Gustavo Linhares

A Millennial’s Guide To Showering

Maybe you’ve been taking baths your whole life and just moved into a place with a shower. Maybe you have amnesia. Maybe you are 8 years old. Who better to write a guide to showering than a Millennial who is a former Bard College student? 

Anyway, Millennials love showering, unless you went to Bard College in the 2000s. As a hippie school, showering is discouraged. Friends of mine and I decided that we would not shower until somebody spoke up that they smelled bad or, looking at them, changed your default face.

Unless you are at Bard College in the 2000s, Millennials really do love showering. They’re all about feeling sexy and having silky hair. This was the generation for whom was invented Shower To Shower, a body powder for preteens too young for regular deodorant, and body splash, a perfume to spritz all over your body after showering. Bath And Body Works products were common gifts to Millennial friends around the holidays in middle school, and for Millennial birthdays as well. The company Lush started in 1995, to give us Millennials a more high-end showering experience when we had a bit more money in college.

As a professional gardener, I have actually learned a lot about showering effectively, and some of the results might be surprising. When you’re covered in soil from head to toe, you start to really notice how to be as thorough with showering as you are with fine pruning. It’s probably like that stuff I’ve heard other generations put on their kids’ teeth before brushing, to make sure they were brushing correctly by getting it all off. It was like red goop?

Anyhow, the first thing you’ll need is a clean bath towel. Millennials even knew this in college. Previous generations, I’ve heard, thought, “Well, if I go in, to shower, with my clothes, carrying a towel, and the towel just touches my clean body afterwards, the towel never gets dirty, right?” Wrong. Towels have lots of soap and shampoo residue on them that are sticky and attract dust. Start fresh with a clean towel at least once a week.

Next, you’ll want a clean shower. Previous generations, I’ve heard, thought, “Well, if I’m using all this soap in the shower, the shower is always clean, right?” Wrong. The water left in the shower attracts fungus. You’ll need to use an antifungal cleaner on your shower at least once every two weeks.

To touch on the showering part, you’ll need at least soap and shampoo. These are the bare minimums. Another showering product that was popularized by Millennials is the loofah. You put soap onto this said loofah, which is a spongy, coral reef-like net, and then squish it a little to work up some lather, and then press it into your body and swipe every nook and cranny. The netting exfoliates your skin, which means it is removing dead skin cells, leaving your skin softer-looking, and less homeless-looking.

Honestly, I don’t have any particular soap recommendations. I often use Dove bar soap because it is so inexpensive to buy in bulk. When I have a little extra dough, Lush’s Sultana is really nice-smelling and leaves your skin super soft. I wish they still made Kiss My Face in patchouli to smell like a ‘90s hippie. I know a lot of guys who use Irish Spring. Basically, I feel they’re all more similar than different.

Shampoo recommendations are totally different, though. I basically only recommend Pert Plus. Now, they call it 2-in-1 shampoo conditioner, but it’s still just shampoo. It’s really inexpensive. The more expensive you go with shampoo—for instance, the shampoos I get as gifts for Chanukah—the more the shampoo leaves residue on your hair, which makes it look dirty instead of stripping away the bad stuff. Honestly, Pert Plus is so good I sometimes use it all over my body. We’re mammals, right? So like deer and dogs and whales, we’re covered in hair, right? So wouldn’t shampoo work everywhere? Put some Pert Plus on it.

Make sure the water is a comfortable temperature. Probably people vary a lot on shower water temperature comfort. Then, put a dime-sized to 4-quarter-sized squirt of shampoo on your hand. It depends on how much hair you have. Work the shampoo through your hair, and move your fingers in a circular motion all over your scalp. Pretend you are really uptight about it. Brushing your hair with shampoo in it is an option and can depend on your hair type, because some very nice hair types are unbrushable in the shower. You can even leave your shampoo in for a while as a sort of mask on days that you have been making soil for the botanical garden in the potting shed.

Conditioner is optional at this point. Some people think it weighs their hair down and gives it less volume and bounce. Some people think conditioner makes their hair look greasier and less shiny. I recommend using conditioner away from your scalp, putting in only a small amount, or not leaving it in your hair for very long as a compromise. A deep conditioning experience can happen by leaving the product in your hair for up to five minutes. Conditioner does make your hair more brushable and silky to the touch out of the shower. No conditioner recommendation here, either, but probably cheaper is better.

You’ll want to soap after conditioning, because you don’t want your body covered in conditioner all day. We already explained the whole loofah product. I like exfoliating bath gloves. The only thing left to discuss is the order in which you soap. I would say butt last. Then you can throw your loofah into the laundry hamper to wash. They’re so inexpensive, it’s not a big deal to have a bunch in the bathroom.

I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is when you shower at least once daily. Enjoy.