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Hygiene 101
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Below is some basic, common sense advice about personal hygiene for teens.

Showers & baths: Maybe it’s totally obvious, but you should take a shower every day or every other day. When you were a little girl, you didn’t have to take as many showers, but now you might notice that if you skip a day or two, you feel grimy and gross. Well, that’s because your body is going through changes that make it necessary for you to pay extra close attention to your hygiene, and that means taking showers. In the shower, clean yourself with soap and water. Changes going on in your sweat and oil glands make it especially important for you and other teens to take special care about showering. Did you also notice that you sweat a lot more lately? Are you getting kind of paranoid about having body odor? Well, that’s also a natural part of growing up. Your sweat glands are starting to work overtime, and your body chemicals are beginning to smell different. Washing yourself with a good, mild soap will help cut down on body odor by nabbing bacteria that might make the smell worse.

Deodorant & antiperspirant: If you are totally freaking out about the sweat and smell factor, relax. That’s what deodorant and antiperspirant are there for. Antiperspirant is used to stop sweating by drying up your sweat glands. Deodorant masks the smell with a “pretty” fragrance, like baby powder or flowers. You can find a combination of both antiperspirant and deodorant in one product, which works very well. When you first begin using deodorant, you might want to try different brands to see which one works best for you.

Hair care: During puberty, it may seem like everything in your body is changing, even your hair! Perhaps your hair and your scalp feel oily, and you have to wash your hair more often. This is all part of your body’s hormonal changes—the same thing that causes acne.

All girls have different types of hair, so there isn’t one way to care for it. Some girls only have to wash their hair once a week, or even less frequently—and some girls notice they have to wash their hair almost every day to keep it from getting oily. This is based on genetics, something that you can’t control. Girls of different ethnicities have different concerns regarding hair care, so be sure to pick a washing routine and hair care products that work best for you (not what your friend or your favorite celebrity uses).

If you have an oily hair problem, however, you can help control that by washing your hair every day or every other day. This will help clean out the oil from your scalp and hair. Choose a mild shampoo, use warm water, and be sure to let the shampoo bubble. Then, rinse well but don’t scrub too much because you could irritate a sensitive scalp. Using too many products can also contribute to oily hair.

If your hair is dry, you’ll need to care for it differently. Dry hair can be easily damaged with the wrong shampoo, or by washing too frequently. Dry hair might be softened with the right conditioner and a mild, moisturizing shampoo.

Shaving: By now, you’ve probably noticed all that hair growing on your body in different places. If you want to shave, talk with your mother or a trusted adult to get her advice on shaving. You should find a protective shaving cream so that you don’t irritate your skin with the razor. There are special brands for sensitive skin. You should also find an easy-to-use razor that you feel comfortable controlling. When you start to shave, pull from the foot up for the best results. Be careful around your knee and ankle, where the skin is bumpier and it’s easy to cut yourself. If you do happen to cut yourself, don’t be alarmed. The blood comes very fast in shaving accidents. Put a band-aid on after you dry your leg to help stop the bleeding. If you’re concerned about hair in other places, try a mild home bleaching kit or check out the salon for alternatives like waxing. Be careful with these procedures because you could irritate your skin. It’s best to talk to a dermatologist for advice.

Ways to Care for Your Body

Teen Hygiene