Gluten is a protein that is found in many food products, but did you know that it’s also listed as an ingredient in both hair color and hair care products? What exactly is the role of gluten, and is it essential to your haircare routine? In this article, we are going to discuss whether you should switch to gluten free hair color and which ones to choose!
Gluten free hair color is a good choice for people with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance because they are generally safer. It may be necessary for some people to avoid gluten even when used topically as it can cause a reaction when reaching the bloodstream.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is the protein that can be found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is often added to food products, in particular starchy foods such as bread and pasta, to act as a binder.
This is what often gives bread that light, airy texture that many of us are familiar with. Now, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding gluten and its place in our diet.
While some will say that it can be inflammatory and detrimental to our health, there is very little research to back this up.
In fact, many studies have found that gluten does have a place in our diet. Whole grains, for instance, can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.
The issue with gluten is that some people cannot tolerate it. Those people will either have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
While both of these conditions can present similar symptoms, the latter can be very serious. In people with celiac disease, every time they consume gluten, even in very small amounts, the body sees this as a toxin.
Naturally, the body will want to eradicate it. When the body triggers this immune response, it is unknowingly damaging itself.
This then leads to widespread inflammation, causing several different symptoms.
Someone who has celiac disease or gluten intolerance will have to avoid any foods or products containing gluten.
This can be a difficult thing to do seeing as gluten, wheat, barley, and rye are present in so many products today.
Someone who is avoiding gluten will have to check the list of ingredients on every product before use or consumption.
This will become a habit that helps to protect them from any damaging health issues.
Why Is It Used In Hair Products?
You may notice that gluten is a common ingredient in some hair products, ranging from shampoo, hair masks, and even hair dyes.
Gluten is a protein that has abilities to strengthen the hair and improve elasticity, which makes it a good addition to any shampoo product.
Hair dye contains many ingredients. Some work as preservatives that stop the product from expiring. Other ingredients such as gluten are often added to preserve the structure of the hair, which helps to retain the color. However, it’s not essential that hair colors contain gluten.
In fact, there are many gluten free colors available today that are just as effective as gluten-containing colors. More likely than not, you would not notice the difference.
Gluten can be replaced by a protein such as keratin, which is naturally found in our hair. This has the same strengthening qualities as gluten and it also preserves the structure.
The bonus part is it’s far less likely to cause a skin reaction in many individuals.
Who Should Choose A Gluten Free Hair Color?
Someone who has celiac disease or gluten intolerance should opt for gluten free colors.
While there is limited research to suggest that gluten can be absorbed through the skin, some individuals have reported a reaction.
Therefore, it is usually best to avoid it if you are worried about any possible reaction.
Gluten can be disguised in many different hair products. These are just a few of the common ingredients to avoid:
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Wheat germ oil
- Oat extract (oats often have to be avoided in those with celiac disease)
- Malt extract
- Secale cereal
- Triticum Vulgare
- Vitamin E can often be derived from wheat
Top 7 Gluten Free Hair Colors To Try
As it can be difficult to know which hair colors are gluten free, it’s best to check the packaging for any label that states it is gluten free.
Most products that are gluten free will clearly state this on the packaging. When buying online, read the description to confirm if it is in fact 100% gluten free.
Here are a few hair coloring brands and colors that we recommend for you to try. As always, you should perform a patch test 48 hours before using any hair color.