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The Downsides Of Not Washing Your Hair

Some people have such an obsession with being clean that they feel the need to wash their hair with astringent shampoo every day. Although washing helps your hair look and feel clean, you may end up overdoing it. That can lead to issues such as breakage, frizz and dry, damaged hair.

But it doesn’t mean you should stop washing your hair entirely. You might have to reduce the number of times you wash it or give up using shampoos that contain chemicals like sulphate. This common ingredient found in shampoo and cleaning products can remove your hair’s natural oils.

In general, skipping hair washes for a day or two is fine. But you might be surprised at what happens when your hair goes unwashed for a long time.

Effects Of Not Washing Your Hair

You might be able to get away with not washing your hair as often, depending on your lifestyle, genes and hair texture. The result will vary from one person to another, but the following paragraphs highlight the typical effects of prolonged periods of not washing.

Your Scalp Will Be Home To Dust And Dirt

If you’re the outdoor type who lives an active lifestyle, you should probably be washing your hair more often than your less energetic friends. Your hair traps dust, dirt and moisture, and at some point, you might begin noticing the obvious signs of pollution on your head.

Letting dirt and debris find a home on your scalp could lead to discomfort. Your hair can also become a home for other pollutants, causing your scalp to dry out and feel itchy and irritated. Washing your hair improves the situation by eliminating bacteria and dirt trapped on your head.

You’ll End Up With Smelly Hair

Having smelly hair is downright embarrassing. Would you want to be standing close to other people if your hair was giving off an unpleasant odour? Some people would even say that the smell of dirty hair compares with sweaty socks or sour milk!

Smelly hair is often due to fungal and bacterial growth that thrives when hair is left unwashed. Although there might be other reasons behind it, such as hormonal imbalance, pollution or chemical hair products, there’s no denying that bad hair hygiene could aggravate the problem.

If you’re physically active or live in an area with high humidity, don’t risk not washing your hair. You could find yourself with foul-smelling hair in less than a week.

Hair Products Will Build Up On Your Scalp

You might have given up shampooing your hair, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t used any styling products at all. Gels, sprays and other creams you apply to your hair will remain on your scalp if you don’t wash them off. Residue from those products can become visible, and your scalp may start feeling itchy.

You may experience scalp build-up in a matter of days. This occurs when sebum – a natural, waxy oil produced by your scalp – accumulates alongside dead skin cells, sweat and hair products. In some cases, this build-up on the scalp cause skin redness, flaking and crusty or oily skin.

You shouldn’t wait until you experience these issues before you resume washing your hair. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove a build-up of any kind. You don’t need to wash your hair every day, especially if you’re only getting back into the habit. Doing so at least twice a week should be enough.

Three Reasons Why People Choose Not to Wash Their Hair

You can’t stop washing your hair and not expect some serious consequences. However, despite knowing its adverse effects, some individuals still skip this haircare routine for various reasons, such as:

  1. Saves Time

For some people, washing and drying hair takes up time they could otherwise be using to do something else. Skipping this step in their daily routine means they have more time to spend doing things they feel are more valuable than hair washing.

  1. Avoids Chemicals

Ingredients found in many shampoos and conditioners – parabens and carcinogens, for example – may be associated with health risks. To avoid them, some consumers opt to stop washing their hair altogether. Instead of going down this route, experts suggest washing less frequently or shopping for products that don’t contain these ingredients.

  1. Conserves Water

Not washing your hair means using less water which benefits the environment, right? While we should all try and avoid wasting water, cutting back on the water required for personal hygiene is probably not the way to go. You would be jeopardizing the overall health of your scalp if you never wash it, by allowing dirt and other pollutants to accumulate there. Save water in other ways; don’t wash your car so often!


You may feel that you have valid reasons for not washing your hair, but you should still think through the consequences to ensure that you don’t end up regretting it.

Hair loss is more common than most of us care to admit. If you experience sudden hair fall, whether during or after long periods of not washing your hair, you may need to see a specialist. The Vinci Hair Clinic experts are here to help you deal with it. Get in touch and book your free hair loss consultation today!