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    12 Harmful Chemicals in Shampoos That Cause Hair Loss (2023 Updated)


    Note: This blog on harmful shampoo chemicals and ingredients that cause hair loss, thinning, and damage was last updated on November 28, 2022, to include new insights, data, and product recommendations. Happy Reading!


    Hair is precious and no one wants to lose them to harmful chemicals present in shampoos and hair products.  Dermatologists across the globe believe that witnessing a lot of hair strands in the shower should - amongst other things - make us look critically at our hair product choices. If this warning is ignored, the hair fall can become so chronic that you will need a toupee wig for men or hair wigs for women to cover it!


    It is quite normal to lose 50 to 100 hair strands a day but more than that means something is wrong. And a lot of times, it’s the chemicals in our shampoos and hair products that start hair fall. In this blog, Lordhair will help you identify chemicals present in shampoos leading to hair damage that can evolve into full-blown baldness. 

    Let’s start!

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    Is Your Shampoo Causing Hair Loss?

    Shampoo, believe it or not, is often the root (excuse the pun) of hair loss. There is, of course, a certain irony there. The product that we use to clean our hair and make it look better could actually be what causes our hair to fall out. If you were to look at the list of ingredients on the back of a shampoo bottle, then, many of the ingredients would not mean much to you. But, the truth is, in amongst this list are chemicals that cause hair loss. You will find these chemicals in other hair products too. If shampoo was made purely to clean your hair, then perhaps there would not be so much of a problem.

    However, as we will outline there are several chemicals in shampoo that cause hair loss that you should be wary of. When you learn what other types of products these chemicals are found in, you will understand why they can be so harmful to your hair.



    Shampoo Ingredients That Cause Hair Loss

    Below are 12 harmful chemicals found in shampoo that cause hair loss:


    Sodium lauryl sulfate and Laureth sulfate

    Sulfates are the most damaging of all chemicals found in hair products. Sulfates are actually found in car wash soap and engine degreasers. There are many kinds of sulfates but two that you must be aware of are sodium lauryl sulfates and sodium laureth sulfates.

    Think of any shampoo commercial and you will see the actor working up a good lather of shampoo in the shower. Naturally, you would draw the conclusion that lather and foam would be a good thing but that is not really the case.

    They break down the proteins our hair needs to grow and they strip away the protective oils of hair which can cause the hair to dry out and then break.


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    Chemical fragrances

    A deciding factor for many of us in the purchase of any shampoo is its scent. Isn’t your first instinct to pick up a bottle of shampoo and smell it? Shampoo, like other beauty products, contains chemical fragrances. They may smell nice but these fragrances can actually cause a hormonal imbalance. Hair loss has been proven to arise from changes in hormone levels.

    So, the next time you decide to buy some shampoo just because it smells nice, think twice! Strong chemical fragrances can lead to a lot of hair damage.


    Sodium chloride

    Salt may be good for our immune system, but it’s definitely not good for your hair health. It is agreed in the scientific community that its chemical composition adversely affects hair health. Check your shampoo ingredients to make sure that it is not overdosing on sodium chloride. In case you think selecting a chemical-free shampoo is too much work, well, be prepared to wear hair wigs for men

    Salt may be good for our immune system, but it’s definitely not good for your hair health. Its chemical composition leads to degrading your hair health.





    Shampoo contains preservatives of which parabens are one. Parabens may present the onset of bacteria in hair products but look out for words ending in – parabens such as methylparaben and propylparaben in the ingredients list. They are similar to fragrances because of the effect they can have on a person’s hormones. Parabens are actually also linked to breast cancer.

    Have you ever imagined that your favourite hair product is a potential carrier of cancer? Well, you must have by now!


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    Propylene glycol

    Propylene Glycol has been classified as a skin irritant. Whilst it helps with the consistency of shampoo, propylene glycol is used to help the scalp absorb other chemicals in shampoo. So, we are talking about a substance that works to get all the nasty stuff into your body!

    Imagine, if it can ruin your hair’s health from the outside, what will it do after entering your skin? These chemicals are toxic and cause much more than hair loss.


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    Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA)

    Diethanolamine and triethanolamine are two chemicals that also cause irritation to the skin. They can also destroy keratin - a key component of hair. This ultimately leads to dry, brittle hair.

    Since women shampoo their hair more often and use a variety of hair products, it is more important for them to check the ingredients and make sure that no harmful chemicals are present in their products. Experiencing extreme hair loss? Check out our hair wigs for women to fight back while your real hair recovers from the damage inflicted by chemicals in hair products. 



    Out of all the harmful chemicals present in popular shampoos (including the ones we discussed above), Formaldehyde is the most damaging. Also called human carcinogen, it has proven to be absorbed through the scalp during animal testing. This common shampoo ingredient is an irritant and an allergen to some people.

    While washing your hair with shampoo rich in Formaldehyde, your eyes might sting. In rare cases, your nose will start running. According to leading hair experts, there also have been cases of hair loss and vomiting from hair products with high levels of Formaldehyde. So, watch out for this hair-damaging chemical present in shampoos! 


    Polyethylene glycols (PEG)

    For those who don’t know, polyethylene glycol is a polyether compound derived from petroleum used in regular shampoo. Although it improves the texture of shampoo, it can be harmful to humans. Dermatologists found this synthetic ingredient in shampoos to be very harsh for the scalp and hair of some subjects.

    In some cases, Polyethylene Glycols can trigger allergies, a bad stomach, and also lead to electrolyte imbalances.


    Synthetic colors

    Remember we told you that shampoos, like any other beauty products, comprise chemical (synthetic) fragrances? Well, you will be surprised to learn that the same is also dyed with a synthetic color to make them look more appealing and attractive to consumers.

    The synthetic colors used in regular shampoos are obtained from petroleum or coal-tar sources - all of which have harmful health consequences and are linked to various diseases including cancer. That’s why doctors recommend always looking for the terms FD&C or D&C combined with a number when purchasing shampoo for your hair.



    You might be surprised and probably thinking, “Wait, there is alcohol in my shampoo?” To be honest, alcohol is a very common component in cheap shampoos. Although not all alcohols are bad for your hair (like Cetearyl alcohol and Stearyl alcohol), alcohols like isopropanol and propanol present in some popular shampoos can make your hair lifeless and trigger hair loss. Read the shampoo label to make sure these alcohol formulations are not present in your shampoo!



    So, there you have it!

    A list of harmful chemicals in hair products that can cause hair loss!


    Chemicals in Shampoo That Cause Hair Fall: End Note

    If you value your hair, then do take the time to check out what is listed on the bottle of your shampoo. There are alternatives out there for sure. All-natural solutions such as apple cider vinegar do exist, for example.

    Harmful chemicals present in low-quality hair products not only affect your hair and scalp but can also harm your hair system or human hair wig if you wear one!

    At Lordhair, we can assure you that the hair you have on your hair system is of the highest quality. Look out for the above harmful chemicals in your hair products and make sure you look after the hair of your hair system in the same way you look after your own hair.


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    Are you looking for a new hair system or want to get an old one refurbished? Visit our website or send an email to support@lordhair.com and our hair system experts will answer your queries. For more hair-care and wig-care tips, keep reading our DIY guides.



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