Via The Beau­ty Brains

Janelle asks…My mom and sis­ter are big sup­port­ers of the the­o­ry that exces­sive use of hair prod­ucts (E.g: Hair­sprays, sham­poos, gels, etc) are the rea­son why my hair is falling out/isn’t so thick. In gen­er­al, can usage of the­se gels and hair­sprays every day cause hair loss? I don’t sham­poo more than twice a week, but I do use hair­spray and gel on my hair every day. Are they cor­rect, or is this an old wives tale?

The Beau­ty Brains respond:
Ah, Janelle. You are wise to ask us rather than just blind­ly believ­ing what you’re told by “old wives.” (No offense to your moth­er and sis­ter.)

Dam­age caus­es break­age caus­es hair loss
Hair care prod­ucts can be involved in cer­tain types of hair loss but that doesn’t mean they cause it. For exam­ple, sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers almost always involve the use of water which caus­es a swelling/contracting cycle that dam­ages hair. This dam­age can even­tu­al­ly cause the hair to break. Also, if you use a hard hold­ing hair­spray or gel AND if you rough­ly drag a brush through your hair, then yes, you’ll expe­ri­ence some hair loss. (Because the hair is locked in place by the styling prod­ucts and you’re yank­ing it out by the roots!) And of course, the use of tow­els or heat styling tools to dry your hair is also dam­ag­ing.

In oth­er words, the ingre­di­ents used in hair­sprays, sham­poos, gels, etc do not inher­ent­ly cause hair loss even though the process of using the­se prod­ucts may cause dam­age that could lead to hair loss due to break­age.

An excep­tion to the rule
There is a spe­cial type of hair loss called “fol­lic­u­lar degen­er­a­tion syn­drome” or “cen­tral cen­trifu­gal cica­tri­cial alope­cia” in which use of hair relax­er and sim­i­lar chem­i­cals per­ma­nents, and even heat pro­cess­ing, can per­ma­nent­ly affect the fol­li­cle and result in hair loss. In the­se extreme cas­es, sham­poos which dry the scalp or con­di­tion­ing prod­ucts which occlude the scalp and can cause irri­ta­tion that can hair loss worse. How­ev­er, this only occurs in African hair types.

The Beau­ty Brains bot­tom line
Any­time you wash and dry your hair or use a brush or comb you can be caus­ing dam­age which can cause the hair to break. But there’s noth­ing spe­cial about the chem­i­cals used in those hair care prod­ucts that would cause your hair to just fall out. The excep­tion is for cer­tain med­ical con­di­tions which can cause hair loss can be wors­ened by cos­met­ic ingre­di­ents That irri­tate the scalp.

Ref­er­ence: UPDATE ON THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF COMMON CAUSES OF ALOPECIA AND POTENTIAL INTERACTION OF HAIR COSMETICS Elise A. Olsen, M.D. Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical Cen­ter, pre­sent­ed at annu­al SCC meet­ing, 2004.

Ladies, in your expe­ri­ence has exces­sive pro­duct use been detri­men­tal? Share your expe­ri­ence!

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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11 Comments on "Can Excessive/Daily Product Use Lead to Hair Loss?"

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Make sure the con­nec­tion between each sec­tion tight­ly fits togeth­er.
It is easy to catch the­se species using a light
road-and-reel com­bi­na­tion. With fish meals you have so much choice and you are guar­an­teed
with them to make high­ly nutri­tion­al home­made baits that will just keep on catch­ing for years.


Yes dai­ly hair pro­duct is harm full for hair as the­se pro­duct hav­ing lots of chem­i­cal which is harm full for our my hair was dam­age last year then i tried bio hair treat­ment then now my hair is healthy thanks for share with us


“…Water…causes a swelling/contracting cycle that dam­ages hair.” Peo­ple always say that kinky hair needs mois­ture, and that water is the best mois­tur­iz­er, but I guess that’s not so true after all. I knew it! If God want­ed our hair to be mois­tur­ized, then it would behave like Cau­casian hair (get very oily).


from pre­vi­ous posts on the beau­ty brains i think they’re talk­ing about hair becom­ing com­plete­ly wet like with sham­poo­ing or con­di­tion­ing. I don’t think the light spritz­ing of water (or mois­tur­iz­er) that most nat­u­rals do caus­es much expan­sion.



My dad has “African/black” hair and he did expe­ri­ence that rare hair loss that is described from try­ing to get a relax­er and the pro­duct was left in his hair too long I guess and burnt his scalp. His hair nev­er grew back. He has most of his hair but his scalp is severe­ly dam­aged and the back mid­dle is per­ma­nent­ly gone. My ques­tion, why not nour­ish your hair with nat­u­ral ingre­di­ents and main­tain your hair with braids and pro­tec­tive styles? I don’t use gel on my hair any­more and when I did I used the organ­ic stuff. Shea Mois­ture… Read more »

I just had to say you have beau­ti­ful hair. I nev­er seen hair that gor­geous before exclud­ing Priyanka Chopra and Pad­ma Lak­sh­mi.


Hel­lo Char­lot­te i’ve been hav­ing prob­lems with my hair due to lack of con­di­tion­ing. Its grow­ing but i am not retain­ing any length, so i just keep it in kinky twist and mois­tur­ize it every oth­er day. But i notice because of neglect­ing it in the past no mat­ter what i do my ends tan­gle bad at the ends. My hair is real­ly thick 4a & b and i have a lot of it. Even though our tex­tures aren’t the same do you have any tips or sug­ges­tions?


If your tan­gling is con­cen­trat­ed at the ends, it may be time for a trim. For me (mul­ti­tex­ture type 4), the first sign that I need a trim is when my ends get bushy and tan­gled.


Thanks Dananana i will give my self a good trim and up the mois­ture. Do you know of any good leave in con­di­tion­ers and stylers?


“In the­se extreme cas­es, sham­poos which dry the scalp or con­di­tion­ing prod­ucts which occlude the scalp and can cause irri­ta­tion that can hair loss worse.” 

I think there’s a typo some­where in this sen­tence.