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Drip Feeding - How Hair Products Also Spread on Your Skin

Recent studies by TRI show how shampoos, conditioners and leave-in styling products also spread on your skin.

We are all guilty of it aren’t we? If it says it is a ‘hair product’ on the label then, we rationalise, that the hair is the only part of the body it affects. We don’t think of hair products as skin products, but, of course, they are. When you apply and rinse-off, for example, a shampoo in the shower, this product is contacting your scalp, your face and rest of you body. Normally, this doesn’t matter, because cosmetic products are, by law, formulated to be very safe for us to use. However, some dermatologists now suspect that hair product build-up on the skin might, in some people, be related to skin conditions such as scalp acne.

In order to study this further, Dr Samuel Gourion-Arsiquaud and Dr Rezma Shrestha, both of the Skin and Bio-substrates Group at TRI, together with Iris Rubin M.D., of SEEN Hair Care, have used spectroscopy techniques to measure hair product deposition on the skin during normal in-use conditions. Their study, recently published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology, shows that shampoos and conditioners are not completed removed by rinsing and that residues end-up on our scalp, forehead, cheek and upper back. They also show that leave-on styling products applied just to the hair, also, over time, transfer to our skin.


Please visit our TRI Library for more information, or our website if you are interested in working with us to explore this fascinating area.

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