If you grew up in a middle-class African home like I did, there’s a chance you are familiar with the culture of deep cleaning on Saturdays. Washing bathrooms, clearing out cobwebs, and mopping the floors; you know, our version of spring cleaning. As I got older, these Saturday deep cleans were followed by another deep clean of my own: an intensive, product-filled shower with several steps that would leave me feeling as fresh as my house.
It turns out I wasn’t alone in my ritual of once-in-a-while multistep showers, and I have the internet to thank for that disclosure. People everywhere also have shower routines like mine, so much so that TikTokers have given it a name. It is called an everything shower, and if you have yet to learn about it, here’s everything you need to know. And believe me, it does so much more than clean you up.
Why Is It Called An “Everything Shower”?
Okay, so slight tangent, but have you ever thought about how hard it is to put life on pause? There’s always something going on: deadlines to meet, a frustrating employer, school issues, or maybe a new baby. It gets even worse at certain times of the month, with our pesky hormones making our low days even lower. So it’s no surprise that in our constant fight mode, we might leave no room for a bit of self-care. With everything showers, however, you do the two-in-one job of tending to your physical hygiene and giving your mental health a quick fix. Thanks to these showers, you can take the week’s stress off, literally and figuratively, especially if you find showers and personal care relaxing.
Your regular everyday shower probably goes something like this: rinse, body wash with a loofah or sponge, rinse, facial cleanser, and then rinse again. Well, an everything shower includes the stuff you do not have time for in a regular shower: shaving, exfoliating, deep conditioning, hair masks, and even callus removal. Think of it as your at-home spa ritual with all your face and body care essentials, allowing you to slow down and take some time to love and tend to your body.
Now, the everything shower can be such an extensive routine that it comprises three parts: the pre-shower, during the shower, and your routine post-shower.
Pre-shower, Actual Shower, and the Post-shower
A pre-shower sets the mood and tone for the rest of your shower. Here, you can light candles, set a robe aside, or dry brush your skin. You can also toss a shower steamer for aromatherapy and then put on some music. Again, the goal is to put yourself in that feel-good mode.
During the shower, there are no rules. Your everything shower depends on what you like to do and what you’ve been meaning to try. If you want to shave, remember to take your time with it. If you exfoliate, try a scrub that’s been on your wishlist or cart for a while. Pull out all the stops with your body washes, and remember to care for your hair with some deep conditioners and hair masks you’ve come to love. Take care of your face, too; try double cleansing using the 60-second rule and exfoliating.
And when you’re done with that arduous yet refreshing shower, it’s time for your post-shower routine. Put on your robe, apply your skincare, and lock in all that moisture with some body butters for your skin and leave-in conditioners for your hair. All in all, the everything shower is your playground, but there are a few things you need to be wary of.
A Few Things to Note About the Everything Shower
First, you need to be mindful of water, or rather the temperature of it. I get it; hot showers are oh-so-therapeutic, but if you’re going to be in the shower that long, hot water will do more harm than good as it can strip your skin of its natural oils, thus drying it out. You also need to remember that an everything shower can contain a lot of steps, and you can spend a lot of time doing those steps. My tip is to eat something before your shower, as you don’t want to get tired halfway, and do a lousy job mid-shave (as I did countless times as a teenager). Also, while you luxuriate in the process, be mindful that it’s only a matter of time before your hands grow weary.
Now that you know what an everything shower is, why it is such a good, quick fix for a lingering bad mood, and some things to be cognizant of while you’re at it, a few of us at The 21 Mag thought to share our everything shower routines.
Abim’s ‘Everything Shower’ Routine
Wash day can be tedious. Adding an everything shower to that would be incredibly taxing on your hands and feet. This is why Abim’s daytime everything shower routine is pretty straightforward, focused on relaxation and haircare.
To start with, Abim’s pre-shower routine consists of music to lighten the mood, a clay mask on a pre-cleansed face, and a joint for relaxation. Then, once she’s done setting up, she takes her time shaving with some hair removal cream from Veet while playing music from her speaker in the bathroom.
For her locs, Abim loves to lather up a bar of Dudu-Osun Black Soap, which she explains works excellent as a clarifying shampoo. And then, to restore moisture lost while shampooing, she takes a dollop of conditioner from Jamaican Mango & Lime and runs it down her locs. This takes up the bulk of the time for her shower. Once her hair’s taken care of, she washes the rest of her body and turns in for her post-shower routine.
Abim’s post-shower routine starts with moisturiser, specifically the Illiyoon Hyaluronic Moisture Cream for her face and Dr Teals Body Lotion for her body. And finally, Abim loves protecting her cleansed and moisturised skin with sunscreen from La Roche-Posay and lip balm.
Ore’s ‘Everything Shower’ Routine
For Ore, everything showers mark the end of the work week. So every Friday, she begins her multistep shower by creating the perfect atmosphere for herself: lighting some scented candles, dimming her lights, and putting on her favourite R&B playlist. She also applies a charcoal scrub mask to her face while taking the time to declutter her space and put out her shower essentials.
During the shower, she starts by washing her hair. She’s not particularly picky about the choice of shampoo and conditioner for this process; she just loves using whatever smells good. After lathering and rinsing off the products, shaving is her next step. And right after that, she rinses off again with a cold shower.
Post-shower, Ore loves to wrap her hair in spa fashion and wear a robe like in the movies. She then proceeds to use her body butter and facial oil from the Body Shop, which leave her feeling and smelling good. Ore’s routine takes over an hour and always helps her recharge for a new week.
Edima’s ‘Everything Shower’ Routine
As soon as Edima wakes up on Saturday mornings, she finds herself drawn to the soothing comfort of a warm shower. It’s her moment of peace and tranquility before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. She has a bit of a ritual when it comes to her everything showers.
To set the mood, she lights a scented candle and places it on her bathroom counter. During the shower, she starts by lathering up her favourite Dr Teal’s Glow Body Wash, taking the time to focus on each part of her body. Once she’s done, she attends to her hair by massaging her Cantu Shampoo and Conditioner into her scalp, which she admits leaves her natural hair feeling soft and moisturised. Edima’s post-shower routine is pretty straight to the point. She uses her face and body moisturiser, sunscreen and a lip balm just before heading out.
Precious’ ‘Everything Shower’ Routine
My routine focuses on two things: hydration and exfoliation. For my pre-shower, I love putting on some music, preferably Sabrina Claudio, and setting out all the stuff I’ll be applying post-shower. Then for the actual shower, I like to pre-cleanse my skin with a beauty bar, rinse, and shave with some shaving foam and a sharp three-bladed razor. After shaving, I rinse again and go in with my body wash. I especially love Naturium’s Smoother Glycolic Acid Body Wash for this. Then, for my face, I cleanse with my gly-sal cleanser from Skin Science and rinse it all off.
I’m not too big on hair, so I don’t do too much: shampoo, deep conditioner, and a scalp massager. I also use my pumice stone for my feet. Once I’m done with that, I like to gently exfoliate with a sugar scrub, rinse off, and do my post-shower routine.
Post-shower includes a sheet mask, my hyperpigmentation routine, and body butter to lock in the moisture.