Five Days Without Washing My Hair

Well, I made it. It wasn’t exactly pretty, but I successfully lasted five days without washing my hair. [Did you miss the original post about my extended hair washing challenge? Check it out here.] In all honesty, it ended up being easier than I predicted it would be. Yes, my hair was flat out nasty by the end of the five days, but I felt like it was still semi-manageable. Throughout the week I made a conscious effort not to continuously play with my hair so that I wouldn’t get excess oils from my hands onto my hair. I also decided not to use cornstarch at all on my hair…someone commented in my original post that this might hurt what I’m trying to accomplish. The cornstarch would soak up the oil, which might cause my scalp to think it needs to create more oil. I ended up just going crazy and using nothing on my hair at all. Other than that, I followed my plan pretty much exactly, but to recap, here’s what I did.

Sunday night: Washed hair with baking soda/vinegar and then blew it dry.

Monday/Day 1: Wore hair down.

Tuesday/Day 2: The roots were definitely starting to get greasy, but I was able to manage the day with my hair down again. The static was getting to me a bit, so I did end up pulling it back by the end of the day.

Wednesday/Day 3: I knew that I wanted to do my ‘wavy hair’ trick for day three [tutorial here], so on Tuesday night instead of leaving my hair dry in the shower, I got it wet. In fact, I decided to try scrubbing the roots a bit with just water. I thought maybe it would help distribute the oils and make my hair look a bit cleaner. I twisted my hair into two buns so that it would be wavy in the morning. I wore my hair down and slightly wavy all day.

Thursday/Day 4: By day four, my roots were definitely greasy.  It pretty  much killed me not to wash my hair at this point, but I am determined to make this experiment work! I tried to get away with wearing it down and wavy again but it just wasn’t meeting my (very low) standards. So, I decided to comb through it with a pick and then clipped the top back in an effort to hide some of the greasiness in my roots, and pulled the rest back into a low pony tail.

Friday/Day 5: I woke up with an extra bounce in my step on Friday. I was SO excited that I had made it to day five and I would get to wash my hair soon. Monkey had a doctor’s appointment in the morning and the thought of going out in public with such greasy hair made me gag…so I decided to pull it back into two french braids. The funny thing is, the receptionist at the doctor’s office actually complimented me on the braids. I’m pretty sure she thought my hair was wet, but I’ll take it! I love that braids help to hide those greasy roots.

I ended up waiting until Saturday morning to wash my hair because we were having family portraits done that day and I wanted my hair to be nice and fresh. But, I used my trusty baking soda and vinegar and my hair was as good as new! Today is now Tuesday and I am on day three of not washing for this week…two more days to go! Honestly, I haven’t noticed much of a difference in the greasiness factor this week, but I do feel like the bulk of my hair is less staticky, which is GREAT in my book. I’m going to stick with this five-day plan for a few months and see what happens. I plan to follow pretty much the same schedule, with maybe adding in a hat as an accessory when I’m feeling really gross about my hair. Hopefully it won’t be too long until my hair gets used to this new plan..maybe I’ll even be able to stretch it to longer than five days between washings?  Luckily, I’m a stay at home mom so it’s mainly the other moms in my mom’s group that have to put up with the transition period! And now, I must head out as I’ve got a sick little Monkey to take care of, and he’ll be waking up from his nap any minute. Speaking of, I think my next post will have to be all about him. These last few posts have had entirely way too many pictures of myself for my liking.

Have you extended the days between hair washings? How long did it take you to get your hair to be less greasy? How long do you think I’ll last with this experiment?

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Posted on by thecrunchywife

This entry was posted in Back To Basics, Eco Living, Everyday Green, For The Body, Health and Beauty, Natural, Sustainable, Uncategorized, Vinegar. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Five Days Without Washing My Hair

  1. Bree says:

    OK, I lol’d through this whole post. Such cute pics.

    I’m always amazed/amused by the differences between “black” hair and “white” hair. I only wash my hair once a week, because if I do it more than than, it’ll dry my hair/scalp out.

    • thecrunchywife says:

      I know, it’s crazy how different the hair composition is, isn’t it? I’m jealous that you can wash your hair just once a week!

  2. Chantal says:

    I need to do this. I have an obsession with washing hair… if I’m in the shower, I’m washing it. And then I always complain about it being greasy! I’m just not so good at doing hair, so I can’t even hide the greasiness in some braids.

  3. kim says:

    It looks pretty good in the pic! I wish I could go that long!

  4. I’m just starting the “no-poo” adventure, on day 4 right now. I washed on day one with baking soda/vinegar and ended up washing again on day 3. I didn’t NEED to, I just wanted to do it. I’m definitely going to try waiting longer before washing again.

  5. Susan says:

    I regularly go at least 3 days between washings. I tend to put it in a pony tail or back with a clip. Sometimes I just don’t feel like washing it (it’s thick so it needs some time to dry) so I’ll end up going 4 days. I think you can definately train your hair not to need washing so frequently.

  6. Emily says:

    I just found your blog through a web search for “no poo” and “fine hair.” I am SO curious to hear if your five-day routine makes a difference. After two kids and several major life changes, my hair has become a dread to me. Dull, greasy, boring and so straight and fine. I can’t wait to hear it going no poo lightens and enlivens your locks! Please keep the updates coming!

    • thecrunchywife says:

      It’s going great! I’m still no-pooing and washing every 5 days on average. I hope you have tried it out and good luck to you!

  7. You are sooo cute in this article. Love the wavy hair.

  8. Melanie says:

    I found your post through Pinterest, and I tried the no ‘poo thing last year, but my long hair (naturally fine, blond, stick straight, and not much of it, and it’s hennaed) got really static-y, dry and stringy all at the same time. I tried for about two weeks to deal with it, but I just couldn’t handle it. You’ve given me the motivation to do it again, especially with the hope that I’ll only have to shampoo once or twice a week! Since she was born, I’ve only washed my 6 year old daughters hair about once a week, and it’s NEVER greasy, always shiny and beautiful. I’m going to try to transition her to no ‘poo too! I was hoping you’d have an update to your once-every-five-days washing routine. Did your hair and scalp finally balance out?

    • thecrunchywife says:

      Yep my hair definitely balanced out – I am still going strong with my ‘no-poo’ and only washing once every 5 days on average.

      My first question – do you have hard water? Even semi-hard water? You may need to boil your water first when making the baking soda mixture…sometimes the residue from hard water can leave build-up of deposits in your hair that make it dry and lifeless. Secondly, have you tried adding honey to your baking soda/water mixture? And lastly – how often are you washing? It can dry out when you wash more often…I find that if I don’t go at least 3 days between washings, my hair gets too dry. Good luck!

  9. Jayne says:

    I was wondering also if you are still on once every 5 or even every three….

  10. Debra says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this too but wondered how to deal with nasty hair after my workouts which I do 4 days a week. My hair is gross after each workout from all the sweat and I have to striaghten my thin ragedy hair. Wouldn’t I have to put something in my hair to protect from the heat?

    • thecrunchywife says:

      You might find that your hair gets healthier with the no-poo and you might not have such thin raggedy hair anymore! I would suggest just washing with water after your workouts and then not styling *if you can* for a while, with heat. It will really help to get your hair healthier! Good luck!

  11. Gracie says:

    I, too, am journeying through ‘no-poo,’ but I’m still experimenting (also waiting for a new post to see your results, as my hair is similar to yours) and hoping to find a good routine.

    What I really would like to know is how you braid your hair like that! I’ve just recently figured out the method of french braiding, but its messy, and I can’t do two yet! I would love it if you made a video demonstrating that beautiful pleat! Or just step-by-step images :) I’m sure the compliment from that receptionist was well-deserved, because that is talent!

    • thecrunchywife says:

      Yay for trying out no-poo! It definitely is a journey :) I hope you are having good luck now. I am still going 5 days, on average between my washings. I find that if I’m really not loving my hair, then I’ll take a shower and scrub away as if I’m using baking soda/water even though I’m using just water, and it gives my hair a bit of oomph for the day. Rather than just trying to deal with bed head.

      Thanks so much for the compliment on the braid! Honestly, I taught myself how to do it and it’s funny because I have to do it without a mirror, or I mess up. I’ll put it on my to-do list to make a video of how I do it, hopefully it will help you and others! For the part, I literally do it in one swoop. I just start in the front and go straight back, then separate. I’m not describing that very well, so maybe I WILL just make a video :) Thanks for the suggestion!

  12. Lyndsay says:

    Love your blog!
    I just recently started my ‘wash less often’ journey.
    Started out washing practically twice a day. Been stretching out the days, now up to every 3rd day. The third day is still a stretch, but it’s getting better with every passing day. :)
    Just wanted to say that I saw your wavy hair tutorial yesterday and wrapped my hair like that last night. My hair is fine but there is a lot of it and it does not like to curl. Your method gave it a ton of body! A shocking amount of body. I had to tame it down, which is a first for me.! HA!
    Thanks for the tutorial! I am adding that hair trick to my weekly hair routine. It is nice having wavy/curly hair for once. :D

    • thecrunchywife says:

      Awww thanks so much for the compliment! And I’m so glad the wavy hair trick worked well for you…I absolutely love it. In fact, I did it last night :) It’s such an awesome way to extend the days between washings, and I feel like it hides any grease that may have been starting to show itself. Thanks for the comment!

  13. I have been using the baking soda/vinegar method for two weeks now, washing every two to three days. I am not sure how I would ever be able to go 5 days between washings, not due to greasiness necessarily but my hair just starts to look frumpy after a couple days. it loses body and gets smashed to my scalp in weird ways as i sleep, you know? Right now i am feeling like my hair is too dry and static-y. I am going to try using more vinegar in my solution. hopefully that will help. I am also going to buy a boar bristle brush just for brushing. I read that in the olden days when ladies had hair below their waist they hardly ever washed it with water but would use a brush to remove dirt and oil. the hair brush got washed daily, but not the hair.

    • thecrunchywife says:

      I hope the boar brush helps your hair! Have you tried adding honey to your baking soda/water mixture? Sometimes that can really help with dryness. Also – when going more than 3 days, you can always wet your hair in the shower and scrub away with just water, as if you were using the baking soda/water. I find that that gives my hair a bit of an extra oomph! Good luck!

  14. Stef says:

    Hi, I have been trying to go no poo for about a month. I want to love it, but my hair is going worse. It looks like we have similar hair from your pics and earlier posts, but I have to wash my hair everyday because I wash it with baking soda and vinegar in the morning and my roots get oily by the end of the day. It is even more distressing that my ends are dry and my hair looks really dull and horrible.
    It looked good in the begining, but I was doing the baking soda and applying tiny bits of regular conditioner to the ends. I thought it was going to be a breeze, I stopped using conditioner and was on baking soda only but my hair got very dry and lifeless. It has been about 10 days of me struggling with the baking soda and vinegar. I am missing shampoo and conditioner and am so sad it might have been a lost month of no shampoo… Any ideas?
    Thanks for your inspiring posts.

    • thecrunchywife says:

      My first question – do you have hard water? Even semi-hard water? You may need to boil your water first when making the baking soda mixture…sometimes the residue from hard water can leave build-up of deposits in your hair that make it dry and lifeless. Secondly, have you tried adding honey to your baking soda/water mixture? And lastly – how often are you washing? It can dry out when you wash more often…I find that if I don’t go at least 3 days between washings, my hair gets too dry. Good luck!

      • Stef says:

        Sorry I haven’t seen your reply until now. I am not sure about what kind of water we have here. I have tried using distilled water as well tap water and had the same trouble. I was washing my hair everyday with no poo, but it looked bad so I had to give it up because of work. I noticed that alternating shampoo with baking soda days works fine and I have managed to wash my hair every other day some days… I will try the no poo again. Will try to figure the water issue. Thanks again!

  15. Sara says:

    I know this is old, but…… thought I’d chime in.

    So I haven’t switched to natural shampoo yet but I am notorious for not washing hair. I generally go 5 days – I’ve trained my hair well :) Your hair doesn’t look greasy to me in the pics! The wavy day is very cute.

    Try wearing it in a topknot on day five! tease it a bit for volume and pull it all up super high in a ballerina bun! I use a rolled up sock hidden under my hair for volumizing the bun and just go to town with bobbi pins. I get tons of compliments.

    • thecrunchywife says:

      Thanks Sara! I love the ballerina bun idea…hadn’t thought of that, oddly enough :) And thank you for the compliments! It’s funny how we are our own worst critic because I definitely see a grease-ball! Thanks, again!

  16. Deedee says:

    Well, I’m an old, gray-haired woman, and I tend to believe that people are just too clean nowadays. Just because you CAN wash your hair every day doesn’t mean you SHOULD. I dislike washing my hair in the wintertime because it gets so “fly-a-way” when it has no natural oils to it. I can testify that with a good brushing once a day, I can go about 3 weeks with out feeling like I need to wash my hair. I have gone a over a month before, and although my hair still looked okay, my scalp started to itch. Even when my hair was very long, I could go a month without shampooing, as long as I brushed my hair and combed my scalp once a day. Unless I do really hard work, sweat profusely on my scalp, get actual dirt in it, or get in a swimming pool, I just don’t wash my hair that much. And BTW, I have had many people tell me that my hair is beautiful. Except for about 3 bad haircuts over the course of 60 years, I’ve never had a “bad hair” day.

  17. Somi says:

    Hi! I’m glad to have found someone who’s tried no-poo with fine hair. I have been on it for about 3 weeks now…have cheated a couple of times because I just don’t feel clean when I don’t use my Neutrogena clarifying shampoo. Plus, I still have most of the bottle left so I don’t want to waste it. Anyways, I used to have thick, coarse Asian hair but due to perming it about 3 times every year for the last three years, it has definitely grown a lot thinner and wiry. I actually started no-poo because I have had some itchy scalp/oily scalp issues within the last year. With shampoo, I couldn’t go more than 2 days without feeling super gross and oily. Still, I tried to train my hair to go without daily washings and have mostly been washing it every other day for the last two years. When I started no-pooing, it increased to about 3 days with no itchy scalp and a lot less oil production. However, I noticed that this week (3rd week), my scalp has been getting itchy only about 2 days after doing the baking soda/apple cider vinegar wash. Oil level is still a bit much for my liking but manageable. I am just wondering why my itchy scalp came back. It might be that I am washing too often and causing the dry scalp and flaking but the roots are oily enough in my opinion. I guess I should try to go more than 3 days without washing but I just get miserable and can’t stand the itching by the end of the second or third day. Any suggestions or insight into why my scalp is so itchy again and flaky when I brush my hair a little harder to relieve the itch?

    • Lucy says:

      Hi, this link has helped me. Just play around with the ratios a little bit.
      My hair was awful for the first few weeks until I worked out what ratios did the best for my hair/scalp. I also got itchy, flaky and incredibly oily in the 3rd week. I tried coconut oil for my scalp, but was a pain to wash out. In the end I think I upped the baking soda a bit and rinsed my whole head with ACV, not just the ends. Good luck!

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