Can you wash your hair with just water? Thinking of joining the no-’poo revolution? In recent years, more and more curly girlies are ditching shampoo and going au naturel to benefit their scalp and strands.
Why? Because our scalps produce natural oils such as sebum, which are designed specifically to keep our head and hair healthy. When we use shampoos and products in our hair, we unwittingly strip these natural oils, preventing them from naturally moisturizing our heads.
Not everyone is comfortable giving up hair washing for good though, so, they go for the next best thing: water only washing.
Water is actually far more moisturizing than store-bought shampoos and conditioners so, saying goodbye to harsh shampoos means your natural oils can distribute themselves amongst your hair strands.
Makes sense, right? Well, the success of the water-only routine depends on the type of water you use. Some areas produce ‘hard water’ which can be harmful to your hair and cause breakage. But, if your area has ‘soft water’, this is what will happen to your curls after going anti-’poo:
- Your natural hair oils will decrease overtime so your hair will be less greasy in between washes
- Your hair will be less sensitive to breakage when brushing after washing
- Your hair will feel softer after washing as no shampoo means no harsh brittle feeling
- You’ll save money on expensive hair care products
- When you first start, it may feel a little weird and uncomfortable as your scalp adjusts to a new routine
- You will have to endure greasy hair for the first week but if you stick it out the benefits are so worth it!
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Is washing your curly hair every day bad?
Washing your curly hair every day is a no-go! In fact, washing any hair type every day is a bad idea.
If you were to wash your hair every day, its natural oils won’t be able to moisturize your hair properly, causing it to feel dry and brittle. Plus, store-bought shampoos are actually harsh on your hair.
Compared to non-curly hair, curly hair needs far more moisture to be manageable and produce luscious controlled curls.
The main cause of frizzy hair is dehydration. It becomes frizzy because it isn’t holding in enough moisture, so you’ll struggle to get nice, full curls out of it.
You should only wash your hair when it’s dirty, or if you’re experiencing a build-up of product or natural oils.
For dehydrated hair, try using hair milk such as Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk leave-in conditioner.
How long can you go without washing curly hair?
If your curly hair is particularly thick with tight curls or coils, you can go as long as three weeks depending on how your scalp produces its natural oils and if it feels or looks dirty.
This may seem extreme but washing it as often as once or twice a week can be damaging to your gorgeous curls, causing them to dry out.
If this seems too long to wait you could try conditioner-only washes in between for a nice refresh or a water-only wash. This can be a less invasive way to break up some of the hair oils without completely drying out your scalp.
If you feel your curly hair looks oily by the end of the day, try using dry shampoos for a quick refresh or try switching up your wash schedule – go with the flow of your hair and only wash it if you think it really needs it.
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Does conditioner make your hair curly?
Conditioner doesn’t have the ability to turn naturally straight hair curly but, conditioner-only washing has been known to encourage more of a curl to develop in hair that has a natural inclination to curl, like loose wavy hair for example.
Conditioner-only washing is a great way to refresh your hair between washes without drying it out too much.
Hair that doesn’t have enough moisture is much harder to control and is often more frizzy than curly. So, by avoiding shampoo and washing with conditioner only will give your hair more moisture, making it much easier to control and curl nicely.
If you’re struggling to find the right co-wash products, check out the Pantene Gold Series Co-wash with Argon oil.
Is it bad to wet curly hair every day?
Washing curly hair every day is not a good idea. However, there is a difference between washing and just ‘wetting’. Simply getting your hair wet in the shower every day doesn’t pose many threats to the health of your hair.
But, some areas of the U.S. produce ‘hard water’ out of the faucets which can be harsh on hair. Hard water is damaging to your hair because it consists of a lot more minerals than ‘soft water”. This build-up of minerals can affect the feel, appearance, and manageability of your hair. So, if you plan to get your hair wet every day we suggest checking if your area has hard or soft water before making a decision.
If you do choose to get your hair wet every day despite having hard water, we suggest avoiding shampoo as often as possible and sticking to conditioner-only or even water-only washes to prevent further drying.
This is because store-bought shampoos can be very drying on your hair because they strip the natural oils from your scalp and strands. This may cause your hair to dry out and become frizzy as a result.
What are alternatives to washing my hair every day?
Depending on your hair type, getting your hair wet every day will have different effects. Naturally curly hair struggles more with over-washing than straight, but it all depends on what else you put in your hair.
Simply getting your hair wet every day won’t cause much harm but, washing with harsh shampoos can. Shampoo can actually be quite drying so using it every day can leave your hair dehydrated and feeling brittle.
Some people have adopted the no-’poo regime which means they only wash their hair with warm water to support the hair’s natural oils rather than breaking them down with shampoo.
While this method has been known to be beneficial for your hair but, we still don’t recommend doing this every day. Your hair will really benefit from time in between washes to naturally moisturize itself.
What temperature is best for washing your hair?
There’s a lot of debate surrounding which water temperature is best for our hair. The general opinion seems to be that cold water comes out on top.
However, hot water is better at removing any dirt and build-up of oil but, it can be too harsh and strip your hair of the good natural oils that keep your hair healthy, soft, and moisturized. So, it’s best not to use hot water every time you wash your hair as this can dry it out.
People often say cold water helps to close off the pores in your scalp after washing to keep them from building up with dirt and oil. While there is no scientific evidence to back this up, women have sworn by using cold water for shinier hair for years.
The best combination would be to start off by rinsing your hair with warm water to break up the dirt and excess oils, then switch to cooler water for the final rinse to help keep moisture in and give you smoother, shinier hair as a result.