Ingredients in Shampoo can Cause Hair Loss

We all experience hair loss at some point. Sounds incredible, right? However, it is the truth. On average, we have about 100,000 hairs on our heads and could lose up to 100 of them in a day.

But if you are experiencing thinning or balding, it means that you have severe hair loss.  There are a variety of reasons that can cause hair loss, harmful ingredients present in your shampoo and conditioner is a reason that people will normally ignore.


Your shampoo is meant to improve your hair. Although almost all shampoos and hair conditioners would always promise beautiful, shiny, lustrous locks, those products are often loaded with harmful ingredients that lead to hair loss such as Sodium Chloride, Parabens, Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Chemical Fragrances, and many more.

In this article, we will be focusing on the chemicals in shampoo that causes hair loss and to help you avoid it when you make the purchase. Now, let’s directly dive in!

Ingredients in Your Shampoo that are Linked to Hair Loss

1. Formaldehyde-irritate your sensitive scalp

Be Careful When Those Ingredients are in the Shampoo or Conditioner:

DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea,  imidazolidinyl urea,formalin, formic aldehyde,tosylamide/formaldehyed resin, methenamine, methanal,oxomethane,oxymethylene, bronopol

Of all the bad ingredients in shampoos, formaldehyde is the most harmful. It is carcinogenic and, according to animal testing, can be absorbed through the skin.

Shampoos containing preservatives such as DMDM hydantoin, quaternion-15, Diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and more (as listed in the image below) can release formaldehyde into the air you breathe, and it can also be absorbed into your skin. Washing your hair with shampoo containing formaldehyde might also irritate your sensitive scalp, and you will feel and smell it from your eyes and nose.

DMDM hydantoin is one kind of formaldehyde commonly used in shampoos and conditioners. In 2021, it caused so many concerns on Tiktok that there were several class-action lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Unilever, claiming that exposure to the substance in their hair care products led to hair loss.

While no studies have proven that exposure to DMDM hydantoin will lead to hair loss, the substance is linked to multiple allergic reactions and immunotoxicity. Several beauty brands, including Tresemmé and OGX, have already removed the substance from their products.

2. Parabens-cause scalp irritations and even trigger allergies.

Be Careful When Those Ingredients are in the Shampoo or Conditioner:

propylparaben, benzylparaben, methyparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben

Parabens are another preservative in many shampoos and conditioners that may lead to hair loss. Although more often found in cosmetic and skincare products, they do exist in shampoo and conditioners. Parabens are a family of related chemicals with different names like propylparaben, benzylparaben, methyparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, and more.

parabens in shampoo can cause hair loss

They are used in hair products to prevent bacteria and promote hair growth. However, they may cause skin irritations and even trigger allergies. Additionally, parabens are known to be endocrine disruptors, which means that they can disrupt your delicate hormonal system. When parabens mimic estrogen, it results in a hormonal imbalance that is connected to tumors and mood swings. Another possible consequence of this hormonal imbalance is hair loss.

3. Sulfateelimination of the proteins and oils in your hair

Be Careful When Those Ingredients are in the Shampoo or Conditioner:

sodium lauryl sulfate,sodium lauryl sulfate

When you use shampoo, it creates a thick, bubbly lather that enables you to wash your hair. However, the composition of the lather can cause hair loss.

Sodium lauryl sulfate, also known as SLS, and sodium lauryl sulfate are two ingredients commonly used in shampoos as chemical foaming agents. Also, these sulfates serve as surfactants by reducing the surface tension as you wash your hair with the product. This way, it allows the active ingredients in the product to properly remove oils and all forms of dirt from your scalp.

Shampoos that contain only small amounts of sulfates aren’t dangerous and are even more effective. However, using a shampoo that is made up of high quantities of sulfates can result in the elimination of the proteins and oils in your hair.

Since the human hair is made up of proteins, the destruction of the proteins will make the hair weaker. According to a scientific journal Colloids and Surfaces report, human hair loses two times more protein when dipped in a sulfate solution than in water. The loss of protein makes the hair weaker and may result in severe split ends and breakage.

Though there isn’t a direct correlation between sulfates and hair loss, shampoos with high concentrations of sulfates can make your hair protein deficient. It may irritate your skin too. Both of these problems may lead to you experiencing hair loss.

look-for-sulfate-free-shampoo to avoid ofcausing hair loss

4. Chemical Fragrances-results in the destruction and imbalance of hormones

It’s always nice to come out of the bathroom with a fresh shampoo fragrance. However, the downsides of chemical fragrance can be quite severe.

According to a report, these fragrances can act as endocrine disruptors. This results in the destruction and imbalance of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Irregular hormone levels can cause your hair to fall off and stop growing. Hence, you should try to avoid any product that could affect your hormone levels.

In addition, contact dermatitis and urticaria are known to occur due to exposure to chemical fragrances. Urticaria is a form of itchy rashes that appear on the skin.

look-for-chemical-fragrance-free-shampoo to avoid of causing hair loss

5. Sodium Chloride-makes your scalp and hair dry

If you’ve forgotten the things you learned in your science classes, sodium chloride is the table salt you have in your food every day. It is used in the production of shampoos to make lather thicker.

Though salt may have no side effects on your food, you should be worried when it has a high concentration in your shampoo. This is because salt will make your scalp dry, and this dryness will result in breakage and loss of hair. You should avoid the frequent use of salt-laden shampoo.

sodium-chloride  in shampoo can cause hair loss

6. Propylene Glycol(PEG)-causes skin irritation and organ toxicity

This is a substance found in cosmetics and hair products. It is present in these products as a moisturizing agent and skin conditioner. Though propylene glycol is used to condition the skin, the Environmental Working Group considers it a severe cause of skin irritation and organ toxicity.

look-for-peg-free-shampoo-to avoid of causing hair loss

7. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)-irritate skin and scalp

Be Careful When Those Ingredients are in the Shampoo or Conditioner:

diethanolamine, Triethanolamine, ethanolamine, monoethanolamine, DEA,TEA, TEOA and TELA, MEA

Also known as DEA, diethanolamine is a substance that is used as ethanolamine(also called monoethanolamine, or MEA) in small quantities. The function of the chemical substance in shampoos is to provide a creamy texture and boost foaming action. That said, the makers of shampoos and cosmetics are usually more focused on how their products make your hair appear and feel. They don’t consider its effects.

We would like you to know that diethanolamine is a carcinogen with several harmful effects on the skin and health. Hence, you should avoid any product that contains it.

Triethanolamine is a much safer chemical when compared to diethanolamine. The chemical is also called other names such as TEOA and TELA. It is mainly added to products to balance PH levels and is present in cleansers to aid the removal of make-up. Another area where the chemical is used is in the treatment of ear diseases.

However, triethanolamine should have no business with your hair. This is because the chemical irritates the skin, and it can cause damage to your scalp, ultimately leading to hair loss.

look-for-dea-tea-free-shampoo -to avoid of causing hair loss

8. Alcohol-makes your hair dry and tends to break

Be Careful When Those Ingredients are in the Shampoo or Conditioner:
cetyl, cetearyl, and stearyl alcohol, propanol, isopropyl

The majority of hair products that are sold today have alcohol as part of their ingredients. However, there are different types of alcohol, with each of them having its unique attributes. For instance, fatty alcohols are good softeners and moisturizers for your hair. Examples of fatty alcohols are cetyl, Cetearyl, and stearyl alcohol.

Also, some types of alcohol should never come in contact with your hair. Examples of these alcohols are propanol and isopropyl. This is because they can cause your hair to become dry and increase the chances of breakage.

Before making use of any hair product, you should first check its ingredients. If any of the alcohols mentioned earlier are amongst its first few ingredients, the product has a high percentage of it. It is in your best interest that you avoid using such products.

look-for-alcohol-free-shampoo -to avoid of causing hair loss

Other Cause of Hair Loss

Besides being caused by using shampoos that contain harmful ingredients, hair loss will also trigger by those common factors  below: 

1. Androgenic Alopecia

This is a common type of hair loss that 80 million men and women annually experience. People with this genetic condition may begin to have hair loss in their teenage years or twenties. As time goes by, the hair will recede into an “M” shape.

2. Androgenic Areata

This is an autoimmune disorder that affects up to 7 million people annually. People with this disorder suffer irregular hair loss as their immune system kills their hair follicles—androgenic areata results in round patches of baldness.

3. Cicatricial Alopecia

This is an inflammatory condition that is also referred to as scarring alopecia. The condition destroys the hair follicle’s cells and oil glands. After its destruction, the hair follicle is replaced by a scar resulting in irreversible hair loss.

4. Age

Most people will experience hair loss as they grow older. This form of hair loss occurs due to a reduction in the rate of hair growth. It will eventually get to a stage where the hair follicles will no longer grow hair. The hair will become grey, and the hairline of women even recedes.

5. Cancer Treatment

People who go through chemotherapy or get radiation treatment around their heads usually lose most of their hair in the first couple of weeks. Fortunately, most of these people have their hair growing again some months after the treatment. A dermatologist may also prescribe some medications for rapid regrowth.

6. Stress

Another reason why people lose their hair is stress. A person may experience hair loss when going through challenging periods like divorces and the death of loved ones. Also, some people lose some of their hair after childbirth, surgery, and during illnesses.

7. Hairstyles

A person may experience hair loss because of their hairstyle. Medically, it is known as traction alopecia, and it happens when people continuously have their hair pulled back tightly. This type of hair loss is permanent but can be prevented with more appropriate hairstyles.

The Bottom Line

Hair loss due to toxic ingredients in shampoo is reversible, which means, that once you change to shampoo with no toxic chemicals, you will regain your hair soon.

However, sometimes, hair loss is actually caused by several factors,  which is very complicated to find the reasons, not to mention to recover it in a short period. Under this condition, a supernatural and comfortable human hair wig would be the best choice to hide your hair loss temperory.

New Times Hair offers the best hair systems and wigs for salons, hairstylists, and resellers at low wholesale prices. As the supplier to popular hairstylists and retail brands, our products help those who suffer from hair loss regain their confidence.

Feel free to contact us for any business inquiries at Apply to get our exclusive wholesale price to save big!

Have a question?