Why Gluten-Free Conditioner Can Help Save Your Skin

The struggle is real…

Unless you have a glam squad at your disposal, I think just about every person on this planet has experienced a bad hair day. Finding the right shampoo and conditioner is like searching for a purple chupacabra. There’s conditioner for dry, oily, color treated, thin, thick, curly, damaged and dull hair (just to name a few). It’s like taking the hair SATs. I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve spent on finding the precise concoction to make my locks lovely.

Let’s up the hair care ante by adding in the element of gluten. Drum roll please…bring on the search for gluten-free shampoo and conditioner.

Why is there gluten in conditioner?

Gluten-containing proteins are said to strengthen hair, retain moisture, and add thickness. You’ll find that many brands (especially those found in high-end salons) include hydrolyzed wheat protein, barley extract and oats within their ingredients.


So there’s gluten in my conditioner. Should I care?

I have naturally curly hair that tends to be dry. It’s also color treated because my kids have oh so kindly given me gray hairs. After years of searching, I had found a product line that was the holy grail for my hair.

In 2016 I started to break out in rashes on my body. At first, I thought it was dry skin. But a year later, the rashes were still there. My dermatologist diagnosed me with eczema and prescribed steroids to apply. Months passed, and the rashes didn’t lesson at all. Something had to be causing my skin condition – was it food, environmental, hormonal? Suddenly I had an a-ha moment and realized my shampoo and conditioner contained hydrolyzed wheat protein and was glutening my skin.

I sadly parted ways immediately with my gluten-filled hair products. Fast forward to about six weeks later and the rashes were completely gone. It’s important to remember that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies and absorbs what we choose to put on it. Others may have different reactions that include:

  • 1Bumps near hairline and on back of neck
  • 2Extremely dry skin
  • 3Dry or flaking scalp
  • 4Hair thinning or loss
  • 5Red, inflamed rashes
  • 6Burning or itching skin

hair-salon-shampoo-conditioner-cosmetic gluten-free

Gluten-Free Conditioners

I’m not going to sugar coat the fact that finding the right gluten-free conditioner and other gluten-free body products won’t be the most wondrous task. But the bottom line is that you need to take care of YOU — inside and out. Read those labels, check manufacture websites and call customer service. The cosmetic industry has come a long way with improved ingredient transparency. There are many awesome gluten-free brands to explore.

Note: If you’re suffering from skin issues, be sure to visit your dermatologist. While I do have celiac disease and have reactions to gluten on my skin, I’m not a doctor.



Maureen Stanley was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2005. Way back before gluten-free was “mainstream“. Maureen created Hold The Gluten blog and podcast in 2008 as a way to connect members of the gluten-free community across the world.

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