Can Humans Use Dog Shampoo?

Learn all about using animal shampoo consequences

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on Learn all about using animal shampoo consequences

We do not usually go for our pet’s shampoo when it is time to give our hair a good wash, it’s clear, but let’s agree: most of us think that a shampoo is just a shampoo no matter whom it was designed for or for what purpose. 

This is actually why people tend to use color-safe shampoos on undyed hair or apply the anti-dandruff product if they don’t have dandruff at all.

However, regarding this issue, a reasonable question may occur: can we make use of an animal shampoo? Well, such an experiment will have certain backwash and you’d better be informed about that.

Can We Wash Our Hair With Dog Shampoo?

Technically we can, of course, but using the product that was designed for the animal hair will not go unnoticed for your locks. Dog shampoos are created specifically for animals considering the specifics of their hair and needs, so washing your head with them will sooner or later end up in health problems.

What can be the backwash of using your pet’s hair wash?

It will disrupt the pH balance of your hair

The thing is that people need shampoos that have an acidic pH level whereas dogs require those with a neutral pH. This is why using a dog’s shampoo will not only disbalance your own pH, but it will also cause various unpleasant repercussions such as dry skin of the head or the susceptibility to bacterial infections on the area where the shampoo was applied.

This can happen even if you make use of a dog’s shampoo only once, so if your hair needs to be washed and you have no human shampoo, better tie your locks in a bun and go buy some.

You can absorb toxic ingredients

Since most of the dog’s shampoos are designed to ward off fleas and other pests, they contain rather aggressive chemicals that are too harsh for our skin. And even the mildest animal product will make our skin absorb tons of chemicals!

Dog’s shampoo dries your hair out

Can We Wash Our Hair With Dog Shampoo
Photo by Brooke Cagle

Sounds scary but it is true. Since some of the dog’s hair wash products can actually result in bouncy hair, most of them (like anti-flea shampoos, for instance) will have the opposite effect causing significant harm to your tresses. 

And if a mild product will resolve itself in a week or two, harsher alternatives can even lead to our hair breaking off. 

None of these possible consequences worth using a dog’s shampoo even once since you will most likely spend way more time and effort later when trying to restore your damaged strands.

Can Humans Make Use Of a Dog’s Flea Shampoo?

You can absorb toxic ingredients
Photo by Matthew Tkocz

This is a common question, especially from parents of little children who had (or now have) lice. The idea is that the components of the flea product will kill the lice since, indeed, the content of a human anti-lice remedy and your pet’s flea stuff is quite similar.

To figure it out, we must say that in general it is not strictly forbidden to apply a dog’s flea shampoo to people. Such treatment will not normally have any severe aftermath and it will not cause any nasty harm to our locks or the skin of the head.

However, anti-flea products for animals do contain chemicals and insecticides to eliminate ticks and fleas, and those compounds can be absorbed by our head skin.

As a result, rashes, itching, or allergic reactions are highly possible. In addition, sensitive hair may react by falling off.

Can Humans Make Use Of a Dog’s Flea Shampoo
Can Humans Make Use Of a Dog’s Flea Shampoo?

You must be especially attentive and careful if your pet’s flea shampoo contains pyrethrins. This is a pesticide derived from chrysanthemum flowers, but its natural origin still makes that stuff highly harmful to humans, especially if ingested! When swallowed, it can result in vomiting, seizures, and in the worst cases, even death. 

Why Would Someone Opt For a Dog’s Shampoo?

Indeed, why use something that is meant for animals if we have plenty of good any purpose products that are meant for people?

The first thing that comes to mind is that one has run out of a normal hair wash and must go for a pet’s product, but in fact, this is not always the reason.

  • Allergies

Human shampoos contain lots of artificial compounds that make them smell nice, create foam, and fulfill our needs e.g. nourish or volumize the locks.

However, those who suffer from severe allergies to those chemicals often have no choice or alternative since it is pretty hard to find a shampoo that would be both scent-free and chemicals-free.

Besides, even the hypoallergenic ones might have a different effect on the hair of different people.

And this is where dog’s shampoo shows up. There is plenty of such products that are hypoallergenic and that can be the only alternative for people with severe allergies.

  • Lifestyle

We don’t mean homeless people now but in certain cases, a person’s lifestyle and work can be affected by the parasites like fleas or ticks.

Farmers, gardeners, workers of the animal shelters, hunters, and other people who are in constant contact with animals and/or spend lots of time outdoor are under the risk of the pests infestation.

This is why they prefer using a dog’s shampoo since similar products meant for humans are quite rare in the market.

If this is your case and you need to find a remedy to cast away those bloodsuckers, try out the natural remedies, for instance, essential oils of peppermint, citrus, cedarwood, lemongrass, thyme, tea tree, bay, or citronella.

What Makes Human And Dog Shampoos Distinct

Differences Between Dog Shampoos & Human Shampoos : Dog Grooming & CareDifferences Between Dog Shampoos & Human Shampoos : Dog Grooming & Care

This is probably the most frequent inquiry that pet owners ask. Since most of us are used to the idea that all the human shampoos are the same (which is not quite true), we tend to believe that our dog’s hair wash has the same properties as our own.

However, certain distinctions do exist, and they are rather significant: 

  • First of all, our skin is more acidic than the skin of a dog. 
  • As a result, all the ingredients used in human shampoos are also more acidic to be able to restore the protective cover on our skin after it is washed off when we take a bath or wash our hair.

Like that, our natural pH can be adequately maintained.

  • A dog’s skin, on the contrary, has a neutral pH level. 
  • As a result, the products designed for them are more alkaline (which also means that they have a higher pH balance).

Like that, if we make use of a dog’s shampoo, we can ruin the pH balance of our head skin which may lead to unpleasant backwash such as skin irritation. 

What Can Be the Alternative?

What Can Be the Alternative
Photo by Charisse Kenion

But what if you suddenly ran out of shampoo and you need to wash your hair right now? In this case, we would recommend having a bottle of dry shampoo in your vanity all the time. 

It is an ideal option when your hair needs a good “bath” immediately and you have no time for drying, or when you forgot to buy some shampoo. 

This product must be pulverized over the dry locks in a little amount (too much of it will turn your tresses greasy) and then brushed to make it mix in. The procedure takes one minute but the result is stunning!

Also, another option exists but it will require a little time. We are talking about making your own homemade shampoo. This alternative is good because it uses only natural components so you will be 100% sure that the product is chemicals-free. Besides, it can be made quite quickly.

The simplest recipe requires mixing one spoonful of baking soda in a cup of warm aqua. Such a mixture will not be foamy as your ordinary shampoo, but it will cleanse the tresses gently and thoroughly.

Shampoo That Will Suit Both Pets And Humans

Not everyone knows but in fact, a product exists that can be successfully and safely applied to both dogs and their owners! This is an oatmeal shampoo.

We usually consume oats as food, but this grain has superb anti-itching powers, besides, it helps to cure skin diseases. However, we must admit that only the natural shampoo will work for both you and your fluffy friend since it has no harsh chemicals that may damage your tresses or scalp.

Is Dog Shampoo Good For Treating Lice On Humans?

This is a common myth that people keep on believing in. However, your pet’s shampoo, even the one that is meant for anti-flea treatment, can not be used as a treatment mean.

Indeed, some ingredients in dog’s lice shampoos are similar to those that a human anti-lice product will have but the ratios are different, besides, as we already learned, dog’s products must only be used on dogs.

So, as you can see, using your dog’s shampoo, especially on a regular basis, is not the best idea since this product is rather harmful because of its formula specifics. 

However, if you go for it once or use it seldom, the consequences might be less alarming or not appear at all. It mostly hangs upon how strong and healthy your locks are since damaged or dyed hair will most likely be way less resistant to the chemicals that the dog’s hair wash product contains.

Anyway, if you are running out of shampoo, better find a little time and buy a new bottle rather than utilizing the one that is not basically meant for being used by people.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Which is better shower gel or soap?

The gel is better because its highly foaming formula cleans the skin better compared to soap.

⭐ What will happen if you wash your hair with body wash?

The hair will be cleansed but body wash won’t give it that shiny look, besides, body wash is harsher than our hair need.

⭐ What can I use to wash my hair if I don't have shampoo?

The best alternative is baking soda since it’s a good cleanser. However, if used frequently, it can dry or damage the tresses.

⭐ Is there a difference between shampoo and shower gel?

The major distinction is that shampoo removes less of the natural oils than the gel does which makes it a gentler cleanser that’s better and safer for the hair.

⭐ Is body wash better than soap?

The body wash is more hydrating, besides, it doesn’t remove the essential lipids as many bar soaps do.

⭐ How often should you wash your hair?

Every 2-3 days is fine for any hair type.

⭐ Does hot water kill hair?

Hot water removes keratin, natural oils, and nutrition from the tresses, besides, it damages follicles which can result in hair loss.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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