Can I use body lotion on the hair as leave in/conditioner?

I ran out of hair conditioner, so I used a bit of my body lotion instead, my hair didn't feel bad afterwards and the lotion smells great. Is it safe to use body lotion on the hair? Or conditioner on the skin?
I feel that these products are similar but I have very curly hair and I wound't use my body lotion as a detangler because it's not slippery enough and conditioner tends to leave a soapy feel on the skin. But what if a want to use lotion on my hair once a while after shower, are there any ingredients that are harmful for the hair?


  • First of all, let me say that this would make a great question for our podcast. Would you be interested in recording an audio version that we could play on the show? All you have to do is use the voice recorder app on your smart phone and email it to me at

    It's certainly safe to use body lotion as a hair conditioner. Whether it works well or not is really up to your personal preference. 

    Lotions contain emollients, humectants, and occlusive agents that moisturize skin. These are similar to ingredients in leave in conditioners although I'd expect they'd be too heavy/greasy for most people's hair. 

    Lotions are less likely to work as a rinse out hair conditioner because the ingredients are not designed to stick to hair after rinsing. 

    Is it safe to use hair conditioner on your skin? 
    In some cases, no. That's because rinse out conditioners sometimes use higher levels of quaternium ammonium compounds can be irritating if left in contact with skin. These ingredients don't pose a problem when rinsed out. 

    Leave in conditioners should be safe to leave on your skin but these formulas don't usually contain the kind of moisturizing agents that your skin needs. 

    The bottom line is that products are optimized for their intended purpose. It's usually not a good idea to use something for a different part of the body than it's meant for.  

  • edited February 27
    Thanks for the  detailed information, Randy. I have used lotion on my hair a couple of times and so far so good. I find that the frangances of most lotions are better than the ones in most leave in conditioners.
    As for the audio, I am not a native speaker but I'll try. =)
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