How I Became a Hippy

It all started with a video on YouTube of a guy in India getting his ears cleaned. Have you ever run across any of those impacted earwax videos? Man, talk about disgusting, yet at the same time intriguing, like a car accident, you don’t really want to look…..but you just have to. If you haven’t seen one of these videos, trust me, watch one, it’ll change your life. Anyway, I’m watching this Indian doctor pulling these super large chunks of impacted earwax out of this guys ear. With each pull of the hemostats I felt a rush of disgust, a rush of relief, because that had to feel good to the guy, and also a bit of paranoia. “Jesus!!! Are my ears like that?”   I shower every day………..for the most part. I use soap and water on my ears then Q-Tips after the shower. Nothing too disgusting ever comes out, but I do get a bit of a light yellow waxy residue. But am I cleaning my ears the correct way? I’ve been doing this for close to half a century. Surely even with correct cleaning there has to be some build up. How can I get a good ear cleaning without going to the doctor? Google will tell me!!

So I head over to Google and search “How to clean your ears”. I avoid any URL’s that look like tree hugging bullpucky and look for ones that are to medical pages. So, I get this Web MD page and, to my surprise, it says that you should never use Q-Tips in your ears. A variety of reasons really, one being you could go in too deep and injure your eardrum. Another reason is that when you stick a Q-Tip into your ear, it actually pushes wax down into the ear canal and can cause exactly what we’re trying to avoid. The Web MD page suggested just using warm water, warmer than body temperature,  so it can melt the wax and let it run out on it’s own. That got me to thinking about when I was a kid. Every summer, anytime you’d go to clean your ears, they’d be spotless…..because you had been in the pool all day and the water and chlorine basically ran everything out of there. Time to give it a try.

From that point I decided to stop using Q-Tips for a test period of 2 weeks. My plan was to use the warm stream from the shower head and point it into my ears, let it run for about 30 seconds, then leave it at that. I was not to check my ears with anything for 2 weeks. So, that is exactly what I did. I’d turn the temp of the water up so it was warmer than body temp, run the jet stream into my ears for about 30 seconds, and that was that. After 2 weeks I got a Q-Tip and was surprised to find that absolutely nothing came out. My ears were spotlessly clean. That was the day that I stopped using Q-tips on my ears. It’s been over 3 years now. I get the occasional paranoid feeling that I just have to have a bunch of gunk in my ears so I grab a Q-Tip, nothing, as clean as when it went in.

But does this make me a hippy? Not really, but I’m not finished. A girl I went to school with posted on Facebook that she was stopping using soap, shampoo, and deodorant. Yes, my reaction to that was probably just like yours “Ugggghhhh!” Disgusting, right? Well, I needed something to tell me why people do this. Google here I come again. I started reading up on using soap, shampoo, and deodorant and what they do to your body. I mean, if you really think about it, within the confines of the history of man being on this earth, soap, shampoo, and deodorant was invented 10 minutes ago. Man was not created with the thought of those things being needed. Nature takes care of itself, we know that, we’ve seen it. So why would the human body be any different? I wasn’t ready to jump in head first, but I was tempted to try. This is when I decided to see what would happen if I stopped using deodorant. The Web MD page I read said that a lot of the armpit smell comes from your body trying to get rid of the chemicals from the deodorant. Interesting. It said to give it at least 4 or 5 days to get rid of anything that had already been on there. So, that’s what I did. The first 4 or 5 days were interesting. I had some pretty bad pits going, but I was wiping down everyday and wearing 2 shirts to help conceal it. Oddly enough, after the first week, the odor I was getting from my armpits was way less than the odor I was getting when I was wearing deodorant. I just smelled like me. It wasn’t really offensive. So, I continued down that road. It’s been over 2 years now since I’ve worn deodorant. Trust me, if I smelled, my wife would be the first to tell me. I honestly don’t have much of a pit smell anymore. Granted, if I go 2 days without a shower, yeah, they start humming a bit, but a daily shower keeps me going just fine. Am I hippy? Getting there. Shampoo is next.

Not using Q-Tips or deodorant surprised me to no end so shampoo had to be the next challenge. Could I go 2 weeks without washing my hair? I’d wet it down in the shower, I just wouldn’t use any soap or conditioners on it. Why? Well, Web MD says we spend billions annually on shampoos to remove the natural oils from our hair, then more billions on moisturizers and conditioners to put oils right back on our hair. Does that make any sense? I gotta give it a try. So, I stopped. The first 3 or 4 days my hair took on a dry, grassy feel. After about a week or so it became manageable, then after about 3 weeks my regular soft hair was back to normal, and the only thing I had used on it was warm water in the shower. Did I mention that my dandruff was gone too? Something I had been fighting since high school totally disappeared. Sold……for a while. I probably went about 6 months without using shampoo, but, I just never mentally felt right about it. I started using shampoo again and my dandruff came back. I’m willing to put up with a little dandruff for the peace of mind that I’m using shampoo. I’m still sold on the idea that you can get away without it if you want to. You just gotta give your body time to get the shampoo out of it’s system and let your hair heal.

Last but not least, soap. Ok, I decided to go the no soap route. That lasted about 3 days. I just couldn’t wrap my had around not at least using soap when you shower. I don’t know, if I was able to last a little longer things may have changed, I don’t know, all I do know is that I love my Coast and don’t need crotch gravy.

So, am I hippy? I’d say partially.

Y’all come back, I’ll leave a light on for ya.









ex-pat American living in Japan since 1991. Love to play guitar and billiards. Love my Cincinnati Bengals too. Who-Dey!!
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2 Responses to How I Became a Hippy

  1. I knew about the warm water trick, but everything else is a surprise to me. I guess I have experiments to run.

    • MULLY says:

      Good stuff. Winter is here in Japan and the air is really dry. I’m currently on the no shampoo thing again as my dandruff takes on biblical proportions in the winter.

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