A follow up on the hair loss

Nearly a month ago I asked on my blog if anyone had any tips for hair loss. I was losing massive amounts of hair and it was adding to the stress I was already suffering in my personal life. (When I say massive amounts of hair, my hair was falling out in large clumps)

I’ve had a lot going on this year. I switched jobs in February and had a two-week period that I wasn’t working anywhere. I’ve been paying legal fees, which seem to get more expensive as the days go by, my car is still missing, and on and on and on. Basically, there are a lot of reasons I have to believe that this hair loss was attributed to stress.

I don’t want to be bald. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’ve always been known for having long, thick, beautiful hair. It’s like a piece of my identity.

Well, to my surprise, the stress may not have been as big of a contributing factor to my hair loss as I’d originally assumed.

My shampoo and conditioner were.

So let’s walk back to February when I was unemployed for two weeks. I’ve always been someone who’s really good with budgeting my money. That being said, being unemployed for two weeks, having ongoing legal fees that I didn’t plan for, and grossly expensive anti-depressants to pay for (that I had started in November 2021) that weren’t covered by benefits, I didn’t have a ton of money. Actually, I had $22 in my account. I needed shampoo, because, you know, long hair. Clean hair and good hygiene is important.

I ended up buying a shampoo that I’d never bought before. The reason why I bought it was that it was on sale, and if I bought it with the conditioner, I would get an extra $3 off. I ended up getting both the conditioner and shampoo for $6 after my $3 coupon.

The shampoo and conditioner I bought:

When I got it home, I smelled it as I was putting it into my shower and the scent was amazing!

I washed my hair that night and the scent lasted to the next morning and I loved that.

I thought that since it didn’t leave my hair feeling too awful, and since it smelled so great, this could be a new shampoo and conditioner for me. At least for the interim while I’m trying to save money.

In April, I started getting really concerned about my hair loss. I didn’t realize how long I’d been ignoring it, but I distinctly remember finding a bald spot in April and not knowing what to do, I just sat on my bathroom floor and cried.

I made the post on my blog asking for tips to deal with hair loss, and later that week I took to Amazon to buy another bottle of shampoo and conditioner as mine was almost empty.

On Amazon, I noticed this shampoo had 1.5 stars. I remember wondering why so many people hated the shampoo when it smelled so nice, so I went to read the reviews.

The first/top comment in the review section reads like this:

WHAT?

My shampoo and conditioner include formaldehyde? How is that even legal? I thought this was a joke. But I also immediately started to wonder if this is what was causing my hair to fall out in large clumps.

I took to Google to confirm this was the case.

J&J is, in fact, being sued for this. People are claiming that the shampoo and conditioner products of this line lead to massive hair loss. (One article of many)

I went up to my shower to look at the bottles that were there(that were almost empty) and both read that they had DMDM hydantoin in them. DMDM hydantoin is the troublesome ingredient they’re presently being sued for.

I then fell down a reddit rabbit hole where tons of people were talking about this shampoo and conditioner causing hair loss.

Then I realized that my hair loss really started in February when I bought this shampoo and conditioner.

Shortly after making that post on my blog last month, I switched to a new shampoo and conditioner. While dermatologists online are mixed about whether or not hair loss can be proven based off DMDM hydantoin causing hair loss, I thought to myself that if there’s any way that could be a cause of my hair loss, I needed to stop using it.

Well, I know that dermatologists have mixed reviews about whether it does or not cause hair loss, but my review for my body are this: that shampoo and conditioner were causing my hair to fall out.

I noticed a difference in my hair after one wash. ONE WASH.

Whatever DMDM hydantoin was doing to my scalp that was causing my hair to fall out didn’t happen anymore after switching my shampoo and conditioner.

Don’t get me wrong, I still do lose some hair – anyone with long hair knows what that is like. It’s just a fact that when you brush through your tangles, some comes off in the brush. I am no longer tossing my hair behind my ears and having a large clump fall out in my hand. I am now focussed on helping fixing my bald spots, not worried about there being more.

It has been about 3.5 weeks since switching shampoos to one that does not include DMDM hydantoin and it’s been 3.5 weeks since I’ve lost a large clump of hair.

DMDM hydantoin is also in Tresemme and Dove shampoos and conditioners.

The point of this story is this: check your shampoo and conditioner ingredients for DMDM hydantoin. It might not affect you in the same way it did me, but if you ever worry about it, perhaps it’s an ingredient that’s better to avoid.

18 thoughts on “A follow up on the hair loss

    1. Yeah, me too! Thank you. From what I read it doesn’t affect everyone, which is why there are so many mixed reviews as to the effects. Glad to hear the Tresemme doesn’t affect you! I’ve never used Tresemme but after this experience, I definitely prefer to avoid it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow! Thanks for the heads up! Never would have imagined something like this could happen, which goes to show…. I’m so glad you have figured it out and before serious damage could result. They ought to be sued. Time people were held accountable. Oh wait…I’m in the USA. No one here is responsible for anything, unless they are poor. Then they can be sued for every future penny they ever make. Bit cynical, I am.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is the second time that J&J is facing a class-action suit for this one ingredient. Also, I understand your cynicism. I have it too, most days.

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      1. You were being poisoned. Forensic files stuff πŸ˜•.

        Like

  2. I had that same shampoo and have also had an issue with my hair falling out lately. I realized I was getting a bald spot and had just started taking biotin and using minoxidil. I had problems around perimenopause with hair loss, but started taking a medication that helped me. I was so confused and frustrated as to why I was having issues again. So thanks so much for sharing. Mine is going into the trash immediately.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, if you ditched them and try a different shampoo/conditioner without then I hope the hair loss stops. It’s an awful feeling, when your hair is falling out. I hope it gets better. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is horrific. The experiences you’ve had lately…just piling on and on. The resilience you’ve had is truly admirable. I really mean that btw. Reading this earlier was humbling and helped me out.

    I’ve always been known for thick hair too and couldn’t imagine myself without it so completely understandable what you are saying. Feel bad for suggesting it was stress before when it was clearly worse than that in your previous description too. Hope this educates others too to realise there must be something drastic going on in this kind of situation.

    I’m really hoping for you to be able to recover now. Would fucking suck to have damage from something like this. They are rightly being sued!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t feel bad.
      I thought it was the stress of transitioning jobs, legal fees a missing car, threats and all of the things I’ve been dealing with.
      I remember when I told my doctor that my hair was falling out. She told me that it’s a common side effect of extreme stress and that it’d likely pass as the situation subsides. Without knowing when that’ll be, though, I was worried my hair would completely fall out before things got any better. I’m just glad that wasn’t/isn’t the case.

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  4. No way, this is crazy. They must have really skipped on the testing or something really messed up. How many people are going through misery unnecessarily and unaware!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are over 1,400 people who’ve commented on Reddit about this shampoo brand.
      Now, to be fair, some people on Reddit are saying it’s fine, and hasn’t affected them. But there are a lot of comments on several threads of people claiming they had massive hair loss when using this brand of shampoo and conditioner. It was enough for me to not want to use it anymore.

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  5. OMG, that’s crazy! You trust top brands like J&J to market themselves as safe enough for babies so you expect it to be safe enough for you… crazy! Thanks for sharing! Will check my products!!

    Like

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