Unwashed and Uncut

The kids have been home for four days, the county having graciously decided to take Monday, the day after Halloween, as a teacher in-service day, so we could deal with the candy aftermath ourselves.  I’ve carved out as much time as I could for some creative writing, fending off the more or less constant interruptions of doorbell, telephone and small-voiced entreaties with the response that unless it’s a broken leg, it would have to wait.

I haven’t broken my Fragrance Fidelity vows yet.  Join me back here on Monday when we survey the carnage and report on our week of wearing the same scent.  In the meantime by way of apology, here are links to two interesting stories from the Sunday New York Times.  The first is all about the bold new trend of American people – horrors! – not washing their hair or bodies every day, declining to anoint themselves in scented BBW product or (double horrors!) skipping deodorant!  It’s an interesting (if somewhat glib) discussion of our national obsession with cleanliness and body odor, as well as some scientific arguments for why less bathing might be good for us.

The Great Unwashed

This article resonated with me.  Since the Big Cheese is away and can’t do a darned thing about it, here’s an informational gem: he’s a jock, a regular dude, and to the best of my knowledge he has never used an underarm product.  I think he views them as a girly thing; what’s next, shaving his armpits?  Wearing a bra?  I can honestly say that based on my 20+ years of experience, the man’s armpits are non-lethal.  Sometimes he sweats; he showers after a workout.  But he simply doesn’t stink.  Ever.  I think it’s a body chemistry thing, because … well, I do smell sweaty, sometimes, and not in a glorious, new Femme way.  It’s why I wear deodorant daily.

He and I are both fond of the restorative, Winston Churchill-esque bath (sans cigar) in the wintertime when we are feeling the blues, but we don’t bathe to excess.  I’m not a sweaty person generally, and my hair and skin are on the dry side.  When my hair was bright red, my stylist would ask my secret for making the color last so long.  I’d answer that I didn’t wash it, and she’d laugh, but I wasn’t really joking.   I wash my hair twice a week, maybe.  More often than not it just gets a rinse with spring water, and that’s pretty much it.  And unlike some of you, I don’t want or use scented body product.  I have no moral objection or chemical fear; rather, it interferes with the perfumage.

If that article doesn’t do anything for you, here’s another I enjoyed on the recurring debate about older women with long (sometimes very long) and, often, undyed hair.

Why Can’t Middle-Aged Women Have Long Hair?

Long gray hair on older women seems to provoke a gut-level, vituperative disgust in some people that surprises me.  Actually, I’m so old-school in that area that like Miss Manners I consider long hair (worn up, of course) to be the norm, not the shocking exception that short hair is (remember, only loose women bob their hair).  I’m wearing short hair now, for a number of reasons, but I don’t see who I’d be hurting if I grew it long again.   Fashion dictates like this are strange.

image: New York Times, 10/31/10

  • fleurdelys says:

    Both articles resonated with me. It has long been my opinion that Americans are overly obsessed with destroying any type of natural odor on the body (encouraged by the companies that manufacture soap, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, etc.). There’s a big difference between one’s normal skin smell, and the unpleasant odor caused by sweat and bacteria. Everyone has to decide for her/himself what is best – and be honest! In general, I’ll shower and wash my hair every other day. However, I’m a yoga teacher and practice a lot, so if I’m sweaty, I’ll shower; I may wait to wash my hair though, as it has gotten dryer as I’ve gotten older. I’ve decided to try the baking soda wash/cider vinegar rinse hair wash method for a month to see if I like it. A few months ago I started using a deodorant stone, which seems to work fine on me.

    One thing not mentioned in the “Unwashed” article is the cleanliness of one’s clothes. I think many people who smell a bit rank are trying to squeeze one more wearing out of that shirt, or their socks or underwear. Even on a clean body, a garment that has picked up your skin cells, perspiration, and bacteria is not going to smell fresh. My opinion is: don’t push it, just toss it in the wash or the dry cleaning. (By the way, my husband and I have been making our own laundry soap mixture for the last several months – I like it because I think our clothes are much softer and don’t have that awful chemical-laundry-musks smell).

    As for my hair, in August of 2009 I stopped coloring and cutting it. I’m 54, and sick of the age-ism directed at women over 40. I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and let my graying hair grow out (oddly enough, there’s not a whole lot of gray yet, just a slight silver sheen added to my natural ash-brown color). It’s down to my shoulder blades now. I was tired of my mid-length bob anyway, and thought it was inconvenient and too much effort to style. I get a lot of variety out of my longer hair, and can wear it in a ponytail, a chignon, a French twist, or a French braid, all of which I think look nice on me.

  • Kate says:

    Cathy the scent lockets lady is my grey hair mentor! I hope mine end up like that. Also the lockets are wonderful.


    If I don’t shower in the morning, I basically cannot wake up.

  • Austenfan says:

    I was especially interested in the article about long hair. My shoulder length hair is slowly going gray.
    I have never had so many comments on my hair since this has started. Apparently gray hair is no longer socially acceptable as the majority of western women dye theirs. I refuse. My hair is very thick,curly and dry but still shiny. I think dying it would make it even more difficult to manage. I have a wire haired dog and my hair is about as wiry as hers is. I don’t have a beard or moustache however.

    I am still enjoying my vintage Nina bye the way.

  • tammy says:

    Resident hillbilly checking in here…I grew up without running water; showering is a joy for me! I, too, have fibro, so I take hot showers twice daily, just about every day, and I am also one of the oily ones who needs to wash their hair daily. I do think if it weren’t thinning so badly, and I had a different style, I could get away with every other day, but I’ve got a big ol’ bucket head inherited from the Viking ancestors, and the only styles that flatter me require daily suds-ing. I definitely need deodorant, though I can get away with forgetting a day before I notice any odor.

    Both my parents shower/wash hair twice a week. My mama has never worn deodorant. She has no smell of any kind about her. I have a very keen sense of smell, and can detect a distinct smell on just about everyone who gets near enough to me, but she has no scent whatsoever. I find it rather odd.

    I think ladies should wear their hair however they feel like it. I suspect that older ladies who don’t look good in long hair probably didn’t look all that good it in when they were younger either, but no one noticed it then.

  • minette says:

    i shower pretty much every day, and wash my hair each time. i’ve tried the “just rinse it with water” technique, and it leaves my hair icky and flat, so no-go. i use burt’s bees shampoos, which don’t contain the sodium lauryls and don’t break out my scalp. my hair is happy and so am i.

    my hair is also short and (right now) spiky in places – i whacked it off from a long, shaggy bob a while back to grow out the stupid color i’d put on it and to see how much silver was coming in. not as much as i’d expected or wanted, actually. am toying with growing it out to bob-length just for a change. but i will never try the long hair thing again – not because of my age or because i have some silver in it, but because my hair has never been heavy enough to do a solid curtain. when it’s long, it always parts over my shoulder, or leaves gaps you can see through. i have thick hair, but it’s just very fine and doesn’t make a good curtain. i think long hair looks best when it’s a solid curtain that moves as one. with mine, i was always pulling it back into a clip or a ponytail anyway, so long hair is pretty pointless for me.

    i get more compliments on my short hair styles than i ever did on any of my longer styles anyway. but i always get a modern-looking cut. if you’re getting older and getting some silver like me, short hair is a great option, but only if you keep it kicky and modern. a boring or dated cut will make you look dumpy and, well, older.

    regarding deodorants, i now use a mineral deodorant from whole foods – lafe’s natural and organic – that is awesome and hasn’t failed me yet, even in this hot, humid climate (houston). first thing i’ve tried that really, really,really works. i’ve had to get used to feeling wet under my arms (used to use antiperspirants) but not stinking, but not stinking is great. highly recommend.

  • Mellisu says:

    I can go what seems likes months and never see any gray haired women here in Texas! The law says one must be at least 80; so I think the NYT article misses cultural/regional differences.

  • Heather B says:

    I have uber long thick wavy hair that turns into a frizz ball if I wash more than once a week. But showers I cant skip, I’ll just slather on extra lotion and pop some vitamin E to prevent dry skin. I think most people look better with long hair, even a lot of men. My friend Kathy, who is in her fifties, has thick below shoulder length hair that is solid white. It’s gorgeous,you couldn’t dye it that color. I doing Gres Cabaret for the signature perfume week challenge. It’s about the perfect fall fragrance ever.

  • odonata9 says:

    I’ve had long hair just about forever. I noticed, maybe when I was babysitting as a teen, that all the moms had short hair and vowed that I would always keep mine long. Maybe they thought “Now i’ve got kids, I don’t have time or energy to maintain longer hair, so I’ll just cut it off?” Note I don’t have kids, but of my 3 friends who have had kids in the last 2 years, all 3 have cut their hair short since having the kids. I’ve also started dying my hair to cover my grays. It’s not so much that I think i look old – I just don’t think it looks good!

    As for the showering – I shower, wash my hair and blow it dry every day, mostly because my finicky hair demands it in order to look decent. I’ve been trying to take a day off from hair washing and/or drying once a week just to be nicer to my hair.

  • Claudia says:

    My hair is also thin & limp – and wavy and short. All the women in the WENN commercials have longer hair. The only person I see with short hair is a guy. I’ve always wondered if it would work so well on short hair, say, chin length.

  • Disteza says:

    I’m one of those at least once a day, if not more, shower-indulgers. With all the working out and fencing and dancing, I have to. I began to notice right around the time I turned 25 an unfortunate ‘odeur’ developed the more I sweated; it smells almost exactly like taco seasoning. I find it highly amusing, as I mostly eat nothing but plain ol’ spinach.
    I also am plagued by the fine hair/greasy scalp condition, and I gotta tell you, if I don’t shampoo, it looks like I’ve dunked my hair in Crisco.

    • tammy says:

      “it smells almost exactly like taco seasoning”

      It’s the cumin in taco seasoning that smells like that, and it’s why all cumin fragrances smell too much like armpit for my taste!

      • Disteza says:

        There’s something cuminy, fer sure, but there’s more to it than that. Bit o’ onion, bit o’ sweet chili powder too. So not stinky armpit cumin, but more like “Did you just eat tacos before working out?”
        Of course, whenever I wear any scent with cumin, that’s the number one thing you smell. And I do some horrible things to rather innocuous accords like sandalwood.

  • Illdone says:

    I’m convinced that women who love perfume could never live with being smelly or dirty. As most people who have a deep love for perfume I’m also susceptible for anything stinky (armpits, feet, whatever) I sometimes shower twice a day, sometimes I do not.
    Concerning Europe and the older women appreciation thing, I’m not so sure. I think there are gorgeous young women and gorgeous older ones. It’s a certain “je ne sais quoi” thing that keeps men looking appreciative at you, not your age.
    Still wondering what that WEN-thing for fine hair is. Must google.
    Enjoyed reading all of your stories by the way, I’m starting to paint a mental (and physical) picture with every name that reoccurs.

  • barbara says:

    …over 55, hair down my back(ponytail or up) and organic deodorant-anything else burns and stains.Two things bring me to near hysteria-cutting my hair and/or the thought of wearing one fragrance-or losing my collection of fragrances…..and no, I do not wash my hair every day.No sweat, no smell, which I attribute to genetics-and an organic, minimal meat and gluten free diet

  • Kym says:

    I lower my head in shame when I admit, that when I’m not working (I’m a freelancer), I do not shower every day. And, I rather like it. Sometimes I allow myself to get a little funky. Adding to this shame, even when I am working, I don’t wash my hair very often. This is largely because I have long, thick hair which takes forever to get wet enough to suds up and equally take forever to dry. I do, however, enjoy a deodorant…

  • Dionne says:

    Count me in as another who looks baaaaaad in long hair. Really, really bad. I look like a man in drag, thanks to my strong jaw and “rectangular” face. Ironically, short hair looks very feminine on me and I find it far easier to style because of the natural body it has – five minutes with a blowdryer and I’m good. I do envy those who can wear long hair though, I find the feeling of it against your neck and across your face very sensuous. If you can carry it off, go for it.

    Like others here, I have a husband who doesn’t need deodorant at all, but I HAVE to or I’m smelling rank by noon. Thankfully it’s not as bad as when I was a teenager (wore the strongest deodorant on the market at that time and was still had armpit stains on my SWEATERS), but I do envy my husband’s chemistry.

  • jen says:

    My favorite aunt had hair to her waist til she died; wore it in a bun and took it down at night. She was beautiful. I have short hair but it isnt because it is time to or anything. It just looks better on me.

  • Aparatchick says:

    I shower every day …. because I like it! It’s a pleasure to stand there with warm water streaming over me from my rainfall showerhead. My dream bathroom has a huge walk-in shower with one of those nozzle arrangements that has water coming at you from all sides.

    Oh, and also because I live in Florida where you can get hot and sweaty going from your air-conditioned car to your air-conditioned office. Ugh. When I read the article I flashed back to NYC this summer when the subway platforms were about 110 and people were visibly sweaty, and thought “No deodorant? No shower? No problem, just don’t sit next to me on public transportation in the summer.”

    The article about long hair? That stumped me. I’d never considered that there’s anything odd or unacceptable about long hair on an older woman. Even though I have the pixie cut she refers to. If I ever decided I want my hair to be long, it’ll be long like Rapunzel’s. And if anyone tells me that’s unacceptable in woman of my age, well, they’ll be smart enough not to say it twice. ;-)

  • Shelley says:

    Read both of those articles, as it happens, and reflected upon them muchly. (Hence, I was poised and ready to jump in an yammer with others, as I did above. ;) )

    It seems like all those rules have at least as much to do with establishing propriety and age as they do with common sense and flattering looks. Frankly, if I were to get uptight about age appropriateness and appearance, I’d worry more about keeping boys in knickers and girls out of bustiers until they’re, oh, I don’t know, at least old enough to hop skip and jump. Which is to say, I guess, why not protect innocence for a while, but once we’re grown up, let’s not worry about hiding the fact whether or not we still “do it.”

    Like I said, I’d been ruminating already. :)

    I had a friend who immigrated from Russia, an older woman, cautiously and quietly ask me one day how often I washed my hair. It turns out she had mentioned in conversation that she did not was hers every day, and was thoroughly chastized. So we talked about conventions and cleanliness and I solemnly promised to tell her if her hair ever looked greasy. Which it didn’t. And, as I joked, we shared a music stand…so I’d be able to tell her if there were any other “issues.” Detergents are NOT good for hair. Selling product, however, is good for stylists who have a sundries quota and corporate accountants hoping to improve the bottom line.

    • Musette says:

      yup! it’s like laundry detergent! I read a NYT article (I think it was NYT) where it was determined that something like half? of all the washer breakdowns are due to (wait for it) TOO MUCH DETERGENT!

      it’s like dog-food servings. If I went with the ‘recommended’ serving for Carmine, he would weigh 300 lbs!

      and on…and on….

      xo >-)

  • Bev says:

    I’m 61, have a soft auburn hairgoing with a few highlights to match my natural “skunk stripe.” My hair varies from to a couple of inches above the shoulder to shoulder length. Right now I’m rockin a Veronica Lake kind of do, only a bit messy. I think these over 40- 50 whatever rules are ridiculous. Look at yourself objectively and assess what is appropriate for YOU.
    At one point I had cancer and I cut my hair very short. I kept it that way for a while, simply because it suited me. Now, I’m glorying in having longer hair with a bit of swing.
    Do what feel good for you. Life can be short. Enjoy it and all of the myriad perfumes that are available. Bathe when you need or want to, same thing with hair washing. Let it be simple but one perfume for a week doesn’t do it for me!

  • Teri says:

    I’m in my mid-50s and my hair just dusts my shoulders. And this is as short as it’s ever been. I’m a natural blonde, so rather than getting discernibly grey, my hair just keeps getting lighter blonde. Not a bad thing at all. Like many blondes, each of my individual hairs are very fine. But I have a lot of them! The personnel at my salon ooh and aah and tell me how lucky I am every time I go in.

    The secret of having long hair when you’re older is keeping it immaculately groomed. I never miss a cut, defrizz faithfully, and wash it every third day so it’s always super clean and super shiny.. I admit to being a little vain about my hair. It’s always been my best feature. For work, I wear it in a low pony tail or a french braid. The rest of the time, I just tuck it behind my ears and leave it down.

    I can’t wear my hair short. I have a big old Germanic head and a long narrow face. The only time I ever cut my hair short, I looked like Herman Munster with a bad toupee. Honest, it was dreadful.

    Like Madea above, I have fibro. I developed it after a knee replacement last year. So I, too, do the twice daily hot shower. That gives relief when the medications don’t. Prior to the fibro, I showered about every 3rd day, unless I was playing tennis. On the other days, I’d do what we called in college days the ‘pits and sits’ quick washup and call it good enough.

    As to the male species, I don’t mind a guy who smells of good clean sweat. Sweat smell that’s been sitting there a day or two though is NOT acceptable.

    • March says:

      You raised the point I wish I’d gotten to earlier, which is the shape – of you, your hair, your face, your body — is the only argument that makes sense to me. I can get behind the idea that certain styles or lengths of hair will look better or worse depending on people’s head size, face or body shape, the way that some clothing styles look better on women with wider shoulders, or a more defined waist, or more height. To me it’s not a hard and fast rule so much as a reality check, you know? I’m petite. At the end of the day, I probably look better in more fitted, tailored stuff, and when my hair’s long I end up putting it up most of the time, which is tedious. I can work a classic gamine cut. It makes me sad that so many folks view that as “unfeminine.” I think me and my hair look really feminine!

      • Teri says:

        I’ve seen your photos, young lady. There is NOTHING un-feminine about you. I think all these silly old fashion rules went out with the ‘no white after Labor Day’ nonsense.

      • Austenfan says:

        Jean Seberg sported that look in A bout de souffle!

      • sweetlife says:

        Unfeminine. Sure. You and Jean Seberg (is A bout de souffle the same as Breathless?) and Audrey Hepburn and the young (dazzling) Shirley MacClaine and that pin-up that is your avatar and, and, and…

        So silly! If I could do a pixie I’d do it in a hot minute.

        • Austenfan says:

          It is.I seem to remember that Jean Seberg was the first to have that look.
          I love it.( It suits my hair but doesn’t really suit my face. )

  • Catherine says:

    I read that hair article! I regularly “grow it long, then whack it off”; I think I’ve gone through the cycle a half-dozen times since a teenager. As my last hairdresser pointed out, I have enough hair for three people (even when short, a *lot* gets cut away), so it gets heavy and causes headaches. Right now, I’m growing it out, and it’s definitely *long*. I’m loving it, even more than usual. I look better like this, like me, and I think this time I’m keeping it for a good decade. I don’t think it’s what people call stylish, or styled, but I don’t like fuss.

    Still, changes are happening. I’m finding white hairs. Long, white hairs. Just two days ago, I caught the glint of one around my face. I won’t like the boyfriend pull them out; I’m excited by the transformation. White-grey hairs hit all of the women in my family early, except for me. I look forward to seeing what happens.

    I don’t have the sort of lifestyle right now that puts me much in the path of finger-wagging, but I’ve definitely experienced resentment for having long hair. Or for showing other signs of femininity. For decades, I wished I looked hip and “artsy,” rather than traditional feminine. It would have made many things easier. I’ve cut my hair in order to be taken more seriously. I’ve changed my clothes and stopped wearing make-up and all those things. It’s sad. Not anymore. I’m getting too old to try to make other people happy, especially about hair, lipstick, perfume, scarves, jewelry, and hats.

    • Mals86 says:

      My daughter, age 15, has grown her strawberry-blonde hair long and cut it off for Locks of Love FOUR TIMES. (Her hair must grow fast.)

      • Ann N. says:

        Wow! That is so sweet of her, Mals. You have a pretty terrific teen there!

        • Musette says:

          ditto, that! El O ‘s hair grows like a weed (and LONG) but it’s a gorgeous steel-gray – apparently they won’t take gray hair. Alas. Now that we are in a lot of food-grade plants, he has to keep it short.

          xo >-)

  • Mals86 says:

    I do shower every day, but that’s generally because of my hair: it’s fine and straight, shoulder length, and when I don’t wash it every day, it droops. Conditioner only goes on the bottom 2 inches of hair. When I had a perm a few years ago, I washed it every third day and just rinsed and conditioned the other two, because it was dry and a little frizzy.

    And I do use scented body wash, too, because smelling something nice during my seven-minute shower is worth it, and because the scent never lingers on me. I dry off, and it’s pretty much gone. (I’d settle for soap, but our well water is off-the-charts for calcium carbonate, so soap dries me out and leaves horrible scum behind. I’d rather not tackle the tub with a razor blaze to get it off, thanks.)

    Hair length is such a… cultural thing, I think. My mother had, as a teenager, glorious golden-brown hair so long she could sit on it. But this was in the late 50s, and the popular look at the time was short and curly. She got tired of being unfashionable, which is understandable at that age, and of having her braids pulled or her pins pulled out, and she was tired of being called “grandma” or “Heidi,” so one day she came home from school and cut it off at her shoulders. Her mother cried. (When my grandmother died a few years ago, we found Mom’s braid tucked up in a box in her dresser drawer, clearly cherished for decades.)

    And every time I attempted to grow my hair long, she’d pull it back from my face and tell me I looked “so much better” with short hair. Aargh. I did grow it long a few times in my life, but then had the hassle of putting it up and out of my way, so I gave that up.

  • pam says:

    Hey, I’ll stay out of the daily washing debate, but the long hair past 60? Only if it is styled AND if you have enough hair! As we get older, a lot of us have thinning hair (women included). Keeping it shorter makes it look fuller, I think. The long, thin, stringy gray/white hair on the shoulders doesn’t do a lot for me. Sorry.

    • nozknoz says:

      Pam, you’re right – one of my sources of annoyance with that NYT article is that I felt it was on some level a sort of back-handed bragging about STILL HAVING ENOUGH HAIR to wear it long.

      • March says:

        Okay, I hear you on this. But I feel like it lends itself to the “does your hair itself look good?” discussion. If I still had thick hair, I’d be more inclined to go longer, because the hair itself is still pretty. But now it has to be this illusion, it’s too thin, really.

    • Winifreida says:

      My hair has gone thick again after quitting the chemical assaults…

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    First off, I can really identify with Ruanne’s comments. I was 20-30% gray at 25 but am still not completely silver. I tried to cover the gray in my long (bra strap-length)hair with my naturual, very dark color but finally had to give up as the ends (which would naturally redden in the sun) were darker due to the dye. I gave up, cut it to my shoulders and had it professional dyed and highlighted. I am now a light brunette.

    I would have preferred a shocking blonde if my hair would have cooperated. My grandmother, from whom I inherited the color, went gray even earlier and was fully white by her 30s. She looked like a platinum blonde, but said that her hair eventually went white and lost the shine it had.

    As to the bathing, I bathe every day, mostly because my hair looks greasy if I go more than about a day and half. Also, I wear deodorant, because I will develop a distinctly “human” (and not in a good way) smell if I don’t. My husband, on the other hand, bathes every few days and never wears deoderant, but he only rarely smells. He has very dry skin and eczema.

  • tania says:

    I only shampoo every other day, but I shower every day, and use antipersp. I don’t like to skip showers, because I feel grimy at the end of a day. I commute in London, after all! :-) But I can happily skip a few when camping.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Speaking of bathing and scented/unscented: can someone please recommend good unscented body lotion? Lubriderm reformulated their line and now….I’m lost.

    • Style Spy says:

      My fave-or-rite body lotion hands-down is the Jergens Ultra-Healing. Seriously good stuff, and not too expensive. It’s not completely unscented, but the smell is very soft & comforting and disappears quickly.

    • lemonprint says:

      I’m using mark’s unscented body and hand cream (meetmark.com). because the husband’s skin falls off in the winter if it doesn’t get moisturized and he whimpers like a baby if i come at him with anything scented. and on me i want stuff that doesn’t fight with my perfume.

    • March says:

      I know I sound like their shill, but I use the Trader Joe’s Midsummer Night’s Cream, although … it’s labeled “unscented” but does have a nice, light smell to it, probably some herbal ingredient.

      I also use sweet almond oil and/or olive oil right on my skin and hair (yes, I am that dry!) I keep a small bottle of both in the bathroom. You have to be careful not to get oil stains on the clothing but it’s wonderfully emollient after a bath, and you only smell like olive oil for a minute.

    • Kim says:

      Avalon Organics makes 2 unscented lotions – one with aloe vera and one with olive and grapeseed oil. Both work well on my dry skin and don’t fight with any perfumes. Love them both

      • Suzy Q says:

        Thanks, Kim. I’m just reading your response and adding it to my list. Not fighting with my perfume is a big criterion.

  • Ruanne says:

    How I wish I could stop washing my (long) hair. I am well past the age of greasiness, but on the third day, I get a certain scalpy smell that is just not pleasant. I once walked past a woman in the grocery store, who had the same smell, magnified to a power of 10, and I don’t want to be that lady.

    And that long hair article was flying around the e-mail among my friends. Out of 9 of us close friends, 8 of us have seriously long hair, and we’re all somewhere in our 40s. Periodically, we nervously ask each other “Are we getting too old for this?” A couple have done the Locks of Love thing, but first growing it long enough so they were left with at least shoulder length hair after the cut. Oddly, the one woman who had to get a buzz cut after chemo/radiation, looks fantastic with short hair. She never would have tried it, if she didn’t have to, and now the pictures of her with hair look silly.

    And the gray hair thing looms large as well! I’ve been more than 50% gray since I was 25. I mentioned stopping dyeing it then, and my husband confessed that he was not ready. I brought it up again, 20 years later, and my son said “But I always tell my friends what a young mom I have. It’s going to be strange if you show up on my campus with gray hair! Please don’t!”

    That said, this is the year. I am gradually going lighter and a little shorter, in preparation for biting the bullet and growing out the gray this summer. I probably would wait another 10 years if I hadn’t found that I hate myself as a blonde, and I can’t keep up with the roots if I dye it my “real” color- almost black.

    • Suzy Q says:

      Ruanne, go for it. AND find a good stylist. I quit dying mine over a summer five years ago but discovered I didn’t like the gray around my face–it washed me out. So my stylist added color back into my hair near my face. It looks great. Trust me, your son will think you look cool! I get lots of compliments including from *teenagers*. You don’t have to be “all natural” to look “all natural”.

    • March says:

      As I think you know (?) I hacked mine off in a fit of pique last winter and have been very happy with it, although my gray is so badly placed I refuse to quit coloring it quite yet. I too started going gray right out of college and have been coloring it since.

  • Olfacta says:

    Sometimes I’ll try to skip a shower but by mid-day I feel so…icky. Like there is some kind of smelly film all over me. So yeah, I’m a daily-shower advocate, but wash my hair only twice a week or so now, as the color lasts longer.

    I think there were a couple of deodorant-averse trend followers in the seats in front of us on the plane back from NY last week. The girl, who had long hair, flipped it over the seat-back in front of me at one point. Memorable.

    I’ve always read that long straight hair “drags” the face down, emphasizes jowls, crepe-y necks, etc. When my own gets long, like last summer, I usually wear it up because it’s so damned much trouble, which defeats the purpose of long hair, which is…? I forget.

    • March says:

      Ew, over her plane seat? Into your airspace? I’d have tied something to it … the headphone cord, maybe.

      Long hair allows me to skip the haircuts, but I probably spend as much time fussing with it, and I also pay to have it professionally colored, whereas I do the short hair myself. For *me*, now, short is easier.

  • Wordbird says:

    I think long grey or white hair is strikingly lovely regardless of the age of the person wearing it. Many of us find that our hair thins as we age and we aren’t able to wear it long, so I say ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it and sod what people think’.

    And I will cheerfully admit to being what we Brits term a Soap-dodger. Unless I’ve been getting sweaty, I shower 2 or 3 times a week. I do wear deodorant, but I think that’s more from habit than for any other reason.

    One group of people I do think should shower daily is teenagers and young adults – their hormones seem to make them very smelly, and while I don’t think they should feel paranoid about it, I do think it’s important to prevent them becoming anti-socially whiffy. (I’m thinking particularly of teenage boys here!)

    And I’ve been sticking with the challenge – Ava Luxe’s Mousse de Chine is perfect for this. Though I must confess to sniffing atomisers when I come across them. :)

    • March says:

      The teenage boys! Man, what a smell. I don’t own any but the girls lure them home. If there’s more than two here it smells like a fur farm. And I know they’re bathing, bless them. And their shoes! Aiyiyiyi. For awhile I made them leave the shoes outside on the porch, the reek from the mudroom was too much.

      Mousse de Chine sounds perfect.

  • Francesca says:

    My husband never ever smells bad and doesn’t use deodorant. I almost hate him.
    I often take two showers a day, because I like feeling really clean, but I wash my hair only about every four days. It’s still mostly dark, and I don’t color it. It’s also very long (hip-length) but I always wear it up because I’d rather not look like an old hippie. A shorter length is out because it’s fine, and thin in spots and the amount of time I’d require for styling (not to mention a hot flash while using a hairdryer) is just a turn off. It would be a different matter if I had beautiful thick silver hair.

    Not having any problems with the scent challenge. Looking forward to wearing something else, but I do love the one I chose, and I’m not wearying of it.

  • Louise says:

    I just got back from 3 days in the mountains. With a single, very reviving shower. I do sweat, but don’t find me stinky (do you? ; ) My companion works up a real sweat hiking, and yes, there’s an odor, but nothing to be off-putting.

    My skin is drier these days, and as winter comes on, I shower a couple of times a week, mostly just rinsing the hair, a take a comfort bath several nights a week. No scented body products, just me and my perfume.

    I did note that my body odor seemed less intense, even pleasanter, when acquired in the fresh air. Ditto on the hair-it really stayed fresher when not gunked with polluted city air.

    As for the long hair “debate”-I’ve seen women of a all skin and hair colors that can rock longer hair, and that may look best buzz cut. It’s truly about finding what you like, and then changing it up from time to time. No Rules here ; )

    • Shelley says:

      Aye, aye to the No Rules. The only rule is to do what looks good/works best for you, right? :)

    • March says:

      Isn’t the outside-the-city thing amazing? I’m always astonished by how dirty my face gets in New York (not quite that bad here.) But country is better, just good clean dirt. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. 😡

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Writing from Across the Pond I can confirm that the obsession with cleanliness is not only a North American thing. I always shower morning and night (sometimes more and I sometimes bathe at night) and have used anti-perspirant since I was about 10, I think. The hair gets washed only every second day now it is a bit longer. It’s naturally curly and fine so gets mussed like a baby’s which only washing can cure. Of course, I have used every hair product on the planet (and every deodorant, I think). The Other Half is equally obsessive about cleanliness (and scent) and always smells wonderful.

    Long hair on older women? I give you Carmen dell’Orefice. I do admit that I’m not a fan of the “witch” look, though, which does no-one any favours.

    I’ve reached Day Seven of the Challenge and am already planning the break-out scent for tomorrow!

  • Furriner says:

    Back in the ’80s, I had a weird allergic reaction to an antiperspirant. Broke out in hives. I haven’t used a deodorant since then. I do sweat, and can smell pretty ripe if I’m not careful, but using soap on my pits seems to do the trick most of the time. I shower daily, mainly because I’m kind of oily and my hair looks greasy if I don’t wash it.

    • March says:

      ITA that the oily folks are going to need a shower. Since I have one of those kids, I am wildly sympathetic (and glad I don’t have that problem.)

  • Melauriga says:

    I feel if skipping showers and shampoos doesn’t make you look like a greaseball, it’s probably not really necessary. I’ve always had very oily skin and hair and HAD to shower daily, but now that I’m rapidly approaching 40 I’m having more trouble with dryness, especially in the winter. I’m trying to cut down on shampooing, but I have a question for all of you who don’t shampoo daily: What about styling products and hairspray? Do you feel that rinsing with plain water sufficiently removes all that gunk? I’ve noticed the days I skip shampoo I usually end up putting my hair up because it doesn’t “feel” right.

    • March says:

      I’m not a good person to ask because I don’t use much product either, just a little almond oil for shine. Which gives you an idea of how dry my hair is — I can put almond (or olive) oil on it, and it doesn’t look greasy, not even after three days. /:)

    • Ms. Christian says:


      I use all Jessicurl stuff and not much of it at that. I don’t use hair spray, anything with ‘cones in it that would cause my hair to attract dirt or build up, nothing with heavy oil (no jojoba, olive or coconut oil “treatments”) nothing that stiffens my hair, I don’t smoke tobacco or deep fry and I do office work-so I think that my hair is pretty gunk free.

      Jessicurl makes a non-lathering shampoo. I have used it, but not for a very, very, very long time. I have cleansed my scalp with baking soda after being sick in bed for a week.

    • odonata9 says:

      I’m curious to see what others say here. I have wavy hair and in order to get it to behave (either straight or curly), I have to use several products. I wish I didn’t have to, but that is just what it takes to look decent. I would love to not have to wash and dry everyday – my hair is pretty long an it takes time, but after I’ve slept on it, my curls get flattened and just don’t look right and there is the product buildup and I’m a little oily. Anyway, love to hear any comments on what to do there.

      • Tom says:

        I have wavy hair that gets pretty big pretty fast- I had it at shoulder length for a while and when I let if out of it’s little ponytail it went full-on Joan Crawford circa “Humoresque”. Even now if I let it get long it starts boofing out all over the place. I use pure shea butter to keep in under control and keep it conditioned. Doesn’t get greasy and somewhat straightens it out.

    • Louise says:

      I do use a fair amount of product to get my hair texturey-but I rinse well in the shower, and blow out my hair with the remaining product already in-adding no more. It works fine, for 2-3 days at least. I also just dampen my hair in the sink on non-shower days after I rinse my face in the morning, so add no more product then, either.

      Oh, hey! How many of youse don’t use soap in the morning on the face? In the winter I just rinse, keeps my skin much less dry.

  • zeezee says:

    Oh, you stumbled on one of my pet hates, March: the manifold opinions of People on What Women Should Look Like. Before I launch into my rant: love that photo. Beautiful shot.

    I figure the distaste for long, grey hair goes something like: long hair = youth. youth = sex. grey + long = does not compute, as we all know women over 30 are neuters/sexless/undesirable.
    As an aside, the opposite goes too, to some extent. I always kept my hair bob length or shorter, but I haven’t been able to afford regular cuts for a while now, so that I’ve grown it out to shoulder-ish length. Not the most flattering on me, but I’m making the best of it. Suprisingly, I’ve had a ridiculous amount of compliments from people who seem SO relieved that I’ve finally decided to align myself with gender expectations. Not that they ever said a negative thing of my short hair, but taking the path of least resistance and growing your hair does get rewarded. Strange.

    Showering, meh. I regularly skip a day, but then I *am* one of dem shifty Yurpans. You don’t really get dirty enough in a day to necessitate all over showering – washing my face is good enough. The only consideration *I* have is my hair; it’s super fine, bone straight and gets oily very quickly. Shower cue!

    • Style Spy says:

      I have a friend who is my age (45) who wears her hair much longer than she should (it’s thin, and damaged, and the lack of shape does her face no favors) because her husband likes long hair on women and whines when she cuts it. Which drives me crazy on multiple levels. We all know most men seem to like long hair on women (further proof of their innate simplicity of mind, bless them). But I don’t dress for men or paint my nails for men or wear perfume for men, so why on earth would I wear the one accessory I can never even remove in a particular way just to please men? Oof. This is a real pet peeve of mine.

      • March says:

        The thinning hair has come up on here and in the original story comments. I sure don’t have the hair I did in my 20s, or even 30s. My husband would probably like my hair longer, but he wouldn’t grow his past his shoulders for me, and so … shrug.

        • Style Spy says:

          The ugly truth is, some hair should NOT be long, because it’s not pretty hair. The dry, stalky, shaggy, raggedy messes I see hanging from the heads of some women make me want to stash a pair of scissors in my handbag.

      • Gretchen says:

        I agree with every point here.

      • zeezee says:

        YES. ‘Zackly. Social pressure to keep your hair long regardless of if it’s actually flattering to your face shape exists, no doubt about it.
        Actually, make that social pressure to conform to whatever norm is in vogue right here, right now, exists. The norms may change, but the pressure doesn’t. That’s what really gets my goat, in the end.

    • March says:

      Loved “dem shifty Yurpans.” And I am a huge fan of the sponge bath, frankly, we haven’t even touched on that.

      Having had both long hair and short (and switching fairly regularly), your short-hair story depresses me. I have a small face and thinning hair, and I think a pixie cut is really flattering on me. Why shouldn’t we wear hair that looks good on us? Where’d the short-hair-is-unsexy memo come from?

      • Louise says:

        March, you are always hawt-but the short do especially so, babe.

      • zeezee says:

        I comfort myself with the thought that those who obviously prefer having visual cues that I’m female at least never negatively commented to my face about the short hair. Maybe that’s some sort of change. I dunno.

        It sure makes me want to lob it all off again, though. I will as soon as finances allow me to get 6-week cuts again. Rock the pixie! :)

  • Hot shower? The one luxury (and it is in some places) I can only do without when I’m right by the Mediterranean sea…

    As for gray hair… Well, March, you’ve seen me.
    I stopped dying it a few years ago when I noticed the roots were growing out in a gorgeous silver colour, and I figured I might as well let it do its own thing while I was still fresh enough to look like I wasn’t letting myself go. And I’ve had nothing but compliments on it: it’s as luminous as blonde hair, and it actually look artificial, in a good way, as though I’d done it on purpose (at least, that’s what Uncle Serge told me, and the man should know).
    The thing is to sport it with a modern look, either sophisticated or a bit rock and roll (my current thing: Ramones meet Debbie Harry). Good haircut. Super-shiny. Not very long, but I’m letting it grow to a layered shoulder-length bob with long bangs.
    It’s very distinctive, because there’s a discrepancy between my hair colour and the age I look: people always remember me visually now.

    • Style Spy says:

      You have enviable hair, D. If you were to color it I would personally rush over there ti wrestle the bottle out of your hand.

    • March says:

      Your hair is gorgeous and everything about it (cut, color, thickness, styling) is flattering. If I were going gray like you are I’d stop dyeing mine as well. Unfortunately my gray is highly concentrated in the back in a bread-plate-sized patch, like a gray yarmulke, and the rest is mostly dark. It looks stupid. [-(

      • Ann N. says:

        Oh March, don’t feel bad. I have a 1/2 inch “skunk” stripe of gray/white down the back of my hair and a stripe on one side, about two inches back from the front. Why can’t it just go gray nice and uniformly? Today I turned 50 and am seriously thinking about hitting the hair color trail. But it is such a slippery slope and once you start …

        • DinaC says:

          My grey hair is more Cruella Deville…the salt is not evenly spread amongst the pepper. I started turning grey when I was 16, so I started coloring it when I was 21. If I didn’t, I’m afraid I would look like my husband’s mother!

          I color it myself, which is quite the task because it’s long. But I’ve got it down to a science now.

          I like long hair on women. Mine is down to the bottom of my shoulder blades, and I’m way past 40. So there. ;-)

          • Louise says:

            I have the yarmulke thing, too. The good news is that with my spikes, the gray can stay hidden awhile. But now the sideburns are going distinguished. Where’s my Dark Brown Perfect 10???

          • March says:

            You and I are both sporting the distinguished sideburns at this point, babe. They’re hard to dye without getting it all over my face!

  • tmp00 says:

    I use antiperspirant daily. I don’t shower every day. More like a long hot bath twice a week and a shower or two in between. I think I get cleaner soaking in the tub with a quick shower off after.

    I miss my old place with the 1920s tub that I could really soak in. My place now has one that I look like Rock Hudson in. If I get lotto winnings I’m getting a hot tub and a quart of Mr Bubble.

    • March says:

      We could start a tub-soaking debate. The tub thing clearly grosses some people out — you’re sitting in your own dirty water yadda yadda. Ooooohkay, if I’m actually filthy (like from working in a muddy yard) I shower. But sitting in “dirty water?” Please.

      With you on the soaking tub, we have one, positioned with a view. It bubbles but I never use it.

      • Shelley says:

        I still remember Gabriel Garcia Marquez describing a character who spoke of always taking a shower before bathing, for such very reasons (first clean off the dirt, then soak), and was revulsed by the thought of people doing otherwise. Very proud of installing that plumbing set up in his house, the character was, as I recall. This is how Japanese baths work, too, right? Clean, then soak?

        I love soaking. As for dirty water…remember the Ingalls family taking turns in the tub for their once weekly bath? Ha. I’m just one person, and I haven’t been building a log cabin all week, and I’m the first in. Can’t be that awful, that water. (Sorry, GGM dude.)

        • Musette says:

          I’m with the GGM guy but it’s more about why I’m soaking – rarely to get ‘clean’ more, to relax, though I haven’t done it since I moved here – tub is too small and icky.

          xo >-)

          • Tommasina says:

            Hoo, you’ve hit on a pet peeve of mine there, Anita: I hate, hate, HATE stupid small American bath tubs! Sorry, but 60 inches on the outside is NOT enough to get both knees and shoulders in at the same time; and I want BOTH when I’ve been gardening in winter. Summer 2009 we planned on getting a bathroom re-do; the money had to go, instead, on redoing siding and thus repainting the house, since the dreaded Rot was discovered in frames and what have you; so my bath tub remains the same nasty small stained, impossible-to-clean, horrible, I-don’t-want-to-sit-in-that-thing umm… thing.

            Grump, grump, grump:-w

          • Musette says:


            I feel your pain, darlin’.

            Next year….;)

            btw – for a second I thought you had problems with a Rottweiler!

            xo >-)

        • March says:

          Well, it makes sense in a Japanese bath because I don’t think they drain the tub after? I mean, one bath, then clean water? But I could be wrong.

          • Kym says:

            I stayed at a ryokan in Kyoto, and indeed, they don’t change the bath water. The tub was wooden, deep and narrow and sported an integral bench. You shower, scrub and rinse first, then soak lift the wooden cover off the tub (I suspect this keeps in the heat), and sit and soak. It’s a great experience, but a little odd sitting straight up instead of inclining.

          • Mellisu says:

            I believe thay are made from Hinoki wood – the same as in CdG’s Hinoki – and are anti-bacterial

          • Kym says:

            Oh, that’s interesting…thus, no need to change the water, then?

      • Louise says:

        well, ya know where I am on the clean tub thing…I can mix all kinds of bodies stuffs with no skeeve…but someone else’s dead skin and oil and soap ring in a tub…ewwie…but then again, I clean out my own tub frequently, and little else in my home…weird, I know.

  • Madea says:

    I have oily skin and hair, and wash both daily. My fibromyalgia is worse, and hot baths are the only thing that gives me relief these days.

    Strangely, the meds have messed with my body chemistry, and I notice a distinct civet tinge in my sweat which I’m deeply senstitive about. Deorderant is a must!

    I have no problem with long hair on older ladies, but I agree that styling is a must. I think it can be aging if it’s left to hang like a shower curtain (my aunt did this, and it made her look ten years older), but taken care of, it looks as nice on an older lady as a young one.

    When I get old, I think I’ll dye my hair purple to scandalize my children :d

    • March says:

      The oily hair and skin I totally understand, oldest kid is like that. I actually feel sorry for her. Any longer than 24 hours is too long in her case. And body chemistry and its changes is so true; I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us have taken something at some point that made us smell funky, I know I have.

      I’m not waiting until I’m older to scandalize my children. 8-| I figure, get started now while I can enjoy it. Of course all I have to do is breathe the 14-year-old’s air.

  • Darryl says:

    I shower daily in the summer, because I work up quite a sweat and can’t handle that sticky, grimy feeling at the end of the day. In the fall and winter, though, I happily skip showering for a couple of days at a time. I’d probably go for even longer if I didn’t work long shifts in a restaurant, with all the nastiness that entails. I use antiperspirant only to avoid pit stains – my underarms haven’t smelled like much of anything since my teen years.

    The very North American ideal of squeaky-clean hygiene AT ALL TIMES baffles me; it seems counterproductively unhealthy to obssess over your body’s odor and natural bacteria. I mean, I get it, but…it gets taken to an extreme over here.

    Ugh, this perfume challenge. Day 2 and I’m already craving something less cuckoo than Angel. (Why did I pick her? Why?!)

    • March says:

      Bleargh, the restaurant smell! I spent a summer working the counter in a fast food joint and came home every night coated in grease and smelling like fried chicken. I couldn’t shower fast enough. In fact, that job put me off fast food for years. I don’t know how anyone who actually sees the back of a restaurant ever manages to eat at one again.

      ooooh, go Angel! Go go go! Look, kajillions of American wimmins wear Angel every day of the year, why can’t you? 😉

  • violetnoir says:

    I love longer hair, but I must admit that I am digging the shoulder grazing length I am now sporting. And since my hair is very dry, I only wash it once a week.

    I do bathe every day, religiously actually, but stopped using the scented body products because my skin just can’t take it anymore. I do use deodorant, and so does my husband.

    I am hanging in there with the fragrance challenge, March. I hope I can make it through Sunday! Would you kindly remind me again what the point of this week long fidelity is?


    • March says:

      Fidelity! Chastity! Obedience! Wait .. what? Oh, yeah, the scent challenge. I think for us scent floozies, the goal is to see if you learn anything about Scent X or yourself while wearing the same scent for a week. Something other than, one scent bores me. Here, I’ll give you a nibble — I am getting nuances from mine I’d never noticed. Hang in there, R!

  • Ms. Christian says:

    I have dry-ish curly hair and cannot remember the last time I used shampoo on it. I wet it thoroughly every day, scrub my wet scalp with my fingers, rinse and add My Jessicurl Confident Coils styling stuff, and condition the ends a few times a week, my whole head and scalp once a month. My head and hair do not stink, my hair has moisture and is never frizzy, and I don’t give a ratz azz what people think about that.

    Oh, yes I am over 50 and have long hair, too, but I color it. And still don’t use shampoo when I wash out the dye, just a good, very long rinse with the Shower Massage on the power wash setting.

    • March says:

      The curly-heads have the no-poo routine. I am trying to get my frizzy/curly teen on board with this. The problem she has is it looks great that first day, but is frizzy the next … yeesh, kid has enough hair for three heads. Yes, I am envious.

      • lemonprint says:

        I am the limp, thin hair type, and I use WEN (not no-poo, but not shampoo either). I love the stuff. Struggled with my head for thirty-odd years, then discovered WEN, and now I still look in the mirror from time to time and think “Well, there are no new worlds to conquer.” I wash my hair with shampoo usually once a week (at the pool), followed by a hair oil, then wen the next morning, and every other day (or two, if it’s the weekend) after that, until the next swim. It’s freaking genius.

        I also love Lavilin for a deodorant, because I stink like a skunk without deodorant and all the aluminum ones make me itch horribly. (I’m a delicate freakin’ flower!) It’s, like, $15 for a jar but it lasts for months. And it’s brilliant not having to put deodorant on every day. (I do it maybe once a week.)

        Why did I have to get so old before I discovered these great things??

        • Francesca says:

          Ooooh, thanks for the tip. I’ve never heard of WEN but must look into it.

          • March says:

            AHA!!! I looked back and found this in my Figmania II review — “Wen Fig Oil – ack. No. I think this is one of those hair-cult QVC things, and I can buy into that (hey, I did buy into that) but it smells like Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy. And I like that smell, but I don´t want to bathe in it. It´s really strong, and not especially figgy. The ingredients are jojoba oil and essential oils.”

            It smelled so strong — sort of like tea tree oil. I gave it away. It’s likely the jojoba that’s moisturising.”

        • March says:

          I’ve heard raves about Wen before. And I have heard from people who use more esoteric things (like those mineral salt blocks) that they don’t have to apply every day, which must be nice.

          • Shelley says:

            I used the salt block for a while. When combined with my “I am woman, hear me roar, or at least watch me not shave” stage, it was…well…not good. I sweat. I smell. The washcloth and soap bit did help, of course…I kept on thinking 1930’s, people did this without the salt block, etc etc…then it dawned on me. They had GUARDS. Pads for your pits.

            Too late for some of my clothes, which had been “toasted.”

            These days, it’s a combo. I still keep anti-perspirant around for occasions, but otherwise use natural deodorant products. Or, quite frankly, a spritz of an appropriate essential oil combo + water to let me get my day started when I know the shower will come in a few hours.

            Dear heavens, why does this place become a public TMI joint? ;)

          • March says:

            Eh, you’re lucky I’m not telling you about my miraculous toenail fungus cure. Just sayin’. And I remember those armpit guards!

          • Shelley says:

            I’ve got three words for that one: tea tree oil.

            But your story sounds better. ;)

          • March says:

            Nope. White vinegar.

        • Kym says:

          I’ve heard of WEN, but didn’t really understand it. Do you think it would work for any hair type?

        • zeezee says:

          Never heard of WEN but colour me interested – is it an acronym of … something? What is it? What’s it do?

          • Kym says:

            I know a couple of curly-haired gals who swear this makes their hair super soft. Mine’s straight and thick, and apparently you use this instead of shampoo and leave it in – I think it’s an oil. That’s all I know…:)

          • March says:

            HEre’s a repaste from above, I looked back and found this in my Figmania II review — “Wen Fig Oil – ack. No. I think this is one of those hair-cult QVC things, and I can buy into that (hey, I did buy into that) but it smells like Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy. And I like that smell, but I don´t want to bathe in it. It´s really strong, and not especially figgy. The ingredients are jojoba oil and essential oils.”

            It smelled so strong — sort of like tea tree oil. I gave it away. It’s likely the jojoba that’s moisturising. I can’t find a list of ingredients online.

  • nozknoz says:

    Thank you, March, I saw that NYT article, too. I’m totally with you and Miss Manners on this one, and, good grief, life is way too short to be trying to lay guilt trips on other people about about the length of their hair! That poster was right: this country needs more potassium!

    • March says:

      So long hair AND short hair are “wrong.” And women over the age of 40 are no longer sexual objects. I know that last bit is definitely different in Yurrup, I’d love some input but it seems to me that in France and Italy, for instance, women in the most general sense are, uh, appreciated. At all ages.

  • Musette says:

    You and I must be on some weird wavelength. I was just thinking about ‘uber-guy’ smells when I made the mistake of opening the door to the den. It smells, literally, like a Bear’s den. Two farting dogs, him being…a guy. Ewww.

    But, oddly enough, his body doesn’t stink, in general. It’s weird how they manage that. He’s not a deodorant guy either. And he does a lot of physical stuff in our biz, as you know. It’s just weird.

    Dogs don’t stink, either. What comes out of them…well, that’s another story altogether.

    I’m a fan of twice-daily showers but I suspect it’s more because I find it stress-relieving rather than cleansing. And I’m always cold in the winter, no matter what, so a hot shower works wonders, right before bed. My skin would prolly fall right off, except for all the Shea butter.

    Hair? Like you, I wash infrequently, though I rinse daily.

    Scent Challenge? Still goin’ strong. Diorella is quite the lady!

    The Older Woman + Long Hair DOWN debacle is steeped in so much sexual drama – I think as 60 becomes the new 30 we will see more of a shift…but I think there are still solid remnants of the expectation that any woman older than 40 should just stump back into her stall like the lame horse she is! =))

    xo >-)

    • March says:

      And look at all the non-deodorant-wearing freaks coming out of the closet. And the no-hair-washers. Big Brother will be after us with a ginormous bottle of Pantene.

      It’s the long-hair thing that gives me cultural whiplash. It’s hard for me to ken that these thoughts exist. More fool I.

      • Style Spy says:

        Non-hair-washer here. Well, every 4 or 5 days, but I use the no-poo. (Non-lathering.) Have you tried it, March? Much less drying to the hair. (Mine is also colored, AND curly, so that’s an issue.) I am a sweaty girl, though (and a runner), so I wash. I wish I didn’t have to, because ironically my skin is also dry, but one gets a little… sticky. I’m like you — I want my body wash & lotion to have as little smell as possible so I can smell my perfume. There are even hair products I’ve stopped using because they smell too strong, and I love me some fragrance-free laundry detergent.

        • March says:

          Which no-poo do you use? The DevaCurl stuff or something else?

          • Style Spy says:

            Yep. It’s not cheap, but OTOH, it lasts me for-evah. As for the frizzies, I do two things – silicone gel (like Frizz-Ease) and conditioner. Blahblah siliconebadforyourhairfishcakes blah has been categorically disproved by scientists (do we still have any of those?) no matter what your stylist says. Also, some regular ol’ conditioner left in the hair goes a long way towards smoothing.

          • Musette says:

            You and me, baby. Sisters under the scalp!

            xo >-)