I have been washing my hair with water only. Here’s what happened


A year ago I’ve quit shampoo and never looked back. It was my first zero waste experiment and mostly a failure, but it made me realised there is a life beyond shampoo. I have tried plenty of “no -poo” methods as well as conditioner-only washing before I could comprehend that maybe I just do not need *anything* to wash my hair with, apart from water.

It does depend on the hair type, though.  If you have been doing fine with a regular shampoo before and you are transitioning to zero waste, then just switch to a shampoo bar. But if you have a big mane that never really liked hair products, maybe water only hair washing is for you. If nothing else, water only hair washing is a great method to getting to know your hair.

And if you’re at home writing your master thesis like I am, then what’s the worst thing that can happen?

month 1:

I clarified my hair with apple cider vinegar and have been only using water. My hair was dry and greasy at the same time. I didn’t know what’s worse so I decided to put even more oil on, to combat the dry strands. For some reason, I thought natural oils are easier to wash off with water than hair products. My hair got sticky and gross from the residue. I decided to go from greasy-dry hair to just dry hair. I quit on argan oil and clarified my hair one more time with ACV.

month 2:

I guess this have been my real hair underneath the products: dry, destroyed and messy. Clean, though! I was happy not to run around with greasy hair anymore and have been washing them almost every day, which was pretty silly. Since my hair was horribly dry, frizzy and no crazy greasy transitioning happened, I decided not to wash them so much anymore.

month 3:

I have been washing my hair every second and now every third day. My hair is getting bouncy, soft and hydrated! I started to brush it before the washes as well as massage my scalp daily in order to prevent the waxy patches.  My hair is clean when I wash it and stays like that for a couple of days.  It’s still frizzy but I don’t mind it, as I am still waiting for the sebum to cover my hair completely. I plan to gradually extend the time between the washes and train my scalp to produce less oil. I am happy about the whole process and I am sticking to water only hair washing for now! For more results of the method check Paris-to-go and almost exactly blog.

My water only wavy hair routine:

zero waste life beauty no shampoo

  • Clarify with apple cider vinegar diluted in water

  • Finger detangle and massage your scalp daily

  • Brush before washing with a boar bristle brush and keep the brush clean

  • Wash every couple of  days with water only and don’t use oils

  • Plop hair with an old T-shirt

  • Diffuse to shorten the drying time in the winter

  • Silk scarf/ pillow case for sleeping

Has anyone tried water only hair washing? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to connect with me on Pinterest and Bloglovin’ 🙂.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Celia says:

    Your hair looks so beautiful! Amazing to see the transition month to month. Hooray for simplifying routines!

    1. Sara Mu says:

      Hi, Celia how are you!! Thank you so much, for stopping by. I love no shampoo. Sometimes I see people on the street with big dry hair and really want to tell them how much their hair would profit from water only. I don’t think anyone would listen to me though 🙂

  2. Juliet says:

    Your hair looks amazing! I’d love to be able to only wash my hair with water but I don’t think I can deal with the greasy phases in between 🙁 Also, I have never heard about plopping but I”ll have to give it a try!

    x, Juliet

    1. Sara @ untrashified says:

      Thanks, Juliet, you’re so kind!! 🙂 It’s a cool trick, I hope you’ll like it!

  3. Lisa says:

    I have been using water only washing for about 8 months and have mostly been very satisfied with results. My hair is wavy, fine and oily/dry. I have combo skin also so it makes sense. I decided to try the WO washing when I had a very severe allergic reaction to something, and my scalp was so itchy that it would bleed from scratching. WO washing has been a life-saver for me. My issues now are with scalp dryness. I live in the desert and it is winter and everything is soooo dry. I am not sure how to moisturize with WO washing. I don’t want to use any product at this point. I also have hard water. I rinse my hair with water from my Zero water filter or I use distilled water to rinse. About once a month, I rinse with little bit of ACV in water. Does anyone have any tips for dry scalp/hair using the WO washing method? Or tips for the hard water issue?

    1. Sara @ untrashified says:

      Hi Lisa! I have similar experiences with WO and dry scalp. I don’t have the perfect solution, unfortunately. I do ACV rinse quite often and I feel like it helps with the dryness a bit. I have also tried hair soap bars with very high oil percentage and I think this is until now the best solution. My skin also appreciates DIY olive oil masks, but they are so hard to wash off if you don’t use shampoo…

      1. Lisa says:

        Thank you for your response. I did a ACV rinse this weekend and it help. Also, I have been rinsing the distilled water and that has helped also. I am planning on getting a water softener as I think that the mineral buildup on my hair has been a factor.

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  5. Like says:

    Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.

  6. Likely I am likely to save your blog post. 🙂

  7. KevinFum says:

    The Castile soap is just to strip product and residue out of hair before starting water only, this helps with the transition and it won t need to be used at later stages 🙂
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  8. I believe you have noted some very interesting details, thankyou for the post. 🙂

  9. Well I definitely enjoyed reading it. This information procured by you is very constructive for proper planning.

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