Can You Use Body Wash on Your Hair or Vice Versa?

We use body wash, shower gel, or bar soap to clean the body. And for hair, we have no other option except shampoo.

Do you ask yourself ever, why this difference? Is it necessary to buy two different products to serve the same purpose; cleansing? Whereas only a few years ago, our ancestors used only bar soap to clean both their hair and body.

I think the factor responsible for using these two different products is Modern Technology. It tells new things about our skin and hair.

Now we know the details about our skin composition and what it needs to function smoothly. It is true for hair as well. That’s why the manufacturers introduced two different types of products; body wash and hair shampoo.

But, the question is, can you use body wash on your hair or shampoo on body?

The simple answer is No. But, you should know why the answer is negative. Let’s see.

Purposes of Body Wash

The purpose of the body wash is very simple, just making our body clean and refreshed. Its main duty is to wash off dead skin cells, dirt, impurities, pollutants, odor, sweat, makeup, etc. that we usually get from the day job.

First, you have to know what a body wash does to your skin. Mainly it softens the impurities and foreign particles stuck on your skin. The huge cream-like lather of body wash helps to make it possible.

Some body-washes contain scrubbing beads and other exfoliating ingredients to buff away the stubborn dead skin cells and dirt. It also helps to open up the skin pores that prevent acne on your body such as back acne.

Read Also: Some Alternatives to Body Wash.

Besides washing off the impurities, body wash moisturizes your skin with various well-known moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, glycerin, honey, etc.

There is also antibacterial body wash available in the market. It helps to fight against the odor and acne-causing bacteria. Though excessive use of antibacterial body wash may develop side effects like bacterial resistance.

So, in a simple word the purpose of the body wash is to keep your skin safe by removing dead skin cells and give a healthier look through proper moisturization and nutrition.

Both body wash, shower gel, and bar soap do the same job with little variations. I have written a post about their differences, you may check. Body wash is more moisturizing than shower gel and bar soap. Moreover, bar soap is quite harsh for the skin.

Purpose of Shampoo

As body wash clean our body, we use shampoo to clean our hair. It’s a viscous liquid that creates lather and clean our hair and scalp from dirt, oil, buildup, dandruff, etc.

Our hair and scalp got various types of buildup from the environment we live and the hair products we use. Hair products include hair oil, gel, dye, spray, and lots more. These buildups will make your hair damaged and dull. Besides these, we also have additional problems like dandruff, fungal infections, and lice.

To address and solve these problems there is a wide variety of shampoo out in the market. Lots of brands introduce their shampoo incorporated with different ingredients with a promise to make your hair clean, soft, shiny, and healthy again.

There are also organic shampoos to clean your hair in the safest way possible. You should be choosy before buying a shampoo. Pick a shampoo that can meet the specific needs of your hair.

Your hair types also have a great role in choosing a shampoo. If your hair is oily, you should not use the shampoo that is made for dry and brittle hair. You are allowed to switch between different brands to select the best suited shampoo for your hair.

So the purpose of shampoo to wash off the impurities from hair and bring it back in life.

Composition of Body Wash and Shampoo

The basic composition of body wash and shampoo is quite same. The main difference comes from other ingredients that are used to serve specific skin and hair purposes.

Both body wash and shampoo are made with surfactants (SLS or SLES). These are the ingredients responsible for creating lather and cleansing of skin and hair. They bind with the dirt and excess oil and wash them off from the body and hair with the help of water.

Read Also: The Bad Body Wash Ingredients.

Though the percentage of using surfactant differs in body wash and shampoo. Usually, shampoo contains less surfactant than body wash. That’s why body wash is a little harsh than shampoo.

Another difference between body wash and shampoo is their pH level. Shampoo is acidic than body wash. Its pH level remains below 5. Whereas the pH level of body wash ranging from 5 to 6.5 as the pH of the skin is around 5.5.

The additional ingredients of body wash and shampoo that make it suitable for different skin and hair type make huge different between them.

For example, an antidandruff shampoo contains fungicides such as selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, and most commonly used ketoconazole. And it is hard to find them in the body wash. On the other hand, an antibacterial body wash contains triclosan which is completely absent in shampoo.

It is true for the other ingredients as well. Even the amount of moisturizers used in body wash and shampoo have variations. Now you can understand that both body wash and shampoo are cleansing agents with different values.

What Happens If You Put Body Wash in Your Hair

You already know the ingredients of the body wash are quite different than hair shampoo. It is designed to remove excess oil and dirt from your skin as well as pores. It may contain exfoliating elements to buff away dead skin cells from the skin.

The cleansing capacity of body wash is stronger compared to shampoo. If you use body wash on hair, chances are it will wash off the necessary oil from your hair. Though you won’t see any difference from a single wash.

But, regular washing hair with body wash will suck off the life of hair. Your hair will look dull and damaged in the long run. Sometimes you may face hair breakage and split edge.

So, don’t use body wash on hair even your hair is too oily. Use a shampoo that is specially made for oily hair.

Some manufactures also introduce shampoo and body wash in a single container. You can give them a try. But, I always recommend using a separate body wash and shampoo if your shower cabinet doesn’t have any space problem.

What Happens If You Use Shampoo as Body Wash

Nothing will happen. I mean, shampoo doesn’t serve the purpose you got from the body wash. Shampoo is designed to clean hair and make it shiny and silky.

It can’t act as a strong opponent against stubborn dirt and dead skin cells. When you use shampoo as a body wash it gives you a slimy feel. It is really hard to remove that slimy feel even if you use too much water for it.

I would like to say that using shampoo as an alternative to body wash isn’t a good idea. If you do it, surely, you will finish the shower with dissatisfaction.

The Last Words

Every item on the earth has its own purpose. It is not possible to get mango flavor from a banana. So, use a specific product for a specific purpose to get a better result.


Read Also: Homemade Moisturizing Body Wash