KIOS: Grooming, Part 2: In Praise of Infrequent Showering

This post is part of my series, “Kickin’ It Old Skool: Why and How We Are Old-Fashioned” or KIOS for short.  If you’re new to the series, please read my disclaimer before continuing on.  I’m keeping a table of contents to this series here so you can see what I’ve already written about and what more there is to come.

I don’t shower every day.

Sometimes, it’s even less than every other day.

Here’s why I think you should consider infrequent showering for yourself.  And before you decide to skip this post because I’m crazy, give me a chance to convince you that I’m not both crazy and smelly. 🙂

For many years, probably since high school, I felt awful if I didn’t shower in the morning.  I’d trained myself to not feel good unless I had showered, regardless of whether or not I was actually dirty.  My hair did need to be washed every day or it looked really greasy.  So I was a “shower every day” kind of girl for almost 20 years.

In 2009, I embarked on my “Crunchy Granola Girl” experiment to stop washing my hair every day and to use homemade shampoo.  As I confessed last year, I don’t make my own shampoo any more but I do wash my hair fairly infrequently (usually three times in a two-week cycle).  The unexpected benefit of this experiment was that it freed me from the tyranny of the daily shower.

Now I shower on an as-needed basis (or a “as I remember” basis depending on how crazy the week has been).  Ideally I aim for showering every other day but that doesn’t always happen.  I’m here to confess that sometimes I get to Friday when Nik gets home from work and say to him, “I don’t remember my last shower.  I’m getting in right now!”  So yes, probably it would be nice to shower a little more than that.  But with two kids and a husband who leaves quite early for work, it’s lovely to be able to start my day without a shower and still feel ready to face the day.

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When it’s not hot, if you’re not exercising, sweating a lot for some other reason, or working a job where you get really dirty and if you don’t have to wash your hair daily, then you really don’t need to shower daily either.  If you break the “must shower to wake up” cycle, then all of a sudden a shower becomes a nice luxury and not a necessity.

Really, who has time to shower every day anyway?  Add in the time to dry off and blow-dry your hair and you’re running into some serious time-wasting!  Think of all the extra time you’ll have in your day if you just get up and get dressed!

Infrequent showering is friendlier to the environment because it uses less water.  It’s also friendlier to your skin because the water can be quite drying.  Infrequent hair washing is also kinder to the environment (less use of water and shampoo), kinder to your hair (particularly if you blow-dry your hair), and kinder to your pocketbook (no need to pay for all that hot water and shampoo plus your hair dryer will last far longer).

The vast majority of the world doesn’t have the luxury of daily bathing.  So really, all you daily-shower people are the crazy ones, not me, right? 🙂

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The summer, particularly in crazy-humid Baltimore, is a different matter.  Then, I want to take a shower three times a day.  But leaving that aside, I’m a infrequent-showering kind of girl.  Please tell me I’m not the only one.  Anyone?  Anyone?

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12 Responses to KIOS: Grooming, Part 2: In Praise of Infrequent Showering

  1. Aunt Zona says:

    I am definitely down to one shower every two or three days. My hair used to be really crazy when I got up, and back in the “go to work every day” part of my life, I felt that in order to be professional, I needed that shower/blow dry/makeup polish. Now I get up and brush my hair, wash my face, put on (natural) deodorant, a bit of moisturizer and off I go. It does save so much time!

    • Laura says:

      Glad we’re in the same club, Zona! Yes, it’s easier when not having to go to work to shower less frequently. Although, when I was still teaching, I just showered every other day and still felt OK. I’ll not start ranting about professional appearance requirement differences for men vs. women. That would take too long. Perhaps another time!

  2. Erin says:

    Argh! I just lost my comment.

    I’ll ‘fess up to not showering daily. In fact, I needed to look at the calendar in order to figure out when I took my last shower: last Saturday. (I don’t record it on the calendar–just needed to recall events.) My hair might be looking a bit oily today, but given that I was only sitting in class, I didn’t think it mattered. Sometimes I’ll do a quick scrub of my armpits with a washcloth between showers if I think they’re getting a bit ripe. Of course, I shower more frequently if I work up a sweat or go swimming or get muddy. I agree that it’s quite freeing!

    (P.S. I’m not sure how personal you’re going to get the this “grooming” topic, but I’m happy to sing the praises of my DivaCup sometime, haha.)

  3. David says:

    I remain a shower-every-day person. My hair is too wild if I don’t. And given my general hatred of mornings, the shower really is necessary to wake up.

  4. katie says:

    I’m a big shower every day person. I don’t wash my hair every day (and I don’t blow-dry, so that doesn’t matter, anyway), but I miss that fresh and clean feeling you just can’t get without a shower. But I will join Erin with the DivaCup love….it’s seriously amazing.

  5. Lisa says:

    Two or three times a week here. Closer to two times a week. Quick wash-ups between showers keep me civilized. You’re not alone.

  6. Nicole says:

    I have seen the Divacup around, is it really that good? It seems like it would be umm… Messy?

    Because of my job I can’t really get around showering everyday during the week. Also, I’m usually working out at least once a day during the week and there’s no way I could not shower after sweating so much. However, my showers are normally very quick because I usually only wash my hair on Sundays. If I have a particularly dirty week I may have to do a mid week hair washing. I think if some of my circumstances were different, I would probably do less. It is amazing though how we are “conditioned” to wake up by taking a shower. Since I’ve had to wake up early and work out every morning, it’s crazy how much that will wake you instead!

    • Laura says:

      I haven’t used the Diva Cup, Nicole but a couple friends of mine are writing a guest post about it. So you see that in a few weeks!

      And I totally understand that in your situation, you need a shower every day. I think it’s more a matter of evaluating whether or not we’re actually dirty and need to shower rather than just showering as a matter of course or “right”. You’re right that there should be plenty of ways to wake up – not just put ourselves in the shower

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