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The Hégor Dermatologie Climbazole 50 anti-dandruff shampoo is a lone ranger relying on the efficacy of climbazole to reduce Malassezia yeast populations. An ingredient which is less well studied in lone use than in combination with other anti-dandruff actives. It performs well in use, however, is let down by an ingredients list littered with allergens and irritants – including some of the harshest perfumes and preservatives.
If you suffer from a sensitive scalp, I would look elsewhere.
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Hégor Dermatologie Climbazole 50 anti-dandruff shampoo is a designed to treat sufferers of dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis.
It looks decidedly medical in appearance. It is unfussy in looks and in anti-dandruff approach focusing on the use of just one anti-dandruff active ingredient – Climbazole. An ingredient effective as an anti-fungal, helping to reduce the dermatological tell-tale sign of dandruff – an overgrowth of Malassezia yeast.
You’ve probably never heard of Hégor before. You probably haven’t stumbled across this anti-dandruff shampoo online either… Could it be the best-kept secret to your dandruff? Let’s take a look…
Hégor are not new to hair. In fact, they first started out many years back in 1929 when Doctor Lachartre, a pharmacist, took it into his own hands to help create hair care solutions with dermatological efficacy. In 1997, the Hégor brand renewed their mission to focus on hair care products for 3 common concerns; dandruff, lice and hair loss.
The Hégor company mission is great news, why choose an anti-dandruff shampoo from a hair care company who’ve added it on to their extensive range when instead you can choose an anti-dandruff shampoo from a company who specializes in dandruff.
If you know nothing about anti-dandruff shampoos and their active ingredients, this is a top tip for choosing anti-dandruff shampoos with efficacy.
Initially, the Hégor brand, checks out, but what do ‘the goods’ provide?
The Hégor Dermatologie Climbazole 50 anti-dandruff shampoo arrived in a sturdy outer carton with a very medicinal look. There’s no fuss here, there’s one message, ‘anti-dandruff shampoo, climbazole’, there’s simple branding and there’s no mistaking this products intention. It screams I am a medicated shampoo, take me seriously, I will work.
On opening the carton, inside is a 150ml white bottle with a “take me seriously” simple label. The bottle itself has a medical dosing spout. It’s carefully tucked away inside the lid and all you need to do is pull it up and carefully squeeze to begin a very controllable dose of this Climbazole 50 formula.
This is a great bottle, but how does the Hégor Dermatologie Climbazole 50 anti-dandruff shampoo wash?
One word: Effectively.
With so many anti-dandruff shampoos being pearlized and colored, you might be surprised to find the Hégor anti-dandruff shampoo is a completely clear gel with a light and pleasant scent. It lathers easily, spreads well and washes out thoroughly. The wash performance of the Hégor anti-dandruff shampoo cannot be knocked.
Question is, can the ingredients list match its appearance and initial wash performance?
The Hégor Dermatologie Climbazole 50 anti-dandruff shampoo relies upon 1 anti-dandruff active – climbazole. The most important aspect of any anti-dandruff shampoo is its active ingredients. The second most important aspect of any anti-dandruff shampoo is its active ingredient concentration.
Here comes the clever part. Because of specific (mostly US-based) cosmetic regulations, many general sales skin, hair and beauty products are not allowed to declare the concentration of ingredients on the pack – this begins to blur the line between cosmetics and drugs.
Many companies get around this by naming their products with leading taglines, in the case of Hégor this is ‘climbazole 50’. Meaning the product contains 0.5% climbazole. Hégor also makes the same formulation as climbazole 150, meaning a climbazole concentration of 1.5%.
Now we know how concentrated the anti-dandruff active is, does it work?
Many research studies have looked into the use of climbazole in combination with other anti-dandruff actives such as zinc pyrthione. Fewer have looked into the use of climbazole alone. However, those that have, show the following;
- A 2001 study showed at a 0.65% treatment, Climbazole is effective at treating moderate to severe seborrheic dermatitis with 80% of participants showing a successful reduction by 4 weeks of use.
- A 1989 published Colgate-Palmolive patent, noted that ‘a 1% Climbazole shampoo at pH 4.0 is significantly better at reducing dandruff than either a 1% Climbazole shampoo at pH 7.0 or the current U.S. Head and Shoulders shampoo.’ pH is noted to affect the deposition of anti-dandruff actives onto the scalp, therefore affecting the concentration your scalp receives. It seems the dose of climbazole alone is not a good marker of efficacy, but pH also needs to be considered. The fact a huge company such as Colgate-Palmolive patented a climbazole anti-dandruff shampoo technology alludes to the fact this active ingredient can be very effective alone.
- A 60 person study concluded that a formulation of 1% climbazole shampoo with a once-daily application was effective against itching, peeling and dry or oily skin. The study noted 13% of participant achieved ‘clinical cure’ at the end of the trial.
It is clear that climbazole in combination with a low pH may prove very effective at treating dandruff, so next our heads turn to the accompanying ingredients.
…and there are many ingredients that can cause contact dermatitis to look out for including;
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate – an irritating surfactant
- Cocamidopropyl betaine – a surfactant with allergenic potential
- Parfum – a mixture of potentially irritating ingredients
- Benzyl Salicylate – a fragrance allergen
- Linalool – as above
- Lillial – as above
- Methylisothiazolinone/Methylchloroisothiazolinone – better known as Kathon CG, these irritating and allergy causing preservatives were named Contact Allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society in 2013
Phew – out of the 15 ingredients included, there are a whopping 8 that are highlighted to cause irritation, allergy or sensitivity – bad news for sensitive dandruff and seb derm scalps.
The Hégor Dermatologie Climbazole 50 anti-dandruff shampoo is a lone ranger relying on the efficacy of climbazole to reduce Malassezia yeast populations. An ingredient that is less well studied in lone use than in combination with other anti-dandruff actives. It performs well in use, however, is let down by an ingredients list littered with allergens and irritants – including some of the harshest perfumes and preservatives.
If you suffer from a sensitive scalp, I would look elsewhere.
First Class MChem in Chemistry
A master of chemistry, a product formulation expert and a regular reviewer on this site. Megan wishes to remain partially anonymous so she can be candid about her employer's and competitor products.