How To Cut Costs On Hair Care Once and For All! For Serious Savers Only

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-10-2648

I’ve read in some places that the cost of looking good can run as high as $200 a month for some people. By buying only top-notch beauty products and visiting the cosmetics and salons on a regular basis, you can easily set yourself back by over $2,000 a year or more. For those who are serious about keeping up their appearances, that’s around $60,000 over a lifetime of primping which would have probably really boosted retirement savings by a hefty bit if this money were ever redirected to a tax deferred account. How does an extra $245,000 at the end of 30 years sound? [that’s $2,000 a year allowed to grow at a rate of 8% a year for 30 years!]

If this kind of savings sounds good, then you may be inspired by certain stories of truly serious savings in the beauty front. For instance if I ask: what do you think is the cheapest way to maintain your hair? The extreme saver’s answer would be: Do Nothing!


And before you think that it would be impossible for anyone to do absolutely nothing to their hair — not shampoo, not condition, not wash it — for their entire lifetime, check out how this one woman managed to avoid hair care products of any sort for an entire 11 (that’s ELEVEN) years (well actually it’s been 13 years, since this storied aired)!

Let me introduce you to Penny Weynberg, who practices the ultimate frugal hair care activity: skipping hair washing altogether!

Unwashed Hair

Penny Weynberg has decided against spending a small fortune on shampoo and conditioner like most women. The 29-year-old mother-of-two believes hair has the natural ability to clean itself – so she doesn’t bother.

It all started when the chemical engineering graduate was studying for her A-Levels. “I was too busy revising to bother about my appearance,” she said.

Mrs Weynberg, who didn’t even bother to lather up for her graduation ceremony or her wedding day, has admitted to having greasy hair for the first month.

But she says it became less greasy and more glossy as time passed.

Explaining her beliefs to Sky News, she said: “I find shampoo just strips out all the goodness and then you put conditioner on to put the goodness back in.

Mrs Weynberg brushes her hair daily to remove dirt and smells and rinses it with warm water every few months.

Wild! But is it do-able? I can imagine though that this must all depend on the type of hair you have. Those with oily hair should probably avoid trying this out because it may get unbearable the first few days or weeks….or perhaps indefinitely (ugh). But if you think of what good this could bring: by going with the complete natural look (e.g. no makeup, cosmetics, perfumes, shampoo or any beauty products at all) while at the same time rerouting the money you save to a compounding interest account or a good investment, you can pretty much fund an IRA every year! [Okay, in case it wasn’t clear, this was said in jest — we all really need to find our balance when it comes to caring for our looks.] 😉

Now, if eschewing beauty products of any sort is beyond your capabilities, then how about employing these other “extreme” frugal beauty tips and ideas?

Here’s how to wash your hair without having to use shampoo!

P.S. Hopefully you don’t have to go this far to save some money:

Bald Britney Spears

Story and Image Credit: Sky News

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

David2 October 26, 2007 at 9:08 am

For guys, just use clippers on your hair (cut it yourself) and stop shaving your face, worked for me! 🙂

Michael October 26, 2007 at 9:44 am

I wonder how big my retirement would get if I never bought medicine or went to the doctor and just funneled all of that money into retirement? Or maybe I could get by without buying food? Who needs that crap anyway? Think of the savings!

This is ridiculous. I read lots of personal finance blogs, but sometimes it gets to be too much. Some people overspend on “beauty supplies”, sure, but to avoid it altogether in the name of frugality is insane.

If I never bought a computer, or had cable TV, or bought a car, or got my hair cut, or bought a house, or bought clothes, or bought a latte, or bought a book, or went to the movies, or bought an Ipod, or got a cell phone, or went to college, or bought a beer, or paid for life insurance, or bought a video game, sure, I could save a ton of money. In that case, I might as well go pick up come animal pelts to wear, find a cave, grab a spear or two, and spend all of my time guarding my huge pile of cash. Sounds like progress to me!

Lauren October 26, 2007 at 9:47 am

I actually did this for a while – I was living in Africa for 6 months and didn’t feel like lugging around shampoo and all those hair products, as well as having to take the time in cold dirty showers and/or rivers and lakes…so I just let my hair go. I brushed it and rinsed it out as often as I could, but other than that, I didn’t do anything. And really, my hair never looked better. I have naturally curly hair and it brought out the curls beautifully. For 6 months, I really didn’t ever wash my hair. It was great.

Unfortunately I now wash my hair every other day as I work in an office and I don’t think it would go over very well – especially during the time it takes to get to the point where it works. It’s not a pretty site for a few weeks, I’ll tell you that.

Vixen October 26, 2007 at 11:41 am

Oy. My hair would look like it was slicked with oil after three days. Ugh.

KCLau October 26, 2007 at 12:50 pm

This is an extreme act!

Damien Riley October 26, 2007 at 3:05 pm

That’s nasty.

Dan October 26, 2007 at 4:30 pm

Funny stuff. Certainly there is some waste or overdoing it when it comes to personal appearance, but there is a strong financial argument for looking professional leading to move money in your wallet! 🙂

Thrifty Penny October 26, 2007 at 4:37 pm

That’s amazing/crazy! I don’t know if I can do that. The greasiness bothers me so much! I get my haircut twice a year. I’m pretty low maintenance as is. As for makeup, I have it but I don’t wear it. I know…a waste of makeup/money.

60 in 3 - Fitness and Health October 26, 2007 at 5:43 pm

Guys have it easy. I started shaving my head at 24 and I’m still doing it at 34. It costs me a pair of clippers every three years ($40) and 5 minutes every two weeks. 🙂


Jen October 26, 2007 at 11:41 pm

I can see how expensive shampoo, hair care products, hair dying, etc can add up. But not washing one’s hair is way too extreme when there is Suave shampoo and others available for around a dollar. One could use less shampoo, or shampoo and no conditioner. I’m sure there are ways to make your own shampoo. Not doiwashing ones hair just equates to laziness and lack of caring.

Not a good option for most people in the professional world. I’m not sure.

Knowing that I am well kempt and presentable gives me much more confidence than that few dolalrs I would same from not doing it. Plus, Penelope Trunk has written numerous articles about how it’s especially important for women to be very presentable in the working world to be taken seriously and listened to. Sad, but I see it happpen all the time at work.

The Chef October 27, 2007 at 1:08 am

I would say thats funny, but did she backed up the savings on her hairs by saving similarly on face. We as far as I am concerned I have small hairs (being a boy) and caring for them is very easy 🙂

Silicon Valley Blogger October 27, 2007 at 6:15 am


Thanks for your comments, although I don’t think you realize this was all written tongue-in-cheek. To be honest, I can’t imagine doing what this person has done though I’ve heard of people who do skip hair-washing or shaving every other day. I thought it was funny that people do this sort of thing. And perhaps in other parts of the world, it’s more typically the case (less bathing, washing, etc though this post was entirely about hair washing, not showering/bathing!).

I so agree with everyone else that your appearance matters a great deal in order to get you a good job or keep you employed ;). There is some minimum level of appearance everyone needs to present when going into public, so the point here is to find the balance.

Again, just for the record, I love my hair and body washes… 😀

Mike-TWA October 27, 2007 at 7:50 am

No offense to Michael, but I thought this was hilarious. I think his point, albeit maybe misplaced here, is apt for a few other posts I’ve seen around the sphere.

So, SVB, at the substantial risk of dating myself, when can we look forward to your follow-up post about the flobee?

Silicon Valley Blogger October 27, 2007 at 9:17 am

Would like to add that a few days ago, I promised “scary” money tips in honor of Halloween. Well, this was one of them! 😀

Okay I am not sure what the flobee is (could this be it?) so either I’m too young to have heard about it 😀 or I must’ve moved here too late to have caught wind of it. Either way, I do have a follow-up post to this one coming up in a couple of weeks!

Alex B. October 27, 2007 at 9:39 am

I don’t know how much money it saves, but I’ve stopped using shaving cream. I find that lathering with soap works just as well.

Mike-TWA October 27, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Yep, you found it…and, you didn’t have to rub in the “too young to know” part. 🙂 The flobee was, at its essence, a haircutting vacuum. Appeared in the by Ronco, COD tele-ads golden years. I was -10 years old at the time

Silicon Valley Blogger October 27, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Alex: I’m so glad you could stop by! Never knew you used soap (it doesn’t look like you’ve had problems with “nicks”!) P.S. Alex and I go a long way!

Mike: A strange invention indeed! I’m not sure I’d trust my hair to a vacuum with razor blades!! 😉 It even appears that there’s a kind that exists for the ladies?!

mapgirl October 27, 2007 at 1:00 pm

hey!!! I resemble that remark about remembering the Flowbee. That commercial was on TV when I lived in Silicon Valley 10 years ago. *AHEM* I’m not THAT old.

I can’t imagine going long enough to make my hair look good without shampooing. Weird.

Minimum Wage October 27, 2007 at 4:37 pm

When I was in high school, I had a small plastic device called a Trimcomb into which you inserted a razoe blade for DIY haircuts at the price of a blade. It was made by Popeil Brothers, whose son Ron grew up to inflict all those Ronco devices on the world.

rstlne October 29, 2007 at 9:44 am

I use only bar soap on my hair. Of course, it probably works only on short hair.

Touile November 3, 2007 at 3:08 pm

Actually shampoo and conditioner are much cheaper per month than the big cost of haircare: haircuts. As a guy with short hair I’m looking at spending $20+ every 4-6 weeks to keep my hair cropped. DIY haircuts or razoring it all off will save you much more, and can be effective for men.

daydreamr November 11, 2007 at 2:28 am

I remember the flobee, my parents bought one when it first came out (I was the lucky recipient of many flobee cuts). What a traumatic experience. I will admit to giving myself haircuts, I actually haven’t paid for one in the last 3 years or so. I have perfected the technique over time and actually get compliments here and there. Why not?

This is rather extreme, I certainly wouldn’t want to try! I do know a man who doesn’t bathe. Since the skin replaces itself every 28 days, why take a shower? I guess he’s OK with having a ‘clean’ layer of skin every 4 weeks.

If this makes her happy, that’s great. It’s all about comfort level. There’s some people who enjoy the simple way of life, others will never be happy. Take Michael, for instance, he seems to be a bitter, hateful person, desperatly tring to find happiness in…iPods, lates, beer, cabel TV, video games…obviously, these can’t bring happiness. Apparently, having financial values, however extreme they are, works much better.

savingadvice March 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Guys definitely have it easy, but there are many ways women can cut down on costs without cutting there hair off or not washing it for years. Just use a third of the amount of shampoo every time you wash your hair, you only really need it on your scalp. Also I find if you wear your hair up it keeps it pretty clean.

hank March 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

I just StumbledUpon this one, and whoa! I’m frugal, and fairly cheap, and being a guy does have its benefits here, but this one is a bit over the top for even me! 🙂

komodo dragon June 7, 2008 at 12:29 pm

this is wild. very extreme and rather unnecessary unless you live at the brink of poverty

Tom August 23, 2008 at 6:48 am

No offfense but I think this is a case of taking it WAY too far! Just because some people are probably too obsessed with hair care/beauty products doesn’t me the answer is to stop using them altogether!
Well it IS her hair!

Haarausfall December 4, 2008 at 4:47 am

I’d like to know how Penny avoids hair hair of stinking… I’m sure it smells terrific, doesn’t it?

ace December 27, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I dont wash my hair eather. It took 2 or 3 weeks for it to ajust but now it looks better than ever and im sure its healthier. I just rinse it out when im in the shower every day and leave it be. Im not doing to save money or anything it just really isnt nessisary.

ace December 27, 2008 at 3:31 pm

and it doesnt have a smell to it eather.

Denise January 25, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I had heard of this before and also often wondered what people in the past did with their hair. Afterall, when was shampoo invented? the guy who told me about it said his hair was gross for about a month so I never could seem to get through that phase.
However, I just past month and my hair looks great! My husband isn’t even aware that I haven’t been shampooing although I keep asking him how my hair looks. He says it looks good. I worried about odour, but he hasn’t said anything and no one gets closer to my head than he does. I am not forgoing shampoo to save money but rather because it seems the natural thing to do.
Additionally, my hair has this incredible body that I’ve never been able to acquire no matter how many hair products I used in the past.

Becky March 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

My daughter stopped using shampoo about a year ago. She had very oily hair and read somewhere that shampoo actually stimulates more oil production. She just uses conditioner on her hair and rinses it in the shower every day.
Her hair looks great, no longer oily, and as someone else mentioned, her hair now has much more body and curl to it.

CourtneyUmenyiora April 9, 2009 at 7:40 am

Great blog. While I completely agree that natural is the way to go, there are those times when people like to get dolled up. Being on the topic of frugality, I just wanted to let you all know about a great website I happened to find that sells inexpensive (but great quality) cosmetics that wont break your budget. Let me know what you all think about. Thanks for the post, im going to try to not wash my hair as much to save money on shampoo, but sometimes my hair gets oily. any cure for that?

brandy August 29, 2009 at 7:35 am

I tried for three days and my hair got greasy. Greasy greasy. I bet the sort of water your city has plays a role.

Penny November 17, 2009 at 11:43 am

Am paying the real price for this. I’ve neglected my hair for a long time now. My hairs are becoming thin and weak 🙁

Delia @ Grow My Hair Long March 5, 2010 at 3:49 am

I agree that shampoo and conditioner can do harm to your hair, dry it out and make it break. But I don’t know if I’d be able to go without washing it!! It might go back nice and glossy eventually, but it’s the period in between I’d be worried about – I wouldn’t be able to leave the house!!

Rajat June 1, 2010 at 11:09 am

Yes i do agree a little bit with you in the matter of not to spend so much on hair maintenance but we should not avoid washing hair. I feel that it’s not necessary to wash hair daily because that will make the hair follicles weak, but we should wash them twice a week to maintain hair hygiene.

Hairstyles July 21, 2010 at 4:12 am

I have read your article and you point out many good ways to avoid high costs. But there are also ways to know about how to take care of your hair well so it will also cut the costs you may face!

Nio August 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm

It is very expensive to be a girl. The things we do to look good.

Tring Card August 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm

I don’t buy that hair ‘cleans its self’. Natural human hair should be greasy and the hairs natural oils water proof the hair.

Modern people prefer a non greasy look. So if you leave your hair and don’t wash it. It will just return to its natural, greasy state!

Beauty Obsessions Salon September 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Great and fun article here! I guess it all just depends on your priorities and whether you need to look a particular way for your career, interviews, etc. I have a few people that come in to my beauty salon more than they need to, simply because they are die-hard about looking a particular way… some for their job, spouse, etc. But again, it all depends on your particular needs and whether or not the cost is worth what you gain here. Personally, I would never skimp! 😀 Thanks for the article!

Jimmy M. Garcia October 5, 2010 at 5:54 am

11 years is really that Guinness-like feat of no application of any hair care products. However, for me that is only good when our world is not that polluted, where air is fresh, and cities are not bombarded with harmful chemical agents. So I guess it is best to apply some, which will only cost a little though.

jessica May 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Wow what an amazing woman she is. Well I guess being a chemical engineer made her realized that shampoos contain chemicals that damage hair and more. I like her idea but I think I can’t do it. I’m so dependent on shampoo especially since I get dandruff whenever I forget to use shampoo.

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