2/20/2009

too squeaky-clean?

Being a crunchy-granola gal, I've tried in all kinds of ways to reduce my carbon footprint and overconsumption of resources, including water. But I have to say that it's just agony for me to go without a daily shower. I've been experimenting with "skipping a day" and that whole day that I do, I feel off-kilter and gross. I don't particularly want to spend time with non-familial humans when I haven't showered. And running my hands through my day-old hair grosses me out.

I'm all for re-wearing clothes until they're dirty, but I think I'm a big fat FAIL at not bathing. Like when I saw Heather's post today, I realized, wow, the only times I've gone three days without bathing have involved hospitalization (meaning: I've had surgery and couldn't).

My difficulty with not showering might be a result of my uber-sensitive nose--if I don't want to sit next to me because of the unwashed smell, it's pretty tough to feel normal. Of course it might just be that I'm a particularly greasy-stinky human and so I have to bathe more than most people.

What do you think? Any sympathy or advice for this shower-addict?

21 comments:

hollygee said...

There is the Japanese shower option. You will need a waterproof stool or bench and a bucket.

Fill the bucket with warm/hot water, sit on your stool in the shower, use a washcloth (or not) to suds up your whole body and then turn on the shower only long enough to rinse off.

If your bathroom isn't warm enough, it is quite the invigorating experience.

Allison said...

I think a large part of it is just habitual. It can take a while to get used to the feeling. I usually shower every other day, but a while back when I had a cold I was taking a shower every morning just to clear the gunk in my head. When I went back to every other day it felt weird for a while. I think after a few weeks your body also adjusts its oil production accordingly so you feel better. Give it time! I do carefully wash my face, hands, and neck on days when I don't shower.

breathingmoss said...

Ahhh, Jana. Yours is not an unfamiliar plight. My friend wrote an amusing post about not washing hair, and how she thought I was crazy to suggest that not washing her hair would make it healthier. Will this automatically hyperlink?

http://anaccidentofhope.com/2008/09/17/the-older-i-get-the-more-right-it-turns-out-she-was/

In my experience, if you power through, if you stay hydrated, your body will adjust. Part of the oil production on the skin and scalp is because you keep washing the natural oils away, and the body is over-producing oil to keep itself lubricated.

Of course, this is coming from a hypocrite. Despite my admonitions to my friend that prompted her post, I am now a wash-my-hair-daily gal.

Thanks. You've inspired me to revisit my water usage and take my own advice above.

breathingmoss said...

http://anaccidentofhope.com/2008/09/17/the-older-i-get-the-more-right-it-turns-out-she-was/

Christopher Bigelow said...

I can't go without a daily shower either, unless I'm home all day and really feeling lazy--even then, I usually still shower.

I often think that if our water supply was cut off and we couldn't shower, I would take the clippers to my head and get rid of my hair, because I hate the feeling of unwashed hair on my head. That's the worst part of it for me--I bet if I didn't have such a big head of thick hair, I could skip more often, because nothing else bugs me that bad.

I guess that doesn't help....

FoxyJ said...

I'm right there with you--I have to shower almost every day; my hair is fairly short, but it's also really greasy and feels/smells gross to me after a day. I also have a sensitive nose and don't like my smell. Plus my morning ritual of showering/lotioning/getting dressed is one of my few quiet, contemplative alone times for the day so I really need it in my routine!

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

I often shower twice a day, because I feel so gross. I really can't stand not having clean hair and or any body odour at all. I'm all for environmentalism, but I NEED to be clean.

Kevin said...

Another option is the "navy shower," where you run the water just long enough to get wet, turn it off, lather up, and run it again just long enough to rinse off.

Anonymous said...

hmm...try turning the water heater down and see if a daily cold shower is equally appealing? :)

alisonwonderland said...

i'm also "a particularly greasy-stinky human" and have a daily shower. i figure it's one of my (few) vices and am not inclined to make a change. :)

jana said...

I would totally still take the daily shower even if it was cold. Simply because of the i-like-clean factor. I also do take very short showers, though not quite navy style, and I do tend to like them rather cold already. In the summer I don't turn on the warm water when I shower and in the winter it's sort of lukewarm.

Anonymous said...

I can go a day or two w/o washing my hair, I don't have oily hair, but the rest of me is another story. I just don't feel right if I don't have my morning shower, it is like I am not quite fully awake.

C. L. Hanson said...

I know exactly how you feel. I don't want to be wasteful, but I don't want to give up my daily shower, either.

For me, it's not the "I like clean" factor quite as much as the "I like warm" factor. Especially in winter, I love the pleasure of a hot, hot shower to raise my body temperature a few degrees...

sarah k. said...

I'm with chanson. I only do it to get warm. I'm currently running with a conspiracy theory about shampoo and conditioner companies, so I'm trying to only wash hair twice a week or so, and I have to say that the hair, it adjusts. But I do feel especially icky if I don't shower at all. And though I don't soap the hair, I still do rinse it out.

fMhLisa said...

I think you should always take your shower everyday . . . with John, that doubles efficiency, right?

jana said...

I do love showering with him! I'm sure he would go for that proposal and that way I'd be sure to get my back very clean (he does such great back-scrubbies!).

angryyoungwoman said...

Since I cut my hair off, I have to at least rinse it and condition it every day or it looks really weird, but when it was long I could go a few days between showers. I'd just take what I called a "slosh"--turn on the faucet in the tub, wet my body, lather up, rinse off. All clean in about two minutes. No need to bother with my hair.

Vajra said...

Years ago we redid our upstairs bathroom to get rid of the plastic in the shower, the gray vinyl floors, the terrazo floor in the shower, etc. etc. Our budget did not include enough money for new fixtures and cabinetry so we still have the stuff that was there when we bought this 100 year house. Anyway, the shower is now marble: beautiful gray marble. Taking a daily shower (or two) is something that gives me so much pleasure that I don't stint myself in that regard. It's a genuine luxury with which to pamper myself. However from time to time we remind ourselves that we are bathing with POTABLE water while much of the world doesn't even have enough water to assure their health, or in some cases survival. We also use potable water for our plants, lawns, and gardens, but that's another story. I just feel happy and grateful that I have such luxury and resolve to find ways to help those without this luxury to improve their lives as well. This thought led me to Solar Cookers, International.
Back to bathing. I've now lived through 2 severe droughts. In the first the children bathed together (what little dolphins they were), the adults learned to take GI showers, etc., etc., so I know I can live without my luxury if I have to. But for now, I just accept it as one of the gifts I give to myself.

Anonymous said...

I, too, take a shower everyday. But I only wash my hair every other day.

avis said...

I have to shower every day if I am going to leave the house but I have stopped using shampoo. Shampoo is what makes your hair greasy, in the sense that it strips all of the natural oils off your scalp so your scalp compensates by becoming extra oily. I use baking soda mixed with water to clean my hair and I only have to use conditioner a few times a week now, unlike when I used shampoo and had to condition every day. It takes a few days for your scalp to adjust but it is so worth it.

John (with an h) said...

He's getting your -back- clean?! Someone's not doing it right.