Water Only

 

This post contains Shopstyle affiliate links and links to DIY tutorials. If you click on the affiliate links, I make a commission on a per-click basis. Thank you for reading! Also I'm wearing a modal dress in the first picture... I didn't realize my hair covered it all.

Here's the natural texture of my hair and skin when I wake up now, before washing, styling, brushing, or makeup (en fait, I got three hours of sleep before taking these photos, so I hope I normally look better). My daily routine:

10 minute AM routine

  1. Brush teeth
  2. Massage scalp with fingers, then brush hair and scalp with plastic-free wooden bristle brush in rubber base. Wrap in towel.
  3. Shower or bathe with olive oil soap, shave with safety razor if necessary (adds five minutes). Like many French girls I know, I don't wash my face in the morning, not even with water- it's too drying. Wash hair with water weekly.
  4. Apply Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation (recyclable, cruelty free but owned by a company that allows animal testing), blush, eyeliner, and mascara. I discovered Kjaer Weis on a photo shoot and loved it, but after researching their formulations further, decided not to invest (Ellis Faas also has refillable products). The silicone in this current foundation keeps my skin from breaking out, and I don't need any more containers.

Evening routine 

  1. Remove makeup with water and a hemp washcloth. Brush teeth.
  2. Repeat scalp massage and brush hair. I have two pillows I switch around. The object is keeping the pillowcases as clean as possible, laundering weekly and wrapping hair with a towel or scarf.
The severity and frequency of my acne reduced drastically. It was hard for people to look at me, and I couldn't scratch my face because it was so painful. I didn't want to leave the house with skin so bumpy and bloody. Now I hardly ever get a zit. If I do, it's much smaller than before and doesn't scar, plus my pores seem less noticeable and existing scars are finally starting to fade. When I go outside without makeup or keep the windows open too long, I get a pimple almost immediately after. Apparently a breakout takes two weeks to develop- I'm not sure what's happening there.

I'll always have a bit of frizz, and my hair is still coarse, but the texture improved dramatically. My hair started growing again- it hadn't for two years- the curls sprang up and relaxed, and it doesn't fall out as much. Recently, my grandma sent me the Arirangion; Korean readers, do you know about this? In my great-aunt's community in Seoul, ionized water is all they have, so everyone washes their hair without shampoo, and their laundry without soap (everyone except Imo, who still uses soap and detergents faithfully). Things come out white and fresh-smelling. Hair is left healthy and strong. I tried the water out on some laundry (with soap), and it was incredible how soft and beautiful clothes came out. I forgot how nice fabric could feel in the absence of Paris' hard water. Can't wait to see what it does to my hair and skin!

When transitioning to water only in a corporate environment, you need to massage your scalp and brush your hair at every opportunity. My hair is thick and wiry, so I'm sort of useless to people with silkier, finer hair, but what really helped me was keeping dry shampoo out of my hair as much as possible. Try and stave off the cocoa powder, arrowroot, or cornstarch until at least the third day, allowing hair to adjust sebum production properly. Lemon or lime juice is a great freshener / hairspray alternative that adds shine. If you can't wear headbands or headscarves at your office (although I thought the ones Karen Gillan wore in Selfie were totally appropriate!), part your hair on the opposite side when you first wash it, then keep moving your part over as the week goes on. The day before your next wash, slick it back in a ponytail- I hear this is what Kim Kardashian, rich Londoners, et al. do between weekly blowouts.

Now that I have ionized water, I may switch to soap or rhassoul eventually. At the moment, my hair feels bouncy, and complete strangers ask the name of my salon or stylist. They could very well be asking to avoid going to the same place, but I like to think it means the shampoo detox is healing my beleaguered strands. P.S. Don't worry, this will be the end of unwanted ugly pictures of me for awhile.
Paris to Go

45 comments:

  1. girl you crazy. you're totally stunning. and modest like an asian. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Modest like an Asian is what I was going for! You made me so happy :) Thank you Sommer!

      Delete
    2. And we love you for it!!! The hair...ohw, amazing. Me and my curls have to twitch it though, no combing and long hair leaves room for awkward hair. So i apply oil all over, once a week, and ten comb while whit. My hair has the most shine afterwards. Thank you for being my guide, modest and all....

      Delete
    3. Your curls are so beautiful Emma! Thanks for sharing your curly girl experience :)

      Delete
  2. Your hair is beautiful! My hair is very curly, so I can't brush it to distribute the sebum without wrecking the curl structure. However, I'm hoping to transition to a mainly water only routine over the next few months. I've recently stopped using shampoo, and currently co-wash every 3 -4 days with silicone free products, use a rosemary & cider vinegar rinse, and spritz lavender water to refresh between washes. I use coconut oil or egg if I need to deep condition. It's amazing the difference it has made to my hair. I didn't realise using hair products was causing the irritation to my scalp and drying my hair, so I'd use more products to deal with the irritation /dryness, and so the cycle went on. My hair looks better, and my hair care budget is a fraction of what it was :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Ali! Can you brush with your fingers still? I mostly use my fingers to distribute sebum, and the brush to get the filth of Paris out of my hair :) You must smell wonderful! That's awesome that it's made such a difference... and the extra cash helps too of course. What are the proportions of your rosemary and cider vinegar rinse, if I may ask? Do you use the whole egg or just the white? Please keep me posted on how the transition is going, I really like hearing this stuff !

      Delete
    2. Thanks for saying that. I love learning about other people's routines and tips too!

      Yes, I brush ,y hair out with my fingers when when I wash it with conditioner, then I scrunch to increase the curls when it's almost dry. I might scrunch in the refresher spritz between washes, other than that I try not to touch it too much. Curly hair tends to tangle as soon as anyone looks at it, but since cutting out silicones, drying alcohols and sulphates I've found it's less knotted, and easier to finger comb.

      The rosemary rinse smells amazing! I use around four cups of boiling water, a 3 - 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary if the local veg shop has it in stock, or 2 - 3 tbsp of dried in a loose tea infuser. I let the water and rosemary steep until it's cooled. I strain through an old, clean stocking and add 2 tbsp of cider vinegar. I pour it over my hair, then finger rake through. You can either leave it in, or let it soak into your hair for 5 mins, then rinse out with cool water. If you leave it in, the vinegar smell disappears as the hair dries. (I tend to leave the rinse in, then plop my hair in an old cotton tshirt until it's about 50% dry.)

      For deep conditioning, I use one egg yolk to 1 tbsp of olive oil, and a little water to thin it. that makes enough mixture to cover my hair. I don't need it so much on the roots, so I concentrate on the length. I don't have a regular routine for deep conditioner, just as and when I need it. You can freeze the left over egg whites, to use later for something like a meringue, or use fresh to make a egg white omelette.

      I'm so glad your hair and skin care routine is working so well for you too :)

      Delete
  3. You gotta stop being apologetic for being gorgeous and posting pictures on your blog. We love them.

    So much new information in this post.

    Thank you !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever offered an ecourse on taking and posing for pictures, I would sign up for it in a heartbeat. All your photos are amazing. Bises

      Delete
  4. Your hair looks gorgeous! Do you used special shaving soap with the safety razor to shave your legs or just the same soap you wash yourself with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laurie! I just use the same soap. These oil based soaps are so rich and they lather really nicely. I just use my hands but that's personal preference... Danielle from http://noneedformars.com/ uses a bristle brush to lather the soap to make it more comfortable, and I think Bea Johnson's family from Zero Waste Home uses one too.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much. Working up the courage to switch! I currently have the Preserve razor but the blades are expensive and not recyclable.

      Delete
    3. Oh yes, I read about those on My Plastic Free Life! The safety razor is not as scary as I thought at all. I use it the same as a plastic razor, I just don't apply pressure. It ended up being easier than the old disposables, and I don't nick myself anymore, even if I dry shave (or just shave with water). The few nicks I do get were less painful and tinier than the ones from my old Venus. I psyched myself out reading forums and videos about safety razor shaving but really, there's no trick to it.

      Delete
  5. you hair looks amazing Ariana! you just convinced me to give this method a try. if you want to clean with egg - use yolk only on wet hair and rinse with tepid or cool water. with your gorgeous, thick hair - you will probably need two yolks :) love your blog - constant inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lari! Let me know how it goes. How often do you use the egg cleaning method? I read to use it only once a month or something because of the protein but some people use the method weekly, so I'm curious. I used egg before but one time I didn't separate carefully enough and wound up with little bits of white in my hair, even though the water was cold!

      Delete
  6. I agree with with Archana--stop apologizing for being gorgeous! :c)
    This blog post is filled with great information, as usual! I'm intrigued with the water ionizer. I tried going water-only on my fine, thin, shoulder-length hair and it was a total disaster. Maybe the water hardness was making things worse.... I want to try again! I hate buying shampoo.
    I loved that show, Selfie. RIP, smart comedy with diverse actors. You were too good for this world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I miss that show! When the boss said "a redhead and a Korean together" everybody took a screenshot and sent it to my sister. My dad's a redhead and mom's Korean and my sister is a beautiful mix of both- Asian eyes but long red curls! Why did they cancel it... I signed a petition to bring it back. I hope another network resurrects it.

      Water hardness definitely makes a huge difference. It might have left deposits that weighed your hair down; for me, the minerals dried my hair out too much. Switching to distilled water finally got my hair clean. I just used the ionizer on my hair this morning, it is incredible! I really recommend it, it was easy to install too, just twist off the shower head and screw it onto the hose, it takes less than a minute!

      Delete
    2. Is an "ionizer" the same as a shower water filter?

      Delete
    3. It's this: http://www.arirangions.com/

      Maybe it just filters the water but I have to say it cleans leather shoes amazingly and feels great on my skin!

      Delete
  7. You are ridiculously beautiful! And actually modest and hilarious.

    I am sure you're aware of it, but there's a kind of cultish-seeming internet phenomenon of mostly men and some women where people are claiming they can reverse hair loss through massaging the scalp and water-only washing. (No commercial products at all, no co-washing, maybe some ACV). I wash a few times a week with commercial products, some like detergent (Pantene), some $$. I have a hormonal disorder and am terrified of cold-turkeying and have some hair loss especially after giving birth last year. But seeing your lustrous hair is a good ad for the approach!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no idea! Where are these forums? Congratulations on the birth of your baby! And thank you so much :) Some people wrote that when they went through a hormonal change it seemed like they were going through the transitional period of no-poo all over again. I can see why that would be terrifying! I've read that people with PCOS benefited from going no-poo though. I'm curious to see more research on this!

      Delete
    2. I've been transitioning away from shampoo for a while. Occasionally, when I visit my sister, I use her shampoo, which is Pantene. I've found that the next day after using Pantene, my hair is suddenly incredibly greasy. Even when I was using another commercial shampoo, I usually got three days or more between washes. My hairdresser said it's because Pantene contains a wax that has humectant properties-- meaning it draws moisture out of the air. That would certainly explain my experience! So, if you do think about transitioning, Anonymous, maybe switch away from Pantene first!

      Delete
  8. I am so happy you brought up Selfie! The show was too good to be cancelled!

    I love when you post pictures of yourself. They are very inspiring! I have very thin and fine hair and my boyfriend, who is Japanese/Filipino-American, always tells me he would share his thick, nice hair with me if he could! I live in CA, Bay Area and our water is extremely hard so cutting the shampoo habit is ridiculously difficult. Even worse (although I'm very fortunate), I work in a Fortune 500 Company that is very professional. I'm trying to research scarf styles and such that could look 'intentional' and not just like I am covering up as I transition to "low poo" with natural shampoo bars. I am such a petite person with such little hair that headbands and scarves could never seem to work for me!

    You always give me hope! Perhaps when I cut down my daily washings, my skin will be less tight and dry on my face.

    Much love!
    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Danielle! You inspired this post! Someone told me that Asians naturally have thicker hair than other people, so non-Asians don't know how to cut our hair or something haha. Reading your comment a better reference than Selfie might be Blair Waldorf, lol:

      https://www.google.fr/search?q=blair+waldorf+headbands&espv=2&biw=1179&bih=619&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1nfWkhcDJAhWCORQKHTnKD0gQ_AUIBigB

      The only Fortune 500 company where I've seen women wear headbands is at Goldman Sachs, but they have a weird company culture... headbands and scarves don't work for me either, so you're not alone. I think dry shampoo is the best friend of girls like us, plus the part trick, of course...

      Delete
    2. That's so sweet! Thank you for the reference :) THANK GOD it is the holiday season so I'm betty super unprofessional at work and going through the OH-poo transition. I've timed it knowing my supervisors are so busy they have no time to meet with me and see my greasy hair, haha.

      Perhaps in the future I'll have better luck with water only when I can install my own water filter like you showed me. Thank you in the meantime!

      Delete
  9. Oh how beautiful your hair is! It's amazing how much it has changed in the past few months. Sometime back when you posted previously about your water only method I gave it a go for a little over a week. In that time my scalp was so thick with oil and my hair clung to itself like rope. My scalp also itched like crazy and it began to flake. One day I may have the strength to pull through the "adjustment phase", but....idk if I could handle it. I only wash with silicone conditioner and I thought it might be easier for me, but alas, my skin is soooooo oily. Keep posting your beautiful pics and you may just inspire me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so sweet Amber! But you look so beautiful, I would never guess you had oily skin! Your pictures are perfect. Aw I'm sorry to hear about your water only experience... my hair is really dry so I guess it sucked up all the oil but please let me know if you do give it a try again!

      Delete
  10. I have fine, thin hair so going no-poo scares me. I tried washing only with conditioner and ended up with a lot of unexplained hair loss, so back to the regular products I went. I would love to figure out a way to manage it. I envy you thick-haired women!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no! I'm sorry that happened. I've heard from friends that when they wash with Wen-type products (which is basically conditioner) their hair came out in patches. My hair wasn't so thick when I co-washed, there must be something to that.

      Delete
    2. Alexandra, I have fine hair, there is a lot of it, and it has always has been unmanageable lol. Anyway, I wash it once a week, putting conditioner only at the ends, when it looks greasy I run a bit of corn starch through it. Maybe give this routine a try? oxoxTonette

      Delete
  11. Ariana, I have learned so much in the short couple of months I've been reading your blog and have been inspired to make some huge (and small) changes in my life because of you! PLEASE keep writing. I'd really love to hear more about your diet and your cooking routine, as I'm finding that to be a big stumbling block for me, in terms of pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle. No doubt your super-healthy diet is a big factor in your healthy skin and hair, too. Maybe an idea for a future post about specific dishes you're cooking these days? Thank you for your service in keeping this wonderful blog going..you're helping more people than you know!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment is so, so sweet, you made me so happy! That's a great idea for a future post (since I'm running out of them, I love it when people give me stuff to write about :D ) Thank you, and I look forward to reading your blog too, in the future !

      Delete
  12. What material is the towel/scarf that you wrap your hair in? Do you sleep with the towel or scarf on? And what material are the pillowcases made from? I am inspired to start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't always sleep with a towel or scarf on, usually just towards the end of the week until I can wash my pillowcases again. The towel is either cotton or linen, the scarf silk, and the pillowcases linen. And actually with the towels I typically just lay them out over the pillow. I hope you like water only!

      Delete
  13. I keep trying to make it to water-only, and getting stuck on various steps. I used up my bottle of conditioner washing every three days-- that took about six months. Then I switched to a shampoo bar with a vinegar rinse, but I didn't like it-- there was a waxy feel even after the vinegar. After perusing all your posts, I tried rye flour-- wow! It's fantastic! Shiny, non-greasy hair. I was really surprised; it's every bit as good as shampoo. But I do want to eventually get away from product altogether.

    It's funny, because my son (age two) has terrible eczema, and we went through an endless series of "gentle" and "natural" bath products and baby shampoos. His hair was dull and like straw, even with nothing but conditioner. He finally had to see a pediatric allergist (he's also allergic to nuts and eggs), and he recommended that we use no soap or shampoo at all on him. That, along with oatmeal lotion, totally eliminated the eczema, and his hair, which had been looking very dull and straw-like whether I washed with conditioner or baby shampoo, is finally starting to shine like baby hair should. Isn't it so typical of the consumerist mindset that we think everything has to be solved with a different product, and never consider that the solution might be no product at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sadie, I'm so happy rye flour worked for you! Your poor son, it's wonderful that such a simple switch is offering him relief. Thank you for sharing this. It makes so much sense that simple water is all we might need!

      Delete
  14. I have read all your hear posts and it's amazing how your hair improved since the baking soda damage! But I am confused, you say you wash your hair once a week, elsewhere you said once a month. Also it seems you use dry shampoo? I am not familiar with the stuff but assume it's something nasty. Can you please clarify?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Thyme! I don't remember where I said I wash my hair once a month... I have pushed it to once a month before, but I don't think I disclosed it on the blog because I was always afraid :P In Paris I washed once a week because of the pollution, although now my hairdresser says I can go two weeks, so I've been trying that since February. For dry shampoo, I recommend using cornstarch or cocoa powder or arrowroot if necessary. It's better to hold off as long as possible, though, and I don't really use those things personally because my hair is naturally dry.

      Delete
  15. hi . your blog is great and id love your opinion on something please . iv been water only for over a month now and im loving it my hair feels so much better . but i am still dyeing my hair with semi permanent crazy colour ( i know its not completely water only but im not ready to give up my colours yet )
    but iv recently noticed that the colour just isent sticking to the hair anymore and i can only assume that it is because it cant get through the layer of sebum the hair is now coated in . is this likely to ease up when my scalp has finished regulating or if i was to do a bicarb acv wash to get rid of the excess oil just when i need to dye it do you think it would be able to penetrate in to the hair . or maybe if i dusted my hair with cornstarch to soak it up and then rinsed that out before dying it would make any difference ? any help greatly appreciated thank you :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thank you and you raise a great point! I couldn't find information on this, most of the water only people only use henna I think. Could you tell me what you decided to do and how it worked? Sorry I can't be of any help but in case someone else asks it would be interesting to know. Just one thing- please don't do bicarb ACV! So many people swear by it but it eventually just dissolves away parts of your hair :( Although if you are trying to strip the previous color, I heard baking soda is good for that. Maybe another no poo option like an egg, gram flour, clay wash or aleppo soap would work? This is the most information I could find on the subject but it doesn't apply to your situation: https://almostexactlyblog.com/2013/08/05/no-poolow-poo-for-dyed-hair/

      Delete
  16. Hi. Your hair journey has been amazing! I just looove your hair.

    I'm on my 3rd water only week. My hair is quite curly (around 2c).
    I've been battling dandruff for more than 10 years :(. Water wash is my only hope.

    The method works wonders on somedays, and is a mess on others. I'd love some advice!

    1. On an average, how long do you massage your scalp? (I spend about 5 minutes in the morning, 5 in the evening)
    2. My hair is really dry many times. Or sections of my hair is dry (some days the middle, some days the beginnings, endings etc). How should I moisturize?
    3. Brushing my hair turns it into a frizzy mane, and it loses it's curl patterns. My hair is so tangled, and the extra dryness makes it hard for me to brush. I end up losing a lot of hair.
    4. I still have a flaky itchy scalp. Although it's reduced drastically.

    Can't wait to hear from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sangeetha thank you so much! Now I hardly massage my scalp anymore. Once a day, some days I don't even do it. About five minutes is right. I don't get patches of oil anymore so the scalp massage is less necessary. You still need to scrub the scalp with your fingertips to get rid of buildup but no more than if you were using shampoo. You can use oil on the sections that are dry, just rub it on your palms first, with a light touch. If it looks too greasy at first, I always find that the next day I find the greasy look disappears. I don't brush my hair anymore (I don't have a brush anymore even) because of how curly it gets now but I do run my fingers through it sometimes to reshape the curls. The scalp massage and giving up products should help the flakes and itchiness... I hope!

      Delete
  17. You're hair looks gorgeous! I'm curious to try water only for face and hair. I've had acne since my teens (and I'm in my forties!). I have oily roots and my hair is fried from highlights. It's also impossible to find any product good for wavy hair - they're usually too drying and make it impossible to brush through. I also love that you're using a wooden brush instead of boar's hair, I would prefer to keep my beauty routine cruelty-free. I'm going to try your techniques, thanks for posting them.

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon, you are so sweet. I don't get zits anymore, and I can start to go without makeup sometimes again! I also find that drinking 3L of water a day helped clear up my skin. At the moment I am not using the brush anymore- it disappeared during our move- so if it gets too hard to brush don't worry. It took some time but now my hair looks ok without brushing (I think). Hope your experience goes well!

      Delete