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Does Shampoo Cause Hair to Fall Out?

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Does shampoo cause hair to fall out?

If you are trying to figure out the cause of your hair loss, it is important to know you are not alone. Millions of Americans look down at their shower drain covers each year, startled by the amount of hair lost to a normal daily routine. But does your shampoo cause hair to fall out? Or is it something else?

Does shampoo contain damaging ingredients?

A good shampoo serves multiple purposes. They clean your scalp, clean your hair, add a pleasing fragrance and remove other products from your hair. Some also protect your skin while treating hair and scalp conditions like dandruff.

Obviously, the goal is not for any shampoo to cause hair to fall out. But to serve its purposes, the average shampoo contains as many as 30 ingredients. Some of the ingredients are chemicals.

Common shampoo ingredients include:

Detergents including sulphates like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate
Conditioners like propylene glycol and dimethicone
Thickeners and opacifiers like glycol distearate and sodium chloride
Sequestering agents to prevent soap scum including ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid
Preservatives including parabens and formaldehyde releasers
Additives like vitamins and sunscreens
Do ingredients in my shampoo cause hair to fall out?

Many people have complained that they believe their shampoo can cause hair to fall out. Unfortunately, scientists have yet to definitively prove specific shampoo ingredients could cause hair to fall out.

However, researchers do believe that formaldehyde in keratin shampoo MAY cause hair to fall out. They speculate it could cause scalp irritation, too. This is particularly true for Brazilian blowout salon treatments used by professionals to smooth hair. Still, this is not yet proven. In response to consumer concerns and based on current evidence that possibly connects these products to hair loss, the FDA issued a consumer update.

Other products speculated to cause hair to fall out have resulted in class action lawsuits being filed against manufacturers. Shampoos targeted by these lawsuits now active in the court system include Unilever’s TRESemme keratin shampoo and conditioners, Johnson & Johnson OGX shampoo and Straight Arrow Products’ Mane ‘n Tail shampoos and conditioners.

Consumers also sued over WEN hair products’ reported effects on hair, leading to settlement. DevaCurl hair products are the subject of another legal case. Unilever and Sanofi-Aventis are two manufacturers that voluntary recalled hair products based on lawsuit settlements and to address consumer concern. However, they still are not proven to cause hair to fall out.

Hairstyles that Can Cause Hair to Fall Out

There are certain hairstyles and methods that can cause hair to fall out. Researchers have proven the connection between these practices and traction alopecia, a condition of permanent hair follicle damage caused by pulling hair strands too tightly.

Hairstyles and practices leading to traction alopecia that can cause hair to fall out include:

Tightly pulled buns and ponytails
Tight braids
Hair extensions
Hair weaves

While it is okay to wear these hairstyles from time-to-time, everyday wear can cause hair to fall out.

Other factors and habits that can lead to hair loss, hair damage and thinning include:

Chronic scalp irritation in some people caused by sulfates in shampoos
Excessive brushing
Using chemicals or heat on your hair on an ongoing basis
Emotional or physiological stress

These causes of hair loss do not necessarily mean that your hair will never grow back. Conditions like telogen effluvium, caused by stress, are not necessarily permanent.

If You Suspect Hair Loss, See a Hair Restoration Professional

It is important to see a hair loss expert if you believe you have lost some of your hair, whether to shampoos, hairstyles, salon methods or other causes. While thinning is often temporary, it is important to catch permanent hair loss early for the best treatment results.

Dr. Arthur Zacco of AZ Hair Restoration in North Carolina can assess your scalp condition and provide more information about what may cause hair to fall out in your situation. Dr. Zacco also provides multiple options for permanent hair restoration in the event you hair will not grow back. Schedule your first virtual or in-person visit today by calling 919-375-3572 now.