One brave woman proud of her long locks has admitted her dirty secret - she has not washed her hair for 11 years.
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.
"It's like doing one thing to contradict the other. It was much easier to get out of that cycle."
Mrs Weynberg brushes her hair daily to remove dirt and smells and rinses it with warm water every few months.
She has admitted: "It's very much against the way most people think."
I NEVER WASH MY HAIR AND IT'S AS SOFT AS DOG FUR
By Alison Palmer 15/06/2006
YOU DON'T NEED TO WASH YOUR HAIR. AFTER A COUPLE OF WEEKS NATURAL OILS MAKE IT GLOSSY AND CLEAN... WELL THAT'S THE CLAIM
EVERYONE has heard the rumour - don't wash your hair and it will start to clean itself after a few days.
For the past couple of weeks one of TV's best-known faces, Andrew Marr, has put the theory to the test and now he says his hair is fluffy and odour-free.
He reckons that this is because he is not drowning his locks in chemicals which, in turn, means he isn't stripping away the natural oils and therefore his scalp isn't having to compensate by producing excess grease.
Here we speak to three people who don't wash their hair and are convinced that it's healthier to dodge shampoo.
But, before you try this at home - read what the hair experts have to say...
MY HAIR DOESN'T SMELL
ANDREW Carn, a 46-year-old actor, lives in London. He says...
'LAST week a friend sniffed my hair. She assured me it didn't smell. If it had, I'd have rubbed in a little scented gel.
I stopped washing my hair in the early 90s and it looks better than ever. I'd always had dry hair and when, as an experiment I gave it rest from shampooing, I was thrilled to see it looked better.
I always rinsed it but when I was in the show Hair in the mid-90s it needed to be really wild so I rubbed some Vaseline into it. That night someone commented on how nice my hair looked and I've used it ever since. Now every day I wet my hair then rub a dollop in - it makes my hair a bit greasy but it looks glossy and protects my scalp.
Three years ago I had to have my hair straightened for a job. The stylist insisted on washing it. I loved that "just shampooed" feeling but I wasn't tempted to keep doing it.
I don't swim in pools because of the chlorine but the sea is fine. I exercise but sweat rinses out and I've never had any complaints from girlfriends. Interestingly, I once had a girlfriend with hair extensions. She didn't wash her hair and it stank.'
PENNY Weynberg, 30, a stay-at-home-mum, lives in Leeds. She says...
'I ALWAYS hated my hair when I'd first washed it. It was horribly fluffy and uncontrollable. After a couple of days it calmed down and looked lovely, but then it would go greasy and I'd have to wash it.
So I was intrigued when I saw a TV show about people whose hair "self-cleaned" because they didn't wash it. I was an 18-year-old student at the time and it seemed a good time to try. With very long hair which took an age to dry, it would be one less thing to worry about.
After a week it became really greasy. I kept it in a French plait, persevered, and after six weeks it was back to normal. No one even noticed.
Now I describe it with the expression "water off a duck's back". Because each strand ia coated in oil - not the sort which builds up because of chemicals, but natural oils - dirt or grime can be brushed off daily with a natural bristle brush. I trim my hair myself and don't even wet it unless I want to style it. When I go swimming, I let it dry then brush the chlorine out. I did have a bit of colour put in in February this year but I didn't have to go through the six weeks' greasy period again because my hair was so protected with oil.
Thanks to my children, Mordicai, four, and two-year-old Tobias, we had a head lice infestation recently. I just wetted my hair, used the special comb then put tea-tree oil through it which nits hate.
My husband, Diccon, doesn't always use shampoo and I rarely use it on the children unless they get something sticky in it. Their hair doesn't smell so why should mine? It might not be squeaky-clean but it's so soft - like dog's fur.
If people find out I don't wash my hair they either admit they don't - you'd be amazed how many of us there are - or say they'd never have known.
Someone once told me if they examined my hair under a microscope it wouldn't be clean. What a stupid remark. Even if you shampoo your hair within hours it's covered in grime and needs re-washing. The dirt in mine, however, brushes out.
I'VE SAVED A SMALL FORTUNE ON SHAMPOO
LIZ Peatfield, 36, is a martial arts teacher from Liverpool. She says...
'COSMETICS firms have got us over a barrel. They get us to strip natural oils from our hair with shampoo then put them back with conditioners.
They encourage us to dye it. Then, because we wash the colour out with shampoo, we have to dye it again. All the time we're creating waste packaging, putting chemicals on our skin and down the drain and pouring money after it.
Before I stopped washing my hair seven years ago I was obsessed with hair care. I washed it daily, I'd have it straightened once-a-week for £20, cut and blow dried every six weeks and regularly dyed. Since I stopped I've saved thousands of pounds.
I stopped washing it after I had it braided and let it turn into dreadlocks. I found that shampoo got "locked in" I stopped using it. I admit the first week I didn't shampoo my head itched like mad, but after about four weeks it started cleaning itself.
Once a week I scrub it with water then rub coconut oil into my scalp. I dye the roots every 12 weeks but even then I don't shampoo it, I just rinse out the dye.
My hair doesn't smell. I know that because I teach martial arts and have to get really close to people. Someone would have told me by now.
Our ancestors didn't use chemicals and had lovely shiny hair. Animals don't use them and yes, they smell of "animal" but not horrible because they groom. Just as I do.'
THE EXPERTS GIVE THEIR VERDICT
TRICHOLOGIST, Glenn Lyons, of the Philip Kingsley Clinic in London, says natural oils do not protect hair...
"Oil is produced at the scalp and brushing will only spread it down a few centimetres, not the whole length of the shaft."
He adds: "We wear clothes to protect our skin and wash our face so why would anyone chose not to wash their hair?
"Also, we all shed skin which sits on the scalp unless shampooed away. If you have a dry scalp, massaging the glands when you shampoo it helps stimulate oil production and nourishes the skin."
For more hair care advice see www.philipkingsley.co.uk
CELEBRITY hairdresser, Anita Cox, says hair is not self-cleaning..
"Rinsing hair does not clean it properly - hair reaches a certain point of dirtiness, then it remains the same."
She continues: "People need salon-formula products. A good shampoo will, with the first wash, get rid of dirt, then, with the second wash, nourish hair.
"It's fine to wash your hair daily but people ought to wash their hair twice a week at least."
For details of Anita Cox's salons see www.anitacox.co.uk