Puberty causes all kinds of changes in your body. Your skin and scalp are becoming different - they may suddenly get oily very easily. Every day it seems you have new hair growing in different places. At times, you seem to sweat for no reason - and you may notice there are odors where you never had them before. What gives? What should you do about it?
These bodily changes are a normal part of becoming an adult. Still, some of them can be a real source of anxiety. Who wants to worry about whether their underarms smell, anyway?
The hormones that create acne are the same ones that make you feel like you've been styling your hair with a comb dipped in motor oil lately. Each strand of hair has its own sebaceous (oil) gland, which keeps the hair shiny and waterproof. But during puberty, when the sebaceous glands produce extra oil, it can make your hair look too shiny, oily, and greasy.
Washing your hair every day or every other day can help control greasy hair. There are dozens of shampoos on drugstore and supermarket shelves for you to choose from. Most brands are pretty similar, although you might want to try one that is specially formulated for oily hair. Use warm water and a small amount of shampoo to work up a lather. Don't scrub or rub too hard - this doesn't get rid of oil any better and can irritate your scalp or damage your hair. After you've rinsed, you can follow up with a conditioner if you like; again, one for oily hair might work best.
When you're styling your hair, pay close attention to the products you use. Some styling gels or lotions can add extra grease to your hair - which defeats the purpose of washing it in the first place! Look for formulas that are called "greaseless" or "oil-free."
Sweat and Body Odor
Perspiration, or sweat, comes from sweat glands that you've always had in your body. But thanks to puberty, these glands not only become more active than before, they also begin to secrete different chemicals into the sweat that has a stronger smelling odor. You might notice this odor under your arms in your armpits. Your feet and genitals might also have new smells.
The best way to keep clean is to bathe or shower every day using a mild soap and warm water. This will help wash away any bacteria that contribute to the smells. Wearing clean clothes, socks, and underwear each day can also help you to feel clean. If you sweat a lot, you might find that shirts, T-shirts, socks, and underwear made from cotton or other natural materials (like wool) will help absorb sweat more effectively.
If you're concerned about the way your underarms smell, you should use a deodorant with antiperspirant everyday. They come in sticks, roll-ons, gels, sprays, and creams and are available at any drugstore or supermarket. All brands are similar (and ones that say they're made for a man or for a woman are similar too, except for some perfumes that are added). The main difference is the one between deodorants and antiperspirants. Deodorants get rid of the odor of sweat by covering it up, and antiperspirants actually stop or dry up perspiration. Antiperspirants often contain a deodorant in them, too. If you choose to use deodorant or antiperspirant, be sure to read the directions. Some work better if you use them at night, whereas some recommend that you put them on in the morning. But keep in mind that deodorants or antiperspirants aren't even necessary for some teens. Deodorant and antiperspirant commercials may try to convince you that you'll have no friends or dates if you don't use their product, but if you aren't troubled by the way you smell and you take daily baths or showers and wear clean clothes, you may be fine without it.
You can use a traditional razor and shaving cream or gel or an electric razor. If you use a regular razor, make sure the blade is new and sharp to prevent cuts and nicks. Shaving cream and gel are also a good idea; they're often a better bet than soap because they make it easier to pull the razor against your skin. Be sure to go slowly as it's easy to cut yourself if you move too fast.
If you choose to use an electric razor, you will be much
less likely to cut yourself. Some teens use an electric razor to start out
shaving because it lets them get a feel for it without the fear of cutting
themselves. Some people don't like electric razors because they feel that they
can't get as close a shave as with a regular razor and shaving cream. Whichever
shaving method you choose, be sure to follow your shave with a lotion or skin
moisturizer because shaving can remove some of your skin's natural moisture.
The first trick to laundry is not waiting too long in between loads, especially if you have to go to a Laundromat. Designate a hamper, or clothesbasket, and every time it fills up go do laundry. Remember, if you go to a Laundromat, bring quarters. Choose a detergent – brand is not important but choose one that has color safe bleach. Liquid detergent is probably better overall and can also be used as a pre-treatment but it is usually more expensive than powered soap. When you compare prices make sure you look at the number of loads in each container rather than the container size, as some detergents are concentrated (you would need to use less per load).
First, separate the colors from the whites. If you have something gray and it is new, put it in the color section, otherwise put it in with the whites. Next, add a cap full of soap to your washing machine and start the machine. You should add the detergent BEFORE the laundry because dumping powdered soap on top of clothes can cause some colors to streak or fade. Each item should have a care tag on it which will explain what to do, you will learn how to read the care tag later. In general, you should use hot water for whites, cold water for new or bright colors, and warm for lighter colors or other colored clothes that have been washed several times. Remember to select the appropriate load size on the machine.
If you are washing very dirty or stained whites, you may and a cup of bleach to the machine as it is filling up. Once the basin is full, then slowly add your clothes into the machine, carefully stringing it around so that the weight is evenly proportioned throughout the machine. Don’t over fill the machine as it will not get your clothes as clean and may overflow. You should allow three inches below the lid of the machine.
Now start the machine and allow it to run. After it has completed its full cycle, remove all of the clothes from the washing machine and place them into the dryer. Dryer sheets are optional but useful during the winter or in dry climates to avoid static. Use the ‘auto dry’ setting which automatically measures the moisture in the clothes and stops when they are dry. If auto dry is not available, use ‘time dry’ and allow the clothes to dry until they feel dry An average load will take approximately 60 minutes to dry. Large loads or heavy items such as jeans, sweaters or towels will take longer and smaller loads or light clothes such as T-shirts and socks will take less time.
Be careful not to put “dry-clean only” items into the washing machine or dryer. Also make sure that you don’t ever use hot water with colors for it may cause them to bleed. If you ever wash something with leather or suede on it, then turn it inside out and place it in a pillowcase to lesson the chances of abrasion. If in doubt, either hand wash it or dry-clean it.
1. Check the care labels (avoid buying dry-clean or hand-wash only items if at all possible unless you want the extra hassle and expense)
2. Sort clothes carefully
3. Pre-treat stains
4. Use the correct water temperature
5. Large and small items should be mixed together so you do not overload the washer or dryer
6. Use the correct kind and amount of laundry detergent
7. Use the appropriate washing cycle (Gentle, knits, etc.)
8. Be sure to rinse items thoroughly
9. Dry clothes at the proper temperature (don’t forget to check/empty the lint trap)
10. Promptly remove clothes from dryer
If you've looked at a laundry care label lately, you've probably noticed symbols that resemble primitive cave drawings. Here is a useful guide that explains what these care symbols represent and how they can help you get the cleanest clothes without damaging your garments.
Out, Out Damn Spot
The following stains can usually be removed if you follow the directions carefully. Remember, the longer a stain remains, the harder it will be to remove. You can usually use chlorine bleach with white items and color-safe bleach with colors (read the care label to make sure). The following is information about how to best handle various stain types. Brand names are used in some cases, but any similar product would work just as well.
Milk or Egg Products
Rinse well in cool water. Presoak with detergent and powdered Clorox 2® in cool or warm water. Follow Package directions for dissolving bleach. Launder in cold water with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach.
Tea, Wine, Soft Drinks
Pretreat with liquid Clorox 2. Launder right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Butter, Oil, Mayonnaise, Ice Cream, Chocolate, Cosmetics
Apply Stain Out stain remover and rub into stain – let stand for 5 minutes. Launder with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. (Old mildew will weaken fabric. Severe scorch cannot be removed.)
Launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. If stain has caused color change, try to restore by using ammonia on fresh stains, vinegar on old stains. Do not use ammonia or vinegar with liquid bleach.
Color transfer is caused when unstable dye colors "bleed" from one fabric to another. Their removal is often difficult. To minimize problem, sort loads by color, and always remove clothes from washer as soon as rinse cycle is complete. Re-launder affected items right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach. If color remains (on all-white fabrics only) use a packaged color remover or stripper sold under the "Rit" label.
Apply Stain Out or rubbing alcohol. Rub on detergent and launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. Repeat if necessary.
May be impossible to remove. Apply Stain Out and rub on detergent. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Mustard, Ketchup and Other Tomato-Based Products
Presoak in powdered Clorox 2 and detergent in warm or hot water. Launder with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach. If oily stain remains, use Stain Out on stain and launder again.
Soak in cool water. Pretreat with Stain Out or bar soap and rub gently. Wash with detergent and Clorox bleach, or Clorox 2.
To remove crayon stains, place the stained surface down on a pad of paper towels, spray with WD-40, and let stand for a few minutes. Turn the fabric over and spray the other side. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and work into the stained area. Replace towels as they absorb the stain. Wash items in hot water with a laundry detergent and bleach for about 12 minutes. Use "heavy soiled" setting if there is no minute timer on your machine, and rinse in warm water.
Apply Stain Out and rub gently into stain; let sit 5 minutes. Then wash with detergent and Clorox bleach or Clorox 2 in the hottest water safe for fabric.
Soak in cool water. Rub bar soap into the stain or pretreat with liquid Clorox 2. Wash right away with detergent and Clorox bleach or Clorox 2 in hottest water recommended for fabric.
Large or Bulky Items
Most home washers do not have sufficient size for extremely large items such as sleeping bags, comforters, or coats. However, many community laundry mats have large-front load washers that can handle these items. They generally cost around $3 per load.
Down Pillows, Coats, etc.
Down filled (feather) pillows, coats or sleeping bags need special care. Use a front load machine on gentle cycle or fill the top-load washer with warm water and detergent. Press the items down into the water and let them soak for 30 minutes. Use your hands to squish the suds through it then rinse 3 times and avoid twisting the items. Press as much water out of the items as possible and let drip over the tub or outside on the clothesline. You can also put the items in the dryer on low. Add a clean pair of shoes to the load to keep the down from bunching up.
Heavily Soiled Items
Items with a large amount of mud or dirt on then should be shaken or brushed off or even hosed off to avoid sending large amounts of soil through your washer. Greasy Items should be washed separately, pretreated, and presoaked, then washed at the highest temperature recommended for the fabric. Check the items thoroughly after the wash and repeat if necessary. Drying stained items may ‘set’ the stain making it impossible to remove.
Many items no longer require ironing however dress shirts and slacks often look better if they are touched up. Many people like to reset the crease in slacks and the cuffs and collars in dress shirts. When pressing a shirt, start with the sleeve cuffs, then arms, shoulders, collar and finally the body of the shirt. When pressing slacks, start with the waistline including the front pleats (if any) then lay the slacks on the ironing board pressing one leg at a time, making sure the crease is centered down the front and back of each leg. Use a damp cloth or the steam function of the iron. Turn the pants over and press the second leg. Make sure to read the care label for proper temperature setting and do not allow the iron to stay on one area of the item for more than a few seconds.
Storing Seasonal Items
When you have used your ski jacket for the last time in the spring or when it’s too cold to use your swimming suit until next season, you should pack them up until next year. Proper storage techniques will help to keep you from having to buy new clothes next year. Many stores sell inexpensive, small plastic storage containers that have snap on lids and are stackable.
· Wash and thoroughly dry all items before you store them.
· Keep the items in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight.
· Toss in a fabric softener sheet to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
1. What is the main cause for oily hair and skin during puberty? ______________________________
2. How often should you wash your hair?__________________________________________________
3. Why should you use antiperspirant with deodorant? ______________________________________
4. List one advantage and one disadvantage for each methods of shaving:
Traditional Razor: _________________________ _________________________
Electric Razor: _________________________ _________________________
5. How often should you do laundry? ____________________________________________________
6. What is the best way to sort your clothes before washing?
A. Separate work clothes from leisure clothes
B. Separate high-cost clothes from cheaper items
C. Separate colors from whites
D. Separate shirts and pants
7. Describe in writing what the following symbols mean:
8. What should you do before you wash items with caked in dirt? _____________________________
9. What should you do before you wash items with heavy grease? ____________________________
10. Why should you always make sure stains are out before you dry your clothes? _______________
11. How can you tell if something is machine washable? ______________________________________