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Can Conditioner Washing Cause Your Hair to Fall Out?
by April Maguire
Growing up, most of us were raised to shampoo our hair every day. Nowadays, however, it seems that may not be the healthiest approach, as shampooing that frequently can cause a number of problems. As a result, many people have switched to an every-other-day or every-three-days shampoo regimen. But what about going all the way and never shampooing your hair again?
Believe it or not, the never-shampoo movement has been growing steadily over the last several years. In lieu of traditional shampoo, many adherents use a cleansing conditioner, which leaves hair feeling softer, silkier and healthier. Unfortunately, not everybody has been happy with their results.
Last year, 200 women from 40 states filed a class action lawsuit against Wen by Chaz Dean, claiming that the company's cleansing conditioner caused a wide range of problems, from scalp irritation and rashes, to severe breakage and hair loss. And it would seem that the court believed their argument, as a federal judge granted a preliminary settlement of over $26 million.
So can switching to a conditioner-washing regimen really cause your hair to fall out? According to the experts, probably not.
Oily, Heavy, and Unsightly
In the class action suit, the plaintiffs argued that cleansing conditioner adheres to the scalp and negatively affects follicles, causing irritation and hair loss. But most dermatologists disagree with the science behind that claim. Sure, conditioner-only washing may leave your hair looking oily, heavy and unsightly, but there's no obvious reason why it should have an impact beyond that.
In fact, these side effects are at the heart of the never-shampoo movement. The basic argument goes like this. By shampooing too frequently, you throw off the natural oil balance in your hair. Once you stop, your hair will create excess oil initially, but after a few weeks your body will learn to regulate its oil production and you'll be left with natural, beautiful-looking hair.
Therefore, there is no reason to assume that using Wen cleansing conditioner instead of shampoo – or any cleansing conditioner for that matter – would lead to the type of negative side effects stated in the lawsuit. And that's exactly what Wen said in response to the judge's ruling. To this day, the hair care company stands by all of its products, pointing to its hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers as proof that their products work.
With all of that being said, however, you shouldn't blindly jump into a never-shampoo regimen. Whether Wen's conditioner caused the women to lose their hair or not, this whole ordeal is a reminder of just how fragile your hair can be. Hair loss can occur for a wide variety of reasons. So whenever you use a new product or start a new hair care routine, pay close attention to how your body is reacting and make adjustments accordingly.
If you or someone you know is interested in hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!