This 4C Natural Swears By Water-Only Washing For Curl Definition

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?

27 thoughts on “This 4C Natural Swears By Water-Only Washing For Curl Definition

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 the body’s own, natural oil which is made of loads of great properties. I don’t use a comb, just the pads of my fingers, very lightly. but some others do. This is not a ‘White’ thing either, many groups the world over practice this. Also, obviously the healthier your diet/body, the healthier your natural body oils will be.

    While clarifying may be right for some, it’s not right for everyone, And unless you’re a scientist who’s tested the population or a deity, you have no authority to base your assertions on what the rest of the world needs.

    Sometimes the comments section is downright rude and bullying, just like Youtube.

    • 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.

  7. 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.

        • 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 experience, hence the question. Sorry if I came across that way. Peace my sister….

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