WO update (trouble shooting waxy hair)- July 8th


Chagrin soapnut shampoo bar

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil; Organic Sunflower Oil; Organic Babassu Oil; Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Organic Soapnuts (Aritha) Water; Sodium Hydroxide*; Organic Cocoa Butter; Organic Canola Oil; Organic Castor Oil; Organic Rosemary Oil Extract (a natural antioxidant)

*Used during the Saponification Process to turn oil into soap.
None remains in the finished product.
All real soap is made with saponified oils!


If you did not know already, I have been struggling with waxy buildup in my hair. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I highly suggest my post about waxy sebum vs oily sebum in the July 6th post. The way I see it, waxy buildup is the sole barrier to me transitioning out of the oily stage well. The accumulation of wax prevent the oils at my scalp to reach the ends. The oil then piles on my scalp. I feel that even after the oil is washed out, my hair will never look or feel clean as long as I continue to let the wax buildup. I’m a bit sick of vigorously washing my hair for 30 minutes or more (I am so sorry Mother Earth), and stepping out to realize that it’s grosser than before I washed it. I’ve tried ACV rinses in conjunction with my WO washes, and it has been working..somewhat. The most I would give it would be a 4/10. Workable, but not terribly useful.

For a long time, I have been lurking in WO forums, and I recently came across a facebook page for the WO community.. It just so happened to be a great group of people who are all very determined to live a more eco-friendly, healthier lives. The sheer number of members along with the bustling activity of the page meant that most problems people faced or were concerned about were all answered promptly and in great detail. I highly suggest joining a group if you are thinking about becoming water only. WO is very specific to each hair, however the sheer library of experiences, suggestions, and information (this group has permanent files on topics such as natural rinses, hair porosity, protein for hair etc. ) would help any WO washer, or any curious soul as well.

After poring through many, many forums, blogs, and facebook pages, I realized that there really is no fool proof way  to eliminate waxy buildup exclusively with WO washing (some hair/scalp types can though, just not most people). However, it is possible to adjust the routines and materials used to give your hair a fresh start after each bout of exclusively WO washing periods. Here are the top few things that I hope would work (for me and also for you).


  1. Chelating or deep cleansing hair when buildup gets too much: I would recommend actually using a soap product like a natural shampoo or natural shampoo bar as this will get the wax out for sure. After using any type of soap product, you MUST balance the pH of your hair with ACV (or other vinegar). Yes, the soap is technically not WO compliant, but it will contribute to healthier hair for people who have very bad wax build-up.
  2. Oiling prior to wash: Again, using the idea of like-dissolves-like, oiling prior to WO washing may remove waxy build-up. This may wonders on dry or curly hair. However, for my naturally oily scalp, I’m afraid the I would not be able to wash most of the oil out with water only. Possibly a combination of oil and a cleansing tea rinse or soapnut (because it has saponins which is basically soap but much gentler) will do the trick.
  3. A routine change: I’m planning to change my completely WO plan to one where every two weeks, I deep cleanse. This will get rid of buildup and actually help the oils move down my hair as well.
  4. Using distilled water to wet and massage hair: Rinse out with normal water.


PS. Soapnuts counteract the effects of hard water very well.


Thanks for reading! If you are interested in WO washing, check out my other posts on the topic:

Beginning and Introductions: Goes over the basics and techniques for WO washing

Week One and mid second week update: About my first few experience. Includes my hair type and wax information.

Daily Post: July 7th

Daily Post: July 8th (the first one today)


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