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Have You Ever Tried To Wash Hair Without Shampoo? Just Water?

I have an acquaintance who stopped using shampoos to wash her hair. I was curious to find out why someone would wash hair without shampoo, just water.

Most people find shampoos to be essential products in the hair cleansing process.

It’s unfortunate that a lot of people do not put much thought into the type of shampoo they are buying.

Most people tend to select a shampoo depending on its popularity or what the shampoo says it can do to your hair.

Some people find it easier to choose a pocket-friendly one, depending on their budget.

What they don’t understand is that some chemicals present in some shampoos pose a great risk to their hair.

Most shampoos contain sulfates.

Sulfates ingredients used to make shampoos lather quickly, and this explains why 90% of them contain sulfates.

The sulfates contained in shampoos, especially sodium lauryl sulfate, tend to dry out the hair and can even irritate your scalp with continuous use.

Shampoos with sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate are very harsh on both your hair and scalp.

Products with sodium lauryl sulfate also tend to cause fading of color-treated hair, and generally leaves your mane looking dull.

As a result, most people decide to avoid shampoos altogether and prefer using water only to cleanse their hair.

Water-Only Hair Washing Results

Choosing to wash your hair with water only has its advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s start by looking at the longer list – the advantages.


Advantages of washing your hair with water only

Believe it or not, washing hair with water only makes the hair healthier and, in turn, appears shinier.


Stay free from chemicals

Well, one of the benefits of washing your hair with water only is the fact that you won’t have to worry about damaging your hair with some of the harsh chemicals contained in shampoos.

The sulfates present in most of the shampoos in the market strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and dull.

Washing your hair with water only makes you avoid these harmful chemicals.

This ensures that your hair stays healthy.


Hair maintains its natural shine

Everyone admires glossy-looking hair.

You may have wondered how you can get to achieve this kind of look without using products.

Well, washing your hair with water only enables it to maintain its natural shine.

When using water alone to cleanse your hair, the scalp produces natural oils.

Moreover, it normalizes the right amount of oil to be produced.

This helps the hair to maintain its natural shine.

wash hair without shampoo just water
Healthy and shiny hair


Makes hair softer

Do you have incredibly thick or curly hair that tends to get dry?

Well, if you wash hair without shampoo (just water) you’ll escape the drying effect of the harsh sulfates discussed above.

The natural oils present in your scalp and hair take full charge, leaving your hair softer and smoother.


Hair is easy to detangle

Detangling your hair is often a difficult task, especially when your hair is naturally thick and curly.

When you start to wash your hair with water only, you will begin to notice that the tangles you usually experience after you wash your hair will either be very few or completely gone.

This makes your wash day routine much easier since detangling is usually a time-consuming process.


Cuts down on costs

If you have a tight budget, you will dread having to go to the drug store or supermarket to buy new shampoo.

One significant advantage of using water only to wash your hair is that it saves you money.

Using water only to wash your hair cost-effective.

Having a hair cleansing regime that saves you money is good news, and everyone would like to have that.


Learn what works for your hair

When you wash hair without shampoo, just water, you get to learn what works for your hair.

Washing the hair with water only gives you the much-needed time for you to determine what product works for your hair and what doesn’t.

You will notice some changes in your hair the moment you stop using shampoos to clean your hair.


Travel light

Guess what! 

Traveling becomes more comfortable when you start washing your hair with water only.

Taking care of your hair without having to carry bags full of hair products is a dream come true, especially if you like traveling light.

You can get to monitor your hair’s health during travel, and assess if going without shampoo – in different weather for instance – is great for better for your hair.


Disadvantages of washing your hair with water only

As much as washing your hair with water only has its benefits, there are some disadvantages as well.


Sebum build-up

When you’re washing your hair with water only, you tend to wash it many times.

Now, washing your hair too much leads to an overproduction of sebum.

As you wash your hair, there is nothing to remove the extra oils your hair produces.

Therefore, the sebum and oils accumulate in your hair, making it too greasy.


It may not always work as expected

Another con is that you can’t begin this regime when you have for instance just taken down a protective hairstyle, such as braids, as it will not work as expected.

When you are taking down a protective style, there’s probably a lot of product build-up that needs to be removed using a good shampoo.

Washing your hair with water only works on hair that is reasonably clean and hence proceeding with the regime over time becomes manageable.


You have to deal with mineral build-up 

As much as there’s no product-build up while washing your hair with water only, you may still have minerals to worry about.

You may experience mineral build-up in your hair, especially if you are using hard water to wash your hair.

There are several signs of hard water on hair that you may want to look out for.

The mineral build-up may eventually make the sebum in your hair feel waxy.

One of the reasons for washing your hair with water only is to make it healthier and softer.

Having magnesium and calcium deposits stuck in your hair will achieve the exact opposite.

Well, there are two options to help you out in case you use hard water to clean your hair.

First, you could revert to shampoos that are sulfate-free that specialize in removing hard water minerals.

Second, you can purchase a shower filter.

Shower filters are useful because they remove the minerals and chlorine present in the water.

Shower head with a built-in water filter


Does Washing Your Hair With Just Water Make It Greasy?

Getting the perfect sebum balance for your hair can be a difficult task for you.

Washing your hair with water only means that your hair will eventually have a lot of sebum build-up.

Controlling the amount of sebum depending on how oily your hair is may be difficult.

You can try using natural remedies to reduce the amount of sebum in your hair, but this may strip your hair dry.

It is natural for your hair to get a little greasy during the transition to washing with water only.

Your hair will be oily during the first six weeks of your transition.

During this period, your hair has not yet mastered the sebum production rate in your scalp, and therefore your hair tends to be a little oily.

The scalp will eventually normalize the sebum production, and your hair ultimately has just the right amount of oil.

Even after the scalp normalizes, your hair will not feel as it would have felt after it has been washed with shampoo.

You might have to get used to how your hair feels after washing it with water only.


Water-Only Hair Washing: Does The Hair Smell?

Washing your hair with water only has its benefits – such as having healthy and shiny hair.

With time your hair will start smelling different, but this does not necessarily mean that your hair stinks.

It may have a more natural and earthy smell.

This is because the naturally occurring bacteria in your scalp changes, thus changing the scalp’s odor.

However, the gunk of sebum that may accumulate in your hair over time may make it have a non-pleasant odor.

This is worse if you have naturally oily hair.

This mainly happens when you do not take your time to brush through your scalp and massage it thoroughly.

When you have excessively oily hair, you can try to add some two to three drops of tea tree oil after washing your hair as it helps with the odor your hair produces.



If you decide to wash hair without shampoo, just water, you can reap some benefits such as avoiding the exposure of harsh chemicals to your hair.

This results in your hair growing in a healthy environment and maintaining its natural shine.

Washing your hair with water only also helps by saving you money, which is a bonus since you get to have healthier hair and spend less money.

Your hair also eventually gets to balance the amount of sebum your scalp produces, and you avoid having excessively oily hair.

However, transitioning from using shampoos to strictly water-only hair washing may be a challenge.

Your hair will be a little greasy during the first few weeks of your transition, but after some time, the level of sebum production will be leveled out depending on your hair type and the volume.

If you tend to use a lot of products on your hair, you may want to avoid this method of hair washing though.

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