I'm sure at some point you may have asked yourself this question: what's the difference between my body wash and my shampoo?
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:
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.
Importantly note that soap and liquid soap are completely different products to shampoo and body wash: they have an alkaline pH above 7; they are not acidic like body washes and shampoos.
Healthy skin and hair is mildly acidic so I prefer to use body washes and shampoos rather than soaps and shampoo bars.
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You might also like:
Comparatively Speaking: Shampoo vs. Body Wash Formulation (cosmeticsandtoiletries.com), Shower Gel (wikipedia).
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx