I Didn't Wash My Hair for a Week

Written by Ashley Locke

I find so much joy in washing my hair every night, so not washing it is something I try to avoid doing at all costs. I know it’s not the best for my locks, but that doesn’t stop me. Rinsing my tresses out with shampoo and conditioner almost every night brings me such relief after a long, stressful day. Not only am I sending dirt and oil down the drain, but I’m also releasing any negativity that found itself stuck in my strands. Every now and then, I like to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something I wouldn’t otherwise do. And that, dear reader, is why I decided to not wash my hair for a week. Keep scrolling to see how my hair faired after not washing it for a week!

My Week-Long Experience of Not Washing My Hair

Day 1

The first day after not washing my hair wasn’t anything unusual for me. I knew my scalp would be a bit oily and my ends would feel dry, so day one was the easiest out of the seven.

I spritzed a bit of my trusty Dove dry shampoo onto my roots and went on with my day. While most dry shampoos stop working in minutes, the Volume & Fullness dry shampoo works like a charm. My hair stayed fresh the entire day, without having to spray on some additional dry shampoo.

Ashley one day after not washing her hair

Day 2

When it came to day two, I woke up with my hair feeling extra greasy. While I don’t mind that on my fries, I do mind it on my hair. Immediately upon waking up, I doused my roots in as much dry shampoo as I possibly could. It worked, though I personally felt gross.

Ashley's hair two days into not washing it

It doesn’t look that disgusting in the photo, but trust me when I say I felt repulsive. But then, I figured out where I went wrong—I should’ve been spraying dry shampoo onto my strands before I fell asleep.

Day 3

The one day I looked and felt my best, I of course forgot to snap a pic. Why does this always happen?

Anyway, massaging the dry shampoo into my tresses before I went to bed really did do the trick. I woke up with far less oil in my locks than the first two days. Discovering this hack really helped make the rest of the days a lot easier to handle… well, at least for the most part.

Day 4

The next day, I woke up and immediately wanted to put my hair in a ponytail. It didn’t feel oily, but that felt like the right move at the time.

I will say that dirty hair in a ponytail feels way nicer than dirty hair surrounding your face. That being said, I only allowed myself one day to put my locks up. If I didn’t set that rule, I would’ve kept it in a bun or ponytail the whole time and this little experiment wouldn’t have really meant much.

Ashley four days into not washing her hair

Day 5

These last few days are when things really took a turn for the worse, mainly because I decided to actually style my locks. It was when I started straightening my hair that I really felt my worst. All the oil I thought I had sopped up with the dry shampoo glistened brighter than ever once the flat iron had gone over it. It was as if every strand had been individually dipped in a vat of grease.

I ended up using a puffy headband I picked up from Target to hide as much oil as possible, though I’m not sure that worked. I will say though when I went out with friends that night, I got quite a few compliments on how my hair looked. No one could tell I hadn’t washed my hair in six days, which shocked the hell out of me, given I felt like a mess.

Ashley five days into not washing her hair

Day 6

This was the worst day for me, mainly because the trick of spraying dry shampoo onto my scalp before I went to bed didn’t work as well as it did in the beginning. I felt absolutely horrid and ghastly, but knowing I didn’t look it made the day a little less insufferable.

More than anything, I was ready to cross the finish line and finally wash my hair. Knowing I had one day left to go really frustrated me.

When I straightened it this day, though, it didn’t feel as oily as the day before. I might’ve grown accustomed to the grease on my strands, but I felt fine once it was flat ironed to perfection.

Ashley six days into not washing her hair

Day 7

Waking up on the seventh day, I felt elated. I was stoked I had stuck through this whole ordeal and made it out in one piece. Sure, my hair was basically a greasy mop, but it also felt somewhat cleansed.

Ashley seven days into not washing her hair

I figured once I had snapped the above photo, I would’ve washed my hair immediately, but I didn’t. I actually felt fine with it staying this way until the end of the night and going about my day.

Once I finally washed my hair though, wow. It was a cathartic experience unlike anything else.

Overall Thoughts

All things said and done, not washing my hair for a week didn’t go as horrible as I had anticipated. I figured I’d come out of it looking like some greasy swamp monster, but my hair appeared to be clean… at least, on the surface. It didn’t feel all that great to me by the end of it.

I do think my hair really benefited from this break, however. Because I wash my hair at night and often sleep with it wet (I know, hold your gasps), my hair is somewhat brittle and frayed. By not washing it and not going to bed with it wet, I noticed my ends felt a bit healthier than usual. There’s this one strand, in particular, that is always so dry, but it has since regained most of its luster.

I can safely assure you I won’t be going seven days without washing my hair again, though I do think I’ll widen the gap between washes to protect my locks. I’ll just need to find some other way to de-stress, so if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Not washing your hair for a week may not be the move for you, but HERE’s why double cleansing could be!