Can Excessive/Daily Product Use Lead to Hair Loss?

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hair-products

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!

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast. When I'm not here, I'm moderating a Facebook group for black mothers called Black Moms Connect.

 

11 thoughts on “Can Excessive/Daily Product Use Lead to Hair Loss?

  1. “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.

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  2. 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 Soufflé is a good natural version of gel. Maybe not everyone can use oils but there are various natural ingredients you can use that would nourish your hair rather than compromise it. Start with rosemary oil and magnesium oil which is great for hair loss. If your hair is damaged you need to cut off the damage, and that can take time. A quick trim won’t fix. You need to cut off the split ends individually and that can take time to get it under control, but adding in a cut on top can help. Try Shea Moisture’s line for dry damaged hair in the process, condition your hair more, shampoo it less, stop doing wash and go routines and moisturize your hair as often as necessary to keep your ends healthy. You also need to identify whatever causes the damage as there are so, so many.
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/image-11.jpg[/img]

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    • 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?

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      • 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.

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        • 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?

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  3. “…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).

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    • 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.

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  4. 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

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