Five (5) Days Without Soap/Shampoo in the Shower

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Summary: I am experimenting with cutting out shampoo and soap for at least three weeks. Every four-five days I will update everyone on how the process is going. So far: It's going fair.

Tuesday, 05 January 2010

(16:39:55 CST) (2 Comments)

Five (5) Days Without Soap/Shampoo in the Shower

On December 30, 2009, I cut out shampoo from my shower. For the past four or so years, I have kept soap use to a minimal. Now it is gone altogether. The reason for this? Well, I want to see what happens. Nothing more or less complicated than that. The soap went away after reading that most men do not need soap for most of their body in a men's health magazine. Unless you are down in the oil and the muck for a job, there is little that a man can do to actually require soap to get clean. It specified "male", so I do not know if the same is true for women (my guess is that lotions and perfumes leave a longer footprint on the skin). The only places it seemed to promote soap usage were the armpits and the genitals, and I think that might have been out of fear of what horror might be created if you told men to stop washing their junk.

The shampoo went away after reading this article on no-soap, no-shampoo lifestyles (originally linked by I had thought about it before, but never really strongly. I assumed, like everyone grimacing while reading this, that there is no cleanliness without shampoo.

After the better part of a week, though, I find some benefits already showing up. My hair is oilier, a little, but not greasy and feels thicker and fuller, too. It dries faster after each shower (makes sense if you think about why we use soap). Hair smells fine with no ill effects. Almost none falls out. Does feel a little more coarse, but that might be temporary. A little residual flaking on the sides, but it seems to be decreasing already. Psoriasis appears to be fading. Face is still a little oilier than I like, but bumps and blackheads are decreasing. Hair and beard, both of which are curly, are much less prone to tangles. Haven't had one since I have started this. Overall body odor is not bad. I find it responds to things like drinking diet drinks but does not build up enough during the day that it is unpleasant before I shower again. No noted change in fingernails or such. Skin, though, has absolutely no dry patches and feels both smoother and less sensitive at the same time.

Just to clarify what I am doing:

  • I AM showering. Daily. For some reason, when you find others doing this, about half the comments confuse not using shampoo for not showering at all. Some people get really, really panicked when you talk about it. No shampoo. Yes shower.
  • Showers range from long to short, depending on the day. Overall water consumption averages out to be the same, but the showers feel longer since they are not as broken up.
  • I am using absolutely no soap or shampoo.
  • Likewise, I am using no form of deodorant that is not body spray. Any antiperspirant or similar thing with pore clogging properties and it is avoided.
  • I am using no lotions or creams.
  • I do use soap to wash my hands while cooking and at other key times.
  • My goal is not to be all stinky and natural, but to find out if shampoo and soap, as we are sold it, is basically a lie that leads to more problems than they help. If I reach a point where I have a notable body odor or my hair is greasy, I will stop the experiment (or possibly try a day or two with soap and shampoo back and then restart).
  • After three weeks (January 20, 2009) I will reassess the whole thing and let every one know.

Ok, next update on this probably on Saturday.

Si Vales, Valeo

2 Comment(s)

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(1) Y···· says (via Livejournal):
I tried that when I was 7th grade or so. Soon ( a week or two) people complained about my odor, so I quit. I was doing tennis and track back then.

Swimming is pretty much only exercise I do now. I feel like I have to use shampoo and soap to wash out chemicals in the pool. But I do have dry, very itchy scalp.

(2) Allen says (via Facebook):
This sounds surprisingly tempting considering how dry my skin has become from this awful weather.

file under (...on Food & Health)

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