My last visit to the salon left my hair dresser quite concerned. While combing out my wet hair for cutting, she noticed that several small red bumps had just popped up on the back of my scalp. The rash-like bumps were not there before my shampoo, which to me made perfect sense: gluten in the shampoo. But to her, was a new concept: sensitivities to hair products.

I did a quick investigation by recapping the ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner, and my suspicions were confirmed: these products contained gluten. Since going gluten-free late last year, I did begin to find that gluten containing shampoos and hair products caused small breakouts or red bumps along my hairline. And as stated by Dr. Kenneth Fine of EnteroLab: “Gluten sensitivity is a systemic immune reaction to gluten anywhere in the body.” Which means that my scalp is just as likely to react to gluten as my tummy.

Fortunately, the bumps disappeared a few hours later, after I had re-washed my hair with gluten-free products. Though the whole incident has me wondering; will those with gluten sensitivities have to start approaching a salon or cosmetics counter just as we would a food menu. Fortunately, more restaurants than not these days seem aware of food allergies and sensitivities. But educating our hair stylists and make-up artists will be a whole other challenge.

I have actually been able to find some amazingly effective, pure and gluten-free topical products to help maintain a gluten-free lifestyle inside and out. I suppose that those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities will spread the word on topical gluten one hair stylist and make-up artist at a time, just as the word was spread to one chef or waiter at a time. And yes, the next time I visit the salon, I just may bring my own shampoo.

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