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How I Did a Liquid Only (Water and Aloe Vera Juice) Regimen on my Type 4 Hair

Avatar • Jul 20, 2014

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It’s no secret that naturally coily and curly hair types benefit from products that foster moisture retention.  This is particularly true during the dry summer months when natural hair has a tendency to become especially dry and requires regular moisture in order to prevent breakage. One particular option that I learned earlier in my healthy hair journey was the “water only” regimen. The water only method not only recommends using products with water high on the ingredient list of a product, but also using water and nothing else. According to advocates of this method, spritzing or washing one’s hair regularly with water provides hair with needed moisture without the added build up that comes from oils, butters or silicones often included in hair products. I’ve experimented with this method and like many methods, there are benefits and drawbacks.

Water Only

I found that when using the water only method there were two important factors necessary in order for my tightly coiled hair to retain moisture:

1) I need to LIGHTLY mist my hair with water each day.

2) The weather needed to be cool or mildly hot.

Exposure to extreme cold or extreme heat required that I add a butter or oil to seal in moisture. Still, spraying my hair with water each day during very cold or very hot days reduced the number of times I felt it necessary to add a butter or oil. The water only method is a great option for individuals with very fine hair; as oils and butters can weigh down your hair style and/or require that you wash your hair more frequently.  Even if you don’t have fine hair, you may find that a water only (or water mostly) regimen reduces the need for butters and lessens the buildup that you experience each week.

Other Liquid Only Options

While I have found success with the water only method (moisturizing my hair on wash day with a butter and spritzing the remainder of the week), I have found that other liquids had proven to be even more beneficial to my hair. I am a huge fan of aloe vera juice and often look for ingredients with aloe vera high on a product’s ingredient list. Why? In addition to adding moisture to my hair I find that the pH balance of aloe vera helps to smooth the cuticles of my hair making it feel softer. Now, to be clear: Just because my hair “feels”  softer it doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually is softer or that water is inferior to aloe vera. However, if a natural product safely helps smooth the cuticles of my hair, I will use the product often because well, who doesn’t like the feel of soft hair?

Other liquid only options that you might also consider are rose water, glycerin mixed with water or using a homemade spritz with mostly water and a few drops of oil.  If you are in love with fragrances but aren’t crazy about chemicals you might consider infusing your liquid mixture with dried rose petals.

If you have never experimented with a liquid only regimen or find that a water only regimen recommend is lacking, consider the alternatives described and add oils and butters every few days if necessary. You might even find that during late summer and early fall the liquid only regimen serves your hair well.

Tip: If you wear braid outs or twist outs, at night, I recommend adding your liquid of choice to sections of hair you plan to set. If you wear a bun or other up do styles, I recommend spritzing your hair in the morning and tying it with a satin scarf for a round 15 minutes to provide a sleek look.

Have you experimented with a liquid only regimen? What were the pros or cons? What is your favorite liquid moisturizer of choice?

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Transitionneuse
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Transitionneuse

I’m so used to oils and butters that I would feel like I am starving my hair or something… I will need to see really impressive results to want to actually try it! Thanks for the articles btw !
http://www.elletransitionne.com (for the frenchies)

Just_Browsing
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Just_Browsing

I’ve tried it. 3 months using water only wash, and its great! -Hair is soft ‑Hair doesn’t feel as dry. ‑LOW BUILDUP ‑No itchy scalp. If it itches, its probably due for a waterwashing! Purpose: To the hair moisturize itself by using the natural oils the body produces via the scalp. Result: Healthy & hydrated lower maintenance hair, with fewer knots. Cost-effective: no buying of hair products. How to: ‑Clarify hair with shampoo. (because you will no longer be using any shampoo or conditioner from here on) When water washing: Soak that scalp. Just standing under a shower for ten… Read more »

la*belle
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la*belle

Wow, thank you for all that info. Very useful as I am WO too. Very affordable method, and my scalp is so happy. I have found that taking flax seed oil worked wonders in terms of sebum production.

The One
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The One

I tried water only once and found that my scalp would become extremely irritated (firey, itching sensation) if I went multiple days wetting my hair and not adding some kind of oil to my scalp. That’s actually how I learned that castor oil works well for me as “grease” for my scalp. I would wet or spritz my hair in the morning before work, and by lunch time, I was practically clawing the skin off my head it burned so bad. Then I’d have to rush home to shampoo and condition because that was the only way to relieve the… Read more »

Sabi
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Sabi

She is moisturizing with something of a higher pH that penetrates her strands effectively (water) and then ‘sealing’ with something of a lower pH that smooths the strands and helps her hair retain the moisture (aloe vera juice).…It’s exactly what I, and most naturals do.

I spritz with water lightly when prepping my styles for the next day, and then spritz with hibiscus tea to ‘seal’ and smooth my strands…I apply a light oil and KIM.

Dananana
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Dananana

I would love to try water only…but what about detangling? Removing shed hair under running water has never worked for me long-term–I always end up missing a lot of it and generating massive mats and knots later. And I can’t just detangle with water because my hair snaps super easily without a lubricating oil. Geniece, how did you detangle without increasing breakage during your water-only stint?

Taylor
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Taylor

That is exactly what my question was for the whole thing. I have very thick hair and I couldn’t imagine just water to detangle it. Could somebody answer our question on how we would detangle our hair using the wash only?

Mea
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Mea

I have been doing the water only wash for almost two months. I truly enjoy it…I have adapted it to my lifestyle though. YouTube WaterWashOnly and there is a blog by Minimalist Beauty- Dawn Michelle she explains it also. I lightly finger detangle then place in 6–8 braids…then I detangle on wet hair after massaging and lightly “scritching” the scalp and bring the oil from the roots to the tip with a boar bristle brush. I use a bamboo brush. After a few weeks the oil (sebum) from your hair will be coating your strands and it is so much… Read more »

Mea
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Mea

The bamboo brush is when I comb through my wet hair. The boar bristle is used on dry hair…

Diana Abbott
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Free samples of aloe available
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMG_1111462076514‑1.jpeg[/img]

Sunshine Mena
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I’ve been water only washing for about 6 months and honestly detangling has never been easier. Your hair get’s used to and adapts to not having products in it and once you get to full sebum coverage no more breakage (at least that’s what I experienced). Our sebum is our natural sealant so no need for oils or butters. I dry (As in completely dry, no water spritz) finger detangle and my hair doesn’t break or shed as much anymore (I have really thin strands just fyi) . When I was moving into water only I detangled with flax seed… Read more »

la*belle
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la*belle

Hi Dananana, I know you directed your question at Geniece, but I do have an answer for you 🙂 Once your entire length of hair is coated in sebum, detangling is a breeze. I have 4a/b hair, fyi. Detangling with conditioner plus oil was never this easy for me. The sebum provides awesome slip, I can detangle in and out of the shower, using my fingers only. So, i massage my scalp, and then ‘drag’ the sebum down my length. Shed hair just glides out AND my number of shed hairs has drastically reduced. There is a you tuber, wateronlyhairwash.… Read more »

Dananana
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Dananana

Thanks for the suggestions, Mea and la*belle! I might have to try this method soon 🙂

Diana Abbott
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Free samples give away. 100% natural aloe vera products. Send your info for free trial of products.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMG_1111462076514.jpeg[/img]

LiGlisa Chae
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LiGlisa Chae

I too have started the water only method. Just on the 2nd day of it and documenting the journey of it written and video. So far, just on day 2, I’m impressed. My hair is soft and has a bit of shine to it. I have cottony type hair, and more 4c in the top and front. I washed mine in twist for now. For the first two weeks the youtuber WaterOnlyWashing suggests washing it at lest 2 weeks daily til you feel the sebum covering the hair strand. I can’t wait to see the ultimate results of this. So… Read more »

Miriam A.
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Miriam A.

I quit all products, now it’s just water and if I want to clean my scalp I use water with Himalayan salt and sometimes lemon. and No my hair does not smell, neither is my scalp dirty. I prayed so earnestly about my hair and that I am a 100% convinced that my hair does not need products, God himself created me and he made everything perfect Psalm 139:13,14. So since God did not gave me a bottle of oil or shampoo or whatever, at birth, or a list of steps to take to get soft and beautiful hair. I… Read more »

Yvonne
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Yvonne

I’ve never used an aloe Vera juice and water mix but I am very interested. Before, I used this mixed, I would like to know, what is the best water for this mix?

Nicole Hunter
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Nicole Hunter

Distilled water

Phenice
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Phenice

With liquid only (aloe Vera) could you do this process when wearing wigs and how often should you spray on your hair

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