Can shampoo increase hair loss?

23 September 2012



Why does more of my hair fall out when I wash it with shampoo than when I wash with just water? Only a few strands come out when I wash with water, but a whole lot come out when I use soap.


Kat - Well, this is an interesting one and it's important to know that we all lose quite a lot of hair every day. We all lose around about 100 hairs every day, which sounds quite scary. But obviously, we have a lot, so that's alright. The other thing is that pretty much everyone uses shampoo. An awful lot of people use shampoo and most people don't seem to lose loads and loads of hair.

Probably the most strong argument I think is that the actual act of shampooing, building it up into a lather, you might be rubbing your head more vigorously, so you're actually just dislodging hairs that are on their way out or have fallen out, and are just kind of stuck in your hair. So, in fact, you're not losing more hair, you're just washing them out more effectively.

There is some argument that maybe some of the chemicals in certain types of shampoo, for particular people might damage their hair and cause it to fall out. But that tends to be a personal reaction to an individual shampoo, so switching your shampoo might help with that. My money's actually on the act of lathering up, just dislodging hairs that are coming out anyway.


I used the beard dye Just For Men for 2 years once a week between the age of 30 to 32. It was very efficient. In 5 minutes all my gray was covered. Although, i decided to stop because i was not comfortable with the idea of putting chemical products on my face. When I stopped, I figured that the white hairs were now predominant in my beard. I immediately thought that the beard dye containing peroxide has accelerated the whitening process. I have to say that even though on the top of my head my hair are dark brown, on my temples they turned ever more white. Plus, on the side of my mom, the usually get gray prematurely. So my question is, does dying the beard can increase the whitening process?

The hair that projects visibly through the skin surface is not living; it's just filaments of the protein keratin; these have "colour" added to them by melanocyes, which are melanin-producing cells located in the hair follicle that produces the hair. Hairs whiten when we age because the melanocytes senesce and cease to add melanin to the keratin, which is naturally a white colour. When you dye a hair you add some pigment to the visible part of the hair, masking the white colour of the keratin. But the hair follicules are deep within the skin and have no "knowledge" of what the hair is experiencing on the skin surface. Therefore the dye chemicals or signals are not transmitted to the follicle. We tend to notice an apparent acceleration in greying when we stop dyeing hair because all of the grey hairs suddenly show themselves at once, which looks more dramatic. While you were repeatedly dyeing, the if a new hair became grey you would not have noticed...

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