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Is it possible to have an allergy to shampoos or conditioners?


worried womanName: Indi

Question: Is it possible to have an allergy to shampoos or conditioners? I find that if I don’t constantly switch products (every 3 or 4 washes) the condition of my hair deteriorates, getting thin and fragile and falling out, and I get very itchy or sore rashes on my scalp in the patches where the hair is coming out. This happens even with very natural products such as tea tree oil shampoos. There is a possibility that it’s something else, but I have a very healthy diet and I don’t believe that it is stress related. Moreover I am only 18 and no women in my family have the same problem so I don’t think it is genetic.

Answer: Shampoos or conditioners do not cause hair loss. However, some products do affect the quality and the texture of your hair shaft resulting in thin and fragile hair. The sore rashes on your scalp are possible symptoms of dermatitis of the scalp. This condition can make your scalp irritable and sensitive to the majority of hair products, including the ones that are supposed to help. I suggest that you see a specialist to have your hair and your scalp examined and your condition diagnosed. This is your first step in finding the appropriate product to help your scalp and then to help stabilise your shedding. Regarding genetic hair loss, it is not always the case that a family member exhibits the same condition. You could be the first to express the trait and therefore be experiencing female pattern hair loss. This type of hair loss needs treatment to prevent it from becoming more pronounced, and a hair loss treatment plan that contains minoxidil is usually the best way to address this.


Do you have a question that you would like our senior hair loss specialist Leonora Doclis to answer? You can submit it here via our HairLossANSWERS form and we’ll get back to you

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