I had tried the "no poo" method of baking soda + vinegar and found it left my hair too dry so then I would have to deeply condition it with coconut oil overnight and while all of this worked it was fiddly and I had a lot of split ends.
I tried the soap nuts and it was working out ok although I left it in for too long and my hair went very dry. While flicking through websites on hair solutions I came across the "Water only" method.
I had no idea I could clean using just warm water and a bit of elbow grease. It seems so obvious now and I wish I had come across it sooner.
(NB I do not use any products in my hair, nor do I dye it so I don't know if this would work if you do)
To be successful at cleaning your hair using water only you must brush your hair at least twice a day at 100 strokes per brushing session.
I bought a cheap wooden toothed brush from the supermarket which is perfect for the purpose, more expensive ones are available and many people use boar bristle brushes. Every morning and night I brush my hair forwards and then backwards for at least 100 strokes. I use my fingers to comb through while I do this to stop any tangling and to move the oils down to the ends of my hair. By doing this you avoid accumulating oil on your scalp and dry, split ends.
After brushing I will use a wide tooth comb to comb out the hair separating it. Your hair and your scalp will feel wonderful after doing this.
2. Pre-wash prep (Scritching and Preening)
Scritching and preening is recommended pre-washing your hair. When your hair is dry, you rub your scalp firmly in sections using your finger pads, working each section thoroughly before you move on, and then smooth your hair down to the ends between your fingers to move any oil you have stimulated down to the end.
Doing this pre-washing helps loosen any dry skin you want to wash away and moves the oil all the way to the end helping to protect your hair.
If you don't want to do this you can try giving your hair a really good brushing, it seems to work just as well,
3. Washing your hair in very warm water
Under the shower wet your hair all over and then, using your comb, separate out a section and repeat the scritching process. Using the pads of your fingers really rub away at the area, directing the stream of water from the shower to the place you are scritching. When you have finished that section, separate out another area and repeat until you have cleaned your entire scalp.
Comb your hair back and rinse. It should not tangle as your natural oils have protected your hair.
4. Drying your hair
Dry your hair using an old t-shirt or a micro-fibre cloth. This protects the hair, stopping it from tearing. Leave your hair to dry naturally and don't put any products on.
I find my hair, which falls to below my shoulders, takes about an hour to fully dry.
1. No split ends!! My hair has never felt so soft and nourished before. Why did I waste all that time on products!!?
2. Cheap. I no longer need to purchase any hair products
3. Healthy scalp. All that brushing and scritching really makes your scalp feel warm and I always feel in a better mood after I have brushed my hair. It is wonderful to get the blood moving.
4. Good for the environment. I no longer pollute the water supply.