Hair greasy after WO wash

Hi all,

I’ve not used shampoo since April and I can tell my head is producing less sebum since, but my hair never really seems “clean”, even straight out of the shower. Day two sometimes feels a little better, but then it’s already starting to grease up again…

Some background: I have fine, straight hair (I think non-porous) and I water wash every 4 days so my head has time to get the message before I water wash again. It was very sticky for a while so I clarified about a month ago, which fixed the stickiness but it does seem to have set me back quite a bit. Before there was a part of “new hair” that did way better than my “old” lengths, but that seems to be gone now…

Anyway, in all that time, my hair has never actually felt clean right after a water wash. It’s like I can’t get everything out? I scritch, preen and brush the night before and in the shower and end with cold water.

My goal was to not have to wash every other day and use dry shampoo inbetween so I don’t really want to try to water wash more frequently… Or maybe WO is just not enough for my hair and I should try other options?
Does/did anyone have the same problem? Am I just still in the transition process?

Any experience or tips are welcome as long as I don’t have to go back to washing so much it damaged my hair (and frankly, I was just sick of washing it all the time).


Hi I’m water only too. You can try using fragrance free, un scented conditioner like for babies or for adults. I use it like once every 6-7 weeks to clean out the strands of hair.

Don’t use conditioner too much. I use it only when my hair becomes hard and flakes of oil starts to build up on hair. Like once a month or once bi monthly.

Thanks for suggesting to use conditioner but what about scalp . My scalp feels greasy and sticky

If your hair feels sticky, I recommend getting a shower cap and avoiding getting your hair wet and a light dusting of cornflour or dry-shampoo spray to absorb the extra grease and leave it feeling cleaner and smooth.

Remember: Grease doesn’t dissolve in water alone, if your hairs well hydrated, you need to find a system to remove the excess grease. Whether it’s dusting, mixing in some lemon into your wash to breakdown and help remove the grease in the wash, or simply using a brush (boar-bristle is good for this) to remove grease by contact - You have to find the method that works best for you.

Don’t conditioner, your hair sounds like the grease is doing that job more than adequately.
If your scalp gets itchy/dry, just massage wet finger tips into the scalp a few times, if your hair is hydrated and the scalp is producing enough grease, the moisture will get locked onto the scalp and calm things down rather quickly.

I feel like dusting might cause its own problems to get out? Whenever I’ve used dry shampoo in the past, it seems to be quite happy to stay in there forever.

I might try the lemon on my lengths, though, thanks!
Brushing with a BBB seems to make it worse, combing with a wooden brush after the shower seems to help a little, so maybe I need to experiment with my routine there.


You use the boar bristle brush on dry hair- not wet. You use it before wetting/washing and/ or before bed. Use a detangle brush, wide tooth comb or pick on wet hair.

Also for me over water washing made my scalp feel greasy and sometimes even waxy. Reducing water washes and using dry shampoo corrected it.

I did a test for 2 months I only dry shampoo (cornstarch and cocoa powder) brushing out with a BBB (that is how you get the dry shampoo stuff out) and extra scritching scalp than usual to remove any excess scalp build up. I did no hair soaking/water washing just spot wetting or if rained on.

I had no noticeable build up issues, no smell issues, no one in my life noticed, I needed less dusting than when I combine with water washing and needed less tip oiling/moisturizing. Less work was better hair. When I did finally do a water wash it wasn’t dirtier nor extra build up than my old routine (water washing once ever 7-14 days).

But I am No poo (besides I think one rogue shampooing during transition after an over oiling) since November- so I don’t think I am at all in transitioning.

Also final results of hair after going no poo- won’t be like when you shampooed it. It might go darker, be heavier, curls change (if curly hair), etc. What I noticed the most is sebum is like a coating on my hair now sometime more (that’s when I’ll dry shampoo), sometimes medium, some times less (after a dry shampoo). But it may not feel shampoo stripped clean unless you shampoo (and I think that is one reason why some people go back or give up).