Almost washed my hair

I can only speak for my own hair. Slightly thinning on top, a few grey strands poking through as a badge of parenting honour. But it does seem to be true that if you stop shampooing your hair then after a few weeks it will be self-regulating and you no longer need to put loads of ‘product’ on it.

I’d read about not washing your hair in the moneyless manifesto and thought I’d give it a try, partly out of curiosity, partly to save money and partly because the cosmetics industry operates on abhorrent grounds – even when it seems to be doing a good thing, it isn’t really. So something worth not participating in.

After the first two weeks of just using water I did get an attack of  head- itch, so I used a tiny bit of shampoo. But after that  it was fine – no more itching. Five months later, still no problems. I just wash my hair in water, no shampoo, no conditioner, and I don’t need styling products because the hair hasn’t been stripped by the shampoo. I’m told my hair smells a bit ‘scalpy’ – I didn’t take this as a bad thing, but if you’re seeking a perfumed head then there are lots of other options out there besides Unilever’s chemicals.

Is not washing your hair the modern equivalent of not cutting your hair?

I wasn’t around in the 1960’s but I guess hippies and other long-haired counter-culturalists probably didn’t wash their hair either. Personally I find long hair a pain, so I’m going to continue with the home haircuts. But I like the non-conformity and non-participation of not washing my hair. It’s a small, scalpy up-yours to ‘the man’ and the small number of multinational corporations who dominate the cosmetic industry.



  1. Mac

    The Man has done a right number on me about soap and stuff so I won’t be joining in, but I’ve stopped dyeing my hair and that seems radical enough, especially as I have a few silvery strands.
    I think you would find your experiment much more difficult if you were a woman, not least because to look ‘professional’ as a woman you can’t really be having hair that isn’t dyed, straightened etc., see expectation of women of colour to have their hair relaxed or wear weaves etc.

    • jc

      Make-up and clothes are perhaps driven by 3 factors I think: control, conformity and creativity. Control, such as marketing wings of cosmetic companies and the corporate media telling people what to look like or else they’ll be inferior; which is essentially men controlling women, but also men controlling women on a 1:1 basis – is all negative. Conformity is a basic human instinct to belong to groups for security – people choose a group and get in to it by looking like the group and acting like the members. This is a fact and not insidious in itself – neutral. Creativity, such as people recreating themselves and experimenting by changing how they look is a positive thing usually (perhaps barring some mental health issues) – such as the Harajuku style in Japan. There is also conformity/group psychology here – the 3 factors are probably almost always present in varying degrees in any situation. The fashion and cosmetics industry may well have parasited on to the Harajuku look and exploited it to their own ends via control.

      What do you think?

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