The question becomes even more important if you've decided to make some or all of your own body products. Why should you bother formulating one thing to clean your hair and another thing to clean your body?
Firstly, it's worthwhile remembering that hair is dead matter and the skin is living.
Way back in the day when most people still bathed with soap they found that when hair was also cleaned with soap it became rough and damaged.
These are some of shampoos unique attributes:
- Shampoo can be designed to reduce hair damage from colour treatments - skin does not need this.
- Shampoo can be designed to reduce hair's frizziness - skin does not need this.
- Shampoo has a pH between 4 & 6, Bodywash has a pH between 5 & 6.5
- Shampoo for dry kinky hair needs to be pimped up with more moisturising and conditioning ingredients than would be needed for a body wash.
Body washes generally contain milder surfactants than shampoo because the vast majority of the shampoo industry is geared at greasy caucasian and asian hair. If you're a kinky-curly-coily like me you need to reduce the surfactants because you probably have dry hair not greasy hair.
In fact, it follows from my final point that if you can't find a sulfate free shampoo, wash your hair with body wash - IT IS MILDER! Your body wash will probably also be formulated with sulfates but will have a much lower concentration of them.
Healthy skin and hair is mildly acidic so I prefer to use body washes and shampoos rather than soaps and shampoo bars.
- Are not as mild as shampoos
- Don't lather as well in hard water
- Leave mineral residues in hair or skin - ever had a bath with soap rather than body wash? Have you seen that soap scum that sticks to the edges of the bath marking the water level? That is the residue I am talking about.
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You might also like:
Comparatively Speaking: Shampoo vs. Body Wash Formulation (cosmeticsandtoiletries.com), Shower Gel (wikipedia).