How do I adult: Showering

Conditioning your hair

If you have longer hair, you will probably want to condition it. If you aren’t comfortable conditioning at this point, you can use a shampoo and conditioner-in-one product. However, if you are going to use a conditioner, hopefully this will help.

At this point we are starting with hair that is wet and clean and thoroughly rinsed.

Work it in

Use around the same amount of conditioner as shampoo. Depending on your hair you may want to experiment with using more or less, but don’t worry about that right away. As with the shampoo, always remember to close the bottle and put it back where it was once you’ve gotten out what you need.

In general, conditioner is used in a much gentler way than shampoo. Smooth it onto your hair and down the ends. You will generally need more on the ends than on the top, and you don’t need to worry about your roots at all. Use your fingers to work it all the way through your hair. If you have long hair, it will help if you pull your hair forward over your shoulder to work on it. If you want, you can use a wide-toothed comb like this one to comb your hair as you go, which will help you get the conditioner all through your hair. Once it’s all the way through, you will generally want to let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it back out.

Rinse it out

Rinsing out conditioner is much the same as rinsing out shampoo, but can be a bit slower. Just to review: stand with your back to the water, tilt your head as far back as you can, and move so that you feel the water on the very top of your forehead. Start rinsing from the top, and use your hands to move your hair around so that everything rinses out. Slowly tilt your head forward, rinsing and moving your hair around as you go. Remember to rinse the sides as well, and make sure to rinse your hair all the way to the ends.

Your hair will feel a lot more slippery after it is conditioned, and it can be hard to tell when it’s properly rinsed. One thing that can help is to pinch a lock of hair in your fingertips and then run your fingers down it for at least a few inches. Then rub your fingers together to feel if anything other than water is on them. If nothing came off your hair onto your fingers, then your hair is rinsed.

Conditioning summary

1. Get conditioner onto your palm.
2. Smooth conditioner onto your hair. If you wish, use a wide tooth comb to help.
3. Rinse thoroughly.

Next up, washing your face.


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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!