It has been such a long time since I’ve posted anything, I must apologize for that! I moved to a new country, Costa Rica, and have been living and working here for the last few months. If you would like to read more about it, here is my other blog talking about my experience, called Tropics and Topics.
Anyway, there is so much I have to share! As you can see from the title “Water Only Washing and Natural Hair” I’ll be talking about the W.O.W method and natural hair. lol
So…where to begin?
I guess from the beginning. As stated before I moved to Costa Rica. My concern even before coming was hair care and what products I would have access to. My family and I decided to permanently move here so I was thinking long term. I know products get pretty expensive especially when moving them internationally.
My family and I decided to permanently move here so I was thinking long term. I know products get pretty expensive especially when moving them internationally. So knowing that there isn’t a large population of people of African descent ie: African hair textures, I was wondering what I would do for products. Of course, I brought enough hair product to last me a few months, but what would I do afterward? (Cue: doom music!)
To make a long story short I found some familiar products like:
Pantene, Head and Shoulders and Bioland products. I used Head and Shoulder, because of dandruff issues that I couldn’t cure with natural homemade remedies. I used the Bioland as a moisturizer, which didn’t work for me and on occasion, I did a wash and go with some new found Plastigel. Guys, my hair was NOT loving these products. I was even trying Pantene as a conditioner, which my hair liked at first, but hated with other products on top (like with the LOC or LCO method).
So what did I do? I broke down and asked a visiting friend to bring some raw shea butter and mango butter for me to make some natural homemade products.
32 oz. of Shea butter and 16 oz of mango butter
I figured I would have to live a life of ordering shea butter and somehow have friends to ship it down to me. (by the way, Amazon does not ship any shea butter to where I live in Costa Rica. And if, by chance the company does, they do it +$40 in shipping for snail mail! not including the actual cost of the item!)
However, for the love of my hair, I was willing to do it… At that point it had been 5+ months in another country, my hair was feeling SOoOOOOoo dry. It was feeling brittle and my hair was breaking off.
In order to protect my ends, my mom began braiding my hair using the products we had, trying to moisturize it as much as we would between the protective styles.
I finally got my shea butter from the visiting friend and made my homemade product. Intuitively it felt like I should stop using conditioner about a month before I got the shea butter. It wasn’t working with my hair and neither were the other products I had bought.
SO, I made my shea hair butter with essential oils, glycerin, and coconut oil, and my hair took about two weeks to adjust to the no conditioner and only shea products.
(What do I mean? Well, my hair felt rough, it was tangled, it got dry very quickly, within 2 days instead of 7. It felt like it was transitioning off whatever was in the conditioner and other store bought products…)
Once my hair transitioned from no conditioner to using natural products, my hair felt okay. It was greasy from the shea butter and just when my hair had the perfect “7th-day hair,” it was time to wash. My scalp was itchy, mind you, I was still using the dandruff shampoo, my scalp was still having large flakes/ patches of dandruff in certain areas. (I hate dandruff!)
I was using my natural hair butters for about 3 months, 4 months with no conditioner and my hair seemed to find somewhat of a moisture balance again.
So, where the heck does the water only washing come into the picture? Great question! Here:
I had heard about this method maybe a year or two ago, this is how it goes:
This information was taken from the Curly Hair Lounge- this was not created by me. ( #4 I also NEVER brush or comb my hair, I do everything with my fingers/ hands)
Also, another disclaimer, the Water Only Washing Method was not originated in the natural hair community, but my our straight-haired sisters in their struggle with excessively greasy hair. However, this method (above) has been adapted to work with our natural oils to moisturize our curly/coiled hair.
I was thinking about this method and listened to a lot of information/ testimonials about this method: like Water Only Washing channel, I was thinking about shipping cost, how dry my hair was, the cost savings of not buyung products and I thought…hey, why not try it?
So, I decided to start and record my journey thus far on my youtube channel. As I write this, it has only been 12 days of no shampoo (ie: Head and Shoulders) or conditioner (I was already not using that for the last 4 months now) or products (goodbye my awesome smelling homemade shea butter).
I think the WOW method is incredible! My hair has NEVER been so soft, silky, healthy, bouncy or naturally shiny.
The way I adapted this method for optimum moisture and protection for my ends, the first 4-5 days, I washed my hair in medium sized twisted after scrinching the scalp.
In the shower, I transferred the natural oils from my scalp down the shaft. I NEVER brush my hair. I finger detangle, or transfer the oils etc. After that
I added coconut oils only to the ends and went to bed so they could dry.
When I woke up I put my hair in twists in some kind of bun or braided it up. At first, my hair felt dry, but I kept at it. After 7 days my hair was mostly covered with sebum and felt soft.
For the last few days I have been wearing twist outs and they are awesome!!! My hair is so shiny and in the pictures below it’s nothing but sebum and no other oils in/ on the ends of my hair.
That is some serious shine, right? I know, no flash from a camera, it was just in regular light. My hair is NOT greasy, tacky feeling or stinky. My hair feel SOoooooOOOoo soft, it’s amazing. Also, my natual curls have become more and more defined, even in the twist outs.
(Above to the left: hair when wet; to the right: hair when try taken out of a twist out)
Guys, I’m never going back to shampoos. Oh, and the most important thing, I have absolutely NO, I repeat, NOooO dandruff. I am dandruff, itch and flake free!!! WooHoo!
One more disclaimer: You will need to CLARIFY your hair however often your hair/scalp tell you to. You can clarify your hair without stripping it of the needed oils with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse or Tea Rinse. There are also other herbal methods you can research to do this.
I will continue to update you on my hair and my journey!
Until next time, happy water rinsing!!
If you have any questions or comments please leave them below! Thank you for reading!