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Can You Put Hand Lotion in Your Hair?

author image Laura Gianino
Laura Gianino works at a publishing company in New York City. Her writing has appeared on eHow, LIVESTRONG, Synonym and Global Post.
Can You Put Hand Lotion in Your Hair?
Young woman combing her hair. Photo Credit: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

Hand lotion can be a safe household alternative to achieve tamer, sleeker, even better-smelling hair when you run out of your favorite hair balm or conditioner. While applying hand lotion to hair can be effective, it may not be suitable for all hair types. If you have doubts about whether or not hand lotion is right for your hair, consult your stylist before trying it out.

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Hand lotion can be used in a pinch just like a conditioner to smooth hair and tame frizz and flyaways. Hand lotion is lightweight and, like hair conditioner, it contains ingredients that will add moisture to your hair (such as glycerin and lactic acid). Hand lotion may also be used sparingly to provide fragrance for hair. If you love the scent on your hands, chances are you'll love it in your hair.

Hand Lotion Types

Hand lotion has many of the same ingredients as hair conditioner and can often have the same effect. It is extremely important to check the label of your lotion before applying it to your hair. Certain hand lotions have non-fatty alcohols which can completely dry out hair and cause breakage, warns Common examples include cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol. Vegetable oil-based lotions will be safer for hair in locking in moisture. Conversely, using too much hand lotion in your hair can cause hair to look greasy or messy as opposed to the sleek, pulled together look a small amount can provide.

How Much

Less is more when it comes to using hand lotion in hair. Just as a dime-sized amount is right for your hands, you shouldn't overdo it when applying hand lotion to your hair. For all uses -- whether you're trying to maintain sleekness, smooth frizz, add moisture or just a subtle fragrance -- all you need is a pea-sized amount to work through hair.


Apply hand lotion to dry hair. Style your hair as you normally would, then rub the lotion on your hands first. Run your hands -- with the excess lotion -- through your hair, concentrating on the dry ends or frizzy pieces that need the most help. Brush through, if necessary.

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