For centuries people have been washing their hair and other body parts with water only. Think about it through history. There has always been water but not always soap and or shampoo. Soap has been around, of the homemade or handmade variety, in one form or another in civilization for a much longer time. However, bathing and or shampooing have changed significantly as well.
Bathing was an infrequent occurrence from the beginning of recorded time. Many times the bathing practices were based on the geography and climate. It is mandatory to live near a fresh water source not only for bathing but also for survival. Without fresh water you die, a pretty simple reality.
Some historical facts concerning the hygienic use of water
Water was discovered and made available from digging wells, and naturally occurring through fresh water springs and of course streams, rivers and lakes. The convenience of transporting the water from the source played a significant role in the amount of water used for personal hygiene as compared for nourishment.
If you had to carry water for several yards, tens of yards, or even hundreds of yards you would be less inclined to use the water to bathe. A simple wash up with a splash here or there would be the most frequent compromise. You would be more likely to go to the source to bathe, but what if it was bone chilling cold from the winter snow melt coming down from the mountains? Not so much. This reality would limit the amount of times in a year much less a month or a week that you would bathe or wash your hair. Even when you did bathe rarely would it be with a cleaning agent such as soap.
The advancement of society over the centuries, with indoor plumbing, hot water heaters and a bathtub or shower in most every home, has obviously transformed what is an acceptable level of personal hygiene. What may have been a quarterly, monthly or even a weekly practice has evolved into an almost daily requirement for the majority of people in society. It is not a bad thing or damnation on society to bathe daily or not. It is to a degree a personal taste or desire. It often is based upon how much physical scents or a personal confidence come into play.
The reality of shampooing your hair every day isn’t pretty
The modern shampoo has been in existence and more readily available since the 1930s. Through the last eighty plus years shampoo has become one of the more advertised products in American society. The first formulas of shampoo were much more harsh on your hair. They were designed for a minimum of a once per week use. The adage of a woman refusing a date because she was washing her hair came from this era. As the chemical formulas of shampoo became gentler in the 1970s and 1980s, daily shampooing became more prevalent if not the normal expectation for many Americans.
The way that shampoo works to cleanse hair has reasonably caused a vicious cycle to occur. Shampoo cleans your hair by stripping it of the natural moisturizing oils produced by your body. Your body’s response to the removal of the oil is to produce more oil in order to replenish the hair. This leads many shampoo users to wash their hair daily to keep from having hair that appears to be very greasy or oily. Hence the vicious cycle that shampoo can cause.
There are some pretty special benefits of washing your hair with water only
You won’t have to worry about killing your hair with chemicals anymore
There isn’t a single shampoo out there that isn’t flooded with hair killing chemicals that will leave your scalp burned and your follicles dry and cracked. When you start to wash your hair with water only, you’ll be to step away from those chemicals completely.
You won’t be spending a ton of money on shampoo a year ever again
Shampoo costs anywhere between $6 and $15 (and sometimes a lot more than that), and you usually have to resupply more than 15 times a year. It adds up in a hurry – but now all of that extra money will be going right into your back pocket!
You’ll let your “real” hair finally shine
It’s impossible to know exactly what your “real” hair is supposed to look like – curly, straight, wavy, or some combination of all those textures – when you’ve been using shampoo and conditioner this whole time. Hair that’s been washed with those chemicals has been treated to relax over time, until pretty much even the bounciest hair has been beaten into submission.
When you start to wash with water, that’s no longer a problem.
Tangles will untangle themselves!
After allowing your natural oils to settle over your hair follicles, your hair is going to naturally untangle itself – and then stay untangled – with just a little bit of persuasion on your end.
… And some drawbacks, too
You’ll have to make sure that you don’t build up too much sebum along the way
The last thing that you want to do is build up too many mineral deposits in your hair when you’re using nothing more than water, so you’ll want to be careful that you’re using the softest water possible along the way.
This might require you to purchase an extra shower filter, but the benefits are significant – and you’ll begin to notice them almost immediately!
The clarification process is going to take a little bit of time
It’s going to take a little bit of time to go from chemically treated hair that’s been scrubbed with shampoo every day for years and years to completely happy and healthy hair using nothing more than water, so you’ll have to commit to the process before you jump right in.
But it’s definitely worth it!
What happens by washing hair with water only?
The practice is fairly simple. When you wash your hair, skip the shampoo and conditioner and use only hot or warm water, your preference. You still want to use your hands to scrub and help to cleanse your scalp. You also need to use your fingers to rub through your hair to free the particles and other items that always seem to be in your hair.
This is perhaps the simplest part of switching from shampoo to ‘no poo’. The process does not simply happen overnight. You cannot expect one good scrubbing and washing hair with water only to change years of your body’s response to shampoo use. It could take from two to six weeks to complete the transition from shampoo to ‘no poo’. Years of the oil replenishment cycle will take some time for your body to adjust to. In the mean time your hair might just look like poo.
Your hair could have an oily or greasy look until the adjustment occurs and you might have a more difficult time being patient as this transformation occurs. To most water only users it is ultimately worth the wait for the transition to take place, but again that is an individual preference. Most people who have made the switch from shampoo to water only seem to like the affect the change has on their hair in addition to the change in the feeling of their scalps.
The oiliness of a person’s scalp can be based upon the length of time for the transformation from shampoo to water only, but could also be dependent upon the size of an individual’s oil glands. Obviously the larger the oil glands are the more oil produced in the scalp. So generally speaking, genetics can also play a part in the amount of oil secreted through the scalp into the hair.
According to studies, scientists believe there is no reason to believe that using shampoo, even on a daily basis, is harmful to a user’s health. On the other side there is also nothing unhealthy or even gross about not using the shampoo and washing hair with water only.
It appears to be equally cleansing when washing hair with water only as compared to washing hair with shampoo, this seems to make the decision on which method to use a personal preference. It could come down to an economic decision as well. How much is spent annually on hair care products in addition to your water bill? Based on the volume of hair care product advertising in the media today it would obviously be a several billion-dollar industry in the United States alone.
Your quick guide to the cleanest hair you’ve ever had
Believe or not, there are actually a couple of pretty involved steps that you’re going to have to follow to clean your hair perfectly with nothing but water!
1 – Getting started
It all starts by letting your hair get a little bit dirtier than you’re probably used to. This is pretty simple and straightforward – all you have to do is skip washing it for a couple of days. This is going to be the standard practice from here on out, and it’s perfectly fine. It’s never going to cause your air to stink, feel funky, or look a mess after you have gone through the “washing only with water” process a couple of times.
2 – Prep time
You’re going to want to prep your hair in the shower (before turning on the water), really working to massage your scalp so that you stimulate each and every single follicle and encourage them to pump out as much extra oil as possible.
Just a couple of gentle scrubs with nothing more than your finger, really trying to “scratch every inch”, so to speak, is going to do everything you needed to as far as bringing your hair back to life is concerned.
3 – Brush it out
After that, it’s all about making sure that your hair is as untangled as it can possibly be. You aren’t going to want any clumps, any knots, or any tangles. Any obstructions like this are going to choke oil and nutrients from getting exactly where they need to get.
If you absolutely have to use help to get the tangles out, don’t be shy about using a brush (though it should be one with bristles that are pretty spread out to avoid abuse and breakage).
4 – “Greasing up”
You’ll want to slowly start at your scalp and gently use your hands to move oil down deeper along the length of your hair, gently squeezing and effortlessly distributing any and all foil you can along the way.
This is going to take a little bit of practice to really master, but once you have it the process will speed up quite a bit. It’s important that you try and move as much oil as you can to really evenly distribute everything, as this is the real secret to extra healthy hair and hair that effortlessly resists dirt, dust, debris, and dead skin cells later downline.
5 – Jumping in the shower
For a lot of people, this is their favorite part of the day, and you shouldn’t have to worry about rushing.
Top right into the shower, crank the water up just as warm as you like it, and all allow the warm water to “melt” the extra oil and distribute it effortlessly across your hair and scalp.
Give it a couple of minutes to really soak through, and then start “scrubbing” your head just like you did in step two, only pulling your fingers deeper and deeper through the hair to make sure that the oil is evenly distributed and that any excess is pulled off at the same time.
This whole process is probably going to take a 10 or 15 minutes, though you certainly can stretch it out a little bit longer than that. Just don’t use water that is too warm come or you run the risk of drying your hair too much and causing it to become damaged.
6 – Drying your hair for the day
Now that your hair is clean again, you’re going to want to be pretty gentle with how you dry it.
Wet hair is effortless to break and damage, so you’re going to want to try and shy away from using too much vigorous motion or a brush. If you do need to brush your hair while it is still wet, make sure that you’re using a comb or a brush with extra wide teeth. You don’t want to be pulling hair out or breaking it along the way.
A little bit of coconut oil scrubbed and warmed gently between your hands can then be applied to your hair (while still wet), giving each and every one of your hair follicles a big boost in the nutrient department while also helping your hair smell fantastic at the same time.
A couple of tips and tricks you’ll want to keep in your back pocket
If you’re looking for a couple of easy ways to make sure that your hair stays as healthy as humanly possible, here are a couple that you won’t want to skip!
Supplement with biotin a couple of times a week
This amazing little supplement is fantastic for helping you grow happier and healthier hair and nails, but you don’t need to flood your system with it every day. Supplement a couple of times a week and you’ll be fine.
Get a little bit of gelatin in your diet every day
Gelatin (the same stuff that helps make Jell-O possible) not only helps to create and stimulate new hair growth, but also improves the speed at which your hair grows and helps transport important nutrients along the way to your scalp and follicles as well. Get a little bit of gelatin into your daily diet and your hair will love you for it!
Make sure that you are perfectly hydrated
It should come as no surprise to anyone that we are pretty dehydrated on a regular basis. Your body isn’t going to “behave” when it’s in a state of dehydration, so try and get more water into your body whenever possible. Drink when you’re thirsty by all means, but try and shoot for at least five or six glasses.
Boost your Vitamin C levels
Vitamin C is special stop, and you’ll want to try and make sure that your body is “maxed out” in this department. Take a daily supplement, eat foods rich in the vitamin, or start pounding glass after glass of orange juice – you’ll be glad you did!
What do you think? Keep the conversation going. Please feel free to leave your comments or tell your personal story about shampoo or ‘no poo’.