Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baby Shampoo Is For Babies--Seriously

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people either in real life or on the hair forums mention that in an effort to be gentler to their hair they have decided to use baby shampoo.

Now, I understand the reasoning; if the shampoo is gentle enough for a baby, then it should be mild and gentle on the hair, right?


Baby shampoos are generally "no more tears" or "tear-free". Now let's think about it. Tears are salty. That means they are alkaline. So in order for a substance not to sting the eyes, it has to be alkaline.

Our hair and skin likes a more acidic pH. This is why so many people like to use a rinse of water with a mild dilution of vinegar, lemon, or citric acid. It keeps the cuticle of the hair closed and shiny. Our scalp and skin also depends on an acid mantle to protect us from dryness, flaking and certain bacteria. Most adult shampoos these days do indeed have a slightly acidic pH level.

So in truth, while baby shampoo is gentle for babies, it's really in the sense that it does cleanse the hair, but does not cause them undue pain. It's the baby's comfort that is the concern. The shampoo is not made to keep a baby's hair in optimum health.

Using baby shampoo, especially repeatedly, will cause the cuticle of the hair to open. This results in weaker, rougher hair, and also in hair that will not hold in moisture. Ultimately it results in damaged hair. Once hair is really damaged, we all know that it can't be repaired. It can be improved, but never repaired.

The bottom line is that baby shampoo really is meant only for babies. It's not meant to be used to promote healthy long hair. While it is gentle on one's eyes, it is very harsh on the hair.

'Til tomorrow, my friends. Much love to all and extra hugs to anyone in pain.


  1. Wow I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. I used to use baby shampoo years ago. Don't anymore.

  2. That's so interesting, but it totally makes sense. The thought has occurred to me to try it, but I'm glad I never did!

  3. I've read somewhere that baby shampoo can be just as harsh as the adult stuff! Tsk, tsk.

  4. I've never thought about that! I know quite a few people who use Johnson baby shampoo, but it has never crossed my mind that it could be worse for the hair. Thanks for the info, Franny. I hope you are feeling better today!

  5. I had no idea! But it makes sense indeed. Thanks for the knowledge! I had used baby shampoo at some point in my life, but I didnt have the idea it really cleaned my hair so much, so that is why I stopped...fortunately before my hair was seriously damaged!

  6. I did not know that. Thank you!


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