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Effects of Wrong Shampoo on Hair Loss

There are many reasons for hair shedding and sometimes tend to be individual to the people. Using a wrong shampoo can be cited as one of those factors causing hair loss.

Using a shampoo that is not suitable for your scalp and hair follicles definitely have harmful effects. The hair follicles and scalp will react to the shampoo and consequently hair will fall out. The severity of shedding due to reaction to shampoo varies among people. Inexpensive and under-the-counter shampoos are the most harmful ones for your hair health. They do not contain ingredients that are beneficial and necessary for hair growth and hygiene of scalp. On the contrary, they include substances that cause irritation, inflammation and allergic reactions on scalp. For instance, high alcohol percentage in shampoo will dehydrate the hair and cause thinning. Other ingredients such as mineral oil or petroleum, which are used as lubricants, can have detrimental effects on hair follicles.

Hair loss is normal for a certain amount during the day. This normal shedding is a result of hair follicles natural growth cycle. In this cycle, some hair follicles are growing while other are resting. Those shedding hairs are the ones that come to the end of their lifecycles. Up to 100 hair follicles loss per day can be safely deemed as normal hair loss.

If hair loss is more than 100 follicles a day, then the reasons for this situation should be understood. It should not be panicked as not all hair loss is permanent. There could be factors that led to temporary shedding on scalp.

Temporary hair loss can be caused by malnutrition or use of medications. Excessive use of harsh cleaning items on hair can also cause temporary hair loss. Permanent hair loss mostly stems from genetic factors. In this case, genes cause hair thinning and there will be no reversal in this situation. This type of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia. Problems in immune system and hormones can be also the culprit for occurrence of bald patches that suddenly appear on scalp. Alopecia areata and thyroid hair loss are the most common examples for this kind of hair loss.

Wrong Shampoo as Culprit for Hair Loss

The correct shampoo for your scalp contains beneficial substances for your hair. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that all shampoos contain chemicals. The essential point is to select a shampoo with less chemicals but with lots of herbal mixtures.

People are unique and so do their hair. Choosing the correct shampoo for scalp requires recognizing the type of person’s skin, hair and scalp. Hair types can be classified as oily, normal, dry, fine and thick. Oily hair is caused by sebum, which is a natural type of oil produced in glands. Some people tend to have more sebum in their skin and hair. That’s the reason for their skin looking oily throughout the day. Greasy hair shines and appears as dirty. The suitable shampoo for this type of skin and hair is the one which control the amount of sebum and contains relevant herbal extracts.

For normal hair, the most important indicator of healthy look is balancing the moisture in scalp and hair. In winter, it is recommended to choose shampoos that boosts humidity in winter and to choose other shampoos that balances humidity in summer.

For dry and colored hair, there is risk of shedding. The chemicals in the dye deals a great damage to the hair in the long term. If you dye your hair continuously, it is important to choose shampoos that gives volume to the hair and at the same time cleanses it sufficiently.

People with fine hair should choose a shampoo formulated for their hair texture and match this with a conditioner suited to their hair’s length and level of heat damage. Conditioners are good solutions to add bulk to individual strands. Roots should not be applied conditioner, only mid-lengths and ends needs moist. For thick hair, selecting a shampoo that gives humidity and volume will be the wise choice.

Substances You Should Avoid in Shampoos

You should watch out certain chemicals that would definitely deal damage to your hair. Some of these substances are irritants that cause inflammation on scalp and thin hair. Alcohol percentage should not be high as they dehydrate and dry scalp and hair. Substances such as mineral oil and petroleum, which are added to formula as lubricants, might weigh hair down and give a dull appearance. In brief, avoid choosing shampoos that contain above-mentioned chemicals and substances. Other substances that should be avoided are as follows:


Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS) are the most commonly used additives in shampoos. They are potent detergents that are good at cleansing and foaming but do it harshly. As a result, they cause a frizzy, rough and dull appearance. These sulfates are also irritants and can damage hair even at low concentrations.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium Chloride, also known as table salt, is an additive in shampoos used as thickener. It might dehydrate and dry out hair and scalp. It may also cause irritation and itchy feeling on scalp. Watch out for shampoos with high concentration of sodium chloride.


Formaldehyde is a type of antibiotic that contributes to high shelf-life of shampoo. But higher concentration of formaldehyde may cause allergic reactions and rash. It is also classified as a carcinogen. Formaldehyde and similar substances can impact hair and cause shedding.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol serves for humidifying scalp and facilitate nutrients penetration to scalp. But it may have side effects such as irritation. If you cannot come across with shampoos that do not contain this substance, choose those that contain low amount of propylene glycol.


There are many types of alcohols included in shampoo formulas such as stearyl, cetearyl and cetyl alcohols. These mentioned alcohol types are not helpful for scalp health. They can dry out and strip natural oils in hair. Choose the shampoos with low concentration of alcohol.


If your skin or hair type is a sensitive one, stay away from shampoos that contain artificial fragrances and colors. They can irritate scalp for sure. Choose the ones with fragrance-free.


Parabens are actually included in many shampoos available over the counter. It is due to the fact that they are quite cheap. Parabens are used as preservatives to maintain shampoo’s quality.

On the other hand, paraben is a potential carcinogenic. Furthermore, it releases toxins into our bodies. It can deal damage to your hormones and cause hair shedding as a result.


Silicones are included in shampoo concentrations to give a smooth and shiny look to hair. It sounds perfect at the first glance because no one likes dull hair.

On the other hand, silicones can cover hair like a coat and cause hair root to be devoid of mineral supply. As a result of silicones’ impact, hair can dry out from the inside.

Hair Loss Stemming from Coloring

Most women consider coloring their hair as part of their beauty routine. They prefer to change natural color to simply feel good or dye gray hairs for youthful appearance. But hair dyeing has damaging effects especially when they contain harmful substances such as ammonia or oxidants. Furthermore, hair dyes containing harmful substances can cause hair roots less supplied with nutrients. As a result, hair loss could be unavoidable.

Harsh Hairstyles

Hair tightly tied back or other hairstyles putting strain on hair are not helpful for hair. Being stylish should not cause unnecessary damage on hair. The continuous pulling of hair constantly strains hair roots. As a result, a medical condition called traction alopecia can occur. In this medical condition, the hair follicles are damaged irreversibly. Bald patches emerge on temple or hair line.

Myths About Shampoo and Hair

The first myth is as follows: “If you continue to use same shampoo for long time, it will be ineffective in later uses.”

Many people should have been recommended about switching shampoos regularly over the claim that hair will not respond well to the same shampoo over time. However, this is simply a false truth.

If you notice that your hair is not great as before, you cannot blame using same shampoo. The change in quality and health of your hair most likely to be caused by changes in your lifestyle, food habits or drugs. You might also watchful that the formula of the same shampoo could be changed. Or, the same shampoo might cause buildup of silicone covers around hair over time. So it was an error to choose a shampoo with silicone at the very first moment. It is advised to switch to shampoos that are more convenient and gentle for your hair type and issues.

Another myth is the claim that hair will clean itself without using any shampoo. This is totally an untrue myth. If hair is now washed regularly, hair will be encumbered by dust, dirt, grease, sebum and many other unwanted substances. It is a must to shampoo hair at least once a week. If traditional shampoos are still not okay for you, try gentler cleansers such as vinegar or baking soda. They help accumulation of grease and dirt on your scalp.

The last myth is as follows: “Frequent shampooing is detrimental for your hair.”

There is a partial truth in this myth. It is an established fact that washing hair more than necessary can cause dryness, itchiness and irritation scalp. Choose a shampoo that would not strip natural oils of your scalp and cause dehydration. Choosing shampoo for your hair type is essential and do not forget to apply a conditioner. Whether the shampoo is the best fit for your hair or not, overusing any hair care products is detrimental for your hair health.

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