Can Humans Use Dog Shampoo?

How it will influence human’s hair and how safe to use it at all

We all know this uneasy moment when we are in the shower with totally soaked hair, and suddenly we realize that we ran out of our shampoo! Oops! What shall we do? Some would turn off the water, go to the store, buy shampoo, and wash hair later. But those who have a dog often ask themselves: is it OK if I take my pet’s shampoo instead?

Have you ever wondered whether our dogs’ shampoos are suitable for humans’ hair? If you have, then this article will be more than useful for you! Because this question is not that simple as it might seem to be.

Can I Wash My Hair With My Dog’s Shampoo?

Honestly speaking, using your dog’s shampoo to wash your hair is far from being a good idea. Pet shampoo is made to meet the needs and specifics of animal fur and skin which are rather different from human’s. And if one-time use will not cause much damage to your chevelure, regular use can end up in a bad way with your hair being dried up, having disrupted pH, or worse.

Your scalp can even absorb toxic components which may lead to head skin issues!

Can I Wash My Hair With My Dog’s Shampoo (2)
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This is why, if you wash your tresses with your pet’s hair wash once, it will not cause much trouble. However, as a regular hair care product, a dog’s shampoo is not suitable for us humans. Such a wash may have rather nasty effects on your mane!

First of all, the pH balance of your scalp will be ruined and disbalanced. This is because a dog’s skin pH is equal to 7.5 whilst ours is 5.5. Naturally, if we use a product that is meant for another pH level on our head’s skin, it will sooner or later result in quite bad issues. For instance, your skin may become predisposed to bacterial infections.

Can I Wash My Hair With My Dog’s Shampoo
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Also, if you make use of your dog’s shampoo, be ready that your scalp can absorb quite many strong chemicals since such shampoos include components that are designed for repelling fleas and other pests. And again, nobody knows how your head’s skin will react to such “treatment”!

Finally, most of the dog’s shampoos can lead to your hair being dried out! Especially if they are anti-flea shampoos that also have a bad effect on our tresses. In case you use a mild product, it can resolve itself in a couple of weeks. But a harsher product can easily make your locs break off.

Ph scale human skin vs dogs skin
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Can My Dog Be Washed With My Shampoo?

Indeed, is it OK if we give our furry pet a bath using our human hair wash product? Unfortunately, it will only make things worse for our four-pawed friend instead of making it clean!

See, our skin and the skin of a dog have different pH levels.

The dog’s skin is neutral while humans have their pH closer to the acidic side of the scale. This is why, if we wash our pets with our shampoo, it will ruin the protective “shield” on their skin, destroying the acid mantle.

As a result, your pet’s skin will become vulnerable to parasites, viruses, and bacteria.

Can I Wash My Hair With My Dog’s Shampoo
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Is There a Healthy And Safe Alternative?

In fact, there is! If you always forget to buy shampoo for yourself and so you end up with an empty bottle again and again which makes you opt for your pet’s product, think of shifting to an oatmeal shampoo!

This type of hair wash is a true salvation since it can be used by both humans and dogs! In addition, oatmeal hair wash is a great remedy for itching and skin diseases. It contains natural components that come from oatmeal which are very good on scalp and skin in general.

So when you wash your dog with such a shampoo, it will not only make its fur clean and silky, it will also prevent any skin problems (or ease them if they already exist). By the way, an oatmeal shampoo can ease the itching and other negative aftermath that ticks and fleas cause.

And moreover, it is even possible to make an oatmeal shampoo yourself! Such a product will be completely natural and organic, and it will be possible to apply it also on you and your dog.

Can Humans Use Dog Shampoo For Lice?

Since pets’ hair care products that are designed to repel lice and other pests are usually very effective, some dog owners wonder whether people can make use of a dog’s anti-lice shampoo to treat this problem on themselves.

Well, to tell the truth, this is not a good idea. See, a dog’s anti-lice shampoo is designed to cast these pests off the animal fur, not human’s hair. Also, such a shampoo made for pets is designed for another pH balance of the skin, and your dog’s skin pH is different from yours. So if you apply your pet’s anti-lice fur remedy, it will most likely damage your hair and the skin of your head.

Can Humans Use Dog Shampoo For Lice
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And even though a dog’s anti-lice shampoo may contain certain components and active ingredients that human shampoo of the same kind have, it was not tested on humans and was not initially made for them! So it will rather cause more harm to you in case of being used than leave a positive effect.

I washed my hair with dog shampoo for a week!I washed my hair with dog shampoo for a week!

Can Humans Use Antifungal Dog Shampoo?

Just like with the common shampoo and the shampoo for lice treatment, anti-fungal products created for dogs will hardly be suitable for humans. The reasons are still the same:

  • different pH level that is not the same as ours
  • harsh chemical components that may cause serious hair damage and skin problems
  • such products were never tested on humans so you can never know exactly
  • what the effects of using them will be

So if you happen to face fungi issues with your hair or scalp, we would rather recommend you visit a doctor to have proper medications and treatment prescribed that are suitable for humans.

Can Humans Use Antifungal Dog Shampoo
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Can Humans Use Medicated Dog Shampoo?

In the case of a medicated dog’s shampoo, you need to be especially careful! It is strongly not recommended to apply such products on your own hair and scalp, neither one time nor, especially, many times. No matter what medical purpose a shampoo is made for, since it is designed for dogs, it will have a completely different structure and content in comparison with the human’s one.

Can Humans Use Medicated Dog Shampoo
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And if you do make use of such a product on yourself, you can never know what the aftermath might be. In the better scenario, you will end up with some minor skin irritations or allergic reactions. But if things go worse, anything can happen including severe skin reactions that will require long and expensive treatment!

Can Humans Use Medicated Dog Shampoo
Photo by Darren Richardson on Unsplash

What Is The Difference Between Dog And Human Shampoo?

So after all these distinctions we described above, you will surely have a reasonable question: what actually makes human and dog shampoos so different? Do they contain completely distinct ingredients? Or do they work in a completely different way on the hair and skin? Let’s figure this out.

To begin with, there are a bunch of nuances that make these two kinds of products really distinct.

  1. Dogs’ skin is way more sensitive than ours
  2. Our skin and the skin of our dogs has distinct pH balance
  3. These shampoos use different ingredients

Now let us be more precise.

What Is The Difference Between Dog And Human Shampoo
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Dogs do have way more sensitive skin!

Theirs is three to five cell layers whilst ours is three times thicker! This is why dogs will not stand shampoos that contain harsh compounds and ingredients, as well as products with lots of chemicals. Yep, we are more durable, folks!

Then, it is all about the pH balance, too. The skin of a dog is neutral according to its pH balance whilst ours is acidic. So if we wash our dog with human shampoo, it will cause skin irritations on a pet. All because valuable oils will be removed from the skin and fur. And also it can even result in damaging its hair protective qualities!

Finally, dogs have different issues and nuances with their skin. They are predisposed to scratching and itching much more than we are. This is why pets’ shampoos contain other solutions and active elements that prevent such skin conditions.

What Is The Difference Between Dog And Human Shampoo
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Conclusion

Now that you are informed about all the major distinctions between your own skin and the skin of your pet, you understand why it is better not to use your shampoo on your dog and vice versa.

Of course, if you apply it once, no big harm will happen. However, frequent usage is not acceptable at all since it will lead to harmful aftermath. These two kinds of products are rather distinct and they can’t be used as each other’s substitutes.

However, it is still possible to find a win-win solution, for instance, you can make use of an oatmeal shampoo to wash both your hair and the fur of your dog! This hair wash will not be harmful to both of you.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Is there a difference between shampoo and shower gel?

Yes, they are meant for different pH balance.

⭐Is shampoo and body wash the same thing?

No, they are not since they have different structures.

⭐How often should you wash your hair?

It depends on your hair type but usually it’s every two or three days.

⭐Does hot water kill hair?

Hot water does make your hair brittle and porous which will result in breakage and hair loss.

Written by Kate Holmsy
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Kate Holmsy has a 6-years experience of work in a fashion magazine since fashion and style are her greatest passions! She is known for always looking for the most recent and up-to-date trends and style ideas that she happily shares with others. Also, wellness is a new trend for her and we are proud that she shares all her knowledge and ideas with us.
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