Does Shampoo Cause Hair Loss – Myth?

shampoo and hair loss

Whenever I use shampoo in my shower, my hair will look dull, dry and thin after a couple of hours. This kept me worrying that could shampoo cause hair loss?

No, shampoo does not cause hair loss directly. But it is not a complete myth. Most shampoos in the market are loaded with heavy duty cleaning agents which could damage the hair in different ways which could lead to hair breakages and brittles.

In this article I will discuss how shampoo could damage your hair, so that you could be mindful when using it.

How can shampoo cause hair loss

I did a little information search to find out how shampoo could damage our hair which could lead to hair loss. While there can be other damaging impacts of shampoo on hair, the information which I gathered suggests that shampoo could affect your hair in the following three ways.

Shampoo cause hair loss

1. Shampoo will make your hair dry

Shampoos are loaded with chemicals which act as detergents to wash away the dust and the dirt in the hair and the scalp [1]. Along with the dust and dirt, the shampoo will also strip away the natural oils and moisture in our hair.

The sebaceous gland in our body produces an oily substance called sebum, which acts as a moisturising agent for the hair [2]. The shampoo will wash away the sebum along with the dust and dirt in the hair.

As a result the hair will lose its moisture and will become dry and thin. This makes the hair weak and could break off easily.

It could take a couple of days (depending on the health condition of a particular person) to regenerate sebum and restore the moisture. Therefore if a person continues to shampoo every day then there is a risk that the hair would be dry and thin all the time. 

2. Shampoo could cause scalp irritation

The sebum produced by our body helps to moisturize our skin and act as a protection layer which minimizes the dust and dirt penetrating the skin. The sebum will also moisturize and protect the scalp while keeping it healthy.

When the shampoo strips away the sebum the scalp will also become dry and vulnerable. The dry scalp could lead to scalp irritation and scalp flaking.

The scalp irritation and flaking could affect the hair roots and the health of the hair negatively. As a result the hair will be weak and break off easily.

3. Shampoo could damage the keratin structure

Keratin is a protein which is found in the hair, and nails. Keratin provides structure and strength to the hair and nails [3].

The chemicals and ingredients in shampoo such as sodium chloride, sulfates and parabens could damage this keratin structure in the hair.

shampoo ingredients which cause hair loss

When the keratin is damaged, the hair will be frizzy, dry and weak. This can lead to hair breakage and brittles.

How often to shampoo to avoid hair loss

It is more than enough to shampoo 2 to 3 times maximum per week.

Our hair gets dirty by the dust, dirt and sweat. Further the sebum is secreted daily and it makes the hair greasy and oily. Uncleaned and greasy hair is perfect for the fungus that causes dandruff to breed.

Therefore they must be cleaned off every now and then. The experts believe that even a person who is exposed to dust and dirt on a daily basis and sweat every now and then, shampooing for 2 to 3 days maximum per week is sufficient.

However such a person could shower every day without using shampoo if that person wishes.

Is hair loss from shampoo permanent

No, hair loss due to the damage caused by shampoo is not permanent.

The damage from shampoo is caused due to the removal of natural oils from the hair and scalp while damaging the keratin structure of the hair. All these will be regenerated with time and proper treatments (if required only).

When these elements are restored, the hair will be back to normal and healthy as before.

However you should know that most shampoos are loaded with chemicals. Their effect on the hair follicles are unknown, if the residues of such chemicals remain on the scalp. Therefore make sure to wash the shampoo thoroughly in your shower.

If the hair follicles are damaged, then there is a risk that hair loss can be permanent.


Shampoo does not cause hair loss directly. However it can have an indirect impact on hair loss by damaging the hair and making them weak.

Over-shampooing and under-shampooing can both cause hair related problems. It is more than enough to shampoo 2 to 3 times per week even for a person who sweats a lit and gets exposed to dust. 

Although the hair loss from shampoo is not permanent, make sure that you clean the shampoo thoroughly in your shower without leaving the chemical residues in the hair. This would minimize the possible damages to the hair follicles by the chemicals in the shampoo.

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