No Soap On My Skin, No Shampoo In My Hair: Over 4 Years

This morning a guy named Brent showed up at my door, a freelance journalist and photo-journalist for a number of publications you'd recognize. We'd been trying to get together for a while, during a couple of his trips out west. He's writing a book. Has a literary agent, and several publishers are interested. Game on. He did a 2-hr video interview, just in case he can produce a documentary as well.

I'm basically "the star" of his book, and the Docu, if he can sell it.

Why? Because no soap has touched my skin, no shampoo has touched my hair, in over 4 years, now—and I feel fine and travel light. He happened upon the BoingBoing, Gizmodo, Fark and other popular sites that took my blog from 40,000 to over 100,000 visitors per month—that I managed to hold onto—when I blogged about it. My favorite email over the years in the aftermath: "I clicked over to your blog to laugh at you; ended up losing 50 pounds."

I live in a world of abject ignorance and moron on so many levels I can't even account for it. I've been undaunted in 20 years, writing tens of thousands of pages of words in many places, highlighting just how stupid I think the whole world around me is. I am one of the best know-it-alls, all of whom you'll ever know. Promise. ...Because I'm a geek, I pay attention, I experiment on myself endlessly, I'm honest, and I have no fear. ...And I hate to love people so much. It kills me to see how stupid they are, acting like automatons marching to authority and marketing.

....Oh, yea, my interlocutor gave it a try. He's been soap and shampoo free for over 2 years. He's writing a book, has an agent, publishers interested.

At least everyone will know where it came from first, at least in Paleo, at least a bit popularized beyond. Of course I didn't come up with NOT using soap or shampoo first: that's the whole fucking point.

It'll be huge, as I explain in the video. For me, has nothing to do with toxins, Naturalistic Fallacy or any of that crap. It's merely about dismissing something from life—never to think of, or spend money on again—that probably no one needs.

If you ever really need soap or shampoo for a decent social existence, you're an outlier, a naturally stinky fuck who naturally repels people. But, most just think they need it, which is a lie to themselves...because what they think they need is a 24/7 smell of some or other perfume, which from a Free the Animal perspective, is fucking pathetic and lame.

...In the interview, I also discuss the possibility that because of soap and shampoo, nobody smells like a human, nobody knows what a human smells like.

I've encountered a human "scent" that simply can't be covered up, attributable to the human female animal. I quite like it. Lickable, too. Given that, what in the hell could anyone be up in arms about?

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Comments

  1. Jan Rendek says:

    Inspired by you, I have been soap-less and shampoo-less for +- 2 years. Not using that stuff even after intense inline hockey games and fitness sessions. Using some soap on hands when approaching our 1M baby. BTW, mother soap-less and shampoo-less too, baby almost (using some baby shampoo on hair).
    Jan (first Slovakia, now Austria)

  2. Marcus says:

    I’ve followed this idea here and on other blogs for a while and see that while many people report success with a no poo, no soap lifestyle, many others don’t. I have an idea why this might be so.

    I follow a mostly paleo diet (+/- 80:20) and generally seem to have a balanced low-odour micro biome on my skin even though I do use soap and shampoo (I steer clear of the ‘anti-bac’ products).

    Last night we had Indian take out for the first time in months – tikka, masala, paneer, nan, etc., etc. This morning I woke up with a body odour so strong it was like a new superpower – I reckon it was sharp enough to cut my way out of a bank vault.

    There is a general awareness in paleo that gut bacteria are affected by what we eat – perhaps related processes have an similar effect on skin bacteria. It seems plausible to me that at least a subset of those for whom a soap-free lifestyle does not suit may be cultivating the smelly bacteria by way of dietary choices.

    Garbage in garbage out?

  3. Jan

    While it’s certainly prudent, just like I do wash hands with soap ONLY in food prep (when for others), I’m very, very interested in ongoing research about the whole bacterial biome in which we exist (90% of you, numerically, is bacteria with different DNA). We have tons of it on our skin too.

  4. Jan Rendek says:

    Richard: I believe soap to be a new unnecessary invention. As far as I’m concerned, I only thoroughly wash hands with running water even after poo – after all, water is chlorinated, I’m using toilet paper and I’m (usually) not soiled all over.
    Being prudent only when going to touch the baby.

    BTW, despite being prudent on soap, the baby is reasonably exposed to sun, and takes no extra Vitamin D. I’m sure she gets enough from mother’s very real food diet.

  5. Gordon Shannon says:

    I read a post by you on this during Christmas ’10, and haven’t used soap since, and I stopped using shampoo a year ago almost to the month. Skin has improved, hair has improved, smell has improved, “comfort in my skin” has improved. Etc. Will never go back. Self-experimentation worked.

  6. You better be fucking shredded in that fucking video or I’m calling it quits on this fucking blog for ever dude. Your 100,000 per month will fucking dive to 99,999 per month in the blink of an eye lid cunt.

  7. Although nothing to do with you, I’ve been soap and shampoo free for nearly a year. It started as a detox thing but once I realised it didn’t seem to make much difference, the whole detox thing became irrelevant. My skin is so much better these days, no more cracking skin and dermatitis and it’s nicely water repellent.

  8. tt

    laf.

  9. SeanII says:

    Richard,

    I enjoy, enjoy your blog and have been doing so for years. It is amazing how ideas come to different people at different times and at times in sync.

    I gave up on shampoo many years now and soap about a year before you. I eat Real Food and still find I have a strong “oh Dear!” but there’s no turning back.

    Paleo for me is a mindset and one that frees me from so many ‘must haves’ and so many ‘must thinks’. Most times I will ask what were people doing before X (insert the latest ‘grant whore’ findings)?

    A friend recently posted on FB how Dr Oz pointed out that the majority of sunscreens were toxic. Now normally that is trigger to go “They’re poisoning us! Why doesn’t the gov’t do something?!” My question to her was “what happened to Caribbean people before sunscreen. Did Trinidad whites, who are big boating enthusiasts, suffer from skin cancer?”

    I credit your writing for encouraging me to find my voice. I don’t care to save people but it’s great being able to express my thoughts to those close to me.

    Thanks again for all your hard work. Your writing is getting better and better.

    Sean

  10. Virginia says:

    I agree with Marcus that diet is key. My son and I (and my mother says my father, too), in SAD days, used to smell just as bad coming out of a shower with the typical soap/shampoo routine as we did going in. Now that we eat Paleo, we smell fine without, even on days that include heavy physical work or exercise. Soap/shampoo free since Dec 2010, thanks to your post then.

  11. Sean II

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this:

    http://freetheanimal.com/2008/12/melanoma-sun-and-its-synthetic-defeat-sunscreen.html

    Punchline, melanoma is highest at high latitudes, lowest near the equator.

    Plus, one of the more common places for melanoma to originate is on the soles of feet.

    A lot of people seem to have gotten the word on suncpscreen, so what are people doing? Many are wearing swim shirts now at the pool, and have their kids dressed in full body swim suits with long sleeves. I see it every day.

    I see the most moronic shit people do every day.

    Virginia:

    Yep, diet is likely a factor in body odor.

    We discussed both of the above issues in the interview.

  12. Austin Pitts says:

    Only been 6 or so months for me probably but loving it! Still stuck on deodorant though.

  13. Austin Pitts says:

    After reading some comments on older posts I went ahead and ordered a rock salt deodorant. We’ll see if the wife notices the diff :)

    • I made a deodorent with a recipe I found on the net. Just mix 1 part coconutut oil, one part baking soda, and one part corn starch. I just melt the oil on the stove, mix in the other two and then let it cool. Stuff it in an old deodorent applicator and you’re good to go, and the results have been amazing so far. Absolutely zero odor even with moderate exercise and lasts all day. Im a lazy SOB so I havent gotten around to a full workout yet, but I’m bettin it would still be fine.

  14. Austin

    Yea, touched on that as well. One could simply just sponge or wipe the pits now & then with water. But I just go with the same Old Spice stick I’ve always used. I don’t care to be fanatical. I’d never use an “anti-perspirant,” though. Seems like a dumb idea to try and defeat perspiration.

    What I tried to emphasize was the difference between water only and no soap/shampoo. Even though I typically express it in the latter, my main thrust is the former. That’s why I was never interested in all the various alternatives people were trying and talking about in the initial thread such as baking soda, coconut oils, and on & on. For me, the very biggest thing is the utter convenience of the thing. When I travel: stick deodorant, a toothbrush. I don’t even use paste very often. The dry brush, followed by a water rinse cleans teeth better anyway—and I use wooden toothpicks for between teeth and to massage gums. I loath floss. Only time I seem to have to use it is when a piece of popcorn shell gets lodged between a tooth and gum that you don’t notice until it inflames. Then the floss works great.

  15. tatertot says:

    Hate to send you guys into another rabbit hole, but I have been ‘oil pulling’ instead of brushing w/toothpaste for 2+ years now. I went from painful, 2x yearly cleanings with severe admonitions to take better care of my teeth, to 1x yearly very easy cleanings and amazed remarks from dentist and hygienist. I had these ‘deep pockets’ that were threatening my teeth and gums–they are all normal now. No more bad breath. No more coffee stains. Huge changes occurred during the first 3 month period I started oil pulling. Later added K2/D3 and think it only made things better.

    Oil pulling is not for everyone. Takes time and commitment. I have about an hour at home alone every night right after work, so it works out perfectly for me.

    I use 100% pure sesame oil, take a swig out of the bottle and swish around teeth for 20 minutes, spit it into trash can (so it doesn’t clog pipes) and then brush with water and floss. In the morning before work, I brush again with water.

    There is a lot of voodoo surrounding oil pulling. I don’t believe any of it–just the effect on harmful bacteria in the mouth. Sesame oil does not have an anti-bacterial effect, like mouthwash, but somehow it forms an emulsion which removes the bacteria.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21525674

  16. I’ve had a post in the works for years about this…finally time to get it done as a result of this post.

  17. Where I live, I don’t have running water (no plumbing, indoor or out). I literally have to heat a bucket of water to take a bath. At work is a different story. I have a gym that I use everyday and then shower after each workout. I may give this a shot and see what comes of it. Hopefully my colleagues will not complain. ;-)

  18. “After reading some comments on older posts I went ahead and ordered a rock salt deodorant. We’ll see if the wife notices the diff ”

    Vodka. Seriously, put some in a spray bottle and spray under the arms. You might need to do it every day for a week or so, but then just twice a week or less will work. You can use isopropyl alcohol instead, but I figure ethanol might be better over the long run. Better yet, use Everclear if you can get it in your state. You can use Everclear in the kitchen too as a disinfectant instead of those lousy antibacterial wipes. Just don’t drink it.

  19. I have been soap free after reading Richard’s article. I tried it and realized I did not need soap to be clean. I do use a dab when washing my hands before cooking/eating. Still have to get to the shampoo free part (but I will).

    About 6 months after going soap free I decided to go deodorant free as well. I found that I needed a little something though – perhaps do to my 40/60 diet. First I tried the baking soda which although it worked beautifully gave me a gawd awful rash and I had to give it up. I started using white vinegar and have been with it ever since. Put it in a small spray bottle and I am good to go.

    I will have to give some experimentation regarding the vodka – shame to waste it though. I can buy Everclear here (use it to fuel an alcohol stove) but I am not sure I want that stuff on me and no, I would never drink it either.

  20. Richard,

    I spent 21 days in the jungle in Thailand with a platoon of Infantry.

    No bath, no shower, water was for drinking only, so I know what a human really smells like, and I hope I never smell it again!!!

    • “No bath, no shower”

      Many animals, including birds with bird brains have sense enough to locate a natural source of water like a stream, river, pond, lake or whatever and bathe themselves.

      Four years later and I still get MORONS who confuse not using soap and shampoo with not washing at all.

      Least it’s constructive. Now everyone knows what moron looks like.

  21. ….And Mike:

    Quick follow up in case you’re having palpitations. I know who you are and know you’re no moron. Just thought I’d have a bit of fun at your expense.

    Hope you didn’t mind.

    Get in the water, folks, just like birds do. I have hummingbirds here who regularly take showers when my lawn sprinklers are on. Cool as hell.

    Hope you’re well, Mike.

    • Water alone is a great solvent, especially soft water. not using soap on my body or hair I believe protects the natural oils nature designed to protect our bodies. body brushing removes dead surface skin cells before rinsing.drink more to dilute b.o.

  22. richard,

    Its all good brother!!!

  23. Trevor says:

    Richard,

    I read through your previous “Sunscreen” posts, including comments and would appreciate a little more detail. One commentor in particular mentioned wearing sunscreen in particularly harsh environments such as being on the water or in the snow. Those were the environments that immediately jumped to mind while reading through your posts.

    Typically the only time I put on sunscreen is when I’m @ the beach or on the water for a morning – afternoon stint. I had a couple instances with getting way way way too burned when I took naps on the beach or a boat, etc. Do you avoid such environments/stints or just pony up on a little bit of sunscreen when you’re spending a day+ in the swimsuit?

  24. I’m not Richard nor do I play him on TV. :)

    We do use sunscreen, though, when we go to the beach/water. I, too, have gotten terrible burns by ignore it on those days.

    At any rate, I figure it’s not exactly Paleo to have a beach holiday. If I had hiked to the beach, I would probably be sporting a nice tan by the time I got there. I would have also would have probably had the good sense to not lay about in the sun getting dehydrated either just for a couple of dips in seawater.

    Up until the 2 centuries ago, beach real estate was almost totally worthless. It’s not hard to see why, when you think about it. Quite often it’s windy and buggy and clearly lacks shade. You can’t grow stuff and good drinking water is often brackish thanks to the salt water nearby. You can get a meal or two but you’re better off putting your rear in a boat and/or heading back inland for less bugs and wind, and maybe bigger game.

    We visited Roanake Island, NC last June and it was painfully obvious (to me anyway) that if the original colonists didn’t all die, they wisely moved to friendlier climes. Roanake Island is really just a buggy swamp with a long trek to seafood. I can’t even imagine what they did about the mosquitoes back them.

    *Anyway* – so given that driving to a beach to spend the day is a very modern invention, we’re willing to go there with modern sunscreen on the odd holiday. Other than that, the kids, spouse, and I all develop natural tans and/or limit our outdoor time.

  25. Trevor

    No, never use sunscreen. I would simply be prepared with light clothing to cover up with. That said, since I got my D levels up I’ve never gotten a burn even with substantial time in the sun, on the water.

    Another thing I don’t really do is “sunbathe.” Yea, maybe a few minutes now & then but my favorite way to get sun is a 20 minute walk around the perimeter of the giant pool at our club, right after a swim, to air dry. That way, you are getting 360 deg exposure, never very long at one angle or in one spot.

  26. gabriella kadar says:

    Sean II, I lived in Trinidad and as they age male white Trinnies have really terrible sun-damaged skin. Great big brown blotches. I didn’t get closer to inspect the blood vessel issues. Do they die of skin cancer? I doubt. The rum and cigarettes probably get them first.

    No doubt higher altitudes could cause more skin cancer in whites. The average skin colour of people who live around the equator is significantly darker than an Icelander.

    Richard, until I’m still working, I don’t think it’s really feasible to not use something to wash my hands between patients. Gloves do leak and sweat buildup while wearing them results in candida skin infection. So, Dettol soap it is until I retire.

    Interesting the mention of oil-pulling. I had a patient who did this. He used unfiltered sunflower oil and swished 20 minutes per day. He definitely had clean teeth. I don’t discount anything considering this guy when he started to be my patient had tons of calculus and major amounts of gum recession. Once he started using the sunflower oil, I was almost out of a job. Every so often I’d have to replace a broken down filling but he did not require any more cleanings. We went along like this for about 10 years after which he retired and moved out of town.

  27. Several observations:

    1. I had a roommate years ago that always smelled. Right out of the shower; not that good, natural hard work smell. Something offputting. Johnny ate almost only meat, some buns, no veggies. We know what we would call that today. (One time he had someone coming over for dinner and asked me how to cook frozen corn.) Was he just made differently? Something was wrong internally? Dunno.

    2. Also a long time ago, I was in the back of an Indian owned dry cleaner, chatting. He had a sari on the steam table, you know, where they remove spots and stuff before the dry cleaning. He hit it with blast of steam…..and my nose hairs curdled. The EPA rushed in in Hazmat suits…. I always thought it was just a hygiene thing, cultural differences, yada yada, but the comment above may be the answer: food can change our odor.

    3. I worked in an office with some Iranians. One guy, a nice guy, sometimes was a tad “off.” One of the Iranian women told me how much his scent turned her on.

    4. I live on the west coast of Florida. I can’t afford to run A/C in this big old heat sink of a house. It does have a pool, although the temps are higher than “refreshing.” But I am grateful for that! I dip a few times per day, especially after yard work. What I find is that regardless of pool dipping and even wiping with a wash cloth, a shower after three or four days is mandatory for comfort. That soap just gets embedded oils and minerals out and I am much more comfortable f0r awhile. In the cool months, I shower every three or four days, “As Needed.”

    So, what I’m offering up for discussion is that depending on one’s job, perhaps, soap isn’t the enemy, just don’t do it every day. And like diets, everyone is different.

  28. Hey! I only found this blog post now. I have been doing the same, not knowing it was such a big thing on the net!! Well, yeah, what can I say ? I dislike soaps and shampoos and so, ditched them a long time ago. I am also peculiar in the sense that I do not sweat very much in general. I regularly commute by bike every day, something like 20 miles where I do occasional sprints. Yet, my colleagues never notice my smell (I don’t either). I don’t know, it seems right and I never really think about it. I am not a big fan of bathing and showering every single day as soon as you have a little sweat here or there. So I restrict my water consumption in that respect, which also seems right. I mean fuck it, we are what we are, and covering it with tons of cosmetic BS just does not feel right.

    But why would this deserve a documentary or book ?? That eludes me somewhat …

    Anyway, all the money I spare in this way goes to super high quality foods, which I eat only once a day (one meal). This could explain why I don’t smell rancid sweat after a few hours only :)

    Cheers!
    J.

  29. Hate to send you guys into another rabbit hole, but I have been ‘oil pulling’ instead of brushing w/toothpaste for 2+ years now…

    Oh man, that’s turbo catnip to people like me. Never heard of it before. I just so happened to have a large, almost full bottle of high quality sesame oil (I only use it for Asian salad dressing–sesame oil, grated ginger, garlic, kikkoman, vinegar, dab of honey, some people cut the sesame oil with olive oil, and those people are dead to me).

    Tried it last night and again this morning. Interesting. But I brushed my teeth after first time with toothpaste, second with baking soda. Any particular reason to drop the toothpaste/baking soda, Tatertot?

    Also, I used to have pretty annoying itchy scalp/dandruff, totally cured it with vinegar. Basically dandruff (or at least what I had) is the scalp having an adverse reaction to the fungus that colonizes the human scalp. Everyone has the fungus but not everyone is bothered by it. Vinegar is a very effective topical anti-fungal that is cheap and natural. If you shampoo your hair (which I do occasionally–don’t hate me) the vinegar counteracts the base PH of the shampoo and acts as a nice conditioner.

  30. SeanII says:

    GK,
    Small world.

    Many of my older family had their skin covered in moles and blackheads but skin cancer was not prominent. Not aware of what got them in the end but they were mostly long lifers.

    My mother grew up on the south-east coast of the island. Guayaguayare was where oil was first discovered in Trinidad, the early wells were in the forest but most towns were on the coast. They spent long hours in the water, sometimes swimming beyond sight of their parents, who knew the sea as a playground.

    Amy,
    Driving to the beach is a modern invention! How do you account for coastal dwellers such as the tribes of North West America and those of the Orkney Islands.

    I just don’t see sunscreen mitigating any threat to human existence. People in all locations have thrived without it. Maybe it is a modern salve that fits in perfectly but I felt as I stripped back life, it became surplus to reqs.

    Richard,
    Short story on REAL knowledge. In Guayaguayare when someone drowned and the body was not immediately recovered, the local fishermen were able to give a reliable predication of when and where that body will turn up. It could have been hours, it could have been days.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guayaguayare

    Sean

  31. Steve W says:

    I like backpacking. In my twenties I always packed deodorant and (non-tox) poo. Soon realized that when everyone had run out it was actually a short time of adjustment before the greasiness stabilizes favourably. I only occasionally use soap on my hairy asshole. Usually after SAD. SAD = sticky, know what I’m sayin’? Otherwise soap/poo free.

  32. LeonRover says:

    “No soap on my sk-i-n, No shampoo on my hair
    Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air”

    . . . . . .

    “Welcome to the Motel California”

  33. And in the master’s chambers,
    They gathered for the feast
    They stab it with their vegan knives,
    But they just can’t stand the yeast

  34. tatertot says:

    @Sean, re: oil pulling

    I quit the toothpaste because I wanted to get away from fluoride. Never took up the baking soda thing. Now, everything is going so great in the dental department, I don’t want to change anything.

    I tried a 6 month period with sunflower oil. It tastes better, but dentist knew right away I had changed something. Much more plaque build-up and redness on gums than usual.

    Some people recommend coconut oil or sunflower oil–maybe they work for some, but the thousands-of-years-old method is with pure sesame oil, so that’s what I use.

    There are hundreds of websites selling special oil-pulling formulas–don’t believe any of it! There are hundreds of websites calling oil-pulling a miracle cure for nearly everything, a detox for heavy metals, and a blood cleanser–don’t believe it. It works, and probably causes seemingly miraculous health recoveries by cleaning up the bacteria in the mouth.

    When you start swishing, you’ll notice after about 5 minutes the oil turns very thin and then starts filling with millions of tiny bubbles–this is when the cleaning starts. It’s an emulsion of oil and saliva and it absorbs the bacteria–it doesn’t out-right kill them–just removes them. That is why you spit it out and brush afterwards.

    Here is a pretty good article. More and more you are seeing this go mainstream and not focusing on the ‘magic detox’. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/oil-pulling/

  35. I’ve been largely soap and shampoo free for a year or so myself. Yes, so many are so used to covering their own scent, they miss out on all the learning that goes on because of it. Since going deodorant free over a year ago, I’ve learn that I smell differently during “that time of the month”. Of course when I tell this to my family and most of my friends they look at me like I’m crazy. I guess only some of us like to actually smell human and the rest want to pretend their a flower or exotic fruit of some kind.

  36. Sorry, that should be *learned*

  37. Tatertot,

    Thanks, interesting stuff. I had read about the coconut oil when I googled and was thinking of trying that when I ran out of sesame oil. I haven’t tried any other oils yet, but you are right, the sesame oil does make for a stimulating emulsion in the mouth, and why mess with (2000 years of) success. At this point I’m just interested in seeing how this little experiment works out a few months down the road, or even just a few weeks down the road.

    Having had so much success applying vinegar to my scalp I’m more than willing to test the efficacy of applying some emulsified oil to my teeth and gums. I don’t buy into the detox thing, and I’m even skeptical of the washing away bacteria thing, I suspect it might just deprive mouth bacteria of oxygen. Whatever the underlying mechanism I’m giving it a shot.

  38. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

    @tatertot re. oil pulling,

    a friend told me to do it. but he said has to be 1st thing in morning (before you drink or eat)

    i tried it w/ 1T coconut oil for 20 min.
    (i like sesame oil in certain dishes. i really don’t like the taste in swashing & it’s really heavy;)

    observation:

    1. jaw/cheeks get sore (more sore using sesame oil)

    2. i get bored

    3. i almost gagged few times

    4. teeth/tongue/mouth do feel very clean

    i don’t have 20 min every morning. + don’t like to gag.

    since hearing so many anecdotes, maybe i should try it again.

    do you think it can be done in the evening w/ shorter time? (dont’ want to gag)

    thanks.

    ps. i also dry brush teeth most of time.

  39. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

    @Sean,

    Olive oil in Asain salad dressing => blasphemy. (esp. EVOO)

  40. In my experience(+- 1 year) of little to no soap or shampoo, I’ve been impressed with my smell, even noted the sheets smelling good-my human smell. Use natural deodorant, and was told once at work that I smelt. May need to return to a conventional deodorant, well see. I do have problems with dandruff or scalp flakes when I go without shampoo for extended periods. Otherwise, love how soft, moist (relative to using soap), and strong my skin is, and the simplicity of my showers.

  41. Olive oil in Asain salad dressing => blasphemy. (esp. EVOO)

    I know, right? But google sesame ginger salad dressing recipes and that’s what comes up. People ain’t got no class.

    Anyway, strange you had a gag reaction. I have a pretty wimpy gag reflex, at least when it comes to smells. I have like bionic smell which is a pretty lousy bionic sense to have, and I didn’t even come close to gagging. Try it with sesame instead of coconut, perhaps? Otherwise, I guess it would take some getting used to, or perhaps just skip it altogether. As far as time goes, evenings would be better than nothing at all, I don’t see why it should matter all that much.

  42. LeonRover // Jun 19, 2013 at 09:13
    ““No soap on my sk-i-n, No shampoo on my hair
    Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air”

    . . . . . .

    “Welcome to the Motel California””
    Even more off-topic, but it made me lol. Lyrics seen at karaoke on several occasions (it may have been a SunFly CD):-
    “Warm smell of colitis, rising up through the air”
    Ew!

  43. I find that magnesium oil is an effective deodorant. It comes in a spray bottle and two or three squirts under each arm in the morning usually does the trick. Simple and easy. A great way to get magnesium too.

  44. tatertot says:

    re: Oil Pulling. Lots of crap out there! They want to sell you books and special oils. If you are interested in healthy gums and teeth without strong chemicals in your mouth, oil pulling may be for you. Yes, it’s boring. Yes, it takes some getting used to. Yes, there are other oils besides sesame that may work. If you don’t have 20 minutes where you aren’t expected to talk, you won’t be able to keep with it. If you have bad gums or get lots of plaque buildup–give it a try. If you think it is going to help you live to be 150–well, that’s up to you!

    If you look at sites like http://www.oilpulling.com/ you will see little tidbits like:

    - It is important to understand that during the oilpulling / oilswishing process one’s metabolism is intensified. This leads to improved health. One of the most striking results of this process is the fastening of loose teeth, the elimination of bleeding gums and the visible whitening of the teeth.

    - The oil pulling /swishing is done best before breakfast. To accelerate the healing process, it can be repeated three times a day, but always before meals on an empty stomach.

    - The simplicity of this healing system in which Oil is swirled backwards and forwards in the mouth, is due to the stimulating effect which it has on the body’s eliminatory system.

    - Through this method it is possible to heal individual cells, cell conglomerates such as lymph nodes and more complex tissues such as internal organs simultaneously. This occurs because the beneficial microflora throughout the body are provided with a healthy continuum. Without this natural bodily intrusive element evinced by the microflora the usual pattern of human health tends to lean towards illness rather than wellness.

    - Dr. Karach anticipates that regular application of this treatment by reversing this process so that wellness is the dominant state of the human body is likely to increase the average human lifespan to approximately 150 years, double the present life expectancy.

  45. “I have like bionic smell which is a pretty lousy bionic sense to have…”

    Don’t sell yourself short. Shit hot bionics like legs & arms still need a bionic pointer whore.

  46. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

    @Sean,

    ok. i googled “asain salad dressing” Orz

    or at least use some (good) neutral oil & just add sesame oil for taste. since it’s pretty assertive, so don’t need a lot for flavor.

    the gagging is not due to smell. i may have “bionic hearing” not “bionic smell.”
    some tiny amount of oil travels down which tickles my throat. i could try using less oil.

    cheers,

  47. Shawn Statzer says:

    All I can say pertaining to the no soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and deodorant is…interesting…very, very interesting.

    For personal education I study Archeology, Sociology, and a myriad of branches to science, and I am very intrigued with what our body naturally equips us with.

    I am starting to believe that these societal preconceived ideologies is considered acceptable simply because most want to smell like, what they associate with a pleasant fragrance. What most people fail to understand though, I believe, is that there are other methods on keeping good hygiene. I believe in taking care of our bodies, because they are like a machine that must be well maintained, but we need to stop being vain. There is a fine line. Take the indigenous people of North America, for example: often, sweat lodges were a practice. They realized that by bodies sweating, brought out impurities from within their bodies.

    I know that I do not wish to smell malodorous, and so, I enjoy taking steps to maintain what I consider a pleasant fragrance, and by this I mean keeping body odor away. However, in the same breath, I also realize that adding all these nasty and dangerous chemicals via some shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, etcetera, to my body is dangerous and will have adverse side affects. So many people are getting cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, heart problems, etcetera. Perhaps, this can all be linked to exposures and the unhealthy chemicals we put into our bodies.

    And we must not forget about the environment. The sucking action of the drains is not were these bubbly suds end. No. They go to that world that most people try to forget about. But then again I have a problem with the abuse of all the resources we have, such as: rare earth elements; iron ore; monocultured forests; blowing up rocks from mountainsides to make way for roads and cars, and that nice slab of polished granite, so they can be added to someone’s nice home. I know that I am using a computer right now. But not much longer. This abuse of societies, because of greed and axioms, just gets me sick.

    Anyway, I love the things you all posted. Thank you.

  48. Austin Pitts says:

    I thought I’d report back on my n=1. I first tried vinegar in a little spray bottle for underarms and that worked ok but there was a faint vinegar smell so I stepped up to rubbing alcohol 70% and that worked ok too with no irritation. So then I jumped into buying a bottle of Everclear in IL since its no longer sold in IA. I’ve loved it ever since! I used to have to apply at night and morning and now once in the morning or after any shower and I’m good to go :D They had the actual everclear brand but that was $20 for 750ml and I wound up getting some gem generic brand for $15, they were both 95%.

  49. If anyone is having a hard time transitioning with body odor to using less commerical products, take liquid chlorophyll. Can find it pretty cheap by shopping around online, I found a good one on vitacost. Lots of options for mint flavored etc. It cleans body odor from the inside out. Just dont freak out when you go #2 and it’s green. Also, if you do take it in liquid form, without the capsules, try to take it without it touching your teeth, or anything on the countertop, it’s highly pigmented. When I got it on my teeth, it was nothing swishing around some water or baking soda water couldn’t fix. At 2 tablespoons a day, it reduced my body odor to pretty much nothing within 3-4 days.

  50. I started oil pulling about 4 months ago. Stopped brushing completely. I floss twice a day with flossers after meals. I pull with sesame oil for 20 mins each morning when I get up. (skip a day occasionally)

    Just got back from the dentist and he was absolutely amazed at the results. ZERO plaque even in the most common areas where he pulls gobs of crap from typical patients. More importantly, he said there was ZERO inflammation of the gums and they were perfectly colored with no redness at all. My teeth have never been better he said. This guy has been a dentist for 30 years and the words PERFECT and AMAZING were uttered during the exam about 20 times.

    Try this.

  51. Oh. Not a single drop of blood during the entire “cleaning.” Never happened before. It was not really a cleaning because there was nothing to clean.

  52. My hair is still kind of greasy (not dripping with oil, but noticeably more oil in my hair than when I used shampoo). I’ve been doing this since July (4 months). Any tips/helpful websites?

    Maybe it’s residual hair grease from when I stopped (in the beginning, my hair was very greasy and wouldn’t go away until I washed it with shampoo, later, my hair became oily again but it was far less so)?

  53. Brandon

    Sorry, but I’m not familiar with your subjectivity. I have zero idea what you mean by ‘kinda greasy.’

    I have no idea whether that means more or less natural bodily oil in your hair or mine. I’m going on 5 years, and I never once freaked out. I run my fingers through my hair, and yea, bit of oil on my hand.

    I have never concerned myself with it.

  54. Brandon, how long is your hair? How does your hair feel? How does your scalp feel? How does your hair look? Do you have anybody you could ask who might be objective. When I stopped washing my hair, my girl didn’t even notice.

  55. …With SOAP or SHAMPOO, Joshua. Just waster. That’s a wash.

  56. You’re making an assumption Richard. But in this case, a correct one. I’m just not used to using the “wash” terminology with regard to bathing/showering, so thank you for the correction.

  57. (Finally, this blog post works for me!)

    To try and quantify:

    Usually, there is a noticeable layer of grease in my hair, enough so that
    if I run my fingers through my hair, I get enough of it on my fingers for
    it to appear as a white sort of glue in a few areas and it feels like some
    sort of film is on my fingers in those white areas and in areas where it’s
    not visible (which rub off elmers glue style).

    My hair length is this almost exactly:

    http://hdwallsize.com/wallpaperhd/keanu-reeves-2013-wallpaper.html/keanu-reeves-2013-wallpaper

  58. -3 years no soap (use hot, running water and friction in the form of a pair of exfoliating gloves).. took me 2 days to adjust! Would never go back to putting anything on my skin.
    -3 years no shampoo, but other stuff, like my own clay recipe. This was the hard part… it took more than a couple years for my hair to accept water only washing. Now I’ve been this way for 3 months. (My hair is very fine, neck length and muddy blonde.)

    -Don’t use deodorant but I do drink a glass of clay water every evening (French, green illite clay). This works exactly like a deodorant but from the inside.
    The only time I notice any odour is when I’ve eaten the ‘wrong’ thing ( I have food sensitivities).

    Am trying to pluck up the courage to tell folk!!

  59. Bob Werner says:

    Just starting this (day 2). One thing I am going to do is not use shave my arm pits as I assume the hair retains the bacteria causing the smell. That way the deoderant can go out the door, even though I rarely use this anyway. I’ll let you know how that works out. Great blog. Just found you today.

  60. I have one of those stainless steel “bar of soap” things that people keep in the kitchen — you know, for removing garlic odors from your hands.

    But I keep mine in the shower, where I use it on my hands, my armpits, da groinal area, feet, etc.

    It works. I would think it useful for some of our stinkier readers…

  61. I’ve been almost 100% no soap for a while (only rare use of very mild, natural cleansers in the crotch and pit regions). My only issue is that sometimes I want a good exfoliating scrub, and unfortunately a wash cloth and water has no slip to it. I thought about trying organic aloe vera gel with some scrubby cloth or loofa, but that seems kind of stupid given the price. I know it’s not really necessary, but the stimulation to the skin does feel good and healthy. Also, I’m a girl and like to fuss over myself.

    Any suggestions?

  62. After years of fighting with the texture of my hair, I spent 3 weeks in the hospital after surgery washing my hair, water only, in a small sink. My hair never looked better. This was in 1990. I went shampoo-free after that. Occasionally over the years I “slipped” and went back to shampoo but … learned my lesson. Shampoo free is best.

    This column has been an interesting read. I wax my underarm hair and have often wondered if antiperspirant is necessary. My skin overall is very dry and I wonder if soaping while showering is contributing. I would be very willing to just shower and see if skipping the soap works — it’s not as if I’m plowing fields.

    Comments about food and body odor — my former BF would eat a lot of meat and had a penchant for exotic, spicy food. He showered with soap regularly, but he did not believe in deodorant, or toothpaste (he used hydrogen peroxide to brush his teeth). At times, the overall smell was repellent. His co-workers complained, and he was asked by management to use deodorant. He complied and used Tom’s of Maine. Problem solved, although he was unhappy. I don’t know if he continues to do so now that he is freelancing.

    Occasionally I mention that I don’t shampoo. It is fun to watch the appalled look on people’s faces. Then to tell them of my experience. Then to watch them think about it, and wonder. ;o)

    • DeeAnn

      Water only for 5 years, no questions or exceptions. I use an Old Spice stick in the summer. As for teeth, dry brush works better than anything and I go through a lot of wooden toothpick because floss is for pussies.

  63. PrimalBrent says:

    After over 2 years being soap free, my wife convinced me a couple of weeks ago to try some “all-natural” soap she spent a small fortune on. I looked at the ingredients and did not find anything objectionable(although as I look back, I should’ve been weary as none of the ingredients explained why it would be solid or create lather). I used it twice (two days in a row) and immediately began to feel dry and devod of the natural oils I worked to hard to to build. Never again will I do thisAfter a couple of weeks back on water only, I still don’t feel ike my old self.

  64. What if you have an excessively grease scalp?

  65. Duck Dodgers says:

    Just listened to the most amazing podcast episode.

    Backstory: The History of Cleanliness:

    https://www.prx.org/pieces/92329

    This is an amazing podcast, as they assemble historians who specialize in three different centuries, along with a historian who specializes in the topic, and figure out how society has been shaped by certain ideologies.

    In this episode, they look at how people used to view cleanliness, from never bathing, to having to be convinced by soap marketers (Ivory Soap, from Proctor & Gamble, in particular) and public works organizations that “filth” needed to be eliminated. And there’s a particularly interesting investigation on how race was associated with cleanliness or uncleanliness — which caused for the separation of bathrooms and water fountains.

    Truly an amazing podcast, and I encourage anyone who is interested in the hygiene hypothesis or germ theory of disease to listen and learn how society was brainwashed into certain ideas of what it meant to be “clean”.

    When you combine this with the medical use of antibiotics, this history lesson gives us an idea of just how quickly our micro biomes have shifted in the past few decades. I had no idea the shift was as drastic or as manufactured until now. Highly recommend listening to the entire episode!

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