Water Only (WO)

The Water-Only method (as the name suggests) relies purely on warm water. It uses the natural oils in our hair to keep it nourished and healthy. It is the most “pure” method of No Poo, however it is not for everyone. It requires routine and upkeep, and you’ll have a considerable transition period. However if you can make it work, your hair will look soft, silky, and hydrated, and will be just as clean as using shampoo!

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Start with dirty hair!

No ifs no buts, you have to give up shampoo. Your scalp will get the hint that it’s no longer being stripped of natural oils, and will slow down oil production. This will keep your hair cleaner for longer.

Step 2: Pre-Shower Routine

The pre-shower routine consists of “scritching” and “preening”. “Scritching” is when you gently scrub your scalp and it loosens up the dead skin and encourages the creation of sebum. “Preening” is the process after scritching in which you pull the extra oils and sebum down your hair shafts, so it goes from your scalp to your ends and acts as a natural conditioner. This helpful video explains exactly how it works!

A Boar Bristle Brush (BBB) is absolutely essential for those intending to practice water-only washing. It is the best tool for distributing natural oil from your roots to the end of your hair. It is great to do after scritching and preening to complete your pre-shower routine.

STEP 3: Shower!

Temperature is important! Too hot and you’ll damage your hair and (potentially) dry out your scalp. However, too cold and your wont break up the excess oils in your head. Try and find something in-between lukewarm and hot which feels comfortable to the touch.

As you shower, gently scritch your hair. Avoid using your nails, and work all the way through your hair to wash away the dirt and oils. Be patient! The longer you spend doing this the greater the results.

Note on Hard Water: Many people report difficulty with hard water. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to soften it. You can do it in the kitchen by boiling a pan of water and letting it cool. Alternatively, you can install a hard water filter directly to your shower.

Step 4: Cold Water Rinse

This one is never easy. But it helps your hair retain moisture and avoids frizz once you step out the shower. It’s also a good way to wake you up in the morning!

Step 5: T-Shirt Dry & Detangle

Drying your hair with a t-shirt or microfiber towel helps to reduce frizz. Remember to pat dry as opposed to scrubbing (like you might with a bath towel).

Remember to comb through your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Your hair is especially fragile while wet so it’s important to be gentle.

Step 6: Hydration

This step is not mandatory, and depends on the individual. Although some people will find their hair is fine after the methods detailed above, others may seek a further from of hydration. For this, we recommend unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil which can be massaged into the end of your hair. Remember to only use a small amount! Otherwise you may risk giving your hair a greasy look.

Step 6: Done!

You have successfully washed your hair without shampoo! Now finish be letting it air-dry and conquering the day ahead 🙂