Let’s talk hygiene

All I can muster is one blog post a month, and apparently this month’s post is going to be about showering. Apologies.

I’ve seen a lot in the past few years about how we would all have healthier, more cooperative hair if we washed it less frequently. I have been on a daily washing regimen for years. I think it started in college when I was doing a lot of ballet and martial arts and therefore sweating a lot. I have fine hair, and it’s fairly light, so it’s very obvious when my hair gets oily. Also, I usually wear it short, which eliminates the ponytail option.

The short cut means that styling afterward isn’t much of a hassle. But I always blow-dry it, and just the washing plus blow-drying adds 15 minutes to my routine. A while back, I started trying out dry shampoos, which are supposed to be a hair miracle. Not so. Either the white powder was visible in my hair, or the shampoo had a scent that was pleasant in theory but not when placed mere inches from my nose all day long. I tried rubbing in the dry shampoo at night because I heard that this would make it absorb better, but then my pillow looked dirty. Plus, I knew the dry shampoo was making my hair look dirtier, no matter what all of those beauty blogs told me.

Anyway, a few months ago, I read an article about how our obsession with soap, shampoo, and showering is messing up the balance of our skin and scalp. When we’re always washing away the oil and bacteria on our body, everything dries out, which forces us to use lotion and hair products. The lack of oil pushes our body into oil production overdrive, and this reinforces the idea that we need to soap up every day. The doctor who had written this article had mostly quit showering and using deodorant.

I wasn’t ready to go that far, but I did want to give less shampooing a try, so I switched to every other day. The first few weeks were tough. My hair felt oily, and I wondered if people were questioning my cleanliness. Nobody said anything. And now I don’t give my hair much thought on that second day, to the point that I’m wondering whether I could get through a third day without shampoo.

I’ve also started skipping one shower on weekends, and again, the world hasn’t collapsed. I’m not a social outcast (Am I?). I am reveling in the extra 15 minutes I get on those days. I can ease into a few yoga poses or unload the dishwasher or build even more Legos with Henry.

I hear fellow moms talk all of the time about not showering and washing their hair, but it’s hard to tell how much is joking and how much is honesty. So, if you’re willing to comment, how often do you shower? What about washing your hair?

6 thoughts on “Let’s talk hygiene

  1. I now wash my hair on Wednesday and Saturday or Sunday. I also shower at night. It’s been life changing in a good way. I use Batiste dry shampoo in brunette shade or Living Proof (if I am feeling spendy). The trick is to put the dry shampoo on at night before bed. Smell and white powdery look both gone by morning. Also a silk pillowcase is the best investment. Good Housekeepung recommended one and I can’t remember the brand but it was like $30. My mom gave me one and then I bought one. I’m still using soap, but I would like to switch back to natural deodorant. I just have so many barely used deodorants in my closet I told myself I wouldn’t buy any new ones until these are all gone. So anyway, yes! I love not washing my hair.

  2. Ha, I have thick curly hair that I generally have in a ponytail. I probably shower four days a week, but only wash my hair twice a week, maybe less. I do use anti-perspirant deodorant because I don’t like feeling sweaty (funny that I used to be an athlete). On no shower days, putting on a clean shirt and undies at least makes me feel ready to leave the house :)

  3. I literally wash my hair only on weekends. Sometimes only once, but usually twice (because I’m only getting in two runs each week now– Saturday & Sunday).

    I do the dry shampoo method. Actually, worse. I ran out of dry shampoo and I’m on a kick where I want to use all of what we have and not waste. I’ve always been like that. I have no issue spending the money on things we need, but I refuse to throw away products I have purchased. Even if I dislike the smell, I can honestly count on one hand how many times I’ve thrown away a full product without consuming it all.

    Because I used all of my dry shampoo, I moved on the to stupid amounts of baby powder we own. WHY do we own so much? Heavens. I sprinkle it on at night, and the next morning I’m good to go. I will likely go back to the dry shampoo once I’m done, but I completely agree about the scent factor. It’s so unpleasant!

    On the shower front… I just love them. I’m already fretting the lack of showering on our anniversary hike in Peru this summer.

  4. I shower every day during the work week but only wash my hair M-W-F. I don’t think you can tell the second day, it saves me time, and like you said, it’s supposedly better for your hair. I have thick hair with quite the curl and I never dry it because I’m lazy. Sometimes I go the whole weekend without showering but always FEEL nasty by Sunday night. If we have something going on that I need to look presentable for, I’ll shower and wash my hair. I appreciate this conversation… never would have guessed that Brooke only washes her hair twice a week…

  5. It’s gotten to the point in my house where if I say I’m taking a shower, my husband will say, “Oh, is it Tuesday?” Joking aside, I usually only shower after I exercise, which is sometimes every day, sometimes every other day. I wash my hair every 3-4 days. Something about getting older just makes everything drier (hair, skin, etc.), and I find showering too often exacerbates this. The other thing about getting older is that you just decide you’re going to do what you want to do, and showering less frequently is it for me.

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