Ideally, baby shampoo should be gentle enough for babies and their sensitive skin and eyes. But can it also be strong enough to remove hair dye? Here’s what you need to know.
Baby shampoo can be effective at removing hair dye because of its high pH. It has an alkaline pH that softens and lifts the cuticle, allowing the deposited color to escape more quickly.
Baby shampoo is best for removing semi-permanent dye. You may need a stronger product to completely remove permanent hair dye.
What Is Baby Shampoo?
Baby shampoo is specifically formulated for babies since they suffer from eye irritation when regular shampoo is used.
So, while baby shampoo can still remove dirt, oils, and build-up, the most significant difference is that it doesn’t contain chemicals that sting or burn the eyes of infants and young children.
For instance, Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo is a popular product well-known for its “No More Tears” formula.
So, even if the shampoo was to accidentally run off the top of the head, the baby won’t end up crying because there’s no eye sting or irritation.
This is likely to happen because it’s difficult to wash your hair without getting shampoo on the face.
In addition, the shampoo will not harm the infant’s ears, nose, or mouth. Remember, babies have super sensitive skin, and the use of harsh skin can cause significant distress.
Even adults can experience a painful, burning sensation when ordinary shampoo gets into their eyes.
Most shampoos on the market contain harmful chemicals and additives that should never be used on sensitive skin.
Unlike shampoos for adults, baby shampoo is not made for a specific hair type or to treat certain conditions.
Instead, it’s made to be gentle through higher dilution and the use of ingredients that are less irritating than those used in other shampoos.
Also Read: How To Remove Hair Dye With Oil – Easy Guide
What Does Baby Shampoo Contain?
As mentioned, baby shampoo prevents irritation to a baby’s sensitive skin and eyes.
For starters, baby shampoo has a high water content, which helps to dilute the chemicals in the shampoo and make them less irritating if they run into the baby’s eyes.
Baby shampoo also contains milder and low-irritancy surfactants, known as amphoteric surfactants.
These are different from sulfates, which tend to be harsher cleansers.
Amphoteric surfactants are not heavy-duty cleaners, which explains why they may not be suitable for adults, since they are less effective at generating lather and removing dirt and grease.
Most importantly, baby shampoo has a higher pH than regular shampoos.
Regular shampoos have a lower pH (between 3.6 and 5.5), meaning they are acidic and help maintain your scalp and hair’s natural pH balance.
But since the acidity causes irritation, baby shampoo aims for a higher pH closer to 7 (neutral), which is the same pH as water.
In most instances, baby shampoo has a higher pH than this, making it alkaline.
Does Baby Shampoo Remove Hair Dye?
Baby shampoo can remove hair dye because of its high pH.
In contrast, your hair’s pH is lower because it needs to stay in the acidic range to stay healthy.
When you use a high pH shampoo, this will cause the cuticle to lift, enabling the color molecules to wash away more quickly.
According to a study where 123 shampoos were analyzed, 100% of baby shampoos had a pH greater than 5.5, with some having a pH as high as 9.
This pH is strong enough to soften the cuticle so that it no longer lies flat to protect the inner layers where the dye molecules deposit.
Because of its alkalinity, baby shampoo can fade your hair color faster.
It’s effective against semi-permanent hair dye, which coats your hair strands instead of penetrating the cuticle.
With semi-permanent hair dye, the mild surfactants in baby shampoo can easily strip the color molecules that adhere to the surface of the hair shaft.
Baby shampoo also works to remove permanent hair color due to the cuticle-lifting effect of its high-pH formulation.
It’s likely that using baby shampoo won’t immediately strip away all of your hair’s color.
Instead, the dye will fade over time.
How fast it fades depends on the pH of the product, how regularly you use baby shampoo, and the length of time you leave the shampoo in your hair.
Should You Use Baby Shampoo To Remove Hair Dye?
Baby shampoos typically get a good rep because they are sulfate-free due to their no-tears formula.
They contain amphoteric surfactants that have a mild effect on the skin and the eyes. Therefore, some adults prefer to use baby shampoo since it’s purported to be gentler on hair.
Baby shampoo is especially beneficial if you’re allergic to harsh cleansers.
However, the high pH or alkalinity of baby shampoo isn’t suitable for regular use on adult hair.
The right shampoo should be pH-balanced for your scalp and hair, which thrive in an acidic/low pH environment.
If high pH is used on hair for a long time, it will lift the hair cuticle, increasing frizz and tangles.
High pH shampoo also makes your hair prone to damage, since the hair shaft is no longer protected.
Color molecules are not the only things that will drop out – your hair can also lose moisture and become dry and dull.
How To Use Baby Shampoo To Remove Hair Dye
If you want to fade or remove hair dye using baby shampoo, here are the simple steps to follow:
- Wet your hair before applying baby shampoo.
- Work the product into your hair, but keep in mind that baby shampoo doesn’t lather as much as regular shampoo.
- Leave the baby shampoo in your hair for 15 to 20 minutes each time you wash your hair.
- Rinse the baby shampoo out of your hair thoroughly, and then condition it as usual.
- If you’re also using baby shampoo to cleanse your hair, you might have to rinse and repeat until your strands feel sufficiently clean.
Tips For Using Baby Shampoo To Remove Hair Dye
- It’s best to use a pH-balanced formula that closely matches the pH of your hair. For instance, sulfate-free, pH-balanced baby shampoo has a gentle, low-pH formula that is more suitable for use by adults.
- If you want the baby shampoo to remove the color molecules faster, you can mix it with crushed-up vitamin C tablets. Vitamin C reacts chemically with the dye molecules, weakening the bonds that bind the dye to your hair. This makes the dye easier to wash off.
- Wash your hair at least every other day. Although frequent washing can help remove the dye faster, it also strips your hair’s natural oils, promoting damage.
- After washing your hair with a high-pH shampoo, like baby shampoo, it’s essential to follow up with a low-pH conditioner to smooth the cuticle and minimize damage.
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