Dirty Hair, Don’t Care

I was sitting in the back of a coworker’s car when the conversation turned to hair washing. Normally I have a filter that shuts off my hearing when I hear words like “makeup,” or “shopping” but curious I listened on: “I only wash my hair once a week,” she says, “I’m on about day five right now.” Her blonde hair fell perfectly around her shoulders in loose curls and I felt a weird combination of befuddled and envious. I wash my hair at least every three days, if not every other. There are several reasons for this:

  • I lost on the hair lottery of life. It’s thin, grows about a quarter of an inch a year, it’s an unnamed color somewhere between dirty blond and poop brown, and grease works through it rather quickly.
  • When I wake up in the morning, it makes me question what I do at night. Do I sleepwalk; listen to death metal and head bang? Does my finger graze an electrical socket just enough to jostle my hair but not awaken me? Do tiny elves come and tease it? I have a number of running theories but I’m yet to prove or disprove any of them.
  • Finally, there’s no amount of dry shampoo that ever seems to rectify the situation of me not washing my hair.

I rattle off my reasoning and my coworker promises by not washing my hair, I can train my body to eventually not produce excess oil although it will take a while. I just needed to commit to being okay with “not looking great” in the beginning of the process. “I can totally commit to that,” I thought, “I don’t think I ever commit to looking that great anyways.” Now, I’m not trying to knock myself down – I’m just a simple kind of girl. Most days it’s what flannel do I want to put on and is wearing this cat tee-shirt twice in one month socially acceptable (the answer is always yes) I was game to try – reading up I learned not only does it make your hair healthier, but it could help my color last longer too. And so it began.

I showered on Sunday night and as expected – woke up with a rats nest atop my head the next morning. Literally, an animal could have slept in there. Days 2 and 3 followed a similar suit and I thanked the person who invented ponytails. After writing that sentence I felt compelled to google who it was that invented ponytails and apparently frescoes from the Greek period showed women wearing ponytails as early as 1600 BC, but the word ‘ponytail’ itself didn’t enter the American vernacular until 1951. See? My blog isn’t just for you to question how I weave my path through this life, you learn things too – I’m a teacher.

Day 4 seemed to be where I really shined. And by “shined” I mean literally, my hair was shiny because it was so greasy. I covered it up with a beanie which concealed my truth beneath. If someone from the Coast Guard or EPA would have seen me, they would have sent an emergency squad out to deal with the environmental crisis/perceived oil spill atop my head. Fast forward to day 7 and I’m looking pretty ripe.


This was the day I finally showered. Yes, I survived one full week of not breaking down and washing my hair and weirdly the world didn’t end. In fact I kind of enjoyed it and benefited from it in more ways than one:

  • First and foremost, I proved my girlfriend wrong – these are clearly going in order of importance. She only grimaced once when she smelled my head, and didn’t even wince when on day 6 when I took out my ponytail holder and my hair proceeded to stay in a perfect ponytail bound together only by my own oils.
  • I woke up earlier in the morning. I was always expecting some sort of follicle-forward disaster so I allotted more time to humanize myself. This gave me time to feed the dogs, feed myself, and get more settled into my day before it started.
  • With using less product, I can finally stop buying whatever Shampoo & Conditioner is on sale at the Grocery Store. I can invest in things that are actually good for my hair and probably not ridden with harmful chemicals.
  • I gave a little more thought to my general appearance. I distracted people from my weave with such things as sparkly accessories, intricate French braids, and other smoke and mirror effects. I actually found that I liked taking a little extra care to consider how I was presenting myself.
  • Less showering = less water use. Basically, me not washing my hair equates to saving the world. We’re in a drought people.
  • I enjoyed the process of lathering, rinsing, and repeating. Usually when I’m in the shower I can’t get out fast enough – when you’re only washing your hair once a week it’s like one of those goddamn Herbal Essences commercials where the ladies are practically orgasming as they condition.

I’m on week two of this experiment and I’m on the day in which is when things start looking a little crazy.

After my girlfriend massaged my scalp the other night, I was looking pretty fresh. Nora Jones is still a skeptic.

It’s definitely a work in progress, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be of those girls who look runway ready after day five (these girls I’ve decided share some kind of lineage with unicorns) but I am noticing a difference in my hair now that it’s not being constantly washed, blasted with a blow-dryer, and charred by the clamps of a hair straightener. Plus now when my hinges are squeaky I don’t even need a bottle of WD-40, I can just lube it up with my locks. Frankly, I can’t believe no one has turned me onto this filthy phenomenon before – I’m a huge proponent of anything that facilitates laziness and I think this trend is truly a ‘hair’ above the rest.

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