View Full Version : How do you know if you are allergic to a shampoo or conditioner?

March 9th, 2009, 04:10 PM
Ok so I am always in search of a product that my hair will love ( I am a product junkie :p). So anyways last week I bought a few trial sizes of some shampoos and conditioners, cause I don't wanna buy a whole bottle and then my hair not like it. So yesterday I used the Garnier shampoo and conditioner. Now today I am itching on my head, my face, neck, and a little on my arms. So could this be some type of a reaction to the Garnier? Nothing else I have used has been new. I have never had this happen. Is there anything I can do to relieve it...like if I wash my hair today but with something I use with no problems, or will that make it worse? Has anybody else ever had a reaction like this?

March 9th, 2009, 04:26 PM
i am allergic to LOTS of shampoo and conditioners. mostly it is the fragrance that bothers me. usually if it is going to bother me it will either start while i am using it - or before - like if i smell it and immediately get a headache (don't buy it!) - or sometimes i don't notice it til about 30 minutes after i finish using the product.

when this happens usually i will get a tingling and/or itching on my scalp and anyplace else the product has touched - even my back if it got on it, ears, forehead, etc.

then i have to go and immediately wash again with something else because if i don't it will either keep itching or even get worse and start burning and turn bright red!

this is very annoying. some products i had trouble with: VO5 conditioners, suave lavender conditioner, suave ocean breeze conditioner, white rain tropical coconut conditioner, sunsilk in the pink bottles, creme of nature shampoo (in the store this gave me a headache and i bought it anyway - LOL), phyto phytojoba deep conditioner, burt's bees grapefruit conditioner (i think it is the fragrance), shikakai (made me itch when i would lay my head on the pillow), chandan (same as shikakai), many detergents and fabric softeners

garnier never bothered me a few years back. also i haven't had a problem with suave naturals tropical coconut conditoner and i used to be able to use burt's bees grapefruit conditioner. these days i am actually afraid to try anything new it because it seems i have become even more sensitive after not using artificial fragrances for a while - and i can still smell the suave tropical coconut conditioner even days after i have used it... fragrance oils definitely soak into your hair and skin.

i would say if you are having this reaction to stop using this product now and wash your scalp and hair and anywhere else that is itchy with something begign (doesn't bother you for sure) and rinse it well. i have found that if i try and use something that i had a reaction to the first time that it only gets worse.

hope this helps ;)

March 9th, 2009, 04:28 PM
For many products, if the scent doesn't give me a migraine, then I get huge cysts on my scalp that lasts for weeks. Pantene does that, for one. =( I have actually gotten cautious about trying new things. I sort of hesitantly sniff it in the store, and if I buy it, then I end up hoping I won't be miserable later with the cysts.

March 9th, 2009, 04:36 PM
You could very well be allergic to it. I know some conditioners have made me itchy. Washing with something else usually helps me. Though, sometimes I hive for no reason. :rolleyes: Love my skin.

If you are bent on trying it again (or you could do this in the future to try to prevent it from happening again) you could do an allergy patch test. Put a bit of the product on a bandaid then attach the bandaid to the underside of your upper arm. Leave it there for 12-24 hours. If you have a reaction, don't use the product. If you don't, you are probably safe (though this is not 100%).

March 9th, 2009, 04:37 PM
I sometimes get bumps or breakouts near my scalp from certain shampoos or conditioners, and when I stop using them, they go away, so I figure that's a sign of allergy :confused: Still, I don't get itchy scalp or anything like that, so I'm not sure.

March 9th, 2009, 04:40 PM
For many products, if the scent doesn't give me a migraine, then I get huge cysts on my scalp that lasts for weeks. Pantene does that, for one. =( I have actually gotten cautious about trying new things. I sort of hesitantly sniff it in the store, and if I buy it, then I end up hoping I won't be miserable later with the cysts.

:agape:good grief!!! CYSTS?!!!!! :confused:

March 9th, 2009, 04:47 PM
I'd consider that an allergic reaction to the new s&c, unless you've also tried another product like a new perfume that might be causing it.

I found out I was allergic to shampoo (sulfates) when my scalp freaked out and went itchy, dry and bumpy for over a month and I shed a whole family of cats. Never doing that again.

March 9th, 2009, 04:48 PM
I guess I will be washing my hair with something that I get along with tonight.
I am not set on trying this again since it was just a trial size. But I may try that bandaid idea thought just to see later on.
My hair has used Pantene, Head and shoulders, Herbal essence, dove, etc. and never had a problem like this. Maybe I am just getting senstive due to old age. :)

March 9th, 2009, 06:10 PM
Your reaction to your shampoo sounds like what happens to me when I'm sensitive to a shampoo or conditioner (well one of many possible reactions anyway LOL). Usually I'll just keep using something if the itch isn't too bad, but that's because I was going for a long time w/o realizing lots of things were irritating my skin.

I have become more sensitive to stuff as I get older, and I'm not even remotely old at all. My favorite is breaking out in a rash that looks like keratosis pilaris several days after starting a new product. (sigh) Unfortunately I'm one of those people who doesn't react to a patch test.

For me, trying Garnier was an interesting experience. It's not like other drugstore lines, and that isn't necessarily a good thing, so maybe it's just the Garnier. =)

March 9th, 2009, 06:16 PM
when i used garnier s&c for about a year or so - frequently i would be scritching my scalp with my nails or a comb and i would have little 'plugs' of something come out of my pores on my scalp! i think in retrospect that these were the fruit waxes or maybe even silicones that were in the s&c - because i have never had anything like that happen with poo bars.

March 9th, 2009, 06:47 PM
:agape:good grief!!! CYSTS?!!!!! :confused:
Yuppers, it definitely takes the joy out of new hair products. I try them and if I react, I pass them along to someone else. Sadly, the band aid patch test wouldn't work because I am also allergic to band aids. I am a mess! :cheese:

March 9th, 2009, 07:55 PM
I'm allergic to just about all bottled shampoos, they cause my scalp to get red and splotchy with small pimples (like hives, but it doesn't itch). The worst offenders for me were Aussie and Dove. I use shampoo bars exclusively now, problem solved.

March 9th, 2009, 08:26 PM
I can get sores that scab over on my scalp from certain products. Joico and Citre Shine are two that do that to me. The worst was Charles Worthington. It caused a huge patch of eczema to develop on the back of my head. It was terrible. :(

March 9th, 2009, 11:09 PM
When I used suave shampoo and condish my scalp got really itchy, and tender.I couldn't even scratch because of the tenderness.These symptoms lasted a few days.I did cont. using suave until I finally made the connection and realized I was allergic to it.

March 10th, 2009, 01:05 AM
I get the same thing with Neutrogena... anything, including shampoos Rashes, peeling, bleeding. Awful.

March 10th, 2009, 05:49 AM
When I use White Rain shampoo my head itches like crazy. I've used other cheap shampoos like Suave w/o that reaction. So yes I'd say you are having an allergic reaction. It seems that itching is a big sign of allergies. I have an itching problem if I take Darvocette. It's a pain killer. Thankfully you seem to be able to use a lot of different kind of shampoos w/o adverse reactions.

March 10th, 2009, 06:54 AM
I washed with something else last night and all is well now. Never had any reaction before to any hair products. The bad thing is my hair didn't feel too bad from using it , kinda nice feeling. Oh well I will continue on my quest to find a great hair product.

March 10th, 2009, 07:20 AM
I have found some products make me very allergic/itchy. Sadly, it's the more organic shampoos that I love. Biologe was an AMAZING shampoo, but whatever natural flower they used in it, made me itchy, red bumps on my skin, sneezing etc. I had a similar reaction to a different shampoo, and found the same ingredient in both. :( I can use the leave in conditioner because it doesn't touch my scalp, only my ends. And a much smaller amount.

I'd say try products and also, try them for longer than 1 time. See if your sensitivity gets worse or better. Sometimes its from not rinsing all the shampoo out. I kept a log of reactions, as per my doctor's recomendation so we could figure out what I was sensitive to.

I'm high maintanence when it comes to my skin ;)

March 10th, 2009, 07:22 AM
I know Garnier has fruit acids in their products, it could be that you are sensitive to them. You could use some Chamomile tea to do a rinse, it may calm the itching or irritation, I was thinking an oatmeal rinse may work for calming it down a bit too.

:grouphug: I hope you feel better soon, at least you know what caused it and what to avoid.

You could always take some benadryl too, but that may make you sleepy, maybe right before bed would be a good time for that.

ETA: I read all of the replies and see that you solved the issue! :) :flower:

March 14th, 2009, 04:55 PM
yes with a lot of fragranced shampoos and conditioners I get a small red rash about my hairline at the front!! most annoying when you find a fab conditioner but can't use it for thid reason:( however aia discovered simple shampoo and rich repair conditioner, allergy tested and fregrance free and fingers crossed I seem to be fine with this!:)

March 14th, 2009, 06:36 PM
The only times I've been itchy is if I somehow rushed and didn't rinse thoroughly. Is that a possibility? If not, I suspect you are probably allergic.

I don't know how you gals only get conditioner on your back/arms . . . I always get it all the way down my butt and legs as well! Thankfully I'm not very allergic or it could be tragic!