With the sheer quantity of harsh allergens they’ve added, if it didn’t smell and wash nice I would probably sue them.
Like most of us, Head and Shoulders was one of the first dandruff shampoos I tried to control my dandruff. And like many of us this effort was in vain and I quickly moved on to another product. It surprised me when I visited my pharmacy to see so many variants of Head and Shoulders out there these days. I bought the one labeled “For Men” and still have no idea why this one specifically is for us of a masculine disposition. Even less so when I opened the bottle and the shampoo smelled of fruit! I thought it might smell of musk or beer.
The shampoo contains 1% Zinc Pyrithione, an anti-bacterial agent that can help dandruff caused by mild Seborrhoeic Dermatitis. This surprised me somewhat as I specifically remember the old commercials showing dry scalp dandruff but I proceeded to wash my hair.
The shampoo washes very nicely, the foam felt very thick and my hair suitably moisturized afterward. I also felt a mild itching which turned into a red patch so I knew I’d put some pretty damaging chemicals on my head.
And I was right…
This bottle is like a who’s who of ingredients known to cause contact dermatitis. They haven’t even tried to create a gentle shampoo; adding the likes of SLS, SLES, Kathon CG, and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. That’s two of the most notorious ingredients in dandruff shampoos today (SLS & SLES) as well as one former and one current contact allergen of the year. Even the listed perfumes (Linalool and Limonene) are notoriously bad. Do a search for Linalool to see what I mean. Aside from the known contact allergens, it’s hard to find a chemical in there that’s not listed as hazardous on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Quite how this is supposed to clear dandruff without causing a bad reaction is anyone’s guess.
Head & Shoulders are a classic example of the power of cynical mass marketing over product. This isn’t a dandruff shampoo, this is a bottle of cheap contact allergens with a mild dandruff agent added as an after thought. If this clears your dandruff it’s a miracle. It goes without saying that there’s far far better alternatives out there.
The site owner. I founded, and have ran this site for too many years now.
I have extremely sensitive skin, have suffered from seb derm for all my adult life and this site is my way of doing something about it.
Check out my sister site at safehouseholdcleaning.com