What Really Happens When You Don’t Wash Your Hair?

I think it’s fair to say that nearly all folks, especially in the USA, shampoo their hair daily. And some dare to venture even farther and have joined the no-shampoo movement and have discarded their silicone shampoo brushes. But is giving up shampooing entirely really a good idea?

When you don’t wash your hair, there are two enormous benefits. The first is your hair will look nice and shiny. The second benefit is your hair color will last longer.

What are some things that could happen if you decide to stop shampooing your hair?

Well, one enormous benefit is you may get your glowing hair back. Yep, that is right. And here is the reasoning behind that train of thought.

Most folks think conditioners are the best thing for your hair. Now, that being said, yes conditioners are superb but our scalp has its nourishment for hair. Your scalp produces natural oils in which condition your hair. But these same oils are also responsible for making your hair feel greasy as well.

When you wash your hair, you strip away the natural oils from your scalp. And unfortunately, these are the oils that make your hair shiny. And who does not like shiny hair, right?

But your scalp does a poor job of distributing those oils along with your hair. That is why the tips of your hair become dry and brittle. And your roots will look greasy when you skip a shampoo or two.

According to Stacey, Hair Research Analyst, “One thing to keep in mind if you join the no-shampoo movement. You will most likely need to give your hair and scalp some time to adjust.” Your hair needs time to look shiny and healthy. But it will come down to what kind of hair you have. If you have fine hair or hair and scalp with naturally less natural oils will experience better results when going shampoo-free. Folks with curly hair can try the no-shampoo movement too. The best way to start is to go three to four days without shampooing, to begin with. But if you develop an itchy scalp, then it’s time to shampoo. This is a significant sign your scalp is saying it’s time for a wash.

Styling products and no shampoo

But what about using styling products and the no-shampoo movement? that’s most likely a no-no. when using styling products in most cases, the only way to get rid of them is by shampooing. If you use too much, you will have product build-up in your hair. Your hair will come very visible that it has a lot of product build-up. And sometimes your hair becomes lackluster looking. This can happen quickly. In just a matter of a few days, you can get that dull hair look.

Smelly hair from not shampooing

According to Meesh, Hair Product Analyst, “By not shampooing, your hair could develop a smell.” Hair traps moisture and moisture attracts bacteria. so, in a few days to a week, you may get the slight smell of mildew. Nothing like having hair that smells like mildew, right? Or maybe even a sour smell from the top of your scalp. And all this is compounded by your lifestyle. For example, if you are one of those who do a lot of hardcore workouts, you will not go long between shampooing. So one of the first signs your hair says it needs to be shampooed is when it smells like a dirty washcloth, right?

Not shampooing and hair color

One of the enormous benefits of not shampooing is if you color your hair color will last much longer. The more you shampoo your hair, the more faded your hair color becomes. And depending on the harness of the shampoo you are using, the faster your hair color can disappear or fade away into the sunset, so to speak. So the less you wash, the more vibrant it will be.


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Wagner, E. L., & Shin, J. B. (2019). Mechanisms of hair cell damage and repair. Trends in neurosciences, 42(6), 414-424. sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0166223619300402