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Is Dog Shampoo Right for You?

And is Jonathan Kay’s scalp a fiery mess after unwittingly using it for months?

In what should be recognized as a gander into the intelligence of Quillette editor Jonathan Kay, cultural appropriation cheerleader, white supremacy denier and transphobic fuckhead, he spent the last several months inadvertently washing his scalp with dog shampoo.

And, in true Quillette-esque, champion-for-the-plight-of-white-men fashion, Kay blamed not himself, but the kinda small typeface in which the Arm & Hammer shampoo notes, “For Pets.” In response to bewildered online passersby calling attention to the obvious, large picture of a smiling dog on the bottle, Kay composed an even greater logistical leap: “Lots of shampoos I used in the past have pictures of waterfalls, or people cleaning dishes, or gauzily drawn women frolicking in pastures, or dudes under waterfalls with chests provocatively projected outwards, or whatever.”

One: What the fuck? Two: Waterfalls, not dogs. Three: The “shampoo” displaying people cleaning dishes is called dish soap.

Now, should we be at all surprised? Going by both what we know about Kay — a man with mental processes that enable him to associate with the likes of far-right sympathizer Andy Ngo — and how men in general approach hygiene, no, I guess we can’t expect much. And really, the majority of people hounding Kay for this lapse in common sense are, of course, more concerned about the moronic hills Kay stands on — and the brains behind them — rather than the state of his mane.

However, I personally want to know what months of dog shampoo have been doing to Kay’s head, so I asked a hairstylist and a veterinarian. Desiree, the hairstylist, simply pointed out that dog fur is very different from human head hair, and therefore requires a different kind of shampoo. So, your hair won’t look its best if you’re using dog shampoo.

More worrisome than the difference between hair and fur, though, is the fact that dog skin and human skin have very different pH balances. Therefore, using a human shampoo on dogs — and vice versa — can upset a thin layer of skin called the acid mantle, which protects the other layers from contaminants. This can make the skin feel dry and flaky, in addition to opening it up to infections

It does, of course, depend on the specific shampoo, and it should be noted that Kay was lucky enough to end up using one with all-natural ingredients. Thus, says veterinarian Tony Johnson, “I’d sort of file it under ‘maybe not the best idea, but unlikely to really cause any actual harm.’”

Knowing that, should you consider using dog shampoo? 

Well, no, obviously not, especially in the event you end up with an unnatural dog shampoo. As a cosmetology expert on Quora says, “What? Really? Why? Don’t do that please.”

So, while we can’t be certain if it affected Kay’s skin, even if dog shampoo did leave his scalp feeling flaky and infected, it’s still not as bad as his ideas.