This story came out a little while ago, but I’m just seeing it now. A 27-year-old nurse named Alison McCarthy posted to TikTok that she only washes her hair twice a week, which sounds completely reasonable as long as she’s washing her body more often than that. The thing is, McCarthy only showers once or twice a week too. After her first video went viral McCarthy posted another one defending herself, describing her dirty week and claiming that she doesn’t smell bad because she changes her clothes and wears deodorant. She also gave an interview to the Daily Mail in which she said “everyone’s body is different” and that “I know some people who never have to wear deodorant and don’t smell.”
A Boston healthcare worker caused an online uproar when she revealed she only showers twice a week. Alison McCarthy, 27, shared her hygiene habits via a TikTok post and seemed surprised when the reaction was overwhelmingly negative (although she says a lot of people sent her private messages to say they, too, don’t shower every day).
“I didn’t realize so many people would have such a strong opinion about it,” McCarthy says. Here’s how McCarthy responded to the criticism and her reason for only showering twice a week.
In her video, McCarthy explains her unique approach to cleanliness. “So I’ve recently found out that I’m a gross human being,” she says. “This is because most girls, when they say that they wash their hair twice a week, they literally mean wash their hair – and they shower every day. I only shower like, once or twice a week.”
McCarthy goes on to explain her hygiene philosophy. “I’ve gone five days without showering before,” she says. “Because if I’m getting in the shower, I’m going to wash my hair. Why would I get in the shower and not wash my hair? But I don’t want to wash my hair every day. So I’ve had to start saying that I ‘wash my hair’ twice a week (I only shower twice a week).”
The reaction to McCarthy’s shower secrets was swift and merciless. “Girl A SHOWER CAP,” said one commenter. “The comments saying showering is exhausting 😅 grab a loofah add some soap and scrub it’s less than 5 mins, without hair washing 😅 laawwddd,” said another. “She literally has NO excuse for not showering, she has a skin care routine, gym routine, works as a NURSE,” said another.
McCarthy told the Daily Mail she was taken aback at the strong reaction to her video. “Yes, very surprised, I didn’t have that many followers when I posted it so I wasn’t expecting that many people to see it or comment on it,” she says.
“Everyone’s body is different too. I know some people who never have to wear deodorant and don’t smell. I didn’t realize so many people would have such a strong opinion about it. I had a lot of people reach out and message me privately and tell me that they were happy that I spoke about it and that they weren’t alone. I was happy that I could make others not feel so ashamed or bad about themselves.”
McCarthy says she wishes people would be more kind. “I would say, be a little more compassionate to people. You have no idea what someone is going through and how an “easy” everyday task for you may not be for someone else. Often not showering is linked to depression or mental illness and it’s hard to even take care of yourself,” she says.
“Also everyone’s body is different too. I know some people who never have to wear deodorant and don’t smell. There were people saying they have skin conditions such as eczema and showering everyday dries their skin out. Just be a little kinder and understanding, don’t just assume certain things about someone.”
Maybe McCarthy doesn’t objectively smell bad due to deodorant, which I doubt, but she’s telling us that she works in a physically demanding job in a hospital with sick people and only showers twice a week – at most? Plus the commenters are pointing out that she works out since she posts about going to the gym. This reminds me so much of the great “celebrities who don’t bathe themselves or their children” debate of the summer of 2021. (Sign up for our mailing list and get the top 8 stories about celebrity bathing habits.)
The arguments McCarthy is using are some of the same that we received – in hate mail. “I don’t smell,” “there are people who don’t need to bathe,” “the body adjusts,” “have compassion for people.” They’re also the same arguments the nasty celebrities used. People who suffer from depression are often not able to perform basic tasks like showering. We are not making light of that and this is not about that, she’s bragging about the fact that she doesn’t shower and is doubling down. Also, not to get too graphic but if you’re having sexual relations with someone and only showering twice a week you’re at increased risk for a UTI and other infections – or passing those to your partner. As people countered in the comments, there are shower caps! I usually shower twice a day and use a shower cap when I don’t want to get my hair wet. I wash my legs every time too!
Here are the videos and she’s using an asinine voice filter.
@abmccarthy5757 Am I gross yes or no #washingmyhair #hairwashday #showerthoughts #fyp #viral ♬ original sound – Allison