Soap for Hair

Girl holding a soap bar in her hands
Photo: Dreamstime
Q: I would like to save some money. Can I use soap (normally used for skin) to wash my hair?
A: You could. But keep in mind that soaps for the body (or hand soaps) may contain much stronger surfactants, grease-removers and often oils or waxes that are not found in shampoos which are meant to rinse away easily and cleanly.
Bar soaps especially contain waxes that can coat the hair shaft and make the hair look limp and lifeless. Hand soaps often have grease-cutting agents that will strip the hair and scalp of protective oils that can end up making the hair feel dry and harsh. Even body wash can contain oils and emollients that will build-up in the hair and will mean that the hair looks flat and limp.
The good news is that some manufacturers understand that there are those who are looking for the convenience of being able to use one product for the hair and body, and have come up with "hair + body" formula shower gels.
Usually, these products target men, who are less likely to be willing to use quite as many different grooming products as their female counterparts. However, it does appear that some makers see the benefit this can pose for women on the go, as well as for parents with kids who are likely to try to skimp on bathing when there are too many steps involved.
So, while you can save money by using the same product to wash your body and your hair, make sure you choose the right product for the job.
See also:
How does shampoo work?
How to save money on your hair care
Does expensive shampoo make a difference?
Are salon bought hair products really better?