Did you know there was a handbook for guys? We crack open the old pages of this book and post it here in a column called (get ready for it) Stray Monkey Rules. This time, we're taking a look at men's shower etiquette. Enjoy!
Now, a guide to showering could get pretty detailed. But this is an article written by a guy, for guys so I'm going to use a lot of bullet points and make this simple. See that image of the Statue of David? It has a list of the six shower "hot zones" of cleaning. This is important to know for our first section. We're going to cover the order of what you should clean first and why.
Zone 1 - Hair - This should always be washed first. There are two purposes here: 1) Washing your hair of course, and 2) after you wash your hair you'll be able to wash your face with no concern for dirt being transferred into your mouth or eyes. Your hair conveniently works as a loofah, and your hair tends not to be as dirty as an area like "Zone 5."
Zone 2 - Face - It's important to wash your face. Mainly to keep your beard soft for when you shave after you get out. Just make sure you don't wash your face with the same old wash cloth/bar of soap/loofah that has been laying around in the shower for days. That's just gross. And when you shave, make sure you shave old school with a good safety razor and badger brush.
Zone 3 - Upper Body - This area stretches from your neck to your stomach, includes your arms, and doesn't always include your back. Really, how often does your back get that dirty. Plus, people usually stand in the shower with their back to the water so it's like a constant stream of cleaning. If you want to dislocate your shoulder by washing your back, by all means go ahead. That's your call, friend.
Zone 4 - Armpits - Depending on how much of a workout you did at the gym or if you work outside in the sun all day doing manual labor, this could potentially come after #5. Make a judgment call here. Remember, the goal is cleanest to most dirty; stick to that progression.
Zone 5 - Lower Body - This is the area from your waist to your knees. Front and back. The order here is (1) legs (2) "under the leaf" (3) "back of the leaf." Don't slack off on this zone, since it's your last one. And yes, I know we have another zone listed, but...
Zone 6 - Below The Knees - This area is completely optional. I haven't washed below my knees in months. The entire time you're in the shower the soap and water is washing down your legs, and the rough surface of the bathtub is acting as another loofah. I've been in discussion as I write this article, and according to my completely un-scientific survey, men who don't wash below the knees outnumber men who do by a margin of 70% to 30%. I'm not saying you have to skip this zone, I'm just saying that it's a waste of time. As a BC reader, I'm sure you have more important things to do.
Other Things To Know
- Don't use other peoples things in the shower. If it's your wife, she won't appreciate the face that Zone 5 is the last thing you wash with her loofah and her face is the first thing she washes. If it's your roommate, you should keep the lines separate.
- Don't take long (especially if you have roommates - if you have kids, take as long as the wife will let you). But if being courteous to people you live with isn't incentive enough, remember this: Erin Andrews loves guys who shower quick. She wrote a blog that said "I've watched athletes jump into the shower post-game and come out so fast they haven't stopped sweating, and I don't even have questions ready. This kind of confidence is attractive to me." Shower quick guys. You know, for Erin.
- Do you use a bar of soap or gel? This is up to you. I use gel because they hold the scent longer and they lather up more. If you want to smell your best you should buy some good, high powered bottle of gel with a name like "Laser Strike" or "Polar Arctic Ice Rush of Extreme Power." Yes, they have dumb names but they work. Open a cap and smell them in the store. And then let your girlfriend pick which one she likes.
- If you have the chance to install an outdoor shower at your house, do it. It's awesome to shower outside. That's all I have to say about this one.
There you have it - the guide to showering. Have any more ideas? You can email us here. See you next time.