Day ten (10) without soap and shampoo

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Summary: I continue my great experiment. This time I have introduced a "control" day into the experiment, to see how my body takes having shampoo added back to the mix. Not well, surprisingly. Besides that, most other things are on the up.

Monday, 11 January 2010

(00:20:11 CST) (4 Comments)

Day ten (10) without soap and shampoo

I am roundabout the half-way mark to where I want to be with my no-soap and no-shampoo experiment. About 10 days from now, I should have my conclusion. Up until now, it has been something like anybody's guess, I tell you. One day, I walk around and feel miserable and want to bathe it all off with the deepest, most cleansing soap that science can create and the next day I am absolutely delighted by the whole process. Let me sum up where I am and explain the results of my "control" day.

The oil in my hair is mostly stabilized. Don't get me wrong, it is always there. My hair never feels not-oily, it just doesn't feel greasy either. In fact, it mostly feels oily if you do something like take you fingers and squeeze along the strand. If you just take your hand and sort of rub through it or pat it, it mostly feels slightly-too-coarse-to-be-soft but, you know, not-bad. I wish my forehead would decide it was tired of being oily, ditto my nose, but the rest of my skin is doing just fine. Also, let me say "THANK GOD" that my body odor finally found something like normalization. There were a couple of days where it felt like my body was tired of having people around and was ready to use chemical warfare on anyone who got too close.

Yesterday was a "control" day. Don't know why I wrote control in irony quotes. Control in the experimental sense, not in the thing you regain to have power over someone sense. I used shampoo on my hair yesterday morning and then played about an hour of racquetball yesterday afternoon. Probably shouldn't insert two controls that close together but I think it will be ok. As for the sports, a bit stinky afterwards but simply wiping down went a long way to helping. The shampoo was interesting. That soft, thin, and slightly brittle feeling that I used to associate with clean hair I now realize is better used to described "chemically lashed hair". I did not like it all. I lost half of my hair's body. It felt more burned than clean. I have only lost a minimal amount of hair since starting that and probably lost as much yesterday as I had the entire week previous.

In fact, in all the control, the one body parts that seemed to benefit were my ears. They have been bugging me a lot since starting this, being really dry. My shampooing has apparently had the extra benefit of washing down into my ears and helping them to stay clean. Since starting this, my head washing is a lot more brief. I'll try and wash them manually, and see if that helps.

I think the big test will be what happens when I get fully back into work and school this week, and have that minor-but-there stress on top of everything. Next weekend, I will be heading down South for a couple of days. If anything cracks this experiment open, it will be one of those two things.

Si Vales, Valeo

4 Comment(s)

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Are you using any other replacements? I have oily skin, but "washing" my face with oil gets it clean (see: "oil cleanse method"). And then there's also the thai crystal thing that you rub on your pits that is supposed to magically erase b.o.

No. The only other tool I've been allowing myself is a wash-rag. I'm not even scrubbing the skin more than just a moderately gentle wipe-over. If I keep it up, and signs point to me doing so, I might try other things. My normalized skin/hair should be a good test for the immediate effects of such things.

I was curious and have been trying the same (about the time you posted your "5 days" entry [Doug's note: Five (5) Days Without Soap/Shampoo in the Shower]). If nothing else, this cold weather was killing me and I figured not using soap would keep my skin from drying even more, if not allow my natural oils to form a kind of armor, if you will, against the cold. And truth be told, it was a good time to try it since I wouldn't be alone (what a courageous free thinker!). However, I still shampoo and condition. Still wash the pits and the nethers. I definitely think I will be incorporating a coarse brush of some kind into my regimen. I have in fact experienced even worse dry skin with no soap. My hypothesis is that without the scrubbing that comes with soap, there is no process which lifts off the dead skin. I would just do the washrag, but if nothing else, I think I just prefer a good scrub.

I have in fact experienced even worse dry skin with no soap.

Hmm, curious. There are two explanations that I can give outside of the dry skin being, in fact, dead skin. (1) Are there other portions to your skin retinue that you also cut? Was your soap a special mosturizing soap? In both cases, you might still be inside of a normalization period where you skin is adjusting to caring for itself. (2) What temperature is your shower. A dermatologist once told me that hot water is the biggest cause of dry skin. It would make sense that as the weather gets colder, the showers you take would be hotter and hotter. Maybe now that you have stopped using soap, you have started using even hotter water for longer? If not, then #1 is the most likely culprit.

file under (...on Food & Health)

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