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5 Myths About Personal Hygiene

5 Myths About Personal Hygiene

Washing your hands. Brushing your teeth. Shampooing your hair. They’re so engrained into our daily routine we barely give them a second thought. But should we? Read on for some of the most pervasive personal hygiene myths around.


1. Myth: Public Toilets Should Be Avoided at All Costs.

Reality: They’re not nearly as dangerous as many people think. There are certainly germs living on public toilet seats — but the odds of actually getting sick from those germs? Very, very small.  For one thing, your body’s skin is a natural defense against scary disease-causing germs — if they even live long enough to infect you. You can read more about this here.



2. Myth: You Need to Wash Your Hair Every Day.

Reality: A nice, hot shower is just what many of us need to wake up in the morning or wind down at night. But should you really be washing your hair every day? Probably not. Though how often you wash your hair depends on a number of factors, including the type of hair your have, the health of your scalp, and how long or processed it is, almost none of us need to lather up our locks every single day. That’s because shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils; it will also make your hair more difficult to style and, ultimately, lead to more damage.

Skip the daily shampooing. If your hair and scalp get too oily between washes, a dry shampoo or baby powder will absorb all that excess oil.



3. Myth: Your Dentist Can’t Tell If You Don’t Floss.

Reality: Slacking on your oral hygiene routine? You dentist can tell, and it’s not merely a matter of flossing really well before your appointment. That’s because gums that aren’t flossed regularly will bleed when you’re in the chair; plaque build-up will, over time, lead to cavities and gum disease. You’re not outsmarting anyone by only reaching for the floss before a clean-up, and you’re only hurting your oral health.



4. Myth: The More You Brush Your Hair, The Healthier It’ll Be.

What worked for Marcia Brady doesn’t work for the rest of us! That’s not to say you shouldn’t brush your hair at all, of course — it does help prevent tangles and distribute healthy oils. But over-brushing your hair will not improve its condition, it’ll actually make it  more prone breakage and fraying.



5. Myth: Hand Sanitizer is the Ultimate Defense Against Germs.

Reality: Want to avoid getting sick? Skip the hand sanitizer and wash with plain old soap and water. Even with a hand sanitizer containing more than 60 percent alcohol is only slightly better than soap and water. But is that marginal difference really worth it? Nope! The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also concerned that overuse of hand sanitizer will have dire consequences in the long term. Notably, that these germs will develop a resistance to the stuff. In the end, if you’re worried about germs, it’s far better more effective to make sure you’re washing your hands correctly than it is to use antibacterial soap.

Read more: Bath & Shower, Beauty, Body Image, Hair Care, Hands & Feet, Health, Make-Up, Male Grooming

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
3:47AM PDT on Apr 1, 2015

Thanks for this article.
We do seem to have been overwhelmed by fear of dirt and germs these days.
At the same time, every second child is allergic to just about everything or has asthma. Coincidence? I think not. We need dirt and germs to build up our immune system.

4:19AM PDT on Jul 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

1:45AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014


1:21AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

I've been sick as a dog and lost 2 weeks of work because certain fellow employees feel they must come in to the office sick. Because of them, 9 people have now caught their bug, with me being the latest (almost half the office by now). When someone mentioned to one of them that they should have stayed home since they were sick, the answer was "I think I can tough it out" like it's a point of pride coming to work sick because that means they are tough. Give me a break!

9:18PM PDT on Jun 4, 2014

Lol I don't wash my hair everyday, now I have an excuse.

8:35PM PDT on Jun 3, 2014


6:02AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Life wisdom to take into practice

5:24AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Who is Marcia Brady?

8:26AM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Thank you, good info.

11:10AM PDT on Mar 22, 2014

Thanks for sharing

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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