Washing Your Hair Is Overrated

by Sienna Fantozzi

I have a confession to make: I don’t wash my hair. Well, OK, I do wash it, but definitely no more than once a week, MAX. Usually, I can even go longer, but before the two-week mark, I'll usually break down and lather up.

Now, before you judge me as unhygienic, know that the no shampoo trend is actually in right now. Even Gwyneth Paltrow stopped washing her hair to restore health to her hair, which was ravaged by shampoo's chemicals (always in the name of some avant-garde health craze for Gwynie). There's even a movement in the beauty world called "no poo" that involves going shampoo free to help hair regenerate it's natural oils. It sounds gross, but I promise I don’t smell, or have oil slicked on my roots like a greasy car, or anything growing out of my scalp. I’m really not unhygienic — I’m just lazy. Or rather, “low maintenance,” as I prefer to call it.

I’d say my choice is due to shampoo's chemical dangers, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (irritants that cause dry hair), and it is, in part — but that's only half-true. The reality is, I’ve always been this way. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always hated washing my hair, and in the 20 years I’ve decided to skimp on shampoo, I haven’t had anyone notice, comment on, or ask about my dirty strands once. So obviously, I’m not stopping anytime soon. I mean, it isn’t hurting anyone (and it’s certainly helping me).

Still not convinced? Let me expound upon my reasons for not washing my hair frequently, and maybe you’ll end up convinced to try it too.

1. I'm Just Too Busy

Between juggling work, graduate school, and watching 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (I’m a little late to the Shonda Rhimes party, OK?), I legitimately do not have the extra time to wash my hair frequently. If it offends you, take it up with my professors (or my DVR…).

2. i hate having wet hair

Washing my hair is more than just an extra five minutes in the shower. It’s pretty long and thick, so if I blow it out, it will be an extra forty-five minutes (and too much of an arm workout for me). If I let it air dry, it will take HOURS. This does not fly in the cold NYC winter. Nor do I enjoy looking like a wet animal in public.

3. My Hair Is Extremely Thick

Having thick hair is a punishment in the sense that it takes way too long to style, but it’s a blessing when you don’t wash it because it’s almost impossible to get it dirty. I’m serious. Grease and my hair are like Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson — they absolutely refuse to touch or acknowledge each other’s existence. So it works. If it ain’t dirty — don’t wash it!

4. It Looks Better Dirty

My hair is not so much frizzy as it is … fluffy. It takes a minimum of two nights of sleeping on it before it will smooth out and lose some of that unnecessary volume, so washing it often is a never-ending cycle of waiting for it to lie flat, and then re-inflating it. Another curse of thick hair.

5. I Get Highlights

And nothing saddens me more than paying money to get my hair colored and watching the shampoo gradually turn it brassier and brassier with each wash because the sulfates lift pigment from the hair, forcing me to go back to the salon sooner than needed and spend more money. It’s a conspiracy!

6. Washing Dries It Out

In addition to being thick, my hair is also wavy, and wavy hair is notorious for being dry. I need the extra oil I get from waiting a while between washes, because instead of stripping my hair of natural oils through washing everyday, I'm allowing enough time for the oils to regenerate, therefore nourishing my hair and scalp.

7. I Just Really Don't Care

I was that little girl who refused to shower, brush her teeth, or come in from playing a second too early for hygiene purposes (sorry, mom). It was programmed into my brain at an early age that I didn’t care because look how much fun I’d miss out on if I did. So I stayed in the pool and skipped the shower; I jumped on the trampoline and braided my hair the next day instead. I may be in my 20s, but I still have that idealistic, child-like spirit that makes me terrified I’ll miss out on all the fun if I do boring, adult things like primp my hair (and make my bed — I MEAN I’M JUST GOING TO UNMAKE IT AGAIN TONIGHT). But we’ll leave that one for another conversation.

Images: Giphy; Tumblr; Sienna Fantozzi