I've been Natural since April 2006. A time when products were still made in the kitchen. When Nappturality.com and Fotki.com were the Natural hangout spots.
Over the year I've tried more methods and products than I care to speak of.
Then one day I accidentally stumbled upon the Water Only Washing method and the benefits of this more simple hair cleansing routine. I watched the YouTube videos and read each blog post twice. The goal is get your hair completed covered with sebum, the skin's naturally produced oil that protects the hair, thus eliminating the need for additional hair products.
After about two months, I can honestly say it was a nice experiment but I'm going back to my favorite hair products which you can read about here and here. Below is a breakdown of my likes and dislikes of the W.O.W. method.
1. I enjoyed rinsing my hair daily with water. It was really refreshing especially after an evening workout at the gym.
2. My mini twists were a great protective style and made getting ready for work in the morning a breeze.
3. It's an all natural "product." What can be better than water?
4. Although purchasing a shower filter was a one-time expense, it was helped not only with my hair but my skin as well. The water here in Jacksonville is quite hard and can leave your skin dry and flaky.
5. My dandruff was finally under control. After years of an itchy scalp, the daily water rinsing soothed my scalp better than any oil or moisturizer.
1. The transition from using commercial products to water only is rough. I knew from my research it would be but I still wasn't prepared. My first set of mini twists were very frizzy and difficult to detangle and re-twist.
2. Despite the use of a shower head filter, my roots were always dull and grayish looking when dry.
3. Shrinkage was worse than normal. I could have stretched my twists by wrapping them at night, just how one does with relaxed hair, but rinsing in the morning worked better for my lifestyle.
4. My hair looked better wet/damp than it did dry. When wet, my twists were juicy and shiny. Like I stated in Dislikes #2 and #3, when dried my hair was a shrunken gray mess.
5. If I missed one day of doing all three steps, (massage the scalp, lightly scratch scalp and smooth sebum from roots to ends with your fingers), my scalp and hair paid the price.
I had to move that sebum from my scalp, down the shaft of my hair and to the ends. If not, I ended up with build up on my scalp in addition to parts of my hair that would become really oily (the roots) and others that would become really dry (the ends).
While I do see the benefits of hydrating your hair daily with water, I cannot live without my flax seed gel and the look and feel of a freshly shampooed scalp. But don't take my word for it. Try it out yourself and leave me your thoughts on the method. Perhaps I may give it another go in a few months.