Signs You're Allergic To Your Shampoo

If you've been dealing with a dry, itchy scalp or are struggling with hair loss, your shampoo may have something to do with it. In fact, according to Allergic Living, fragrant shampoos, or shampoos that contain botanical ingredients, are the leading cause of allergic contact dermatitis amongst all cosmetic and toiletry products. 

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when a substance, like your shampoo or soap, triggers a reaction in your skin (via the Mayo Clinic). When this happens, your skin may appear red and feel itchy or you may develop scaly patches or blisters that ooze (via WebMD). Although every person is different, these symptoms will most likely get worse if you continue to interact with whatever it was that caused the allergic reaction. In this case, we're talking about shampoo — but allergic contact dermatitis could be caused by a number of things, including certain medications and even metal (via the Cleveland Clinic).

How to prevent contact dermatitis

Before you start tossing all of your personal care products out the window in fear of having an allergic reaction, take a deep breath, and check the ingredients listed on the back. If the list is free of isothiazolinones, including methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI), and you've yet to have a reaction, you're probably going to be okay (via the National Eczema Association). 

If you're still worried though, you can safeguard yourself by being extra particular the next time you're in the shampoo aisle. Avoiding shampoos that are made from potential allergens, such as any fragrances, cocamidopropyl betaine, and MCI/MI is a good first step. Also, "patch testing can be used to identify ingredients to which patients are allergic," after which a physician can help to find products that are sans those ingredients (via Medscape).

If you're still unsure whether a product is safe to use, as ingredients can be tricky to decipher on one's own, simply start by choosing a shampoo that's labeled "fragrance-free" (via Hairstory).