DMDM Hydantoin Hair Loss: What You Need to Know

by Colleen Welsch on October 29th, 2021
dmdm hydantoin hair loss

Have you heard of DMDM hydantoin hair loss? It’s rumored that popular hair care products formulated with this ingredient can actually damage the hair and scalp, leading to hair thinning. In fact, class-action lawsuits have been filed against certain popular hair brands for including this ingredient in their products. But is there any truth to this claim? Keep reading to learn more about DMDM hair loss.

What is DMDM Hydantoin?

DMDM hydantoin is a type of antimicrobial compound called a formaldehyde releaser or donor. DMDM hydantoin releases small amounts of formaldehyde, which prevents bacteria and mold from growing.

So, what is formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling, naturally-occurring chemical that is often used in industrial cleaning products thanks to its ability to kill germs. It is also commonly used as a preservative in funeral homes and medical labs.

Although formaldehyde is a common ingredient, there is evidence that it’s a carcinogen (cancer-causing compound). According to the American Cancer Society1, exposure to formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory test animals.

But because formaldehyde is so effective at preventing the growth of bacteria and mold, DMDM is commonly added to hair care products like shampoo to preserve them and increase their shelf life. DMDM hydantoin is a very popular preservative and is found in many widely available shampoos, conditioners, and other water-based hair products.

shampoos with dmdm hydantoin

Does DMDM Hydantoin Cause Hair Loss?

Most of the evidence that DMDM causes hair loss is anecdotal. Scientifically speaking, the jury is still out on whether DMDM hydantoin causes hair loss.

“According to scientific research, DMDM hydantoin is a safe cosmetic ingredient when used at regulated levels,” says Gretchen Friese, a trichology consultant. “The amount of formaldehyde released from DMDM hydantoin is about the equivalent to the amount that naturally occurs in one medium-sized apple or pear.”

However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to steer clear of this ingredient regardless. A 2011 study2 indicated formaldehyde-releasing ingredients like DMDM hydantoin can cause allergic contact dermatitis and contact eczema in people who are allergic to formaldehyde.

The good news? There are plenty of other preservative ingredients on the market, and it’s easy to find products that are formulated without DMDM hydantoin. Just make sure to check the label before purchasing or using a new beauty product.

ingredient in shampoo that causes hair loss lawsuit

How to Prevent DMDM Hydantoin Hair Loss

If you’re concerned about DMDM hydantoin hair loss, the best thing to do is avoid shampoos formulated with DMDM hydantoin. Instead, choose a shampoo and conditioner that use other ingredients as preservatives.

We recommend Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Shampoo & Conditioner. This duo gently cleanses and lightly conditions with Ana:TelTM complex plus the key nutrients biotin, keratin, and zinc to leave hair looking naturally thicker and fuller.

If you are concerned about hair shedding, try Viviscal Hair Growth Supplements. Viviscal provides a clinically proven solution for men and women suffering from fine or thinning hair to achieve thicker, fuller, and healthier hair in 3–6 months*.

The secret is Viviscal’s combination of AminoMarTM plus key vitamins and minerals that are scientifically proven to nourish thinning hair and promote existing hair growth*. AminoMarTM was developed in the late 1980s based on studies of the fish- and protein-rich diet of the Inuit people and is found exclusively in Viviscal supplements.

And the results are impressive. In clinical studies, women using Viviscal saw a 32% increase in the number of terminal hairs and a nearly 40% decrease in hair shedding/loss in just 3 months+!

While DMDM hydantoin isn’t scientifically proven to cause hair loss, it’s still a wise move to choose products formulated without this ingredient. If you suspect you have DMDM hydantoin hair loss, talk to your doctor about possible causes and treatments.

+Ablon, G.; Dermatol Res Pract., 2015

1 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/formaldehyde.html

2https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S157821901170765X