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As much as we love to sing the praises of Dawn Dish soap whenever it’s applicable, we have to draw the line somewhere. . . right? A recent TikTok video has had beauty lovers scratching their heads after one creator’s hack using Dawn Dish Soap as shampoo went viral.
Many people in the comments were rightfully confused about whether or not it really works (including us), and as it turns out, it kind of does. But before you run to your kitchen and dowse your head in the stuff, allow us to explain with the help of some professionals.
“The short answer on whether this hack works is yes,” hairstylist Kee Taylor tells POPSUGAR. “You can use it instead of shampoo, but you shouldn’t make a habit out of it.” In this case, the Dawn acts like a clarifying shampoo, which typically addresses hair concerns like a lack of luster and volume, oily roots, and buildup caused by products, dirt, and chlorine. But that doesn’t mean it’s all good for your hair.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Dawn Dish Soap as Shampoo
There’s one big reason why the pros don’t recommend using dish soap on your hair, and it has to do with the product’s pH levels. “[Dawn dish detergent] can range in pH between seven and nine, which our hair doesn’t usually like,” cosmetic chemist Javon Ford noted in an Instagram video discussing the hack. “It prefers to be in a more acidic range around three to five.” This means that dish soap is more alkaline, or basic, and human hair, on the other hand, typically falls on the more acidic side of the scale. Frequent interactions of the two can cause an increase in frizz, breakage, and hair tangling over time, according to a study published in the International Journal of Trichology.
This means under no circumstance should dish soap replace your regular shampoo. Though all clarifying shampoos have the potential to strip the hair, causing dryness and frizz, the formulas created by brands are often supplemented with moisturizing ingredients that help counteract that effect. “Some great options are the Deeper Than Hair Detox Bath ($23) and the NatureLab. Tokyo Perfect Clean 2-in-1 Scalp Scrub and Clarifying Shampoo ($19),” Taylor says. “The former has moisturizing properties like tea tree and peppermint oils, and the latter has hyaluronic acid and glycerin to not only cleanse the scalp but make your hair appear much more shiny, as well.”
While there is some merit to this hack, we can’t stress enough how important it is to stick to a product that is formulated specifically for human hair. Your hair will thank you.