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juniperjetcat
November 3rd, 2015, 08:26 AM
Hi Long Hair Community!

I stumbled across this forum while on a quest to find the answer to my current dilemma. Hopefully someone out there can help!

I recently started on a water washing journey (25 May 2015) to try and help my hair out of a very dry, frizzy, and damaged funk. So far it has been an incredible journey with many ups and downs and teething problems to get through - ultimately I am very happy with the results.

There is only one thing though, that keeps me up at night. A very stiff waxy "cap" that forms on my hair after I wash it sometimes. The size of the cap varies but is always located around my crown. Sometimes the waxiness is small and manageable but sometimes it takes over my whole head and the cap becomes more of a helmut!

When I began my water washing journey I did do an ACV cleanse. Since then I have used ACV (diluted 1/3 cup to 2L water) 5 times to condition my hair. This seems to help get rid of the waxiness but leaves my hair feeling oilier than usual. I have also done one egg wash and did not enjoy that as I did not like the smell of raw egg and it made no difference to the wax.

If anyone can shed some light on what this waxy situation is all about I would be very appreciative.
What is it?
How do I get rid of it?
Will it be with me for as long as I don't use synthetic shampoo's?

Some background info on my hair care regime:
I brush my hair daily with a 100% boar bristle brush
I was my hair as and when I feel it needs a wash with water only (around 1 to 2 times per week)
I spray my hair with an essential oil/water mix (lavender & geranium) very second or third day
I use an ACV wash only on the odd occasion (maybe once a month or so) when my hair feels especially waxy
I sleep with my hair down on satin or silk pillow cases

Some research I did said that the waxiness may be caused by hard water. Having looked into things I do not have hard water where I live (Cape Town South Africa) but in any case I have experimented with using a shower water filter - made no difference to the waxy cap.

:confused:

Dommydomdom
November 3rd, 2015, 08:48 AM
Same problem here! Except my whole head feels waxy, not just around my scalp. I read somewhere on the WO thread that it could be caused by too much washing or over washing, but I'm not sure about that since many people on that thread seem to wash their hair quite vigorously.

Also, I'm also in CT :)

juniperjetcat
November 3rd, 2015, 08:55 AM
Hello fellow Capetonian:D

That is interesting - I do send a long time washing through my hair, maybe this is the problem. I will look at the WO thread and see what they have to say! Let me know if you come across any more info or find a solution!

Dommydomdom
November 3rd, 2015, 09:10 AM
Hi :) let me know how it goes! Good luck:thumbsup:

lapushka
November 3rd, 2015, 09:18 AM
I have a few interesting channels I watch for water only. They're awesome:
https://www.youtube.com/user/lovingdeenaturally
https://www.youtube.com/user/Wateronlyhairwash

juniperjetcat
November 3rd, 2015, 09:25 AM
Awesome! These look great - thanks so much. I will look through the videos this evening. Maybe I will find an answer :)

lapushka
November 3rd, 2015, 09:59 AM
Awesome! These look great - thanks so much. I will look through the videos this evening. Maybe I will find an answer :)

Yes, wait, I think I saw Loving Dee talk about waxy build up in one of her latest videos - lemme check!
In this video she talks about "build-up" and how she used conditioner to get rid of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJAaJkFhM0A

juniperjetcat
November 3rd, 2015, 11:14 AM
Originally Posted by Wildcate on the 2nd page of the (Official) Water Only Thread:
"I've done water only for more than a year, and I have recently switched to mild herb rinses/washes. My hair got greasier/waxier after a rinse, so I stretched out and out between washings, but I had gradual build-up of waxiness over the time. In last winter, it got so bad that I started searching in earnest both for the reason and a solution.

Here's my conclusion in short form: Sebum contains a waxy and an oily phase. The relation between the two parts may vary. The oily phase gets lifted and carried away by water, while the waxy phase sort of hardens and clings to the hair, still protecting it. The oils are easily distributed by combing, brushing or preening, while the wax has a tendency to stick and cling. However, the oil dissolves the wax and helps distribute it. If you think sheep, this setup has its reason: The oils carry the wax, but if longer periods of rainy weather occur, the hair gets all waxy and solid, keeping off the rain while the protection for the hair shaft, the wax, still stays on and on.

Problems might occur if there is more wax than the oil can handle, which was the case in my hair. With every rinse, more wax buildup happened. That, at the beginning, was so little each time that though I did notice gunk in my comb and waxy feeling in my hair, I thought it would ease up over time. When it got really bad, I tried vinegar rinsing and I tried oiling with camelia oil, but the vinegar didn't cut it and the oil didn't lift enough of the wax (and even worse, didn't wash out together with the wax but left on its own).
It took me a long, long while to figure that out and to accept that even doing very, very infrequent rinses (less than once a month) will, on my head, lead to buildup that will eventually turn my hair unmanageable (and very unflattering to look at). Keep an eye open for gradually increasing waxiness if you are trying water only, and keep in mind that buildup is a slow, slow thing, so you might only notice it after weeks.
My symptoms were greasier hair after the wash, with an unmistakable waxy feeling to them; the waxiness would gradually get better with combing and brushing after the wash, but increase over a longer time. The wax comes off as darkish brown-gray, distinctively waxy gunk on combs and brushes, and it also attracts dust. Gunkiness in the comb gets less over time, though at the end, I never got fully rid of it. The buildup occured mostly on the upper length (hair nearer the roots), but not at the roots themselves, since the freshly produced scalp oils would lift the wax in that region. The lower length and ends, at the beginning, were ok but got waxy over time too (please bear in mind that I am stubborn and did this a long time, even when it looked really bad, also because I had other things to worry about; and it did take long since my hair is a little more than kneelength).

Hope that helps prospective water-only-folks!"

Is this what you were speaking bout @dommydomdom?

juniperjetcat
November 3rd, 2015, 11:17 AM
Yes, wait, I think I saw Loving Dee talk about waxy build up in one of her latest videos - lemme check!
In this video she talks about "build-up" and how she used conditioner to get rid of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJAaJkFhM0A


Have just watched this video - thanks for this, she does describe the same issue - will look into the methods she uses in her video! Managed to find a posting in (Official) Water Only Thread (I thin kit is perhaps the one @Dommydomdom referred to - which also describes the situation and gives a bit of a solution. Will give the forum a little rest for now, try the suggestions, and report back soon! Thanks for the help!

meteor
November 3rd, 2015, 11:42 AM
It's a very typical problem with pure, unmodified WO. :flower:

I think this is caused by the fact that human sebum is very waxy. So while the softer, runnier oils are removed or washed away by hot water, brushing, touching and rubbing on things, the harder substance of wax can be left behind.

"Triglycerides and fatty acids, taken together, account for the predominant proportion (57.5%), followed by wax esters (26%) and squalene (12%). The least abundant lipid in sebum is cholesterol, which with its esters, accounts for the 4.5% of total lipids." (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835893/)

You could try adding more NW/SO cleansing techniques, like scritching and preening and using a fine-tooth comb, or you could throw in a clarifying wash from time to time. :)
Another thing to try could be citric acid rinse and using diluted shampoo instead of water alone.
HTH! :flower:

Hairkay
November 3rd, 2015, 12:35 PM
I keep my sebum in check by having conditioning treatments once a week with banana/mango/apple & banana puree/coconut milk or sometimes yoghurt. Oiling especially with olive oil also helps thin the sebum out. Oat water is also good to use. I've seen some of those videos. I agree that sebum conditioning is a more apt name than Water Only.

lapushka
November 3rd, 2015, 01:03 PM
Have just watched this video - thanks for this, she does describe the same issue - will look into the methods she uses in her video! Managed to find a posting in (Official) Water Only Thread (I thin kit is perhaps the one @Dommydomdom referred to - which also describes the situation and gives a bit of a solution. Will give the forum a little rest for now, try the suggestions, and report back soon! Thanks for the help!

Yep, you're welcome! :D

Dommydomdom
November 4th, 2015, 04:06 AM
That is the exact post I read! Thanks for all your great advice everyone, will try a couple of them out in the next few months. Good luck @juniperjetcat!

juniperjetcat
November 5th, 2015, 04:24 AM
Thanks so much for the help everyone! I really am so grateful.

I have been looking through all the links and videos and am definitely picking up on some great ideas to try. Have been paying more attention to scritching and preening now too (thanks @meteor) whereas before I thought that my playing with my hair - which I do a lot of - would suffice. Doing it properly now though seems to have made a difference - will see how it goes as time passes.

Will definitely keep posting progress reports here. If anyone else has any more advice feel free to share :o

Anje
November 5th, 2015, 08:35 AM
When I was doing water only (with hard water), I frequently used dilute vinegar rinses to help ensure I didn't get hard water buildup but also to cut the waxy feeling. I'd say that if that works well for you, there's little harm in vinegar rinsing as needed.

juniperjetcat
February 2nd, 2016, 09:37 AM
Have been away from the forum for a while but now that I am back I thought I had better give a quick update on this topic. Watched many of the videos out there and did a bunch of investigating but still seemed to have that waxy film. Sort of gave up on the struggle and just accepted my waxiness. Then one day, while mindlessly twirling my hair I realized that the waxy film was gone. Don't know when it disappeared, don't know how. Perhaps it was a combination of washing with colder water, thoroughly scritching and preening right before washes, not fixating on the waxiness and just dealing with it, sleeping on satin pillow cases... I have no idea. For a while my hair was incredible. Soft, lovely, and unwaxed! Until I went to a humid area of our country. My hair became a damp, grease mop. When I returned it felt like the battle began again with my hair. It was waxy, heavy, greasy, and frustrating. This continued for a good while, until this weekend. I had a swim in the ocean and came home to wash my hair. At the last minute I decided to do an ACV rinse and suddenly my hair has made a turn around. The wax is gone! Although when I started this thread ACV didn't seem to help the waxy film, this time it has. Still early days though, lets see how things pan out when I WO for a little while. Will keep updating on progress!

antler_tines
February 2nd, 2016, 10:34 AM
Hmm I wonder if it could be a combination of the salt water and then the ACV rinse? I guess I'm assuming your hair got wet while swimming.

vpatt
February 2nd, 2016, 10:47 AM
Hmm I wonder if it could be a combination of the salt water and then the ACV rinse? I guess I'm assuming your hair got wet while swimming.

I wondered, too about the salt water. I wonder if anyone has ever tried salt water on a regular basis.

juniperjetcat
February 2nd, 2016, 11:26 AM
Actually I did wet my hair in the water, and I did also wonder a little about the salt water. I would think that the salt would be drying for your hair, but maybe that is what helps with the wax too! Something to try and report back on!

vpatt
February 2nd, 2016, 12:55 PM
There is at least one thread here about salt water......but I cannot do links .....but the name is "has anyone tried sea salt as a shampoo".

mindfull
February 2nd, 2016, 01:01 PM
I had issues with waxiness back when I was doing ACV and then with warm or hot water washes.
Now I only do cold water only washes rarely to rinse away dust, etc but rely on NW/SO to redistribute the sebum to the ends instead of rinsing away the sebum and leaving behind the waxiness.

Dommydomdom
February 10th, 2016, 02:53 AM
Hi! Just a thought for those of you who might still be struggling with waxiness on WO:

I stopped WO because of this exact problem and started using a super dilute water and liquid castile soap mix to wash my hair - it got rid of the waxiness and was more drying than I was used to with WO. After a few weeks I noticed that my shedding had gotten increasingly worse - which was worrying. So I started WO again. So far (almost 3 weeks in) I haven't experienced much of a transition period or a huge increase in oiliness like I did the first time I started WO (I think maybe its because I didn't go back to harsh shampoos and conditioners and so I didn't completely re-set my WO progress). But the best news is that I have only had ONE waxy experience (which was easily remedied with an intensive scritching and preening session!!).

So, to those of you who are still struggling with this, maybe all you need is a small re-set for a short while that won't result in your scalp changing its sebum production but will cut the waxiness.

Hope it helps :flower: