Dawn Dish Soap for the Hair: Achieve Silky And Smooth Tresses

Learn about the benefits of using Dawn dish soap for the hair. Master the tips and tricks to incorporate this versatile product into your haircare routine.

Updated on Oct 16, 2023  |  07:45 PM IST |  153K
Dawn dish soap for hair
Dawn dish soap for hair

TikTok and Instagram reel culture on social media has been constantly trying to produce new content, and in the haircare section, it is usually new and peculiar products that you can cleanse or condition your hair with. One such new trend is the use of Dawn dish soap for the hair. You may have come across your favorite content creator trying this hack and wondered if it’s true.

In simple words, a product that is meant to clear out grease and oil will definitely do its job no matter where it's used. Therefore, yes it is true that Dawn dish soap has hair-clarifying properties. But since it is not formulated for the hair, it may exert certain ill effects on your locks too. So, to help you understand better, we have curated this article to answer all the questions that might run through your head before using Dawn dish soap for your hair. 

What Is in Dawn Dish Soap?

As per the official website of Dawn, it is America’s best-selling dish soap. It claims to be highly efficient in cleaning tough grease on a versatile range of dishes. It also has antibacterial properties which is why it is also known to be a dishwashing liquid antibacterial hand soap. The ingredient list is quite impressive for a dish soap as it is devoid of phosphates, phthalates, and triclosans. Moreover, it contains biodegradable surfactants and uses 35% PCR (post-consumer recycled) content in clear bottles making it both skin and eco-friendly. Therefore, Dawn dish soap may be one of the best possible choices for washing dishes, but is it a good choice for your hair? We will discuss below. 


Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap for the Hair?

Yes, you can use Dawn dish soap for hair. As the name suggests, this product is manufactured for cleaning dishes in order to remove grease and oil. Therefore, if used on the hair, it can theoretically help in removing excessive oil, gunk, and product buildup in your hair and scalp. Nonetheless, since this kitchen item is prepared to be used on dishes, it is harsh and may be damaging to the hair. So, it is advisable to use Dawn dish soap for hair with utmost caution and only as a last resort. 

Does Dawn Dish Soap Really Work on the Hair?

Dawn dish soap has gained popularity amongst the masses as a haircare product. There are pieces of anecdotal evidence of people using this cleaning product as a home remedy for treating hair issues. Although these claims may be true, one must remember that Dawn dish soap is not formulated as a haircare product and thus may strip the hair of natural oils, leading to dryness, frizz, damage, and also irritated scalp. Therefore, stop using it if you notice any such effects on your hair. 


Benefits of Dawn Dish Soap for the Hair

Dawn dish soap for hair care may be an extremely unconventional and risky idea. However, it may have some potential benefits when used sparingly and with caution:

  1. Effective Clarifying Agent: Dawn is known for its degreasing properties, which can help remove product buildup, excess oils, and minerals from hard water. Using it as a clarifying shampoo occasionally can leave your hair feeling exceptionally clean and free of residue.
  2. Removes Hair Color: If you've applied a hair color that turned out too dark or vibrant, Dawn dish soap can help fade it. It can strip some color molecules from the hair, which might be useful in color correction. However, it should be used carefully to avoid excessive damage to your hair.
  3. Tackles Excessive Grease: Dawn can effectively combat excessively oily or greasy hair. When diluted properly, it can break down the oil and leave your hair feeling less greasy.
  4. May Help With Lice: Some people use Dawn dish soap to suffocate and remove head lice. While it's not a guaranteed method, the dish soap's thick consistency can make it more challenging for lice to move around.

How to Use Dawn Dish Soap for Hair

To use Dawn dish soap for hair you must follow a few steps to ensure it does not damage your hair. Here are the following instructions:

  1. Pour a small amount of Dawn dish soap (usually a teaspoon or less) into a squeeze bottle or an empty shampoo bottle.
  2. Add warm water to the bottle and shake it gently to create a diluted mixture. Aim for a 1:1 ratio of dish soap to water. The exact amount of water may vary depending on your hair's length and thickness.
  3. Before applying the diluted dish soap, wet your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Ensure your hair is completely saturated.
  4. Squeeze the diluted Dawn dish soap onto your wet hair, starting at the roots and working down to the ends. Be careful not to use too much; a little goes a long way.
  5. Gently massage your scalp with the soapy mixture. Pay close attention to areas with oil or product buildup.
  6. Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water until all the soap is completely washed out. It may take several minutes to ensure no residue remains.
  7. After using Dawn dish soap on your hair, it's essential to restore moisture. Apply a generous amount of moisturizing conditioner from mid-length to the ends of your hair. Avoid applying conditioner to the scalp.
  8. Leave the conditioner on for a few minutes to allow it to hydrate your hair.
  9. Rinse your hair one more time with cool or lukewarm water to ensure you've removed all the conditioner.
  10. Gently towel-dry your hair by blotting it with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing, as wet hair is more fragile.
  11. Proceed with your usual hair styling routine.

While following the mentioned instructions, exercise the following caution when using Dawn dish soap on your hair:

  1. Use Sparingly: Dawn is a powerful degreaser, so it can be harsh on your hair and scalp. Use it sparingly and only as needed, such as for clarifying or addressing specific issues.
  2. Dilute Properly: Always dilute the dish soap with water before applying it to your hair. A small amount goes a long way, and undiluted soap can be very drying.
  3. Follow up With Conditioner: After using Dawn dish soap on your hair, follow up with a good conditioner to restore moisture and prevent excessive dryness.
  4. Avoid Frequent Use: Using Dawn dish soap on your hair too often can lead to dryness, frizz, and damage. It should be an occasional solution, not a regular part of your hair care routine.
  5. Consult a Professional: If you're dealing with specific hair issues or concerns, it's advisable to consult a professional hairstylist or dermatologist for guidance on suitable treatments and products.

Who Shouldn’t Use Dawn Dish Soap On Their Hair

Dawn dish soap should be used with caution, and there are certain individuals who should avoid using it on their hair altogether due to the potential risks and side effects. Here are some situations in which you shouldn't use Dawn dish soap on your hair:

  1. Dry or Damaged Hair: If you have naturally dry hair or your hair is already damaged from chemical treatments, excessive heat, or environmental factors, using Dawn dish soap can exacerbate the dryness and damage. The dish soap's strong degreasing properties can strip your hair of essential oils, leaving it even more brittle and prone to breakage.
  2. Sensitive Scalp: Dawn dish soap is not formulated for use on the scalp, and it can be harsh and irritating to those with sensitive or easily irritated scalps. It may lead to redness, itching, and discomfort.
  3. Color-treated Hair: If you've recently colored your hair, especially if it's a vibrant or unconventional shade, using Dawn dish soap can fade the color prematurely. The dish soap's ability to remove color molecules may result in uneven or undesirable color changes.
  4. Curly or Coarse Hair Types: Individuals with naturally curly or coarse hair often have drier hair types that require extra moisture. Using Dawn dish soap can further strip the hair of moisture, leading to frizz and loss of curl definition.
  5. Children And Infants: Dawn dish soap is not suitable for use on the delicate hair and scalp of children and infants. Their hair and scalp are more sensitive, and using dish soap can cause irritation and discomfort.
  6. Regular Use: Dawn dish soap should not be used as a regular shampoo replacement. Its primary purpose is to cut through grease and remove heavy residues. Frequent use can lead to over-drying and damage.
  7. Allergies or Skin Conditions: If you have allergies or specific skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, using Dawn dish soap on your hair can exacerbate skin issues and cause allergic reactions.


The idea of using Dawn dish soap for the hair is an off-beat way to address hair concerns like excessive grease and gunk buildup on your scalp. It may show satisfactory results by effectively cleansing your hair length and roots. But, Dawn dish soap, being a kitchen product manufactured for the sole purpose of washing dishes, may be extremely harsh to your hair. Therefore, before using this, ensure that you do not have already damaged, chemically treated, and colored hair or an infected scalp as it may cause damage or aggravate your concerns. If not, then you must use it sparingly and only as a last resort to solve hair issues. So, in conclusion, Dawn dish soap although effective, may not be the best solution for washing your beautiful tresses. 



Is Dawn dish soap good for your hair?
Dawn dish soap is not recommended for regular use on hair, as it can be harsh and may strip away natural oils

Does dish soap make your hair grow?
Dish soap does not promote hair growth; in fact, its harsh properties can damage hair.

Can I use Dawn to remove hair dye?
Dawn can be used to help fade hair dye, but it should be used sparingly and followed by deep conditioning.

How often should I use Dawn on my hair?
Using Dawn on your hair should be an occasional treatment, not a regular routine.

Will using Dawn make my hair dry?
Frequent use of Dawn on hair can lead to dryness and potential damage due to its strong cleaning properties.

Can I use Dawn on colored or treated hair?
Dawn is not typically suitable for colored or treated hair, as it can fade color and strip moisture.

Is Dawn dish soap harmful to humans?
Dawn dish soap can be harmful if ingested but is generally safe for external use when used as intended.

Will Dawn dish soap get toner out of th hair?
Dawn may help remove toner from hair, but it's best to consult a professional hairstylist for toner adjustments.

Is using dish soap as a shampoo replacement safe?
Using dish soap as a shampoo replacement is not recommended for regular use due to its potential to damage hair and scalp.

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About The Author

Neha Tiwari, a certified Haircare coach, an experienced writer, educator, translator, and editor, has been catering to the content



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