Seeking: Hair Products for Sensitive, Acne Prone Skin

Did you know your hair products could cause acne?

I don’t use many hair products. By many, I mean I only use dry shampoo for 2nd day hair and hairspray if I wear it up, which only happens about 1-2 days a week. No oils, no protectants, no mousse, no gel. I’ve forced myself to deal with slightly frizzy hair to protect my skin.

Frizzy Hair - no products after blow drying!
Frizzy Hair – no products after blow drying!

I’ve always known that I have sensitive skin. My mom, also an engineer, is super low maintenance, so I never wore makeup or used hair products until some friends in high school picked out $50 in makeup & skincare for me to use (and taught me how to use them! Thank you friends!). I never used hair spray until I got bangs in college and needed a way to keep my poof in place!

I did not realize just HOW sensitive my skin actually was until I joined Birchbox back in 2012! More on my hate to love relationship with Birchbox here. Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid having any evidence of my horrible skin reactions! I’ve scoured my computer, phone and facebook for pictures to illustrate my skin issues, but cannot locate any!

This is list of the hair products I have used in the last few years, and have had issues with: Suave Professional Volume Conditioner, Davines OI Shampoo & Conditioner, John Fredia Root Awakening Shampoo & Conditioner, Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect, Amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, Aveda Brilliant Damage Control & Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo.

My skin reactions vary, from cystic acne on my neck/jaw with the Number 4 to ridiculous scalp acne from the Root Awakening & Aveeno. And by ridiculous, I mean like 50-100 pimples covering my scalp, disgusting, I know! Thank goodness it was on my scalp or I wouldn’t have left my house for DAYS! I thought I’d found a shampoo & conditioner that didn’t irritate or cause acne with the Davines OI Shampoo & Conditioner. But, for the last month I’ve had an outbreak of large, painful papules/pustules on my back. I thought they could have been caused by my occasional use of the Sauve Volume conditioner, but found that “it can take months of using a comedogenic product before clogging is noticeable” until I read this and verified it with another source that states further, “Cosmetic induced acne can take months to form which can lead to confusion as a breakout seems to come out of nowhere.” GREAT. The search is back on for a shampoo & conditioner that makes my hair and skin look great! I’m going to try either the Burt’s Bees: Very Volumizing Pomegranate Shampoo based on the recommendation from a great list of sensitive skin products by Everyday Health. Or, I also found an all natural shampoo for Oily, Itchy & Greasy Hair with Organic Rosemary, Peach Kernel and Jojoba that I may try out! The amazon reviews for the last one are better and includes a fantastic review from a dermatologist.

I’ve also been looking for a heat protectant or blowout spray, as I have quite a bit of frizz when I use zero products, see picture. The ones I’ve tried haven’t jived with my skin. Typically, I prefer products with minimal scents as I do have nasal allergies too. I’ve tried dry shampoos from Dove, Tresemme, L’Oreal, Suave, Tigi Catwalk and Tigi Rockaholic. All those scents are too strong! Thanks to Birchbox, I have found a dry shampoo that works for me, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle. With a very light scent and special formulation for oily skin, it is the best I’ve come across. It is a bit pricy, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that my skin will thank me later for spending a bit extra on products which a higher price tag!

If you’ve got any suggestions for products to try, please let me know!



One thought on “Seeking: Hair Products for Sensitive, Acne Prone Skin

  1. My hair gets very dry and also have sensitive skin that goes into my scalp. I have been using Phyto brands that can be purchased at Ulta. The ingredients found in these products are mostly natural and my hairdresser recommended it to me.


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