I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret. I don’t use soap or shampoo. None, zero, nada. Just water nothing else. And guess what, I look and smell better than I did when I used those products regularly. You should try it.

I had heard awhile back, from a few different places on the internet, about a quiet but adamant group of people who stopped using soap and shampoo and found that it’s unneccessary. When you use shampoo every day it rinses out all the natural oil and whatnot that builds up. Pretty much all of it. And then you gotta buy a separate couple bottles of conditioner and spray or whatever to put an artificial replacement back on your head for those oils, sebum, waxes, salt etc. It’s unneccessary. Your paying extra dough to buy two products that do opposite things and create a silly cycle of stripping everything natural off of your hair and then trying to replace it with an artificial version.

The same goes for soap and deodorant. I was worried when I decided to try this out that     I would go through a period of a week or two of just being really stinky and having greasy hair or something, but I was surprised at how fast the body acclimates to being treated differently. Sure, my hair got kinda greasy for about 2-3 days and then it balanced out. The important thing with this idea is you do need to take regular showers of course. I shower every morning and then often once or twice more throughout the day after going for a run or a sweaty hot yoga session etc. Also I don’t think it would work well if you are someone who takes baths. Also of course I still use soap to wash my hands! That serves a different purpose than hygiene, it’s sanitation.

My point is that there are huge billion dollar companies that need you to think you need to buy their products to feel clean. To look good and not smell bad. The first rule of advertising is in order to sell you must create a desire. And one of the easiest ways to create a desire for something is to create a perceived fear that can be allayed by purchasing and using a product. This it what the ad men of the 50’s realized. If you can convince people that their bodies are unseemly, and gross then you can convince them they need to spend a ton of money on creams, lotions, powders, dyes, soaps, perfumes, make-up and other petroleum crap to smear on in order to feel good about ourselves.

Fashion is one thing. I for one am not going to argue against the current resurgence of women in short-shorts. Damn! But just remember at some point in the future we are all going to look back on todays fashion with the same bemused chagrin that we now look back on bell-bottoms and white powdered wigs.

To return to the point that soap and shampoo appears, from my personal unbiased experiment to be a giant global capitalist scam . . .  I say – well, is that really even shocking at all? What’s surprising is that most of us are still falling for it. It reminds me a lot of the current controversy in running. People are starting to wake up and say hey we don’t actually need jogging shoes that are built like gigantic air cushioned chariots. Mankind has run through forest and across stream for thousands of years without air-nikes. And they did fine. In fact the research suggest that running in over cushioned shoes cause you to pound down on your heel-strike and causes injury.

VS.

I talk a lot about this type of thinking in my last book; DIY Magic, if anything the thesis of that book was we too often accept the universe to be only as simple as everybody else says it is. Both of these are examples (shoes and shampoo) illustrate the way that we can blindly follow the wisdom of the crowd, not realizing that it is a crowd of lemmings and we are stupidly rushing towards a cliff, thinking we must be going somewhere good because we are going there with everybody else!

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