MIDWAY : A month of no shampoo

Every time my history teacher called me “Haystacks” I would blush while trying to flatten my hair with my palms. Even today, although people no longer call me those terrible names, I notice them trying not to stare at my frizzy head. Oh how hard they try...

Recently, I took things into my own two hands and decided on an extreme action, inspired by the two people whose gleaming locks I admire the most. One is my former boss who hasn’t washed her hair in 10 years, and the other lives in rural Tanzania and can only wash her hair once a week.

Having braced myself for full-on hair grease-out, I was surprised to find that the first few days passed with no hiccups at all. I tenderly brushed my hair each night to draw the natural oils away from the roots, and was very pleased to see a much smoother, sleeker me in the mirror. Moreover, I didn’t have to make time in my schedule to wash it either, which was a huge bonus. You could say I was getting on fine despite my jumbled hair.

By the fifth day, though, my hair was a tad oily, I had glistening, flaky dandruff, and a job interview presented a hurdle. Would my potential boss notice and think me too grubby for the much-vaunted position? It was hard not to. But I survived the occasion with tonnes of Kirby (hair) grips and a distractingly bright orange top to boot. Thankfully, the dandruff was short-lived but, despite all this, I felt increasingly low.

Day seven was the darkest of all. A dinner in full formal attire didn’t seem to go with what was now obviously lank hair, so I buckled and applied organic conditioner in an attempt to reduce the lard level in the scalp. It felt odd adding more grease to grease (my ex-boss with the glossy mane assures me weekly conditioner is key), but my hair looked passable after a blow dry, and I was rewarded with my first hair compliment — the first ever in my life.

“Very chic,” my friend Neil said. “A bit like Betty Boo.” A month has now passed, and I am a dirty-hair convert. Yes, there have been days such as yesterday when my scalp was itchy and my hair had a slightly fusty smell up really close, but it feels healthier, more controllable and,

best of all, looks nothing like a haystack.