Now I’m all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this “trend” is ridiculous

Deodorant tester

The blogosphere was a-buzz this morning about an article in the New York Times profiling a new movement in beauty: People Who Do Not Shower. Or, I might add, Wear Deodorant.

The reasons are many: water conservation, an attempt to retain the skin and hair’s natural oils, a hipster-esque style statement (ewww….), a fear that antiperspirant causes cancer (okay, I hear you), or simply a belief that daily showers are not necessary.

And the queen of the movement is one Katherine Ashenburg, author of a book called The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History. I actually interviewed her for a story I wrote about sweat—yes, sweat—for ELLE Canada back in the day (get with the program, New York Times!), and of all the features I’ve written over the years, it remains one of my favourites. You can download a PDF copy right here, if you’d like to read it.

Vintage deodorant ad Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

I sort of get what Ms. Ashenburg is saying. Now that most of us toil in offices and enjoy such modern luxuries as take-out menus, dishwashers and taxi cabs, it’s not like we’re really getting all that dirty. And yet, we’ve never been more hyper-obsessed with showering, bathing, deodorizing, etc. (Also? I would like this opportunity to take offense with the New York Times’ implication that people who work from home in their pajamas do not bathe. We do so!)

Personally, I choose to see this obsession with cleanliness as a GOOD thing.

Let’s talk about hair first.

greasy hair Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

Obviously none of these people advocating for one or two showers per week have fine, straight hair. Because honestly? I can only extend my ‘do by one, two days max with dry shampoo before it’s plastered to my head with no chance of resuscitation. (Your mileage may vary.) A couple of my current faves are…

AG Hair Cosmetics Fast Fwd Dry Shampoo:

ag hair cosmetics fast fwd dry shampoo Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

and Kenra Platinum Color Care Dry Shampoo:

Kenra Dry Shampoo Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

And word to the hipsters striving for those artfully textured, unwashed ‘dos: you can get the same effect with dry shampoo, and also this Schwarzkopf product… and you will smell a whole lot more pleasant.

I’m also not entirely convinced that in a country like Canada we need to be too worried about water conservation—although I’m certainly not advocating that you spend 45 minutes in there. I can definitely get the job done in five minutes or less… but if they ever put a ban on showers, they’ll have to drag me from my bathroom kicking and screaming.

curly hair Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

Now as for curly-haired folk, I am aware of a perhaps overlapping movement out there called “No Poo”—as in no shampoo, because apparently curls look better when you leave them the heck alone. You can read more about it here. Alas, with my hair texture it’s something I’ll never be able to personally understand, nor experience: I’m willing to play guinea pig for a lot of things, but not this. (I do, however, plan to investigate further for a future blog post, so if anyone has tried and cares to comment, hit me up.)

My question, though, is whether any of these people trying to enhance their curls have ever heard of cute shower caps? They’re a really neat invention! Keeps your hair dry AND you can still bathe.

tips benefit shower cap 0509 Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculousNow let’s talk about deodorant. I ask you: do we really want to return to a world without it?

I sure don’t.

I will say that I do have one friend (who I will not name, but maybe she will show up in the comments) who does not wear deodorant (although I’m guessing still showers daily). And never,  not once, have I ever detected an unpleasant smell.

However, I also have several acquaintances (notice I say acquaintances, not friends) who I have to surmise are entirely unaware of their own B.O. It’s a problem—and this trend is only encouraging them at our collective expense!

Besides, what’s wrong with slicking on a bit of all-natural deodorant? Although the jury’s still out on how dangerous (i.e. cancer-causing) aluminum is, there are plenty of aluminium-free options. Back in the summer, I did a round-up of my faves, but in this category efficacy is hit and miss, so you should also know I’m an advocate of the Rotation Theory. Buy a few and keep rotating ‘em… then they all seem to work pretty decently. No, it’s not scientific.

Probably my all-time fave is this one:

weleda WILD ROSE deodorant Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

Some of the New York Times subjects use lemon slices.  Um..?

lemon slice Now Im all for dry shampoo, and natural deodorants, but this trend is ridiculous

Not to knock home remedies too much, though—I have heard that a mix of coconut oil and baking soda works wonders. Someday I will get around to trying it!

So tell me what you think of this whole aversion to showering and deodorizing…

How often do YOU bathe?
Would you be willing to skip a shower or two?
Are you a user of dry shampoo and/or all-natural deo? (Lemon slices don’t count.)


Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 3:16 pm

As someone with naturally thick, wavy, difficult hair, I always found I couldn’t handle daily washings. Not only did it make my hair super dry and frizzy, but I’d always have to blow-dry it and often flat iron too, so it got the heat-styling double-whammy.

I had a keratin treatment done two weeks ago, and now that my hair is manageable, frizz-free and generally chilled-out (yay!), I can only go a day or two MAX before it flattens out and begs for a shampoo. I have never dealt with this before! Thankfully, the keratin treatment has cut my post-shower styling time down to a little, tiny fraction of what it once was, and I no longer require the flat iron, so I guess it all balances out in the end.

(So, I guess my point is that I would assume a lot of these people don’t necessarily have an aversion to bathing, but an aversion to struggling with their crazy, poufy, thick, miserable hair on a daily basis!)

(Moral of the story: Keratin treatments! They are awesome!)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 9:12 pm

Oooh I’m jealous that you got to try the keratin! (I am the farthest thing from a candidate for that treatment.) That’s very cool that it speeds up drying time. From people I’ve observed who’ve had it, their hair looks amazing – much shinier and glossier than my own (naturally) straight locks!


Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 5:07 pm

I shower pretty much daily … unless I’m having a weekend at home, and then you’re lucky to see me outta my PJs. I’m NOT a morning person so my shower helps to wake me up :) I try not to wash my hair everytime I shower, but it totally depends. I’m just like you, Michelle. Any more than a day between shampoos and you could declare the oil slick on my hair a natural disaster. Limp. Awful. Gross. I am all for trying to reduce our environmental impact, but if you asked me to give up showering we’d have a big problem :)

I STILL haven’t tried out any dry shampoos, but it’s on my list of things to try for sure. Are they ALL good for boosting volume, or do I need to watch out for volume-specific ones? I could have sworn I read something on your blog about this and now I can’t find it. D’oh!!

I’ve never tried the natural deodorants, and, while I understand why people are concerned about the aluminum B.O. blockers on the shelves today, I can’t be bothered.

And who doesn’t LOVE the Benefit shower cap?!? I’ve resisted the urge to buy it for years but it’s so adorable!!!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 9:18 pm

Well I have to warn you about the Benefit shower cap – I was the proud owner of one a few years ago, but its elastic didn’t last so I had to toss. I was really sad!

As for dry shampoos and volume – well technically dry shampoos are just supposed to absorb oil… but I guess by default, in doing so, they can give you a bit of a lift since you’re coating the hair at the roots with powder and making it thicker. But truly for volume you want to be using things like root-lifting spray, volumizing mousse, etc. For special occasions I love the hairspray/teasing technique that the Sally Hershberger boys taught me – did you see that post?

HOWEVER – something new that might intrigue you: I just got sent in the mail something from Oscar Blondi called Volumizing Dry Shampoo, which quite excited me. Not sure what’s in it that makes it more volumizing than other dry shampoos, but I’ll see if I can find out. Here’s the link:


Wednesday, June 8/2011 at 12:44 pm

I am a *huge* fan of dry shampoos – they are life savers! I am not saying I don’t wash my hair, I obviously do (about x3 per week), but if you have the ocassional crisis when you REALLY didn’t have the time to wash+blow dry your hair and you have an important event to attend… well, here comes the dry shampoo. I use a very, very cheap brand calle Batiste and it does wonders. I highly recommend it!


Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 6:51 pm

I’m Chinese; I used to have straight, thin Asian hair for years, and then two years ago it became really curly/wavy. Soo I’ve been considering trying ‘no poo,’ but I can’t get over the possible greasiness/smelliness/unhygienicness during the transition period. any ideas?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 9:26 pm

Oh no! I wonder how that happened – were you pregnant?

I’m going to look into this “no poo” thing more, I promise, but off the top of my head some ideas:

- Try just rinsing your hair in the shower (not shampooing), which will loosen up some of the oils. Then use conditioner. The conditioning will give your hair a nice scent and prevent frizz etc.

- I read something about baking soda and vinegar rinses being really good for the transitional “no poo” stage. Gets rid of the grease. Bit more info here:

- Dry shampoo will absorb oil at the roots. Really good drugstore ones are Klorane and Batiste.

- There is a company called Pure & Petal that makes hair fragrance. It’s different from regular perfume in that it’s alcohol-free so won’t dry out your hair. I have a few scents and really like it… although I believe a few mainstream hair companies make products like this (John Frieda maybe? I can’t remember). Anyway, it could freshen up the smell. Or you could just use regular perfume if you think your hair has enough oil to handle the alcohol.

Hope this helps a bit? I’ll see what more I can find out. In the meantime, head over to the Long Hair Community forum, I think that’s where I saw most of the info.


Thursday, November 4/2010 at 12:03 am

Hahah I’m relatively sure I wasn’t pregnant, I’m 16. Thanks, though! I’ve tried Ojon dry shampoos from Sephora; they work great and smell even better than my perfume, but after a few uses the nozzle gets completely clogged.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:15 pm

Ooops sorry! Well maybe it’s something hormonal. Have you noticed any other changes? Just seems really strange to me that you’d suddenly have such a dramatic change in texture… maybe something to think about checking out with your GP.

Isn’t it annoying when dry shampoos clog? I hate that. Here’s one you might want to try then – it’s a powder that you just shake into your hair. Warning: it is white so if your hair is dark you need to be pretty careful about application.

I know Bumble + Bumble makes a tinted hair powder that could be another option for dark hair. It’s in a spray format but I don’t remember it ever clogging on me.


Thursday, November 4/2010 at 3:56 pm

Emily! I’m Asian too and have naturally wavy hair. My hair is on the dry and coarse side as a result…common for wavy/curly hair types. I only shampoo 2-3 times a week. Since I’ve been no-pooing (lol!) this past year, I’ve had NO oily scalp issue. FYI – your sudden change in hair could be hormone related. See if that’s something you need to get checked out.

I shower everyday, but only wash my hair 2-3 times a week. Michelle is correct – rinse hair out with water on the days you’re not shampooing. Condition ends only if you’re concerned about oily scalp (ear level and down). Then dry and/or style per usual. I use Live Clean products – particularly their conditioners – and I really like Dr. Bronners for shampoo.

Live Clean:
Dr. Bronner:

In Ontario, Live Clean is available in almost all Shoppers Drug Marts/Pharma Plus etc. Dr. Bronner’s is usually at most health food stores (Noah’s, for example).

As for the smelly factor – I spritz body spray on my hair sometimes. It’s never smelt so bad that I’ve repulsed anyone (or myself, lol) but I know what you mean….I am very aware of how/if it smells now. Michelle, thanks for that Pure and Petal link! Gonna check it out.

Ease into it slowly….if you wash every other day, try extending it to another day….and then another day…and so forth. Monitor how your hair feels, acts, etc. as well as how your scalp is doing.

Bonus – washing less means less static cling because of the extra oils in your hair. I always had a huge problem with that, especially in the winter! Speaking of winter…ladies, wear hats! This will save your hair from the bitter wind and cold we get in Tdot! Stuff all of it in your hat! Your hair will thank you for it!

Re dry shampoo, I find that we are left with white little specks of residue from the powder as it’s usually white in colour. And since our hair is dark – I feel like everyone can see these white specks! Bumble and Bumble, and Batiste make dry shampoo in black/dark brown coloured powder. B & B is mad expensive so I’m not even going to try it. Batiste wasn’t bad and cheaper than B & B!

If you’re in Toronto, go to Cosmetic World. I swear they have every hair product known to man in that store. They also sell hair styling tools, hair and nail accessories, and some cosmetics. The staff is very helpful and informative! They are at: 623 Yonge St, near Yonge and Wellesley. Note that they sell only SALON products…no Pantene or Herbal Essence here (no offense, Proctor and Gamble!).

Good luck!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:20 pm

Oh my gosh T! This was the best comment evah! So many good tips here – I might steal some (and credit you of course) when I do my “no poo” post.

Actually speaking of hair fragrances, I JUST got a new one in the mail from L’Occitane that should be launching soon. It’s a Rose Perfumed Hair Mist and smells amazing! I agree – dry shampoo is tricky when you have dark hair. When I was brunette (well I guess I sort of am now again now that I have Ombre), I would only apply it to the under-layers of my hair…never along the part.

Oh and I looooove Cosmetic World too. Just wish they had better customer service :-)


Tuesday, November 2/2010 at 9:48 pm

I tried getting rid of shampoo once but I just couldn’t handle the no-silicone rule (silicones build up on your hair easily so if you don’t shampoo you can’t really use them). I now to ‘lo-poo’ which is just a sulfate-free shampoo and avoid silicones in my conditioner, my hair is way healthier now. has alot on information no/lo-pooing


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Brianne! I will check out that site. I’ve been dabbling a bit in silicone-free and sulfate-free stuff lately but I haven’t eliminated them entirely. Can you tell us… what changes did you notice with your hair now that you’ve stopped using those ingredients? (I love “low-poo” by the way…) How often do you wash your hair?


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 12:58 am

I do often skip a day, or two, but always taking care of the.. sensitive areas. As a kid, my grandma thought me how you can wash almost your entire body flawlessly only filling up the sink. If you wanna wash your feet though, you gotta be quite the gymnast! Haha! It totally works when you’re running really late, or hit snooze one too many times, quick wash with a facetowel, hair up in a messy ponytail and some hairspray and you’re good to go!


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 12:03 pm

Hahaha – grandmothers know EVERYTHING!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:23 pm

Love it!


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 10:30 am

This may be going a little overboard! Let’s keep it clean, people!


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 4:22 pm

I don’t skip showers, I always feel yucky if I do. My hair is very wavy, bordering on curly, but I cannot go without washing it. If I do I get a disgusting grease pit at the roots by noon while the rest is a frizz ball. I’ve tried co-washing which is not bad, leaving the conditioner on long enough will effectively “wash” your hair but it’s so hard to stay away from ‘cones and usually my hair starts looking flat (color-wise) within a week. Recently I’ve been using sls & ‘cone free shampoo & conditioner from LiveClean which I’ve found to be the best drug store products I’ve used. Also, I’m not a fan of dry shampoos. I have a couple but they always turn my hair white, make a mess of the bathroom, and I can never get my hair to look even half decent with them.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:28 pm

Yeah me too – I never feel clean if I don’t have that morning shower.

Interesting that your hair gets oily at the roots but frizzy at the ends. I always thought most wavy/curly-haired people were lucky enough to go 2, 3, 4 or more days without shampooing. I wonder if the “no poo” method would eventually help your hair normalize itself. (Although I would NOT blame you for not wanting to try that experiment to find out!)

Lots of people have mentioned Live Clean so it sounds like that’s one of the best silicone-free lines. Can anyone explain to me (as an ignorant straight-haired person) what the difference is on wavy/curly hair when you use silicone-free products? Does it make the curls look better? Healthier? Less weighed down? I want to understand this.


Nicki Traikos
Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 8:04 pm

HAHA! You’re right Michelle, that is ridiculous!! It’s one thing to have day-old hair but to have day-old pits – yuck, yuck!

Have you tried the dry shampoo from Ojon? I just bought it recently from Sephora and as a brunette, I kinda want it to be a little tinted as I can see it on the hairline where I party my hair. It is great for a little ooomph at the roots on day 2.


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 11:16 pm

Is there such a thing as tinted dry shampoo? The visibility factor is one of the things holding me back from trying them out.


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 11:35 pm

I’m pretty sure Bumble and Bumble makes some…but I’ve heard that there’s always some fall-out…I have black hair so it would look like black dandruff on me, I’m sure.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:32 pm

Oh really? Black dandruff? Gross. I have to say the thing I didn’t like about the Bumble + Bumble powder was that I run my fingers through my hair a lot, and whenever I did I’d get the tinted powder on them. Kinda embarrassing!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:31 pm

I have! It’s a good one but if you’re looking for tinted the one you want is from Bumble + Bumble: (it comes in a few different colours)

Oh and just remembered, Cake Beauty makes one too. It’s not a spray though.


Wednesday, November 3/2010 at 11:43 pm

I shower every day…sometimes I’ll skip a day if I’m all non-sweaty on that day.

Head and shoulders is one of the most clarifying shampoos out there, it always gets the Morrocan Oil (tons of silicones) out. I have thick hair with a slight wave that tends to get oily, so my hair can handle a fair amount.

Natural deodorants are just “meh” for me. I mean, regular deodorants don’t work that well for me, so I didn’t expect much. Natural deoderants tend to just cover up my B.O. after working out. Lady Speed Stick is the one I always go back to over the years, and I think it smells the best. The wild rose one sounds like one I’d consider trying; I love rose scents!

I’d also like to say…it’s okay to skip a shower to benefit your hair and your skin. Everybody’s body chemistry is different.

I’m jumping around, but also…the whole aluminum thing in deoderants does freak me out. I was using The Body Shop’s natural DeoDry and it was okay. Not the best. But it kept me dry/fresh on days where I definitely wasn’t sweating too much, and I only had to reapply it once during the work day. I never usually have to touch up my deoderants, but I figured it was on a different principle. I have to pick my vices, and this is one I’m gonna have to mull over…


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:41 pm

I think with natural deos it’s best to re-apply, if you can, a couple times a day. Sometimes that’s not always possible so I definitely still have an antiperspirant for “special” occasions. I switch it up depending on what I’m doing – i.e. chained to the computer, not sweating – or running around all day and not wanting sweaty pits.

You make a good point about skipping showers to benefit your hair/skin… I forgot to mention in the post that I once interviewed an aromatherapist who only took baths in essential oils. I don’t think she ever used soap, but said she had the softest, cleanest skin with no dryness or irritation.

I didn’t know H&S was clarifying! I always keep a couple of clarifying shampoos around to use before I get my colour done (if I remember)… will have to investigate that!


Thursday, November 4/2010 at 5:08 am

I have to shower everyday! I will skip a shampoo once in a while if I’m pressed for time but I just don’t feel good if I don’t wash my hair. My hair is typical thin Asian hair but for the past year it hasn’t been cooperating with me at all.. It tends to get oilier faster than it used to and its soo LIMP! I have absolutely no volume at all. I used to be able to comb my hair into “peaks” while it was still wet and some of the volume would stay after I blowdried but nopee. I think it has something to do with my birth control haha.

I use Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo (smells gorgeous! lemons <3) which does work and give roots a lift but my head feels soo greasy and a bit pasty at the end of the day. It's not noticeable and I probably don't apply enough but my hair is black so there's a limit on how much I can rub into my hair before it starts looking …well gray.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:43 pm

Yep it might have to do with being on B/C… hormones can make hair go really wacky.

You know what I find really helps besides dry shampoo? Giving myself a really good blow-dry on the day I do wash it. Most of the time I’m lazy and just let it air-dry but I know that whenever I use a volumizing root-lifting spray PLUS a round-brush to lift at the roots as I blow dry, my hair looks 100% better (and less flat/greasy) the next day.

Just a thought if you’re not already doing this! I should probably do a post on round-brush drying soon.


Friday, November 5/2010 at 10:57 am

@Gimped: I hear you on the white residue from products like Klorane. An alternative I love is called Hair Shadez because its multiculti friendly and allows me with my dark brown locs or the lady next to me with straight strawberry blonde hair to find the color match we need.

How traditional dry shampoos made it this long, I’m not sure.

Having commented on this “no showering” article on another blog, I heard that dry shampoos like Klorane can extend SHOWERS and not just shampoos. Has anyone tried that?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 1:47 pm

Hey thanks for the heads up on that product – now I really want to get my hands on it! Cool concept.

Not sure what you mean re: extending showers vs shampoos?? I think some people would use dry shampoos and still shower the rest of their bodies (ie wearing a shower cap – this is what I do sometimes)… whereas others will just skip the shower entirely.


Saturday, November 6/2010 at 6:24 pm

I meant using the dry shampoo on your skin instead of your hair. In my head, it seems like misting spray deodorant all over your body O_o I’m just hoping I misunderstood the other blogger!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 7:35 pm

Ah gotcha! I guess it could theoretically work like a body powder to absorb moisture. Wouldn’t think it was very effective but who knows! I think I will stick to my deodorant all the same. :-)


Friday, November 5/2010 at 3:26 pm

This is such a first world problem. The trend is not ridiculous. We, as a North American society, are ridiculous. It doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have: you do not need to shower daily. Who cares if your hair isn’t looking the best it can? Does it really matter that people don’t wear deodorant? How dare somebody excrete bodily odours in my direction! The nerve of some people!

Everyone is hyper conscious about themselves, their scents, and looks. Stop it! I love reading beauty blogs because I find it fun to apply and wear makeup. Not because I want to cover up the ugly or smelly, but because *I* like the way I look and smell. I don’t wear makeup/deodorant every day, and nobody complains. Even if they did, I wouldn’t change. Why should we care what other people are doing, especially if they’re doing it to help the environment? Who are we to judge?

Please don’t say you think we shouldn’t be concerned about water conservation because we are in Canada:


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, November 6/2010 at 2:07 pm

Well I do have to point out that being what you perceive as “hyper conscious about themselves, their scents and their looks” kinda goes with the territory on a beauty blog. Just sayin’. And even though YOU might not care if “your hair isn’t looking the best it can,” that’s kind of why people are here, reading this site. Women, in general, are never going to suddenly stop wanting to feel beautiful… and there isn’t anything wrong with that!

Honestly though – despite the headline on this post, we’re all free to make our own choices about the level of showers/deodorant/makeup we require or not. If you’re happy and think you look good, then great!

As for whether or not it “helps” the environment, I’m not convinced. Canada is one of the most, if not THE most water-rich countries in the world. The only reason for anyone in Canada to experience a “water shortage” would be because the govt hasn’t allocated enough money to water treatment facilities. But yeah…it’s going to be the next manufactured environmental crisis for sure.


Wednesday, March 30/2011 at 1:43 am

It’s not water shortage that’s an issue in Canada. It’s the fact that we are so wasteful of such a valuable resource. We are wasteful and we pollute it. Sure, the facilities could clean it up but guess who’s going to pay for it? And we complain that we pay too much tax…hmm…


Sunday, June 5/2011 at 1:41 pm

First of all everyone is sure entitled to their own opinions, but hey, what if nobody complained about your B.O. just because it’s a sensitive point and not that easy to tell? It’s hard to say something like “hey, you wanna borrow my deodorant?” might find the gentlest way to say it, it still sounds not nice and could make someone feel bad.
So my point here is, you can go around with messy hair if it’s fine for you, nobody should be too worried about what other people think about the way they look, but c’mon! not being dirty or smelly is something that has to do with respect for people around us! Just to clarify, I’m not saying you smell :) you could be one, UBERlucky human being, like that Michelle friend that I’m thinking prolly is an alien from another galaxy or something ;) but what about other humans that do have B.O.? Do we REALLY want to encourage them to not wear any doedorant? are we gonna have to go to work with gas masks? thanx.
Cheers :)
Michelle you rock!!


Monday, November 8/2010 at 3:53 pm

I am with you Michelle, streight, limpy hair, I can’t stad oily hair. I cannot go without a daily shower and shampoo, sometimes twice a day if I go to the gym. I guess is in my latin roots, daily showers is a rule plus perfume! If I don’t wear deodorant, perfume and makeup I just don’t hit the street. I even keep a mini deodorant in my office desk if I have to go out after work.

Great article!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 7:28 pm

I am the same! Have to have my daily shower!


Sunday, November 28/2010 at 8:56 pm

i actually only take a full on shower once or twice a week, though i take a sponge bath (fill up the sink with water) every night. My scalp doesn’t produce a lot of natural oil so, i can usually go a week without washing my hair. But when i wake up in the morning and my hair looks a little greasy a use some dry shampoo and wash it that night (i shower at night). I have fine hair but alot of it! So volume isn’t a huge problem for me. I only use real deoderant, no anti-persperant, and it works just as well as anti-persperant just without the smell.


Sunday, November 28/2010 at 8:59 pm

i actually only take a full on shower once or twice a week, though i take a sponge bath (fill up the sink with water) every night. My scalp doesn’t produce a lot of natural oil so, i can usually go a week without washing my hair. But when i wake up in the morning and my hair looks a little greasy a use some dry shampoo and wash it that night (i shower at night). I have fine hair but alot of it! So volume isn’t a huge problem for me. I only use real deoderant, no anti-persperant, and it works just as well as anti-persperant just without the smell. Also, i’m big on helping the environment, so each shower is less then 7 minutes (I try 5 but time gets away from me!).


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, December 1/2010 at 8:15 pm

Lucky you with that hair type – if I could wash my hair less I definitely would. (And glad you are taking care of business with sponge baths at least!)
You’re ALSO lucky that deodorants work for you!


Monday, November 29/2010 at 3:17 am

I shower daily, unless it weekend, shampoo at least weekly.
Lemons/lemon juice definitely works, it kills odor bacteria. They are great in the summer, when you wear delicate fabrics especially dry clean only, or go sleeveless/strapless and you don’t want visible deodorant (cause clears are only so clear…), residue on clothes, or that obvious scent of your deodorant working hard or not working at all :( If you’re not overly active you can go 2 days, and I also swipe the lemon between my breasts and other areas where sweat can mix with bacteria and cause odor.
Coconut oil has to be extra virgin unrefined, and it only worked a couple of hours for me, and I was concerned about grease on clothes even though I used sparingly (which may have contributed to lack luster results). Did not know to maybe mix with baking soda, I used that to clean my armpit palette before I began using lemons…
I tried one natural deodorant, from Tom’s of Maine, a lime/grass cent or something that I knew could go one of 2 ways….and it went the wrong way. Smell awful on me, and I tried it for a morning Zumba work out, so if I was funky after 45mins of aerobics, it was not going to work for my daily uses.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, December 1/2010 at 8:16 pm

So interesting about the lemons. Maybe I *will* try that someday. Maybe. :-)

Tom’s of Maine is the absolute worst! I think it creates B.O.


Sunday, December 5/2010 at 3:28 pm

I have thick hair so I only have to wash it three times a week and use batiste dry shampoo in between. But I still shower daily although sometimes I forget to put on deodorent yikes! I want to try an all natural one though! The beauty aisle at whole foods is becoming very apealling to me!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 14/2010 at 6:37 pm
Monday, January 3/2011 at 11:00 pm

My hair is fine (there’s a lot of it though!) and wavy/curly and I haven’t used shampoo in over two weeks. My hair looks great except for a static problem that I’m trying to correct. I never shampooed my hair every day anyway, since curlies are not supposed to use shampoo every day. I also used to have very dry, cracked feet/heels and I used to sweat so much that I would whip out my antipersperant several times a day (and I never smelled of body odor unless I was sweating). When I started no ‘poo (no shampoo), I was already only using water to wash my body since I didn’t get very dirty anyway and soap dried out my skin so much and made it itchy. Interestingly, I have noticed that since I stopped using shampoo and soap, my heels are very soft and I have only applied my antipersperant maybe 3 times in two weeks. I simply do not sweat as much, and therefore do not have body odor problems. I was not pleased with using so much aluminum on my skin so many times every day, so the fact that I don’t sweat hardly at all anymore is great! Such an unexpected bonus to the whole no ‘poo & no soap routine. BTW, I do still wash my hands with soap. I shower every other day, but I have just cut out shampoo and body soap/wash since it is unnecessary.

For all the people whose hair gets oily the day after showering… Your hair gets oily because you shampoo it! Look up no ‘poo, and you can read why that is (because I know it sounds illogical at first). Here’s a great website with lots of info:


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, January 4/2011 at 7:22 pm

Wow, interesting! I have heard the same good things about “no ‘poo” but I truly only think it’s feasible for people with some curl in their hair. Believe me I’ve tried to go without washing my stick-straight fine hair for a few days and it’s not happening. I totally get that curls look better the less you shampoo (and curls hide grease)… but with straight hair it just looks dirty. (Even with dry shampoo, which only works on day 2 and 3 really.) And I’m not willing to see if my hair eventually “adjusts”!

Re: no soap… so you don’t even use it in your, um, private areas? I once interviewed an aromatherapist who said she didn’t use soap either – just the oils. Not sure I’m keen to try this one either… but I’m intrigued that it made you sweat/smell less!


Wednesday, January 5/2011 at 2:13 pm

There are plenty of straight-haired people who have gone no poo, but you’re right, it seems to be a little trickier for them to transition into it from what I’ve read. For some people, no poo doesn’t seem to work well, but it’s up to the individual if they want to try it.

About the soap in the privates, no I don’t soap there either because those areas are actually the first ones to get angry about soap. I think I must have very sensitive skin because any time I’ve used soap there the skin gets raw and dry and irritated. It’s very uncomfortable. And actually, I have found that when I use soap there, not only does it hurt afterward, but it gets the ‘odor’ faster. Sorry if TMI, but it’s true for me. My skin can’t handle soap and I haven’t used soap or body wash for years, except maybe once every couple months if I feel like it.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 10/2011 at 5:14 pm

Oh wow – well I definitely understand now if soap caused so much irritation – ouch! Thanks so much for sharing (not TMI at least to me!)… I love hearing this stuff. Good to know that our bodies can adjust and stay clean even without the crazy amount of personal care products we all use. I used to think – God! People in the 1800s (and previously) must have STUNK. But hey, maybe not.


Tuesday, January 11/2011 at 5:17 pm

I think people did stink, but I think it was probably more because they didn’t bathe as often, not necessarily because they did or didn’t use soap. Just rinsing off in the shower can probably take care of most people’s cleanliness needs. It’s not like most people these days are working in an environment that gets super dirty. I know I don’t get that dirty sitting at a desk, but if you have a dirty job, soap may be required.

Monday, April 11/2011 at 12:31 pm

This article caught my attention because I’ve just started experimenting with cutting down the soap & shampoo I use. I have wickedly dry skin, & fine straight natural blonde hair, so while my skin loved less showers, my hair looked greasy, limp & terrible by day 3 (meh on day 2).

I’ve been having a lot of luck with using a body brush (necessary exfoliation for dry flaky skin), washing my “bits” with natural soaps daily, just water on the rest, & then applying body oil only on dry arms & legs. I use soap all over on Saturday; can’t break the habit completely. It really seems to be helping; I’m a lot less itchy, my skin seems softer & smoother.

For my hair, I wet it down, flip it upside down & massage a natural conditioner into the roots for a minute. (I got this from the book “Organic Body Care”.) It pretty much travels to the ends on its own. This works really well, even though I use leave-in conditioner & mousse (& sometimes more products) almost every day! I’m currently shampooing with organic shampoo twice a week, but I’m going to try switching to once a week, since my hair is a lot softer & smoother as well. I don’t know about less frizzy, though; the rainy season just started.

And for the weirdest bit; I’m using oat flour mixed with a little water to a paste as a facial cleanser, & it’s Awesome! All these years of expensive cleansers freaking out my sensitive skin, and oat-freaking-flour from the Bulk Barn does the best job EVER! My skin is smoother, more even, practically no breakouts, and my unidentified skin condition (3 doctors, 3 different diagnoses) is much, much calmer.

I still use Dove Deoderant like it’s going out of style; I am terrified of underarm odor. (I refuse to apologize for this.) I have switched from Secret, which worked better, because it stung, though. So I’m not the All-Natural Hippie-Queen yet!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 12:29 pm

Hey – this is amazing! Thanks for telling us about your routine. I have the same hair type so it’s even hard to go 2 days without shampooing (unless my hair is freshly coloured – the damage adds body!) So you find that washing with conditioner every day (and shampoo 1-2x a week) is enough to keep it looking good? I’m intrigued!

Re: your skin condition – have you tried a shower filter? The chlorine might be part of the problem. Also the suggestions in this article might help:

Apparently Green Pastures cod liver oil + butter oil blend is recommended as the first line of defense for any skin condition, including dry skin/eczema. (We have a lengthy thread on here about how great it is for acne as well!)


Wednesday, April 27/2011 at 1:20 pm

It’s a few weeks later, & the conditioner wash is doing a wonderful job, even when I have an anti-frizz freakout & pile on the products. 1 shampoo a week, with some baking soda mixed in to really deep clean. Plus, loving the daily scalp massage.

Thanks for the recommendations, though! I have coveted a water filter for a while, but don’t know anyone who’s had one. And you have made me very, very curious about the CLO; as soon as I get some slack in my tight budget, I’m in!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 5:10 pm

That’s awesome it is still working for you! Hmmm… someday I will get the courage to try!


Monday, October 17/2011 at 1:26 pm

I seriously think that you and I must have been separated at birth – I swear you write articles on everything I’ve wished there was an article for online!

In regards to your article: I have tried dozens of natural (what I call “hippie”) deodorants. I am the kind of person who showers every day, but I don’t necessarily wash my hair every day. The hair washing bit depends on several factors: season and time of the month. But showering my “naughty bits” is something I simply must do every day.

Along the lines of keeping myself fresh; first of all, keeping my pits hair-free is tantamount to smelling good ESPECIALLY if I wear hippie deodorant. Second, just like regular deodorant for me, I find that solids work better than gels or liquids. I usually find that if I plan to have a relatively inactive day at home or work, then combining crystal deodorant with some other variety of solid hippie deodorant is sufficient. But if I want to bring out the big guns and make sure I have no chance of reaching major smellitude, I’ve never found anything better than Now Labs Long Lasting Cream Deodorant. I’m not sure if all the ingredients are vegan/healthy, but it’s a great alternative to aluminum – and man does it work! It’s one of those “a little goes a long way” products too, so it lasts a long time in your medicine cabinet or drawer. My younger sister has major pitting-out issues…she’s been to the doctor for her sweating/b.o and has had prescription deodorant before. If you have that big of a smelly pit issue, I’m not sure if Now’s deodorant would work for you, but I would say it’s worth a shot.

As for the No-poo/not washing your hair movement…I’m all for it. But I do agree with you that it’s a major challenge for anyone with fine hair, especially straight, fine hair. I am lucky enough to have the lovely combination of oily scalp/dry hair. Switching to Deva Curl’s No-Poo, Chaz Dean’s WEN, or Sally Beauty’s Hair ONE (or other “cleansing conditioner) has helped my dry ends pretty dramatically, but there is often still the issue of oily scalp. I discovered dry shampoo years ago (I use the lemon-scented Oscar Blandi powder) and it is a major victory for anyone with oily scalp; I love love love it. Also, LOOOVE the Osis Dust It, I tell everyone about it. Apparently there is a knock-off available at Sally Beauty in the U.S. I’m not really a fan of the spray-in dry shampoos. But without dry shampoo, there is no way I could be on the no-poo band wagon.

However, I will say this – like many things, not washing your hair is something you have to give yourself a trial period with. It takes time to get used to the feel of it, and for your scalp to normalize. That being said, I often just can’t pull it off in the full heat of the summer or when I’m extra oily the week before my period. My hair is long and fine, with longer layers and a bit of natural bend/wave to it. Along the lines of no-poo and “working-with-your-natural-texture” idea, I do find that using one of those super-absorbent microfiber towels or a soft t-shirt to scrunch and towel dry my hair after washing (rather than drying with a regular towel and combing through after) does reduce frizz and get more wave .

Now that I’ve blathered on forever, one last comment; if my hair is a day dirty, and especially if it’s 2nd day dirty (I really can’t go more than 2 days without washing), I like to curl it because I feel that wave or curl can camouflage a dirty scalp. As an alternative to heat styling, I sometimes will dampen my hair at night and do a pin-curl kind of thing which I wear to bed…then in the morning when the hair is dry I take the pin curls out, tussle them with fingers, and add dry shampoo. So – no heat styling, quick getting out the door, and disguised day-dirty scalp. Win win!

Thanks again for another fantastic article! Hope the comments help….


Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 9:54 am

The lemon method does work. Especially works well when your regular deodorant stops working. It helps get rid of any funky smell.


Tuesday, January 3/2012 at 4:11 pm

As someone who has lived in Florida for nearly 16 years, I shower and use deodorant daily. I also recently moved to Miami from Jacksonville and I am living without a car, relying on public transit and my feet to get around. The daily showers are even more necessary. My hair, however, doesn’t need daily washings. It is very thick and quite wavy, borderline curly. I generally wash every other day, but I listen to my hair if it’s getting too dry and give it an extra day between shampooings when it asks. I’ve never used dry shampoo though I would be open to it.


Thursday, June 14/2012 at 7:10 am


Use cca. 5 parts of cornstarch (to soak hair oil) with 1 part of baking soda (for absorbing odors).
Then add as much as activated charcoal (in powder) as needed for turning white powder black.
It is awsome. I also tried pure activated charcoal as dry shampoo, but it doesn’t absorb as much oil but is still very very OK.
Remeber to put the black dry shampoo on your hair, leave it on for about 5 minutes and then wipe your hair with dry black towel as they were wet. Instead, you may perhaps also use brush. Perhaps you should also use darker changes on your pillows, because activated charcoal might leave some resedues…

Hope you will find activated charcoal suitable for avoiding white residues on your hair,

Borut Pečar


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