Regarding the Proper Way to Shower
June 27, 2006 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Do I face the wrong way in the shower?

Is Proper Shower Technique to face towards the shower head, or away from it?

I face away from. Because I don't like water in my face. And then when I rinse my hair, I don't get shampoo in my eyes. An informal survey of family and friends has pegged me as Just Plain Wrong. Am I?
posted by inging to Health & Fitness (47 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter.
posted by cellphone at 2:57 PM on June 27, 2006

Is there a wrong way? Does it matter, as long as you get clean?
posted by SpecialK at 2:57 PM on June 27, 2006

I turn around, as needed. Most people I've ever showered with do too. So, no "wrong" way.
posted by paulsc at 2:58 PM on June 27, 2006

Best answer: I go both ways in the shower.
posted by GuyZero at 2:58 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Your rationale makes perfect sense to me. I've been made fun of for not liking to be dripped on by too much water. But I do usually face towards the shower head.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:59 PM on June 27, 2006

"And then when I rinse my hair, I don't get shampoo in my eyes."

I use the "close my eyes" technique.

And also, the shower head is mounted too low for me to stand facing away from it while washing my hair.
posted by mullacc at 3:00 PM on June 27, 2006

Wait, you guys all stand in shower? Doesn't anyone sit? And that reminds me, what's that door on the shower for? Is it just a holdover? Doesn't everyone go up and over the top of the stall?
posted by The Bellman at 3:02 PM on June 27, 2006 [2 favorites]

Slightly related question (scroll down a bit; discussion of which way to face starts here).
posted by occhiblu at 3:07 PM on June 27, 2006

Recent(ish) AskMe discussing which way people face in the shower.
posted by raedyn at 3:09 PM on June 27, 2006

occhiblu beat me to the punch.
posted by raedyn at 3:10 PM on June 27, 2006

Why would it matter? But if it makes you feel better, I face away from the shower head too.
posted by amro at 3:11 PM on June 27, 2006

I face away too, if it makes you feel better.
posted by k8t at 3:16 PM on June 27, 2006

Don't you have to keep turning to rise one side of your body while soaping and lathering the other? Or am I missing something?
posted by Robert Angelo at 3:19 PM on June 27, 2006

I am also an away-facer. When I'm watching tv or movies and I see people facing the shower head I always think, geez, who does that? I only turn towards it to wash my face and rinse off afterwards.
posted by routergirl at 3:20 PM on June 27, 2006

I used to face away from the shower head, but I found that my hair tangled less if I faced the shower head: something about the water hitting the crown of my head at the wrong angle. But I'm a short girl, so this may not apply for you.

If your shampoo is dripping in your eyes, use less shampoo.
posted by amber_dale at 3:21 PM on June 27, 2006

I finally found one.
posted by 517 at 3:22 PM on June 27, 2006

I only turn towards it to wash my face and rinse off afterwards.

Me too. I forgot about that.
posted by amro at 3:28 PM on June 27, 2006

I go both ways in the shower.

GuyZero made me laugh.

I spin in the shower for maximum water coverage.
posted by marxfriedrice at 3:29 PM on June 27, 2006

Best answer: Facing towards the shower head is my default position. I turn around a lot. On a weekday, I'm all business. In, wet, soap, shampoo, brief relaxation, rinse everything well with removable shower head and I'm done.

On the weekend I spend many extra minutes in the rinsing and relaxation phases as needed. The schedule is far looser and may or may not include wankery.
posted by utsutsu at 3:30 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Well I think you're absolutely wrong, and facing the showerhead is good and pure while facing away is disgusting and deplorable. So there. I join your friends and family in openly mocking you, weirdo.
posted by palegirl at 3:31 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm no shower expert, but I think it doesn't matter which way you stand, so long as you get clean.
posted by routergirl at 3:32 PM on June 27, 2006

marxfried: Do you have one of those rotating microwave plates in there, for better spinning? You could strap your feet to it!
posted by routergirl at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2006

Response by poster:
I agree that it doesn't really matter so long as you come out clean (which I'm fairly certain I manage), but it's nice to know that I'm not alone in my away-facing habits.
posted by inging at 3:42 PM on June 27, 2006

Get one of those overhead “rain” kind of showerheads with an extention bar. Then the water doesn’t come down at you and doesn’t come out too fast to be harsh.
I still take boot camp showers: face, pits, crotch, (“You got Five...Four...Thr - you’re done! lets go!”). I do soak in the jacuzzi tho.
Baths are nice. Japanese baths, very nice.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:49 PM on June 27, 2006

I face away. I never gave it a second thought. I turn around to wash my face and rinse the front of my body, but otherwise I face away.
posted by necessitas at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2006

I stand sideways in the shower because it's fairly narrow and I'm fairly not.

I also turn off the water while scrubbing up because I'm a god damned hippy.
posted by Hildago at 4:12 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

I used to face away. Somewhere along the line, I believe post-college, I switched...I believe my conversion can be traced to experimentation with bidirectionality after showering with a shower-head-facing boy. I've now been an avowed shower-head-facer for years now.
posted by desuetude at 4:18 PM on June 27, 2006

Lately I've been pushing the shower head away from me, frothing up with soap from scrubbing, then blasting it all off by hand. How soapy do you let yourself get?
posted by unwordy at 5:06 PM on June 27, 2006

I face away during 85% of the shower, especially during hair-washing. I have long hair and it seems like facing towards the showerhead wouldn't let me rinse my hair out thoroughly.
posted by tastybrains at 5:34 PM on June 27, 2006

Well, let's see. If I'm washing my "front parts" or "side parts," I face front. If I'm washing my "back parts," I face back. Is there any other way to do it? If you always face back, how do you wash your front?
posted by Afroblanco at 5:40 PM on June 27, 2006

Short people who have the option often take showers backwards.

People of adult height cannot do so and still end up with a clean head.
posted by Megafly at 6:02 PM on June 27, 2006

I face away from the shower head. I've never even thought about it. But I'm used to showers where the water comes more from above than from the side anyway. In hotel showers where the water comes at me from the side, I just rotate to rinse all over.
posted by andraste at 6:07 PM on June 27, 2006

I'm an away-facer. It's never occurred to me that some people might regularly face towards the shower. I must test out this new position, and see if it changes the showering experience for me.
posted by Badmichelle at 8:26 PM on June 27, 2006

I installed a shower head in my ceiling to avoid this conundrum altogether.

no, not really
posted by pmbuko at 8:33 PM on June 27, 2006

I face towards the shower for everything but hair washing, for which I turn around, tilt my head back, and scoot backwards until the water hits at my hairline and runs backwards. Also for back-part scrubbing I turn around. And, I guess, for shaving my legs, which is relatively rare, but which requires putting a foot up on the edge of the tub out of the water, so the soap doesn't all run off.

Do all you away-facers have short hair? If I face away, my hair gets all wet; even if I put it up, the bun or ponytail gets in the water. This is the primary reason for facing the way I do.
posted by librarina at 9:09 PM on June 27, 2006

I straddle the head and play fireman.
posted by docpops at 9:21 PM on June 27, 2006

One must squat down facing the large tub and scoop water rapidly out with the hand bucket ladle thingy. So refreshing, rinses very well, and saves water too! I have friends back in the first world who have buckets in their bathtubs so they can take a proper shower.
posted by BinGregory at 10:06 PM on June 27, 2006

My fear is the soap. Think of the last place the person before you used, and the first place you use.
posted by zackdog at 12:25 AM on June 28, 2006

desuetude, your situation is commonly referred to as being AFUG.

Scoop showers generally reveal how un-coordinated most people are.
posted by shoepal at 1:05 AM on June 28, 2006

I use an extension arm to get my shower head a foot or so above me (I'm 6'2"). Then, I shower primarily with my back to the water, so I can lather up, then switch to rinse. Start with shampoo first and work my way down (hair, conditioner, wash face, neck, clean body with soap, rinse, done).

To those who are paranoid about where the soap's been: get your own, use a gel, or just wash your hands first with soap.

Soap is a surfectant- the moment water touches the surface, it washes away with any particulates that it's come in contact with. Don't be afraid of it. Sheesh.

Gawd. You're all f**king voyeurs through this website, aren't you.
posted by id at 2:25 AM on June 28, 2006

*ogles id*

I wonder how much of the answer depends on the height of the answerer compared with the height & angle of their shower head. My showerhead is arranged in such a way that if I face it and get under the water, I get a big faceful of water. This leads to much sputtering and squinting and discomfort. My husband is taller than I, and he can face the same shower without that problem.

As discussed in the other AskMe thread, when you have a lot of hair it's easier to properly rinse out all the shampoo & conditioner. If I stand in the stream face-first, then I get the front of my hair clean, but the crown of my head is still sudsy. Of course, this doesn't mean you must remain facing away from the stream, since you could just turn to dip your scalp into the stream when it's rinsing time. But if you've got long hair, you pretty much have to spend at least some time w/back to the spray.

But for me, it's mostly the aforementioned faceful of water that keeps my face mostly out of it. I like my showers burning scorching death hot, and it hurts my face & dries out my skin if I leave my face under the water.
posted by raedyn at 7:23 AM on June 28, 2006

I would have told them to fuck off. What kind of argument is that? Do they really care about this? How could they even assert they are "right" in an argument like this?

Face whatever way you want. I go both ways in the shower as well.
posted by agregoli at 7:48 AM on June 28, 2006

I mostly face away from the showerhead, though I turn around as needed to wash/rinse parts of the front of my body. I never thought there was a right or wrong way to do it.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:02 AM on June 28, 2006

What, you all only have a single shower head?
posted by Mitheral at 10:08 AM on June 28, 2006

I agree with those who say there's no Right or Wrong way to do it, and anyone that's hating on your approach is wrong-headed and possibly stupid.
posted by raedyn at 10:50 AM on June 28, 2006

I stand sideways, with the showerhead to my left, level with about my ear (I am tall, and the head is on an extension to make it taller and still isn't high enough) so that I get hot water on front and back at the same time.

I started doing when I lived at home with my parents house who have one shower-only facility (as in, being all tile and not with a bathtub base) and I would stand sideways facing the door so the head was to my left. I'm in my own house now, and I still gotta stand with the head to my left even though that makes the curtain behind me ;-P

I usually wash the soap out of my hair by bending at the knees and tilting backward so I don't get it in my eyes or in my right ear which has been known to get plugged for up to two weeks if I get any moisture in there.
posted by vanoakenfold at 12:10 PM on June 29, 2006

people think about which way they face?

Man, and all this time I've just been thinking about getting clean. I guess I should check my priorities. < /sarcasm>

Frankly, you need older friends if they really think facing a certain direction is "just plain wrong". That said, I generally face away from the showerhead myself... so who knows, maybe they know something we don't?
posted by sunshinesky at 5:42 PM on July 3, 2006

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