There are days when I open my mailbox I have to sit down because I’m laughing so hard. Some things just strike me funny. Like yet another use for our beloved Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Turns out this time, though, the last laugh was on me.
I am a cheapskate. I read your blog and newspaper columns for hot tips, particularly about Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Recently I have begun to use Dawn for a hair shampoo. My wife is aghast. She says my hair is going to turn blue and I will smell. She claims that shampoos have an acid base balance that ensures shiny luxurious hair. Do you have an opinion? How about using it for body wash, as well? Bill
Dear Bill: l must admit that I was a bit aghast as I read your letter. And I came this close to firing off a response siding with your wife. But I stopped short by sending myself on a research expedition to tell you exactly why you should listen to her and never shampoo or shower with Blue Dawn.
Boy, was I in for a shock. Not only could I not find credible reasons not to use Blue Dawn for personal care, I discovered a cult-like following of people out there who swear by the stuff not only for hair care and body wash but as a very effective acne treatment, too.
I found the list of ingredients for Procter & Gamble’s original Blue Dawn and compared it to the most expensive men’s shampoo I could find—Kérastase Capital Force. While not exactly the same (for starters, Blue Dawn has far fewer ingredients) and with full disclosure that I am not a chemist, I was stunned by the similarities. From sodium laureth sulfate to methylisothiazolinone, Blue Dawn and Kérastase Capital Force have what I found to be remarkable similarities.
I decided to take this research a bit farther into the shower. And not to clean the dishes, floors and walls. I shampooed, body-washed, and gave myself a complete Blue Dawn personal spa treatment using the super-concentrated “Ultra” version I had on hand.
I purposely did not follow with hair conditioner because I wanted to experience the best (or worst?) case outcome. I can’t remember the last time I and my hair emerged so squeaky clean. Of course, I assumed I’d just removed every last bit of moisture from myself, which I was willing to endure in the interest of product testing.
I styled my hair, using my regular routine and styling products. I waited a few days to declare the outcome. My hair was fantastic and shiny—read it again: Shiny and, dare I say, luxuriously so. And super clean. I guess the folks at P&G might know something about what your wife refers to as acid-base balancing.
Blue Dawn Body Wash?
As for using Blue Dawn as a body wash, it was great. I felt so clean! I didn’t notice any difference from other body washes, other than it required a lot of rinsing, possibly due to the high concentration in the “Ultra” version of Blue Dawn.
I’ve done more reading and poking around and have now come to these conclusions:
- Blue Dawn can restore hair in a number of ways because of its intense cleaning properties (remember the ducks and wildlife from oil spills)— oil, product build-up, and other grimy liquids and dirt that regular shampoo isn’t strong enough to clean.
- Blue Dawn may lighten your hair if you accidentally color it too dark
- Blue Dawn will deep clean your skin with no apparent adverse effect that I can detect, even to my super sensitive skin.
I’ve begun diluting Ultra Blue Dawn with as much as three, even four parts water and it still works well.
As for your hair turning blue or you smelling, I don’t think I would be concerned about either unless you decide not to rinse, which I do not recommend. In fact, I suggest that you rinse, rinse, rinse again, and repeat.
First published: 1-9-18; Updated: 1-24-23