I Haven't Washed My Hair In 1 Month

That’s right, you read the caption correctly. I have gone sans shampoo and conditioner for over four weeks. And surprisingly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Hair experts have been saying for years that people shouldn’t be washing their hair as much as they do, as it strips it’s follicles of oil that your hair needs to have shine. This was definitely an extreme version of that advice.

This idea came around almost by accident. I had spoken with my sister about this new thing called “conditioning,” which ironically did not call for any conditioner in my hair. Supposedly, if you stop washing your hair, but still rinse it with water, your hair will return to its natural state which is  self cleansing. After a very long and stressful week, I came home from the gym and realized yike, I haven’t showered for a while. I was exhausted and didn’t feel like taking my usual 30 minute shower complete with washing and conditioning my hair, a process that takes a very long time as my hair is extremely thick and quite long at this point. I decided to skip washing my hair. I was done.

The next day I woke up and didn’t feel a significant difference in my hair, despite not having washed it for almost 7 days. That was when I remembered the conversation I had with my sister. Did I really have an excuse to give up yet another habit that took time away from scrolling through Pinterest and avoiding homework? I absolutely did. It was a claim backed up by experts; no one could fault me.

When I hung out with my best friends later that day, I made the declaration. They both thought, and still think, that I’m crazy.

The first two weeks were hard, I’m not going to lie. There was a lot of itchiness on my scalp that I hadn’t expected. I anticipated wearing a bun for a while due to the excess oil, but not itching. I’ve found over time that the best way to deal with that is to scrub your scalp long and hard when you take a shower. If you have thick hair like me, you should section your hair off like you do if you ever straighten your hair.

I almost gave up on day 10 when I was supposed to go out with my female relatives for my aunt’s birthday celebration. We were going to a nice restaurant, I already didn’t have a great outfit planned as I’d packed hastily, and I was feeling pretty self conscious. But, with persistence, and some encouragement from my family, I persevered. The weekend after that, I was going out with a few friends and decided to straighten my hair. Bad idea. Let me tell you what excessively oily hair does when you apply heat. It just gets to be a literal hot mess. A hot oily mess. If I hadn’t already done my makeup, I would have had enough shampoo to drown a city in my hair.

After fifteen days I barely noticed that my hair hadn’t been “washed.” Keep in mind, I am still washing my hair with water. Even I, who has exceptionally low standards for cleanliness (ask my friends), could not be doing this if I wasn’t scrubbing my hair in the shower. I still wore it up more often than down, but that was mostly due to a lack of motivation to be anything but warm and comfortable when it was so cold outside.

Now, a little over a month later, I still haven’t washed it. The only thing that I’ve noticed that is a bit inconvenient is that I absolutely have to brush my hair if I want to wear it down. I used to be able to take it out of a bun or ponytail and not have to do much with it to make it look good, but now that isn’t always the case. However, when I do brush my hair, it actually works. When I was using product in my hair (and by product I mean washing it and occasionally putting some de frizzing oil in it), a brush would turn my hair into a cloud of frizz and volume. Now that my hair is back to regulating its own oil release, brushing my hair allows it to lie where I want it.

Many of you may be asking whether or not this is really worth the payoff. To be quite frank, it might not be. While it is better for your hair to be putting fewer chemicals in it, and possibly better for the environment depending on what chemicals are in your brand of products and how you dispose of the container, it took a while before I stopped feeling gross about my hair. It might be a money saver for those who splurge on higher end shampoos and conditioners, but others who are using cheaper products, might value their time and perhaps sanity over the few dollars they drop on shampoo and conditioner every few months. Some people may not be willing to go through that, and others are. It all depends on what you value. I’m not even sure how long I’ll be refraining from washing my hair. But, there’s nothing stopping you from never using shampoo again. Kind of liberating huh?