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ThisDreamer
July 30th, 2014, 07:52 PM
Hello,

I've been water only for pretty close to a year and a half now, the problem I'm facing is that it has never seemed to get out of the the "transition" period and no matter what I do things seem to bring on a different set of problems.

Wash in warmer/hotter water get waxy, stiff, sticky hair.

Wash in colder water get oily, slicked to your scalp hair.

There is no in between.

Don't wash you hair for long periods of time and of course, Oily hair.

Vinegar seems to just make it oilier (and seems to lighten my henna a bit).

I do brush with a boar bristle, and while it helps the problem seems to be not that I'm excessively oily, but that almost NONE of the oil is being removed in the shower even though I'm massaging and scritching. Actually, massaging for more than a few seconds seems to promote the waxy, sticky hair. Has anyone come across this?

Im not sure what to do, I keep hearing about all these success stories, and they all talk about a month or two of transition and then their great! But I'm inching closer to two years and yet cannot seem to go back to the shampoo (baking soda is a no no for me). I tried a couple times but it made my hair ultra limp and took out most of my curl, which i don't remember it doing quite so badly pre-water only, but none the less I cant deal with that either and I'm at the point I almost wish I'd never started.

Does anybody have a similar story? Advice? Something I could try to get this to work? I already use cornstarch as of late as a dry shampoo to help me cope. I've just never heard of a transition period this long, or at least no one has ever mentioned it. I don't know what to do anymore:(

Madora
July 30th, 2014, 08:37 PM
You gave it a good try but really, water only does not cleanse your scalp or your hair. Find a shampoo you like and shampoo your hair (no pre poo or oiling before shampooing. You want to get your hair clean). If you don't like to use shampoo "straight", try diluting it with a bit of water. If I were you, I'd give my hair 2 shampooings, since I don't think one is going to be enough. Rinse well, ending with a final cold rinse.

If you really want to go the extra mile, try clarifying your hair first to remove whatever is on your hair, then do a conditioning treatment afterwards.

Be sure to brush your hair thoroughly before you get it wet. This helps cut down on the shed hair in the tub strainer. Good luck!

lilin
July 30th, 2014, 08:41 PM
I feel your pain. WO didn't work out for me either. It seemed to be slowly getting better for a few weeks, then dramatically worse, and never changed.

It made me realize something: we cannot assume totally natural hair care will work for us when we live in totally unnatural environments.

What affects WO? Lots of things. Water quality, air quality, the starting condition of hair (which is not entirely natural because we put unnatural things on it) -- all kinds of stuff. So it doesn't make sense to assume strictly natural hair care will always work, when there are so many unnatural factors involved.

Also, it's possible that even with ideal conditions, it just doesn't give what we consider to be good results for all people. Humans have been using something to clean there hair for thousands and thousands of years. So we don't really know what kind of results we should expect with WO to begin with. Obviously there are some people who get results they're happy with, but it seems like most people don't. And we don't know whether they ever could, or whether this is the expected result for some people even in a state of nature.

It does work for some people with particularly good water quality, or particularly amiable hair, or whatever the case may be. But as someone living in a city with water to match? Ha! Never in a million years. That's just the reality of our modern lifestyles. Maybe if I move out to the sticks someday. Maybe.

But I also hear you in being unable to go back to commercial shampoo. I noticed how much it fried my hair (and my skin!) after being off it for a while. True, my hair never really got where I wanted it with WO, but you still notice it more after being off it for a while, if you were having negative affects from it.

I wound up landing on natural shampoo bars for a while, until my hair got to sufficient length that it was just too drying.

Then, I experimented a bit more, and finally have recently wound up at soap nut liquid. It's the first natural thing to ever work on my hair, and I am SO happy not to have to go back to SLS shampoo.

So... I don't have any advice to make WO work for you, except perhaps not to take it as a personal failure if it doesn't. It might be outside your control. And also to keep your chin up, because there are lots of other things that are less harsh than commercial shampoo that you can still try. Something is bound to work.

ravenreed
July 30th, 2014, 09:27 PM
I found rinsing with water and nothing else made my hair more oily rather than less. I think you gave it a great try, and perhaps need to look at other methods.

kganihanova
July 30th, 2014, 09:32 PM
I'd say give up the water only. Personally, my hair loves shampoo and its not trashed. So...give it a try.

MJ1972
July 30th, 2014, 09:45 PM
I, too, feel your pain, ThisDreamer. I tried WO for over five months seven years ago, and it simply didn't work for me. No matter what I tried, my hair remained a waxy mess which felt good but looked horrible. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that WO simply wasn't going to work for me. I lived in a hard-water area and had a shower with low water pressure at the time, so I simply didn't stand a chance. Once I realised that, I did a few conditioner-only washes and then returned to shampooing. I only just started CO-washing again. I wholeheartedly recommend that as golden mean between WO and shampooing.

What helped me give up WO eventually was seeing pictures of people who had been WO-ing for much longer than myself. They kept saying how gorgeous their hair looked after certain treatments, and I'd be full of envy, but once they finally started posting photos of their supposedly gorgeous hair, I found that it didn't look that great at all. Truth be told, I have yet to meet anyone with truly good-looking WO hair. I've seen a few WO-ers with somewhat decent-looking hair, but there's always a hint of dullness and greasiness, which is not my idea of beautiful hair. I guess different people have different ideas on what constitutes beautiful hair.

One thing I do miss about WO is the body it gave my hair. I felt like crying after I did my first shampoo wash in five months. My hair felt absurdly light and flyaway. I do not miss the waxiness, though, nor the loooooooong drying times, nor the unpredictability of my washes, nor the cow licks WO brought out in my hair. I do not miss those at all. I'm not sure how I put up with them for over five months. I admire you for putting up with them for nearly two years.

Anyhow, as Lilin said, don't take it as a personal failure if WO doesn't work for you. WO is hard, and whether or not you can make it work for you largely depends on things outside your control. So don't feel too bad if you're forced to acknowledge that it's not working for you. You're by no means the first person to do so, and you won't be the last. Maybe try CO-washing instead?

meteor
July 30th, 2014, 09:57 PM
Maybe it would help to ask on the Water Only thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412)?

I can't be of great help here, because I'm not a purist: I simply give my hair what it wants. If a method stops working, I do something else. I only do WO as a rinse post-workout or during some of my scalp-only washes when my hair is really clean but I want to "refresh" it. Water doesn't clean because it can't remove oils.
Oh and vinegar won't help you much either. Let me look for a good blog article that showed it. Just give me a couple minutes...


You gave it a good try but really, water only does not cleanse your scalp or your hair. Find a shampoo you like and shampoo your hair (no pre poo or oiling before shampooing. You want to get your hair clean). If you don't like to use shampoo "straight", try diluting it with a bit of water. If I were you, I'd give my hair 2 shampooings, since I don't think one is going to be enough. Rinse well, ending with a final cold rinse.

If you really want to go the extra mile, try clarifying your hair first to remove whatever is on your hair, then do a conditioning treatment afterwards.

Be sure to brush your hair thoroughly before you get it wet. This helps cut down on the shed hair in the tub strainer. Good luck!


Great advice, Madora! :D
I don't want to derail the thread, but may I ask you why you are against pre-poo oiling? Is that just for this case (because the hair needs deep clarifying)? Or are you generally opposed to pre-poo treatments?
Thank you! :flower:

meteor
July 30th, 2014, 10:02 PM
Found it! :D
It's an excellent post by JC over at the Natural Haven Bloom (I highly recommend her blog):
Can you wash your hair with Baking Soda or Apple Cider Vinegar? : A scientific experiment!
http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2014/07/can-you-wash-your-hair-with-baking-soda.html

spidermom
July 30th, 2014, 11:05 PM
Water will never remove oil. The two don't mix, plain and simple.

Diluted shampoo works very well for me, followed by conditioner to length only, well massaged through, then rinsed. It's enough to cut the grease but not so much as to make my hair crazy fly-away.

Madora
July 30th, 2014, 11:06 PM
Maybe it would help to ask on the Water Only thread (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412)?

I can't be of great help here, because I'm not a purist: I simply give my hair what it wants. If a method stops working, I do something else. I only do WO as a rinse post-workout or during some of my scalp-only washes when my hair is really clean but I want to "refresh" it. Water doesn't clean because it can't remove oils.
Oh and vinegar won't help you much either. Let me look for a good blog article that showed it. Just give me a couple minutes...



Great advice, Madora! :D
I don't want to derail the thread, but may I ask you why you are against pre-poo oiling? Is that just for this case (because the hair needs deep clarifying)? Or are you generally opposed to pre-poo treatments?
Thank you! :flower:

Meteor, I'm against using anything before shampooing because the whole idea of shampooing is to remove the dirt and stuff on your strands. You have to work extra hard to remove that prepoo stuff (or whatever) AND getting the dirt out too. Shampoo first THEN use a conditioner to make the hair soft and nice and to provide slip.

In this particular case I urged clarifying first, with no prepooing (or anything other) because the OP had gone such a long time with her NW routine that her hair really needed a "deep down" cleansing. I didn't think just shampooing once or twice would really remove the stuff from her hair effectively.

I realize some here do prepoo and have terrific results. To me, it just didn't make sense to add stuff to your hair, only to shampoo it out the next day. It makes more sense to me to add conditioners to hair that has been cleaned.

If prepoo works for you, great. I rely on daily brushing to help keep my hair soft and shiny. Also, I don't like to disturb my scalp's acid mantle by putting anything on it except my GM Pink Crème shampoo, which has been working great for me since 1982.

meteor
July 30th, 2014, 11:25 PM
Thank you, Madora! :flower: That's great to know! :)

GetMeToWaist
July 30th, 2014, 11:42 PM
Yep water doesn't cleanse the hair or scalp. Better just using shampoo and conditioner to be honest, will give you nicer hair and peace of mind.

CousinItt
July 31st, 2014, 12:51 AM
WO can work very well - it does for me- but there are a lot of variables that can affect the results, water quality being the main one.

I had a problem with waxy hair for a bit, and i found that doing either an herbal rinse or a clay wash helped re-set my hair without stripping it (surprisingly, the catnip herbal rinse was stronger and more cleansing than the clay wash). There's absolutely no need to be strictly WO for every wash, especially if you're unhappy with the results.

Ingrid
July 31st, 2014, 01:03 AM
I think diet is a big factor in whether or not your hair gets "waxy" or "greasy". Maybe that's something to look into?

ThisDreamer
July 31st, 2014, 01:16 AM
Thanks for all the responses guys, too many to reply to individually. I guess my problem with returning to shampoo falls into two things: One, that I refuse to put chemicals on my scalp (I already have some "mysterious" health problems that seems to be aggravated by things you would never think of, most of all unnatural chemicals), but cannot not afford to be pouring the pricey amount of money into the truly natural options. But two because I almost hate the way my hair behaves more WITH shampoo rather than without. Flat and limp and lifeless (and annoying, forget about being able to style it. Which is only after WO. I think its almost in too good of condition now?).

I tried soap nuts, but was just like pouring water onto my head? Couldn't get it to work.

Thanks for suggesting the WO thread. I did not think to do that, I will perhaps give that a spin first.

What really bugs me is that I did come across two people that had the most awesome hair i had even seen, and using water only. And I want it!!! Lol. Although I find it incredibly hard to find people that have actually posted pictures.

ThisDreamer
July 31st, 2014, 01:23 AM
Ah yes, diet! I have thought of that, I'm a big believer that diet is connected to most all things to do with your body. my problem is finding information to help me with this theory. I already eat better than the typical american diet, staying away from GMO's, processed foods, lots of fruits/veggies, organic when possible. Not to say that I don't deviate, and I know there is room for improvement. I'm not sure specifically what I could do or not do to help with sebum production.

leilani
July 31st, 2014, 02:18 AM
Have you tried an egg wash? It works amazingly well.
I also have amazing results with Eliah Sahil shampoo naturale, a powder you mix with water to get suds, mostly fullers earth and shikaki. It's a mildly acidic cleanser that works great to give you everything but slip. It contains only Indian herbs that have been used on hair and scalp for hundreds of years. And you get lather! Without opening the cuticle/exposing hair to alkalinity!

Firefox7275
July 31st, 2014, 03:03 AM
Ah yes, diet! I have thought of that, I'm a big believer that diet is connected to most all things to do with your body. my problem is finding information to help me with this theory. I already eat better than the typical american diet, staying away from GMO's, processed foods, lots of fruits/veggies, organic when possible. Not to say that I don't deviate, and I know there is room for improvement. I'm not sure specifically what I could do or not do to help with sebum production.

For sebum production anti inflammatory, nutrient dense, hormone balancing.

Vegetables are great, you would ideally also be eating plenty of oily fish and other seafood (molluscs are nutrient dense and we evolved eating them), mineral and fibre rich foods (beans, lentils, seeds, nuts), not just land animal muscle meats but organ meats too, plain dairy OR other sources of calcium (crumbly bones/ broths, seeds etc). Limit sugar rich fruits, omega-6 fats, higher glycaemic index carbohydrates.

But agree modern lifestyle generally could well be relevant: humans didn't evolve driving a car nor showering as often as we do for example.

Dreams_in_Pink
July 31st, 2014, 03:06 AM
Honey works amazing for removing that annoying wax buildup. You said you had henna on your hair, perhaps add some honey to the mix next time you henna?

lilin
July 31st, 2014, 04:21 AM
Thanks for all the responses guys, too many to reply to individually. I guess my problem with returning to shampoo falls into two things: One, that I refuse to put chemicals on my scalp (I already have some "mysterious" health problems that seems to be aggravated by things you would never think of, most of all unnatural chemicals), but cannot not afford to be pouring the pricey amount of money into the truly natural options. But two because I almost hate the way my hair behaves more WITH shampoo rather than without. Flat and limp and lifeless (and annoying, forget about being able to style it. Which is only after WO. I think its almost in too good of condition now?).

I tried soap nuts, but was just like pouring water onto my head? Couldn't get it to work.

Thanks for suggesting the WO thread. I did not think to do that, I will perhaps give that a spin first.

What really bugs me is that I did come across two people that had the most awesome hair i had even seen, and using water only. And I want it!!! Lol. Although I find it incredibly hard to find people that have actually posted pictures.

For me, I gotta do more work than that. I have it what is actually a recycled shampoo bottle with one of those little squirty lids. Squirt some on the top, rub rub rub, squirt some on the side, rub rub rub, then on the back, rub rub rub, etc. Basically, you gotta make sure it gets everywhere, and you have to scrub it a bit to make sure it's being activated. If I just pour it on and rinse it off, it won't clean enough.

There's basically two ways to make it. In either case, this makes about 4 washes for me. This is as much as I want to make, because it will only last a couple weeks in the fridge, and I wash twice a week. You can freeze it if you make excess though.

You can pour 2 cups of boiled water over 4 or 5 soap nuts, like making tea, cover it, and let it soak overnight.

Or, you can boil 2 cups of water, put in 4 or 5 soap nuts, let simmer for 20 minutes, add another cup of water, and simmer for 10 more.

The benefit of steeping is that it leaves more of the rind intact, so you can get more uses out of it. But boiling definitely makes it a bit stronger, so if steeping doesn't get you the strength you need, try boiling.

ThisDreamer
July 31st, 2014, 02:09 PM
I have tried egg wash in the past, it cleaned well but left my hair as shampoo did; limp and lifeless, overly sleek. I however did another today as i couldn't take the wax , diluting it a bit more with water than i had in the past. It's not completely dry yet, but doesn't seem to have made my wurls as limp and loose as before. Which gives me a bit of hope:)

I will definitely try boiling those soap nuts, as I still have some. I did scrub, quite a bit, but maybe the solution just was not strong enough.

Thank you for the information on sebum and diet. I will try to eat my according to that and give that a go.

I would love to give that powder a whirl. Do you know its price?

ravenreed
July 31st, 2014, 04:38 PM
I am ridiculously allergic to soapnuts, but decided to try a mixture of shikaki, alma, bhringraj, and neem on my hair. It is too drying for my length but my scalp likes it. Since I can SLS shampoo my length but not my scalp, it works for me. Anyway, since you are not having great luck with the soapnuts, maybe that would help. I picked up my herbs in an Indian market on road trip, so I have no clue how I will replace them when I am out...

ThisDreamer
July 31st, 2014, 06:42 PM
Ravenreed, that is exactly my problem:( I would love to try that but i cant really find any around. There is some stuff on the internet but its kinda pricy and I don't really feel like relying on the web for my 'shampoo'. I wish we could grow and sell some around here.

ThisDreamer
July 31st, 2014, 06:44 PM
But I may purchase and keep some around as a hair treat:) I really want to try some of that powder stuff.

leilani
August 1st, 2014, 04:15 AM
http://www.eliah-sahil.com/product.php?productid=17623&cat=11&page=1
Free shipping over $50 & you only need a tiny bit mixed into water per time. I pour mine into an applicator tip bottle so I can apply to scalp and lather while I scritch. I then rub my length gently into the lather and they also get cleansed and conditioned while rinsing.
It can't remove heavy oilings or, for me, a recipe with lots of honey, but if this mixture is the only thing you are using, you'll be thrilled. Those who need slip for detangling wouldn't be so happy though. I don't have tangle prone hair, so I wait until it's bone dry and use a comb followed by a brush. I vastly prefer volume to slip anyways.

ThisDreamer
August 6th, 2014, 11:28 AM
Leilani, me too, volume over slip:). Thanks for the link.

Johannah
August 6th, 2014, 01:49 PM
I've heard good things of honey washing. I've never tried it, but maybe this is something for you since it's natural.

ThisDreamer
August 6th, 2014, 05:19 PM
The only thing that scares me about honey washing is that it is used for lightening, and i have henna in my hair that i try very hard to keep red. I've gotten into a couple things that have brought it around to a more orange-y color.

Thank you for suggesting:)

Ingrid
August 6th, 2014, 06:38 PM
I've tried honey washing before, it worked really well for me. Didn't see any lightening effects in my hair - both on my natural and also on the henna-ed ends. I think rinsing honey out with warm water probably neutralises its lightening effects. From what I understand, to achieve hair lightening with honey you need to follow quite a specific and precise process.

Hibernis
August 6th, 2014, 07:33 PM
What WO did for me was prep my hair for non-shampoo washing. I used to CW all the time, then suddenly it just didn't work anymore. My hair is much more receptive to non-shampoo washing now, but in the end I'm gonna do what makes my hair look best. To me, there is no point in having long hair if it's not good looking! That means healthy AND clean.

I don't know where I will end up as far as S/C, CWC, or CO Bottom line is between city water and being on birth control, my environment just isn't natural. I thought being WO would make my life less toxic, but I ended up spending more time in the shower, and no filter can get rid of all the junk in city water. You inhale and absorb what's in your shower water.

You aren't any sort of failure for WO not working for you! Every body is different, and every body changes over time. Listen to your body and give it what it wants ;)

LunaLuvsU
August 6th, 2014, 07:59 PM
Water will never remove oil.

uh.. yes it can. That is why there are dozens of people who only use water and there hair comes out clean. It depends on a lot of things, as said before. It works with my hair just fine so you are kinda wrong.

ThisDreamer
August 6th, 2014, 08:10 PM
I may gives Honey a try then, when I'm feeling fun and experimental:) As of right now between eggs, soap nuts and WO washing on some in between washes, I'm at a fairly happy place.

Lol, I think i needed to be told I'm not a failure at the WO, it makes me feel better. I agree, I spent more time in the shower than ever before. My hair is fairly long, waist length, but never look "good". I was hoping so bad for a simple, hassle free routine.

I understand what CO is, but what is s/c , cw and cwc?

ThisDreamer
August 6th, 2014, 08:18 PM
I will say I had some awesome volume at times.

ThisDreamer
August 6th, 2014, 08:22 PM
The water did remove some of the oil from my hair, but it also turned it into a waxy mess that wouldn't move and only got worse the more I scrubbed. I feel envious of those that don't have that problem.

cdmo
August 6th, 2014, 10:39 PM
Just wanted to share my own experience, because I know where you're coming from. I've been water only washing since April and I have the same exact problem with waxiness. It's been extremely frustrating. Even when I scritch and preen and BBB for an hour, it still doesn't look good. So yesterday, I broke down and did a CO wash and my hair is soft and fluffy (as expected). I figure that if I was only WO washing once a week, I'll just do the same with CO. I feel like a bit of a failure, but I'm also tired of having greasy hair that doesn't move with the breeze.

ThisDreamer
August 6th, 2014, 10:59 PM
Cdmo, I'm glad to have come across someone else in the same boat. I'm still amazed I went nearly two years. I also still WO once in a while between washes, but it's enough to remind me I can never go back to straight WO. Hair that doesn't move in the breeze is a good way to put it.

cdmo
August 7th, 2014, 03:48 PM
I'm seriously impressed by your dedication! 2 years is a looong time.

spidermom
August 7th, 2014, 04:06 PM
uh.. yes it can. That is why there are dozens of people who only use water and there hair comes out clean. It depends on a lot of things, as said before. It works with my hair just fine so you are kinda wrong.

I guess it depends on what we mean by remove. Water and oil don't mix; it's a fact. Water can't absorb the oil and remove it from hair. What warm water CAN do is help oil spread down the hair shaft. It that works well for you, I'm happy for you. I don't want to spread my oil, I want it gone, and water won't do that.

ThisDreamer
August 8th, 2014, 03:55 PM
As far as dedication goes, I blame it on stubborn, lol. If i get an idea in my head, that's just the way its gonna have to go. Unfortunately, Cleansing my hair in some form or way seems to work oh so much better, and I wish I hadn't been so......stubborn.:grin:

Longhairgrowing
January 27th, 2016, 10:39 AM
I don't know if I it's allright to post because this thread is from 2014. I just joined LHC (but was already familiar with this forum) and would like to share my experience. I did no poo between 2013 and 2015 mostly with rhassoul clay (it didn't clean my hair entirely) and wanted to go further with WO. I tried it for only a month or so, but didn't like the feeling of a "block of wax". I probably should have tried longer but it was just a bridge too far for me. My husband started WO right away in 2013 and is still doing that. It works for him I think because he has very short hair. Last year when we were about to go on holiday I didn't want the hassle with sebum in my combs, and I came across this thread. I now felt the courage to give up WO/no poo and bought a natural shampoo (brand: Weleda). It gave me piece of mind. So I guess WO is just not for everybody. I do consider no poo/WO as a positive experience because I only have to wash my hair between 7-9 days which was not possible before I went no poo.

languagenut
January 27th, 2016, 11:35 AM
Longhairgrowing, welcome to the forum! I wouldn't worry about the date; I'm pretty new myself but I've noticed old threads being resurrected all the time, even ones from 2009. So I'm sure it's not a problem.

I agree that water only isn't for everyone; I get greasy funky-looking hair if I don't shampoo liberally, though at least I only need to do it once a week (actually five or six days would be more ideal greasewise, but it's more convenient to remember one weekday). I'm happy for those who can save on shampoo by doing WO, but of course everyone's head is different, so there's no one-routine-fits-all solution. So don't feel like a failure! :-D

Longhairgrowing
January 27th, 2016, 12:34 PM
Thank you so much for your reaction Languagenut :)