine hair. It's neither thin nor thick, just average. It's got natural wave to it, but nothing orderly. I don't get it trimmed nearly often enough. We have pretty hard water and every time I have gotten my hair professionally cut, they recommend a clarifying shampoo for the build up. I found ACV (apple cider vinegar) to work pretty well if I kept up with it. Prior to trying this water only thing, I had done no-poo (baking soda wash and ACV rinse) for over two years and was very happy with it.

My two year no-poo anniversary.
Then I got nostalgic for my dark hair days of yore and picked up a box of do-it-yourself hair dye, and everything went to crap. My hair wasn't feeling clean from the no-poo anymore, so out of desperation I used some Pantene Pro V a friend left in our shower after staying the weekend. When that ran out I started using the store brand dandruff shampoo my husband buys. I was shampooing 2-3 times a week. My hair was dull and lifeless and boring. I really had nothing to lose with trying Water Only.

It Starts-

I washed my hair on a Friday, then just happened to not wash it again by Monday when I decided to not wash it "on purpose". I got until Wednesday before my first Rinse. I scritched and preened with my boar bristle brush beforehand (here's a great video on how to do that). I rinsed with hot water and pulled as much oil down with my fingers as I could. I towel dried my hair, and blow dried it on the coolest setting. Here are the results-

Not too bad. Some orderly waves in there. Okay. 

I scritched for 5 minutes everyday and preened twice a day while watching tv. Friday I Rinsed again. 7 days since last shampoo. So oily. So greasy. So heavy feeling. Gross. But I powered through.

This is not wet hair, this is how oily my hair is!

I made it through the weekend with a headband. Monday I had to go out, so I did a cute little up-do thing to keep the hair away from my face. I actually got 3 compliments on it! Although I think it was more do to the fact I NEVER do my hair than how great it looked from not shampooing. My husband said it just looked like I had product in my hair. 

Monday night I slept with it in that up-do. I woke up Tuesday and it hadn't moved. Pretty nice. It felt better too. My scalp felt really good, and the hair didn't feel greasy next to my face, even though I looked like Snape's long lost sister.

But Then....

I spent all day Tuesday going through old pictures to make the kids scrapbooks. All these pictures of me with long, shiny, sexy, chemical ridden hair. Well, maybe not that great, but definitely better than what was on my head at the moment. All I could think was, "What was so bad about washing my hair with commercial shampoo anyway? It looked so great!"

Side Note-

I'm 30, and I spent a day looking at pictures of myself in my early 20's thinking, "Damn, what I would give to look like that again!" We never seem to appreciate what we look like in the moment, do we? So next time you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself, be proud of yourself. Take a minute to love yourself. This is the youngest you'll ever be again.

Anyway, those pictures broke me. I wanted to wash my hair, right now! I picked up some Burt's Bees shampoo at Target and washed washed washed all that effort down the drain. Except, my hair was more oily and disgusting AFTER I got done than when I'd started. 12 days of Water Only, plus a shampoo with Burt's got me this- (sorry for the poor pictures)

It was weird. My hair was still heavy and oily, but I now also had all these little fly-aways and frizz. The back of my head was especially heavy and oily feeling. It did not feel clean AT ALL. So I threw it in a ponytail and headed back to the store. I got a $2 bottle of Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo from Walgreen's and lathered that bad boy all throughout my hair. Here's what that got me-

There's that untidy wave I was talking about.

And my roots from that darn hair color that ruined everything!

So light! So clean! So wonderful! I purposefully didn't use any conditioner afterward because I wanted to see exactly what the shampoo alone did to my hair. It certainly left my hair drier than I'd like, but I think that's to be expected from a clarifying shampoo not followed by conditioner. 

I think this gives me a much better starting point to try the Water Only method again than what I had before. I had tons of build up from the other shampoos I was using, not to mention our hard water. I think if anyone is going to try Water Only, a clarifying wash to begin is ESSENTIAL! The plan now is to scritch and preen everyday and see how long I can make it before I Rinse again. I do plan to use ACV when I rinse to combat the hard water buildup until we get a filter for the shower head. That's not anywhere near the top of the shopping list now though.