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Can I wash my hair with body wash? You asked, we answered…

We’re often asked whether it’s ok to wash your hair with body wash. Not only would it speed up the showering process, but it could save money, right? Sadly, using body wash to shampoo your hair isn’t something we would recommend, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, shampoo and body wash are two entirely different products, formulated with different jobs in mind. Plus, you’re going to need a conditioner, and shampoo and conditioner are designed to work together. Read on for the finer details.

Can you wash your hair with body wash?

For basic cleaning, yes, but body wash is not designed to condition your hair. Although body wash and shampoo can sometimes look and feel similar, they are formulated very differently for their intended purposes:

* pH levels: Most body washes tend to have a pH of around 5.5, which is the optimal level for ensuring the skin remains balanced. Anything too acidic could cause irritation, while anything too alkaline will cause skin to dry out. Shampoo, however, should ideally fall below 5.5 to ensure the hair’s cuticle remains closed, minimizing moisture loss, frizz and static.
* Ingredients: It’s likely you use a shampoo and conditioner that meet your hair’s specific needs, whether it's curly, coiled, colored, dry or damaged. Body wash doesn’t have any of those needs in mind so isn’t suitable for use on your hair.
* Formulation: Most body washes are specifically – and carefully – designed to get rid of excessive oil and dirt on the body. They tend to have stronger cleansing agents for this reason, so using them in place of shampoo is likely to strip the hair and scalp of their natural oils. Not all of course, there are some very mild body washes that provide moisture to the skin. Shampoo cleanses without removing essential oils, ensuring the hair remains hydrated and smooth.

What happens if you put body wash in your hair?

We’ve established that washing your hair with body wash isn’t really recommended, now it’s time to explain exactly what happens when you do. As mentioned earlier, body wash tends to be formulated at much stronger levels, which could strip the hair and scalp of their natural oils.

Body washes don’t have conditioning and detangling ingredients for hair, so strands can become dry and frizzy, plus the pH imbalance could lead to a dry, itchy, flaky and sensitive scalp.

It’s also important to note that if your hair is bleached or dyed, the fact that body wash doesn’t condition your hair means your color will lack vibrancy. After spending hours in the salon chair that’s the last thing you want.

Body wash vs. shampoo

Hopefully we’ve managed to convince you on the importance of having a separate shampoo and body wash. When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, opt for something hair-type specific, like Dove Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner. If you don’t have a specific hair concern you’re trying to target, Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner is a great all-rounder. And for your body? Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash is iconic for a reason: suitable for all skin types, it deeply hydrates for softer, smoother-looking skin in just one use. Plus, it works to protect the microbiome, and is sulfate-free for a gentle but thorough cleanse.

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