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HHJ 09-28-2007 09:27 AM

Allergic to my shampoo
I hope I've posted on the right board....I'm considering this allergies...?? It's a long story, but I am a severe allergy sufferer, and now I have one more to add to my list...I'm allergic to either my shampoo or conditioner (or both). I have hives all over the back of my neck from where the shampoo runs down my neck when I'm rinsing it out of my hair. Right now I've put Cortizone cream on my neck, but now I've got to find a new shampoo and conditioner. Can anyone who has sensitive skin or who has experienced this problem recommend a GOOD shampoo and conditioner? This was actually a salon brand that I bought. I don't mind spending money. I have short hair, so I don't use much at a time.

mkgbrook 09-28-2007 10:12 AM

Re: Allergic to my shampoo
I had the same problem.. it was a component in my shampoo and conditioner.. propylene glycol for me. I didn't determine this until I had a dermatologist do a full contact dematology skin patch test.. the put common components of cosmetics, lotions and the like on little dime sizes dishes and tape them to your back.. the patches stay on your back for 48 hours.. then you get them off and have to allow another 48 hours of air exposure with out water to see if secondary reactions occur. This allowed me to determine my allergies to iodine, cobalt, nickle, propylene glycol, formaldehyde.. some urea formaldehyde producers.. etc. You have to speadn a week without getting your back wet adn fill the constant urg to rub like a horse on a fence post.. but it is quite informative when trying to track down additive allergies.

I have to use propylene glycol free deodorant, cosmetics, lotions, shampoo and conditions.. food. Nasty little substance.. as an emulsifier it is in any thing that needs to be kept in suspension or a homogeneous state. Cake mixes, preserved meat.. etc. Aussie hair care products were PG free.. make-up and deodorant were trickier fixes. Had to deal with Cobalt, Nickle and Iodine more frequently in those.


HHJ 09-28-2007 10:48 AM

Re: Allergic to my shampoo
Thank you so much for your response...I had the same thing happen with deoderant a few years ago too...couldn't find "my usual" and picked up something else and broke out in whelps. Whew! I don't think I could go through with that testing!

milkmasher 09-28-2007 12:20 PM

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.

hopetofeelwell1 09-28-2007 05:50 PM

Re: Allergic to my shampoo
Hi HHJ & all! I, too suffer from allergies to shampoo and the only one I can use now is Free and Clear Shampoo that can be found at your favorite drugstore. It costs over $8.00 a bottle but it's worth it and makes your hair soft. Also what I've found that is very good is Huggies Baby Wash--lightly scented but very gentle. I'm not sure of the ingredients but it can be used for hair and body. Hope this is helpful to you and you're feeling better--Hopeto--

HHJ 09-29-2007 07:16 PM

Re: Allergic to my shampoo
Wanted to tell y'all that I found a Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo at Sally's Beauty Supply by Naturelle. The conditioner is made by the same people, but it doesn't say Naturelle, it says Aura. They were each $5.99; and they worked great. The Cortizone has almost cleared up my hives. :)

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