12/31/09: Welcome boingboing readers and a hearty thanks to Mark Frauenfelder for the feature. For those interested in the dietary and fitness aspects, check out the Overview, and also see results from some of the readers.
01/04/11: Welcome again boingboing fans, a bit more than a year later. Thanks to Sean Bonner for the link and congrats on his success. I still have no idea why it works so marvelously for some, marginally or not at all for others (though I think they are decidedly minority given the many comments and emails). At any rate, I had tweeted Mark Frauenfelder and emailed him about an update post I did just a few days ago, so this is opportune and coincidental. Here it is: A Most Successful Self-Experiement: Over 18 Months Soap and Shampoo Free. For those who might be interested in the other aspects of my "Free the Animal" life way…such as fat loss, strength gain, awesome sleep, getting off meds & more, stay tuned for a beginners primer at the top of the blog by Friday, 1/7.
Well it’s over six months, now, and I really don’t want to do this post.
Why? Cause it’s too weird, I fear. We don’t live in caves without modern convenience, I’d not want to, and I loath the possibility of paleo becoming a Luddite-esque religion. I blogged about that (The Paleo Principle is Neither Authoritative nor Dogmatic), and it got picked up by Sisson in a Weekend Link Love issue.
So, I guess, take this with a grain of salt. I’m merely reporting on my own experience.
I haven’t used soap or shampoo anyplace on my body for six months, save hand washing in advance of food prep. That’s it. let me just report my observations and leave you to judge.
- Took about two weeks to normalize. That is, I felt my hair was greasy and skin oily up to then.
- Now it’s intermittent. It’s perhaps a function of water hardness, but sometimes skin and hair feel squeaky clean, and other times indeterminate.
- Even when I feel greasy/oily in the shower with just water, once everything dies out, it’s always all the same — fine; soft & dry.
- My skin & hair have never been softer. Never.
- If anything, my hair is less "greasy" than ever, yet shampoo hasn’t touched it in over six months.
- Private parts. Have to address this, of course. This is the biggest benefit of all. Surprised? You’ll just have to try it, because I’m not going to elaborate. That’s why they call them "private parts." OK, a clue: maybe it’s the constant cleansing that’s the cause of the sweaty-stinky problem in the first place? If for nothing else, I’m soap free for life on this point alone. I feel as though I’ve been scammed — and liberated. I can’t explain further. You’ll just have to try.
- You’ll save a lot of money, especially you chicks. Grils: you can Google about no shampoo. Lotsa links.
I could go on, but ultimately you’re gonna self-experiment or not. But if you do, give it at least a month. Weirdness cleared up for me in two weeks or less, but we’re not all the same. I suspect that women who wash furiously and slather all manner of lotions might take a year or two to normalize.
Alright, I know this is out there and it has NOTHING to do with anyone’s success in a paleo plan and should not be taken as even necessarily desirable. I will surely not expect anyone to try it. And you can have at me if you want. I’m just saying that I’ve tried it, I waited a long time to mention it, and in the end, I’ll never use soap or shampoo on anything but my hands for the rest of my life.
Later, and maybe TMI: My wife now mentions more than ever before that "you smell good." OK, I had to post that only because some might worry on that score….
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