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Can Shampoo Cause Hair Loss? 7 Ingredients You Should Avoid

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Our hair is the crown that we want to preserve at all costs. It makes us feel good about ourselves and boosts our self-confidence. So it is nothing short of a nightmare to see hundreds of hairs falling out each day. It is also a nightmare to spend hours doing research and trying to figure out what is causing the excessive hair fall and how to deal with thinning hair and get no straight answers. I have been through this, and I can know how terrifying it can be. 

As always, if you’re experiencing extreme hair fall, we recommend seeing a doctor to make sure that there’s no internal condition or medication that you might be currently taking responsible for the hair fall. In the meanwhile, take a closer look at the hair products you’re using, and particularly your shampoo, because it may contain ingredients that are causing (or at least worsening) the hair fall. 

Table of Contents:

1. Is hair falling out when shampooing normal?
2. Does washing your hair every day cause hair loss?
3. Can some shampoos cause hair loss?
 3.1. What ingredient in shampoo causes hair loss?
4. What can you do to prevent hair loss?
5. The bottom line

1. Is hair falling out when shampooing normal?

Totally! It is absolutely normal to lose up to 100 hairs daily. On the day you shampoo your hair, you may lose even more than that (up to 250 hair strands). The fallen tangled hairs or the hairs that were already about to fall will fall when shampooing and conditioning your hair. They just slip easier. It’s as simple as that. So seeing more hair fall when shampooing is typically nothing to worry about. 

If, however, hair fall starts to worsen, you should definitely look into it. 

2. Does washing your hair every day cause hair loss?

The skin on your face, your body, and your scalp all are very different. Most skin care specialist would agree that it would be a crime not to wash your face every day, but your hair? Not so much. The job of a shampoo is to clean your scalp and hair and remove product build-up, dust, and debris; but is this required every day for healthy hair? Typically, no. Unless you work in a very smelly and/or polluted environment, you should not wash your hair more than 2-3 times a week. Also, people who have very thin and extremely oily hair, who work out a lot, sweat, or play sports on a daily basis may benefit from washing their hair daily. Otherwise, shampooing daily will only strip the natural oils, leaving your scalp dry and irritated and your hair straw-like and prone to breakage. 

3. Can some shampoos cause hair loss?

Unfortunately, some shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can worsen or even cause hair loss. While nowadays most shampoos are typically safe to use, you should still make sure to stay away from certain ingredients to ensure normal hair growth. 

3.1. What ingredient in shampoo causes hair loss?

Here is a list of ingredients that you should avoid when choosing your shampoo (and conditioner, for that matter):

Parabens

Parabens are a group of preservatives typically added to shampoos to prevent the growth of fungi and bacteria. However, they can get easily absorbed by the skin, penetrating deeply, and causing allergic reactions, skin irritation, itchiness and flaking, which can ultimately lead to hair loss. 

Silicones

Silicones are added to shampoos to coat the hair strands and lock moisture inside the hair, preventing frizz. However, they can also cause product build-up on your scalp, which can block your hair follicles and prevent the nourishing ingredients from reaching your hair, leading to thinning hair and hair loss. 

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

SLS is a foaming agent found in many types of shampoos. It is what creates that rich lather we’ve all grown to love. However, sulfates also strip away the natural oils and cause imbalances in the activity of the sebaceous glands, cause damage to the proteins in your hair and irritate your scalp, which ultimately can lead to hair breakage and hair loss. 

Mineral oils

Mineral oils act as lubricants, and they might help reduce tangles. But, sometimes, they can “suffocate” your scalp, create build-up and and weigh down the otherwise healthy hair. Mineral oils may also contain contaminants that are known to cause skin irritation and scalp imbalances. 

Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, while not directly linked to hair loss, can make your hair dry, brittle, rough and difficult to manage, which may cause hair fall due to breakage. 

Phthalates

Phthalates are another controversial ingredient often found in shampoos. They have been linked to hormone disruptions, which are a common cause for hair loss.  

Hexachlorophene

Hexachlorophene is an antiseptic agent. When added to shampoos, it can cause scalp irritations. 

4. What can you do to prevent hair loss?

First off, try to identify what’s causing the hair fall. If you believe that your shampoo is the culprit, try switching to a more natural formula, free of the harsh chemicals we’ve just listed. It’s as simple as that. 

Krati Darak

I am a full-throttle freelance writer and an Instagram blogger. I am quite passionate about beauty, and this is the sole reason I started my page on Instagram. I write product reviews and a few tips and tricks that I have learnt over the years. No matter what conversation I am having, skincare is an add-on. Watching makeup videos and horror movies is my therapy.

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