Water Only Hair Washing

Water Only Hair Washing | Expert’s Easy Guide To This Cleansing Method

Water only hair washing is a revolutionary way to wash hair that could save time. Find out if it is good for curly, natural hair and will it clean hair well.

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Amy Angelos has a degree in Cosmetology from The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose, California with 10 years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As she is adept at styling hair of various textures from straight, wavy to curly and African American, Amy knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. Our Editor Leah Marie Priest has also tested these hair products and processes and fact checked this article to give you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

Water Only Hair Washing

Water Only Hair Washing, or WOHW, is a simple yet effective way to care for your locks. 

Before you get started you should know what kind of hair you have, as some may benefit more from a traditional shampoo and conditioner routine. Once you have an understanding of your hair type and texture, you can get started with the WOHW routine. 

It couldn’t be simpler – all you need is water. Start by wetting your hair and giving it a good massage to ensure it’s completely saturated. 

Depending on your hair type, you may wish to benefit from the deep cleansing power of apple cider vinegar. Add a small amount into a cup of water, and pour it over your head. 

Those with particularly dry hair can also add a tiny amount of oil – like coconut or argan – to the water to help keep ends from splitting. According to studies having some oil-in-water emulsion, the hair feels “slippery and smooth” and “reduced friction“. (Aita, Yuuki, and Yoshimune Nonomura. “Friction and Surface Temperature of Wet Hair Containing Water, Oil, or Oil-in-Water Emulsion.” Journal of oleo science vol. 65,6 (2016): 493-8. doi:10.5650/jos.ess15250)

Once your scalp and hair are clean and conditioned, rinse it with cool or lukewarm water. This helps to close the cuticles and make sure the oils are locked in, keeping your hair nourished.

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 Lastly, soak up any remaining water with a soft cotton t-shirt and allow your hair to air dry. 

By following this gentle cleansing routine you give your hair the love and care it deserves, while making sure it’s in top condition. With regular WOHW, you can say goodbye to damaged hair and hello to shiny, healthy locks.

Benefits of Water Only Hair Washing

Water only hair washing, also known as co-washing, has been popping up among hair care enthusiasts for some time now. 

The method is simple; wash your hair with only water, no shampoo, no soap bar or conditioner in sight. Initially, it may seem counterintuitive to clean your hair with plain H2O. 

However, water only hair washing offers numerous benefits that make it worth the try, no matter your hair type. 

Water only hair washing has been known to reduce and remove some of the build-up on the hair from products. Traditional hair wash methods tend to strip the hair of its natural oils and leave it full of product residue. 

Water only hair washing can help with gently cleansing the hair without removed its natural oils. Depending on the products used and the frequency of washes, the hair is able to keep a more natural state for longer periods of time.

In addition, co-washing has been known to keep the scalp more hydrated. Water only hair wash won’t work to lather up the hair the same way shampoo does. 

Therefore, when the water is running on the scalp, it provides the scalp with added moisture which can help reduce breakage, dandruff and itchiness. 

This allows the scalp to stay flake free and healthy while keeping the hair in excellent condition. 

Overall, water only hair washing is an easy, effective and beneficial way to wash your hair. It’s also a great way to maximize the longevity of colour treatments, keeping your hair looking vibrant and healthy for longer. 

The health benefits are the biggest advantage, while the added bonus of helping keeps colour treatments looking great, make it an excellent hair wash routine to embrace.

Drawbacks of Water Only Hair Washing

cons of water only washing

Water only hair washing has been widely embraced by those looking for a more natural approach to hair care, but nothing’s perfect. 

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While it may not work for everyone, there are definitely some drawbacks to consider before making the switch.

For starters, it can be time consuming and difficult to stick with since there are a number of steps requiring specialized tools. 

Not only that, but cleanliness can be an issue since oil and product buildup isn’t removed from the scalp. Without adequate scalp cleansing, scalp health and hygiene can suffer and the hair can start to look and feel greasier. 

Plus, the lack of lather and foaming agents means less of an ability to remove product buildup and grime from your hair.

Another drawback is that very few styling products and tools are capable of being used for water only hair washing, so styling options are limited. 

Water only hair washing doesn’t provide enough moisture to replace daily styling and conditioning, so detangling and restyling without tools is virtually impossible. This could lead to dry, brittle hair. 

Also, the fact that there is no conditioning involved limits the amount of softness and shine that can be achieved.

On top of that, the all-naturally oils and dirt removal processes of water only hair washing can disrupt the pH balance of the hair and scalp. 

Without the proper ingredients to re-balance the pH, the cuticle of your hair could become damaged and over time could lead to frizz, split ends and even hair loss.

Although water only hair washing offers the promise of simpler, more natural hair care, it’s important to keep in mind that it may not be the best option for everyone and comes with some inherent drawbacks.

Steps to Water Only Hair Washing

We’re always on the hunt for new ways to nurture and nourish our hair. The traditional shampoo-conditioner-styling routine can often leave hair limp, lifeless and dull. 

Water-only hair washing is an alternative method that may offer a more natural, healthier approach to hair care. Here are the steps to try it out.

Firstly, make sure to spritz your hair with a light mist of warm water – this will make it easier to work with, and help lift away dirt and excess oils. Once your strands are damp, it’s time to start scrubbing!

To give your scalp a deep cleanse, use a gentle exfoliating scrub to loosen built-up dirt and product residue. Gently massage in circles and remember to be extra careful around delicate areas like the hairline.

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Next, grab a shower brush and work your way around your scalp in small circles. This helps to encourage the release of essential oils, while removing any further dirt or residue. When you’re done, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water until it runs clear.

Once out of the shower, use a cotton shirt to lightly blot your hair dry, which will help to keep your locks looking healthy and full of volume. 

Finish off with a light, natural styling product – this will keep your strands looking sleek and manageable without stripping out the natural oils.

Is Water Only Hair Washing Suitable For Natural, 4c Hair

Is Water Only Hair Washing Suitable For Natural, 4c Hair

For most 4c hair types, water only hair washing can seem like a daunting task. With tightly coiled curls that are prone to dryness, hydrating your hair solely with water may go against all expectations—until you experience the positive results, of course. 

Still, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. It takes time to find out what’s best for your hair and scalp type, as there could be factors, such as buildup or other scalp issues, to consider. 

To determine if water only hair washing is suitable for your natural, 4c hair texture, it’s essential to explore the benefits and intricacies of this method. 

For starters, ‘co-washing’—or conditioner washing—uses sulfate-free, nourishing conditioners to help add moisture to hair strands and the scalp. 

If a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo is used as part of a water only hair wash routine, this can help preserve the hair’s natural oils, providing more hydration. 

On the flip side, if there’s product buildup or environmental pollutants on the hair, a clarifying shampoo can be beneficial to get rid of these impurities, considering your texture and the state of your scalp. 

Ultimately, the best way to know if water only hair washing is suitable for your 4c hair type is to start gradually and pay attention to how your hair feels afterwards. 


With some experimentation, you may find that it’s an ideal way to keep your curls hydrated and well-managed.

Through water only hair washing, it’s possible for us to take a holistic approach to hair care by embracing and utilizing the power of nature.

While it may not work for everyone or all hair types, it could work for you—literally, inside and out. 

When combined with gentle manipulation and a solid routine, you’ll likely find your new method of washing helps improve the overall health of your hair! 

So why not give it a chance? You just might find a beautiful, natural result.

Also Read:

How To Wash Natural Hair In 10 Easy Steps

How To Stop Frizzy Hair After Washing

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