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What are Hypoallergenic Hair Products?

Nychole Price
Nychole Price

Hypoallergenic hair products are made for people who have allergic reactions to standard shampoos, conditioners and styling products. The allergic reaction is usually caused by the dyes and fragrances used to make the products look and smell appealing. An allergic reaction is characterized by the development of pimples, a rash, dry scalp, hives, or trouble breathing.

Over 28 percent of people are allergic to one or more of the ingredients in hair care products. Despite the numerous brands of hair products, they all contain basically the same ingredients. Hypoallergenic products remove and replace the chemicals that are most likely to cause an allergic reaction. Most organic products are hypoallergenic, as the chemicals have been replaced with all natural ingredients.

A hypoallergenic hair spray.
A hypoallergenic hair spray.

Standard shampoos contain 90 percent water, eight percent detergent and two percent fragrance. The usual cause of an allergic reaction is the fragrance, even though it only constitutes two percent of the product. Hypoallergenic hair products are dye- and fragrance-free, which minimizes the likelihood of a sensitive person developing an allergic reaction the product.

Plastic bottles of shampoo.
Plastic bottles of shampoo.

There are other possible culprits in shampoo that may cause a person to experience an allergic reaction. These include sulfa, sodium lauryl, sodium laureth, ammonium laureth sulfate and ammonium laurel sulfate. These ingredients are what gives the hair a squeaky clean feeling after shampooing. People who experience reactions to these chemicals should contact a dermatologist who can recommend some hypoallergenic hair products.

Some people may develop hives as an allergic reaction to hair or body care products.
Some people may develop hives as an allergic reaction to hair or body care products.

Conditioners aren't a big cause of allergic reactions, although they can cause them. Ingredients such as parabens, silicones, fragrances and artificial colorings are the reason behind allergic reactions to conditioner. Unfortunately, parabens and silicones are also the conditioning ingredients. Hypoallergenic conditioners replace these ingredients with shea butter, rooibos, and coconut oil, which have a similar effect. They are also free of fragrances and dyes.

Hypoallergenic hair products also include hair sprays and gels. The standard version of these styling products contain aerosol propellants, alcohol, carcinogenic polyvinylpyrrolidone plastic (PVP), formaldehyde, and artificial fragrance. Allergic reactions to these ingredients are so severe, they sometimes lead to seizures. The hypoallergenic version is sold in a pump style bottle and usually contains all or some of the following ingredients: SD alcohol 40, ethyl ester of PVM/MA, aminomethly propanol, isopropyl alcohol, dimethicone copolyol, benzophenone, hair keratin amino acids and sodium chloride.

Organic and hypoallergenic hair care products are sold online, and at major retail and health food stores. If, after trying a hypoallergenic hair product, you still continue to have a reaction, you may want to make an appointment with a dermatologist. He can run allergy tests on you to determine what is causing the allergic reaction. You can then purchase hypoallergenic products that don't have that ingredient listed.

Discussion Comments


Use this for healthy hair: Use half an avocado, mash and thoroughly wash, deep rinsing your hair.


I was recently reading an interview with the creator of Aveda. He wanted to make products which were better for people, because hair stylists actually have very short life expectancies; many of his colleagues when he first became famous died of cancer or other ailments he believes were caused by hair products' chemicals.

However, he even does not believe Aveda is quite good enough anymore, and started his own new company that uses mostly essential oils and other all-natural ingredients. It was truly amazing to read someone who got rich on hair products discussing how bad they are for us.


Many professional hair products claim to be hypoallergenic, but are not any better for you. Be careful about reading products' claims and other people's critiques of them, online or elsewhere, before buying expensive ones in particular.

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    • A hypoallergenic hair spray.
      By: Alexandr Makarov
      A hypoallergenic hair spray.
    • Plastic bottles of shampoo.
      By: Dessie
      Plastic bottles of shampoo.
    • Some people may develop hives as an allergic reaction to hair or body care products.
      By: Jürgen Fälchle
      Some people may develop hives as an allergic reaction to hair or body care products.