View Full Version : Have Any of You Ever Used Fabric Softener on Your Hair?

December 9th, 2009, 10:28 PM
Just wondering 'cos I know that dog groomers use it on dogs to make their hair soft, and while I realize that dog hair and human hair are different, I just wondered if it would damage my hair if I tried it?

Anyone else have weird thoughts like this? Or just me?:cheese:

Thanks for any comments.

Heavenly Locks
December 9th, 2009, 10:32 PM
I've rubbed a sheet of it over my hair to calm some sever static but that's it...

I've never used the liquid for a rinse though.

December 9th, 2009, 11:06 PM
never used the liquid kind.... I've used the sheets and they make my hair look greasy... but thats probably just me... :/

i'f your meaning teh liquid kind tell us how that goes if you try it... it'd be an interesting experiment...

December 9th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Just wondering 'cos I know that dog groomers use it on dogs to make their hair soft, and while I realize that dog hair and human hair are different, I just wondered if it would damage my hair if I tried it?

Anyone else have weird thoughts like this? Or just me?:cheese:

Thanks for any comments.

It is not just you, lol. Drier sheets are recommended for hair static on the net on some websites.

I knew someone years ago who told me that they had used the liquid version and that it had worked well.

The only thing I would suggest if you want to try it is to read the label cautions of the product in question re skin and eye contact.

The fabric softener Downey, I currently use for laundry did at one time say on the label to avoid contact with skin as well as the usual warning not to use it full strength on fabrics. It does not have the skin contact warning currently and I buy the concentrated version.

December 9th, 2009, 11:34 PM
Well, I have tried it. I only used it on my length, not the scalp, and of course I diluted it with *lots* of water. Hasn't dried yet so I can't really tell the effect, but my hair hasn't fallen out yet. :)

Thanks for your replies!

December 9th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Oh, and yes, I'm referring to the liquid fabric softener.

December 10th, 2009, 12:05 AM
Yeah actually I have 0_o
I had a bad dye job which turned my hair black, the stylist said to strip the color with stain remover and then use fabric softener to cope with the damage\ dryness from the stain remover. My hair was not damaged however but the fabric softener madenit feel extremely weird.
Would not do that again there is a reason why they dont list the ingredients.

December 10th, 2009, 12:06 AM
lol...you are not the only one!

a few days ago i was desperately thinking, "what stuff makes other stuff soft, that might work on my hair?" since oil & massive amounts of conditioner aren't making much of a difference on my needle-like ends. and i thought of fabric softener; went online and found that yes, lots of people use it.

i tried it last night and today my hair is AWESOME!!!

i don't know what the long-term effects might be; i hope it is not damaging. i used a perfume-free, biodegradable liquid one, after my regular CO wash.

maybe we should start a social group :)

here's another thread on the subject:

December 10th, 2009, 12:12 AM
Yes! I used Ecover. It was sorta good (I have terrible static) but not miraculous for me.

December 10th, 2009, 12:32 AM
A friend of mine,with hair down past her waist, told me that she used dryer sheets to tame the static throughout her hair. Especially during the winter season.

Kris Dove
December 10th, 2009, 01:42 AM
By accident, lol. Must rememember to tie hair back when doing laundry! I rinsed it out, but it never did any harm.

December 10th, 2009, 07:50 AM
With all the chemicals in it and the obvious overload of fragrance, I don't even use it in my laundry anymore. I use the bounce bar, it's effective and is less fragrance laden. It's made of a biodegradable cationic softener and some fragrance, but it isn't an overload.

There is no way I would put liquid fabric softener in my hair, I would use Vinegar instead.

December 10th, 2009, 08:02 AM
In college we had extremely dry air so I would use a fabric sheet to help with static.

December 10th, 2009, 09:26 AM
I knew a girl in high school once who used to use it on her hair. I've never had the guts to try it myself though!

December 10th, 2009, 09:38 AM
alright guys and girls we need some more 'test' results here. my curiousity is peaked at this point.
1) whats in fabric softeners?
2) anyone found a proper dilution ratio?
3) leave it in for a bit or rinse right in and out?

have more people here tried this? if so please share!?!

December 10th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Hmm, this is a very interesting question. I've used fabric softener extensively on wigs, but never thought to try it on my own hair.

I don't think that I'd use this method personally because I'd be concerned about my skin becoming irritated from prolonged contact... I'd love to hear how this turns out, though! It it winds up being magically fabulous then I might have to try it on my ends.

December 10th, 2009, 11:00 AM
The sheets are nice wrapped over a comb or brush with the teeth poked through. Soemtimes in the winter, that's the only way one can comb or brush without going crazy with the static!

December 10th, 2009, 11:12 AM
I have heard of using fabric softener sheets to combat static, but never thought to try liquid fabric softener. This is an interesting idea and I might try it on my own hair since I can have a problem with static in the colder months. I will have to see if I can find some that doesn't have so much fragrance and other chemicals in it.

December 10th, 2009, 11:16 AM
Do they make fabric softener for children's clothes? I know they have detergent that is meant for baby clothes but we don't use fabric softener for our laundry so I have never looked for it. My husband can be sensitive to chemicals, so we find it easier not to use anything extra.

December 10th, 2009, 11:24 AM
When I was a kid, I seem to remember some recipe I found somewhere for leave in conditioner, and one of the ingredients was liquid fabric softener. It seemed to work pretty well - but I was only using it to make detangling easier, not for actual conditioning.

December 10th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Thanks so much for the info about using drier sheets for hair static!

I never would have thought of that.

My hair is dry now, and I believe the part that I "conditioned" with the fabric softener feels better than it has with other things I've tried. But you need to know that my length is fried from the overuse of a flat iron on colored hair, so it's just . . . well . . . yuck!

In any event, it definitely smells wonderful! :)

December 10th, 2009, 11:51 AM
My dad used to make it where he worked. I remember years ago way before it was the norm to use conditioner, I used to go swimming a lot and my dad suggested watering some down (he used to bring the mega concentrated fabric conditioner home) and using after swimming to stop the chlorine damaging my hair, as i remember it worked great.

December 10th, 2009, 01:01 PM
I love fabric softener in my hair too. It makes my hair soft and defines my curl pattern. Yay!

December 10th, 2009, 01:10 PM
I have tried using drier sheets on my hair but it made my hair feel dirty sooner. But it did help with the static elec.

December 10th, 2009, 02:07 PM
Sounds like I should experiment this weekend!

December 10th, 2009, 02:13 PM
Interesting. Interesting. Now what would be the ratio?

I have sensitive skin so if someone else with ridiculously sensitive skin would chime in and let me know I would be ever so grateful.

December 10th, 2009, 02:40 PM
missjessiecakes - I don't have extremely sensitive skin, but if I use the scented ones, and don't get them rinsed out properply, my scalp starts to itch. Don't use it on the scalp, and rinse it out - then the ratio shouldn't matter that much :) At least it doesn't matter much for me...

December 10th, 2009, 03:28 PM
Ok, now I can totally see TLHC getting boxes of Bounce and using them as rag curlers! :rollin:

December 10th, 2009, 06:38 PM
Hmm, never thought about using the liquid. At one point I did use dryer sheets to swipe down my length for static but I found if I wasn't very careful it would make my hair greasy.

December 10th, 2009, 07:09 PM
Ingredients in seventh generation fabric softeners:

Fabric Softener, Free & Clear/Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender

Aqua, methyl bis (cannola amidoethyl)-2-hydroxyethyl ammonium methyl sulfate , essential oils and botanical extracts (lavendula angustifolia, lavendula hybrida, eucalyptus dives, eucalyptus radiata, eucalyptus ploybractea, pinus sylvestris: in Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender only), calcium chloride (cleaning enhancer), methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone (preservative) *Linalool is a naturally occurring component of these ingredients.

Trace materials are commonly present in cleaning product ingredients.

We recently found trace levels of 1,4-dioxane in our fabric softener. These are a byproduct of the canola-based fabric softening agent used (Methyl bis (canola amidoethyl) -2- hydroxyethyl ammonium methyl sulfate). Our R&D team is working to replace this substance with a different material. We expect this work will be completed before the end of 2009.

December 10th, 2009, 07:30 PM
Ingredients in ecover fabric softener:

Fabric Softener HE Sunny Day

* Aqua
* Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate
* Dipropylene glycol
* Parfum
* Sorbic Acid
* Magnesium Chloride

Revised edition no :
1 According to Regulation (EC) 1907/ Date : 6 / 5 / 2008 2006 Supersedes : 0 / 0 / 0 Fabric softener Sunny Day 311050003

Hazards identification : Not classified as dangerous product.
Symptoms relating to use
- Inhalation : None under normal conditions.
- Skin contact : Not expected to present a significant skin hazard under anticipated conditions of normal use. Prolonged or repeated contact may cause skin to become dry.
- Eye contact : Not expected to present a significant eye contact hazard under anticipated conditions of normal use.
- Ingestion : Not expected to present a significant ingestion hazard under anticipated conditions of normal use.

Substance / Preparation : Preparation.
Components : This product is not hazardous but contains hazardous components.
Composition : Regulation (CE) No. 648/2004 of 31 March 2004 on detergents:
5% - 15% : - Cationic surfactants
Perfumes - Preservatives

Substance name: Contents; Classification
Dipropyleneglycol Methylether : Between 1 and 10 %; R10
Sorbic acid : Between 0.1 and 1 %; Xi, R36
Perfume : < 0.1 %; Xi, R38, R43, R52-53

Personal protection
- Skin protection : Wear waterproof gloves (preferably neoprene or nitrile rubber) in case of intensive use or contact with undiluted product.
- Eye protection : No specific recommendations.
- Respiratory protection : None under normal conditions.
Environment protection see 6 Occupational Exposure Limits : Dipropyleneglycol Methylether : MAC [mg/m3] : 300 Dipropyleneglycol Methylether : MAC [ppm] : 50

December 10th, 2009, 07:40 PM
One more--this is how fabric softeners in general are made. Warning--text contains the 'cone' word.

Raw Materials

Conditioning agents

Early fabric softener formulas were relatively simple dispersions of fatty materials that would deposit on the fabric fibers after washing. One of the most common ingredients used was dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride (DHTDMAC), which belongs to a class of materials known as quaternary ammonium compounds, or quats. This kind of ingredient is useful because part of the molecule has a positive charge that attracts and binds it to negatively charged fabric fibers. This charge interaction also helps disperse the electrical forces that are responsible for static cling. The other part of the molecule is fatty in nature and it provides the slip and lubricity that makes the fabric feel soft.

While these quats do soften fabrics very effectively, they also can make them less absorbent. This is a problem for certain laundry items such as towels and diapers. To overcome this problem, modern formulations use quats in combination with other more effective ingredients. These newer compounds have somewhat lower substantivity to fabric which makes them less likely to interfere with water absorption.

One of the new classes of materials employed in fabric softener formulations today is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Siloxane is a silicone based fluid that has the ability to lubricate fibers to give improved softening and ease of ironing. Other silicones used in softeners include amine-functional silicones, amide-functional silicones and silicone gums. These silicone derivatives are modified to be more substantive to fabric and can dramatically improve its feel.


The conditioning ingredients used in fabric softeners are not typically soluble in water because of their oily nature. Therefore, another type of chemical, known as an emulsifier, must be added to the formula to form a stable mixture. Without emulsifiers the softener liquid would separate into two phases, much like an oil and vinegar salad dressing does.

There are three types of emulsifiers used in fabric softener formulations: micro-emulsions, macro-emulsions, and emulsion polymers. Macro-emulsions are creamy dispersions of oil and water similar to hand lotions or hair conditioners. The emulsifier molecules surround the hydrophobic oil or silicone droplets and allow them to be dispersed in water. A micro-emulsion is chemically similar, but it creates oil particles that are so small that light will pass around them. Therefore, a micro-emulsion is characterized by its clarity and transparency as opposed to being milky white. Furthermore, one of the advantages of micro-emulsion is that the silicone particles are so tiny that they will actually penetrate into the fibers, while macro-emulsions only deposit on the fiber's surface. The third type, emulsion polymers, create dispersions that look similar to a macro-emulsion. This system does not use true emulsifiers to suspend and dissolve the oil phase. Instead, emulsion polymers create a stabilized web of molecules that suspend the tiny silicone droplets like fish caught in a net.

The emulsifying system used in softeners must be chosen carefully to ensure the appropriate level of deposition on the fabric. A blend of non-ionic emulsifiers (those that have no charge) and cationic emulsifiers (those that have a positive charge) are typically used. Anionic surfactants (which have a negative charge) are rarely used because the fabric conditioning agents have a positive charge which would tend to destabilize an anionic emulsion.

December 10th, 2009, 08:38 PM
i conditioned with fabric softener on Tuesday night, so i've had almost 2 full days to enjoy the texture of my hair.

i bought a perfume-free, biodegradable FS called "Green Way" at my A&P. on monday i bought "Mrs Murray's" lavender-scented and experimented with a section of my hair; in spite of its being all-natural, my neck got red & itchy (possibly from EOs). so on tuesday, i used the Green Way.

i just poured about 1/2 cup into a small plastic cup and after my normal CO, i poured it around the back of my head, ear-to-ear (avoiding crown area and not rubbing into scalp). i left it on for a couple of minutes, like reg. condish, then rinsed out. i have had no skin irritation. my hair usually separates into clumps/locks a few minutes after i brush, but since the FS has been flowing together nicely and tangling less than usual. also--there is NO HALO!!!

pics of the sleekness: :)
and more details in my blog:

(i'm not going to get into the debate on ingredients. i'm trying it & i hope there's no buildup...that's all i have to say)

December 10th, 2009, 09:19 PM
I've never used the sheets, but I've used the liquid. Heavily dilluted, put into a mister. I'd use it for anti-static when we used to burn wood for heat. My hair would seriously look like weird science (http://images.dawgsports.com/images/admin/Kelly_LeBrock_Weird_Science.jpg). It worked great and I did not notice any weird, negative affects on my hair...Plus it always smelled spring fresh, which was an added bonus :D

December 11th, 2009, 08:43 AM
I have tried it. Gave me dandruff something bad!!!

I had a short lived hair extensions experiment some 3+ years ago and it was recommended for (synthetic) extensions, so I tried it. It ceratainly didn't work for the extensions and like I said irritated my scalp badly. I can not recommend it.

December 11th, 2009, 09:15 AM
Second day after using fabric softener:

Usually on the second day after washing my hair, my length is starting to frizz badly, but my hair still looks and feels great! And, I hadn't noticed it before, but after reading someone else's comment regarding the same, I realize that I have no "halo." And it still smells great too.

But this is not to dismiss anyone who has had a bad experience with it as Arctic above. As with anything you put in your hair or on your skin, different people will have a different reaction. But for me, it was worthwhile trying out.

April 1st, 2010, 11:42 AM
i know this thread has been inactive for a while, but rather than start a new one and get "yelled" at for being stupid/crazy for making baby unicorns go blind--i mean, pouring weird stuff on my head, i'll just add my latest results:

fabric softener seems to eradicate my dandruff!

now, many times in the past i thought i had found a solution (iodine, Sea Breeze, glycerin, to name a few) only to have my treatment stop working after 2-3 days/weeks/applications. so this might not be a permanent solution for me. and it might not be effective for someone else. but i know how miserable dandruff can be, so i like to share any positive experiences i have!

after not using FS for at least 3 months, a couple of weeks ago i impulsively decided to pour it all over my scalp right down to my ends. it took 12 hours for my hair to dry!!! and i woke up with the piece-y beach waves that some people need lots of time & product to achieve.

usually on the 2nd or 3rd day after a wash, i can scritch off large waxy scabs of dandruff from my scalp (i know that's gross, but i know lots of other people experience this too, so i include this icky info only in hope of being helpful!). i was able to go 4 or 5 days without a wash, before realizing that i wasn't experiencing ANY itching or flakes!

i remember a scene on a fictional crime show (Bones) in which a mummified hand was soaked in fabric softener to "plump" the tissue so they could get fingerprints. i wonder if in some way fabric softener "plumped" my scalp with moisture, thereby preventing flakes? my hair took 12 hours to dry after this, when it usually only takes 3 or 4...must be moisture retention of some sort?!

it certainly hasn't "cured" my scalp condition but it has minimized flaking & itching. i just checked my phone and i took pictures of my "beach waves" on March 24th, so i used FS on the 23rd. i'm only starting to get flakes now, 9 days later!!!

Tap Dancer
April 2nd, 2010, 06:39 AM
I've never tried it and I don't think I ever will. :lol: There are lots of great conditioners and treatment to leave hair feeling soft. I think I'll stick to those. ;)

November 8th, 2010, 05:47 AM
I know this is an old thread but I felt I needed to share with you my results of trying this. Curiosity got the better of me and after researching the ingredients of my fabric softener I didn't think there was anything toxic in this that wasn't already in other beauty products, so I went ahead and gave it a go last night.

Results were frizz free shiny hair, nice and flat at the crown, soft bouncy curls at the bottom....... BUT I developed almost instantly a very dry sore throat, and a weird tingly pins and needle sensation in my fingers. I was so careful to keep it on the hair and not run over my face but I guess it was the fumes that this gave off in the shower. I don't know what exactly caused this but please be careful. Sore throat better this morning, but my hands still feel weird :eek: I won't be doing this again despite nice conditioned hair.

I know I've been an idiot :o