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Does Olaplex Cause Hair Loss?

Olaplex is a brand of hair products that have been endorsed by celebrities and influencers including Kim Kardashian. Their products include shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks that are designed to make hair healthier — especially for those who bleach their hair.

But Olaplex products have caused controversy, with ingredients having been linked with both infertility and hair loss [1-2].

So what’s the truth about Olaplex? Can it improve the condition of your hair, or will using Olaplex products cause hair loss and other health problems?

What does the Olaplex hair loss lawsuit claim?

In February 2023, it was reported that 28 women had filed a lawsuit against Olaplex, claiming that their products cause hair loss:

“Far from repairing and protecting hair from damage, the products have instead left plaintiffs’ hair dry, brittle, frizzy and dull.”

This photo shows the hair of one of the complainants, allegedly following Olaplex use:

olaplex hair loss lawsuit image

The lawsuit claims that lilial and panthenol can lead to hair loss and scalp conditions, such as “inflamed, blistered, flaking or scaling skin”. While lilial has been banned in the EU due to links with infertility, the lawsuit also claims that Olaplex are still using this ingredient in their products [2].

Olaplex has released a statement on their website strongly denying these accusations:

“OLAPLEX products do not cause hair loss or hair breakage. Independent third-party laboratory test results, available below, show that OLAPLEX products are safe and effective.”

Can Olaplex cause hair loss?

The lab test results linked by Olaplex indicate that their products don’t cause irritation or contact allergies, albeit having tested on relatively small sample sizes [3-5]. Other studies have also corroborated the suggestion that solutions containing panthenol may actually improve hair loss, rather than cause it [6-7].

But there may be a connection between Olaplex and hair loss that hasn’t yet been explored in the scientific literature.

It remains to be seen whether the courts agree that Olaplex causes hair loss. But in the meantime, you may be looking for an alternative way to improve the condition of your hair.

How to improve the condition of your hair

If you’re concerned about the impact of Olaplex, there are gentler ways to improve the look and feel of your hair. These include:

  • Getting your hair cut regularly — trimming your hair is a good way to keep it healthy and remove dry, brittle ends
  • Avoiding bleach and other harsh chemicals — bleach is known to damage your hair, causing breakage and thinning
  • Washing your hair according to your hair type — oily hair should be washed more frequently, while dry hair should be washed less often
  • Eating a healthy diet — your diet can impact your hair health, so make sure you eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein
  • Avoiding heat styling — heat styling your hair (including blowdrying, straightening, and curling) can damage your hair.

What to do if your hair is falling out

Some hair shedding is normal. Most people with healthy hair lose 50-100 hairs every day [8]. But other people see hair loss for lots of different reasons, so it’s important to understand why your hair is falling out.

Some hair growth products like Minoxidil and Finasteride cause temporary hair shedding in the short-term, but are known to stimulate hair growth in the medium- to long-term. So if you see some shedding in the first few weeks of use, don’t discontinue these.

However, if hair loss is severe or lasts longer than a couple of weeks, this may be a more permanent side effect of the product you’re using. If you’ve been advised to use the product by a hair specialist or trichologist, consult them before discontinuing it.

If you need help diagnosing the cause of your hair loss, speak to the trichology team at the Wimpole Clinic. Book a free consultation to find out more.

The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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