Gluten-Free Hair and Beauty Products

gluten-free haircareThe relationship between gluten and hair and beauty products is complex.

Those with celiac disease may have a common skin disorder, Dermatitis Herpetiformis. This skin manifestation of celiac disease can cause an itchy, blistering rash.

Topical reactions can also occur when gluten touches the skin or scalp. This can cause Contact Dermatitis. Typical symptoms include redness, itchiness, stinging or burning sensation, and possibly blisters.

So why do you need gluten-free hair or beauty products?

Gluten has to be ingested to trigger celiac symptoms. According to the International Dermal Institute, the gluten molecule is too large to be absorbed through intact skin and therefore skin exposure doesn’t pose a risk to celiacs.

However, inadvertent ingestion of products that can enter the body via the lips, mouth, eyes, and nose can pose a risk.

Avoiding gluten-containing products that could be inadvertently ingested, such as mouthwash, lipsticks, and lotions, is vital. Some people cannot tolerate any gluten at all without an inflammatory response. Even hair care products like shampoo that contain gluten could possibly be ingested. More sensitive people should take care not to swallow any water while shampooing. Alternately, consider choosing gluten-free haircare and beauty products as a preventative option.

Some celiacs also suffer from additional allergies, which can pose a topical risk. When gluten-containing haircare products come in contact with the scalp, Contact Dermatitis or more serious allergic reactions can occur.

What has your experience been? Do you have go-to gluten-free beauty and haircare products?

2 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Hair and Beauty Products”

  1. I use Alterna haircare because it is completely safe for my hair and skin. I have also been able to use a few Suave shampoos, it just takes trial and error. Organix shampoos are also good and the coconut milk shampoo and conditioner have never given me a problem. For baby shampoo I like Honest brand that I get from Costco for a good price. Hope this helps someone just starting out. I’m on year 14 of the journey and let me tell you it is so much easier now than then!

  2. I am 68 years old and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 36 years ago. Five years ago I began to break out with a rash that started at the base of my scalp and soon covered my entire upper torso. It was not Dermatitis Herpetiformis and doctors had no answers. I stopped using all gluten containing products on my hair and the rash cleared up within two weeks. My doctor shared that the skin on the scalp absorbs ingredients from shampoos etc. more readily than the skin on other areas of the body. He believes that the rash was systemic – from the gluten being absorbed through the scalp rather than contact dermatitis. Of course, I stopped using soaps and lotions that contain gluten just to be safe. I do not believe that I was inadvertently swallowing shampoo etc. In fact, after my skin cleared up the first time, I began using a styling gel on my hair that I didn’t realize contained gluten and the rash came back. I am certain that I didn’t ingest any of that gel. It took nearly a year of use for that product to begin to cause the breakout. This makes me believe that there is absorption through the scalp. Another factor that makes me believe this is that my sister has Celiac Disease and went through the same exact experience that I did.

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