Shampoo Your Hair, Not Your Body

Cold, dry air and indoor heating make winter the season for dry skin. It’s more important now than any other time of year to protect your skin from dryness. The first way to do this is to limit the damage you do to your skin everyday. Some things, like the weather, you cannot control. But, some of the things you do everyday to your skin might be making already dry skin much worse. One area where you can make a big difference is in the shower.

Showering daily is a modern-day cultural behavior. Although it has some advantages (reduces unpleasant odor) it also has disadvantages (strips natural oils from your skin).

I have patients, usually men, who use their shampoo to wash their body. Although convenient, this is a bad idea. Shampoo is “soapy;” that is, it’s designed to remove oils and buildup from your hair. This soapiness also strips oils off your skin. Shampooed skin will be left dry, dull, and susceptible to irritation. Dry, vulnerable skin is the main cause of winter itch. Remember these tips to be good to your skin this winter:

1. Never use shampoo to wash your body.

2. Let your shampoo rinse out of your hair while leaning forward, trying to prevent the shampoo from running down your whole body.

3. Never use a soap that makes “bubbles” in the shower or bath, it will strip all the oils off your skin.

4. Use a non-soap cleanser such as Dove.

5. Apply a body moisturizer immediately after showering, while your skin is still damp. This will lock in the moisture that has soaked into your skin, and keep your skin hydrated and protected all day.

Photo: Ted Blog

7 thoughts on “Shampoo Your Hair, Not Your Body”

  1. Are there some shampoos that are better than others, though? I have been using a locally-made, all natural shampoo as my shampoo, body wash, face wash, etc. and my skin and hair have never looked better. I don’t even use moisturizer or conditioner.

  2. I don’t think that I have ever used shampoo as a body wash, maybe on one or too times when being on holiday but I do tend to stick to what works on my hair and body separately. So I will stick to shampoo for my hair and soap and body wash for my body.

  3. Unfortunately, many body washes are only slightly modified versions of shampoos.

    As long as you use a moisturizer, there should be no problem using shampoo as a body wash.

  4. I just discovered this blog. Lots of good info here. I will read more. I agree that shampoos are very hard on your skin, but so can store bought “soap”, which isn’t really soap, it’s actually detergent.. I make handmade soap and it is not drying to the skin. I suggest everybody give handmade soap a try. You’ll be amazed.

  5. Since when is bathing a “modern-day cultural” thing? It is ancient (check out the showers found in Mohenjo-daro excavations) and has always been a part of everyday life in many civilizations. What is new, is the crap that we use to do so, and lack of moisturizing properly afterward. Indians have been using kitchen-made soaps, scrubs and oils to do so for millennia.

  6. synergie, DAILY showering, not bathing in general. read properly. i don’t shower everyday and love it.

  7. moisturize hair says:

    I have been using Shielo’s “Hydrate Refresh Mist” for the past 3 years – This is one of those products I use at least 6 times a week. First, I shampoo and then I use this deep conditioner to lock in moisture. I keep a wide comb or brush in the shower to brush out my hair I rinse my conditioner with cool water. Then when my hair is dry and I am combing, I use the Mist. And throughout the day as well. My hair is left soft and silky. I also notice a healthy shine to my hair after it drys.

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