Is Dove Shampoo Good for Your Hair?

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is dove shampoo bad for hair

As one of the most well-known brands out there when it comes to drugstore beauty products, it’s probably safe to say you’ve considered purchasing (or have purchased) one of Dove’s products. They’ve steadily grown their product offerings over time to include body washes, deodorants, and hair products at reasonable prices worldwide, and have established themselves as a pioneer of positivity in the beauty sphere. But is Dove shampoo good for your hair? las, each of which is designed to target specific hair needs. But is Herbal Essences good for hair? We’ll take an in-depth look at the shampoos to see if they’re worth a purchase.

So, before you pick out your next—or first—bottle of Dove shampoo, why not get to know the brand a bit more?

The Dove Brand: A History

Dove’s journey began in 1957 with the vision of Vincent Lamberti and the inception of the infamous Dove Beauty Bar, the first of their products to hit the shelves. Owned by the British company Unilever, Dove gradually started to carve out their own permanent place in self-care aisles and has become a household name over their six-plus decades in business.

The last 20 years for Dove have been especially meaningful, as they have been fully committed to making beauty feel accessible and exciting for women everywhere through their philanthropy, rather than unreachable and anxiety-inducing. Their renowned Dove Self-Esteem Project launched in 2004 and delivers self-esteem education to young people through lessons in schools, workshops, and online resources for parents, such as The Confidence Kits.

Driven by stats like a stunning 54% of girls globally do not have high body esteem, they have successfully reached over 60 million young people across 139 countries with a commitment to reaching 250 million by 2030. In 2017, in celebration of their 60-year anniversary, they launched the Dove Real Beauty Pledge, consisting of three vows:

●     We always feature women, never models.

●     We portray women as they are in real life. We do not digitally distort our images.

●     We are helping young people build self-esteem and positive body confidence.

When and if you buy Dove shampoo, you can feel good about the fact that as a company, they’re contributing to an incredibly important message that women worldwide need to hear. This certainly isn’t the only thing that matters when choosing a shampoo, so let’s move on to what’s inside the bottle rather than what it represents.

What Are Some of the Ingredients in Dove Shampoos?

is dove a good brand for hair

Before we answer the question “Is Dove shampoo good for hair?” we must first take a look at the ingredients commonly found in their shampoos.

Because Dove is still dedicated to making quality, affordable beauty products available to women everywhere, they use both cost-efficient and effective ingredients in their products, including their vast line of shampoos. While Dove isn’t fully all-natural, they are steadily gravitating toward more organic and plant-based ingredients and still use lots of hair-healthy ones in all of their products.

Let’s take a look at the Dove shampoo ingredients, good and bad.

Good Ingredients In Dove Shampoos

While there are many good ingredients in Dove shampoos, let’s take a look at some of the really stellar ones.

Sweet Almond Oil

Typically used to strengthen hair by locking in moisture, sweet almond oil can also tame frizz and improve the texture of hair by protecting it against the elements. It’s filled with Vitamins A and E, as well as naturally-occurring proteins, making it a great natural strengthener as well. This natural ingredient is found in Dove’s Soothing Moisture Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, which helps alleviate dry scalp symptoms while smoothing and nourishing locks.

Aloe Leaf Juice

Well known for its healing properties, aloe leaf juice can improve scalp health by soothing irritation and inflammation; it has enzymes that help break down any extra oils that lead to greasy hair. Found in many of Dove’s dandruff shampoos, it can also help eliminate pesky flakes and decrease itchiness by adding moisture to the hair from root to tip without weighing hair down.

Rosemary Extract

Found in Dove’s Nourishing Secrets Thickening Shampoo, rosemary extract is an all-natural ingredient that can not only prevent premature graying of the hair, but can also stimulate healthy hair growth by improving circulation through the pores of the scalp. As a result, it could prevent hair follicles from being starved of blood supply and dying off, and it can also help prevent hair loss. If your hair is thinning or you tend to lose it easily when brushing or showering, rosemary extract is a great ingredient to look for in Dove shampoo.

Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract

Also known as lotus flower extract, this pleasantly fragrant herbal ingredient helps to thicken and strengthen the hair and is especially good for those who suffer from dull, lifeless strands. How, you might ask? Its revitalizing action actually comes from the seeds, which activate genes that produce proteins to repair hair fibers. It also combats grays as a potent antioxidant, working to preserve the integrity of the hair while helping revitalize it and removing any free radicals that have settled into it from the environment.


Perfect for thick, frizzy, or curly hair, this taming ingredient is a natural humectant—a substance that reduces moisture loss—which can help greatly with dandruff. Because this is an effective and affordable ingredient, it is present in nearly all of Dove’s shampoos. Perhaps the best part about glycerin is that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates it as an A on their scale, meaning it isn’t an ingredient of concern to human health or the environment.

Avocado Extract

Avocado contains vital minerals, vitamins, and fats your hair needs, and its rich oil actually penetrates the hair shaft rather than sitting on top and simply coating hair. These fats also strengthen the hair shaft and help prevent breakage, as well as help moisturize the hair, reduce dandruff, and promote hair growth. Often revered for how it can transform parched hair, this beneficial ingredient is found in Dove’s Nourishing Secrets Fortifying Ritual Shampoo.

Acacia Senegal Gum

Often found in high-end styling products, this luxury ingredient can radically plump the hair and preserve the outer layer of the scalp, protecting it against the elements, free radicals, and even other ingredients in hair care. What’s especially unique about acacia senegal gum is that it can actually carry and distribute other ingredients throughout the hair—known as enfolding—which allows their beneficial properties to be slowly and consistently released over time.

Bad Ingredients In Dove Shampoos

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

While sodium laureth sulfate—and any sulfate, really—is known to be a harsh ingredient for the hair, it does create the lathering effect that many shampoos are known for. Though this does help remove excess sebum from hair, it can strip it if the hair is sensitive or prone to dryness. However, Dove recognizes the changing scope of wellness products and the trend toward natural ingredients, so they offer a line of shampoos that are sulfate-free. If you’re not sensitive to sulfates, chances are they won’t bother your hair or scalp, but knowing what effects they have can help you choose the best shampoo for your specific needs.


While silicones give your hair that silky, smooth feel which helps to detangle and keep hair soft and shiny, silicones can build up and weigh your hair down over time. They can also be difficult to remove with just one shampoo and may require a clarifying shampoo every few washes to completely remove them from the hair, which can be harsh, particularly if you have dry and damaged hair.

Silicones can also prevent moisture from getting into the hair shaft, which can actually worsen dry and damaged hair.


While preservatives are essential in keeping products from going bad, some people may have sensitivities to them. In general, they’re nothing to worry about. Some common preservatives Dove uses in their shampoos include Sodium Benzoate and DMDM Hydantoin. The latter being one that is causing a lot of stir in the beauty industry and what makes Dove shampoo raise some red flags, which we’ll talk more about later.


While a pleasant smelling shampoo can be nice, too much fragrance can actually cause irritation, dryness, and even headaches.

DMDM Hydantoin

DMDM hydantoin is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, meaning it has the potential to cause cancer. While the amount of formaldehyde released by DMDM hydantoin is low and considered safe by the FDA, some people may still want to avoid this ingredient.

It’s also been linked to skin irritation and allergic reactions and hair fall/hair loss.

Is Dove Conditioner Good For Your Hair?

While Dove conditioners are often packed with amazing ingredients like glycerin, keratin, amino acids and plant oils, they also contain many of the same ingredients as the shampoos.

One of the main ingredients in Dove conditioners that should raise red flags are silicones. These ingredients can build up on the hair and actually make it more difficult for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft, which can lead to dryness and breakage.

While Dove conditioners may make your hair feel soft and silky in the short term, they may actually be doing more harm than good in the long run.

However, do keep in mind that many people can use silicones in their haircare products without any issue.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Your Hair: FAQ’s

are dove shampoos good

Finding a shampoo that works for your hair type and helps make you feel good about your style is important, and doing the research on whether or not Dove shampoo is good for the hair means you can make the best choice for your self-care repertoire.

Does Dove Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

Although there are no consistent reports of Dove shampoo causing hair loss, there is always a chance that an included ingredient can cause an adverse reaction. If you already have a sensitive scalp, stay away from Dove shampoos that have sulfates or potentially bothersome extracts and oils that can further irritate your scalp and lead to hair loss. Of course, you won’t know how a particular shampoo will affect your hair and scalp until you use it, but doing a thorough background check can increase your odds of making a purchase you’re happy with.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Dandruff?

Dove has many shampoos that help effectively treat dry scalp and dandruff—but again, they must be used appropriately so as to not exacerbate any already-present symptoms. If you’re going to test out one of their shampoos to combat dandruff, consider those that include flake-fighting ingredients, like rosemary extract and pyrithione zinc, and moisture-restoring ones, like sunflower seed oil and shea butter.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Colored Hair?

You’re probably already aware of how certain shampoos can strip colored hair of vibrancy and dull its shade, and that’s no different with certain Dove shampoos. Like any other brand, some of them contain ingredients that may be too harsh on hair that has been dyed, including sulfates and salts. If you’re looking to choose a Dove shampoo to maintain colored hair, go for their Color Care line, which is sulfate-free.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Hair Growth?

Truthfully, there are several Dove shampoos containing ingredients like rosemary extract and echinacea that promote hair growth, as well as many ingredients that fortify and strengthen hair, helping it grow more healthily. While there may be other niche shampoos on the market that help hair grow thicker and quicker, Dove has cost-conscious options that are still effective overall.

Is Dove Shampoo Sulfate-Free?

Although Dove has been working hard to create new shampoo options that are sulfate-free—including their Nutritive Solutions line—most of their current options on shelves contain sulfates. No, they’re not great for hair overall, but if you’ve not had a problem with them in the past or are looking to save a bit of money when it comes to your health and beauty products, there are several shampoos containing solid ingredients you might love. If you’re sensitive to sulfates or prefer more natural shampoos in general, opt for Nutritive Solutions and be patient in waiting for Dove to create more sulfate-free options.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Curly Hair?

If you have curly hair, you most likely know the struggle with finding a shampoo that keeps it from getting frizzy and too tough to manage—and thankfully, Dove knows that, too. Their new Amplified Textures Hydrating line is made for wavy and curly hair types and formulated with nourishing shea butter and smoothing coconut oil, without any sulfates: A win-win for unruly locks.

Does Dove Shampoo Damage Your Hair?

While there is no concrete evidence that Dove shampoos damage hair, some of the ingredients aren’t the best and can certainly lead to hair damage.

Some of the ingredients that can damage hair are sulfates, silicones, fragrance and preservatives. Many people can use these ingredients safely without damage to their hair, but if you’re using Dove products and experiencing any hair damage, it might be worth looking into whether or not the ingredients could be the culprit.

Related post: Is Head And Shoulders Bad For Your Hair?

Is Dove Shampoo Harsh?

Generally Dove shampoos are pretty harsh on the hair because most of them contain sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Sulfates are known to strip the hair of its natural oils which can lead to dryness, damage and breakage. Plus, they can cause irritation, so if you have sensitive skin or scalp, it’s probably best to avoid Dove shampoos.

If you’re looking for a Dove shampoo that is less harsh on the hair, consider their Nutritive Solutions line which is sulfate-free.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Daily Use?

If you’re using a Dove shampoo that contains sulfates, then it’s probably not the best choice for daily use. Sulfates tend to be too harsh on the hair and will strip hair of all its natural moisture. However, their sulfate-free shampoos are actually pretty great and those can safely be used daily.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dove Shampoo?

are dove shampoos bad

While there are many great aspects about Dove’s shampoos, including the price tag, the inclusion of several healthy and effective natural ingredients, and the company’s mission as a whole, there are disadvantages to be aware of before committing to buying a bottle off of the shelf.

Most Contain Sulfates or Parabens

Both sulfates and parabens can strip the hair and make it more susceptible to damage from the elements; for those with a sensitive or dry scalp, these ingredients can make conditions worse by robbing it of the fats and oils it needs to lubricate the hair shafts. Parabens are artificial preservatives and have even been shown to cause hormonal disruption and have negative effects on reproductive health in some studies. Of course, the amount found in most Dove shampoos isn’t excessive, but for those who are especially health or environmentally-conscious, avoiding these at all costs may be of extreme importance.

They’re Not All-Natural

Dove shampoos do use many natural ingredients that are beneficial for the hair, but as a whole they are far from all-natural. This may not be a problem for many people, but as the world gravitates more and more toward beauty products that are not only safe for human use but also for the environment, being especially aware of what is rinsed down your drains may become more of a draw. Again, there are many shampoos on the market that are far less natural than Dove’s offerings, but knowing exactly where on the spectrum your products lie is important.

Many Have Artificial Fragrances

Just like how artificial fragrances in laundry detergent or soaps can be bothersome to certain skin types, the same can be said for those in shampoos. Most of Dove’s shampoos have artificial fragrances in them, but their sensitive skin and baby formulas do not and are safer for those who have a sensitive scalp or react negatively to them. Many are derived from petroleum, a toxic chemical not good for human or environmental health.

Is Dove Shampoo Right for Me?

If you’re still wondering whether or not choosing a Dove shampoo for your beauty routine makes sense, ask yourself the following questions before you make your purchase:

●     What is my overall budget for a shampoo purchase?

●     How often do I wash my hair?

●     Which ingredients do I need for my specific hair and skin type?

●     How much does a company’s commitment to a philanthropic or cultural mission mean to me?

●     How do I feel about the inclusion of sulfates in Dove shampoo?

Even though it might seem like overkill to analyze a shampoo purchase, don’t forget it’s your hard-earned money you’re spending—and it can be a real bummer to throw away an almost-full bottle when you find it doesn’t work for your hair.

Is Dove Shampoo Good For Your Hair Wrap Up

So, when it comes down to it, is Dove shampoo good for your hair? Or is it bad?

The reality is that it’s almost smack-dab in the middle of the road when it comes to price, reliable and natural ingredients, and effectiveness. Because there are so many Dove shampoos on the market now—with surely more to come—it’s likely you can find one to suit your needs, or at least fill in the gaps as you search for your holy grail shampoo. Like many other haircare brands, Dove has expanded into more “natural” products including lines that are sulfate and silicone-free.

At the end of the day, whether or not Dove shampoo is good or bad for the hair is up to the person using it—and that person is you.

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