Some of you might be thinking that what can be the mistakes that you can do while doing such a simple thing as taking a shower? Some might be thinking that a shower is a shower and one doesn’t need detailed instructions on how to do it. You just get in the shower without thinking much about it if not every day at least once in a week.
But the reality is, you are likely to make mistakes every time you take a shower which is not doing any good to your skin and hair. Yes, there are right and wrong ways to shower and wash hair. While you take shower there are few rules to keep your hair, skin and scalp healthy.
Showering is a daily ritual which we perform to keep our body fresh, clean and rejuvenated. But have you ever given a thought on the possibility that you might be performing this ritual in a wrong manner?
The entire hot tub bath, rinsing, lathering, luxuriating and soaping that you do might be a serious disservice if you’re not doing it properly.
Especially people with older age should adjust their bathing habits as with age the oil glands pop out and make you more prone to dry skin which ultimately leads to dryness and itching.
I am pretty sure most of us have made at least one or two of the mistakes that are listed below.
Here are some common mistakes that you should not do in the shower. Avoid these mistakes while showering and you will notice a great change in your skin and hair.
Washing Hair Daily
Are you one of those who washes their hair whenever they jump in the shower? Actually yes, some people have the habit of washing hair on a daily basis. As per experts, it’s a big no-no. If you are dreaming of those healthy and attractive looking locks then that’s not a good idea. Let me tell you that shampooing and conditioning hair on a daily basis puts a strain on your hair and makes them dry. When your hair is dry it tries to compensate the dryness by becoming oily quicker.
People with thin hair should shampoo not more than twice a week to maintain hair’s natural oil production and moisture balance.
If you have curly and coarse hair shampooing just once a week is recommended as it takes a longer period of time to establish natural oils for the scalp.
If you travel on daily basis or live in a much-polluted environment or you are a fitness person and exercise daily resulting in sweat, then you can give your hair a rinse with just water and no shampoo. It refreshing, most importantly it does not dry out your hair and it also removes the grime that accumulates on the head. Also, you can refresh your hair by applying the only conditioner and then rinsing your hair thoroughly with water.
Taking Too Hot Shower
Most people enjoy that hot tub bath as there is nothing like a hot shower when you come home on a freezing winter day. However hot water is not that great for hair and skin as it makes your skin/scalp dry and flaky.
It makes skin defenceless by washing away the skin fat and also leads to rashes, inflammations or erythematic due to the increased blood flow due to hot water. Hot water also makes your hair frizzy as it removes much of your natural oils there in the scalp. This is not something you want for your skin and hair?
Try taking a cold shower in scorching summers. It can be miserable at low temperature. So try to keep the temperature of the bathing water as cool as you can handle at most to skin temperature or little warmer especially if you have a dry skin. If you can’t live without hot water, limit the time of bath and make sure while washing and conditioning hair use lukewarm or cool water as cold water closes the open ends of hair.
Waiting Too Long To Moisturise
Moisturising the skin is something you do after a shower but it’s still a very important part of the daily shower. If you are one of those who enjoys hot showers you cannot afford to miss the moisturising the skin and that too immediately after a shower. Experts say that the moment you get out of the shower- no longer than two to three minutes you should apply moisturiser so that skin doesn’t lose moisture to the air.
Moisturising when you are still little wet after the shower helps in sealing in the moisture in the skin. Once you step out of shower gently pat the excess water from skin using a soft towel, allowing some droplets to remain on the skin. Then apply a good amount of moisturiser which contains ceramide as ceramide is natural oil found in skin to trap water in.
The heat from the shower and humidity when you step out of shower helps the skin to soak in the body lotion or body cream you apply after a bath. Lotion soaks in best when the skin is little damp.
If you wait too long to moisture after a bath then your skin becomes dry and cracked allowing the bacteria and allergens to get in. If you don’t moisturise your skin after a shower you may never get smooth skin you always dream of.
Make sure you don’t skip it for the sake of your skin.
Using Deodorant Soaps and overuse of shower gels
I know it’s hard to give up on the products you use on regular basis but if you are using deodorant soaps for a shower then this is one habit you really need to change. The ingredients in such soaps and the harsh fragrances strip the moisture out of the skin leading to itchy dry and flaky skin.
So the next time you go and shop for soap for yourself make sure you watch out for the ingredients like synthetic colours, formaldehyde, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulphate and fragrances as all these ingredients are known to make the skin condition worse and cause abnormal dermatitis and dryness. These toxic ingredients directly seep into your skin which can be harmful to your skin health.
If you are old and using deodorant soaps then you surely need to go for an alternative for this because as we age skin becomes thin and loses oil easily. So for elderly people, the moisturizing cleanser is the best option. If you don’t trust the soaps available in the market you can make your own homemade body wash. Simply mix up 2/3rd cup liquid castile soap, two teaspoons olive oil, almond oil, teaspoon vitamin E oil, a quarter cup of honey and 50 drops of essential oil. And you homemade body washes are ready to use. Lavender, an essential oil is excellent for all skin type especially those suffering from eczema, acne or psoriasis.
Not just deodorant mostly people love using shower gels as they love its scent and the fun of playing with lather while showering. But the fact is the more the lather the more superficially active substances are there in your shower gel. Shower gels also deplete the natural protective layer of oil leading to the roughness of skin. Using too much shower gel does the same to your skin as hot water and staying too long in the shower does. Not just itchy the dryness can also lead to problems like eczema or skin irritations.
So resist your temptation of playing with lather in the shower.
Not Rinsing Properly
When we take bath we apply a lot of products like soaps, shower gels and shampoos. We need to make sure that all these are thoroughly rinsed off because any lingering residues can lead to clogged pores and irritated skin which leads to acne. Not just acne if we are not rinsing our body properly while bathing we ourselves don’t feel clean and the dirt gets trapped in the pores making them clogged.
The not just body when we shampoo our hair and condition them we have to completely rinse off these products as any residuals left in hair can lead to itchy scalp and dandruff. Even while washing your face make sure you rinse it off properly as the makeup penetrates deep into the skin and if not cleaned properly can also lead to clogged pores.
Many people face the issue of back acne that is pimples on the back. The major reason behind this is when you are rinsing your hair the shampoo and conditioner drain down to our back. To prevent this always tilt your head to the side so that these products drain on the floor and not down your back.
Not Conditioning The Scalp
Many people at times forget to use a conditioner or are not in a habit of using conditioner. There is a myth with people that apply conditioner to roots leads to hair fall that’s why they avoid it.
But not conditioning your hair can become a serious issue for the texture of your hair and can impact your hair health as well.
The only shampoo can do no good to your hair. The shampoo is designed to clean the dirt and oil build up on your hair. However, during the cleansing process, the cuticles (outer shell of hair) of hair become roughed up. That is the major reason why conditioner is important. It helps in balancing the pH level of hair and smoothen the cuticles to prevent split ends. It also preserves hair colour and moisture in hair. Conditioner also hydrates the skin of your scalp prevent scalp dryness, itchiness and flaking.
To get the benefits of conditioner, make sure you condition your hair every time you shampoo your hair to get healthy looking, bouncy shinier hair. Condition your hair from root to tips to give them complete benefits of conditioner.
You Are Not Gentle Enough With Towel
This is one of the most important steps that we perform after a shower that is we dry our body with a towel. But this should also be done gently. Dry your body using a soft towel and make sure you don’t use the towel harshly. Leave the skin a little bit moist. Then use your cream or lotion and apply it on the body to get the healthy and smooth skin.
Tap dry your body and hair rather than wiping it harshly with the towel. Harshly wiping your skin can lead to irritation and redness of the skin. So go easy on yourself after you get out of the shower. Wiping your hair aggressively with a towel can lead to breakage of hair and also leads to loosing of hair’s natural texture. Patting yourself in a correct manner is important for your face, hair and body.
Mostly ladies have the habit of wrapping their hair up in the towel after hair wash. Try to lose this habit as it can lead to hair breakage. Instead, wrap the towel as it is making it hang down and pat dry your hair gently as much as you can. If you really want something to warp in your hair use a microfiber towel as it is less fluffy than regular towels and is much better for hair as it absorbs water quickly without the need of rubbing. Microfiber towel also leads to lesser breakage and friskiness of hair.
Vigorous drying from towel can worsen the skin and hair problems. Always use a soft towel and a clean towel for face, body and hair.
Taking Shower For Too Long
Are you one of those who enjoys taking shower for a long time? Well, you are doing it wrong. Lengthy bathing also dries the skin too much like hot water resulting in itching and rashes. The best and optimal duration of taking shower is 10-15 minutes. There are many jokes about men getting angry at ladies for staying too long in the shower.
We all like to take a bit more time in order to relax ourselves under shower but there is something called too long and taking shower for that long is not good. If you are washing, rinsing, shampooing, conditioning and shaving your legs altogether then its ok if it takes time while bathing. But if it’s a normal bath then try and minimise the time under the shower. You can sing in the shower, in fact, it is highly recommended but completing an album in the shower is way too long period under the shower. Shorter is always better when it comes to shower so that your skin preserves the natural oils and moisture.
Using Old Body Puff And Sponges/Loofahs
Sponges and loofahs are used for exfoliation of body and cleansing while taking shower. But don’t forget that wet sponges and loofahs can result in the growth of bacteria and mould growth if not changed once in every 4 weeks. It is very important to dry sponge and loofahs after a bath. Lingering moisture can encourage fungal and bacterial growth.
Using bacteria and fungus infested loofahs can lead to a skin condition called pseudomonas folliculitis which is an infection in hair follicles. It goes away with time but can be itchy and very pesky.
Exfoliating tools are not bad for skin but using loofahs or body puffs for a longer duration is a big no-no.
Instead of using these use terrycloth mittens or a soft towel instead.
Or you can simply use a washcloth which gives you mild exfoliation moreover you can have a dozen of linen cloths in your closet, which makes you do a frequent rotation of clean wash clothes into the shower.
Soaping the Whole Body
Some people blindly soap their entire body irrespective of the sensitivity of that organ. Soap is formulated to dissolve dirt and oil, and wash it away with water to clean your body. The skin on arms and legs usually don’t have much oil, so give up on cleaning them with soap daily as it is like drawing water from a stone. As result of soaping those daily, your limbs are left bone dry. Excessive soaping of the entire body can also make body dry. So you can soap your entire body once or twice a week to avoid dryness.
You can minimise soaping to only those parts of the body which are oily and odour causing such as armpits, buttocks, groyne, and feet. Avoid the use of regular soap for face and use a mild cleanser or face wash to clean your face. Don’t soap the areas which are sensitive like face, reproductive organs or eyes as soap may cause irritation. Use genitival cleansers especially ladies.
Shaving Using A Razor Having Too Many Blades
Shaving is something which can be done during a shower or before shower as well. Working Men usually have to shave on a daily basis. They tend to use those five blade razors to get the clean shaved look. A four or five blade razor can give you a close shave but at the same time can also damage your skin badly. Using a multi-blade razor can actually cut into your skin when you shave. So the more blades you use, the worst it can be for your skin.
To minimise the trauma, use a simple razor of one or two blades. It is ideal to use and is safer for skin at the same time.
Make sure when you shave you move the razor down and not up. Shaving up means you are going against the grain and you can cut yourself. Wrong shaving can also inflame the hair follicle leading to razor bumps.
Men who shave their chest, back, hands or legs should be very careful while using razors. Ladies razors are not recommended but still if you use them to use the ones designed for soft skin like the Venus etc.
Make sure when you shave the area is well lubricated with shaving cream or soap to get the safest and smoothest shave.
Exfoliating is good but extreme of anything is bad. Exfoliation is important you need not do it every day because if you do it daily this can have a boomerang effect. The more you scrub the more skin produces sebum (the oily substance) which acts as a trap for dirt and bacteria. Go easy on scrubs or you might end up with oilier skin.
Many people get aggressive using washcloth or loofah. Loofahs are too rough and can remove the natural protective layer of skin. You can use them for a bottom of feet, rest you cannot use it for other body parts as it is really bad for skin.
Be gentle while exfoliating by using a minimal rubbing with a cotton baby washcloth. You can wash the cloth in hot water after using it three times. It not just gets rid of bacteria but also eliminates the smell caused by buildup. If you use body puffs or Loofahs for exfoliating make sure you clean them regularly.
In the market there such a huge and extensive range of shampoos for every hair type, you can imagine of. Sometimes it’s hard to resist ourselves from the urge of trying them all to get those lovely locks. Although it’s hard but resist yourself because changing shampoo too often can make your hair suffer.
Also, don’t forget to condition your hair to avoid breakage when you brush your hair after a shower as it changes the appearance of hair making the texture of hair smoother and softer.
There is an exception for the aged people as skin becomes more delicate and dry as we age so does our hair. For older people, hair strands require more TLC. As we age hair loses elasticity, density and protein. So elderly people can switch a shampoo which is sulphate free and gentle in order to avoid brittleness.
And if your hair is prone to breakage, use a protein conditioning treatment once in a month to restore lost protein.
Using Fingernails To Scrub The Scalp
A good scalp scrub can feel fabulous but when you shampoo your hair don’t use fingernails as it can cause more harm than doing good to your hair and scalp. Fingernails can scratch your scalp which may lead to flaking and dandruff. Aggressive rubbing from fingernails leads to taking off the upper layer of the scalp which in turn causes dandruff and makes the scalp itchy.
Avoid using nails instead use fingertips to work up a later when shampooing and even while oiling. Don’t get too aggressive rubbing your hair strands as you can end up damaging the hair and cause split ends.
Some people are not in a habit of exfoliating their body. They just simply swap their body and rinse it off with water. But just doing that won’t clean the dead skin cells accumulated on the upper layer of skin. Some think using a soft gentle sponge is all that is required to get rid of dead skin cells but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Exfoliation takes a bit more. You can exfoliate your body with homemade scrubs. Make your own scrub by mixing brown sugar in ground coffee or honey. You can use a loofah for instance but make sure it’s not too rough as extremely is not good.
Use any exfoliator be it a puff, loofah or a homemade scrub just be sure you do it once in a week to keep your skin in good shape. It makes your skin look healthy.
We hope these points will help in keeping a check on all the small mistakes that you may do in the shower and if you do try to correct them. Get that glowing skin and healthy hair by avoiding these mistakes in the shower.