When it comes to wash­ing nat­u­ral hair, I thought we had pret­ty much cov­ered it all. From co-wash­ing to pre-poo­ing, I was sure that we secured all bases and noth­ing was left to the imagination…until I hap­pened upon Deph­ne Madyara’s water only hair wash­ing rou­tine on YouTube. She claims that the water only method has made her hair much health­ier and it’s even improved the way her wash and go’s. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was unable to wear a wash and go because it didn’t look attrac­tive. Now that she’s switched to wash­ing her hair with only water, she’s able to wear a defined wash and go on her 4C hair.

Dephne Maydyara’s wash and go using the water only washing method.
Deph­ne Maydyara’s wash and go using the water only wash­ing method.

How It Works

Wash­ing your hair with water only can be a lit­tle daunt­ing at first. After all, how is water sup­posed to get your hair clean? The idea is to work with the nat­u­ral oils in your hair. Instead of strip­ping your hair like sham­poo does, water only wash­ing dis­trib­utes the nat­u­ral oils in your hair down the shaft of your hair. This elim­i­nates the need for you to replace oil that was stripped with sham­poo via con­di­tion­ers and oth­er oils. In the process it can help get rid of dirt and buildup.

How To Wash

1. Mas­sage your scalp and break up any­thing on your scalp. This will also stim­u­late your hair fol­li­cles.
2. Scrub your scalp with your fin­ger nails (scratch) and break up dead skin cells and dirt.
3. Detan­gle
4. Preen – dis­trib­ute the nat­u­ral oil in your hair down your hair with your hands.
5. Wet your hair with warm to hot water and scrub your scalp. You can preen some more while doing this.
6. Dry your hair
7. Apply a small amount of car­ri­er oil (option­al)

The Ben­e­fits

The most obvi­ous ben­e­fit is the mon­ey saved on sham­poo. Nat­u­rals who employ this method also claim that their hair grows faster, is less tan­g­ly and knot­ty, is soft­er, and their curls pop and clump effort­less­ly. You can also see the true health of your hair and tru­ly under­stand what you

The Chal­lenges

Most admit that wash­ing your hair with water only takes some get­ting used to. In fact, your hair and scalp may take sev­er­al months to get used to the rou­tine. Anoth­er con is that some peo­ple have hard water in their homes. If this is the case, then you will expe­ri­ence min­er­al build-up on your hair. Dis­tilled water or an acidic rin­se for your final rin­se should cure this. Addi­tion­al­ly, there is a pos­si­bil­i­ty that you’ll pro­duce too much sebum on your strands with this reg­i­men. If this hap­pens, you may need to clar­i­fy your hair before every water wash until you find the right bal­ance.

Take a look at Deph­ne Maydyara’s tuto­ri­al on her water wash­ing reg­i­men.

 Would you con­sid­er wash­ing your hair with water only?

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28 Comments on "This 4C Natural Swears By Water-Only Washing For Curl Definition"

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Christine Higgins-Reid
Christine Higgins-Reid

Thanks for reply­ing. I was actu­al­ly agree­ing with you!

Whitney Bianca

Dif­fer­ent things work for dif­fer­ent peo­ple but this is a rin­se treat­ment to be used with anoth­er method not alone. Water out the show­er or sink is most like­ly hard water with chlo­rine and Flouride added to clean it and to leave that on your hair is irre­spon­si­ble hair care. Our hair is noto­ri­ous­ly dry, we need oil to seal and alco­hol free gel or styler cream to seal the mois­ture in.

Ugonna Wosu

Who said she isn’t using a sealant? She’s talk­ing only about how she wash­es her hair. Nice lec­ture though.

Christine Higgins-Reid
Christine Higgins-Reid

Just curi­ous if you’re talk­ing from expe­ri­ence or are you mak­ing assump­tion?

Whitney Bianca

Every time I speak its from expe­ri­ence not assump­tion, I’ve been a vic­tim of peo­ple assum­ing with con­fi­dence and lead­ing me the wrong way so I would not do that.

Christine Higgins-Reid
Christine Higgins-Reid
Thanks for respond­ing. I have been doing WOW but I just want­ed to share that you don’t need to use a seal­er on this method once there is full sebum cov­er­age, only in the begin­ning on the ends. How­ev­er, like any method, it can be adapt­ed to suit indi­vid­u­al needs. I must admit that your respon­se came across as a lit­tle defen­sive. I just want you to know that I was not tty­ing to evoke any neg­a­tiv­i­ty, but just gen­uine­ly ask­ing a ques­tion. I do not know you so I can­not judge if you were mak­ing assump­tions or talk­ing from… Read more »
Ugonna Wosu

Her hair is clean. You think ppl had sham­poo when the world start­ed?

Christine Higgins-Reid
Christine Higgins-Reid

Sham­poo and con­di­tion­er is a 20th cen­tu­ry inven­tion. Even the famous Mason and Pear­son brush was orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed to smooth sebum through­out the hair to clean and con­di­tion the hair! Google their his­to­ry. One of the most expen­sive brush­es you’ll ever buy. And with good rea­son.

Ugonna Wosu

I’m not the one you should tell this to,but thanks.

Ugonna Wosu

I do this . I alter­nate. Some weeks I sham­poo, some I cow­ash, and oth­ers I water wash.

Reina Benoir

Nope! I can­not. If she thinks it works for her that’s fine and all, but I no. I can­not.


It’s cool but it would nev­er work for my hair. I need to cleanse at least twice a mon­th.

I’ve been water-only wash­ing off and on my entire life and have nev­er used my fin­ger­nails to move sebum, just a light mas­sag­ing with my fin­gers. Some are miss­ing cru­cial ele­ments with this ancient method, you do not add pro­duct, so there is no pro­duct build-up to remove or get caught in the hair. No added oils, con­di­tion­er, etc. Some oil their ends, but mine don’t need it. The method of scritch­ing the scalp with a comb that many south­ern Blacks are famil­iar with, is a fea­ture of this method, mov­ing nat­u­ral scalp oil down the hair to con­di­tion it with… Read more »
Christine Higgins-Reid
Christine Higgins-Reid

Great expla­na­tion and love your end­ing!


I wish I could do the water only thing, but I’ve got the hard­est water imag­in­able. I don’t think a fil­ter will cut it. But I just bought an entire apothe­cary of essen­tial and car­ri­er oils so I’m just not ready to let all that go.


I love Daphe but her hair looks a mat­ted mess and if she were to have a mag­ni­fy­ing glass, she would see her hair is extreme­ly filthy. She needs to clar­i­fy and deep con­di­tion at least once a mon­th to deal with water-only wash­ing.


That white stuff looks like dan­druff or residue from hair prod­ucts. Her hair needs sham­poo or soap to wash her hair and clean it.


Except they’re clear­ly water droplets so may­be take your judge­ment else­where.


No my judg­ment is going to stay where it wants to be. Water droplets don’t look look like that. Her hair needs to be clean and it’s not like I said before. ?


They look like that in 4C hair because I have it, and I would know. Take your fuck­ery else­where *side eyes user­name*

britti the dub

I would rec­om­mend invest­ing in a fil­tered show­er­head or faucet for the min­er­al build-up issue. I bought a Sprite fil­tered water show­er­head at Bed, Bath & Beyond and its changed my hair, skin, and nails dra­mat­i­cal­ly. I know some peo­ple like Cul­li­gan but Sprite is the best and most reli­able show­er­head I’ve ever pur­chased.

Joy Miller-Lee

what about con­di­tion­er?


Was I the only one who noticed the white stuff in her hair? Is that the coconut oil? Shouldn’t it have melt­ed?


At around the 4 min­ute mark she says her hair is only dry at the roots. I saw that white stuff as water and pos­si­bly unmelt­ed coconut oil. I’ve had that hap­pen occa­sion­al­ly when I was in a rush and not ful­ly rub­bing the coconut oil in.

Re water-only wash­ing: Yeah, no. The prod­ucts I use to get the look I want require more than just water to wash out.




I saw this clip a while ago and Nap­tural85 did a video on the sub­ject as well. I can appre­ci­ate the the­o­ry. I’ve heard less fre­quent wash­ing with straighter hair results in less oil. My mis­giv­ings lie in not know­ing how much nat­u­ral oil I pro­duce and if it’s enough to coat my hair appre­cia­bly. There are times when I’d love to skip the time-con­sum­ing reg­i­men, but I’d rather stick with cleans­ing con­di­tion­ers or soap bars.


Her hair sure looks like it would be worth it. I have dis­cov­ered in this nat­u­ral with our over­flow of prod­ucts, that less is more. So how much less can you get than water?

Imade Iyamu

She start­ed water wash­ing after her hair got long.