View Full Version : Water Only Difficulties

July 7th, 2016, 05:43 PM
I apologize for not really knowing how this works; I'm new here. Anyways, I've been trying to transition to WO and I've been having...quite the time of it.

I started the journey six months ago, so my scalp should be normalized my now. Or so I thought. I started out WO not really knowing how, and I had been washing my hair every other day to every two days. I didn't know to scritch and preen in the shower, so I went around with greasy hair for five months. That was fun.

I tried to ease myself into it with a low-poo (Shea Moisture) once a week, but I got greasy on like day three or four. I went back to WO, with scritching and preening in the shower, after about a month of Shea Moisture. I tried going two weeks without showering to let the grease build up, but that did nothing for me.

After a few WO showers, I did a ACV rinse, which took off all the excess sebum beautifully, but it made my ends a bit frizzy. I went back to WO, and currently showering barely takes off any grease and worsens my psoriasis. So the main question is: what am I not doing/doing wrong? My routine consists of:

Scritching with medium pressure for a couple minutes and preening and bbbing in sections while not in the shower.
Starting with lukewarm water in the shower, letting it rinse through my hair, and easing up to really warm - hot water. Once up to hot water, I start scritching, sometimes in sections (but I have thin hair and haven't noticed a difference between sectioned vs. unsectioned). I then section my hair in 3 cm thick sections and preen down the shaft, going around my head twice. I finish with cool - cold water. The water I use is moderately soft.

I've pretty much noticed that my scalp is either too dry or too oily, worsening my psoriasis either way, and my hair remains greasy all the time. Thank you for reading.

Nadine <3
July 7th, 2016, 05:50 PM
Maybe post in the WO support thread? Have a look around in there, should be LOADS of information.

Personally, I would find a shampoo to treat the psoriasis. My SO has it pretty badly and uses a shampoo to treat it. I don't remember the brand, but it's sulfate free and smells like toothpaste. I used to do a weekly scalp treatment with conditioner, honey, olive and coconut oil, and a few drops of neem and tea tree oil on him. Let it sit for an hour and then take a fine toothed comb to gently scritch off the build up. Wash as normal. This worked really well for him.

July 7th, 2016, 07:53 PM
I posted a reply over in the WO thread :)

ETA: in summary, have you been able to manage your psoriasis in the past using other methods/products or are you trying WO in an effort to find something that works? WO has worked extremely well for me personally, but I have heard several times that pre-existing scalp conditions can definitely be an issue with WO. And scalp health is a priority!!

July 7th, 2016, 08:03 PM
My psoriasis comes and goes. I can deal with it most of the time (like with shampoo). When I used Shea Moisture, it cleared up. But the psoriasis isn't the main concern so much as wondering if that could, in some way, attribute to greasy hair, and how to WO shower to have clean hair that isn't still greasy.

July 7th, 2016, 08:17 PM
Thanks for clarifying. So your concern is more the greasiness, rather than the psoriasis? Have your scalp issues been diagnosed as psoriasis, specifically? Just trying to make sure we get all the relevant info, not trying to ask you 20 questions :)

July 7th, 2016, 08:31 PM
Yeahh. Sorry, I forgot what to emphasize in this post. My condition hasn't been diagnosed, but I have eczema, and those two kind of fit hand-in-hand. But it's like self-diagnosis so technically I don't know. It could easily be dry scalp because I get sores easily, and sometimes if I itch the scalp the skin just flakes off. But I'm not really trying to diagnosis myself. Just as long as it stays calm more times than not, I'm cool with it.

My main objective was to figure out why WO showers don't get my hair clean. It's like I can scrub at my scalp to dry it out, and my hair stays greasy. I've cleansed my hair with both Shea Moisture (sulfate-free, low-poo) and ACV, yet I'm struggling with WO.

July 7th, 2016, 09:53 PM
Get it looked at, if only to rule out seborrheic dermatitis. SD and WO cleansing probably can't ever go together, because the sebum buildup just contributes to the problem of SD.

When I did WO, I never really cut out the diluted vinegar rinses. Figured my water was too hard for me not to do something to combat mineral buildup, and the rinses did a nice job of keeping the oils down. But if you want to go without those, I've actually heard most people find they can move and remove sebum better in cool water than warm. Try going that way instead of going hot, because the goal really isn't to melt the oil off your head.

July 7th, 2016, 10:02 PM
Thank you! I'll try cooler water next time.

July 8th, 2016, 02:10 AM
My two cents, get an official diagnosis. It's more likely that it's SD or your eczema than psoriasis. SD can look a lot like both.

If it's eczema or psoriasis, shampooing less frequently or going WO for a while could actually make it better not worse. Shampoo tends to irritate the heck out of my eczema. SD gets better with shampoo use, depending on the shampoo. From the sounds of it, it's unlikely that it's psoriasis, and more likely that you have seborrheic dermatitis. But I'm not a doctor. I do think you should see one though.

July 8th, 2016, 12:43 PM
Personally, I dont recommend that type of routine when you have scalp issues, I'd first check with a dermatologist what the problem is and follow his prescription (there are specific shampoos that doctors prescribe in case of scalp problem).

July 11th, 2016, 01:28 PM
It's been clearing up lately though. I'm just unable to get the grease out of my hair with my current routine. I would go to the doctor, but my scalp is clear right now. If it comes back (which I'm hoping it doesn't) I'll get it looked at.

I have switched to not using warm-hot water on my hair, and that seems to get the sebum out a lot better than warm-hot did, but it's still pretty greasy looking.

July 13th, 2016, 11:14 PM
I haven't read the answers so I apologize if this is something already said.
Have you been diagnosed by a medical professional with psoriasis? It's possible you may have bad dandruff---and that stuff thrives on oil. Dandruff/sebborhea dermatitis is a fungus that lives under the scalp. I have it and when I was majorly stresssed, my scalp went crusty like I had psoriasis. It was horrid, uncomfortable and nothing I did helped. My doctor finally prescribed me steroid drops which, after 1 use, cleared it up.

I tried going the many different routes here, including stretching washes and my scalp got very angry with me. Now, I have a very oily scalp, I work with horses so I sweat a lot and need to wash/clarify daily. I have found that clarifying the scalp has made my hair happy---I've had to balance out using a CWC method in the summer due to dryer ends, but overall, my scalp is no longer angry and sore/tender.

I hope that helps! Best of luck to you. Remember, if you have an oily scalp, water won't wash it away--oil and water don't mix. Hence the need for soap (it's a molecular thing). The ACV should do the trick though. Restores natural PH to the scalp.

July 13th, 2016, 11:39 PM
Thank you. I've used steroid creams for other areas of my body before, but I'm afraid to put it on my scalp. I've started to have success. Kinda.

I've switched to using lukewarm-cool/cold water, which gets rid of a lot more oil. I scritch and preen under the water, which helps a lot. I did try just letting the water run through my hair, but it didn't remove any sebum.

I'm still a bit...confused? When I use Shea Moisture, I don't get greasy until day 5. When I use ACV, I don't get greasy until day 4. When I use WO, I get greasy by day 2. Yet the day I wash with all of these, my hair looks almost the exact same.

July 14th, 2016, 12:16 AM
Thank you. I've used steroid creams for other areas of my body before, but I'm afraid to put it on my scalp. I've started to have success. Kinda.

I've switched to using lukewarm-cool/cold water, which gets rid of a lot more oil. I scritch and preen under the water, which helps a lot. I did try just letting the water run through my hair, but it didn't remove any sebum.

I'm still a bit...confused? When I use Shea Moisture, I don't get greasy until day 5. When I use ACV, I don't get greasy until day 4. When I use WO, I get greasy by day 2. Yet the day I wash with all of these, my hair looks almost the exact same.

I wouldn't put any kind of steroid creams on your scalp unless directed to do so by a doctor. I would try getting Neutrogena T-Gel shampoo over the counter. It's good for eczema, psoriasis, and SD (which would be if your scalp has a fungal infection rather than psoriasis). It's made from coal tar, smells nasty, and makes your hair feel nasty, but it will help your scalp.

I would expect the day you wash with any of those to look fairly the same, except for maybe ACV.

July 14th, 2016, 12:23 PM
It sounds like your missing a boar bristle brush. It helps tremendously with the scalp and balancing. Also cleaning out lint and skin cells. When I did WO it made all the difference.

Sorry if someone already said this. I didn't read thru all the comments.

July 14th, 2016, 12:24 PM
Oh also shea moisture made my scalp itch after a while of using it. For me it seems like sulphates or nothing are all my scalp likes. The only reason I gave up WO is because I'm too lazy to bother making magic water since I have semi hard water where I live.

July 14th, 2016, 06:48 PM
I generally BBB daily, as well as scritching and preening. And I clean my brush every shower. It definitely helps, but not as much as I'd like it to.

July 20th, 2016, 12:12 PM
Do you think that filling out this chart could help me find the perfect WO shower for myself, or did I leave off some stuff? Also, for the scritching and preening, I was going to use the best water temperature from the first row, but could scritching and preening be more effective in a different temp. than the most effective one to just let rinse through my hair?


July 20th, 2016, 03:36 PM
I think that could definitely help you zero in on the water temperature and level of manipulation that your hair does best with. Another variable to consider might be what you do with your hair during drying time and immediately afterward, as well as how you wear it on a daily basis (up, down...). This seems random but I have found that I have to wash, t-shirt plop, and not touch it at all as it dries to keep my waves happy. Once it dries this way, it looks pretty manky until I finger comb or BBB and then leave it in a loose braid or twists for a bit(my hair is still pretty short). Then it looks the way I like it and I can wear it down. I also find that my hair actually does better when it is loose for a little while each day to kind of "air it out." If it's up all the time I feel like it tends to look a bit stringier. YMMV, but the more variables you can think of the more experimenting you can do to find what might really works for you. You have some waviness, like I do, which tends to be dryer than straight hair, but I also see that your hair is also fine and on the thinner side which might be prone to show oiliness more. When you say that your hair looks greasy, are we talking lank and obviously oily, or is it just not as light and fluffy as you can get with shampoo? I feel like my WO hair gets clean, but it is definitely not a "just shampooed" feeling. I think individual tolerances for this vary. `

You seem confident that your water is not the problem, but it couldn't hurt to buy a gallon of distilled water and do one wash with that just on the off chance that you might see a difference. Also if the acidic rinses help you, I really don't think it could hurt to add them in. If ACV causes any build up over time, you could always try white vinegar, lemon/lime juice, or citric acid.

I've also seen people in the WO thread talk about dusting with cornstarch to cut down on greasiness and then brushing or rinsing it out. Also putting cheesecloth or some other absorbent material over your brush to collect any excess oils (though I think this would work better with a pin brush than with a BBB). If all of that fails, an occasional very dilute shampoo or CO-wash might not set you back as much as you would think... some hair just needs a modified WO routine to make it work in the long run. It's all about what works for you.

I hope some of this might help you, or at least give you some new ideas. I know I've probably said this, but if you have any time to kill I strongly recommend digging around in the official WO thread. It's a beast, but it's full of insights.

July 23rd, 2016, 02:10 PM
Alright, thank you so much for all of your help! I'm actually half considering getting a filtered shower head because I always smell like chlorine after every shower (unless I use shampoo or body wash) but filtering/buying distilled water is a bit much for someone as lazy as me.

I've found that hot water makes my hair less oily and shiny, but it leaves it extremely waxy, yet it looks clean. Using cooler temperatures leaves my hair oily and shiny, but it's really silky too. I think I'm a lot closer to finding the balance of what works for me, but I'll go through that thread the next time I'm desperate because it looks like I could fry bacon in my hair.

Thanks so much for all of your help!