Can You Wash Your Hair With Laundry Detergent?

When the shampoo runs out, you may start looking for an alternative to wash your hair. Apart from DIY shampoo alternatives, laundry detergent can be used to wash hair!

Yes, you heard right. But the laundry detergent formula is entirely different from the shampoo formula.

With that said, a question raises – can you really wash your hair with laundry detergent?

The answer is a big NO. Any type of laundry product will rob the natural oils from the hair and produce dry, frizzy, and brittle hair. Emergency application of it is somehow acceptable, but not the regular use.

Unexpectedly, laundry detergent is a potential hair color remover. Therefore, you have to use it to decolour your hair with caution.

This write-up will let you know every aspects of the application and impacts of laundry detergent on hair. So, keep reading till the end.

Can You Wash Your Hair With Laundry Detergent?

What Happens if You Put Laundry Detergent in Your Hair?

What Happens if You Put Laundry Detergent in Your Hair?

Laundry detergent will really clean your hair, but you will be surprised later with unexpected aftermaths. Since it breaks down food, grease, and stain from clothes, it will degrease your hair too.

The ingredients, specifically the enzymes used in laundry products are quite harsh for hair. Moreover, they don’t restore the stripped natural moisture after the shower. Besides, some laundry detergents have bisulfate which destroys the proteins of the hair.

Washing hair with laundry detergent not only results in hair damage but also severe health issues. If the detergent lather reaches to your eyes, it will irritate your eyes.

Prolonged exposure of detergent to the skin will cause skin irritation, or maybe asthma. You must rinse your body and eyes thoroughly with plenty of water while using laundry detergent as shampoo.

The foam that the detergent made won’t do any good if it sits on your skin for long. Therefore, wash the foam as fast as possible.

In case you accidentally got laundry detergent in hair, repeated rinsing will minimize the impact. Get medical help if irritation occurs even after rinsing.

Laundry bars are manufactured for handwashing clothes. So they are less harsh than detergents and won’t harm the skin. You can use them to wash your hair, but remember that they have chemicals too.

Can Laundry Detergent Damage Your Hair?

Can Laundry Detergent Damage Your Hair?

Of course, it can. Since it does not restore the lost moisture, your hair will be dry and brittle. Also, broken hair molecules will leave weaker strands.

You may experience hair fall from the first wash. Even if you deep condition your hair to fix the problem, your hair will fall out from the root. With damaged hair, irritated scalp may come out too.

Laundry detergent on hair to remove dye

Laundry detergent on hair to remove dye

Laundry detergent cannot remove hair dye instantly. Rather, it takes 5 washes to restore the previous hair color. And conditioning is a must each time you use detergent as shampoo.

Wet your hair with warm water first and take a tablespoon of detergent to apply. Later, cover all of your hair, rinse, apply a leave-in conditioner, and rinse again.

Some people say that leaving the detergent for a few minutes will remove the hair dye better than instant washing. If you want to do it, first cover you hair with a shower cap or plastic grocery bag and then with a towel.

If it is a liquid detergent, you can apply it directly. But for a powdered detergent, you have to use water to dilute it before applying. Make sure the detergent or washing powder is natural and bleach-free.

Wash your hair and wait until it dries to see the result. In case you see a slight hair damage, washing again with the detergent will be dangerous. Go to a professional hair salon to decolour your hair.

Laundry Detergent Hair Stripping

Laundry Detergent Hair Stripping

There are other safe options to strip off hair color instead of laundry products. Still want to use a cloth-washing soap? Choose one with sodium bisulfate included.

Sodium bisulfate fades hair color but strips moisture from hair and gives dry, brittle hair. It is a bleaching agent and lightens roots quicker than ends.

In case your cloth-washing powder or detergent lacks bisulfate, use a dishwashing product with bisulfate. Dishwashing bar is more gentle than dishwashing liquid on hair and skin.  

Can laundry detergent be harmful?

Yes, it can be highly harmful to humans and the environment. The toxic chemicals it contains cause innumerable health consequences to humans.

Again, if it reaches the marine environment, it will disrupt the oxygen level and the ecosystem there. If laundry cleaners have plastic packaging, more environmental troubles are yet to happen.


Does laundry detergent take out hair dye?

Yes, it does. Before you use laundry detergent to get rid of your hair dye, make sure it is natural, bleach-free, and contains stain-lifting enzymes. Only a tablespoon of laundry detergent is enough to retrieve the original hair color.

Is it safe to use detergent on hair?

As long as you use detergent on your hair with caution, it is safe. Wet your hair, massage the detergent like a shampoo into your strands, and rinse thoroughly. Make sure the thing does not get into your eyes and sit up on your skin for too long. And you should not use it more than once.

Can you shower with laundry detergent?

Can you shower with laundry detergent?
Can you shower with laundry detergent?

You can, but only in emergencies. Laundry detergents have harsh chemicals designed for cleaning dirty dishes only, not hair or skin. Using them regularly in a shower will give you broken hair and various types of skin irritations. Even if you use them for a single bath, you may feel thin hair, dryness or redness.

Can you substitute shampoo for laundry detergent?

Yes, you can. Shampoo creates a lot of suds. Hence, use it for handwashing clothes rather than machine-washing. If you have to use it in a washing machine, pour a tiny amount, like using a small bottle cap squirt. It will clean your clothes but won’t overspill your floor.

Can I wash my hair with cloth soap?

Yes, you can. Cloth soaps or laundry soaps have antibacterial properties and other scalp-friendly components. They may not cause allergies instantly, but using them directly and frequently will make your hair dry and tangled. Make a soap solution with other ingredients and apply it instead of rubbing the bar directly. The rule is not to use the soap solution more than 3 times a month.


Now, you should have the answer on can you wash your hair with laundry detergent. Yes, you guessed right. You can do it in the most dire emergency or for removing hair color.

Using laundry detergent as a shampoo more than once is risky. In terms of removing hair dye, 5 washes with laundry detergent will make you bald for sure. And you definitely, won’t want that to happen.

Try to stock shampoo or hair color remover as much as possible so that you won’t have to depend on laundry goods.

Also, read about: spilled laundry detergent on hardwood floor?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Us

You certainly can’t believe everything the Internet tells you. Kelvin David knows this better than anyone. A few years ago, Kelvin decided to try online shopping for the first time. He was looking for a new electric drill he could use on his daily work as a contractor.