About a month and a half ago, I thought I had lice. Like an infestation. I actually went to the school nurse and asked her to check my head. I drove my husband crazy as I kept asking him to check to see if anything was moving around in my hair. I was nuts! But I actually thought I had those creepy little bugs crawling around my head…until I really thought it through.
You would think that being gluten free only affects the food you eat, or the drinks you drink. Well, it doesn’t. And even though I have been gluten free for almost 8 years, I never gave much thought to the idea that hair products would impact my health. I began researching when I couldn’t stand scratching my head anymore. It became clear. Shampoo and conditioners have gluten in it. It is just masked as a different name. At the time, I was using Pantene Pro-V for color-treated hair. Prior to that I was using Wen, which is a mail order subscription product mailed during certain time frames. I found out that they BOTH have gluten in them, which explained why I wanted to pull my hair out all too often when I used them. It wasn’t fun.
So, in order to help you avoid the pain, frustration and annoyance of itchy head syndrome (I’m sure that’s a real thing), here is a list of some hair products that ARE gluten free:
1. Dove: Dove, which makes tons of personal care products, is a Unilever brand, which means it will clearly disclose any gluten-containing ingredients. Many of Dove’s shampoos and conditioners are gluten-free. They’re also reasonably priced and available everywhere.
2. Kirkland Signature: This Costco brand includes a Professional Salon Formula Moisture Shampoo, and it’s labeled gluten-free and vegan.
3. Jason: Not everything Jason sells is gluten-free, but the brand’s Gluten-Free Daily Shampoo and Gluten-Free Daily Conditioner meet the standard (as do the other seven products in the brand’s certified gluten-free line). Look for the bright green labels — the gluten-free line is available on Amazon if your local store doesn’t carry it. Jason’s products aren’t tested on animals.
4. Suave: Like Dove, Suave is a Unilever brand, so any gluten-containing ingredients would be disclosed in the ingredients list … but most or all are gluten-free. Suave is available everywhere and offers some kid-friendly shampoo/conditioner/body wash combinations.
5. Avalon Organics: This all-natural line of hair care products offers one shampoo that’s certified gluten-free: its Gluten-Free Cucumber Shampoo. Avalon Organics also offers Gluten-Free Cucumber Conditioner to pair with the shampoo. The hair care line is vegan and cruelty-free. It’s readily available online if your stores don’t carry it.
6. Paul Mitchell: Several of this brand’s shampoo and conditioner products are considered gluten-free, including Forever Blonde shampoo (but not conditioner), Spring-Loaded Frizz-Fighting Shampoo and conditioner, and Baby Don’t Cry Shampoo. To check a specific Paul Mitchell product, you need to visit the brand’s website and look in the “details” section for that product. Paul Mitchell is also cruelty-free.
7. OGX: Because they have one product that contains hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (their product OGX® Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen.), they cannot claim that they are gluten free due to a possibility of cross-contamination. However, their other products do not contain any gluten ingredients.
Here is a list of chemicals that mean gluten and are found in many shampoos and conditioners:
- Triticum vulgare (wheat)
- Hordeum vulgare (barley)
- Secale cereale (rye)
- Avena sativa (oats)
- Wheat germ oil
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Stearyl dimonium hydroxypropy (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
- Laurdimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
- Colloidal oatmeal
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (may contain wheat)
- Dextrin palmitate (starch, possibly gluten-based)
- Vitamin E (frequently derived from wheat)
- Malt extract (usually barley)
- Beta glucan (frequently derived from wheat)
- Vegetable protein (may contain wheat, barley, rye and/or oats)
I am committed to helping you stay healthy in all ways…keeping your gluten free lifestyle thriving and successful in every area, whether it’s food, healthcare products, and just life in general. Please, if you know of any other products that ARE gluten free, or other products that you have found that ARE NOT gluten free, share them here. Let’s keep this community in the know and connected.