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Old 09-28-2007, 12:20 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 5
milkmasher HB User
Re: Allergic to my shampoo

Hi. Did you just change the brand of shampoo or conditioner you use? If so, I'd recommend just going back to whatever you used before. Like a previous poster, I've had this happen with deodorants.

There are a number of supposedly hypoallergenic shampoos on the market, but I can't vouch for any of them. I think the best course of action is to determine what ingredient you're reacting to and then read the shampoo labels carefully to find a product that doesn't contain that ingredient.

You mention you have other allergies, and it's possible that the shampoo or conditioner contains one of these allergens. For example, I know oat or oat extracts are in a lot of shampoos -- particularly higher end or moisturizing products -- and there even be peanut products in some shampoos and conditioners.

A common chemical in shampoo that irritates a lot of people is sodium lauryl sulfate, so you may want to avoid that. Sodium laureth sulfate, on the other hand (yes, those names look a lot alike) is generally less irritating, but there's no guarantees you won't react to it. That said, sodium lauryl sulfate generally causes contact dermatitis, not hives, so I'm kind of leaning toward another culprit, since you get hives.

I would think a good first step is to go through all your known allergens and see if they are in the shampoo or conditioner. Odds are they won't be labeled clearly, so you should go through each and every ingredient listed and look it up on the internet to see what's really in that ingredient and what it's derived from. If you find a likely culprit, seek out products that don't have that. Otherwise, you should see an allergist for testing.