Back in December, a co-worker sent me an article (this one I think), written by a guy who had decided to give up soap and shampoo for a month and seemed none the worse for it. At the time I was looking for some good things to experiment with and this one required no additional time from my schedule and cut some chemicals out of my daily routine, so I quit showering with soap and shampoo on December 6th, 2010 (note: I still showered. I’m not a hippy). The only real caveats I have to applying chemicals to my skin and hair are the occasional deodorant, shaving cream, aftershave, and hair gel. I also have to confess to using shampoo once when I got my hair cut.
I warned my co-workers and the girl I was dating at the time: if I start to smell to let me know. In the past month and a half, no one has mentioned anything, and I haven’t noticed it myself. I actually haven’t noticed much in the way of side effects. My skin has felt fine (no more than the rare zit or dry skin on my face). I normally have pretty healthy skin, so that’s not a change. My hair has been a bit greasier, especially in the first few weeks, but it’s settled out to a pretty minimal amount of grease and it feels and looks health and soft.
I would recommend trying this to pretty much anyone. I don’t see any real downside to it. In reading a few other blog posts on the subject, no one has noted any serious issues after stopping. In face many have noted an improvement in hair and skin health. For me, I prefer to avoid putting chemicals on my skin that I don’t have to. If all else is equal, I might as well just shower with water, it seems less likely to kill me. For the time being, I plan to continue with this experiment.