Does it seem like you’re shedding a little more hair than usual?
Before you start to worry, keep in mind it’s absolutely normal to shed hair on a daily basis, especially when you shampoo. Still, you might start to feel concerned about hair loss when you notice larger clumps of hair in your shower drain, comb, or brush.
Your search for answers might lead you to your shampoo bottle — especially if most of that hair loss seems to happen when you wash your hair. But will scanning the ingredient list really help you nail down the culprit?
Most of the time, probably not. While certain shampoo ingredients may be less than ideal for healthy hair, existing evidence doesn’t point to any specific ingredient as a potential cause of hair loss.
Hair loss is a common concern experienced by people of all ages and genders around the world.
When you’re worried about extra shedding, it’s entirely understandable to consider every possible explanation and try everything you can think of to keep from losing more hair.
Experts have identified a wide range of potential causes (we’ll touch on a few of these in more depth below).
Anecdotal reports also link some common shampoo ingredients to hair loss, but these claims have yet to be proven.
Keep in mind the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) doesn’t list any shampoos, or shampoo ingredients, as common causes of hair loss.
It’s been suggested that both sulfates (cleansing agents) and formaldehyde (a preservative) can contribute to hair loss.
To date, no research backs up these claims. That said, both sulfates and formaldehyde, along with a number of other chemicals often used in shampoo, could potentially lead to other types of hair damage.
The complaints about both sulfates and formaldehyde seem largely anecdotal.
At this time, “there is no evidence that sulfates… affect hair loss,” says Amy Forman Taub, MD, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist in Illinois.
The same is true for formaldehyde.
“It’s not formaldehyde, but the formaldehyde donor used as a preservative that keeps getting cited as a problem, albeit incorrectly,” explains Ranella Hirsch, MD, FAAD, a board certified dermatologist in Massachusetts. “This has been used as a preservative for decades… If these claims were accurate, we would have seen loads of [hair loss].”
That’s not to say these ingredients don’t cause other problems.
Sulfates provide that telltale lathering effect in shampoos. But while they’re effective cleansers, they can irritate sensitive hair and skin.
Sudsy sulfate-based shampoos strip …….