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I Think My Shampoo Might Have Gluten!
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Hi! I have a question regarding some shampoo and conditioner I recently purchased. The product is Nexxus and the shampoo contains Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. I've been gluten free for almost 4 years now and have never come across this problem. When I see anything containing wheat I immediately put it down as if the bottle itself will make me sick. I'm worried that I should probably stop using this product. Does hydrolyzed wheat protein contain gluten? Should I stop using the product?

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I try to avoid these products, but more for the allergy. I itch like crazy if I use products with wheat germ oil, wheat protein, oats, etc.

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Hi and welcome!

The product you have there does contain gluten. The question of whether you should use it or not is a personal one. Some Celiacs use topical products that contain gluten and are fine--others of us are too sensitive.

Most experts say that gluten can not be absorbed through the skin, and I tend to agree. I use gluten-free topical products because I'm very sensitive to minute amounts. Shampoo can run down your face in the shower and get into the corners of your mouth.

Likewise, lotions, hair styling products, etc get on your hands and around your nails--that can be a problem if you prepare your food without washing thoroughly, absentmindedly bite your fingernail, etc.

Like I said, it's a personal decision. I choose gluten-free products and I don't have to worry about inadvertently getting any in my mouth. It may not be enough to cause any damage, but it's enough for me to cause a reaction.

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Hi! I have a question regarding some shampoo and conditioner I recently purchased. The product is Nexxus and the shampoo contains Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. I've been gluten free for almost 4 years now and have never come across this problem. When I see anything containing wheat I immediately put it down as if the bottle itself will make me sick. I'm worried that I should probably stop using this product. Does hydrolyzed wheat protein contain gluten? Should I stop using the product?

Just so you know, gluten is the protein in wheat, therefore saying "hydrolyzed wheat protein" is other words for "hydrolyzed gluten". Same thing.

As far as topical, the comments made are good ones. There are medical professionals that say the protein is too big to be absorbed through the skin. Since I have no professional knowledge on this, I cannot say. What I can say is that when I use a product that has gluten in it topically, I get blisters and very itchy sores, so I don't use them. Then again, when I was diagnosed, they said that Celiac was a very rare disease affecting only one in 5,000 people in the U.S. You do what you are comfortable with.

Case in point for wheat topical products - I was taking down some very old wall paper in my house and started breaking out with itchy blisters on the sides of my hands. Couldn't figure out what was going on till I remembered that wallpaper paste was a wheat based paste. I used gloves from then on and it stopped.

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My shampoo has hydrolyzed wheat protein in it, and I am fine with it. In fact, I have very sensitive skin and there are only a handful of shampoos I can use without a problem; all of which happen to contain gluten.

My Celiac sister, on the other hand, is unable to use cosmetics or shampoo containing gluten because they trigger problems with HER sensitive skin.

If I could find a gluten-free shampoo that also did not make my scalp bleed, I would use it; but since I haven't found one, I will stick with what I got. I am extra careful to rinse all shampoo not only out of my hair but off my hands before I get out of the shower, to avoid accidental contact with my food.

I would not use a toothpaste or any other product that stayed on the hands or went into the mouth (or nose) if it contained gluten.

-Elizabeth

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I am speechless! Thank you so much for your responses. I actually didn't think I would get anything. I've signed up with so many groups and websites and have never gotten the responses that I've received today.

Over the past two weeks or so I have noticed that my hair has been shedding more than normal and feels brittle. My scalp has been itchy as well... I just associated it with stress (since I did just buy a house and I'm getting married in a month!). After seeing "wheat" on the back of my shampoo bottle this morning I had a light bulb go off in my head. I always say that'd I'd rather be safe than sorry. I think I'll switch shampoos immediately... just in case. :)

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I use suave and it is supposed to be gluten free, but my scalp still itches and my hair is falling out. I have a neverending itch on my head that I have had since I was a child. I am going to blame the sulfites and not the gluten.

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Giovanni is a nice gluten-free shampoo. I have been using the Smooth as Silk shampoo and the 50/50 Conditioner--leaves my hair nice and soft.

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