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So, I Didn’t Wash My Hair for a Month

Okay, so I’m gross.

You caught me! I’m definitely one of those girls that swears by not washing their hair. Here’s a brief little history of my hair-lationship: I was born a baby gorilla with a full head of hair, my mom put my hair in pony-tails a week after I was born, I got a bob (?) in elementary school and was committed to straightening my “can I talk to the manager” haircut which thinned it out completely.

Fast forward a few years and I gave up on washing my hair. I mean, I cannot be the only one who hates wet hair. I HATE WET HAIR! The thought of my wet ass hair resting on my pillow makes me want to cry. So, I tried the whole “no poo” fad which consists of cleaning your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar.

And then I found Lush. I turned to the natural, vegan friendly brand to use shampoo that didn’t smell like actual garbage (re: apple cider vinegar) and actually washed my hair (re: baking soda). With Lush, I slowly made the transition to washing my hair once a week and BOOM! Here we are.

I wash my hair once a week now and cannot recommend it more. I have been doing it for years and my childhood hairdresser has been amazed at my transformation from bobbed child to thick-haired adult. She never believes me when I credit unwashed hair to the thickness.

So, if you have greasy hair that you have to wash multiple times a day—stop washing it! If you have dry thin hair (like I did)—stop washing it! Although the transition period sucks, I can’t emphasize the beauty of your hair’s natural oils.

I thought about my aforementioned rocky relationship with wet hair and wondered what it would be like to just not wash it. Even though I wash my hair once a week, it’s never truly that gross. It’s never too greasy or dry and I never really hated the way my hair looked after a week. So, I stopped washing it for a month and this is that story.

Also, yes I did wash my body regularly—I’m not that disgusting. That was definitely the question I got the most when I announced my dirty hair to my loved ones (thanks mom for thinking I would not wash my body for a month!). But I’m not gonna lie, I already made the disclaimer that I’m gross. When I set out on my journey, I had already been two weeks since my last hair-wash without even noticing. Hell yeah, I thought, halfway there.

The third week mark was where I almost broke. Of course, my hair smelt. I cannot describe the smell to you. Some days I would get a whiff while walking up UC hill on a windy day that would ruin my entire day.

But, I found solace in the fact that my hair would hold any hairstyle. My hair is so thick that anytime I put my hair up, it would be bumpy. But with dirty hair, anything’s possible. Half-up half-down: bumpless. High ponies: bumpless. Buns? BUMPLESS! The best part of this month was the utter lack of bumps in my life.

The downside to the amazing, flawless, bumpless hairstyles I could do was the aftermath. Not styling my hair this month was a no-go. I attempted to do the whole Kardashian-wet-slicked-back hairstyle and BOY did it NOT work. Sure, it looked cool in my bedroom mirror but taking that look on the town was another beast.

After taking my hair out of its respective hairstyle and going to sleep, I would wake up looking like I had a beehive, and not in the cool Hairspray way. More so in the way of looking like a literal neanderthal. Once I brushed my hair in the morning we were good to get styling but I would not want to wake up next to a stranger with my dirty unbrushed hair. Conclusion: styled hair is a yes, natural hair is a no.

Aside from my natural hair being large and in charge, there was another force to be reckoned with … Dandruff. I’ve always had dandruff but it’s been pretty manageable. However, I have to admit my hair was itchy as hell and I’m not one to refuse a good scratch! After I gave my hair its morning TLB (Tender Lovin’ Brush), the dandruff wasn’t really noticeable.

Although I almost broke during week three, I pushed through to my fourth and final week. And this is where something magical happened: my hair started washing itself? The grease was gone and my hair was normal again. I wish I could cite some science here but at this point I believe this transformation was birthed by true faith and dedication to my disgusting hair.

Friday came marking a whole month. I waited until 7PM (I pay for hydro), and I finally washed my hair. Honestly, it wasn’t very magical. I mean it felt GOOD, but I didn’t notice much of a difference afterwards. All I noticed was that I had clean, wet hair now. It started to get existential when I thought about how I wasted a month of my life with hair that smelt like ass.

But then I went to work and people kept complimenting my hair. People kept telling me I looked “cute” and “different”. Everyone kept asking me what I did with my hair. Obviously, I told them I didn’t wash it for a month.

All in all, probably don’t do this. I guess I needed some excitement in my life and I apparently resorted to highlighting my own personal grossness to have a talking point with my coworkers.

Moral of the story: stop washing your hair, but maybe don’t stop washing it for a month. That’s gross.

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Shauna Ruby Valchuk is HCW's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. She's in her fifth year studying Creative Writing, English, Language and Literature. Currently, she is working on her creative non-fiction thesis. She writes in her off days and publishes it on her on days and hopes to one day make money doing the stuff she loves surrounded by as many cats as legally allowed. 
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