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1st November
written by Randy

I’ve been a bit hesitant to share this with everyone, because people can be pretty judgemental sometimes, and often rather stuck in habits and beliefs that they’ve been taught and have never questioned. But after some thought, I think anyone who’s going to judge me already has plenty to judge me for, and anyone who doesn’t already think I’m crazy isn’t going to change that based on what follows.

So, here’s the thing: I’ve made a few changes recently, regarding personal hygiene, and I’ve been much better off for doing so. The first of those things was a little embarrassing when I first tried it, but has made a big improvement in my life: shaving my armpits.

I’ll wait for you to stop laughing.

So yeah. I started shaving my underarms. Not all the way down to skin, but buzzed down to about a quarter-inch. The difference it makes is dramatic: no more sweaty pit stains. No more damp underarms on my shirts, for everyone to see.

After reading about underarm shaving at Wandering Earl, I decided it was worth a try. It just made sense. Without that hair to carry sweat to your shirt, the shirt stays dry… and the sweat spreads out more evenly on the surrounding skin, where it evaporates much faster. I still use deodorant, but I’ve also noticed that I use much less now. I’m sold, it works, and I’m happier.

And speaking of things that just make sense, I later found this post about giving up soap at Sean Bonner’s blog, I really wanted to try that, too. But I’ll admit I was a little less eager.

Fortunately, someone else I know tried it and was quite happy about the difference, and after that I was sold. As soon as my last job ended, I stopped using soap and shampoo. And now, three weeks later, I couldn’t be happier.

For the first two weeks, I had to fight the urge to use soap, because I wasn’t accustomed to the way my skin felt, and I actually did give in and use it once after the first week. But now, I feel great, I don’t itch, my skin is smoother, my complexion is better, and ladies tell me they like the way I smell. Seriously!

The hardest thing to get used to was actually my hair. For the first two weeks, my hair just felt greasy and dirty, all the time. I was beginning to think it was all B.S., but I gave it a chance and I’m glad I did. Now, my hair feels softer and cleaner than ever, and that dirty feeling is gone. The difference is amazing. I feel like I’ve been lied to my whole life. Forget shampoo and conditioner… just let your body do what it was made to do!

I still wash my hands with soap — I’d be a fool not to — but that’s it. Now I only buy handsoap, and have no need of different bath soaps and body scrubs. I spend less, feel better, and live happier. And as a bonus, my bathroom is much emptier, and the shower stays cleaner without all that soap scum!

  • Robby Kukurs

    Been shaving armpits since my late teens and it’s just common sense to me – no smell, no hassle. I can’t really understand why so many men consider it to be something unmanly. Is smelling like a horse towards the end of the day one of the factors that what makes as into men? :-) )

    As for the soap and shampoo thing – I’ve heard about it too. Apparently our skin is designed to maintain its healthy, natural balance throughout millennia!

  • Randy the Yearlyglot

    I don’t know how people feel about shaving underarms outside of the US, but I know that it’s very much the realm of feminine hygiene here in the US. But I’m much happier since deciding to do it.

  • Earl

    Well, you know that I wasn’t laughing about your decision! Glad to see you gave this a try. The difference it makes is quite significant as you have discovered.

    And I have not heard about the soap/shampoo idea. I’ll go ahead and read the post you linked to and see if I can be convinced. I must say that I am intrigued by the idea.

    Thanks for the mention as well!

  • Randy the Yearlyglot

    Don’t worry about the mention…. thanks for writing about it at your blog, where I learned it in the first place!

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  • doviende

    Nice post. I too have found that my hair is much more pleasant when I don’t use shampoo….although I do sometimes use it when I’ve been hanging around a campfire and I want the smoke smell gone. Thanks for the further tips. I’ve been cutting my own hair and beard with an electric trimmer for years, so I just gave my armpits a buzz and I’ll see how it goes.

  • Randy the Yearlyglot

    I predict that you’re going to be a convert. :)

  • cmsadler

    I actually don’t use deodarant or anti-perspirant, and haven’t for years. I just shave, nearly every day. If you don’t have hair there, there is less surface area for bacteria to grow and smell. And I rarely smell. I typically exercise first thing in the morning, shower and go on with the rest of my day.

    I’m now experimenting with minimal soapage, and shampooing about 3 times a week, no conditioner, no styling gel. My morning routine has gotten shorter because of it.

  • Yuri Karabatov

    Thanks for the link to the no-soap post, I’ll try it.

    And I wanted to say I didn’t laugh :) It’s really much more hygienic this way.

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