Save. Spend. Splurge.

Do you feel the need to shower and wash your hair daily?

Jenine asks if skipping showers is the next hot beauty trend and frankly, I don’t feel the need to shower or wash my hair daily.

I used to, when I was younger but I noticed that my skin was getting super dry and making my eczema worse, not to mention my hair getting oilier and oilier.

Currently, I wash my hair once to twice a week and shower every other day on average, but during the summer I admit to showering and washing my hair a little more often because it’s gross in the summer and too humid and hot otherwise.

However unless I am covered in dirt or super sweaty, I don’t shower daily, and in the winter it is so much better for my skin.

For my hair, I’ve noticed that it only gets oily and gross after the third day. Sometimes, if my hair looks fine by the fourth day, I don’t wash it until the fifth.

The more I wash my hair, the oilier it gets. It’s true!

It all depends on how much oil I produce and what my hair looks and feels like, that determines when I wash my hair.


A lot of people might find this completely disgusting to not shower daily or wash your hair daily, but I wager that we’re a nation that is just too freakily clean.

We’re germaphobes, or have you not noticed our commercials and our fixation on being clean?

When I turn on the TV all I see are commercials about how your house smells disgusting if it isn’t scented with something like lavender or that your countertops are hotbeds for disgusting germs if you don’t wipe them down with chemicals to kill 99.999% of bacteria (some of which I am sure are harmless or even good for you, it’s probably the bacteria that the wipes DON’T kill that is bad!), or that you stink if you don’t wear perfume or deodorant, or use scented bath products.

Studies have even proven that those hand sanitizers don’t do jack squat and may even be toxic (something I already intuitively figured out when the product first hit the market).

Update from The Holy Potato:

Anyway, yes, soap and water is preferred, but hand sanitizer is not bad when you can’t use soap and water (or when it’s too inconvenient, like when walking in to a hospital). And the point of using hand sanitizer in hospitals and doctors offices is to protect the patients and staff, not yourself, so please just do it and spread the word.

Ideally we want everyone to sanitize as they walk in the door from outside (and every hospital now has banks of hand sanitizer dispensers at the main entrances) and again before going into a patient or procedure room from the hallway/elevators/etc.

Then again on the way out from a patient/procedure room to the common areas, then again when leaving the hospital and entering the wide world, for a minimum of 4 hand cleaning events.

Compliance with that request is much easier with hand sanitizer than soap and water — if the dispensers are set up right you can get a glob and rub it in without even breaking your stride.

A little bacteria and being a little dirty is not going to kill you and may even be good for you, as it will boost your immune system rather than always being in a sterile environment, not being exposed to anything and therefore your body is unable to learn how to fight off any infections.

Being clean is good.

Being super clean to the point of obsessiveness (something I think we’re catapulting towards) is not better.



  • Bubbles

    I shower twice a day but I never use soap. I am 58 and I’ve had doctors marvel at the condition of my skin, which is almost flawless from head to toe. I never smell.

  • Kelly

    I’ve been taking a shower every day, and my shower broke this morning, before I was able to take one. I had to go today without washing my hair, and I just feel bad. My hair’s now extremely oily, and I’ve felt uncomfortable the entire day. Everyone else seems to be fine with not washing it everyday (or those who don’t anyways), and I know it’s not healthy for your skin or your hair.. Is there a particular reason why I can’t go a day without showering (and washing my hair)?

    • save. spend. splurge.

      It could be for a few reasons:

      1. You are used to doing it so psychological factor is there.

      2. Your hair / scalp is used to it being constantly washed and dry, so it constantly produces oil to try and keep it moisturized (this will take 2 weeks to a month to wean off and you will have to use dry shampoo in the meantime)

      3. You touch your hair a lot. I find the more I touch my hair and don’t have it up in a ponytail, the more often I need to wash it.

  • Potato

    Please read all the way to the bottom of the linked article: hand sanitizer is quite effective and non-toxic. The sensationalist part at the top was on triscolan, which you’re more likely to find in soap than in hand sanitizer. Indeed, the vast majority of the hand sanitizer on the market and in the dispensers at hospitals and other public places is alcohol-based — if you’re dispensing a glob then it’s not the one the article was talking about. I’ve only seen one instance of that kind of hand sanitizer, it comes in itty bitty sprays that dispense just a light mist on your hands (it was in the top of a novelty pen). Indeed, I just perused the drug store’s offerings of hand sanitizers and wipes, and none of them were of the type that article was warning about.

    Now, if you want to skip it at home and help build up your family’s immune system I am all for that, just be sure to use it liberally in public places — especially doctors’ offices and hospitals. And please don’t tell people it’s toxic and ineffective when that’s not the case.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Ah! I did not know that, thanks for the link, but I am not convinced.

      The FDA has even started releasing reports that it is not as effective as everyone thinks it is for things like MRSA infections. If even the U.S. is convinced that it is not effective, then it really isn’t effective because they don’t really check products that go on the market as stringently as they do in Europe.

      Regardless, I think using soap and water far outweighs using sanitizers. I have another problem, and that is when you spread that stuff on your hands, you let it dry but then you end up picking up food or touching things with it, which essentially means you’re eating whatever you’ve put on your hands.

      For going to hospitals and doctor’s offices, I just avoid being beside sick people, and touching my eyes, mouth and nose, while washing my hands frequently. Haven’t gotten sick in about 7 years as a result. The only time I have ever gotten sick was when my mother brought home a cold and I spent time around her. My partner who avoided her, came out scot-free…

      • Potato

        @save. spend. splurge.: That’s about health claims on one of the most difficult strains of bacteria to kill by any means, not about the general effectiveness of hand sanitizers.

        Anyway, yes, soap and water is preferred, but hand sanitizer is not bad when you can’t use soap and water (or when it’s too inconvenient, like when walking in to a hospital). And the point of using hand sanitizer in hospitals and doctors offices is to protect the patients and staff, not yourself, so please just do it and spread the word. Ideally we want everyone to sanitize as they walk in the door from outside (and every hospital now has banks of hand sanitizer dispensers at the main entrances) and again before going into a patient or procedure room from the hallway/elevators/etc. Then again on the way out from a patient/procedure room to the common areas, then again when leaving the hospital and entering the wide world, for a minimum of 4 hand cleaning events. Compliance with that request is much easier with hand sanitizer than soap and water — if the dispensers are set up right you can get a glob and rub it in without even breaking your stride.

  • Tania

    I definitely shower each day but how often I’ve washed my hair has varied. When I worked in downtown Honolulu, I didn’t wash my hair if I didn’t work out. The AC was so strong both at home and at work (high rise). On Maui, I work in an older building so although we have AC it gets hot in the afternoon. I have no AC at home. Very high humidity in Hawaii so I’m pretty sweaty by the time I’m ready to go to bed, so I shower and wash my hair each night. I also either work out or swim daily. We are having a very humid summer and I sometimes shower more than once a day.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I like the feeling of cool water on my skin when I am sweaty, like after a long bike run. I can’t really understand people who don’t feel the need to at least rinse off the sweat afterwards.

  • Angella

    I shower and wash my hair every other day, sometimes 3 days…just depends on my activity level. I’m in Georgia, so it’s VERY hot and humid, but I’m also on a well, so we restrict our water usage in hotter weather. During these hot months I stick with every other day. I’ve never even considered it to be ‘gross’….I don’t stink. 🙂

    Now the old men across the road…shower once a week, and they’re outside everyday all day doing yard work. Ick!

  • Melissa

    In the winter, I shower every other day, but in the summer, I shower every day. Generally I try -not- to wash my hair every day (every other day), but lately it’s been so hot and humid that I have to shower and wash my hair every day! I don’t like it, but if I don’t, everywhere starts smelling… and people aren’t into that 🙂

  • neurosciency

    i don’t really like showering (LOL) but since i work out every other day i end up showering 3-4x a week. in high school i knew some people who showered every day, sometimes twice a day. i don’t get that.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      My mom is a germaphobe who showers twice a day. She feels unclean otherwise. I think it is tied to her very $$ poor upbringing and she has a need to always be neat and tidy as a result.

  • Kate @ Money Propeller

    I shower and wash my hair daily because I go to the gym 4 times a day and it’s very disgusting if I didn’t wash my hair because it’s so sticky. Before, I only wash my hair every alternate day because I had read in the article that we shouldn’t wash it every day.

  • Helen

    Since it’s high summer and Toronto runs humid, I shower everyday if I’ve been outside and sweating. Even then, I only use olive oil soap on the sweaty areas of my body.

    However, I get eczema in the winter, so during that time I feel better if I shower every other day. Again, soap only on the sweaty areas.

    As for hair, I also have oily hair, and I use a local brand of natural shampoo. I’ve been able to get away with washing my hair every 2 days. Basically if I can pull back my hair into a ponytail without having to use a comb to smooth it out, it’s time to wash my hair.

  • Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans

    I had classmates who told me that they would shower twice a day and I always thought that was a little excessive. I never wanted to publicly out myself as an every-other-day-shower-taker then, because people would find it so disgusting. Now that it’s becoming more accepted, I can finally say something! Haha!

    • save. spend. splurge.

      LOL! I don’t care if everyone knows. It’s not good for your skin to have water on it all the time. My mother showers twice a day and even she says it’s excessive but she can’t help it. She’s a germaphobe.

  • Michelle

    I shower everyday. But, I also live in St. Louis and the humidity here is pretty much unbearable for me and I sweat just walking outside here!

  • Fig

    I definitely don’t wash my hair that often. I’ll shower almost every day (unless I don’t do anything) but I wash my hair every other day or so.

  • Erika

    I’ve been trying to wash my hair less and less and I’ve noticed that I can go longer between washing a before it starts to get oily. Dry shampoo and a baseball cap are my dear friends.

    I also try not to shower too much because it really dries out my skin, plus I live in a really dry climate. Sometimes it can’t be avoided though because we can get temps up well over 100 degrees. I never let myself go out smelling like B.O., but people do think it’s gross if you don’t shower everyday.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I want to try a dry shampoo but it always ends up making me feel like I dumped cornstarch all over my hair (which it is)… Plus I run my fingers through my hair and I can FEEL it crunch, which is not what I want.

      • Erika

        @save. spend. splurge.: I really love Dove’s dry shampoo better than any other that I’ve tried, but they have a problem with the air escaping from the can. I can’t justify the expense when I only get one use out of a can.

        • save. spend. splurge.

          ONE USE?!?! Man they need to work on their packaging. I’ve been eying dry shampoos from Whole Foods (tinted corn starch, essentially) so I may pick up a bottle.

  • Morgaine

    I definitely agree with this post! I also find my hair gets super oily if I wash it too often. I never use those antibacterial soaps/wipes, just plain soap and water and we rarely get sick! (knock on wood)

  • Emily @ Urban Departures

    I agree! There is no need to shower/bathe/wash hair on a daily basis, though I do admit that it was a practice I did up until a couple years ago when my hair became so dry and brittle. I shower every other day. I try to extend my hair washing to 3 days, but by day 2 it’s too oily and I crack.

    I knew someone who was so obsessed with being clean that she got an infection because of a lack of good bacteria to fend off the bad.

  • Kathy

    I agree completely that we have become obsessed with germs. You would think there will be a national pandemic if a germ is allowed to exist on your countertop. And those crazy cooking shows that have to wash their hands and use a dozen different utensils while cooking to avoid cross contamination. Excuse me but your are cooking the food. Kids all have asthma and allergies because they never get outside to build up an immunity. Anyway, I remember as a child we only took baths on Saturday, and in looking back at old pictures, my hair was really oily and needed washing more often. So when I grew up and was working, I showered and shampooed every day except one weekend day. Now that I’m retired I shower and shampoo about 3-4 times a week. I think that’s fine unless I get real sweaty after exercise.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I have asthma and slight allergies but that’s because it’s genetic, not so much environmental. We should be exposed to allergens early on so that we learn how to fight it off. Even Baby Bun now, only gets a bath once a week because his skin is so delicate.

  • NZ Muse

    Funny, my BFF as a kid once whispered to me that she sometimes only had a shower once or twice a week. Like I would go around shouting her little secret!

    The last couple of years due to colder winters (and also, so much travel last year) I’ve started skipping days here and there. My hair does require frequent washing though – minimum every other day – and due to other certain body areas I wouldn’t ever want to skip more than one day, even if just for a quick rinse.

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    I am very similar to what iou said. It really depends on the situation, so sometimes it’s daily, sometimes longer. That being said, even if I don’t suds up, I jump in the shower in the am just long enough to wake up. It’s refreshing.

    As for my hair, I’m an every 2 to 3 days kind of person. My hair is long, but also a light brown/dark blonde colour, and so I find it shows greasiness quite easily at the roots. I realize I’m perpetuating the problem, but at least I don’t wash it every day, and I try to use products that don’t strip all the oils from my hair making it a viscous cycle. You can kind of figure out my hair washing cycle by how I wear my hair though… day one, down. day two at least partly up. day three (if I get there) full on up in a bun. Then it just looks like it was styled to be sleek, right? 🙂

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Oh yeah. A shower gets me going in the morning too, except in the winter, when my hair WILL freeze if I step outside with it wet. So I’ve taken to showering at night…

  • Charlotte

    Hahaha I definitely do NOT wash my hair every day! I usually do it every other day since I work out a lot, that seems to work fine for me. I’m a big fan of Lush’s dry shampoo — it really helps make it through that second day! I have very fine hair so it gets oily quite quickly but the powder dry shampoos make a huge difference.

  • AdinaJ

    I’ve been washing my hair every 4 or 5 days for years. Long before the trend started 😉
    But seriously, I have the same issue as you – my hair gets oilier (and frizzier) the more I wash it. I’ve debated going the “no shampoo” route, but my current routine works so I probably won’t bother.

    I try to shower every day, especially in the summer, but with 2 kids that sometimes doesn’t happen. Sigh.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Hey, having a baby sometimes means sneaking into the shower for a frenzied 15 minute shower while they nap. I’ve taken to doing that. I have even washed my hair in the SINK …

  • CorianneM

    I have a similar schedule for hair washing and showering! If I shower every single day, my skin feels more itchy and dry after showering. And I don’t even have any particular skin problems. If I don’t shower every day, I also don’t need to slather on the body moisturizers that often or not at all.

    I do wash my hands quite often. Every time I get home, or before eating (if possible). That is more important than washing my hair or showering every single day. My hands touch my face quite often, whether I’m eating or putting on make-up, or just in general face-palming, etc. So, yeah, clean hands are more important for your health than clean hair. Just imagine all the things you touch on a daily basis: the button to open the metro doors, door handles… eek.

    Hand sanitizers only really work if you actually scrub your hands quite hard. Just covering your hands in hand sanitizer as if it were hand cream doesn’t do much except giving you the IDEA that your hands are now sterile/anti-bacterial… :S

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I find that I do need to wash my hair at least every 3 days or else I start to get dandruff…

      Clean hands are more important, I agree. I always wash my hands particularly with a baby..

  • iou

    Depends on the season and what I’m doing. For instance, if I exercise, I take a shower. If I’ve spent a significant amount of time in the heat and humidity I’ll take a shower. If it’s the middle of winter I tend to go every second day. If I style my hair nicely I’ll stretch it out as long as I can to make it worth it.

    If you’re having 2 showers a day but don’t wash your hands after you use a public washroom or public transport and then stick your hands in your mouth, is your shower really worth it? lol Wash your hands, people!

  • MelD

    I am completely with you on this one. An OCD society, if you ask me. There are a few people who have stronger body emissions and may need to shower daily, or men who work very sweaty or dirty jobs. The rest of us really don’t need it and do more harm than good. My schedule is much like yours and probably still too culture-driven. And that’s in Europe. 😮
    In the 60s/70s it was normal to bathe once a week (or if you were sick!) and wash hair, otherwise you just washed with or without soap morning and evening to stay fresh. No deodorants, maybe some talcum powder. Basta. Then American culture arrived. Sigh.

    As for ads, they are unbelievable. I noticed my Canadian-born cousins are always giving my granny chemical scent gadgets – I think they feel her home needs it. We don’t agree. Granny is scrupulously clean herself and her home is just normally natural. She does what I do: she opens windows! It’s a sick society that considers the smell of bleach or chemicals to be “clean” in my view. In that, I am lucky to have a husband and daughter with exceedingly fine sense of smell and for one thing they would notice if anything smelled bad. For another, they would come in and wrinkle their noses if I used scented cleaning products – for them, these smelled so disgusting :). So I don’t.
    Such a pathetic but sadly ubiquitous “trend”. Of course, like most other things, it’s an industry. Big bucks.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Hey, some people smell better without any perfume / cologne than being doused with a bottle of it.

      All the commercials on TV are all about showering, being clean, having a “fresh” home with chemical smells to cover up a normal home’s scent. It’s really crazy.

      I do the same thing — I open the windows, even in the dead of winter to air out the house. It’s my mom’s influence.

  • Shandi76

    I used to shower and wash my hair 6 days a week because I was at the gym that often. I can’t work out and sweat then not shower and wash my hair or it feels gross and my head gets itchy. Now I only work out half as often but I still need to wash my hair at least 4 times a week. It’s usually okay for 36 hours but by 48 hours it is really oily. I thought hair and skin were meant to get drier as you got older but it’s not been the case for me so far.

  • maria@moneyprinciple

    I do. And I do shower and wash my hair at least once a day. But I know it is an obsession and that my skin is drying up as a result. As to keeping overly clean, no it’s not better – obsessive cleanliness is the mother and father of most alergies, people say.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Oh so you do see the difference? My mom showers twice a day.. I don’t shower as often and I find my skin has reacted better to having less eczema flareups.

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