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Are my products causing hair loss?

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

Are my products causing hair loss? This is a question we often have in our mind but are not very sure about because we do not have the knowledge about the harmful ingredients present in the hair products we use. This is also true that we do not have time to research and collect information about the chemicals present in them. So, relax girls, here at one place you will get to know some very commonly used hazardous chemicals which cause not only hair fall but can also be responsible for other health issues.

The culprit for hair loss


How will you feel when someone gives you detergent to wash your hair? You might get furious, won't you? Diethanolamine, popularly known as DEA, is an emulsifier and is used as a wetting agent and ph balanced shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and other beauty products. It’s a common ingredient in detergents, cleaners, metalworking fluids as well. The rich lather and creamy consistency in various shampoos and lotions are because of the DEA. It can cause skin lesions and hyperkeratosis. I think this fact is a pretty good reason to avoid DEA-containing hair products. Right?


Check the ingredient list of the bottle of your favorite shampoo. Do you read names like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or isobutylparaben? These are different types of parabens that are added to various hair products to increase their shelf life. The experts say that parabens are easily absorbed by our bodies. They affect your endocrine system, especially the female hormone estrogen. Parabens can cause hair fall. It can even cause breast cancer and influence your reproductive function. So avoid them and instead use organic hair care products.

Sodium Chloride

Most of the shampoos with sulfates contain sodium chloride. Sodium chloride, popularly known as table salt, is used to thicken the lather. Though it is a natural ingredient, it still causes hair loss. Its overuse makes your hair dry, weak, and brittle.

Polyethylene Glycol and Silicone

Polyethylene glycol, also known as PEG, is similar to sodium chloride, polyethylene glycol. It is also used as a thickener in different household cleaning products. According to a research report given by the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, many PEG combinations contain cancer-causing components. They are also harmful to human development. The natural oil and moisture of your hair can be stripped away by polyethylene glycol, leaving your scalp dry and flaky. Industrialists thus add silicones to the shampoo to give a soothing effect. The conditioners you use also contain silicones. Silicones are water-resistant and thus do not allow your hair to get moisture from the air. It seals your hair to fight off frizz. The slippery feeling while combing your hair might be fascinating to you, and you might be loving your hair. But actually, it is just making your hair soft artificially and not healthy. So be cautious when you use such shampoos and conditioners.

Primary Alcohol

You might have read or been told that alcohol is not good for hair. But the fact is, not all alcohols are bad. When you buy a hair product with alcohol content, just check whether the alcohol is primary or fatty. A product with a suffix or prefix “prop” like Isopropyl or propanol are primary alcohols. Primary alcohols are harmful and should be avoided. However, if it is a fatty alcohol, such as, then it is good for your hair. Primary alcohol can break down the lipid layer of your hair, which protects the cuticle and the structure of the hair. This lipid layer helps your hair to feel soft and makes it more pliable.

Selenium Sulfide

In many anti-dandruff shampoos, you can find an ingredient called selenium sulfide. It is an antifungal medicine. Selenium sulfide checks the growth of fungi, which causes dandruff. However, scientific studies have proved that it is a carcinogen, which means cancer-causing amalgamation. Especially during pregnancy, hair products containing selenium sulfide must be avoided.


Is your skin or hair very sensitive? Are you suffering from rosacea, eczema, or contact dermatitis? Then you should be carefully selecting a shampoo that is free of sulfates. Sulfates are chemicals that are generally found in all cleaning agents: detergents, dishwashing liquids, and even shampoos. If you are happy about your shampoo’s immediate lathering effect, then beware it contains high levels of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, the two main types of sulfates. The dirt and oil from your hair are cleaned by these two chemicals. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has advised the patients of the above-mentioned skin diseases like rosacea, eczema, and contact dermatitis to avoid using sulfates. But this does not mean that it is secure for others. If you avoid sulfate-based shampoos, you may find improvement in your frizzy hair and hair loss problem.


Phthalates are chemical compounds that are unrecognized and hidden in fragrances used in many hair products. They are also used to minimize cracking and stiffness in plastic products like toys, vinyl and pharmaceuticals, and many hairs and skin products. They are also added for the same purpose in nail paints and hair sprays, enabling them to form a pliable thin film. Studies have shown that phthalates can disturb your reproductive and hormonal systems and cause birth defects. Research is also showing their involvement in the formation of breast tumors.


Let’s be honest, when we get a new product, what do we do first? We sniff it. We buy into a product based on smell. It’s a mood booster when you wash your hair with shampoo that has a pleasant perfume. But have you realized that a wonderful fragrance can have side effects? Generally, hair care products do not disclose the chemical composition of the perfumes added in their shampoos and other hair care goods. Studies have proven that perfumes containing unnatural synthetic ingredients can disturb your endocrine system. Endocrines are the glands that secrete hormones and other products directly into the blood. Hence, It is highly possible that your hormonal changes in your body may be due to perfume-based shampoos or any other hair care products that you are currently using. These hormonal changes can result in hair loss, dermatitis, respiratory issues, and eye allergies.


When we were researching to write this article on hair loss, we noticed that people are ill-informed about the reasons for hair loss. Pay close attention to the ingredients of your shampoo and conditioners and avoid buying hair care products that include harmful chemicals which can cause hair loss. Now is a good time to say bye to SUDS. There are brands that feel responsible for your health and have developed shampoos and conditioners which are free from such toxins. ‘The Love of People’ is one such trusted brand and believes in the benefits of natural products. Adopt organic products and let your hair grow healthy and natural.

About The Author: Paula Bland


The founder of TLP, Paula Bland, is a medically qualified Nurse Practitioner, Hair aesthetician and also a psychiatric Nurse Practitioner known for her highly effective hair consultation. Paula has a non-traditional approach to hair care and advocates a chemical-free, natural, and holistic approach. The Love of People is her brainchild, and its products reflect her approach to hair health and have helped women with naturally curly hair manage their curls in a chemical-free and organic way.


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