What Happens if You Don’t Wash Your Hair

Updated

If you were to be completely honest, you’d probably admit that you’ve gone longer than you should without washing your hair. We’ve all been there, so don’t feel bad. Maybe you were feeling under the weather, which made it difficult to wash your hair. It could be that you just didn’t feel like hassling with hair washing for several days, and nothing more.

Have you ever wondered what happens if you don’t wash your hair? Maybe you’ve asked yourself what would happen if you skipped the whole ordeal for a week or two. Perhaps you’ve wondered what happens if several months went by without shampooing? 

In our modern society, many people wash their hair every single daily. This may be perfectly alright for some people. However, hair experts tell us that most people can skip a day between washings and still have beautiful hair.

There’s a new “No Poo” movement happening in the US right now. The so-called “no poo-ers” refuse to wash their hair with any products that say ‘shampoo’ on the label. Why do people join this movement? Because they choose to ditch toxic shampoos for natural alternatives like hair soap.

So, back to what happens if you don’t wash your hair. Here is a rundown of what could happen if you don’t lather up at all.

Your Hair Won’t Be So Dry

If you wash your hair on a regular basis, you’ve surely dealt with dry hair. All that washing dries out the hair shafts, causing some real brittleness and breakage. A big benefit of giving up hair washing is the return of nourished hair.

You may believe that using your favorite conditioner is the best thing you can do to fight dry hair. However, the truth is that your scalp is very good at keeping dry hair at bay. Sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. These glands are located under your skin’s surface, including the skin on your scalp.

Sebum is the stuff that naturally hydrates hair. It’s also what makes unwashed hair look greasy in the long run. But if you forgo that shampoo for several days, the sebum will only benefit you. It hydrates and nourishes your hair. Bye-bye dryness and hello nourishment!

Your Hair Will Become Super Shiny

Every time you shampoo your hair, it’s being stripped of what it needs to be shiny. When you give up washing your hair, the natural oils will have time to renew. This will make your hair shiny and lustrous before you know it. Suddenly having silky shiny hair is the benefit of not washing your locks. So of course, you want that shininess to last.

A great way to boost that new-found shine of yours is to get a quality hairbrush. A brush with natural fiber bristles is best. Once you get your new brush, get to work on that shine!  Brush your hair to move the oils from your roots all the way down to the ends of your hair. This will spread that beautiful shine all over your head for a look that wows and dazzles!

Your Hair May Start Looking Healthier

When you give up shampooing for two or three weeks, your hair may readjust. In other words, your hair may start getting used to not being washed. Instead of turning into a greasy mess, your hair could end up looking incredibly healthy.

Of course, this doesn’t happen to everyone who stops washing their hair. For instance, people with thick, oily hair may not experience such a hair breakthrough. In fact, the opposite can happen to those with thick, oily hair. Too much grease can build up on this type of hair, making an unwanted mess. But for those with thin hair that’s less oily, this breakthrough could indeed happen.

You Could Develop Product-Buildup on Your Head

Even if you’re giving up washing your hair, you probably won’t be giving up your favorite styling products, right? Then you need to be ready for some serious product build-up. All this stuff will weigh your hair down and make it less attractive. So what do you do? You ditch those gels and sprays or at least cut back on them.

Product buildup happens fast so don’t think you’ve got time to waste. It only takes a few days for your hair to start looking lackluster. If you’re going to stop washing your hair, at least reduce how much product you use.

Your Color Will Last Longer Than Usual

If you stop washing your hair shortly after color-treating it, you’ll like this benefit of going shampoo-free! The more you wash color-treated hair, the more faded the color becomes. On the other hand, the less you wash your hair, the more vibrant it will be.

Holding onto your color for a longer time is a real perk of not washing your hair. If you want to go without shampooing your hair do it right after you color-treat it. This way, you can enjoy your fab new color for several weeks longer than what you’re used to.

You May Offend Others with an Unpleasant Odor

You may have been waiting for this to be mentioned, so here it comes. After you go for a while without washing your hair, it may begin to smell bad. Why does unwashed hair emit a foul odor? Because your hair traps moisture which encourages the growth of bacteria. It only takes about a week to begin noticing a mildew scent or even the smell of sour milk.

Not everyone who skips hair washing gets smelly hair. The only way to find out if you’re a lucky one that doesn’t smell bad is to go without lathering up. If your hair is thick, you’re one of the unlucky non-washers who will develop a gross scent.

Your Hair Could Start Falling Out

As you go without washing your hair, product buildup starts accumulating on your scalp. Your scalp isn’t used to not being washed and it can only take so much. After a while, all that build-up, along with dirt, dust, and grime, will take its toll. You can start losing your hair as your scalp is under stress.

This type of hair loss can lead to thinning hair. While all your hair won’t fall out in big clumps, you will see more hairs in your brush. The only remedy is to scrub your scalp clean.

Are You Going to Kiss Your Shampoo Goodbye?

Now that you know what happens if you don’t wash your hair, you’ve got some thinking to do. Regardless of why you want to give up shampoo, there are consequences to pay for not washing your hair.

You could always cheat and give your hair a spritz of dry shampoo now and then. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what to do. If you think these things aren’t so bad, then join the no-poo movement. But if you hate the idea of just one of these things happening, then don’t quit shampoo.


A Few Afterthoughts

Fewer shampoo suds aren’t actually a new trend. Long ago, people didn’t wash their hair nearly as often as they do now. Back in the day, it was common practice to go for many days, or even a week or two, without washing hair. But as time progressed, people began washing their hair more often.

If you’re dead-set on giving that shampoo bottle the boot, consider taking it slow. Instead of lathering up every day or every other day, try washing your hair every three days. Then go from there. Take those cues your scalp and hair give you and do what’s best for you. Who knows? You may become a no-pooer after all!

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