Is Shower Gel Shampoo?

Is Shower Gel Shampoo
The shower gel is not shampoo. Gels are used for the skin to get a more hydrated complexion, and shampoos are used to get clean hair.

When we think about shower gel and shampoo, they might be the top ingredients for the month on your shopping list. If you live alone and don’t cook, you can skip buying dish soap, but you can’t skip buying shampoo or shower gel. Well, as for shower gel, you can just go with the body wash, but still, using shower gel and shampoo is pretty common.

The uses of shower gel and body wash are pretty different and mostly used for completely different reasons. The shower gels can be alternated with a soap bar, or a body wash. However, shampoo cannot be combined with other products. The shower gel is the best way to clean your skin if you have sensitive or dry skin. And as for shampoo, they have different options, but the core work would be the same. So is shower gel shampoo?

No, shower gel and shampoo are two completely different things. The shower gels are for the skin, and the shampoo is for the hair. The main thing about the shampoos is that they are slippery, but they will work as shower gels. And on the other hand, the shower gel will not be as effective as the shampoo on the scalp. Shampoo usually contains a lower level of surfactants than shower gel. So, when you use shampoo on the skin, it will remove only a portion of the skin’s dirt and grease, and these will also hydrate the skin. And as the shower gel is applied to the scalp, it will become dry, resulting in frizzy hair. In short, you can alternate shampoo and a shower gel, but they might not work well as they are not meant for each part. So shower gel is not shampoo, and shampoo is not showering gel.

Shampoos for hair

Shampoos for hair

When we think about basic hair care, the first thing that pops into my mind is good shampoo. There are different kinds of shampoo on the market. Most shampoos are classified according to the skin of the scalp. For example, the shampoos for dry, oily, and sensitive scalps are different. Shampoos tend to make the hair clean and apply to the roots of the hair. Most people do not recommend using shampoo on the length of the hair as the oil buildup is on the roots. When you’re out in the open, however, the dirt will be on the lengths of your hair. So you might want to lather shampoo all over the hair and also make sure that the scalp is hydrated properly.

Shampoo was invented to eliminate the need for soap. And so, when you think about shampoo, it is mostly made with hydrating and less harsh ingredients than soap. Shampoos also have a different pH than that shower gel. And this is because the shower gels are for the skin. With a high pH level, the hair would get all frizzy. Each type of shop is designed based on a few things it has to fill according to the needs. But most shampoos have one core function: to get rid of the dryness, oiliness, and damage from the hair. The goal of using shampoo is to remove the oiliness from the scalp without over-drying it.

Ingredients in shampoo

Ingredients in shampoo

Many factors come into play when we consider shampoo. Well, most of us will not check the ingredients on the back of the shampoo, but the main keys will lie around there. One of the things to consider is that the shampoos are of different kinds, and we only see what’s on the front and buy accordingly. The facts will come up when you look at the back of the shampoo. Here we include the basic ingredients of a shampoo:

Surfactants or cleaning agents

Surfactants are the primary components of shampoos. These are the molecules that contain a hydrophilic part that would be dissolved in the water and a hydrophobic part that would be dissolved in the grease and oil. These two parts are connected, and when you apply them to your scalp, the dirt and oil will be drawn to the hydrophobic area, where they will be suspended. The hydrophilic part around the hydrophobic part will surround the oil solvent and will not let it deposit in the hair strands again. So they basically work as detergents. The carbon chains of surfactants are mid-length, starting from C8, and these are mainly known for their cleaning abilities. The surfactants are:

  • Sodium Laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • 3 or 4 Laureth
  • Cocamide DEA
  • Coco glucoside
  • Coconino betaine
  • Propyl betaine
  • Polyquaternium 10, etc.

The surfactants we included here can be divided into cationic, anionic, amphoteric, and non-ionic ones, and depending on what kind of shampoo you are using, the surfactants will vary. For example, the amphoteric ones would be used in baby shampoos.

1. Colors

Most synthetic colors would be used in shampoo, and they have to be permitted by law.

2. Perfume

Well, this is a very controversial ingredient, as many people do not appreciate added perfume in their shampoo. Others would prefer perfumed shampoos because they can mask the odd smell of their hair. Almost every shampoo features a unique and sweet smell. The perfumes in shampoos are quite complicated, and manufacturers must adhere to the perfume regulations.

3. Conditioners

Most of us will definitely use a conditioner right after using shampoo, and this is because the shampoo tends to strip the oils from the hair. Dimethicone, glycerine, and mineral oils are excellent examples of shampoo conditioners. Using a silicone-based shampoo is not recommended as it might cause buildup on the scalp.

Shower gel for the skin

Shower gel for the skin

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a replacement for hand soap is shower gel. Shower gels are used as a hand soap because they are both made of soap and water and clean well. The difference between shower gel and hand soap lies in how they are composed and what other work the shower gel will do instead of cleaning the skin. Shower gels are kept in the bathroom rack next to the shower and are only used for body cleansing. Shower gels are mostly used for the skin, and thus they will travel to the most delicate parts of the body, including the chest and neck. These are an important part of taking a shower and often have a beautiful smell.

Ingredients for shower gel

Here we’ll be including the most common ingredients used in a shower gel. Most of these are very different from shampoos and are used for different purposes. Here is an ingredient list for the shower gels:

Ingredients for shower gel

1. Water

 The most common Ingredient for shower gel is water, and well, this is the basic ingredient of any liquid soap. Apart from water, oil or glycerine can also be used as a solvent.

2. Emulsifier

 The next part would be the emulsifier. The consistency will be similar to that of shower gel, and they make it thick and will also dissolve the other ingredients.

3. Surfactants, or cleansing agents

Surfactants are the cleaning ingredients, as they are the ones that will build up the lather from the gel.

Ingredients for shower gel

4. Detergents

 Later on, the detergents are added as they tend to get off the dirt from the skin and will not let it settle down again.

5. Preservatives

Lastly, there are preservatives as the core ingredients for the shoe gel. These will keep the gel safe and will not allow any kind of contamination or microbial growth.

6. Perfume

Lastly, the shower gel consists of fragrances that are basically from fruits or essential oils. The shower gel smell is low, as most people with sensitive skin cannot be bothered by a strong perfume smell. So make sure to check the shower gel’s smell when buying one.

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The difference between shower gel and shampoo

The difference between shower gel and shampoo

The shower gels are designed for the skin. They are hydrating for the skin, and when you wash off the shower gel, there will be a film of moisture on top of the skin. These will make the skin soft, and the skin will also feel clean. As for the shampoo, they are made to clean the dirt and oil buildup from the scalp, and they tend to take care of the pH and overall health of the scalp. Shampoos have a variety of functions, including curl retention, scalp hydration, and dandruff removal, among others. Both the shower gel and the shampoo are two different things, and you cannot switch one for the other. That being said, these two products can be used instead of one as they are both surfactants. And you can use them once in a while during an emergency.

When you are about to use shampoo as a shower gel, there are some simple facts that you have to pay a bit more attention to. And for us, that would be the difference between a shower gel and a shampoo. In most cases, they are mostly similar. But the key differences between a shower gel and a shampoo are:


The ingredients, or the products that they are made of, are the most noticeable distinction between shower gel and shampoo. Even when the products do the same job, the percentage of them varies a lot. For example, surfactants are a very common ingredient in both shower gel and shampoo. However, the surfactants in shower gels are lower in comparison.

So, the shampoos are more delicate and will remove less oil. Oil buildup on the scalp is unhealthy, but completely removing the oil from the scalp will dry out the scalp, which is also unhealthy. And again, most of the shampoos will contain a conditioner well suited for the hair. And as for shower gel, both the conditioner and the surfactant will be at a higher level. When the same kind of product is used on the hair, it will strip the hair of its natural oils, and the conditioner part will weigh down the hair.


The most common difference between shampoo and the skin would be the pH of each product. And this is because the skin and the hair have different pH levels. The skin’s pH is around 4 to 5.5, and the hair’s pH is around 7 to 8. So the shampoos have a lower pH that will be around neutral, and the shower gel will have a more acidic pH. So when the low-pH ingredients or shower gel are applied to the hair, it’ll depart from its natural pH, and thus the overall hair will get frizzy.


1. Is shower gel used for the hair or the body?

The shower gel is mostly used for the body and is very hydrating on the skin. When used on hair, they will make the hair frizzy.

2. How do I use shower gel?

To use shower gel, take a damp loofah or a microfiber cloth and put the gel on it. Lather the gel, and then gently rub the skin with that cloth. Wash it off with warm water.

3. Can you use Dove body wash as shampoo?

No, you cannot use Dove body wash as shampoo, as it will dry out the hair and make it frizzy.

Final Thoughts

Shower gels contain ingredients that are not identical to those found in shampoo. Most of the ingredients in shampoo are similar to those in a shower gel. But the part where these two products really differ is the percentage of each ingredient. Surfactants are abundant in shower gels but scarce in shampoos. Again, the conditioning ingredients for both a shower gel and a shampoo are also pretty different. A shampoo can be alternated every other day, but when you are using a shower, you have to use a shower gel. Well, this is the key to getting a shower. The shower gels will wash out easily, but shampoo takes time with all the rinsing and washing. And when you use shower gels and shampoos separately on the skin, make sure that the skin and hair don’t come into contact; otherwise, the hair will get dry. So use a shower cap after the shampoo.

Key Points

  1. The shampoo is for the hair, and shower gels are for the skin. The biggest disadvantage of shampoos is that they are slick. However, they may be used as shower gels. On the other hand, shower gel will not be as effective on the scalp as a shampoo.
  2. Shampoos and shower gels have varying pH levels. This is due to the fact that shower gels are for the skin. The hair would become frizzy if the pH level was too high. Each sort of store is developed with a few things in mind that it must fulfill based on the necessities. However, most shampoos have a single purpose: to remove dryness, oiliness, and damage from the hair.
  3. The shampoos are gentler and remove less oil. Oil accumulation on the scalp is harmful, yet eliminating all of the oil from the scalp would cause the scalp to dry out, which is also bad. When the same type of product is put on the hair, it strips the hair of its natural oils and causes the conditioner to weigh it down.
  4. The pH of the skin ranges from 4 to 5.5, whereas the pH of the hair ranges from 7 to 8. So the shampoos have a lower pH that is close to neutral, and the shower gel has a higher acidic pH.

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