Reader question: How will you know if your shampoo is breaking you out?

Hello Ms Liz and all the readers :) I hope you could answer my question. I recently tried another variant of shampoo kasi I was getting tired of the scent of the old one. I just started two days ago and just today I noticed a few bumps on my forehead near the hairline. I don't know if it's the shampoo or the hormones as my period's approaching. I just wanna know how I can avoid getting serious breakouts caused by hair care products in the future and how to distinguish them from a normal breakout. Thanks! - Nerys

Hi Nerys! This is an excellent question because I feel that a lot of us may be unaware that hair products are as guilty of causing breakouts as skincare. Thing is, whatever's applied there and on our scalp can easily migrate to our face! When I was younger i would ALWAYS get pimples and I can never tell what causes them. Until I switched to my current (and unglamorous) shampoo - Head and Shoulders - the pimples did not stop.

I invest in good skincare but so far there is only one shampo that doesn't break me out after regular use. So yeah, this is pretty important! I've gone through a LOT of breakouts caused by hair products, so my advice is to observe a new hair care product closely the first couple of weeks.

So how will you know if you shampoo is breaking you out? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you usually break out on those sections of your face/body? Usually, breakouts caused by hair products happen on the chin and near the hair line. If you don't normally get pimples there, then it's likely your new hair care is causing it.

Even if you're breaking out somewhere else, it might be because your hair tends to touch that area (like the cheeks and back). 

2. Is it the only new thing you're using? I strongly recommend using new products only one at a time so you can isolate any effects you get from them. I know how exciting it is to use new things all at once, but a bit of restraint and patience will save you a lot of trouble and backtracking in the long run!

3. Does your face feel like there's some residue or film on it even after washing your hair thoroughly? This is a bit hard to detect if you haven't felt your face to be completely clean before, but yup, this is a real thing! I notice that shampoos that break me out make me feel like there's a thin coat of the stuff on my face after I shower. Even if I wash my face with cleanser and use toner afterwards, the coating seems to be tough to remove. It doesn't immediately happen after one use of the shampoo - it builds up, so sometimes when I'm not paying attention I don't notice it.

So pay attention! When your face starts feeling like there's extra product build-up on it, that's probably leftover silicones and other ingredients in the shampoo, conditioner, mousse, etc, which may not be water-soluble. Use a clarifying shampoo immediately and cleanse your face thoroughly with heavy-duty makeup removers and facial washes.

How do you distinguish breakouts caused by hair products versus normal, hormonal breakouts?

I find that they tend to linger on. Pimples should dry in a few days once treated, but if they keep coming back no matter what you apply or take orally, it might just be the ingredients of your hair care causing it. I spent so many years battling my pimples only to find out that it's just the shampoos and conditioners I've been using! Don't be like me!

How do I deal with breakouts caused by hair products?

If you suspect your hair stuff, stop them all immediately and switch to baby shampoo, the gentlest shampoo available in the market. You may also consider clarifying shampoo just to remove all the gunk on your head. Your hair will feel really dry and ugh, but you can slowly re-introduce your fave products every week. If you break out from one of them, well, that's how you know!

I highly recommend Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Celeteque Clarifying Shampoo for this. Or, you can just go back to whichever doesn't break you out. If you don't know then you can slowly start exploring other options within your budget. What works for other people doesn't always work for you and vice versa so this is really a personal journey, so to speak.

Hope this helps, Nerys! Guys, share your recommendations too so we all know where to start looking!