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Allergic To Your Shampoo?

Have you used a shampoo only to develop an itchy rash on your scalp, neck and even on your face?

There are many ingredients in shampoos that can cause allergic reactions.

In one study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, researchers reviewed 279 shampoos and found

the 5 most common allergens were

  • fragrance
  • cetylstearyl alcohol
  • cocamidopropylbetaine
  • sorbitan sesquiolate
  • propylene glycol

If you head to your local pharmacy and pick up a generic brand bottle of shampoo or conditioner, take a glance at the ingredients label. Chances are you'll likely find many of these ingredients. We used this shampoo in our home for years (we stopped using this last year)

In today’s post, I want to offer a few alternatives for those with allergies to some of the ingredients found in shampoos. If you suffer from more than one ingredient sensitivity, you may want to purchase products with just basic ingredients and nothing more. Not only is this lifestyle switch good for those with ingredient sensitivities, it’s also ideal for those looking to decrease their exposure to chemicals overall.

As with any product, sensitivity can occur at any time, even after just one use. Remember natural products aren’t necessarily allergy free either as they can contain oils and extracts from flowers, plants or nuts.

It is always recommended to perform a patch test prior to using a product. Always read ingredients lists and contact the manufacturer if you have a known allergy to a specific ingredient to ensure the ingredient isn’t included in the product you wish to use. If a product lists an ingredient you have a sensitivity to, it is best not to use that product. If you develop a contact allergy to your shampoo, you should immediately discontinue using it and call your doctor or dermatologist. 

(*If you make a purchase using any of the links below, please know, I may make a commission. I am very grateful and appreciate your continued support towards this site) 

Alternative option 1 - Free & Clear Shampoo for Sensitive Skin

This shampoo is Free of common irritant ingredients such as

  • Fragrance
  • Lanolin
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde
  • Preservatives
  • Cocamidopropyl betaine

This product is a good option for those with allergies to the above ingredients.

Alternative option 2 - Cleure Volumizing Shampoo 

This shampoo cleanses without surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and hence doesn't foam up much. This shampoo doesn't contain any plant based ingredients and would be good for those sensitive or easily irritated by botanical extracts as well as chemical based irritants.

product features:

  • Paraben free
  • SLS free
  • Salicylate free
  • Gluten free
  • Vegan
  • Fragrance free
  • No animal cruelty
  • Made in the USA
  • Ecologically responsible

Alternative option 3 - Nurture My Body Everyday Shampoo 

I like this shampoo because it doesn't contain any artificial fragrances or sodium lauryl sulfate. It does contain some botanical ingredients so if you experience irritation from plant ingedients, you might want to avoid this one. Check out the other great features about this brand and what their products don't contain:

  • Pesticides
  • Synthetic Preservatives
  • Petroleum Products
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Parabens
  • Sodium Laurel Sulphate
  • MEA (Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, Linoleamide DEA, Oleamide DEA)
  • Phthalates
  • FD&C Colorants and Dyes
  • DEA (Diethanolamine)
  • TEA (Triethanolamine)
  • 1,4-Dioxane
  • GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms)

Alternative option 4 - Liquid Castile Soap

Original castile soap is made with olive oil, however, you will find many castile soaps sold today to include a combination of olive, coconut, palm and even hemp oil. Liquid castile can be used not only as shampoo, it can serve multiple purposes including body wash, hand soap as well as used around the house. This popular one doesn’t contain dyes, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrance or chelating agents.

Alternative option 5 - Shampoo Bar

Shampoo bars may initially take getting used to but they’re great for avoiding preservatives and other synthetic chemicals. I like Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Castile Bar Soap . There’s also no plastic bottle in this option, definitely better for the environment, another plus!

Alternative option 6 - Soap Nuts

Soap nuts also known as soap berries, wash nuts, soap nut shells and wash shells can be used for cleansing purposes as they have shown to have a fair amount of saponins. Saponins are compounds that have foaming properties and are frequently added to shampoos and liquid detergents. In using soap nuts shampoo, you can avoid parabens, propylene, butylene glycols, petroleum, sulfates, alcohol, PEGs, TEA, DEA, NPE, phthalates, GMO, silicones, pesticides, artificial dyes and fragrances. The Naturoli website says soap nuts soapberry shampoo is even Gluten free. I have used soap nuts to wash my hair and finds it leaves my hair so soft, I don't even need conditioner.

Alternative option 7 - Acure Organics Dry Shampoo

So this last product I included because it can help absorb some scalp oils and reduce grime in between actual water washing of hair. Dry shampoo can help extend the time in between washings up to 2-3 days. Of course, this isn't recommended if you suffer from a skin condition where more frequent washing is recommended than not (like dandruff) but this dry shampoo can be an option to supplement your hair routine as it contains only natural ingredients, Bonus!

Remember to read ingredient labels as even a product like dry shampoo can have chemicals like synthetic fragrance and alcohols.

What are your alternative shampoo ideas? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.


*Keep in mind manufacturers can and do make changes to their products at any time and while we do our best to provide the most accurate information on this site, it is the responsibility of the consumer to research fully the ingredients of products he or she intends to use.