Every wash day, I love the feeling of water flowing through my hair and how my scalp goes from being clogged with build-up to feeling brand new. My hair goes from being a greasy mess to light and fluffy. I love the outcome of wash days and water has a big part to play in it.
I often have flashbacks though, to those days when most wash days went wrong once I poured water on my hair. And I am sure most of us grew up hearing tales of how water is bad for our hair and we needed to stay away from it, frankly it seems true because often in those day my hair getting drenched with water would result in it looking frizzy and feeling brittle. So………in this hair care life we have chosen is water our friend or a foe.
Short answer, It’s a bit of both. But please read the long answer below.
Water As A Friend
- As I mentioned above, water is one of the key elements of wash day. You can’t wash your hair thoroughly or remove deep conditioner without it. No water no clean and conditioned hair.
- Water is an essential ingredient in any deep conditioning or leave in conditioning product. Water is needed to moisturise hair and products that don’t contain water frankly will not be able to infuse moisture into our hair strands.
- The ongoing battle many of us fight with dryness and breakage cannot be defeated without the repeated use of water rich products in between wash days. So water has to be introduced into our hair on a regular basis for healthy (well preserved) hair and for length retention (longer hair).
Water As A Foe
- Water can be a locking agent.
Water can tighten knots and tangles in our hair so severely that cutting out the knots and tangles is the best option. Even if severe knotting can be untangled, a lot of breakage and damage to the hair fibre will be sustained in the process. This tightening of knots and tangles tends to happen during the washing and rinsing steps on wash days. The pressure of the water flowing through hair will tighten the knots or matted hair. It will also encourage shed hairs not removed before washing to wrap around the non-shed hair creating new tangles. This is why so many of us have stepped out of the shower with locs we didn’t plan on creating.
This is a key reason why hair should be well detangled and shed hair removed before washing. I suppose a second tip is to ease up on the water pressure. Prior to my hair journey I never detangled before washing and it always resulted in high levels of breakage. For some reason I believed water pressure would somehow detangle my hair and that any shed hair would just glide out. Don’t be me.
- Now this one is a favourite of so many ladies. We hear all day every day that water is key for healthy hair, that water is the best moisturiser, that water is the be all and end all of what our hair needs (okay I ‘am exaggerating a lil)……so I understand why many ladies simply use water alone as a moisturiser.
In as much as water is a key aspect of moisturising our hair, water alone is not at the right the PH level to be used as a leave-in moisturising product. Using water alone will result in puffy, frizzy and less manageable hair. It will also increase the risk of tangling. Good quality moisturising products will definitely have water as the main ingredients but will contain other ingredients and be formulated so that its PH is at the ideal level that will leave the outer layer of hair more compacted than what water alone would. This will result in smoother, better moisturised and healthier looking hair which is easier to manage.
In this case, it is the incorrect use of water that is the problem.
- Exposure to the wrong kind of water will lead to environmental damage (unless correct steps are taken to prevent damage). Hard water, chlorinated water and mineral rich water can cause a lot of damage. I’ve written posts about this which you can read by clicking here.
I hope this post has been useful. In summary water can be a friend or foe but which it will be is up to you.
** Image from Pintrest