Can you Use Shampoo as Body Wash and Vice Versa

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With so many toiletries including soaps, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and others, our bathrooms seem to be brimming with bodycare products. Considering the fact that a body wash and a shampoo do the same job of removing dirt, sweat and excess oil from your body, one may wonder whether it is alright to use shampoo as body wash and even a body wash as a shampoo. Well, in this article, we will discuss whether one can use a shampoo as body wash or not and discuss the consequences of doing so.

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The simple answer to this question is that yes you can. But, you should be prepared to wash the shampoo off your body really vigorously as it might feel sticky on your skin. You can use shampoo as body wash only seldomly when you do not have a body wash or soap with you. Let us understand why.

Basic Formulation and Action of Shampoo:

Can you Use Shampoo as Body Wash

Shampoos contain a lot of conditioners and moisturizers as they are formulated to keep your scalp skin and hair soft and moisturized. When used on your skin, you may feel it tough to remove the moisturizers and the shampoo may need more vigorous washing. Also, as shampoos do not contain glycerin, your skin may feel dry and stretched after washing with a shampoo. Glycerin is required to keep skin soft and nourished. It makes hair sticky and hence, is not added to shampoos.

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If you Have to Use Shampoo as Body Wash:

If you have to use a shampoo as a body wash too, then ensure that you use a good moisturizer on your skin later. Avoid using a shampoo as a body wash regularly. If you do not have a moisturizer, consider rubbing coconut oil or argan oil on your skin after a bath. The harsh surfactants present in a shampoo will damage your skin and make it very dry.

Can you Use a Body as Shampoo?

Can you Use a Body as Shampoo

On the other hand, if you are running short of shampoo and only have a body wash with you, then you can use it as a shampoo too. But, you will have to keep certain tips in mind to avoid spoiling your hair.

If you Have to Use Body Wash as Shampoo:

If you have to use a body wash as a shampoo, then you must use a conditioner after washing  your hair. If you do not have conditioner, then consider applying a drop or two of coconut oil to your hair and then give a final rinse. You must also use a serum to retain the shine of your hair. Next, you must not dry your hair with a blow-dryer on high heat. If you must use a blow-dryer, use it on the cool setting. After brushing your hair, apply another few drops of argan oil to your hair. The best thing would be to use a dry shampoo on your hair if you do not have a proper shampoo. If dry shampoo is not available, consider using an apple cider vinegar rinse or Indian soapberry. 


All products for body care including a body wash, soap, shampoo and conditioner are formulated keeping in mind the area they are supposed to work upon. It is advisable not to use shampoo as body wash and vice versa, if you want to prolong the beauty of your body and hair. If you must in case other products are not available, then you must use the tips mentioned above. Do not think that a shampoo and body wash are mere cleansing agents. A shampoo contains ingredients specially for rinsing hair and scalp and a body wash contains ingredients specially for rinsing the body.

Using them interchangeably once in a while is fine, but on regular use, it might disturb the pH balance of your skin or scalp. If you regularly use a body wash for your hair, it might lead to hair fall, flaky scalp, dandruff and sticky hair. And similarly, regularly using a shampoo on your skin might give  you dry skin. 

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