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We can only recommend trying Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner if you don’t have a sensitive scalp or if you’re tired of medicated-smelling anti-dandruff shampoos giving you dull, dry, brittle hair. But in truth, there are cheaper dollar store bottles of Head and Shoulders that will be just as effective. And there are much gemtler, more considered zinc pyrithione formulations out there – click here to see our favorites.
User Review( votes)
With a 4.5 star rating on Amazon and the self-acclaimed title of being ‘the easy one-step anti-dandruff solution that really works!’ we just have to review this sturdy bottle of promise.
Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner. With a name like that, we just had to review it. With a horse silhouette featured on its front label, we initially thought this was a dandruff shampoo product for animal use. And after some digging, we found it once was and it was only the incredible (human) reviews that told us otherwise.
We start at the beginning. Who makes Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner and are they experts in scalp care?
Straight Arrow is their name and showhorses are apparently their game. An internet search confirms we’re not going mad – Mane ‘N Tail Shampoo was (originally) created for show horses. A shampoo formula created by the Katzev family who began in the business of horse farming in rural New Jersey.
It wasn’t long before the shampoo designed to gift glossy, shiny, show standard mane and tails was being used by the horse riders themselves. It became their best-kept secret… well until Mane ‘N Tail was founded in 1970.
What a backstory! It’s impressive and we’re always here to hold space for niche, little-known anti-dandruff formulas – to understand if these quirky-looking bottles could actually get you better anti-dandruff results than their medicinal-looking counterparts.
First step, let’s get to the nitty gritty first impressions.
On ordering your bottle of Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner you will receive a sturdy 12 fl oz/355ml bottle with two horses on the front label. Its simple blue, flip-top cap makes this an easy, no-spill product for shower use… or horse use. There’s no excess packaging to dispose of, this dandruff shampoo is ready to go.
As the creamy aqua-blue formula arrives in our palm, we notice the distinctive scent. It’s sweet – almost like bubble bath – and while it doesn’t overwhelm us it’s definitely not subtle. The formula lathers well into a creamy cover of small bubbles that spread well and easily wash away. You won’t notice a difference between this Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control Dandruff Shampoo and the most popular drugstore shampoo.
The first boxes are ticked – it looks like a shampoo, it works like a shampoo and yes we also found it impressively conditioning.
Now onto the most important piece of our puzzle. What is Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner made from? Does it contain active ingredients which work to fight dandruff? Does it contain active ingredients that could flare your sensitive scalp?
We’re all for a romantic back story but we also will not let it cloud our scientific judgment.
The bottom line is Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner is a zinc pyrithione based anti-dandruff shampoo. The same active ingredient used in your drugstore-accessible Head and Shoulders formula.
Zinc pyrithione is a go-to in anti-dandruff shampoos for one key reason – it’s an anti-fungal active. When we’re experiencing dandruff our scalps are playing host to an overgrowth of yeasts – yes, these are a member of the fungus family – but don’t let this freak you out – it’s very normal to have yeasts living on your scalp and your skin. Yeasts are a normal part of our microflora.
The two key yeasts science is pinpointing as a trigger for dandruff go by the names Malassezia restricta and Malassezia globose. Both yeasts thrive on scalp oils and this is why oily scalps are most prone to dandruff.
While it’s upsetting Mane ‘N Tail do not disclose the concentration of anti-fungal zinc pyrithione they’re using, a study published in 2020 shows us that out of all commonly used anti-fungal actives ‘zinc pyrithione has the lowest minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) range amongst antifungal shampoo isolates’.
[This 2020 study compared against ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, piroctone olamine, ciclopirox olamine and amphotericin B]
Meaning you don’t need a big dose to significantly cull malassezia yeasts from your scalp.
Here’s what we know about zinc pyrithione vs. your dandruff;
- It works for about 70% of dandruff cases, and it works from the third day of use (ref)
- In severe dandruff cases, zinc pyrithione anti-dandruff shampoos may be effective where traditionally harsher ketoconazole treatments are not – fact is there are now strains of malassezia yeasts that are resistant to ketoconazole
- ‘Contact time between shampoo and the scalp has been identified as a critical factor’ – which makes sense – contact time determines deposition amounts of zinc pyrithione – be sure your use of Mane ‘N Tail isn’t a 5-second lather and quick rinse
The bottom line is yes Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner has great promise to reduce embarrassing dandruff symptoms – to calm itch, to wash away bothersome flakes and to condition and nourish your hair.
It’s partnership with these key ingredients adds shine, glossiness and ‘show factor’;
- Dimethicone – think of dimethicone like ‘lubricant’ it makes hair easier to brush, prevents tangling and adds gloss
- Polyquaternium-10 – a flexible film forming agent and anti-static active – this prevents fly away hairs while also helping to flatten hair cuticles which can make skin look dull and damaged when open
- Polyquaternium-47 – more of the above benefits
- Natural oils and butter including cocoa seed butter and olive oil – prevent stripping of your natural hair oils – it’s just as important for humans as it is for animals – this is why brushing is encouraged in the care of animal coats – it encourages the travel of natural oils from the skin to the full length of each hair shaft – your hair needs oil to be glossy and healthy looking
While it might seem counterintuitive for an anti-dandruff shampoo to contain oils, after all, dandruff-causing yeast love to eat these oils, what we don’t want to do is strip your hair or scalp of all its oil. Your hair and scalp needs oil, it just needs this oil in the right concentrations.
Okay, so it’s all sounding pretty great for Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner – a little too great perhaps – what’s there to hate?
We have 5 key frustrations;
- It contains fragrance – can be irritating to sensitive scalps
- It also contains a significant helping of fragrance allergens i.e. Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Linalool – best avoided if you have a known skin reactivity or a hyper sensitive scalp
- There’s colorants in the mix i.e. Blue 1 (Cl 42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140) – we’re purists here at Dandruff Deconstructed and believe sensitive, irritated, dandruff-prone scalps shouldn’t be subjected to extra stress – some people have sensitivities to colorants like Blue 1 – therefore we would prefer it to not be here
- It contains harsher cleansing active i.e. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – however in likely smaller amounts than other shampoos – the overall formula also likely compensates for the impact of this with the use of dimethicone plus natural oils and butters
- It uses an old preservative system that some people are allergic to – Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone – in fact rates of sensitivity to this preservative system seem to be skyrocketing, in the years 2006-2009 scientists found a 3.35% sensitization rate vs. 2009-2012 showing an increased 11.14% sensitization rate
In reality, while we love to air our frustrations, these five are far from deal breakers if your scalp isn’t highly sensitive, hypersensitive or prone to contact allergies. That said, there are so many gentler zinc pyrithione shampoos found elsewhere.
We can only recommend trying Mane ‘N Tail Daily Control 2-In-1 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo & Conditioner if you don’t have a sensitive scalp or if you’re tired of medicated-smelling anti-dandruff shampoos giving you dull, dry, brittle hair. But in truth, there are cheaper dollar-store bottles of Head and Shoulders that will be just as effective. And there are much gentler, more considered zinc pyrithione formulations out there – click here to see our favorites.
Personally, despite the smell, the great wash and the incredible backstory – it’s a no from me.
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.