Can You Wash Your Hair With Dishwashing Liquid?

Can You Wash Your Hair With Dishwashing Liquid?

can you wash your hair with dishwashing liquid

Believe it or not, dishwashing liquid such as Dawn soap is appreciable for more than just our dirty dishes.

So, can you wash your hair with dishwashing liquid? The simple answer is yes, but let’s consider the pros and cons of washing your crown with dish detergent.

Is Dishwashing Liquid Good for Your Hair?

Dishwashing liquid is a cleaning agent that targets heavy dirt and grime on your various pots, pans, and fine china. While similar to regular soap, it is considered a detergent. Detergents tend to go the extra mile when cleaning our belongings because they are a mixture of surfactants.

Surfactants effectively decrease the surface tension between two liquids, a liquid and a solid, and a liquid and a gas. Resultantly, grease and dried food debris stop sticking to the dishes when using dishwashing liquid. Likewise, we use laundry detergent instead of plain soap for tough stains in our linens.

Dishwashing liquid is safe for your hair when used in moderation. Using it once every few months is fine as long as you properly moisturize your scalp. Many people prefer to moisturize with baby oil or an interchangeable hair oil afterward.

Why Blue Dawn Dish Soap?

Over the last decade, people have discussed using the dish soap brand known as Dawn to wash their hair. Why should you use Dawn dish detergent over the other brands?

Dawn dish soap continues to trend as the most commonly used dish liquid for washing hair. Most people use it to get built-up dirt and product, especially if they haven’t washed their hair in a while. Some people even use it to rinse out hair dye.

Moreover, Dawn soap doesn’t require you to waste any product if you plan on washing your hair with it. One small squeeze of the blue detergent provides you with an excellent lather.

What Is pH Balance in Shampoo vs. Dish Soap?

what is ph balance in shampoo vs. dish soap

Now let’s delve into pH balances and why they are significant.

pH Balance in Shampoo and How It Helps

The “pH” refers to the “power of” or “potential for” Hydrogen. The pH scale determines the level of acidity in various products. This scale ranges from 1 to 14, and a neutral pH level stays right at 7. The healthiest hair will typically sit between 3 and 6 on the scale.

The lower numbers on the scale (1 to 6) represent a higher amount of hydrogen present and an absence of hydroxide. The higher numbers on the pH scale (8 to 14) symbolize more hydroxide and less hydrogen.

Dish soap usually has a higher pH level around 7 to 8, while shampoos can have pH levels ranging from 3 to 9. Fortunately, there are ways to lower the pH level in any hair products you own. So on the occasion that you decide to wash your hair with dish detergent, try lowering the pH using these tips:

  • Mix a lye solution with aloe vera and put it in your dishwashing liquid.
  • Combine a lye solution with citric acid and add it to your dishwashing liquid.
  • It’s beneficial to have pH level strips to verify if you’re lowering the pH correctly.
  • Never use lye without gloves and protective clothing on. You should always make sure to handle lye in a properly ventilated area as well.

Now let’s go over why pH levels in our shampoo matter.

Protects Color

Hair color is an important part of our identities. Low pH levels help prolong a fresh dye and keep the color from fading too quickly.

If the pH levels in your hair get too high, the hair dye will react with the other products in your hair and cause further damage.

Closed Hair Cuticles

Keeping your hair cuticles closed is an essential part of healthy hair. Any mildly acidic conditioner with a pH below 7 will keep cuticles tightly closed while adding a nice shine to your crown.

Protects Hair from Damage

Healthy hair has a pH level of around 5, making it naturally acidic. Using a shampoo with a pH level that resembles the hair pH further strengthens each strand.

Using a shampoo with a pH higher than 9 could cause your hair to become brittle and dry over time, affecting hair growth.

Preserving Healthy Oil Level

Regardless of what products you’re using to wash your hair, overwashing leads to the removal of natural oil production. This is why it’s crucial to moisturize your scalp and hair strands after each wash.

If you suffer from dry hair, this often leads to the scalp working twice as hard to produce oil. If your scalp overproduces oil, this inevitably causes oily hair.

Shampoos with lower pH levels will do far less damage to the healthy oil levels in your hair.

When Is It OK to Wash Your Hair With Dishwashing Liquid?

when is it ok to wash your hair with dishwashing liquid

When can you wash your hair with dishwashing liquid? Let’s say it’s suddenly “wash day,” and you realize too late that you’re out of shampoo. This would be a good time to temporarily replace your traditional shampoo with dishwashing liquid.

Furthermore, dish soap is great to use if you haven’t washed your hair in quite some time. This typically occurs after weeks or even months with braided styles.

Natural hair should be stripped of all the built-up products sitting in your hair every few months. If you do this every once in a while, your hair will absorb hair products better in the future.

Can I Wash My Hair With Hand Soap Instead of Shampoo?

can i wash my hair with hand soap instead of shampoo

Hand soap or natural soap is safe to use on your hair. This type of soap doesn’t offer the same clean and soft feeling in your hair as a shampoo bar, but it won’t damage your strands either.

What Can I Wash My Hair With If I Don’t Have Shampoo?

what can i wash my hair with if i don't have shampoo

If you’re running low on regular shampoo, consider these other products you can temporarily use in their place:

  • Dish liquid such as Dawn dish soap.
  • Hand soap such as Dove bar soap.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Conditioner

Things to Avoid

Not all products and techniques are okay to use on your hair. It’s best to avoid:

  • Using body wash. Replacing shampoo with body wash can ruin your pH and cause conditions such as dandruff.
  • Washing your hair in very hot water. Hot water further decreases hydration in your skin and scalp. Hot water also opens up closed hair cuticles, making it difficult to hold moisture. Cool or warm water is ideal when deep cleaning your hair.
James Marshall

About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »