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  1. #1

    Default Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    It's safe to do so, but there are disadvantages
    The main reason for development of shampoo was that “hair became rough and damaged when soap was used to wash hair”, as you mentioned. Thus, shampoo is specific for washing hair.

    However, both shampoo and soap employ “surfactants” as the main compound to remove dirt. Let us look at the main kinds of surfactants in the history of shampoo development.

    Types of surfactants and the history of shampoo development

    1. Soap
    This is made from boiling beef tallow or palm oil with an alkaline solution to produce the salt of a fatty acid (surfactant), this process is called “saponification”. The product produced this way can dissolve oil and remove dirt.

    However, the relationship between alkali and hair is not beneficial. Alkali gradually causes damage to the proteins of hair. It may also react with other preparations for hair and cause problems. In addition, soap reacts with metal ions (Ca2+ etc. ) and forms a complex called “scum”, which is also not good for washing hair. (You are able to see scum on your bath tub.)

    2. Oil (petroleum) detergent
    These types of detergents (surfactants), such as alkyl benzene sulfonates, were originally invented in Germany during the war. At that time, Germany had to synthesize a detergent independent of fat because of the economic blockade.

    Incidentally, oil detergent, which is still used as dish soap or laundry soap, is good for removing dirt. However, it also removes the components that hair needs. This removes oil from hair and damages the skin. Bluing was invented, and some additives were added to shampoos in order to solve this problem. However, you may still feel sticky or dry depending on how thoroughly you rinse the hair after using these shampoos

    3. Higher alcohol detergents
    This type of detergent (surfactant) was developed to avoid the disadvantage of soap and oil detergents. “Higher” means the alcohol molecule has more than 8 carbons. For example, higher alcohol detergents made from palm oil (picture: hearts of palm) have usually between 12 and 18 carbons.

    * * *

    Thus, we see that new surfactants have been developed to make up for the disadvantages of the original surfactants.

    The difference between shampoo and soap
    These are properties which shampoo should have:

    * Proper detergency without degreasing
    * Ability to form delicate and rich bubbling
    * Easy rinsing
    * Good finish after washing hair
    * Minimal skin/eye irritation
    * No damage to hair
    * Low toxicity
    * Good biodegradability

    Surfactants are chosen based on these factors. In many current shampoos, the higher alcohol type–anion surfactant provides the proper detergency and forms rich bubbles, and a non-ion surfactant is added as coadjuvant. The reason why more than one kind of surfactant is employed in shampoo is to make better bubbling and to have a more beautiful finish for the hair.

    In addition to surfactants, many other ingredients are added to shampoo in order to prevent dandruff, to treat the hair, to rinse the hair and to give him/her a fresh feeling, etc. This is the difference between shampoo and soap.

    What if shampoo is used for washing a body?
    As has already been mentioned, shampoo has many functions besides taking out dirt. Thus, these functions would not damage skin, but there would be some disadvantages – for example, many ingredients in shampoo are not needed for skin (bad efficiency), and you might feel a bit slimy. In addition, the cost of shampoo is usually more than the cost of soap.

    After all this, I think it is ok and know people who do so. I love the way some shampoo smells and the way it lathers up so, why not. What do you think? Afterall, most of us do have hair on the body!

  2. #2
    Hoos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    Yes, I've used shampoo as bath soap several times over the years. Never bothered me one way or the other - no "slimy" feeling, and it got rid of bush dandruff!

    If we're talking standard grocery store shampoo vs. standard grocery store soap (like Suave vs. Dial), they both probably add plenty of ingredients that aren't needed. While there may be a difference in how the bather/shampooer feels after using it, I can't see any real long-term harm even with daily use.

    Comparing a triple-milled bath soap vs. any shampoo, there might be a noticeable difference in how the skin feels.

    You don't get the same lathering/life from shampoo, though. That is noticeable and it might take more shampoo to do the same job as soap.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  3. #3

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoos View Post
    Never bothered me one way or the other - no "slimy" feeling, and it got rid of bush dandruff!
    Oh my gentle Jesus!

    When I was in college, I had a difficult time getting stage makeup off after performances, and I tried using shampoo instead of soap. The good news was that the stage makeup did come off. The bad news was that it dried out my face so terribly that I peeled for days.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I've never used shampoo as shower gel (unless you count Bodyshops Shampoo and Body Bath)... but I would consider if I find a shampoo which does not smell like shampoo.
    A

    * * * * * * * *
    Newbie discovering the wonderful world of perfume

    * * * * * * * *

    Looking for; http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=210771
    and
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=214089

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I'm using my shampoo as a shower gel, but mostly in the parts of my body that have hair anyway which means... everything but my back.
    My limited 'drobe: Boss In Motion, Armani Code, Concentre d'Orange Verte, Paul Smith Story.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I've used my shampoo as a body wash a few times.... only because I ran out of bodywash though =X haha
    "Never take life too seriously... you'll never make it out alive."

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    well, now they make hair and body wash, so enough people must have been using shampoo for body wash...ha ha.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdnba View Post
    well, now they make hair and body wash, so enough people must have been using shampoo for body wash...ha ha.
    I think it's been the other way around -- I use my body wash as shampoo.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I was using a whole foods every day value fragrance free shampoo as a body wash untill recently. Turned out that it was drying my skin out. It wasn't until I bought nutragena rain bath gel that I noticed the difference.

    And I am not going back.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I sometimes forget either one of them and i have used them, one in place of the other and they seemed to work just fine. The only thing is that soap will dry out the hair very easily, so use some cream or something after washing your hair with shampoo.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    The surfactants and formulations used in shampoos don't work too well as a shower gel or body wash.

    Yet, the other way totally works. A gentle shower gel works great as a shampoo, particularly if you have short, healthy hair.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    Rather shampoo as shower gel

  13. #13
    Lifelong Sniffaholic
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    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    We sometimes use shampoo as body wash without any problems resulting.

    I don't wash my face with body wash or shampoo, however-- I use a gentler product for that.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I have used my shower gel as shampoo before. Never had an issue.

  15. #15
    Robin-in-FL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    shampoo as body wash - yes OK but I use more expensive shampoo so nobody better be doing this in my house.

    body wash as shampoo - OK for short hair, not ideal but certainly fine in a pinch.

    Soap as shampoo - NO.

    Soap as body wash - Not in Florida, that's for sure. Soap does nothing here but lock dirt onto your skin along with a layer of nasty feeling mineral stuff, and makes a mess in the bathtub. So no natural soaps unless you have water that is mineral-free.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    The plots thickens... ;-)

    Robin in FL, if I remember correctly, FL has very soft water (salts, I think) which makes a big difference on how a cleanser rinses off your body and hair. Here in Colorado, the water is much harder. So as you mention, minerals in the water make differences. I also agree that expensive shampoo should not be used for a body wash.

    I will differ with you on body wash being used for shampoo. I'm trying to stay away from a shameless plug, yet our (my) company makes moisturizing washes that have a ph is 6 to 6.5 and they are great for hair, even long hair. I'm sure that there are other body washes that are great for hair too, but I don't know specifics on their ph and/or gentleness on hair.

    I also know from experience that some of these stated differences in face, body and hair cleansers have been highly over-rated by marketing people. (I say this as a former vp of marketing for a large hair care company.)

    Also, there is a huge differences in the qualities of surfactants from bar soaps. The inexpensive bar soaps tend to be extremely alkaline. (And I complete agree, they are bad to use on your hair/shampoo.) They do make your skin feel "squeaky" clean, which is a marketing message that's not quite true. What has actually happened is that your skin has been stripped of it's natural, and in my opinion, healthy oils. (Some natural bar soaps are much more gentle.)

    Body wash and shampoos tend to be acidic. And your skin is slightly acid too.

    Food for thought. (I hope that's not way toooo much information.) :-)
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  17. #17
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBond007 View Post
    I have used my shower gel as shampoo before. Never had an issue.
    Same here.

  18. #18
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    Of course you can. Same cheap chemicals are in both.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    OF COURSE YOU CAN!!!

    I even sometimes use my bar soap and scrub it onto the loufa and get the suds going that way!

    As long as you are getting into the shower that's the first and most important step!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I've been doing this for 6 months as I found some Suave shampoo that was far cheaper than the equivalent sized body wash. No issues. It works fine and smells great.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Can you use Shampoo as a Shower Gel?

    I believe so. When I am at the gym on campus, I typically have to do so.

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