View Full Version : Update from long-term WO washers: 3+ months?

September 18th, 2012, 08:57 AM
I apologize if there's already a thread out there like this (I looked, but may have missed it). The WO threads are so long, and I thought it might be useful to have a thread devoted just to people who have tried out the WO method for three months or longer. I'd love to know what it's been like for people who have long-term experience with it (I've only been doing it for less than a week). :)

If you've tried out the WO method for at least three months:
-How long have you been doing WO (or if you stopped, how long did you do WO before stopping?)?
-What's your experience been like? Are you happy with WO?
-Do you have any tips to share? What is or was your WO routine (e.g. do you use a BBB daily, how often do you water wash you hair)?
-What's your hair type?

September 18th, 2012, 09:52 AM
I'm not strictly water only because once a month or so I use a little baking soda or egg, but I've been doing it this way for about a year and it's going great. My hair is thicker and fuller than it used to be. Plus I save all that money on product.

I rinse my hair with water once or twice a week. Basically I do it if I notice any itching or flaking or if I just think it would feel nice to run some water through my hair. :)

I use a tangle-teezer to brush once or twice a week but otherwise just leave it alone or use my fingers to detangle.

My hairtype is 2a/M/ii. It changed actually when I went to WO. Previously I was a 1b/F/i/ii. My hair used to be straight and now it's a little wavier and each strand plumped up quite a bit.

September 18th, 2012, 10:22 AM
You could also go to the WO thread and click on the last page, then back track about 3 months.

September 18th, 2012, 11:10 AM
Thanks for sharing, girlthursday! And thanks, spidermom, for directing me to the 3 months back in the WO thread. I'm going to post some of the info I find there in this thread so it's all in one place and easy to find (hope the original posters don't mind).

From 88marissa (in the WO thread at the end of May this year):
My current stint of WO (nearly a full year, and I'm not about to stop) wasn't the first time I tried it, but in the past I made some mistakes (like hot water washing and no preening). Moving the sebum from your scalp through the length of the hair is essential to this method. There are several ways to do it, like BBBing, preening, using a cloth, etc. But the scalp sheds skin cells and they will start to block the hair follicles if you don't manually remove them in some way. One of the reasons people think they need to shampoo is that it dissolves the oil in the scalp and then the massaging motion of shampooing helps get rid of the excess skin cells. It's still necessary to exfoliate the scalp and move the oil away from the scalp regularly to have healthy hair, even if you're not using shampoo.

My personal routine is something like this: I usually spend a few minutes in the morning BBBing my hair before I start styling (which most of the time is just scrunching in water and/or getting in a steamy shower to help my curl definition). I make sure that the bristles are getting through to my scalp and I'll move my hair around if necessary to make sure I'm not just brushing the top layer. After I've done that for a bit, my roots tend to look more oily and I'll spend some time brushing to help work the oil through. I often will brush my hair in several directions before settling it back into the style I want. I find that a little root fluffing at the end with my fingers really helps the hair look good. And the waxiness of the sebum is like having mousse in your hair all the time, it'll stay pretty well throughout the day if you don't touch it. I do bring a BBB with me for touchups of the top layer throughout the day, but I rarely need to use it anymore as long as it's not windy out.

I do another brushing session at night before I go to bed too. I usually will spend a bit of time massaging (scritching) my scalp too, and preening a few hairs on the back of my head that want to frizz out. I highly recommend preening a lot when you first start WO, I mean, get your fingers in your hair as much as you can while you're watching TV or interneting, or whatever. It really makes a difference! I don't regularly preen all my hair now, but I do think it's important to get your fingers rubbing your scalp everyday. If I start noticing any scalp irritation or clumps, I will wash my hair the next day at the latest. I personally found it counter-productive to stretch washes when my scalp feels itchy, it just results in more shedding for me, even if my hair itself looks fine. Over time, I've had to wash less often, but at first I did it every day or every other day.

The other major thing is to use cool or warm water to wash, not hot. Hot water will strip out the oil but leave the waxiness. It really makes a huge difference in how the hair looks and behaves. When I wash nowadays I make sure to get the water on my scalp and I'll rub to lift off the oil and any skin flakes buildup. I don't actually try to get any oil off my hair other than what happens from rinsing my scalp. Clean hair on Water only is not squeaky like it is with shampoo. It's going to feel coated a bit. This takes some mental adjustment, but for me, once I saw how soft my hair had become and how much less frizzy it was, there was no going back.

In other news, I've been taking some pictures the last few days in preparation for my 1 year anniversary on this method. I wanted to get a range of how my hair looks on different days. So far I've gotten one of "dirty" 5 day hair, one after my cassia treatment last night and I may get a few more before I post them all, but I promise I'll have them up before the end of the week. I can't wait until my hair gets longer again, because my hair isn't really long enough yet to show off my natural curl texture very well and I have some bits that stick out weirdly. But I do have a few nice ringlets and I'm planning on avoiding any more cutting for a very long time, so hopefully by this time next year I'll have some really amazing curls.