What’s the deal with gluten free shampoo and why is it bothering me so much?

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but theres an advert for a popular brand of shampoo that makes a point about the fact it has ‘no gluten’. Every time I hear it a part of me dies inside. I mean, it’s great that it’s making a point, but now everyone I know who isn’t gluten free seems to be noticing shampoos that are gluten free and telling me to use it. I think this is the case with anything that has the GF label on it really, people just can’t stop telling you about these products, which is nice, but a tad frustrating when it’s something that doesn’t need to be labelled gluten free, like rice. Below is a little video I made which pretty sums up my thoughts on things like this.

Usually these products are lumped in with the ‘paraben free, sls free’ health conscious products, which bothers me more than it probably should. Did you know parabens have been used safely since the 1920’s, and there is a law about how much should be used in a product? Which is super low, by the way, and if you wanted to find out more about them, you can read up on it HERE.

So, should we be using gluten free shampoo? 

Well, we certainly shouldn’t be eating it, that’s for sure. So if you have a fetish for eating haircare products, go ahead! I do sit on a massive cloud of judgement on this subject, and I apologise to those who follow me who NEED gluten free skincare and haircare products, if you’re offended. I really mean no harm.

 But for some of you guys who have contact dermatitis, and are allergic to gluten applied onto your skin, then you definitely SHOULD be aware of the ingredients in your cosmetic products and go for the gluten free products. I am one of these people and I do get a little rash when I use products containing gluten on my skin.  A lot of the ingredients are in latin, and the print is SO BLOODY SMALL that you can’t even read it (I speak from experience when reading labels sat on the toilet waiting for my bath to fill up). So shampoos being labelled gluten free makes it really easier for them to spot. 

If you think buying a shampoo purely because it’s gluten free will make your hair grow longer or stop breakage though, you might need to do some research into other products.

Why would gluten be in shampoos?

So I worked at Lush once, and I had to learn pretty much all of the ingredients, their benefits and which products had what ingredients in. Haircare was a big thing for me when I worked there, and still is because I believe that their products and the knowledge has helped me with my hair product choices. Also, I may add, I worked there for 2 years and not once did any one customer ask if any of the shampoos were gluten free. And boy, that shop gets a lot of customers!

Wheat contains vitamin E, which is really great for skin cell growth, so it is great for the scalp, and is very nourishing for the hair. Alongside this, the high vitamin E content also helps products last longer. The ingredient also has other vitamins in it that are said to thicken your hair. The oil in wheat or wheatgerm oil is very close to your hair’s natural oil so this is why it can be used in products.

Oats can be used in products aimed at those with a sensitive scalp, or dandruff, as it has nourishing and soothing properties. It can be used in shampoos and hair treatments that are designed to help prevent hair loss too, because of the protein content in it. Oatmeal can also be used on curly/afro hair to create a film on the hair shaft, to make it more manageable. 

What alternatives are there, and what do I use? 

If you need it and want something to thicken your hair, nourish it and feed the scalp with goodness, then I definitely reccomend Lush’s Rehab shampoo. I use this religiously, as it has olive oil in, which strengthens your hair, makes it more manageable and gives it shine. It also has lots of peppermint in which is cooling on the scalp, and promotes healthy scalp, and in turn, healthy hair growth. Seriously, my hair was in a horrible state before I started using it, and would never grow. My scalp was dead sensitive, and had no shine to it. I’ve been using it for 2 years now, and my hair is almost waist length, healthy, shiny, and not falling out. 


I also love the Lush shampoo bars because they are solid, and therefore self preserving, so don’t need any wheat based vitamin E, or parabens (if you are concerned about that) to help preserve them. Soak and float is my favourite and it’s great for those with dandruff or a dry itchy scalp. And the bars last up to 100 washes too! 

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Conditioner wise, I’m not really fussy. my shampoo does the work for me, conditioner just gives me manageability and shine. Alberto Balsam is quite good, and Schwarpzkopf Gliss. It all depends on your hair type. Everyone is different, and everyone’s hair requires different products.  But I have become quite a fan of Aussie’s Miracle Shine conditioner and 3 minute hair treatment over the last few months. My hair is quite fine since coeliac disease created a bit of hair loss and thinning, so I find that this nourishes my hair, but doesn’t weigh it down. 


While we’re speaking of volume and fine hair, dry shampoo is a great hack for if you want some volume, but your hair is fine and feels weighed down. No Drought dry shampoo from Lush is great for this, it’s a loose powder so can get a bit messy, but one bottle lasted me a year, so it’s worth the investment. Just shake it in your roots, brush, and you’re good to go.

So in short, you shouldn’t be eating your shampoo. Some people react to gluten on their skin, and others don’t. I hope some of you found this information useful. Please let me know in the comments if you want me to do a post on haircare and some tips and tricks for healthy hair!

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Thank you for reading!
Georgina x


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One thought on “What’s the deal with gluten free shampoo and why is it bothering me so much?

  1. Luckily, I don’t suffer from contact dermatitis. I try to avoid gluten in beauty/skincare/haircare products because I’m SUPER paranoid that I’ll accidentally get the smallest amount of face wash in my mouth when I washing my face, or that I’ll get shampoo/conditioner in my mouth when I’m rinsing my hair in the shower. I know it’s completely irrational but I’ve been that way since I was diagnosed in 2011.


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