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Thread: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

  1. #1
    Member TheCurlyMermaid's Avatar
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    Question Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm sure this probably seems like an odd question... but I just went through Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas and we're on day 11 without electricity or running water (they turned the water off before the storm hit). Obviously my hair isn't my priority at the moment, but it is one of the few things I feel like I have control over at the moment, and I don't want to have to cut my hair off because of this storm's aftermath after having spent so long growing it... I've figured out how to bathe with a gallon jug of water but we don't really have enough water on hand for me to be doing a whole wash routine with my hair so I haven't washed it since before the storm (August 31st)... Even when we get running water back they've told us our water table has been contaminated and is unsafe to even touch so it'll only be for flushing toilets. Like I said, I'm sure this seems like a strange thing for me to be worrying about at this time, but it's just something that helps me feel some sense of normalcy right now. I haven't evacuated because my home withstood the storm and I have access to a place to sleep with a generator and I'd feel guilty getting on one of the earlier relief flights when there are many who lost their homes.

    I have 3b/c curls, hip length stretched. And I need help finding a way to clean/condition or at least clean & re-moisturize my hair using a minimal amount of water... Thanks for any help.

    Curly
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    APL ---> MBL ---> Waist (Dec '19 goal!) ---> Hip ---> TBL??
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  2. #2
    Long tea-time for hair neko_kawaii's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    If you have a couple of buckets or large bowls you can do a decent wash with about a gallon of water. Do this on a table, counter, or kneeling on the ground.

    Put water in one container and dunk your head in until the hair is all wet. Scoop with a cup to get the nape. Apply shampoo and scrub your scalp. Then dipping out of the full container dump cup fulls of water over your head into the second container to catch the rinse water. At this point you are focused on getting your scalp clean. Since your hair is curly, you can probably use conditioner as a leave in. If that really won't work for you, try to use half the water to rinse the shampoo and half to rinse condish. Use the dirty water to flush the toilet.

    Good luck!

    55in, 2a, F, ii (3 in)
    Lady Kawaii-In-The-Garden the Terminally Curious of the Order of the Long Haired Knights
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  3. #3
    Member S&S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    TheCurlyMermaid , so sorry to hear about your situation and what has happened in the Bahamas. I am glad you are okay

    I don't have any tips to offer that differ from what neko_kawaii has said, sorry.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    I think I would try oil on the ends, scalp massages and brushing the hair with a natural bristle brush. For me, the hair wouldn't necessarily need cleaning, but my scalp would want attention, and my ends would dry out. Do you have a good brush? Using a little bit of oil on the brush might help distribute the natural oils more evenly. For my face, I'd be using witch hazel and a washcloth. My skin would not be happy.

    I'm glad you're safe and have a place to sleep. It looks pretty serious there, from what I can see. Good luck, and please let us know how you're doing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    Maybe check out NW/SO (No Water/Sebum Only) threads for info on how-to?

    https://forums.longhaircommunity.com...read.php?t=144
    1, 2, 3, testing! Trying to figure out how to put a picture here...

  6. #6
    Member zmirina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    I'm so sorry about what happened in Bahamas! I'm in South Florida and we were watching the news with horror. I hope your family and friends are ok

    You could try only washing the roots. Make a low braid, pull it under your bra, fix it with a clip, and just wash the roots. It will keep you looking fresh without using as much water or product?

    I wish you the best!
    2014 - pixie ---- 2015 - bob ---- 2016 - APL ---- 2016 - bob ---- 2018 - BSL ---- 2019 - waist ---- 2019 - hip ---- 2020 - tailbone ---- ???? - ???

  7. #7
    Amateur scientist ExpectoPatronum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    I'm happy to hear that you are safe. I also hope that your friends and family are okay. I second what Neko said. I'd use conditioner as a leave-in and just keep my hair up in a braid or a bun too.

    Starting from scratch
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  8. #8
    Glitter fairy Chromis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    We lived without running water for several months while getting electricity. Stretch washes as much as you can and use a bucket and pitcher. Stick your hair in the water to wet it rather than trying to just pour water on it since half the water just slides off.

    From zero to hero

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  9. #9
    Member ManeGoal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    Just found a thread here that was posted recently of no rinse shampoo? Might be something that could help you out?I'm sure you might have seen it but if you haven't...
    Jesus is my Saviour, my Lord, my Love, my Life.

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  10. #10
    Airsick Lowlander -Fern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tips for caring for hair with no running water?

    Bucket bathing! 5 gallon bucket and a cup or pitcher is all you need. Squat next to the bucket and use one hand to hold the cup and pour water over your head. Use your other hand to massage hair, which will help it get wet faster. (Chromis makes a good point, but I always needed to wash my body, too, so I never minded it taking several pours to get my hair wet.) When hair is wet through, shampoo, and rinse out by pouring more water over your head. (Again, pour with one hand and massage with the other. If you're having trouble balancing, you can grip the bucket with your knees.) When I was in the Peace Corps, I just used shampoo during the bucket bath, then used a leave in conditioner as it was drying.

    If you're able to heat the water, it's actually quite luxurious.
    Last edited by -Fern; September 15th, 2019 at 07:24 AM.
    Onwards.

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