I Didn’t Wash My Hair for Two Weeks and This is What Happened

Photo by Kacie Iwasyk

Thinking back on the two weeks of my life where everyone unfortunate enough to find out I had stopped washing my hair would give me world’s most disgusted glance (coiling in response)—am I ashamed at my slightly irrational decision?

Absolutely not.

Despite the fact that I have to carry on a normal life this summer—commuting into the the city for work, making appearances to keep my social life thriving (honestly, this lacks a bit), and having daily conversations with other human beings who have to actually look at me—I decided to stop washing my hair. It did occur to me that this could potentially be filed within my very large Department of Horrible Ideas, but I ignored that gut feeling and went all in.

All the fuss about the “No Poo” movement is why I originally opted for the challenge. Not washing my hair ever? Um, yes, sign me up! My laziness is top tier when it comes to putting in any effort to, realistically, anything.

Days 1, 2 and 3

This was easy. My hair is a champ on the reg, so there was no issue skipping the shampoo for a couple days. I left it down, put it up, styled it in a braid—it didn’t matter.

Days 4, 5 and 6

Okay, life was beginning to get a bit more difficult. The grease made its bold appearance, and I had to ignore my inner thoughts screaming at me to just wash it. My parents started to interfere too—was I trying to make a statement? Should they be worried?

No, jeez. Relax.

Headbands and dry shampoo became my sidekicks, and it was rare that I ever let my hair down. My hair washing consisted of only water and conditioner on the ends every other day. The dry shampoo had a fun run, but by day six, the chalkiness of my hair was so extreme, I was sure my hair was actually now a wig.

Days 7, 8 and 9

My hair was starting to forgive me. When I was really feeling brave, I skipped the headband for the day, and shockingly, it looked decently normal. Although I was skeptical it was all in my head, it looked shinier too. Hmmm… This was a big deal given the horror of the previous three days.

Days 10, 11 and 12

By this point, word got out and the topic was all consuming:

Are there, like, bugs in your hair?

Really, you asked that? No, but thanks for double checking.

Does it smell? Should I not get close to your hair?

Believe it or not, my decision to skip shampoo is NOT contagious! Who woulda thought?? And my hair smells completely normal (which actually kinda takes the adventure out of it).

Days 13 and 14

The final moments before I gave in. Naturally, I was quite pleased with myself. My hair felt thicker, shinier and otherwise completely normal. Honesty Hour: it was not the cleanest it has ever felt, but the water and on-and-off conditioner for my ends was sufficient for my little challenge.

The ultimate gain out of this was that I can now go a bit longer without my hair getting greasy. Usually, it can go four to five days without being washed, but after that, it’s a must. With my hair’s healthy rebirth, I’m definitely Team “No Poo”.

(Option: substitute apple cider vinegar or baking soda instead of just water)