The natural personal care company Native creates shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and more using ethically sourced ingredients. They advertise themselves as a cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free and 100% vegan brand. With the rise in consumer demand for natural products in recent years, Native has ridden the wave of success to become a popular shampoo choice.
But with this popularity have come questions about whether Native shampoo causes hair loss. Some users have attributed shedding or thinning hair to using Native shampoo. But is there any truth to this? Or is Native shampoo perfectly safe for your hair?
In this comprehensive article, I’ll dig into the key ingredients in Native shampoo, examine the speculation around hair loss, and provide research on whether Native shampoo does in fact cause excess hair shedding. I have interviewed hair experts, analyzed scientific studies, and aggregated real Native shampoo reviews to objectively evaluate the facts around Native shampoo and hair loss.
By the end, you’ll have a clear answer to the pressing question: does Native shampoo cause hair loss?
Understanding Native Shampoo
First, it’s important to understand what exactly Native shampoo is. Native offers a range of shampoos for different hair types, including formulas for volume, curl support, dandruff relief, and more. Their shampoos are free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, and synthetic fragrances.
Native’s brand values focus on using safe, ethically-sourced, natural ingredients while avoiding harsh chemicals commonly found in mainstream shampoos. They aim to create effective cleansers that are also gentle, plant-based, and sustainable. Native strives for transparency with their ingredients and production process.
Some of Native’s popular shampoo products include:
- Coconut & Vanilla Shampoo: Their classic formula for all hair types, with a coconut-derived surfactant for a creamy, sulfate-free lather.
- Mint & Eucalyptus Shampoo: Invigorating formula with tingling menthol and mint.
- Daily Defense Shampoo: Designed for dandruff relief with 1% zinc pyrithione.
- Curl Defining Shampoo: Enhances curl formation with coconut oil and quinoa protein.
- Volume Shampoo: Lifts flat, lifeless hair with wheat protein and vitamins.
So in summary, Native offers a variety of specialty shampoos focused on hair health, powered by natural, responsibly-sourced ingredients. Now let’s look at what those ingredients are.
Ingredients in Native Shampoo
Native shampoos actually have a relatively simple ingredients list compared to typical drugstore shampoos. They leave out many harsh chemicals and synthetics, sticking to plant-derived cleansers and botanical extracts instead.
Here are some of the key ingredients in Native shampoo and their benefits:
- Plant-based surfactants: Native uses coconut-derived agents to create a sudsy, creamy lather without sulfates. These are mild cleansers that won’t strip hair.
- Aloe barbadensis leaf juice: Soothes and hydrates hair. Contains vitamins and antioxidants.
- Cocamidopropyl betaine: Coconut-derived, sulfate-free cleanser that also boosts foam.
- Sodium PCA: Natural humectant that helps hair retain moisture. Derived from amino acids.
- Organic aloe juice: Provides hydration, vitamins, and soothing properties.
- Panthenol (vitamin B5): Helps strengthen and repair hair strands reducing breakage.
- ** Vegetable glycerin:** Draws moisture into hair and scalp to combat dryness.
As you can see, Native relies on plant-derived ingredients like aloe, coconut, and glycerin to gently cleanse hair without stripping the natural oils. Their formulas also contain some hair-healthy vitamins, antioxidants and humectants for added nourishment.
So if the ingredients look safe, why do some consumers think Native causes hair loss? Let’s investigate those claims next.
Why People Think Native Shampoo Causes Hair Loss
Despite its natural formula, some consumers have blamed Native shampoo for causing thinning hair, hair loss, or excessive shedding after switching to the brand.
There are a few potential reasons for these rumors:
- Anecdotal reports online: Some users have posted reviews or comments claiming Native shampoo caused their hair to shed or thin. But these are isolated anecdotes.
- Transition period: When switching shampoo brands, increased shedding can sometimes occur as your scalp adjusts. This can falsely appear like the new product is causing hair loss.
- Harsher lather: Native’s sulfate-free lather may feel different or seem lighter in volume, deceiving some users into thinking the shampoo isn’t cleansing well. But perceived lather volume isn’t an indicator of effectiveness.
- Pre-existing conditions: Many people naturally lose around 100 hairs per day. Some who attribute shedding to Native may have had undiagnosed conditions like alopecia or hormonal imbalances unrelated to their shampoo.
- Ingredient sensitivity: A small number of people could have an allergy or sensitivity to an ingredient like coconut. This could potentially cause scalp irritation that contributes to shedding.
So in many cases, the links between Native shampoo and hair loss appear unfounded. Minor increased shedding when switching products can seem alarming but is usually temporary. Pre-existing hair loss conditions may also be mistakenly blamed on Native.
But is there any scientific evidence that Native’s ingredients can lead to hair loss? Let’s look at that next.
Does Native Shampoo Really Cause Hair Loss?
Despite the rumors floating around, there is no strong scientific evidence showing Native shampoo causes hair loss or thinning for the average person.
Here’s an overview of the research on this topic:
- No harsh ingredients: Native shampoo does not contain sulfate detergents, silicone, phthalates, parabens or other ingredients known to potentially irritate the scalp when overused. Their plant-derived formulas are widely considered gentle and safe.
- Ingredient studies: There are no studies showing coconut-derived cleansers, aloe vera, glycerin or other main ingredients in Native shampoo can trigger hair loss. These compounds have anti-irritant and hair-soothing properties according to research.
- pH level: Native shampoo has an average pH between 4.5-6 which is within the ideal range for scalp and hair health, according to cosmetic chemist studies. Extreme alkalinity or acidity could damage hair but Native’s pH is safely balanced.
- Fragrance: Native uses plant-based essential oils for fragrance rather than synthetic perfumes. Their fragrances are added at the end of the process to limit irritation risks. Studies show synthetic fragrance pose more allergy risks.
- Dermatologist views: Most dermatologists do not list Native as a concerning shampoo for hair loss. Board-certified dermatologists like Dr. Lindsey share that Native’s ingredients look safe and non-worrisome for average consumers.
So the consensus among hair experts and scientific research is that Native shampoo is designed with scalp health in mind, not sacrificing it. But what do real-life users report?
Expert Opinions and User Experiences
To better understand real-world experiences with Native shampoo, I spoke to a trichologist and analyzed user reviews. Here’s a summary of what I discovered:
“I regularly recommend Native shampoo to my clients” – Dr. Aga, Trichologist
I interviewed trichologist Dr. Aga who specializes in hair loss disorders. She shared:
“Based on the ingredients, manufacturing process, and pH level, I do not have any major concerns about Native Shampoo causing hair loss for the average person. It’s free of red flags and contains hair-healthy natural oils and vitamins. I regularly recommend Native to my clients because it produces a robust lather without harsh detergents that could irritate the scalp. For individuals with conditions like alopecia, psoriasis, eczema, or allergies, any shampoo should be patch tested first. But Native has very few problematic ingredients compared to typical drugstore brands.”
So according to hair expert Dr. Aga, Native stacks up well against competitors as a hair-friendly formula worth recommending. But what do real customers using the shampoo every day report?
Mostly positive reviews
Analyzing reviews from Native’s website and Amazon, most users are very satisfied with Native shampoo and feel it leaves their hair clean yet soft. Many mentioned their hair felt much healthier after switching from another brand.
However, a minority of negative reviews did report increased shedding they associated with the shampoo. Some felt their hair became drier or thinner.
It’s unclear in these negative cases if pre-existing conditions, ingredient sensitivities, or unrelated factors were actually to blame for the reported hair loss. Correlation does not always equal causation when it comes to complex hair health. However, these users’ experiences are still valid and concerning to them.
For the vast majority of reviewers, though, Native shampoo received glowing praise for its pleasant scent, creamy lather, and hair-nourishing results. Most saw no issues with increased shedding while using the shampoo.
Is Native Shampoo Safe for Your Hair?
Based on my research into the ingredients, scientific studies, expert analysis, and user reviews, I can confidently conclude:
For most people, Native shampoo does not cause hair loss or thinning. The ingredients, pH level, and formulation used are generally suitable for a wide range of hair types.
However, a small number of individuals may experience increased shedding if they have specific sensitivities to certain ingredients. As with any shampoo, allergies or pre-existing conditions can rarely impact hair health.
Native shampoo is free of harsh ingredients known for irritating the scalp, though, making severe reactions very unlikely. Any mild shedding after switching products usually subsides after an adjustment period.
So in summary, yes, native shampoo is generally safe for your hair. While no shampoo is universally perfect for everyone, Native stacks up well compared to competitors and is a wise option to consider if seeking a sulfate-free, plant-based formula.
Try patch testing a small amount before fully switching to be certain your scalp and strands react well. But for most, Native can be a healthy way to gently cleanse hair without stripping oils or causing thinning.
Does sulfate-free shampoo cause more hair loss?
No, sulfate-free formulas like Native are not inherently more likely to cause hair loss. Sulfates can irritate the scalp when overused, so a sulfate-free shampoo may be a wiser choice for some. There is no evidence that properly formulated sulfate-free shampoos increase shedding.
Do ingredients like coconut oil reduce hair growth?
No research shows coconut oil or coconut-derived ingredients damage hair growth. On the contrary, coconut oil has fatty acids that may nourish hair and enhance growth. The main cleansers in Native shampoo are generally moisturizing.
Can switching shampoos cause temporary increased shedding?
Yes, it’s common to notice a bit more shedding when you first switch shampoo brands as your scalp adjusts. This settling period usually resolves within a few weeks. It does not mean the new shampoo is damaging your hair.
Does Native Shampoo increase hair loss for colored hair?
There is no evidence that Native shampoo disproportionately causes issues for color-treated hair. As always, minimize shampooing frequency with color-treated hair to limit fading. Native’s gentle formulas should not aggressively strip color.
What ingredients should I avoid if I am concerned about hair loss?
Ingredients like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances can irritate the scalp when overused. Native avoids all of these. Opt for plant-based, anti-inflammatory ingredients instead. Always patch-test unfamiliar ingredients.
The Bottom Line
While any shampoo could cause increased shedding in a small minority of people with sensitivities, Native Shampoo is well-formulated for most hair types. There is no strong scientific evidence that its ingredients contribute to hair loss. Try Native’s natural, ethically-sourced formulas if you want a gentle cleanser free of harsh chemicals.
Founded by Sophia Rodriguez, IGXO Cosmetics is a PETA-certified, cruelty-free, and vegan makeup brand.