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energy-saving hygiene habits (or lack thereof)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Dainty, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    A note about going conditioner-only with hair....you generally want to only use conditioner that's 'cone free. Check the ingredients, anything ending in -cone is not something you want to use without shampoo. 'cones seal the hair, which is advertized as "locking moisture in", which it does, but it also locks moisture out, it works both ways. In order to get moisture back to the hair shaft you have to first strip the 'cone layer off, which is why shampoo is needed. Most shampoo contains, if I remember the word correctly, sulphates, which is a fairly harsh cleanser. From what I read I do not think herbal cleansers will remove 'cones. So the standard shampoo and then conditioner process of hair care is similar to refinishing a piece of furniture, say the dining room table. Instead of just wiping it down when it's dirty, you strip off the finish and then apply a new finish to it every day. Kinda silly, but that's how the normal western hair care process works.

    If you want to get out of that process, you use sulfates to strip the -cones one final time and then you stop using 'cones. With no 'cones then there's no need for sulphates, so all that's left is hair that gets cleaned with very gentle cleansers (herbal or baking soda or the stuff that's already present in conditioners) and hair that moisturizes readily since nothing is sealing things out. Be sure to check your other hair products as well for 'cones.

    Conditioner-only is another great hair care method. There are gentle cleansers in teh conditioner already and is very moisturizing, and as long as it's 'cone-free there should be no build up.
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    This is really interesting! I would really like to get off the treadmill of having to wash my oily hair every two days. I find it really tiring. I use shampoo but no conditioner, normally.

    So... I'm a bit confused about what people are really doing. Is anybody just not washing their hair at all, even in water, and not using anything on it at all whether cider vinegar, herbal shampoo, baking soda, or conditioner on its own? I'm thinking that if I didn't wash my face (which must get the same build-up of sebum as my hair) it would just be greasy and dirty fairly quickly.

    I'm wondering if the method works best for people with dry hair, not greasy hair? Currently, my hair is lank about 36 hours after washing.

    I wish I had read this thread in the autumn when I was too ill to see people for a couple of months and could have emerged with clean hair without people seeing they yucky bit in between!
  3. Dainty

    Dainty Senior Member

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    That's me. Out of all the alternative hair care methods, no washing at all or even getting it wet at all is what has made my hair the most manageable and presentable. It has, however, turned my loose spiral curls into straight hair with body.

    I just rinse my face with water when I'm in the shower, so far that works for me.

    Some people have referenced the theory that the more you wash your hair the more sebum your scalp produces in an effort to compensate for the washign that strips the oil away. To borrow words from another poster, it's a supply and demand thing, the more you wash your hair the more it "demands" sebum, and the more sebum is consequently supplied. If you stop washing as often then at first it's really greasy, but then the sebum supply goes down because the demand goes down, since you're no longer strippign the oils. Does that make sense?

    Honestly, I'm not 100% certain I buy the theory, but then again, I wouldn't know from experience, since I'm a curly and by the time I went to no washing I had already been past the transition stage a long time ago. A lot of people do find that with alternative hair care methods a transition time is required, but it can be worth it. :)

    You might not want to try jumping into the No Water method right away, you might find that the Water Only method works better for you, at least in the beginning when you hair is still producing so much oil. Or you might even want to try just tapering down your shampoo use at first to ease the transition stage. No single alternative hair care method works for everyone, but the only way to konw for sure if it works for you is to try it. Over at the Long Hair Community forum you can read about a lot of people with normally very greasy hair who now find their hair is okay without shampoo, and even who now actually put oil in their hair. If you want to find the experts, that's where they're at!

    Edit: For those on the fence about shaving, here's a funny flowchart on the subject.
  4. SpecialK82

    SpecialK82 Senior Member

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    Wahahahaha - love the flow chart - I'll have to hang in up in the bathroom so that I can remember :D

    PS. My husband was not nearly as amused...
  5. camas

    camas Senior Member

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    A hairy legs decision tree - love it! :D

    I made one attempt at the no shampoo route, but didn't have the discipline to tough it out. May have to give it another go.

    Here's a tip I learned from watching Martha. There's really no need to wash sheets so frequently -- just put on clean pillowcases once a week and everything will seem fresh for quite awhile.
  6. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks for the detailed reply, Dainty, that's really helpful. I will start off slowly by using less shampoo as you suggest.

    That's really amazing that your curly hair went straight! I wish my straight hair would go curly! :D
  7. blazes

    blazes

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    Hi everybody!
    This topic is near & dear to my heart....I'm so glad someone brought up brushing their teeth! Not only do I not have the energy but toothpaste now burns my mouth. I can only use a tiny bit and not every day.

    I wear the same clothes days in a row. I don't go anywhere. It's too much energy wasted to be uncomfortable.

    I can no longer wear make-up or do my hair. This is a BIG ONE for me. I was a cosmetologist. My hair & make-up mean a lot to me. Heck! My skin can't handle make-up anymore....forget trying to put it on....even if I did have the energy.

    Shaving? My underarms. Yes. My legs...omg! The hair was a half inch long when I shaved the other day.

    I shower about once or twice a week. Depending.

    I'm lucky to have enough energy to eat so I can take my meds....seriously...why am I going to expend energy on frivolous things...like my sadly missed make-up.

    That's another thing....I've been so nauseous lately that it takes all I have just to combat that. To heck with moving & making it worse!

    Just walking out of the house is torture. I waste energy worrying that people can't see the hair growing out of my chin because I also have polycystic ovaries....causes hair to grow where I don't want it too...

    Seriously...I just want someone to feel what I feel for 4 hours. Then let them continue to say I'm just lazy and need to just get up and go to work. BecAuse I LIKE being poor, feeling useless & having people give me "the look" because I don't look like there's anything wrong with me.....

    Ahhhh.....ummm. got off the subject....sorry.
  8. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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    Not recommended, unless you want to wake up without the ability to move your neck.
  9. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    about the bedsheets... wearing long pajamas and a clean pair of socks to bed (buy some cheap extra ones just for that so you don't use them up and have to wash whites sooner), and changing just the pillowcases frequently, helps stretch out the amount of time between when the sheets need changed

    I have oily hair and used to need to wash every day (else it would get so horribly embarrassingly greasy), but have got myself down to about every third day, which helps a lot. It doesn't take too long to work down, just a few times of skipping when you can afford to be unpresentable. Using a "for stressed hair" or "for normal to dry hair" formula works better than "for normal to oily hair", too. It does seem to be true that the more oil you take out, the more oil it makes (works on faces, too... I learned never to use "oily skin" or "ance" or even "combination skin" products as these only make my acne worse and my skin dry but oily and breaking out [even though I should have grown out of that long ago]... "sensitive skin" or even "dry skin" products work much better and my skin is nicer and acne much less).
  10. being

    being Senior Member

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    For bedsheets, I recently bought a sewing machine off Craigslist and sewed a topsheet in half sideways to make a sleeping bag type thing and I put that in between the sheets. Now instead of changing the sheets (or rather not changing them, as you all know) I'm planning on just pulling out the current sleeping bag and replacing it with a clean one. It was a little exerting sewing the bag but only one or even part of one needs to be done at a time. The worst part was being kind of overwhelmed on how to use the sewing machine but it turned out to not be that bad just reading the manual a little at a time.

    For showers, in the winter I just shower/change clothes once a week. It's a trade off between that and having to do laundry. In the summer I shower more often but still don't change clothes as much in order to keep from having to do laundry. I keep my head shaved because I can't keep up with hair.
  11. Leslie

    Leslie

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    Good post. I guess I do pretty good, still or yet. I don't shower everyday like I used to, and brushing teeth, horrible to say, but sometimes I forget a day.
    Hair, not like I used to,make up...unless I go out, and that is minimal, and since I don't go out much......
    Someone told me they bought some "lounging PJ's" which sounds like a great idea. The kind that some people even wear out in public. I shouldn't feel so bad, younger kids wearing their PJ's out, with slippers......(my granny is turning in her grave at that one!)

    I say, do what you can and leave the rest. We are the ones that are sick and know what we can do. Save the energy for what we want, and what is important to US!
  12. TinyT

    TinyT Senior Member

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    I manage to shower every day, even if it's just to slump on my shower stool & let the water run over me. I also dry off mostly sitting down. I can't manage a shower till the evening/bed time as it's when I feel the most ok & my POTS is less severe. I can't go without a daily shower and am lucky to be able to manage, even on my bad days. I also live in tropical north Queensland where humidity is above 90% for at least 6months of the year.

    I also have long, fine, straight hair which gets oily very quickly. Used to wash it every second day when I was well but now it's only 2x a week/every 3-5 days. I dread having to wash it! After I get married in sept I am seriously thinking of getting a short chic bob. Rarely get to the hairdresser (it's been almost 6months) and stopped colouring my hair a year ago so it's now a lovely shade of mousy brown.

    I usually wear my pjs around the house or a singlet top & shirts each day. Not much difference between the two!

    Only wear makeup, pretty dress, do my hair & de-fuzz my legs/underarms if there is a big social event on (birthday dinner etc.). Sometimes just the getting ready part is enough to do me in!

    I use an epilator on my legs & underarms. It takes longer than shaving & hurts like waxing but in slow motion. My legs stay smooth for at least 2 weeks and then you cant really see the fuzz until week 4 or 5. They also don't get spikey. Takes a fair amount of energy & time though, even with me sitting on the bathroom floor.

    I have a 'tooth brushing chair' & electric toothbrush. Only really get to them once a day though.
  13. invisible ME

    invisible ME

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    I absolutely love my loungewear. While I am not always able, I find that it helps me psychologically to "get dressed" each day. So I have my PJs (flannel bottoms, nightshirts, etc) and my loungewear. I am slowly building a collection of lounge-y stuff that is comfy, stretchy and good for layering (necessary for my temperature dysregulation). Must be machine washable. There's a lot available now like this. I'm guessing it wasn't designed with us home/bedbound chronics in mind, but it works great :) Some of the workout/yoga wear is good, too.

    H&M sells some cute stuff (I don't have one where I live, but a friend has sent me a few pieces), and the GAP has a line called Gap Body which is really soft and lightweight. Plus, they have great clearance prices and online shopping. This kind of stuff is probably available in most department stores. (I live in Canada and the Loblaws (grocery chain) sells a line of clothes called Joe Fresh which has a great selection and is super cheap.)

    In the old days, I would never have ventured out in public in leggings, PJs or even sweatpants, but all that has changed. I don't get out much at all, so I guess the upside is I can wear whatever I want. There has to be some upside to throwing the make-up, regular haircuts, daily showering, etc out the window - right?
  14. cgstar4

    cgstar4

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  15. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    Great thread. It pretty much mirrors what I do, but it's nice to hear that other people have made the same adaptations.

    The only tip I can add is about toothbrushing. Even with an electric toothbrush, I find it hard to stand and brush. Usually I take it turns: shower one day and brush the next. My dentist and oral hygienist are more aware and knowledgeable about ME/CFS and (especially) fibromyalgia than my doctors, maybe because my hygienist's sister has fibro. So I told her that I floss every day, because I can do that while reclining, but I had trouble brushing daily. She said not to worry about toothpaste, to just keep a toothbrush by my chair and dry brush when I'm not up to standing. I do that, and only use the electric toothbrush and paste every couple of days (or more, if I'm crashed). It must be working, because my gums are healthier now than before I got sick. Now when I go in for my check-ups, they say "just keep doing whatever you're doing." I do brush before I go out, so my breath won't smell bad.

    I gave up shaving my armpits ages ago. I don't display my pits in public, and if the medical people who see my pits don't like it, too bad for them. I do shave my legs if they're going to be uncovered, but that isn't often except in the hottest weather.

    I get dressed and put shoes on every day, for psychological reasons. I may not be well enough to leave the house, but if I ever AM well enough, I'll be ready! Getting dressed is my way of saying "maybe today will be the day I'm well enough." Plus...well, you know, it's funny: you know how annoying it can be when people say "You don't LOOK sick"? But when I look at myself, I don't want to look sick. Having different day clothes and night clothes gives me a feeling of normalcy, I guess. Some days, like when I'm trying to get up enough energy to shower, I may not get dressed until afternoon, but I do get dressed.
  16. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Your healthy gums comment reminded me of an article I read recently that mentioned that Vitamin C is good for your gums!

    Besides Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant, so that is anthor good reason for ME/CFS sufferers to take Vitamin C. I have only recently added this supplement to my regiment. It's not expensive and it can help prevent/shorten getting colds!

    GG
  17. Evangelina

    Evangelina

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    What an awesome thread! I use the "barn method." When I was well enough to be around horses I learned how to get 1 very muddy, disgusting animal moderately presentable within a 10 minute window. The basics of this are:
    1. Know what you intend to do at the end (are you going riding or just knocking some mud off?)
    2. decide what the the must do's are and decide on the the can waits (a horse doesn't have to have a properly trimmed bridle path, but the feet had better be well looked after.)
    3. Save irregular jobs for special occasions (don't braid a mane for a show if all you really want to do is a casual ride)
    4. make a plan (start at the top front and work your way down and back)
    5. execute accordingly (don't get sidetracked)

    So - I shower and hair wash only when I go to church or when company is coming over (works out to about 1/ week or so)
    I have moderately long blond, exceptionally curly and very thick thick hair. Ergo, I employ the use of two braids (ala Heidi) which can be worn for about 4 days before they need to be rebraided.

    I never wear makeup. And since I never go outside I don't even need sunscreen.

    I brush my teeth about 3 - 4 times a week. Armpits get shaved year-round via the sink method; however legs get done in summer only.

    I live in PJs and t shirts. I oreder pjs from places with good reps and honestly I have some down-right pretty pjs. I order t-shirts from sites that do custom work. My fav. is a pink camo. that say's 'Fatigued' I rarely wear shoes - so I have a collection of wacky socks.

    I have my laundry and sheets washed by my family. Every meal except breakfast is prepped by family (or I would starve). (Hoorah for cereal.)

    If I ever get better I am going to shower daily and wear makeup and possibly paint my toenails a vibrant red!
  18. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    If you don't have crazy hair like I do, those all in one body soap and shampoo products are convenient and lather up pretty quickly. My husband uses these. I hear you about the shaving. Why bother if no one can see. Although, I am starting to get one eye brow. Not good. The only time I am embarrassed about looking a little sasquachy or chewbachy (whatever you prefer) is when I go to the doctor's office and have to put on that robe. I also do not wear makeup and try to keep my hair shorter so I won't have to extend so much energy brushing it.

    I have problems with bottled laundry detergent. I can't keep my hands gripped on heavy bottles and always drop them. We found some laundry squares that look like those dryer softner sheets but they have detergent on them. They work well. Also, for the few times I can get to cleaning, I use a swifter mop. It is light and easy. That's not about hygeine but it is so awesome I had to mention it.

    Also, a shower chair is a must for when you can't get through an entire shower without feeling like your going to fall over.

    I have lost two teeth now because I have not been able to care for them the way I used to and because my mouth is so dry. I live in a small town in Wyoming so it's all good. Lot's of people are missing teeth :). Sorry if you live in Wyoming.

    Warning about not cleaning certain areas: I battle with UTI's whenever I go more than 3 days without a shower and they are hard to get over. I also get them whenever I use any soap but Dove. Unscented Dove soap is the only soap I can use now. Further, products that once worked, like clinique face wash, now make my skin bright red, give me a rash, and make my skin sting all day. And, I am in the process of trying to find a lotion that won't make me swell up since unscented lubriderm no longer works. Any lotion suggestions?

    I haven't worn jewlry in 10 years because it makes me break out in tiny blisters. Don't miss it though.
  19. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    for lotion, it's not cheap, but try Burt's Bees Buttermilk (I have a friend that this is the only thing she can use), or Aubrey unscented (their stuff is good if you can do soy but watch out for the scents), or Avalon Olive and Grapeseed unscented (it does have a scent but I think they didn't add fragrance).

    Or if you don't have MCS and you just want unscented and something cheaper, try Eucerine cream (good for diaper rash and adult irritations, too).
  20. sandralee

    sandralee

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    I can't tell you how much better I feel about myself after reading this thread.

    I've never wanted to admit to the hygiene compromises that surviving this illness dictates, and it is so reaffirming to read the experiences of you all. I can see myself in many of the posts.

    Thanks Dainty for starting this thread, and to the other gals and guys for sharing your stories.

    Sandra

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