What Happens If You Drink Shampoo?

Shampoos are well-known for their numerous applications. It aids in cleansing the scalp, resulting in healthy, smooth, and shiny hair, etc.

The shampoo is unquestionably not food or drink. However, some people are still careless and unintentionally intake shampoo into your body.

No matter how watchful you are, do not neglect this article because it not only clearly explains the problem “What happens if you drink shampoo?” but also provides tips on how to handle a bad situation when it occurs.

What Happens If You Drink Shampoo?

The shampoo is a kind of detergent, and its cleaning abilities may also vary based on the type. Despite that, they all share a similarity, which is that drinking them will cause a negative impact on you.

It will occur in many situations, based on how much shampoo you intake into your body. 

Drinking shampoo is definitely not good for your health. 
Drinking shampoo is definitely not good for your health.

You consume a minimal quantity of shampoo.

Vomiting is the first symptom of consuming a small quantity of shampoo. Since shampoos are made up of various fragrances, most of you will recognize them immediately if you drink them. 

Although the shampoo’s ingredients are not toxic, they will irritate the body. As a result, drinking a small amount of shampoo will make the body feel uneasy and may cause vomiting.

If you only drink a minimal quantity of shampoo, you may feel sick, have diarrhea, and have abdominal pain. Once you have taken the necessary steps to remove the shampoo from your body, these symptoms can be lessened.

You drink a moderate quantity of shampoo.

If you consume in moderation, shampoo has the potential to cause gentle poisoning or gastrointestinal issues

That is because the more quantity of shampoo you drink, the more likely it can cause electrolytes to deplete. Also, chemical pneumonia may occur if a lot of aspiration gets into the lungs.

You consume a large quantity of shampoo.

Shampoo, in small doses, will not kill you. However, when you consume a large quantity of alcohol, various situations arise.

For instance, you could suffer from chemical poisoning, intestinal harm, or even death.

Believe it or not, isopropyl alcohol is the most noticeable toxin found in shampoo, which is easily absorbed and dispersed. This substance is converted to acetone in the body by yeast alcohol dehydrogenase. 

If you ingest 0.5 – 1ml/kg of 70% isopropyl alcohol solution, it may potentially cause poisoning with several symptoms, including difficulty breathing, stomach pain, headache, etc.

Shampoo with essential oils irritates the mucous membranes as well. Central nervous system depression and convulsions can be caused by just 10ml of concentrated oil preparation.

Also, essential oils can cause seizures by inhibiting the central nervous system. For an extended period, you will have a constant headache, that impacts your daily activities as well as your capacity to work.

In addition, methanol also poses an increased toxicity risk. When you consume substantial quantities of this chemical, it may cause vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain, all of which can have an impact on your central nervous system.

Besides, shampoos may contain pulegone volatiles, which may become poisonous to your liver and lungs after you consume them. 

If the amount of pulegone volatiles you drink is just 5ml, it is enough to cause poisoning symptoms and even death if you ingest 15ml. Even worse, you may have to experience some unpleasantness before death.

Intaking a large amount of shampoo may even cause death. 
Intaking a large amount of shampoo may even cause death.

How Does Consuming Shampoo Influence Your Health?

Consuming shampoo can have negative impacts on your body, including both mild and severe symptoms.

Mild side effects

Mild symptoms may occur when you consume a minimal quantity of shampoo. In this case, you might experience headaches, stomach pain, or nausea as a result of the digestive system’s functions being impaired and the effects of detergents found in shampoos. 

Severe side effects

Moreover, drinking a considerable amount of shampoo can induce stomach ulcers and deteriorate the intestinal wall in certain people. Essential oils may cause seizures by inhibiting the nervous system. 

For an extended time, you will experience a constant headache, which will affect your daily activities and capacity to work.

In addition, consuming a large quantity of shampoo can impair the function of your internal organs

It is primarily because cleaning agents degrade toxins, particularly the kidneys and liver. Especially, kidney failure frequently happens as a result of consuming copious amounts of mint shampoo.

Unfortunately, you will die if you consume too much shampoo. Above all, no matter how much shampoo you drink, it will lead to an imbalance in your body.

As a consequence, several internal organs begin to fail and are hard to recover from.

What Should You Do If You Accidentally Consume Shampoo?

Read the label to check the manufacturer’s instructions if it is taken into the body. Because most shampoos get a basic pH, they may be relatively well depleted in the acidified environs of the stomach.

Shampoos containing a high concentration of chemicals, on the other hand, can be harmful to your health. In that case, you should take the following precautions to minimize any further damage.

Keep calm

First and foremost, do not be frightened. Instead, learn and manage appropriately in a calm manner. It will help if you look through the shampoo’s ingredients to find out the chemical. Examine the information on the chemical type, quantity, etc., to provide timely and accurate solutions.

Avoid vomiting

The New Zealand National Poisons Centre (NPC) advises against using vomiting as first aid for any toxic substance, including shampoo, due to the following reasons.

  • Vomiting is ineffective at removing poisonous substances from the stomach. 
  • Some products may cause throat burns, and vomiting may increase the likelihood of burns by exposing the throat to the poison two times.
  • Sometimes, vomit or poison may enter the lungs wrongly, which may cause lung injury, mainly if the product is bubbly, such as shampoo or liquid soap.
  • Because the stress on the stomach pushes the toxin into the body, vomiting may cause the toxin to be consumed more rapidly and in more significant amounts.
  • Inducing vomiting may become riskier than the poison itself, and it can be challenging to stop when it has started.

Therefore, vomiting should not be advisable unless you are directed to do so by poison control or a health doctor. 

If medical professionals suggest that you should vomit, they will discuss the best way to do so. Once vomiting starts, keep your head lower than your chest. This will keep vomited material from entering the lungs. 

You should not try to vomit unless medical professionals have advised you. 
You should not try to vomit unless medical professionals have advised you.

Drink properly

The fluid may go in your stomach as well as break down the potentially harmful component, which may lead to it being ingested more rapidly by the body. 

If you are not drinking water properly, you are more likely to vomit and inhale the froth, which can cause lung damage.

Let’s take milk as an example. You should not drink it unless a medical professional advises you to do so because milk may aid in the absorption of the chemical, raising the chances of poisoning.

Likewise, the same applies to some fluids, including fizzy drinks, juice, or alcohol. Only when you have the advice of a medical professional can you drink them because they can irritate the stomach and raise the risk of poisoning. Give children ½ to ¼ cup if the doctor approves. Adults should drink 1 to 2 cups.

Go to a medical facility

It is best to go to a medical facility as soon as possible to administer proper first aid. 

If you ingest too much shampoo, you must go to the hospital for treatment immediately. Besides, it is unnecessary to perform tests when you swallow small amounts of shampoo.

What Should You Do If Your Child Accidentally Consumes Shampoo?

Children at the age of 1 to 5 are the most vulnerable to intoxication as this is the age at which one uncovers the outside world by trying to bring everything to his mouth. And shampoo is no exception.

You kids may accidentally consume shampoo, so you need to know what to do in that situation to minimize any further damage. 
You kids may accidentally consume shampoo, so you need to know what to do in that situation to minimize any further damage.

In case your kid accidentally drinks shampoo, calling the emergency number is the ideal solution. However, you can take these simple steps to make your kid feel more at ease until they arrive.

  • First, if you discover your baby with an open or empty shampoo bottle, he could be poisoned. At that moment, do not panic. Instead, act quickly by eliminating the container.
  • It would be best not to attempt to get rid of the remains with your fingers because you may injure your child. You had better keep the poison, the container, vomited material, or any other proof that can help identify the amount and type of toxin he ingested.
  • Also, do not let your kid drink anything because it may result in foam, which will cause vomiting. To avoid foaming, feed the child high-fat foods if at all possible.
  • Do not encourage your kid to vomit if you are advised to do so by medical professionals. Instead, encourage them to split it out.
  • Seek further advice from a poison control center and provide detailed information as to the child’s weight and age, as well as any other information requested, including name, age, current condition, the product’s name, the time and amount your kid consumed, etc. If you notice anything strange or unusual, do not forget to notify them.

For more information, you should watch this video. It will show you what to do when your kid gets poisoned by consuming something poisonous, including shampoo:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should you do to prevent your child from drinking shampoo?

  • As a general rule, you should not have products on hand that can induce a state of intoxication. 
  • Any shampoo should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • When bathing small kids, it is advisable not to leave shampoos on the bath’s edge. After using, keep them out of the reach of your kid in child-proof containers.
  • Knowing how to perform basic first aid in the event of an emergency.

How does shampoo poisoning affect your health?

Shampoo toxicity prognosis is measured by the amount of substance consumed, the time between ingestion and treatment, the symptoms’ severity, and the patient’s overall health. 

If the person can recover from the illnesses with proper medication and initial support, the result is generally favorable. Because the large majority of shampoos are non-toxic, the situation is usually not very risky.

Overall, when given proper treatment, most cases do not turn fatal.

Final Words

After reading this article, have you figured out what happens if you drink shampoo? The symptoms may vary depending on how much shampoo you use.

Despite this, you should take precautions when using shampoo or any other chemical substances because they may have a negative impact on your health. Especially, remember to keep those substances out of your child’s reach.


I am Jessica Coles, a hairstyling and trends expert who also holds a master's degree in cosmetology. I am one of the leading hair care experts who has been offering support round the clock.

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