I know what you’re thinking: homesickness, hair loss…and methylisothiazoli-what?
I know you are trying to connect the dots in your heads. Hell, I don’t blame you. Why am I telling those of you who aren’t homesick that you should read this post? And that cracker of a word, methylisothiazolinone. Um, yeah. I promise. You need to read this post.
So let’s start connecting the dots.
Deep in my blog archive are a few posts about homesickness that I wrote when I was trying to survive (or reconcile) my attempt at expat life in Australia. Although you, my regular readers, don’t really think about those posts much, the truth is that many a homesick and lonely person finds these posts, and they comment, ask for help, or just generally need to vent about how they feel. I spend a lot of time responding to these comments, especially the ones where I can almost feel their tears on my keyboard from the other side of the world. I feel so very bad for them, having felt the aching blackness of homesickness myself; I firmly believe that sometimes a few kind words, even from a virtual stranger, can make all the difference in the world.
My most recent homesick commenter stopped by yesterday. I have included her comment below, and an adaptation of my response follows. It is the catalyst for this post, which I’ve been meaning to write for a few weeks.
If you’ve ever suffered from itchy, phantom rashes, eczema, dermatitis, or the like; if you’re suffering from inexplicable, sudden hair loss; if you are pregnant or nursing, you should pay extra attention to the part about methylisothiazolinone.
Please remember that I am not a scientist or researcher…all information presented in this post has been cited so that you may investigate further and draw your own conclusions.
Tips for healing homesick hair (and avoiding MI-based skin issues):
- Avoid all products with methylisothiazolinone and methylcloroisothiazolinone (MCI). Period.
I now use the Organix Biotin & Collagen line for my hair. You can find it in most drugstores. I’ve switched to Palmolive Ultra Pure + Clear Dish Liquid. It’s extremely gentle.
- I started taking the supplements Appearex and Viviscal as soon as I was back in the States, and they really did wonders that first year back. I take them every day, and will forever. They are worth every penny. You can get them on drugstore.com.
- Don’t stress! Remember it takes time for hair to grow. It may be months before you see changes, but they will come. If after a year or so, you aren’t seeing significant progress, you might consider Rogaine. The only thing about it is once you start using it, you kind of have to stick with it forever. But then again, having hair forever is pretty important to many, so it’s really a blessing if you use it and it yields worthwhile results.
¹ From Wikipedia: Methylisothiazolinone:
“Methylisothiazolinone is commonly used in products in conjunction with methylchloroisothiazolinone, a mixture sold under the registered trade name Kathon CG. A common indication of sensitivity to Kathon CG is Allergic contact dermatitis…
Due to increase usage of Isothiazolinone-based preservatives in recent years, a major increase of reported contact allergy to this product have been reported, and in 2013 it was dubbed the 2013 Contact Allergen of the Year.“
“…reformulated Pantene products include 13 substances, including polymers, that P&G has never used before.”
“…dermatologists warn people are being exposed to much higher doses than before, leading to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis where the skin becomes red and itchy and can sting and blister.
Experts say the chemical is second only to nickel in causing contact allergies. One in 12 adults and one in five children in the UK now have eczema, of which contact dermatitis is one of the most common types.”
“MIT is a common biocide and preservative used in industrial and household products such as shampoos, toothpastes, soaps and other body care products. Also MIT is used in dehumidifiers so it can be detected in air conditioned indoor air. When it was introduced in the market as an ingredient of cosmetics and personal care products there were no studies testing in any way its safety.
This changed in 2002 when the first study by Dr Shen Du from the University of Pittsburg was published and reported that MIT displays strong neurotoxic and cytotoxic properties in vitro; this means that cells and specifically neural cells die, upon exposure to MIT...Another study in 2004 from the same research group tried to simulate chronic exposure to MIT, like the one most of us probably have sustained while using toothpastes, hair dyes and shampoos containing small doses of MIT for prolonged period of times. MIT was found to inhibit proper growth and development of neurons. Imagine the potential damage unborn babies are subjected to because the mother shampoos her hair or brushes her teeth with MIT loaded products. In the study, the length of neural axis only managed to reach half of the total length it reached without MIT; this could mean fewer synapses (connections between neural cells) and reduced brain development for the newborn.“