Have you ever wondered what's in your shampoo? Shampoo is a very popular product used by a lot of people, but it is a common misconception that shampoos are all the same.
In fact, the ingredients in shampoo can vary from brand to brand. Certain ingredients in shampoo can help to make your hair look healthier and shinier, while others can damage your hair and cause it to fall out.
Often, the ingredients in shampoos are hidden under a long list of long chemical names. It is very difficult to work out which of these ingredients are helpful to your hair, and which are harmful.
This article aims to identify the ingredients in shampoo that cause hair loss and discuss their effects on hair. Let’s get to the root of it!
Shampoo and Hair Loss — What Are the Ingredients in Shampoo That Cause Hair Damage or Hair Loss?
Shampoo is produced with a number of ingredients. These ingredients are used to create a product that is safe to use on almost all hair types. Yet, despite their best efforts, some chemicals in shampoo can still cause hair loss. The following is a list of the most common ingredients in shampoo that cause hair damage or hair loss:
Silicones are a group of chemicals that are used to create a smooth, shiny finish on one’s hair. They are added to shampoos to improve the way that the product feels when it is applied.
Silicones in shampoo can cause hair loss in two ways. Firstly, they coat the hair in order to make it appear smooth. This prevents hair from absorbing essential nutrients that it needs in order to grow. Silicones in shampoo can also cause hair loss by coating the scalp so that nutrients cannot be absorbed.
Silicone in shampoos and conditioners can cause hair loss because of the way they coat the hair. In order to have healthy hair, hair needs to be able to absorb nutrients from the scalp. If hair is coated in silicone, it cannot absorb the nutrients, and the hair can become damaged and break off.
Three ingredients that are silicone-based that you might find in your hair products:
Sulfates are chemicals that are added to shampoos to create a lather. This is done in order to make the shampoo feel more effective. Sulfates are used in many other household cleaning products, because they are known to clean effectively. However, sulfates are not good for hair, because they can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.
Sulfates can cause hair loss because they can cause hair to become fragile, brittle, and leave it with a lack of natural moisture; this can lead to breakage. Additionally, the stripping of the hair's natural oils can cause hair to become more susceptible to damage.
The main ingredient in sulfates that can cause hair loss is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). SLS is a detergent found in many of the most popular shampoos, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. SLS is known to cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Three ingredients that are sulfate-based that you might find in your hair products:
- Sodium dodecyl sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Preservatives and Parabens
Preservatives are chemicals that are added to shampoos to prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, or fungi. They are added to shampoos to extend their shelf life. Preservatives are usually added to shampoos in small amounts, however, too many preservatives and additives can damage one's hair, leading to your hair becoming more susceptible to breakage and hair loss.
Parabens are preservatives that are commonly added to shampoos and other hair products. Parabens are known to mimic estrogen in the body. Some people are allergic to parabens, and parabens can cause hair loss in these people due to the allergic reaction.
Three ingredients that are preservative-based that you might find in your hair products:
Because of its ability to bind to proteins, formaldehyde is often used in shampoos in order to help the product to create a stronger hold. Formaldehyde is also used in shampoos because it is known to kill bacteria, which can be found in hair.
Formaldehyde is often found in different salon treatments, from Brazilian blowouts to straight perms. It's known to cause both hair loss, and scalp irritation. The Federal Drug and Food Administration (FDA) has advised against the use of formaldehyde in cosmetics, and it is banned in several countries.
When formaldehyde is used in shampoos, it can cause hair loss by stiffening the hair. This makes the hair prone to breakage, especially under certain conditions. Additionally, formaldehyde can cause scalp irritation, which can lead to hair loss.
What Other Products May Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss can also be caused by the chemicals found in other hair care products. For example, hair dyes, perms, and hair straighteners can all cause hair to become damaged and break off.
Hair dye can cause hair to become damaged and break off because the chemicals in the dye can coat the hair, preventing it from absorbing nutrients. Additionally, the dye can cause the hair to break off when it is removed.
Perms can cause hair loss because the chemicals in the perm can damage the hair shaft. The chemicals in perms can cause the hair to become dry, brittle, and to break.
Hair straighteners can cause hair to become brittle and break off because the chemicals can strip the hair of its natural oils. When the hair is no longer covered in its natural oils, it is more likely to become brittle and break off.
Other Hair Loss Causes
In addition to chemicals in shampoo, there are a number of other hair loss causes that can be attributed to shampoo. The following is a list of the other hair loss causes that can be caused by shampoo:
- Loss of hair because of a shampoo allergy
- Hair loss from too frequent washing
- Hair loss from a reaction to a brand of shampoo
- Hair loss from a reaction to a hair dye
- Hair loss due to a reaction to hair relaxers
- Friction hair loss due to tight ponytails or other styles that pull on the scalp such as cornrows, tight braids, dreadlocks, buns, or even hair extensions/weaves
How to Improve Hair Health
1. Shampoo less often, if you can. This is because frequent shampooing can strip hair of natural oils and also irritate the scalp. That’s why it’s a good idea to wash your hair less often, and to use a shampoo with a gentler formula. However, if you have oily hair, you may have to wash your hair more regularly.
2. Don’t use hot water to wash your hair. While hot water can be good for your hair if you’re using a shampoo that contains some form of heat protection, it’s still best to refrain from washing your hair with hot water. The chemicals that are usually added to hot water can be very harsh on your hair.
3. Use the right shampoo. If you want to keep your hair looking healthy, you should use a gentle shampoo. This is because all of the chemicals that are usually added to shampoos can be very harsh on your hair. You may want to look for shampoos that are labeled as being “gentle” or “natural.”
4. Prevent split ends. If you want to keep your hair from getting split ends, you should refrain from using heat tools on a regular basis. This is because the heat from the tools can cause your hair to become extremely dry. If you want to use heat on your hair, you should use it sparingly.
5. Use the right brush. If you want to keep your hair looking healthy, you should make sure that you’re using the right brush. This is because if you use the wrong brush, your hair can become damaged. For example, if you use a brush that’s too coarse, you can cause damage to your hair.
Science-Based Hair Loss Solutions
Minoxidil is a chemical applied to the scalp in order to promote hair growth. It is frequently used by both men and women in order to combat hair loss. You can get minoxidil in the form of a topical solution that you rub into your scalp or hair. It is sold under the brand name Rogaine. Minoxidil is an over-the-counter medication that works by increasing the blood flow to the scalp. This helps to promote hair growth.
Minoxidil is effective for people who are experiencing male pattern baldness, which is the most common type of hair loss. It is not effective for people who are experiencing hair loss due to other factors.
Finasteride is a medication that is used to treat hair loss. It is also marketed as Propecia. Finasteride works by inhibiting the production of a hormone that shrinks hair follicles. This helps to prevent hair loss. It has been shown to promote hair growth in men who are experiencing male pattern baldness. It can take up to three months for hair to stop falling out, but when taken for longer than six months, the majority of men regrow their lost hair.
Finasteride is prescription only, but you can get it through Phoenix Health, a telehealth platform that doesn't require a video chat. You can text with a doctor from the comfort of your own home, and start regrowing lost hair and gaining self-confidence. Make your appointment today!
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.