Why do some people neglect to shower/bathe - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I know this is a weird question, but I have been wondering about this for a while.

I know some people who a depressed can neglect their personal hygene. I am not talking about that.

I am talking about the sort of person who has easy access to a bathroom with a shower or bath, but seldom takes one. Happy as a clam, but stinky all the same.

I really enjoy taking a bath or a shower, but even if I didn't, I would not be able to stand the feeling of being dirty. When I climb into my sheets at night I love feeling clean. When I am not so clean (like the time we moved into our new house and there was no hot water for 4 days!) I actually can't sleep. I feel itchy and gross. My head itches and my private parts (for lack of a better word) feel irratated. It is physically a terrible sensation, you know? Even if I just do a little sponge bath, there is nothing like the real thing where you get really clean.

I have had a few friends in my life that did not seem to feel this way. One was an old roommate of mine--she was a funny, vivacious girl (not in the least depressed!) but she stank to high heaven. We are talking about some bad B.O. here. The reason she stank so much was that she only took a shower about once a week, if that. Her hair even stank! This was a long time ago (when I was in college) so things may have changed for her now, but she seemed perfectly happy not to shower very often. People often commented that she was stinky, but she just laughed it off. Her room and clothes just reeked--but she was a wonderful girl personality wise. I certainly did not hold it against her, but I was always curious as to "why?", you know?

The other friend I have (who now lives in Paris so I only get to see him once a year or so) grew up in Bolinas (a beautiful little hippie town in Marin County) in a house that his mom built herself from the ground up. He and his sisters and his mom lived in a tent for a year before finally finishing the house. So he was "use" to not bathing like a traditional kid. Maybe that is what made him not take a shower very often even as an adult and living in an apartment with a bathroom handy? He often would comment with a warning that he "stank" and not to stand too close. I would wonder why didn't he just take a nice shower instead of walking around stinky? Very curious, indeed!

Every once and a while I read a comment here about not showering too often. I know it can be hard to find time to shower with a baby on you--but I had the original high needs baby with my first little guy, and figured out a way to take a shower so he was happy (playing in the bathroom in the sink with a cup and soap). If you don't shower very often then why? Doesn't it feel terrible to go to bed dirty? Aren't you itchy and irratated and uncomfortable?

I am off to take a bubble bath but I am interested to read the replies.

Hugs,
Lisa
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#2 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:06 AM
 
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#3 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:08 AM
 
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While I generally bathe or shower at least once a day, I totally recognize that is:

1) not our biological norm
2) not our cultural norm
3) not the best choice for the environment
4) many times, not the best choice health-wise

I think sometimes about how medieval, and really even colonial/frontier people/towns/cities must have STUNK and realize that it is all what you are used to. Just think of people who smoke (or who have stinky pets) and don't notice it at all.

 

 

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#4 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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Some people have sensitive skin, and even the mildest of soaps can irritate them. I'm one of them. I even react to the water softener my in-laws use.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#5 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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I cut down on showering to every other day and now I can go 3 days and feel fine with it. Unless I'm exercising and feel really sweaty--then I might shower twice in one day depending on what is going on. Right now, however, I am have back problems and have not been exercising.

The problem I have with showering is that my skin is dry and it's always dry and itchy after a shower, even when I moisturize. I figure I'm saving water and money on lotion if I just shower when I really feel like I need it. I usually wash my key parts in between showers (trying to avoid saying all those words people hate like privates or crotch or whatever).

I've been doing the no 'poo thing for awhile, so I don't wash my hair as often and if I don't feel like I need to wash it, I usually don't shower. Unless I'm cold--sometimes I will take a nice warm shower or bath at night if I'm really chilled.
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#6 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:13 AM
 
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I don't like showers or baths. I don't like showers because I don't like the feeling of water coming down on me. Baths aren't so bad, but what I really dislike is the feeling of being WET once I'm out of the tub. Ugh!!! I wish there were some way to dry INSTANTLY.

Realistically I do have to shower pretty often (every 2-3 days) to keep my hair from getting gross, but if I had my way, I would do it maybe once a week or two.

My parents bathe maybe once a week or less, because my mom says Americans bathe too much. She may be right, but I can smell her from across the room so I do think she should bathe more often. Sometimes I remind myself of that when I'm trying to convince myself to take a bath even though I don't want to.

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#7 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:13 AM
 
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My skin gets very dry in the winter and hot water, of course, make it worse. I have been showering every three or four days (sometimes taking baths in between) and I don't feel very dirty -- plus I live with my husband and a roommate, neither one of whom would feel any compunction about telling me if I stunk!

I don't work out, so I'm not getting sweaty -- I keep my hands and face clean. I don't know -- I used to take showers every day but it just doesn't seem like a big deal not to .
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#8 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:14 AM
 
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I know people like this, the shower is right there but won't for 2-3 weeks!
they get really bad, me I shower 3 times a week, would like to more often but have insane hair that is better off if I shower in the daytime, but I never have time then.
DD gets a bath everyother day b/c she sweats alot, especially when she sleep.
It could be -20 in her room and she would still be sweating up a storm
Ds gets a bath almost everyday b/c he likes to stick his fingers in his mouth when there is food in there and his nails get dirty real quick!
Dh showers everyother day if not everyday, but I can't stand people who don't shower regularly and smell like they don't!
I once drove 2 hours in the back of a van and the driver hadn't showered or used deoterant in 2 weeks and he kept the window wide open and wore a sleeveless shirt. My nose hurt afterward!
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#9 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:17 AM
 
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Sometimes I don't have time to shower. I don't feel comfortable just locking the door while the kids are watching tv or whatever. I constantly worry. THere are some nights, not often, that I am lying in bed and realise, *oh, I didn't get a shower today* and I'm just too tired to get up again. I do shower/bathe at least every other day.

Serenity LDS mommy to 4 rambunctious kidlets
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#10 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:18 AM
 
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When i first read your thread i thought ... she does not have children if she is asking this question then i looked at your signature and said hmmm she has 3 ... lol ... Anyway I get so busy with the kiddos that i end up going 2 or 3 days between showers. This NEVER happened prior to having children but it happens often now a days. I get busy with these children of mine and before i know it another day has went by with no chance to shower. I just took a shower (first time since the day before yesterday morning) and had to schedule it. MY husband works 70-80 hours a week and i am just busy. So there ya go thats my answer ...
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#11 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola
I cut down on showering to every other day and now I can go 3 days and feel fine with it. Unless I'm exercising and feel really sweaty--then I might shower twice in one day depending on what is going on. ...
The problem I have with showering is that my skin is dry and it's always dry and itchy after a shower, even when I moisturize. I figure I'm saving water and money on lotion if I just shower when I really feel like I need it. I usually wash my key parts in between showers (trying to avoid saying all those words people hate like privates or crotch or whatever).
..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat
I don't like showers or baths. I don't like showers because I don't like the feeling of water coming down on me. Baths aren't so bad, but what I really dislike is the feeling of being WET once I'm out of the tub. Ugh!!! I wish there were some way to dry INSTANTLY.
..Realistically I do have to shower pretty often (every 2-3 days) to keep my hair from getting gross, but if I had my way, I would do it maybe once a week or two.
What they said. I shower because I have a job and have to be in public. But I don't like to. It takes time to do, then I am WET and cold after, my skin feels dry and itchy. I take more showers in the summer when they are cooling and refreshing. But in the winter I HATE to and shower ever 2-3 days for my hair's sake. I am not too smelly either - You know when you smell your *old* clothes after you are done showering and they STINK? Mine don't, not unless I have been working out (or PG). I showered a lot PG too - because then, I *felt* dirty and stinky and couldn't stop sweating. Normally though I don't feel smelly.
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#12 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:20 AM
 
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I take a shower maybe every 4 -5 days. But I don't smell. I know this sounds weird. I don't really use deodorant very often, either.

My DH and a couple of our friends are here right now and I just asked them if I smell. They all said no. One of them even sniffed my pit, lol (brave man). I really don't smell. And, as DH took great delight in pointing out, I haven't taken a shower *this year*, lol. They all shower every day, BTW.

Personally, my hair and skin are healthier when I don't shower all the time. If I smelled though, I'd take a shower. In fact I *have* smelled, and I *have* showered, lol. I don't know what it is, I must have some non-smelly body chemistry or something.

Now, in the summer it's a different story - I do have to shower every other day or so when it's hot, or I stink and feel yucky.
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#13 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:23 AM
 
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I'd love to shower every single day but I too have really dry, sensitive skin. Plus I have naturally dry curly hair. I have to take an almost cool shower to even cut down on the water drying me out. So I take quick showers every other day. If I do it every day, I am miserable. My hair I only wash a couple of times a week but condition it every time I bath or shower. I am paranoid of stinking so I ask DH all the time if I reek.

My son bathes just about every day. He plays hard a lot & needs a bath by the time he gets home from school.

My daughter only needs a bath a couple of times a week but she does take them every day if not more than once a day only because the soothe & calm her.

*Momma to a spunky 11 year old & diva 9 year old
*Proud wife of "The Rock"
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#14 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:23 AM
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I bathe every day and shower at least twice a week to wash my hair.

Some people don't because they have abuse issues. SOme people have skin conditions. Some are just lazy by my standards. I really try not to judge stinky people but when they look really greasy it grosses me out on some level.
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#15 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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As the short answer to your question: I don't feel dirty when I haven't bathed/ showered. (I am blonde and don't have much body hair, so I don't get sweaty anywhere but my armpits).

But to go into detail: today, I haven't washed my hair in a few days. It's fairly greasy, but not stinky (I put some nice smelling cornstarch in it to soak up some of the grease). But even if it was stinky, I don't think it would bother me much. Cause it's my own smell... And I don't feel like it's overwhelming enough to bother anyone else.

I use natural deodorant on my pits. (The only time I stink is when I get nervous or scared...)

I baths. I just don't feel the need to take one everyday... sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. I don't like being wet in the winter (I also wish there was a way to get instantly dry!) so I can go a few days between baths.

(Offtopic: I grew up in Marin and I can't believe you mentioned Bolinas! I got married there )
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#16 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:33 AM
 
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My skin is too dry to shower every day. I get itchy and feel gross if I shower every day. Baths are even worse...topped with the idea that I'm trying to cleanse myself in the same water that I've just washed my butt in. My skin feels great if I go 2-3 days between a shower. It's much softer and glows more. It irritates my dh, who has oily skin, that I don't shower every day. Not because I stink, but because he just thinks people should shower daily. This pregnancy made my skin break out really bad in the beginning and he happilly told me "looks like you'll have to shower every day now!" Which I did for about a month. Now my skin is back to normal and I am back to every 2-3 days.

OH, the other thing...I HATE the cold air on me. I don't like the fan blowing directly on me, the air conditioning, nothing. It drives me crazy. I get that same icky "air" feeling when my skin is wet and I get out of the shower unless my house is very warm.
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#17 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:49 AM
 
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If there was a way to stay in the shower all day, I'd do it. I love taking a shower. Hate baths, though. I shower before I leave the house for the day, and before I go to bed. Nothing feels better than a nice hot shower.
My fantasy bathroom has one of those multiple shower heads that hit you from every possible angle with super high pressure. Mmmmmmmm! Heaven!
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#18 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 12:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wende
..
OH, the other thing...I HATE the cold air on me. I don't like the fan blowing directly on me, the air conditioning, nothing. It drives me crazy. I get that same icky "air" feeling when my skin is wet and I get out of the shower unless my house is very warm.
Me too. I can't have the windows down in the car either.
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#19 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:01 AM
 
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Well, not to play the "who had the higher need baby" game :LOL but I never figured out a way to keep my toddler dd happy when I showered. When she hit the seperation anxiety stage (around 4 months for her) well thru toddlerhood she just screamed if I showered. Didn't want to come in with me, didn't want to watch, didn't want to play with toys. Nothin'. The only way I could shower was if there was someone else to hold her and do some MAJOR distraction while I washed as fast as I could. So that's why I stank when she was a kidlet

I love showering though. Add me in as someone who would be in there all day if I could :LOL My mom still jokes about my legendary 45 minute hot showers as a teen :LOL I'm not so bad now I do sometimes skip a day now though, but just out of convenience and the results aren't bad.

I had a boyfriend in college who rarely showered (or bathed, or washed himself in any way) I'm not saying that he didn't bathe every day (I don't think that's a big deal), I mean sometimes he didn't bathe *that week*, kwim? One of my friends even asked me what I saw in him since he smelled so bad. Ask me now and I can't tell you what I saw in him (it wasn't his personality either :LOL) I have heard that his wife "makes" him wash now so you can no longer smell him a room away.
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#20 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:07 AM
 
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Hmmmm...... I LOOOOVE the feeling of being clean but I HATE getting motivated to get in the shower. I take FOREVER because my hair is really long, and it just bores me to no end doing hygiene things. I mean, it's enough that I brush my teeth every day!
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#21 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola
I cut down on showering to every other day and now I can go 3 days and feel fine with it. Unless I'm exercising and feel really sweaty--then I might shower twice in one day depending on what is going on. Right now, however, I am have back problems and have not been exercising.

The problem I have with showering is that my skin is dry and it's always dry and itchy after a shower, even when I moisturize. I figure I'm saving water and money on lotion if I just shower when I really feel like I need it. I usually wash my key parts in between showers (trying to avoid saying all those words people hate like privates or crotch or whatever).

I've been doing the no 'poo thing for awhile, so I don't wash my hair as often and if I don't feel like I need to wash it, I usually don't shower. Unless I'm cold--sometimes I will take a nice warm shower or bath at night if I'm really chilled.
Well, apparently Amy & I are the same person. Yes, ditto that - except for the part about the back problems. My thighs are sore from helping dh move heavy furniture the other day though (yep, I "lift with the legs" and even had a baby on my back. ). Still, pretty similar story. Dry skin is terrible to suffer from. I finally found a way to stay on top of it and not showering only every 2 or three days is key. I assure you though Lisa, I don't stink! :LOL I wear deoderant and am just naturally a pleasant smelling gal, or so I hear. I can go a week without washing my hair too because I'm no poo. Even when I wash it though it's not greasy or stinky I just start feeling a little like you describe feeling after one day of not showering so I want to wash it. When I shower and bath though I like to use scorching hot water. It is deliciously delightful to me. Now *that* makes me feel cleaner than any soap.

I do think we overdo in the US though. We're kind of clean freaks. I am about germs but not necessarily about dirt. I wonder if we have a higher rate of skin problems here?

I don't know if this only applies to the people my brother met, but he lived in Japan for a few years and said they never wear deoderant and they never stink there. He said they just occasionally take scorching hot baths in plain water. It's true that soaking cleans you better than anything, though many people don't believe it.

This was too good to pass by:
Quote:
Happy as a clam, but stinky all the same.


I must admit though, greasy and stinky really grosses me out. I, personally, wouldn't let myself get greasy and/or stinky and if others are I have to leave the room because I get sick (I get sick pretty easily).

Want to hear a gross greasy hair story?
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#22 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:19 AM
 
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I shower twice a week & it's not even nearly as much as I'd like. I just can't get organised during the day, while DH is out. Then when he's home, DD is at her most high needs, so she usually cries the whole time Im in there. DH doesn't like dealing witha crying baby, so I'm always rushed. If I had my way, I d get to shower every day. I get itchy, especially my scalp & I don't like the feeling of not having clean hair. I just don't like inconveniencing the whole family more, because DH only showers 2 days a week & he's fine with it... so I think so should I.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#23 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:40 AM
 
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Well, I'm with Lisa (like her kitchen, like her hygeine!) :LOL

I shower almost every day, once in awhile not, but just to stay home then. I wash my hair (gasp:LOL) Tho I hear the "no poo" thing is catching on, I don't really want to know about it :LOL

I have a very sensitive nose and hate bad smells.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#24 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:48 AM
 
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Uh, I'm doing the no-poo thang : :LOL but that has nothing to do with washing. I still like to shower and wash daily, I just don't use poo And being quite honest, my hair is less likely to get greasy and smelly since I kicked the poo habit 11 months ago. I kid you not
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#25 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom4tot
I wash my hair (gasp:LOL) Tho I hear the "no poo" thing is catching on, I don't really want to know about it :LOL
I know you don't want to know but I have to clear up some misconceptions about no poo. We *do* wash our hair! No poo = no shampoo. Shampoo makes your scalp dry and your hair greasy. We wash with baking soda (among other things). My hair has never been cleaner and healthier since going no poo.

Joan thinks I stink. I promise my hair is very clean and pretty and nice smelling. Still be my friend.


So, no one wants to hear about the gross greasy hair thing that happened to me?
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#26 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
Well, apparently Amy & I are the same person. Yes, ditto that - except for the part about the back problems. My thighs are sore from helping dh move heavy furniture the other day though (yep, I "lift with the legs" and even had a baby on my back. ).
Well, I do weigh as much as 2 people, so it could be!

BTW I found out from my MRI that I have "complex ruptures of the discs in the lumbar region." There are a lot of back problems in my family, but I'm the only fat one with back problems in my family, go figure.

Anyway, I am out of pain, thankfully. My leg is numb, but at least I don't hurt any more!

I can't stand when my hair feels greasy or picks up cooking odors. I used to go out to sing karaoke on Saturday nights before I had my second baby (MAN, please don't hate me now that I've revealed this) and I had to strip my clothes off in the laundry room and take a shower before getting into bed. I cannot go to bed smelling of cigarette smoke.
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#27 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:51 AM
 
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I believe you Shannon

I had a secret friend over and she confided she was no poo, and she didn't smell one bit :LOL :LOL

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#28 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
I know you don't want to know but I have to clear up some misconceptions about no poo. We *do* wash our hair! No poo = no shampoo. Shampoo makes your scalp dry and your hair greasy. We wash with baking soda (among other things). My hair has never been cleaner and healthier since going no poo.

Joan thinks I stink. I promise my hair is very clean and pretty and nice smelling. Still be my friend.


So, no one wants to hear about the gross greasy hair thing that happened to me?

Now, now, MamaALLNATURAL...I never said you stink :LOL I still love you and will be your friend...if you put a big hat on



I know what no poo means! After months of seeing that thread, I finally got up the nerve to actually click on it, and through my fingers across my face, I read it and was relieved. :LOL

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#29 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:56 AM
 
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I'm another one with bad skin so I take a shower every other day. If we're going somewhere on a weekend, I'll shower then too. If I don't shower that often I get stinky (wish I had the no stink genes that some of you have!) and that I don't like. If it's hot in the summer I will take one every day.

I love taking a shower, but don't love coming out of it wet and into the cold air. It's worth it to me though, I find it relaxing esp. when I have my good smelly soaps to use. If I could, I'd take a nice long one every day. If we had a decent sized tub, I'd probably take a nice relaxing, fragrant bath before I went to bed every night. Ahhh..............

Mommy of 3 super charged kiddos
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#30 of 96 Old 01-05-2005, 01:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaAllNatural
I know you don't want to know but I have to clear up some misconceptions about no poo. We *do* wash our hair! No poo = no shampoo. Shampoo makes your scalp dry and your hair greasy. We wash with baking soda (among other things). My hair has never been cleaner and healthier since going no poo.

Joan thinks I stink. I promise my hair is very clean and pretty and nice smelling. Still be my friend.


So, no one wants to hear about the gross greasy hair thing that happened to me?
Yes, I do want to hear the gross greasy hair story!!!

My hair does not get as oily now that I don't use shampoo. I don't completely avoid shampoo. If I really need to wash my hair and its all I have handy I will use it. Today I got in the shower because I realized I hadn't taken one since Saturday or Sunday and I wanted to wash my hair. I didn't have my baking soda or apple cider vinegar so I figured I'd just use the shampoo that was in there, but then I realized my hair felt pretty nice and I decided to jump out and get the baking soda and acv and keep it going.
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