All hail the Everything Shower
Once a week, my shower cycle lines up perfectly: My shaving day overlaps with my shampoo day, which overlaps with my hair mask treatment day. At this point, I think to myself, might as well tack on a pre-wash hair oil and post-shower face mask and make it a whole thing.
Say hello to the Everything Shower: Your excuse to completely indulge in a watery self-care wonderland. We're talking hair washing, exfoliating, shaving, cleansing and soothing all in one.
So turn on the hot (just, um, not too hot) water, because the Everything Shower dares to ask the question: What if a shower could be an ~experience~?
Step 1: The pre-shower
Everything Showers start before you even step in. Take a few minutes to prep your hair and skin while the water heats up, advises Lisa Abbey, founder of Strength x Beauty Hair and Body Care. "Oily and damaged hair benefits from a prep step," she explains. "When you apply products to dry hair, they penetrate more deeply."
Damaged hair? Strengthen it with hair oil or a deep conditioning mask. Oily hair? Spritz an apple cider vinegar rinse (mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water in a spray bottle) wherever your hair is most oily. These treatments need a few minutes to get fully absorbed so, while you're waiting, prep your skin, too.
Whether or not you're shaving, dry brush your legs in wide, circular motions to help exfoliate and increase blood circulation (oh, and it feels ah-mazing).
Finally, take a few minutes to set the mood. Gather your fave candles and hit play on a relaxing playlist (peep our mix at girlslife.com/iti). The finishing touch? Pop your bathrobe in the dryer on low so it's warm and fluffy when you hop out.
Step 2: The hair
Your Everything Shower is about giving your locks extra love. So skip your usual quick suds and focus on your scalp and roots, really working the shampoo in with the pads of your fingers before rinsing well.
Next up? One of those every-few-washes hair masks. Swap your regular conditioner for a super hydrating formula that'll add strength and shine (find our faves at girlslife.com/iti).
Use a wide-tooth comb to help distribute the product, then place a shower cap over your mask-soaked strands so you really lock in the moisture (we save the plastic freebies from hotels for this!). Let it sit for about five minutes, then rinse well.
Step 3: The body
While your mask does its thing, lather up with a soap or body wash packed full of good-for-your-skin ingredients like jojoba oil, shea butter and essential oils.
"These ingredients help nourish and moisturize. Natural fragrances are gentle and soothing—they won't aggravate any skin issues you might have," says dermatologist Dr. Alpana Mohta.
Fan of exfoliating? Slough away! "Choose a gentle formula, then use circular motions as you exfoliate," explains Dr. Mohta. "It will scrub away dead skin cells to reveal radiant, healthy skin." (A word of warning to our sensitive-skinned sisters: If you notice exfoliating irritates your skin, opt for a soothing body was and loofah instead.)
Finally, if you want to get rid of some body hair, shave the best for last. The steamy water opens hair follicles, while exfoliation removes dead skin that could clog up your razor. Just apply a moisturizing shave cream or gel before you start. "It will ensure your hair gets softer and the razor blade can glide without resistance," says Dr. Mohta.
Step 4: The post-shower
Your Everything Shower doesn't have to end just because you turned off the water. How you care for your skin and hair post-wash makes *all* the difference.
Your skin is most prone to drying out when you first get out of the shower, so moisturize right away (we live for calming ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter and aloe vera).
Then, Abbey recommends using a microfiber hair towel to dry your hair. "It works faster and it's more lightweight, so it won't pull on your hair or cause breakage like a regular bath towel can," she shares.
And to close out this spa-level experience? Apply a soothing sheet mask, wrap up in your go-to snuggly robe, grab your tea and enjoy your zen. Happy Everything Showering, honey.
Floral + bergamot = oh so cozy.
Bust razor bumps post-shave with a soothing coconut body oil.
Pop a eucalyptus steamer into the corner of your shower and prepare for major relaxation.
Hydrate hair while fighting frizz and busting brittleness.
It's like a little massage.
Can't choose a mask at the skincare counter? Snag 'em all.
Spritz on your hair and face for the ultimate hydration.
Yes, this is infused with tea tree oil.
A gentle scrub with nourishing ingredients helps wind you down.
Use a scalp massager to work in treatments.
Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our February/March 2023 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.