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  5. Does Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

Are you experiencing excessive hair fall right after your hair wash? A certain amount of hair loss during the shower is normal. But noticing clumps of hair in the shower drain might mean damaged hair health.

Most of the time, the ‘smell good’ shampoos you use are laden with harmful chemicals that can lead to thinning hair and eventually hair loss. Thus, you need to keep a check on the ingredient labels of your hair products to prevent hair fall and minimize damage.

In this article, we tell you how a few shampoos may trigger hair loss and how you can prevent it.

Can Some Shampoos Cause Hair Loss?

Usually, shampoos are formulated with silicones, preservatives, alcohol and thickening resins that you directly massage into your scalp. Some of these ingredients are difficult to rinse off and they tend to stick to your scalp, leading to hair loss eventually. These ingredients build up on your scalp and cause inflammation.

The inflammation around your hair follicles makes your hair roots loose and fragile. Also, it prevents the growth of new hair. Due to the fear of hair fall, many people opt for no-poo (no-shampoo) or low-poo methods. This way they use alternatives of shampoo for washing their hair.

But, it’s true that not all shampoos cause hair loss. Many mild and natural ingredients based shampoos are recommended for daily hair wash. Hair experts suggest that using a mild hair cleanser for washing hair is the best way to achieve healthy hair and maintain your scalp’s health too. Also, applying a hydrating conditioner is a must.

Is Hair Falling Out Normal When Shampooing?

According to studies, it’s normal for us to lose 100 hair strands per day. The days when you wash your hair, your normal hair fall ranges between 10-250 hair strands. However, it may vary depending on your hair washing frequency and the method you use to detangle your hair.

This hair shedding does not cause any hair loss. It is a natural process of hair shedding and regeneration of new hair strands. As you lose hair, new hair also starts growing.

Usually, when you shampoo your hair, it helps you release the resting hair strands that are waiting to shed off. That’s how your new hair strands grow. But if you notice you are shedding more hair strands than usual, then it could mean a problem.

But, hair fall shouldn’t be stopping you from washing your hair. Keeping your scalp and hair clean is extremely important, especially to remove dirt, grime, and any type of product buildup. If you don’t clean your scalp, dirt and dead skin cells would build up which will eventually lead to dandruff and hair fall.

List Of Shampoo Ingredients That Can Cause Hair Loss

1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant that is mostly used as industrial detergents. But, diluted form of SLS is used in shampoos and other skin care or hair care products as a cleansing and thickening agent. The reason your shampoo causes lather is the sulfate. The lather doesn’t do any good to your hair. Instead, they strip off the natural oils from your hair and stop hair growth by breaking down the essential proteins. This causes dry hair and then hair fall [1].

2. Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride’s chemical composition is said to take a toll on your hair's health. It’s used as a thickening agent in shampoos. If you have an oily scalp, sodium chloride may be beneficial for you. But when a shampoo has both SLS and sodium chloride, it dries out your scalp even more. A dry scalp will cause hair fall.

3. Propylparaben

Propylparaben is a type of paraben that is used in shampoos as a preservative. But any kind of paraben is not healthy for your hair. It increases the dryness of your scalp and impacts your hormonal balance. It also encourages hair fall and reduces hair growth [2].

4. Polyethylene Glycol

Polyethylene glycol is used in shampoo as an emollient. It helps to soften your hair strands and detangle your hair. But this is a synthetic ingredient that happens to be harsh on your scalp. Polyethylene glycol tends to strip off moisture from your hair, dries out your scalp, leading to hair fall [3].

5. Alcohol

Many brands use some type of alcohol in their hair products. Alcohol influences the natural oil level of your scalp and makes it dry. But not every type of alcohol is bad for your hair. Fatty alcohol such as stearyl alcohol,cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol help to condition your hair strands. However, high concentration of alcohol in your hair products can lead to dehydration in your hair.

6. Phthalates

Phthalates are used in shampoo and cosmetics as solvents and perfume fixatives. But it has harmful effects on your scalp as well as your health. Phthalates interfere with your hormonal systems and can cause excessive hair fall. It has a bad reputation for being malicious for the environment.[4]

7. Dimethicone

Dimethicone is a silicon layer in shampoo that works as a protective shield on your scalp. But it is hard to wash it off. Most of the time, the residue builds up on your scalp, blocking the skin pores. The clog prevents moisture from entering your skin. Lack of moisture makes your scalp dry and flaky, and eventually cause hair fall.[5]

8. Fragrances

Artificial fragrances are used in shampoo and other hair care products to increase brand value. But artificial fragrances are formulated with toxic chemicals which leads to several problems such as allergic reactions, asthma attack, hair loss etc.

woman holding her hair loss while taking a shower

How To Prevent Hair Fall Caused By Shampoo?

1. The first and the most important step of stopping hair fall is by knowing your hair type.

2. Build a proper hair care regimen according to your hair type and concerns.

3. Choose a sulphate free shampoo that is mild and gentle on your scalp.

4. Never forget to use a hydrating hair conditioner after every wash.

5. Make sure your conditioner has ingredients like natural oil, hydrolyzed keratin and butter-like mango butter, shea butter etc.

6. Also, check if your hair care products contain vitamin e and vitamin B5.

7. Massage your scalp with hot oil. You can use jojoba oil, coconut oil, almond oil, argan oil etc.

8. Minimize the usage of styling tools and products on your hair.

9. Avoid wearing tight hairstyles that exert a pull on your hair.

10. Use a soft brush to comb your hair.

Is It Bad To Wash Your Hair Every Day?

Shampoos are meant to clean the extra sebum, dirt, and product buildup on your scalp. Frequently washing your hair with harsh cleansers can strip off natural oils from your scalp, making it dry.

Most people shampoo twice or thrice a week which is ideal. But not everyone would be comfortable with the same schedule. People who work out, practice dance or indulge in regular physical activities like cycling, sports may need to wash their hair daily. They tend to sweat a lot which makes their hair greasy.

That’s why many brands have introduced mild shampoos that can be used daily. Such shampoos don’t contain harsh chemicals. If you are one of those people who needs to wash their hair regularly, choose a shampoo that does not contain any harmful chemicals and more importantly matches your hair type. You may also switch to naturally-formulated alternatives to shampoo to serve your purpose.

Can Changing Your Shampoo Frequently Cause Hair Loss?

There is no scientific evidence that proves changing shampoo can trigger hair loss. Your scalp does not get accustomed to the ingredients of your shampoo. Either the ingredients suit your hair type or they don’t. So, if you are going ahead with another shampoo, it is absolutely fine.

But if your new shampoo has any ingredient that does not suit your hair or if you are allergic to certain ingredients, then the shampoo may harm your scalp and lead to hair loss.

Wrapping Up

For most of us, our hair is our pride. Each one of us has a different hair texture that is beautiful in its own way. But your hair has certain limitations too. Most of you would agree that your hair fall problems seem never ending. And sometimes it’s your shampoo that can lead to hair loss. Thus, it’s important to choose the right shampoo for your hair. Usually, most shampoos contain harsh chemicals that can cause hair loss eventually but you can choose chemical-free mild shampoo or natural alternatives to shampoo to cleanse your hair without damaging its health.

Stick to natural ingredients when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. If your hair fall does not stop and occurs excessively, then seek medical attention immediately.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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