You have likely heard that certain shampoos and conditioners can contribute to hair loss. If so, you've probably wondered what shampoo and conditioner ingredients pose a threat to your hair and are worried that you might be using those products. Shampoos and conditioners contain a wide range of ingredients, and some of these chemicals may be linked to hair loss.
Does Shampoo Contain Ingredients That Can Damage Your Hair?
Shampoo is primarily a mild detergent that removes dirt and keeps your hair and scalp clean. In addition, your shampoo does other things such as:
- Remove old hair products
- Address scalp conditions such as oily hair or dandruff
- Add softness and a fresh scent
To accomplish this, shampoos may contain as many as 30 different ingredients, including various chemicals that help with the product's shelf life and aesthetic appeal. While each of these ingredients is added for a specific reason, some may be associated with different problems, including hair loss and other health issues.
Common Shampoo Ingredients
Some of the common ingredients contained in your shampoo include:
- Detergents are the primary cleansers used in shampoo. Many of these cleansers can strip the hair of the natural oils needed to protect and moisturize your hair.
- Conditioners like propylene glycol and dimethicone help make your hair manageable and glossy while decreasing static.
- Thickeners are used to make the shampoo feel thicker, richer, and more appealing. However, they do not affect the product's cleansing ability.
- Sequestering agents are added to your shampoos to help prevent soap scum from forming.
- Preservatives improve the shelf life of your hair products by keeping germs and bacteria from growing.
- Special additives such as vitamins, nutrients, and chemical sunscreens.
What About Sulfates?
You may have heard of sulfate-free shampoos and those sulfates are harmful to your hair. Some sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, can cause severe scalp irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. When sulfates cause enough scalp irritation, they can damage the hair and contribute to thinning hair and hair loss. If you have sensitive skin, you might benefit from a sulfate-free shampoo.
Can Other Hair Products or Practices Also Cause Hair Loss?
Along with carefully choosing your shampoo and conditioner, some styling products and hairstyles have also been linked to hair loss. For example, tight hairstyles are associated with a hair loss condition known as traction alopecia. This hair loss condition occurs when constant pulling and tension on the hair causes it to break or fall out. While it's okay to wear a tight hairstyle occasionally, over time, they pull on the hair follicles and can cause permanent damage. Some of the hairstyles commonly associated with hair loss include:
- Buns and ponytails
- Tightly braided hair
- Hair extensions or weaves
In addition, some chemical hair treatments, like chemical straightening, and hot styling tools such as hair dryers and flat irons, have been linked to hair loss. Diet and lifestyle can also influence hair growth.
In addition, emotional or physical stress can lead to a hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. This type of hair loss usually occurs a few months after the stressor, and when the stress is no longer present, the hair regrows without treatment.
Speak With an Expert at New Image Hair Clinic
Hair loss is a complicated issue that involves many factors. Often, there is an underlying cause and one or more contributing factors causing your thinning hair or hair loss. For example, the shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products you use may cause damage to your hair, scalp, and hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
If you are concerned about hair loss and wondering if you are using the best products for your hair, our team of experts can help. Contact us today, and schedule your FREE initial consultation.