Skip Nav
What ALL 40 Shades of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Foundation Really Look Like
Beauty Tips
7 Easy Ways to Add All-Natural Almond Oil to Your Beauty Routine
Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington Both Star in D&G's New Fragrance Campaign and Oh My God

Meet The Woman Who Didn't Shower for Six Weeks

Meet The Woman Who Didn't Shower for Six Weeks

What could you do without for 40 days and 40 nights? Not food, not sleep. Give up sex? Maybe. The question is, could you do what Nicky Taylor did? The 42-year-old woman (no relation to the '90s megamodel) went for that long with no cosmetics or toiletries. That means no shampoo, no toothpaste, no deodorant, no makeup—and no showering, either.

Taylor, a documentary filmmaker, was used to spending £2,000 (around $4,000) per year on beauty products. Disgusted by her high levels of consumption and concerned about the number of chemicals that were going on her skin, she decided to try an experiment: For 40 days, she'd throw her grooming routine out the window. She explains:

"I always think I look absolutely terrible if I haven't washed my hair that morning, when the reality is that other people don't really notice at all," she says. "The idea that we need all these products and that we have to be clean at all times is endemic in society, and I wanted to see what happened when I stopped washing altogether. Would I lose all my friends? Would I stink to high heaven? Or would life just carry on as normal?

To find out what happened,

Right away: To protect the health of her children, she wore latex gloves when preparing their food. And at first, the lack of primping freed up time for her to sleep in. But then...

Day 4: Taylor begins to stink, and her hair is greasy. "Within a few days it turned into a bird's nest and instead of allowing it to fall flatteringly around my face, I'd taken to pulling it all back into a ponytail," she said.

Week 2: Taylor's children refuse to hug her because of the stench. Surprisingly, though, she isn't treated abnormally at a work event.

Week 3: "My toenails were turning a strange color and I'd developed dry, peeling skin on my hands."

Week 4: Taylor's skin developed a healthy glow, and a cyst near her eye disappeared. On the other hand, a dentist told her that she could lose her teeth if she kept up this non-routine.

Week 5:"My hair was so greasy that it stayed in its ponytail position even when the hair band wasn't there. And my teeth were horribly discoloured and covered in a build-up of plaque."

Week 6: Although she had 5,000 times the bacteria she did before embarking on this experiment, none of the bacteria were dangerous. She did, however, have a cavity. Overall, while Taylor was glad to be able to shower, she believes that most people don't notice your grooming as much as you think they do.

What do you think? Personally, I'm not about to give up showering anytime soon, but I see what she's getting at. I used to wash my hair every day, but now I wash it every other day or so. Nobody seems to be able to tell, and my hair is healthier and less dry than it used to be. Still, you won't catch me going without a good tooth-brushing anytime soon.

Join The Conversation
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 10 years
blondeviking blondeviking 10 years
I read this article in the daily mail a week or so ago, and since I've been using only natural products. I've been hearing so many stories lately about how its helped immensely to cut back on chemicals and heavy metals :p But yeah, my skin has looked and felt SO MUCH better since I've done this! My next step is to get nature-based makeup.
Pokemyhontas Pokemyhontas 10 years
I can't imagine not washing my crack for six weeks. GROSS!!
talrocks talrocks 10 years
This is a very interesting experiment...i thank her for doing it because there is no way in hell I could go that long without a shower or brushing my teeth! However it proves two things...we DO need some grooming products however we may not need as many. Perhaps we should be looking at products that have more natural or organic ingredients.
magalaya magalaya 10 years
Totally agree with you on this one. Though I understand what her point is, I would never be able to go without a shower for six weeks! Yikes.
Linny Linny 10 years
water isn't cosmetic. if this were my experiment my new hobby would be running through sprinklers or something like that
0danielle0 0danielle0 10 years
I'm all about only washing my hair every 3 days or so, but I still shower daily!! And if I don't floss every day I go CRAZY. She's hardcore.
shleamg shleamg 10 years
Get a grip, woman! Just cut back if you feel that you are being excessive! What's with all of these "extremes" that people feel they need to go to. To me, that is where the real pretentiousness lies, not in the makeup! And forget about the cosmetics, isn't toothpaste necessary? Yikes!
veronica-f veronica-f 10 years
what's the point of not getting a shower every day?
mobiluncus mobiluncus 10 years
She's just copying the idea of the man who ate nothing but mcdonald's for a month
Neuroticone Neuroticone 10 years
After reading that article I feel like i need to take another shower.
kdmac kdmac 10 years
I have only washed my hair every other day OR SO for the last few years and rely on PSSST! (the spray shampoo) between washings. However, not showering the REST of my body is out of the question! Especially not brushing your teeth! She is a dentist's worst nightmare!
MrsWalsh07 MrsWalsh07 10 years
Food Food 10 years
wow, this is a bit extreme, and while i can appreciate the effort, I think the experiment is a bit flawed. I agree with buffyanne, she should have tried to cut her budget down and determine what the absolute minimum needed to maintain a modicum of hygeine was. While I can fathom not washing hair/body for a while, the not washing hands after going to the loo is definitely a no-no in my book.
kitchenfloor kitchenfloor 10 years
Ok, I agree with everyone's comments, at least on the first page anyway. I didn't read the second. I personally shower every few days. I know, I know. Whatever. I would not eschew brushing my teeth twice a day. I never floss, though. I just wouldn't want to incur a high dentist's bill. I don't have dental insurance. I don't wear makeup on days that I don't go out. I just wear sunblock and mascara on days that I do. I believe in not spending a ton of money on makeup and stuff. My shampoo and conditioner is expensive though, big jugs of bumble and bumble.
buffyanne buffyanne 10 years
Couldn't she do something similarly challenging like reducing herproduct budget to $20 for 6 weeks? With that challenge, she might actually adopt some of the conservative methods she employed. As her experiment stands, of course she will just go back to the way she was doing things. She didn't make an effort to change spending, just change her level of hygiene.
allisonblue allisonblue 10 years
Wow, way to miss the point! Yes, consumer excess is wrong, but so is eschewing basic hygiene and putting your health at risk! Take five-minute showers rather than baths, buy a low-flower shower head and faucet aerator, turn off the shower while you lather and turn it back on when it's time to rinse, and switch to natural toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. has a complete list of cosmetics and personal care items that are safe for humans, and PETA keeps a list of personal care companies that don't test on animals. Geez, no reason to get a cavity!
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 10 years
ewww. I'm trying to look at this objectively and study the merit of the documentary but I cannot get past the gross factor! NASTY! yeah, we use a lot of products, and yeah, probably no one cares, but did you really have to forgo all basic hygiene to prove that point? Most of the reason I do whatever I do to keep myself clean and fresh looking is so that I feel good about myself. I could care less if anyone else noticed. the teeth disgusted me. *shudder*
buffyanne buffyanne 10 years
I'm gonna hurl...
sutherngrl77 sutherngrl77 10 years
Um...there is a difference between unchecked consumerism and basic hygiene. I get the point she was trying to make, but she didn't have to go to such drastic measures to make it. I feel sorry for her co-workers and family for being forced to deal with her stench. YUCK!
darlingella darlingella 10 years
I am slightly ocd and being clean. And I also throw down for any new lotion, cream, product that will help beautify my skin. This summer I also became a camp counselor for underprivileged kids. Part of this responsibility meant no showering for 1 week! The first three days were the most uncomfortable days of my life. I had dirt in my nails and there was a sock line of dirt. But by day four I was embracing this new sense of eau natural. It was refreshing oddly enough. The shower I took the following week was amazing!
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I thought I read somewhere that not washing your hair iso kay like, every other day etc, but it is a false assupotion to not wash your hair for like, a week, to try and let it self moisterize...truith is the oil and dirt suffocates your hair and doesn't let it get the air it needs.
Pepa Pepa 10 years
I definitely couldn't do it. :o
sashak sashak 10 years
that is a really interesting experiment. I don't think I could go that long w/o brushing my teeth & my hair would prolly start to dread. Not using all those chemicals prolly really helped get rid of a bunch of toxins though
Aesop Wasabi Toothpaste Review
Homemade Toothpaste Recipe
Natural Shampoos
Unicorn Children's Toothpaste
From Our Partners
Latest Beauty
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds