Easy Ways to Freshen Up When You Don't Have Time to Shower
Headbands are a girl's best friend.
Shortcuts to looking clean come in handy when you're too busy or too exhausted to wash up properly.
We've all been there--you're a mess, you stink, you've got somewhere to be and no time to take a shower. It's an uncomfortable feeling to be dirty when you're too busy to clean up and no one wants to go out in public with greasy hair, gunky teeth or stinky body parts. However, when you find yourself in a situation where you don't have time to wash, you do have some options.
There's a variety of situations that may leave you "high and dry" when it comes to hygiene. Maybe you've been running around all day pedal to the metal, get home very late and only enough energy left to flop on your bed for 3 hours of sleep, only to get up super early the next morning and do it all again. Maybe you've been cramming for a test all night or working on an important project and barely have time to brush your hair the next morning. Or perhaps you've worked hard all day and smell like a beast, but have to run to an evening event with no shower in sight. Either way, you feel like you just crawled out a sewer and everyone will notice. Whatever the situation, you can improve your appearance with a little creativity and resourcefulness. Consider the following solutions for your hygiene emergencies.
Greasy hair - If you're like me and your head is a Crisco factory, you know how gross you feel when your hair is super oily and you have no time for a shower. A quick fix that I use is taking a makeup remover cloth (or two) and rubbing it vigorously through my hair. If you have long hair, you might "hold" your hair taught so you can rub the cloth against the grain of the hair and pick up more oil that way. Or, get a wet washcloth and put a few drops of Castille soap on it and rub this through your hair, layer by layer, then rinse out the washcloth and wipe through again to get rid of the soap residue; in this way, it's sort of like using a "dry" shampoo. Another option or even in addition to the makeup cloth is baking soda; put a small amount of baking soda in your hand and rub into your scalp and comb through your hair. The baking soda will help soak up oil and remove the sheen from your hair (just be sure to tousle or comb it through really well or your hair will have white streaks). And for some reason, the baking soda method seems to add some volume to your hair also. This works even better if you can rub the baking soda in the night before as you flop down to catch some quick zzzs.
Another option are commercially produced dry shampoos, especially those that can be sprayed as an aerosol. These are perhaps not as cost effective or natural as baking soda, but are easy to use. They contain ingredients that absorb oil and can be sprayed like hair spray directly onto your scalp. Go through your hair section by section and spray on the roots, then comb through once dry. It will remove a lot of the oily sheen as well as pump up the volume on your limp, grease-laden locks.
None of these methods will make your hair look perfectly clean like shampooing, but at least it will not look like you are long overdue for a shower.
Another solution is hair accessories. Get a wide headband, preferably a wide cloth band and wear this--it will cover up most of the unsightly parts of your greasy hair. Even better is a bandanna tied over your head, but if you work in an office or you're running to an evening event, this might not work for you!
Swamp mouth - So maybe you crashed last night without brushing and now you're running late with teeth that feel like sandpaper. No time to brush? Bad breath? You may have to get a little creative here. Grab a paper towel and use your finger to squeegee around your teeth a little if you can, just be sure to rinse your mouth in the water fountain or something afterwards. Gargle with some unsweetened tea, especially green, but black works (with lemon is even better!). If you just had some fruit, use the peel of an orange or banana to rub plaque off your teeth. Or use the tried and true breath saver of chewing some gum (sugar free will work best). If you happen to have floss with you, just flossing without being able to brush will still go a long way towards cleaning smelly bits out of your mouth and probably make your teeth feel a little cleaner too. A lot of flosses have mint or some other flavoring on them that will help freshen your breath in a pinch.
You stink! - Did you hit the gym after work, the showers were busy and you REALLY have to run to your kid's play? No time for a bath last night and this morning you realize certain areas are not so fresh? Relax, you can handle this! In the case of stinky armpits, try to find something that smells good...a shot of perfume under the arms can work. Or if your clothes stink and you have nothing else to wear, spray some Febreeze or something containing alcohol on the offending sections. A very good solution is hand sanitizer! Rub a squirt of hand sanitizer on your armpits to get rid of smell and temporarily prevent more odor. The alcohol will kill the bacteria that cause the odor and many sanitizers have a perfume added that will help you out as well. At the very least, a wet paper towel rubbed under the arms will get rid of some of the odor and clean it up a bit.
What about stinky "lady parts"? Please, DO NOT use the hand sanitizer method here, you'll be sorry!! The best solution for this is a baby wipe. If you're at home and gotta run, quickly clean yourself on the toilet with a wet wipe if possible. If you're on the run, grab some toilet paper or paper towel in the ladies room and dampen it at the faucet, then go in the stall and do your business. Be sure to take a lot of attention wiping the "fuzzy" areas (there is no nice way of putting this, I'm afraid!) as hair traps most of the odor. Again, this isn't a perfect clean, but it will help a lot.
These are a few methods I've tried to carry me through an unclean moment and you can too! If you've tried some other ways of cheating on hygiene in a pinch, please comment. We all need shortcuts once in a while!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.