How do I adult: Showering

Washing your hair

Now that your hair is all the way wet, it’s time to wash it. You’ll need to take the bottle of shampoo, open it, squeeze some shampoo onto the palm of your hand, close the bottle, and set it back where it was.

How much shampoo do I use?

This will depend a lot on how much hair you have and how dirty it is. You will have to experiment to find out how much shampoo is right for your hair. However, to get you started:

Hair that is less than 4” long: You probably don’t need more than a nickle or quarter size amount of shampoo.
Hair that goes down to your shoulders: Try around a half-dollar sized amount.
Hair that goes halfway down your back: Around half a handful.
Hair that reaches your butt: A small handful.

Shampoo and suds

Rub the shampoo between your palms to distribute it across your hands. If you are using a lot of shampoo because you have lots of hair or your hair is very dirty, you might just want to pour some of it from one hand to the other.

Rub your hands onto your hair to get the shampoo on your hair. Remember to rub the shampoo onto ALL of your hair! The top, sides, back, and ends, though the ends are usually not very important for washing. Using your fingers, rub and move your hair around vigorously to get the shampoo down to your scalp and the roots of your hair. At this point, there should be a lot of shampoo suds on your hands and all over your hair.

Once you’ve gotten your hair nice and sudsy, it’s time to rinse it off.

Rinsing your hair

You should start rinsing at the top of your head and slowly move down. So once again tilt your head back as far as it will go, and move so that your head is in the water and you can feel it hitting the very top of your forehead. Use your hands to move your hair around so that the water can rinse off all the shampoo, not just what’s on the surface of your hair. Slowly tilt your head forward, rinsing very thoroughly as you go. Also tilt to the sides again to get the suds off the sides of your hair as well.

Should I wash my hair twice?

I generally believe in only washing your hair once unless it is very very dirty. So in general, just stick with washing it once and you should be fine. If very few suds formed the first time you washed it, then it might need a second washing, or you may need to experiment with using a little more shampoo in the future.

Summary of shampooing

1. Get shampoo onto the palm of your hand.
2. Rub shampoo into your hair. ALL of your hair.
3. Rinse out thoroughly.
4. Wash twice only if necessary.

Next up, conditioning!

If your hair is less than 4” long and you are not going to condition, you can skip to page 4.


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7 responses to “How do I adult: Showering

  1. I have a LOT of trouble showering with any kind of regularity. It’s not the steps that confuse me, though. If anything, it’s because I see ALL the steps I need to do, and it wears me out before I even start. Executive function issues don’t exactly help, either.

    • I definitely hear you there. That’s actually pretty much why I put the basic steps on their own pages – it really helps if you can find a way to only focus on the step you are doing, and maybe the one right after.

      • I wish I could! But I’m always afraid I’ll run out of energy halfway and then I’ll be standing there with my hair full of soap and no energy to dry off and get clothes on. Scary!

        • Ohh, that sounds like a spoons thing! Yeah, that makes it a lot trickier.

          I wonder if I could come up with a post talking about managing spoons.

  2. Great post, can’t wait to see more of the series.

    A few notes I’d like to make:
    1: If you have very short hair, e.g. less than 1 inch, the shower cap may not be necessary as your hair will dry very quickly anyway. I also happen to like the sensation of the water hitting my scalp so I don’t use one. And I know this will mostly apply to males

    2: There are other options to a washcloth. Sponges and loofahs (or luffas) can be used if you prefer the texture.

    3: I also keep a small scrubbing brush in the shower for particularly persistent dirt and for getting under my fingernails.

    • These are all very good points!

      On point 2 – I was trying to find a good balance between details and options, and not giving so many options that it looks overwhelming. I’m still figuring out how to do this, and the washcloth portion was definitely one of the toughest. There are just SO many options for what to use to wash one’s body. I also left out liquid soap (which goes well with loofahs) and other types of soap preferences people might have (I am very picky and only use hand made, cold process soaps). Also, sometimes people with long hair can skip conditioning – I rinse my hair with vinegar, and my bf, who has very long hair, oils it with olive oil once a week. Neither of us condition.

      So yeah. I definitely left out a lot of options, but I feared it would be overwhelming to people who are struggling how to figure out showering at all.

    • Oh, also. THANK YOU! I’m so glad you like the post!