Can you use laundry detergent to wash your hair if you like? Washing your hair with laundry detergent will clean your hair, but it can also harm the hair. It also exposes you to many risks including skin irritation, eye damage and developing sensitivity to the ingredients in the cleaner. But you may love to experiment with new trends, including washing your hair with laundry soap.
Technically, you can, but should you use this method to take care of your hair? We’ll say no, but if you’re not convinced, read on to understand the full risks of using laundry detergent to wash your hair.
Laundry soap for hair
What happens if you put laundry detergent in your hair?
If you apply laundry detergent to your hair, it will clean your hair. The detergents in these products are great at absorbing grease and oils so you can rinse and drain them.
However, it may not feel clean to you because unlike shampoo, laundry detergent is not designed to produce a lot of suds. Foaming shampoos and personal care soaps make us feel like we’re getting cleaner hair or skin, even if we really don’t.
Damage to your hair In
addition to not feeling as clean as you want it to be, your hair will be dry and tangled if you wash it with laundry detergent. This is because shampoo products usually contain some ingredients that restore moisture to the hair. Without this extra moisture, the laundry detergent will leave your hair dry, weak, and prone to damage.
Also, many of the ingredients in laundry detergent are quite harmful to the hair. Most detergents contain enzymes designed to break down biological molecules. This helps get rid of food stains and oils, which is great when washing clothes. But these will also break up the molecules in your hair.
Some laundry detergents also contain bisulfite. This chemical compound is known to disrupt the chemical bonds that hold the proteins in the hair together. So putting this in your hair will make your tresses weak.
There’s a reason you shouldn’t use most laundry detergents on wool, as this can break down its texture. If it can destroy wool, it can also damage your hair.
And there are plenty of anecdotal accounts online of how much damage it can cause. Many women report that their hair has become thin, brittle, or dry. Some people have even reported hair loss after just one wash with laundry detergent.
The bar of soap may be the only exception. They are usually designed for skin exposure often because people use them to hand wash clothes.
It is common in some developing countries to use laundry soap for hair or body. And most people don’t seem to have long-term problems with this. However, keep in mind that there have been no long-term studies on this topic, so there is no way to know for sure.
Laundry Detergent and hair loss and Damage
If you’ve already used laundry detergent in your hair and your hair is now damaged, there is still some hope for you.
There are two ways to treat hair damaged by laundry detergent, which are coconut oil treatments and the use of protein fillers.
Coconut oil has a high degree of affinity for hair proteins and can penetrate deep into the hair shaft. In a 2002 study conducted in India, coconut oil was found to significantly reduce protein loss for both undamaged and damaged hair.
To get these effects, you need to massage your hair with coconut oil, so that it is saturated with it. Then cover your head with a plastic cap or towel or wrap it and leave the oil on overnight. The longer you leave it on, the better. Then wash your hair gently the next day.
Another way to repair damaged hair is to use a protein filler. These products can restore hair porosity and repair damaged protein bonds.
If you are experiencing hair loss from washing your hair with laundry detergent, these two treatments may help. Repairing the protein bonds will strengthen the hair, which will prevent it from breaking.
Laundry detergent strips hair
If you know the risks and are still intent on trying a laundry detergent on your hair to remove hair dye, you may want to use a soap that contains sodium bisulfite, as this ingredient helps lighten hair. You can find a list of products that contain this chemical in the Consumer Product Information Database.