Can Shampoo Cause Hair Loss? Hair Loss Facts
Suddenly, you see more hair in your hair brush. “And what’s with all that hair in my shower drain? Please don’t tell me I’m like the 40% of women under 40 with visible hair loss!”
Women make up a significant percentage of hair loss suffers, often dealing with the issue in silence. Yet while thinning hair can shake up our self-confidence, there are ways to deal with hair loss and help others with the same challenge.
The most common type of hair loss in women is called “Androgenic” hair loss which means that your hair follicles are more sensitive to DHT, a male hormone found in both men and women. The hair strand thins and can fall out when DHT shrinks these sensitive follicles.
The next common reason for thinning hair can be stress, hormones, medication, diet and hair styling including the use of heat-styling tools and/or hair dyes and lightening agents.
Regardless, if you are suddenly seeing thin, thinning or hair loss, visit your physician as soon as possible to assess your medical condition.
VISIT YOUR PHYSICIAN
When you visit your physician, be ready to discuss treatment options if you are diagnosed with androgenic hair loss. Here are a few options to discuss with your doctor:
· Minoxidil – an FDA-approved topical treatment
· Finasteride – an FDA-approved pill
· Hair Transplant – existing hair is used to restore areas of loss
MY DOC SAYS I DON’T HAVE ANDROGENIC HAIR LOSS. NOW WHAT?
After you’ve ruled out a medical reason for your hair loss, or even if you have received this medical diagnosis and are concerned about home care, the first thing you should do is evaluate your shampoo product, technique and frequency of use. There are changes you can make now to strengthen existing strands and create the ideal surface for new hair growth.
RED FLAGS IN COMMON HAIR LOSS SHAMPOO FORMULAS
There are two commonly used ingredients found in many hair fine, thin or thinning shampoos that can contribute to hair loss – surfactants and parabens. Check the ingredient listing of your current shampoo now and look for these two ingredients:
Many popular hair loss shampoos remove dirt or build up by using a blend of ingredients called surfactants, most commonly listed as Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate (SLS). Surfactants bind with things like dirt, soil, dead skin, and sebum – and when the shampoo is washed away, it takes these things with it. It’s also what creates that foaming or bubbling when you apply to your hair.
SLS is compound derived from coconuts, but the way that it’s processed and extracted creates a multitude of carcinogenic byproducts that end up in the formula of the shampoo. As you cleanse your hair, you rub the shampoo on your scalp which can mean these byproducts accumulate in your body. This can impact the chemistry of your body and contribute to hair loss, as well as the potential for other serious health issues in some.
Lastly, many popular shampoos contain synthetic preservatives called parabens. Parabens are manmade preservatives used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and (some) processed foods. Controversy over the safety of parabens began in 2004 when researchers found that parabens were present in 90% of human breast tumors, as published in the US National Library of Medicine. Not surprisingly, the same parabens in those tumors are also common ingredients in anti-perspiring underarm deodorants used by women. These studies imply that parabens can penetrate the skin and enter the body when applied topically.
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s published research suggests consistent long-term paraben exposure can also disrupt your endocrine system. Your endocrine system (which is composed of your thyroid, pancreas, adrenals, testes, and ovaries) is absolutely critical to your health. Without a properly functioning endocrine system, hormonal balance is literally impossible.
To be safe, many professionals recommend eliminating all topical products that contain parabens because they can potentially affect the body, contribute to hair loss and serious health issues.
THIQUE Gentle Volumizing Shampoo does NOT have any sulfates or parabens. Instead, we rely on more natural ingredients to cleanse the hair while addressing the needs of those with fine, thin or thinning hair:
AMAZONIAN COPAIBA OIL (Copaifera Officinalis) is obtained from the trunk of leguminous trees found in Amazonian rain forest and naturally aids in cleansing the scalp and hair. Its natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties nourish the scalp and hair strands without weighing them down.
CANADIAN WILLOW HERB (Epilobium Angustifolium) soothes the scalp as it gently removes impurities and works to gently cleanse. It also fights free radicals from further damage, promoting hair growth.
NATURAL CAFFEINE EXTRACTS (Caffeine) creates thicker, fuller looking hair diameter and stimulates hair shaft to promotes hair growth.
Have you ever heard of a company suggesting you DON’T use their product frequently? At THIQUE, we recognize that those suffering with hair loss have fragile scalp and follicles. While our Gentle Volumizing Shampoo is free of sulfates and parabens, we suggest only washing hair and scalp every two or three days. The natural rubbing action of your fingers on hair and scalp is of course causing friction. When the hair and scalp is fragile, this friction can cause damage. Use a very gentle rubbing motion with the fingers when shampooing. And focus your conditioner on the hair strands only, avoiding the root and scalp.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN OILY SCALP
You may have heard that those with oily scalp and hair are prone to thinning hair or hair loss. Let’s review why that could be and what you can do about it:
THE ROLE OF SEBUM
Sebum is the medical term for skin oils – microscopic sebaceous glands which are hidden under the surface of our skin produce sebum. Sebum is a mixture of an assortment of fats and dead sebaceous gland cells. The sebaceous glands can be found deep within our dermis and connect with the hair follicles and release their contents through the pores. They can also be found throughout our body, especially our face. Sebum hair loss can result from an excess of these oils.
HOW CAN EXCESS SEBUM CAUSE HAIR LOSS?
This greasy sebum helps to moisturize your hair and protects it from getting brittle, dry and breaking off. It also helps to maintain the pH of our skin, keeping our skin cells from drying off. But when too much sebum is produced, you could end up with an oily scalp, which in turn affects the hair growth cycle. An oily scalp can also lead to the thriving of the yeast fungus that causes dandruff.
Your hair follicles are surrounded by sebaceous glands producing sebum. When your sebaceous glands produce more than average sebum, it could lead to your hair follicles being blocked by the greasy substance, which could also cause infection and reduce the productivity of the hair growth cycle – so hair looks unhealthy and greasy.
When excess sebum strikes, your hair looks lackluster because the hair follicles are drowning in the excess sebum produced by the glands. When an excess amount of sebum collects on your scalp, it clogs up the pores as it hardens over time. This can cause hair thinning, and eventually hair loss – which is when hair falls out faster than during the normal hair growth cycle because the sebum clogs up the follicles.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Having an oily scalp may not necessarily be a bad thing. Those with a tendency for an oily scalp and hair should shampoo as often as needed to control the oil. THIQUE Gentle Volumizing Shampoo is ideal for those with oil because of the mild cleansing ingredients for more frequent washing. It helps control oil but doesn’t strip away the natural oils your hair needs to be healthy. And THIQUE’s Dry, Itchy Scalp Shampoo can help control dandruff and excess oil. But we suggest using this shampoo every other time you cleanse your hair and scalp.
It’s important that you give it time, as frustrating as that can be. Healthy hair only grows ½ an inch a month at best. So, give implementing this new knowledge some time to work. Eat right, exercise and treat yourself to products designed just for you! You deserve it!