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If you’re in search of eco-friendly hair care tips that won’t upend your existing routine, here are eight ideas you can try right now.

Water-Only Hair Washing—Does It Work? A Pro Weighs In

Water-only hair washing is the latest shower trend that forsakes shampoo to clean your mane. Here’s what an expert thinks and why you may want to think twice before tossing your wash-day products.

Once upon a time, there was one straightforward way to : shampoo, condition, rinse, and repeat. Over the years, however, many new iterations of the hair-washing process have come to our attention thanks to social media: , , , , , and too many more to name.


The latest technique gaining traction is called water-only hair washing—and you guessed it—it requires only H2O to allegedly get the job done. Before you start , we tapped Redken artist Jamie McDaniel to break down this trending method and whether or not it’s effective and healthy for your mane. Here’s what you need to know before completely decluttering your shower shelves.

Shop Our Must-Have Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Deep Conditioners



What is water-only hair washing?

As its name suggests, water-only hair washing (also called no-poo or the no-poo method) is just that. Unlike other regimens where you switch the order of the shampoo and conditioner or apply a pre-shampoo treatment before sudsing up, water-only washing totally eliminates the need for shampoo (and any other in-shower products, for that matter).

“Water-only hair washing is simply the act of rinsing your hair with lukewarm water only with no cleansing agent,” says McDaniel.

All you need to do is wet your hair and scalp and use your fingertips to gently to help loosen up any debris or build-up and stimulate circulation. The thinking behind this method is that harsh shampoos can sometimes strip away the natural oils, good bacteria, and moisture on the scalp and hair, causing dryness, oiliness, or an overall imbalance that can alter the look and feel of your locks.

“You will most likely see and feel a difference right away,” adds the Redken artist. “However, like most things in life, the more frequently you do it, the more change you’ll notice.”

If you stick with water-only washing long enough, it’s speculated that the natural oils from your scalp will eventually travel all the way down your hair shaft to restore moisture and softness to your strands and even help reduce .

All sounds too good (and cost-effective!) to be true, right? We’re not 100 percent sold just yet. It’s worth noting that shampoos sometimes get a bad rap. Professionally-formulated shampoos use just the right amount of ingredients to help you reap the rewards of cleansing without wreaking havoc on your hair. Choosing the right shampoo formula for your specific and concerns will also ensure your mane and scalp stay healthy and balanced. Not sure which shampoo is right for you? Your hairstylist or dermatologist can point you in the right direction.

Good hair day by @lucas_stylist

Is water-only washing good for hair?

There are distinct pros and cons to water-only hair washing.

“The benefits of water-only hair washing allow your natural oils to protect, nourish and lubricate your scalp and hair rather than constantly being washed away from a traditional cleansing detergent or shampoo,” says McDaniel. “Cons can be if you go too long, oil and product build-up can form around the hair and prevent good nutrients from getting into the scalp or hair.”

As with many hair care , certain hair types may see better water-only hair washing results than others. According to McDaniel, water-only washing “works best on , coarse, curly/coily textures or those that tend to experience or hair.”

Will my hair smell if I just wash with water?

There’s nothing like the fresh, lingering smell of shampoo in our hair after a thorough cleanse. While your locks may not smell “bad,” so to speak, when using the water-only technique, they likely won’t have that alluring fragrance you’ve come to expect after washing with products. Consider picking up a refreshing or a hair perfume if you want to enhance your hair’s scent.

How often should you wash your hair with water only?

Hair washing trends are all about trial and error, so it may take a few tries to get it right.

If you want to totally eradicate shampoo from your routine, there will likely be a transitional period where your hair is adjusting to the no-poo method, and you’ll notice that your scalp becomes more quickly. Instead of going cold turkey, you can gradually reduce your shampoo usage to every other wash day or once every few washes to manage the look and feel of your hair.

Looking to simply reduce your shampoo usage instead of wiping it completely from your arsenal? Follow McDaniel’s rule of thumb.

“Depending on your scalp and hair needs, as well as product usage and activity level, washing with a traditional cleansing detergent or shampoo should take place biweekly for coarser textures and weekly for medium to fine textures,” says McDaniel.

As far as products go, she recommends “a that won’t dry out all of your hard work—and it never hurts to add in a to add extra moisture and combability.”

If you’re in the market for salon-approved recommendations, we rounded up a few of our must-haves to give you the best water-only hair washing results when shampoo days are fewer and farther between.

Our Must-Have Sulfate-Free Shampoos and Deep Conditioners


Hydrate Shampoo
Pureology

Hydrate Shampoo

A deeply hydrating, color-preserving shampoo for normal to thick dry, color-treated hair.


Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

Pureology is a sulfate-free shampoo that kicks off your hair care routine with intense moisture and contains the brand’s exclusive AntiFade Complex to protect color vibrancy.


Bain Chroma Respect Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Kérastase

Bain Chroma Respect Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfate-free shampoo with centella asiatica for shiny hair. Ideal for fine to medium, damaged, color-treated hair.

One size available for Bain Chroma Respect Sulfate-Free Shampoo
8.5 fl oz

Kérastase Bain Chroma Respect Sulfate-Free Shampoo

The lightweight Kérastase features amino acids that reinforce weak hair and rebuild the fiber from the inside out as you wash it.


Symbiose Bain Creme Antipelliculaire Antidandruff sulfate-free shampoo
new
Kérastase

Symbiose Bain Crème Antipelliculaire Antidandruff sulfate-free shampoo

Moisturizing anti-dandruff sulfate-free shampoo for hair & scalp prone to dandruff

One size available for Symbiose Bain Crème Antipelliculaire Antidandruff sulfate-free shampoo
8.5 fl oz

Kérastase Symbiose Bain Crème Antipelliculaire Antidandruff Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Prone to ? You’ll need Kérastase on wash days. The gentle yet purifying sulfate-free shampoo is made with pyrithione zinc, a powerful active ingredient to help eliminate the symptoms of dandruff.


Serie Expert Metal Detox Shampoo
L'Oréal Professionnel

Serie Expert Metal Detox Shampoo

A sulfate-free anti-metal cleansing shampoo that revitalizes color-treated hair.


L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Metal Detox Shampoo

If is dulling your salon color, look to L’Oréal Professionnel’s to detoxify the hair from metals and preserve color vibrancy.


All Soft Mega Curls Shampoo
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Redken

All Soft Mega Curls Shampoo

Hydrating and moisturizing treatment shampoo that gently cleanses and nourishes extremely dry curly and coily hair.

One size available for All Soft Mega Curls Shampoo
10.1 fl oz

Redken All Soft Mega Curls Shampoo

Textured hair types require extra delicacy during the shampoo process. Redken to the rescue! Free of silicones and sulfates, this hydrating and moisturizing treatment shampoo gently cleanses and nourishes extremely dry, curly and coily hair.


Acidic Bonding Concentrate Sulfate Free Shampoo for Damaged Hair
Best Seller
Redken

Acidic Bonding Concentrate Sulfate Free Shampoo for Damaged Hair

All-in-one concentrated shampoo for damaged hair


Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Made with all hair types and textures in mind, Redken’s helps to intensely condition, repair strength, and recreate weakened bonds on damaged hair.


True Textures Morroccan Clay Steam Mask
Stylist Pick
Mizani

True Textures Morroccan Clay Steam Mask

A deep conditioning mask for wavy, curly and coily hair prone to dryness.

One size available for True Textures Morroccan Clay Steam Mask
16.9 fl oz

Mizani True Textures Moroccan Clay Steam Mask

Ideal for curls types to , it’s hard not to get hooked on Mizani . It’s packed with nourishing ingredients like Moroccan clay, olive oil, coconut oil, and marula oil to add moisture, definition, and smoothness to , curls, and coils.


Izumi Tonic Strengthening Treatment
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Shu Uemura

Izumi Tonic Strengthening Treatment

A balm to strengthen and bring shine to hair.

One size available for Izumi Tonic Strengthening Treatment
3.4 fl oz

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Izumi Tonic Strengthening Treatment

Strengthen your hair with a little help from Shu Uemura Art of Hair , a deep conditioning balm made with rice water.


Ultra Hydra Source Deep Treatment Pack
Biolage Professional

Ultra Hydra Source Deep Treatment Pack

Deeply hydrating moisture mask conditions, softens and restores very dry, thick or coarse curly hair.

One size available for Ultra Hydra Source Deep Treatment Pack
10.1 fl oz

Biolage Professional Ultra Hydra Source Deep Treatment Pack

Biolage Professional is for the driest of dry hair thanks to its star ingredient cupuaçu butter, which helps hair retain 72 hours of moisture.


Serie Expert Liss Unlimited Mask
L'Oréal Professionnel

Serie Expert Liss Unlimited Mask

A smoothing mask for frizzy hair.

One size available for Serie Expert Liss Unlimited Mask
8.4 fl oz

L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Liss Unlimited Mask

Frizz is always an unwelcome guest. L’Oréal Professionnel boasts oil extracts, such as primrose oil, to help prevent frizz from spoiling your good hair day, starting in the shower.

More professional hair products and expert advice await you on . Don’t forget to tune into our livestreams to watch industry pros use their hair favorites in real-time.

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