4 items in shower

The only 4 things in my shower

The before

I never used to like cleaning my shower. It was a pain, because I couldn’t simply wipe in down. First, I needed to pull out all the bottles and toiletries. Once I did that, I realized the bottoms of bottles were slimy and covered in mildew. Where to temporarily set these bottles without making more of a mess? Why did I need all this stuff, anyways?

At the time, I had most things in a typical shower: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, shaving cream, special shaving cream, razor, maybe a second razor. Regular shampoo and body wash, even sulfate-free, over-dried my skin. Traveling was difficult, because everything needed to transfer to 4 oz bottles. And all of this was expensive! $7 a bottle for most of these items that I thought I needed.

As I ran out of these items, I would experiment with not replacing them. I tested substituting them with various natural products. I was curious to know if using a non-traditional shampoo would ruin my hair or make it less oily. During this transition period, I sometimes caved and purchased an item again. I usually regretted it and then continued my quest to figure out the least amount of items that I needed to properly shower.

The after

The good news is that it’s very little. After trying natural shaving creams, different types of liquid soaps, and a range of bar soaps, here are the only 4 items that remain:

  1. Bar soap
  2. Razor
  3. Citrus rinse
  4. Measuring cup
Image of 4 items in shower

The bar soap now serves as shampoo, body wash, and shaving cream. One razor is all I need. I water down the concentrated citrus to create conditioner and pour it over my head with the measuring cup. That’s it! The end result is a low-cost, low-maintenance, minimalist shower.

I have also used apple cider vinegar instead of the concentrated citrus rinse. However, be sure to dilute it. For the citrus rinse, I only use a capful per 1 cup of water for my long hair. For short hair, use half a cap or less.

Lessons learned

  • Finding the right bar soap is the most important. Most that I tried were still too drying. Others came close but were either too expensive or not readily available at many stores.
  • When trying to find the right “shampoo,” I found that sugar soaps left a residue and didn’t clean my hair well enough
  • I haven’t noticed a difference by not using regular shaving cream

Your turn

As with any change in habit, it’s easiest to give yourself a boost and transform your shower in one go. I tried phasing out products as I ran out to not be wasteful, but now that I know how little I need, I wouldn’t be afraid to make the small investment.