What Happens When You Stop Washing Your Hair

What Happens When You Stop Washing Your Hair

You've probably already heard about the well-known "no poo movement" and are even thinking about giving it a shot, but there are a few things you should know before you try. People who use no-poo completely give up using chemical shampoos and opt to clean their hair with natural ingredients instead. Some even go so far as to limit their use to water alone! So what happens when you stop washing your hair for a week, a month, or even a year? Here are a few things to expect.

Hair hydration

Most shampoos dry your hair – it’s just what they do! That’s why a good conditioner is a must for most of you ladies out there, not to mention hair masks to liven up your hair after all the washing. If you ditch shampoo, your scalp will step in and do what it does best – moisturize your hair in a natural way. Sebum is that very oil your scalp produces to keep your hair hydrated, healthy, and shiny. But it is also responsible for giving it a dirty, greasy look! Still, the first thing you’ll notice is that your hair becomes extremely hydrated.

Hair shine

So, now your hair is adequately oily, but still most of that oil gathers up on your scalp, while the ends are still a bit dry. You will have to distribute all that oil across your hair strands for a healthy hydrating effect. A nice boar bristle brush will become your saviour if you’re going to try the no-shampoo method. It has natural fibres that will do all the work!

Hair health

It all comes to the type of hair you have. A few weeks into your no-poo experiment, you might notice a great change – your hair health will either be really good or very-very bad. If you have curly hair or hair that often feels dry, going back to natural oiling may revive it in the best way possible. You will have healthy shiny locks that don’t look dirty at all. If your hair gets oily faster, going without a shampoo may result in excessive oiliness and greasy scalp very fast. Go without shampoo for about a week and see how it feels.

Ditch hair product

If you want to stop using shampoo, this means you’ll have to ditch hair products, too. Shampoo cleanses your hair on all possible levels, including all the creams, serums, sprays, and other hair products you like to use throughout the week. If you ditch shampooing, prepare to have some serious product build-up in your hair. It will probably start looking very lacklustre or even dirty. Prepare for some scalp problems and inflammations, too.


One of the greatest drawbacks of the ‘no poo’ method is the smelly hair. This may not happen to everyone, but it does happen to the majority of people who decide to ditch shampooing. Just one week of not washing your hair may result in a funky, sour smell that will stay with you no matter what. You hair will collect bacteria and without washing they will grow and spread foul smell. Be especially careful if you’re into sports and get sweaty on a regular basis.


You know just how polluted our environment is, so if you decide to ditch shampoo while living in a city, all that dirt will become visible on your hair. Most likely you will feel uncomfortable wearing dirt in your hair, and your sensitive scalp can become really irritated from all the smoke, gas pollutants, and dust that you experience while going out.


You might have already experienced a slight tingling sensation on your scalp after running without hair wash for too long. Well, prepare for some more of that! It’s very common to feel pain and tingling when you don’t wash your hair with shampoo (or anything else to take out the dirt and oils). Scalp becomes greasy, congested with hair products (even if you’re just using natural dry shampoo), which can lead to inflammation, irritation, and some pretty nasty skin conditions.

Brighter hair colour

One of the biggest benefits of going shampoo-free is your hair colour. If you like to colour your hair you know just how fast dye washes out of hair. And the more you wash it with shampoo, the faster it fades! Especially if you’re using some crazy bright colours. Well, if you choose to skip shampooing, your hair colour will last considerably longer.

New colour won’t stick

That being said, if you plan on dying your hair – those greasy, oily locks simply won’t take the new colour. Hair needs to be washed and clean to take the colour evenly. All that oil will just mess with the colouring process, so if you want a new hair colour, best do it before you ditch your shampoo. Either that or simply stick to your natural hue!


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