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The Longest Kids Have Gone Without Washing Their Hair, According To 16 Moms

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Maybe you just want to give your kids a bath without launching into a rendition of "Tilt your head! Tilt your head" "My EYES!" (Bathroom Remix). All of us here have stretched the limits of how long our kids go without washing their hair, and I'm willing to admit for my part that announcing "tonight we will skip washing hair" is a self-gift on the scale of telling your partner you're going to yoga but actually just sitting at Starbucks eating cake pops for two hours.

Who here has never thought to themselves, "Wait... when is the last time Augie bathed?" and been embarrassed by the answer? And that's just bathing. Hair washing is its own separate thing. My kids take frequent baths but don't wash their hair unless I remind them to... and I don't always remind them to. My personal record is at least nine days for my son. (High five?! OK, nevermind. I'm not proud of it!)

Of course, there's lots of different kinds of hair out there and it all requires its own kind of care, so best practices vary depending on things like routine, culture, and just your own unique hair needs. For example: argan oil is a miracle product for some people, but put it in my already-inclined-to-being-oily, poker-straight hair and bad things happen. (I look like the little girl from The Ring fresh from her cursed well.)

Regardless of the right frequency to wash, it is a truth universally held that most kids and moms will push that to its limit, as these 16 parents prove. Here's how long their kids have gone without washing [that man] right out of [their] hair.

Amanda

"Haha haha, so long (and such a regular occurrence) I can’t even tell you how long! One time when [my daughter] was around 2 she ended up with cradle cap again and I seriously couldn’t remember the last time I had put shampoo on her head. It had to have been weeks. I did bathe her... just not shampoo. She washes hair about once a week now that she’s older."

Allison

"I think my son has gone almost a week. Both long-haired girls look like little dumpster scavengers if we go over two or three days so they get more frequent hair washings."

Rosa

"If their hair is straightened, I go four days. Other than that every other day or so. [My youngest daughter's] hair is curly and dries out so she washes her hair 2-3 times a week."

Melissa

"Both of my kids have dry hair so we go about a week between washes, probably two to three times a week in the summer when they’re sweaty. I even put hair oil/leave in conditioner in it and it’s still dry. Also, lice do not like dirty hair so I convince myself it’s for the greater good!"

Maybe last summer?

Elise

"Mine wash their hair with shampoo once a week (and have for years) and it never looks greasy. They always bitch about having to take a shower — 'It’s so inconvenient! It’s [sibling name]’s turn to go first! Why do we have to be clean!' — and then linger there for 30 minutes talking about how great a shower feels..."

Marisa

"My daughter, who is black and wears her natural hair in box braids or cornrows, generally goes two weeks between washings. This is pretty typical. With white kids it's different."

Candy

"[My son] washes his daily, but he is usually sweaty and nasty. [My daughter] washes with conditioner, so it’s been a while since she has used actual shampoo. Maybe last summer?"

Wendy

"We wash once a week."

"Alice"

"Up until this year, my kids (6 and 8) only bathed on Sunday nights. So I would say the longest they've gone without hair washing? Probably eight or nine days on a week where bath got thrown off. Now they have a 'quick wash' bath mid-week most of the time. They love baths but won't bathe alone yet and I hate baths. Bath time in our house can range from the entire bathroom soaked to a shattered glass shower door, so sorry if my kids are stinky."

Sandra

"We are a family of slight hippies that believe that building up a little grime is good for the immune system. They bathe every two to three days unless they get extremely dirty and are washed that day, but hair can go a week. My rule is to adjust if they smell and if they don’t smell, it’s fine."

A.J.

"My youngest will be 2 months [soon]. The closest thing to a bath he's ever had was his baptism (which was only a sprinkle not a dunk)!"

Kate

"Pretty sure my daughter has gone close to a week. She has curly hair though, and it only looks good after a wash. But she also hates having her hair washed. The baby is at about one or two times a week right now."

Christy

"As a mom with derm[atological] issues ... I've tried not to "over-wash" my kids from birth to protect their skin. For hair, I would say the longest they have gone is five to seven days, but my son washes his hair much more frequently now that he plays sports almost daily and gets sweaty."

Jaqlyn

"A full week easily."

Liz

"We aim for every two to three days, but lately life just seems too hectic to schedule baths and showers... plus come on, it's cold, and we all have dry skin. So it's been more like every four to six days, with occasional hose-downs if it's warranted. I don't think we've exceeded six days... but I wouldn't put money on it."

Trish

"Two and a half weeks. Definitely. She was sick and then we were busy and by the time the weeks passed, I had not even noticed. To be fair, we usually wash her hair every Sunday after swim — so it's only once a week on the regular."