7 Silly Questions About Hygiene And Simple Living


There seems to be some dichotomies involved in minimalism. Would a minimalist grow their hair long to save money or keep it short for low maintenance? I’ve been thinking about ways personal hygiene fits into minimalist living. I’ve come up with 7 silly questions for you to ponder.

When I think deeply about minimalism, I discover that there’s a tension between money and time. Would a minimalist be more concerned with saving money or saving time? This dichotomy becomes especially notable in the area of personal hygiene.

Consider These 7 Silly Questions

1. Men’s hair: I don’t have much hair. Some men have more than I do. Either way, the question is this: how often should a man cut his hair? If I keep my head shaved, I spend five minutes a day caring for it. If I let it grow, I spend $20 a month getting it cut. Which path would the true minimalist man take?

2. Women’s hair: Which makes more sense for a female minimalist: long hair or short hair? Long hair would require more daily maintenance, but short hair would require more trips to the beauty salon. It’s time vs. money. 

3. Men’s shavingI grow my beard in the winter. I shave it in the spring. Having no facial hair is more minimal in appearance. Growing a beard is more minimal in maintenance. What would the true minimalist man do: shave or grow a beard?

4. Women’s shaving: In America, it’s the norm for women to shave their legs and armpits. In many other regions of the world women do not shave. Which is more minimal? Not shaving saves both time and money. Shaving gets rid of unwanted hair. How do we balance minimalism with cultural standards?

Daily Showering Is A Modern Convenience

5. BathingI used to shower daily. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I can easily go a few days between showers. I use less water. I use less soap. Is that minimalism? If I shower daily, I am clean. I minimize dirt and germs. Which is more minimalist? 

6. Deodorant, perfume and lotions: What did we do before we had modern deodorant? I find that I can go a few days without needing deodorant. Some people use deodorant every day whether they need it or not. Should we? What about perfumes, after-shaves, and body lotions? Are they really needed? Should we eliminate them? Should we find natural alternatives? What would the true minimalist do?

7. Clothing: This topic requires its own post. Look for one in the near future. How many clothes do you really need? If we’re honest, we don’t need many clothes. I have over 100 items of clothing (including socks and underwear). I’ve pared down a lot in past few years. I’m in the process of paring down even more. What’s a good number? How many items of clothing does one really need?

No Rules, I Just Want You To Think

Really, these 7 silly questions are not silly at all, because they can be extended into many other areas of daily living. What we choose to do on a daily basis has great implications on our personal finances, our health, and our environment. We are faced with choices between saving money and saving time each day. Which side does the true minimalist take? I’ll let you decide.

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James Ewen
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