What Happens If You Put Hand Sanitizer On Your Hair? (It’s Not a Good Idea)

what happens if you put hand sanitizer on your hair

In the era of DIY haircare, some pretty wild hair care tips float around the internet, like rice water as shampoo, or green tea hair masks. One of the strangest might be using hand sanitizer in your hair. But is this a real care product or a total bust? What happens if you put hand sanitizer in your hair?

Hand sanitizer has benefits beyond belief when it comes to maintaining good hygiene in public spaces, killing germs and preventing illness, but its usages are extremely limited and cannot be mistaken for a substitute hair product. 

The harsh chemicals in sanitizers makes it unsuitable for hair. If you put hand sanitizer in your hair, you risk serious skin irritation, dandruff, frizz and hardening of the hair. Never put sanitizer in your hair. 

In this article, you’ll discover why sanitizer is not safe for hair including the harsh ingredients used in sanitizer, whether sanitizer makes your hair greasy, and healthier alternatives to fix your greasy hair.

Is Hand Sanitizer Good for Your Hair?

Hand sanitizer has great benefits and is often carried around for convenience especially when you want to kill germs and maintain good hygiene. You simply rub it in your hands and you’re good to go. 

But this is as far as sanitizer’s usage goes. Hand sanitizer cannot be used in your hair and it’s not good for your hair either. While it’s true that your hair requires good hygiene, hand sanitizer is not an efficient way of cleaning your hair. 

There is a long list of powerful and dangerous ingredients in hand sanitizer that will certainly damage your hair and scalp. 

What is Hand Sanitizer Made Out Of?

Hand sanitizers come in many brands and variations. Some come in a spray variation, and others come in liquid. There’s also variations in ingredients too. Some have aloe, to reduce the harshness of ingredients on your hands, but there’s a basic way hand sanitizers are made. 

According to the makers of Purell, one of the most popular hand sanitizer brands in America, here are the ingredients in the average bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. 

Active Ingredients: 

  • Ethyl Alcohol (70%)

Inactive Ingredients 

  • Water (aqua)
  • Isopropyl alcohol 
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice 
  • Caprylyl Glycol 
  • Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange Peel Oil)
  • Glycerin 
  • Isopropyl Myristate 
  • Lavandula Hybrida (Lavendar Oil)
  • Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil 
  • Geranium Oil 
  • Pogostemon Oil 
  • Tocopheryl Acetate 
  • Crosspolymer 
  • Aminomethyl Propanol 

Does Hand Sanitizer Fix Greasy Hair?

As we stated before, hand sanitizer is not safe for use on your hair, but if we’re getting technical, the main active ingredient in hand sanitizer- ethyl alcohol- does have properties that can absorb hair grease, but there are ways to fix greasy hair without damaging your hair. 

Ever heard of dry shampoo? It’s a hair product that helps to absorb dirt, oil and sebum from your hair if you spray it on your scalp. But have you ever heard of hair sanitizer?

The good news is that if you like dry shampoo and use it frequently to combat greasy hair, then hair sanitizer might be your new favorite  hair product. Hair sanitizer helps in killing bacteria, while dry shampoo soaks up the oils to give you extra volume and extended hairstyles. 

In addition, hair sanitizer can help to remove viruses, pollutants, bacteria and unwanted odors in the hair because of its antiseptic properties. And yes, it’s all safe for your scalp. 

The Best Hair Sanitizers in 2022

Hair sanitizer is a relatively new phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean that the market isn’t full of new hair sanitizer brands. Some may come with extra bells and whistles to give you an even better hair experience. 

Some added benefits to hair sanitizers include ingredients that give you shine, softness, and hydration! 

R+Co BIO DOME Hair Purifier + Anti Pollutant Spray 

One popular hair sanitizer brand is R+Co BIO DOME Hair Purifier + Anti Pollutant Spray. You can get it off Amazon for only $24. 

Tokyo Posh Hair Shield Sanitizer 

Another brand is Tokyo Posh’s Hair Shield Sanitizer. This product claims to remove and protect against 99.9% of bacteria and germs in your hair. It also provides non-drying, conditioning and anti-frizz benefits too. Not too bad, right?

But beware, as too much is no good when it comes to any type of sanitizer, especially on places that are sensitive, like your scalp. While it might be tempting to ‘kill’ all of the bacteria that is on your scalp, it could be very damaging to your hair. 

The best thing to do is to keep up a healthy hair care and scalp routine, which includes regular washes. Don’t be too lazy and skip out on hair washing, then try to fix it by spraying hair sanitizer, because this will contribute to scalp build up. 

What Are Side Effects of Hand Sanitizer?

Because of the rise of COVID-19 cases, it’s always tempted to stock up on sanitizers and use them to our heart’s desire, (just remember, not on your hair!) But are there any major side effects of hand sanitizer?

Dries Out Skin 

The ethyl alcohol featured in most mainstream sanitizers is great for killing germs, but not so great for your skin barrier. 

Continuous hand sanitizer use takes the moisture out of your skin and this can make your skin susceptible to other skin conditions and sensitivity.

Can Impact Hormones

One ingredient featured in sanitizer is triclosan, and which is great to kill bacteria, but if you use it at high concentrations and over a period of time, it can disrupt your body’s natural hormone cycle. 

Can Trigger Skin Breakouts 

After continuous use of hand sanitizer, you might notice that you have itchy, red hands. Even eczema patches, and this is because of the potency of ingredients in hand sanitizer. Once again, this isn’t the general case, and might not happen to everyone.


This article broke down why hand sanitizer is not good for your hair and why you shouldn’t put it in your hair. The ingredients in most hand sanitizers make it very dangerous for scalp use and there are other ways to clean your hair without damaging it. 

Hair sanitizers are a great alternative, but they also aren’t a quick solution to a good hair washing with traditional shampoo and conditioner. 

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