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Meet the Woman Who Didn't Wash Her Own Hair for Years

10/24/2013 at 06:52 PM ET

Blow dry addictionGMA/ABC News

Everyone likes the way their hair looks when they leave the salon, but Sandra Ballantine took that to an extreme — she stopped washing her hair at home, having it blown out in a salon up to three times a week instead.

The N.Y.C. resident admitted to Good Morning America that she was spending up to $250 a week on her addiction, but only realized that she might have a problem when a friend, an editor at W magazine, noticed there wasn’t any shampoo in her house.

RELATED: The fall hair products editors are raving about!

Her pal issued her a challenge: Forgo the salon and skip the dryers, flat irons and hot rollers for three months, and then write about it for the magazine. “I didn’t think I could do it,” she said. “And then I kind of got over myself. I was like, ‘Come on, who cares that much?’”

Ballantine admits she didn’t accept the challenge straight away and found it hard to go cold turkey.”The first time I lathered up and air-dried, I looked like an extra from Game of Thrones,” she writes.

But with some advice from her stylist and some inspiration from the queen of wash-and-wear hair, Kate Moss, she jumped in. “I began experimenting with all manner of shampoo, conditioner, balm, oil, cream, mousse, spray and serum,” she admits. (Her current fave is Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day.)

And while that led to some mishaps — like a wet-look ponytail that looked more like a rat tail and a boyfriend who didn’t recognize her — Ballantine says she’s embraced her new look, going as far as to change up her makeup and wardrobe to match her more natural style. “I’ve discovered that softer hair is the perfect foil for stronger makeup,” she writes.

But the biggest payoff of all might be in her wallet: She’s now putting the money she’s saved towards the property taxes on her newly purchased home.

Thoughts? Do you have any beauty addictions of your own?

–K.C. Blumm

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Showing 67 comments

nicky on

If only we all had her problems..

Shia on

News flash: women of color do this ALL the time as their hair doesn’t have to be washed as often and many go to the salon ONCE a week (that’s all you need for many black women) – especially in NYC where a wash is $10…but nevermind People to be cognizant of that…joke.

Aneta on

I can beat that, my sister in law has not washed her own hair since she graduated law school 14 years ago…

rockybopper on

Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the life of many, many senior women who don’t have the mobility to wash their own hair. Why is hers a news story?

Tara on

Why is this news? Lots of women do this. Mostly seniors.

Kristy on

My 90 year old grandmother has not washed her own hair for about 20 years.

Women in the 60s and earlier would only get their hair done at the salon. As do many people with “black hair” even today.

I don’t see anything wrong with it, unless she wants to save money and her hair from so much heat damage. Otherwise, it’s not such a revolutionary idea not to wash your own hair. I’d totally get my hair washed only at a salon if I could afford it.

Nannyto1 on

My 85 year old Mom never washes her own hair… I don’t think she ever has! She visits her hair dresser once a week and always has.

J. on

I thought this was going to be a heartwarming article about a woman with limited mobility or a disability becoming physically able to wash her own hair for the first time in years. Disappointed :(

Charli on

I know a lot of people who don’t do their own hair. Not a huge story.

Angela on

Why is this even news?? WTF

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