Have you been following a plan for your own personal hygiene, or do you get up in the morning, take a bath, brush and blow dry your hair, use the bathroom through the day, and go to bed at night? If you only do the latter, you need to put more planning and preparation into your personal care and grooming.
Cleanliness is seen nowadays as next to Godliness, and neglect of your own personal hygiene may cause health and social problems of which you are not even aware. Bad breath, for example, is a common problem–the perpetrator is often accused of it, but he or she may not be attending to it. Problems such as dandruff are forgivable, but good looks are usually the result of great care and attention paid to personal grooming. You should put some time and effort into it if you want to feel and look your best every day.
All external parts of the body need time and attention. Below is a partial list of the body parts which you should be taking care of with your grooming plan. Here are some tips as to how to attend to your most common and ordinary daily grooming needs.
First of all, keep your hair at a length and style which you can properly maintain in a cleanly manner at all times. Wash your crowning glory at least twice per week, using a mild shampoo devoid of borax or alkalis. It is not a good idea to use soap, as it can leave a fine film of stickiness in your hair. Shampoo is meant to wash totally out of your hair. Be sure and carefully towel dry your hair after you wash it, and be cautious with the blow dryer. You don’t want your hair to become too dry and brittle. Especially if you have long or thick hair, brush it three to four times per day, using a soft bristled brush or wide toothed comb. Be sure to wash your hair grooming tools every time you wash your hair. And oil your scalp with grooming oil once per week, preferably one hour before you wash it. A hot oil treatment is fine–if you know exactly what you are doing.
Hair coloring or dye is not recommended, as no current dyes have been found to be completely safe for long term use. They contain chemicals which can seep into your scalp and even cause premature hair loss. So we recommend not using hair dye if possible. Also, try not to wear a hat for a very long period of time. Wearing hats has also been shown to cause premature hair loss. Redheads need to be particularly concerned, as they are subject to early hair loss.
A good bath once or twice per day is essential for cleanliness and good grooming. You should always bathe after any strenuous physical activity. Mild soaps are best, and you don’t need to use a germicidal or antiseptic soap unless you have a medical or “smelliness” problem. Bath brushes, bath sponges, and mildly abrasive scrubbers are recommended. You must also pay special attention to your genitals and anal area, as lack of care paid to these can lead to serious infections–as well as an inadequate sex life. Rinse yourself thoroughly after washing, and be sure to use a dry and clean towel to properly dry yourself. Don’t ever share towels, try not to share bathing equipment, and wash all of your equipment after each bath. Putting a teaspoonful of bleach in one gallon of warm water, rinse your bathing equipment in the water, and then under warm running water. And always change into completely clean underwear after each bath.
It’s good to use a fine organic moisturizing oil or cream every day, especially as you get older. Put it on at night to avoid that sticky feeling, and so as to not attract dust and filmy dirt throughout the day.
Brush your teeth two to three times every day, or after meals or snacks as needed. It’s important especially to brush right before bedtime. Pay attention to getting rid of the food particles stuck between your teeth. Flossing is highly recommended over toothpicks for this. You only need about a pea sized dab of toothpaste on your toothbrush. When brushing, brush down on the upper teeth and brush up on the lower teeth, using a circular motion. Also, brush the inner as well as the outer surface of your teeth, and before you brush each time, carefully brush your tongue.
Your toothbrush should never be shared with anyone. It should have resilient bristles, and it should be well rinsed and left somewhere completely sanitary to dry after each usage. Try to use organic toothpaste, one that’s completely safe and free of harsh abrasives or strong antiseptics. Baking soda has been found to be a very effective substitute for toothpaste, if you don’t mind its strong flavor.
You should always be washing your hands. There’s no such thing as too often. Use a good hand cream if they become dry. Pay attention to your fingernails when you wash your hands. A good nail brush placed near your bathroom sink is a sound investment. Use soap every time you wash, and always wash before and after meals–and after you go to the bathroom. Many infections such as E. coli are caused every day by people who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom. You should also keep washing your hands while preparing meals.
Your fingernails completely replace themselves every five to six months. You need to keep them well trimmed, and preferably buffed and polished too. Men can buff their nails and use a nail shining tool instead of polish to give their nails a healthy glow. Women may of course polish their nails with beautiful colors, which can hide the discoloration that comes with age. Clip your nails to the length you want them, but don’t ever trim too close to the skin. If your nails chip easily, consider adding more protein to your diet, as finger and toenails are all made of protein. Eating gelatin can work for this.
Very brittle, highly yellow or discolored nails can be a sign of a serious health problem. Please see your doctor immediately if you have this. Also, do not always keep your nails painted with polish. This can lead to stripping of the natural keratin of the nails. Also, either go out or give yourself a home manicure and a pedicure once every couple of weeks. Be sure and buy a very good manicure kit for this purpose.
Many people take no care whatsoever of their own feet, usually to their detriment. Always keep your toenails clipped, shaping the nails but not cutting too close to the skin. Always give your feet a good scrubbing with a pumice stone or mildly abrasive brush when taking a bath, and before you put on your socks, dry carefully between your toes. Try wearing a clean pair of cotton socks every day; this will pamper your feet and keep them dry and not smelly. Powder your feet after you take a bath. Try not to wear the same pair of shoes every day, and alternate wearing your shoe pairs. And make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Comfort and safety should come before stylishness. High heels can lead to the shortening of important calf muscles.
Your underarms don’t emit an odor until you hit your preteens. That’s when your apocrine glands, which are located under your arms and around your genitals, begin to function, producing a milky, oily type of perspiration. Bacteria then thrive in this sweat, causing the familiar underarm odor.
To control strong odor, you can wash daily with an antibacterial soap such as Lever 2000. You should always wear clean clothes that are free of staining and sweat. Use a deodorant that is also an antiperspirant, which will dry up moisture in the armpits. Cut back on your caffeine intake-it puts your apocrine glands into overdrive. After a bath, dust yourself liberally with a fine talcum powder. Always drink plenty of water, both to flush your system of toxins and to regulate your bowels. This alone may end some problems you may have with “smelliness.”
Getting a “healthy tan” is not considered to be healthy anymore. Now doctors are telling us that you shouldn’t mind your pale skin. Skin cancer, which is often deadly, is not a fair trade for good looks. When sunning, protect your fair skin with an at least SPF 30 sunscreen lotion. Keep your skin oiled and moisturized during the summer, and don’t bother with the “bronze look.”
Around puberty, your hair follicles respond to hormones raging in your body. You can end up with hair around your belly button, on your back, near your breasts and for both women and men, on your upper lip. If it’s especially coarse, show your doctor, as you may have a treatable hormonal imbalance. Some such “peach fuzz” is normal for girls, and if it seems unsightly to you, you can try bleaching or removing it. Nair is known to be a gentle permanent hair remover.
I hope you found these simple rules to be helpful to you. If you follow your own careful grooming and personal care plan, you will feel better, look more attractive, and probably live a longer, happier and more fulfilling life.