Can I Wash My Hair with Soap (and Should I)?

Ran out of shampoo? As you look around aimlessly in your shower, you might wonder, “Can I wash my hair with soap?” and that my friend, is what we are talking about today on the blog.

If you want the quick answer then technically yes, you can wash your hair with soap. But…

For the long explanatory answer, read on!

How Can I Wash My Hair with Soap?

It might seem silly, but it’s a completely understandable question! All our lives growing up, “shampoo” was a liquid substance that, when applied and scrubbed, would be frothy and plenty soapy!

It’s completely natural for us to wonder, then, why we use different soaps for our body and for our head hair. After all, hair is on both, right?

Moreover, it’s normal to ask how can I wash my hair with soap if the soap is a bar, and what will be the end result if I use it on my hair??

Body soap can be used to wash hair, but it’s not going to have the same results you’re used to. If you wash your hair with soap to clean it, it will clean it, but it won’t leave hair manageable, soft, and can even appear dirtier.

How to wash your hair with soap – literally

To wash your hair with soap, you will need to get lots of mousse from the bar. To reduce tangling, avoid curling and twisting hair.

Scrub deep into the roots of your hair, as normal, and rinse 2-3 times, really scrubbing and massaging hair from scalp to tips.

If you try this, you’ll likely notice your hair will have a sticky, thick texture. It might be similar to what your hair is like after swimming in the ocean and spending a day at the beach.

Can I Wash My Hair with Soap (and Should I)? | Castor Oil Guide

Why I Wouldn’t Use Soap to Wash My Hair Regularly

Once might be okay, if you’re in an emergency situation. But that’s unlikely.

When you use normal body soap to wash head hair, your hair might have some leftover residue on it.

Washing hair with soap leaves it hard to manage

If you have long hair, trying to manage hair after cleaning with body soap is really difficult. It’s painful to brush out, it leaves a residue, it kind of looks clean, kind of looks dirty, and feels anything but fresh and silky.

Now – this is my personal opinion AND experience, but remember I have very long hair so if you have short hair, or very short hair, using regular body soap might work for you. It certainly does for my partner – who washes with normal soap.*

*It is also a natural soap, which cleanses hair better than commercial, cheap soaps.

Soap won’t clean your hair properly

Using soap won’t remove all the oils that stick to hair. That’s why shampoo is so popular – because it leaves us feeling fresh with silky, clean hair.

We do overuse shampoo on a regular, general basis, which is why I don’t recommend shampooing your hair every day either.

While soap will help clean your hair, it’s not going to be the same clean that you’re used to!

Soap is harsher on your hair

Soap is meant to cleanse bodily bacteria, and while it’s useful to remove some oil from your hair follicles, it won’t give you a deep clean.

Also, soap can be a little harsher on your hair over time. Shampoo has hair-enriching nutrients that help protect and soften hair.

Soap will just strip oils without moisturizing behind! After regular use of washing your hair with soap, you’ll probably notice more split-ends, dryness, and breakage.

Should You Wash Your Hair with Soap?

On a regular basis, I’d say avoid washing your hair with soap. There are some natural soaps that are completely chemical-free and all-natural that are great for cleansing hair, but this is really if you want a basic wash.

Aleppo soap is the soap I’m talking about – I once used this for my hair and body for months while living in the south of France. If I didn’t rinse properly, my hair would look dirtier than before my shower, even though it was cleaned with soap!

Even though there are so many perks to using natural soap like Aleppo soap, I didn’t enjoy how it made my hair unmanageable.

On the contrary – Avoid using too much shampoo

While I think it’s better to shampoo your hair to properly clean and hydrate it, I think in general, we all tend to overwash our hair.

Shampooing too much creates more damage than you might think! Especially because the majority of us use commercial shampoos which are full of unnecessary ingredients.

Shampooing twice, even once a day is already too much. Your hair doesn’t have time to build up its oils and minerals in between washes, resulting in lifeless, dry, brittle hair. As a result, many people wash their hair more because of this.

By doing this, you create a vicious cycle of overwashing and over using harsh products. Conditioner, hair serums, all of it is unnecessary. If you go back to basics and wash your hair with natural soaps and let hair be “dirty” for a day, you’ll notice just how much healthier your hair is.

Try it for yourself and tell me what you think!

Can I Wash My Hair with Soap (and Should I)? | Castor Oil Guide

My Tips for Washing Hair + Keeping It Healthy

I know of a lady here in Mexico who went ONE WHOLE YEAR without using any shampoo or soap to clean her hair. She only rinsed with water. Once she got past the initial stage where her hair overproduced dirt and oil in rebellion – her hair was cleaner and healthier than it has ever been. Which is incredible!

Now, she gives her hair a nice shampoo just once a week.

I’m not saying you have to go a whole week without washing hair!!!

1. Try washing your hair less = healthier hair

But what I am saying is try to wash it less and see what happens when you do finally wash it.

Overwashing produces more oil, which makes you feel like you have to wash your hair, again. But take a couple of days off and let your hair get oily and dirty. Then wash it! Repeat until you can find a balance between washes that works for you.

Personally, I need 2-3 days before washing with shampoo. Sometimes I only rinse with water if I don’t need to shampoo it.

2. Use the most natural shampoo you can find

It is tempting to buy into the smart marketing techniques of large shampoo brands. They make their bottles so enticing, colorful, and sweet smelling!

But if you can, opt to use a natural-based shampoo. You’ll see your hair is much nicer long-term when you treat and nourish it well.

If you don’t have access to buying natural or organic shampoo, try making your own shampoo at home.

3. Avoid using heat on your hair after washing

Air-drying your hair is much healthier for it than blow-drying! I once used to wash my hair every day, blow-dry it, then straighten it. Can you guess, that was my middle-high school days, haha! It is a shame I felt the need to do that every day to feel confident. Sooo silly. The damage I was doing to my poor hair is crazy.

Now, thankfully, I’ve come to my senses and I avoid using heat from heating irons or dryers on my hair at all. (Unless necessary for a big event!)

I now let my hair dry naturally, and it thanks me for that so much. It is fresh, smooth, healthy, and long!

If you start with these three tips above, you’ll already notice a huge difference in the health of your hair!!! Try it and see.

Final Thoughts: Can I Wash My Hair with Soap or Not?

If you want to wash your hair with soap, know that you can! Soap is soap after all, but remember body soap isn’t the best for cleaning your hair for the reasons I mention above.

Did you enjoy this article? If it helped you, I’d love for you to leave me a comment letting me know.

2 Comments

  1. JANET TIHARRIS said:

    MY MOTHER USE TO WASH OUR HAIR WITH CASTOR SOAP. NOW HOW IS THAT?

    March 30, 2019
    Reply
    • Castor soap is great! Because it’s castor! … it’s natural. It’s like Aleppo soap. The soap I’m talking about in this article is commercial hand or body soap like Dove, or something similar. Now how is THAT?

      March 31, 2019
      Reply

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