Going two weeks without a shower.
Since I’m out on the road with another being who doesn’t bathe regularly (Bowie), I figured I would see if I could swing two weeks without sudsing up. Totally a personal fun challenge. Spending a lot of time alone tends to lead to a lack of personal hygiene, at least for me anyways. So, due to a tinge of laziness and just to see if I could do it, I gave myself the two-week challenge.
My Lack Of Soap History:
Before this self-induced challenge, I had been right at six days without a shower thanks to my time on the Appalachian Trail. At that time I was super dirty and sweaty, and by that sixth day, I was aching for a shower. In my current state of life, I sweat less and don’t find myself trudging in the wilderness as long.
During this two-week span of time, I did wipe down with baby wipes occasionally. I would also swipe on deodorant when I was knowingly going to be in close quarters with others, and I did rinse out my hair once in a public park sink. I, however, remained faithful to my pledge, and only used soap to wash my hands; no other body parts. After the first week, I knew I had it in the bag.
After The Overdue Shower:
My skin felt very dry and brittle almost. Yes, the shower did feel good as did shaving but it wasn’t the best shower of my life. My skin sucked up what was sure to be a gallon of lotion, and my hair felt crunchy and itchy.
What I Learned:
Nothing significant came from this. I don’t know what I expected, maybe the hygiene fairy to come get me? My life was not significantly affected by a lack of soap; if anything not taking a shower benefited the world by saving water and gave me at least five to ten extra minutes extra each day.
It did, however, allow me to identify the fact that showering or bathing seems to be a little overrated; I didn’t even miss it. I think society forces this weird fear of not continually smelling like a desert or bouquet of flowers on us. The reality is smelling like a dessert food, or a bouquet of flowers is unnatural and typically only makes others hungry or sneezy.
I’m not sure that anyone who was around me even noticed. If I did smell in any way, I never noticed any sideways glances or pinched noses. I was however acutely aware of my leg hair and armpit hair; definitely hit a personal record for length of pit hair.
I can’t believe I used to shower every day; what a waste of water and time.