I’ve teamed up with my pals at Gerber Salon in Keyport, NJ to periodically share my thoughts on beauty (and sometimes lack thereof). 


For my first post, I thought I’d let you in on my, well, dirty little secret. 

Dirty Hair, Don't Care

Photo Credit: http://www.ducklingsinarow.com/


I’ve got a confession to make: I try to wash my hair as little as possible. It’s true. I am a dirty birdie. I mean, I also just hate showering in general. Like, I hate getting wet. Maybe I was a cat in a previous life? I do like to curl up in the sun but, to date, have refrained from trying to lick myself clean. I think my aversion to showering might be more indicative of my overall laziness when it comes to personal hygiene. My daily skincare and makeup routines are similarly stingy. I do as little as I can.

But my hair is different. I know that because I actually care about how I look. Vanity is my ultimate motivator. I simply don’t really love how my hair looks when it’s just been washed. It’s all kind of fluffy and resembles my goldendoodle’s puppy hair or, maybe, a baby chick. Plus, if I’m not careful when I blow it dry, the ends of my hair want to bend in and create a bit of the mushroom bob and that is NOT the look I am going for. I try to avoid the Mother-of-Four/Lady-of-a-Certain-Age look as much as possible.

I want my hair a little less perfect than that. A little flatter. More piece-y. I don’t even mind when the ends stick out in different directions. Sure, I use some product on Day 1 to try to mimic that just-slept-on effect – like my Oribe hair cream and texturizing spray – but it’s just not the same. Nothing gives you bedhead better than your actual bed.

I was first inspired to back off daily shampooing by my hair colorist, who is not only a bit of a magician with chemicals – she makes my greys disappear and gives my tresses that golden, sun-kissed look – but is insanely cool. She’s like a rock-and-roll Patricia Clarkson and in the almost 20 years I’ve been letting her have her way with my hair color, she’s never let me down.

She’s tiny with super skinny legs and is always wearing something that I totally admire yet could never pull off. I’m just not that edgy. And her long, blonde hair is always kind of pinned up haphazardly unless she’s wearing it loose and it’s wavy and a little messy and definitely cool. She said that one of her tricks for getting that slightly disheveled, very sexy look was that she doesn’t wash it every day. Or even every other day. She encouraged me to do the same and because I am thoroughly unoriginal and a shameless copycat of those I admire, I gave dirty hair a whirl.

When my hair was longer, I could go legit DAYS without washing and my hair would still look fine. In fact, the only thing that would get me into the shower was when the cowlick on the back of my head would become really pronounced after a few days of feeling its oats. That’s when my teenaged daughters would step in and tell me to wash my hair. When I looked like I’d been sleeping on someone’s couch for a few days or was coming down from a serious bender.

Now that my hair is shorter – I’ve been keeping it a couple of inches past my chin – it seems to require more frequent washings. I can get away with only about two or three days of dirty hair before it’s obvious that something is amiss. When my hair starts getting that oily look it used to get when I’d go, like, a day without washing my hair in high school. Another moment in time my hormone fluctuations were off-the-charts. Only now I fear what’s giving my hair a faintly oily sheen is in fact the last of my estrogen. I believe that’s how it’s making its escape from my body. It’s leaking out of my scalp.

Sadly, the only time I can’t really push my hair-washing boundaries is after a blow out. I can make it last about 48 hours and then it starts looking dirty. Like, too dirty. And I know it’s not just me who thinks so. I tried to keep a blow out going for three days over a girls’ weekend with college friends last year until finally one of my pals told me in no uncertain terms I needed to wash my hair. She actually said, “You need to wash your hair.” Having good friends can hurt sometimes.

My girlfriends closer to home always joke about my propensity for dirty hair. They claim they can’t stretch washings out as long as I do, but they get their hair colored just as much as me. Their hair fibers are up to the challenge. “You need to train your scalp,” I tell them, coaching them to try going just one extra day without washing. But they remain dubious.

Recently, one of those girlfriends – the one who, despite having a serious head of hair, is devoted to daily hair washing – emailed our group the link to a recent article that blasts the whole dirty-hair-is-cool trend called “Are You Not Washing Your Hair Enough?”
“Is this an intervention?” I emailed back, and I was assured by all that it wasn’t. But I’m still not too sure. Maybe it’s hard for them to look at me, or maybe I kinda smell?

I still prefer my hair on Day 2 so will need more evidence from loved ones before feeling compelled to wash it daily. And with the warmer weather coming, I’m about to stop drying my hair altogether and adopt a more au natural look. It will free up even more time for things like writing and checking Facebook.
I mean, who wants to be a slave to her hair? Especially when it looks good? There’s plenty of other stuff to tend to, and if you are a woman of a certain age, you know what I’m talking about. Get your bikini waxed. Your nails did. Your face Botoxed.

Your dirty hair will patiently wait its turn.

This post is sponsored by Gerber Salon in Keyport, NJ, where I visit every 5-6 weeks to worship at the altar of Lorraine’s color magic.


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4 thoughts on “Hair Stories: Who’s Afraid of Some Dirty Hair?

  1. You aren’t alone, Amy. At most, I wash my hair three times a week. And I’ve been contemplating switching to a sulfate/silicone free routine since I’ve been reading about the best way to care for curly hair. And the only reason I’m doing that is because I’ve gotten too lazy to dry and straighten this old mop.

    • Last year, my very curly younger daughter got a no-poo cut at Devachan in NYC and is now a convert and only uses that no-poo product. Now that she’s not straightening the poop out of her hair every day she also has a lot more time on her hands to watch Netflix. 😉

  2. I SO get it too!!! All girls seemed to get so amped about their blowouts!! can’t stand them….I even tell her….”please…not perfectly coiffed”

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