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Do you think of your kid’s health as more important than your own?
Do you worry about using medicated products on their skin?
Want to help them get rid of embarrassing dandruff but don’t know how to do it safely?
Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo is branded to help treat your kid’s dandruff when they are between 2 to 12 years old.
With a 1% zinc pyrithione formula it is FDA approved to make anti-dandruff claims.
It’s a basic formula though, not distinct from many adult shampoos. and harsher than many. It contains some contact irritants and allergens that are extremely surprising in a children’s shampoo.
There are far better shampoos out there.
User Review( votes)
Your child has dandruff.
What can you do?
How can you help them?
Will an adult anti-dandruff shampoo work or should you be using an anti-dandruff shampoo made for kids?
Haircare can be confusing… when you don’t know what to look for. Which is the situation for almost all of us because ALL anti-dandruff shampoos look the same.
The color and scent might change – but at the end of the day – they’re a liquid which foams.
Before we detail how Sulfur8’s key active works (…and therefore if it can help you get rid of your kid’s dandruff) let’s take a look at the company who make Sulfur8. Are they experts in dandruff?
J.Strickland & Co. are the US based makers of Sulfur8.
Visit J.Strikckland’s website and you’ll discover they’re self-branded as the most complete line of ethnic haircare, cosmetics and skincare products sold worldwide. A journey they’ve been on since 1936.
The founding of J.Strickland and Co is not a romantic one. 1 man, 1 business idea, 1 company – his mission to give value for money and to make a product for less i.e. you win and the company wins.
Among J.Strickland’s product portfolio you’ll find gloss8, African Gold, White Rose and Royal Crown.
Navigating through their website there is limited information available – for a company who’ve existed since 1936 their internet presence is small. This could be because they have no need for it and mainly sell through 3rd party retailers i.e. Amazon.
Now onto the shampoo. What should you expect when your bottle of Sulfur8 kids anti-dandruff shampoo arrives?
Bold, loud and colorful are 3 words to describe Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo.
Arriving in a 7.5oz/222ml bottle – Sulfur8 kids anti-dandruff shampoo branding is bright and snazzy. Yellow, blue and pink – yes this will appeal to your kids.
It’s not luxury, but it doesn’t need to be.
The flip top cap is easy to use – plus it’s childproof. Drop a bottle into the bath and it will not fill with water.
Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo is sturdy enough for the youngest of kids to use.
FYI – Sulfur8 claim their shampoo as safe for use by 2 to 12 year olds.
Now onto the shampoo itself. First stop – how does Sulfur8 kids anti-dandruff shampoo perform? What can you or your kid expect when using it?
Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo comes out of the bottle as an opaque blue liquid. If you’ve used head and shoulders shampoo this is similar – it’s also similar in formulation – we’ll speak more about this soon.
The shampoo is not an aggressive foamer. Meaning you may find Sulfur8 kids anti-dandruff shampoo a little more difficult to spread versus standard shampoos. If your kid has thick hair it may be best to use 2 or 3 smaller doses on different areas of scalp.
The good news – when it comes to washing out the subtly scented formula quickly thins on contact with water making rinsing out a breeze.
Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo works as a shampoo. The question is, does it work as an anti-dandruff shampoo?
The answer to this question can be found by quick analysis of the ingredients list. While we look at the ingredients used in Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo we’re also going to be looking to see if they back the claims Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo makes:
- Cleans and conditions
- Moisturises and softens
Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo is a single active formula based on 1% zinc pyrithione.
Zinc Pyrithione is one of the most popular and oldest active ingredients used today to combat dandruff caused by seb derm. It’s also an FDA approved treatment. Used at a concentration between 0.3 to 2% the FDA approve zinc pyrithione as an active ingredient for the control of dandruff. Used in concentrations between 0.1 to 0.25% the FDA approve zinc pyrithione as a leave on active for the control of seborrheic dermatitis. At concentrations between 0.95 to 2% as a wash off active for control of seborrheic dermatitis.
Claims 1 and 2 are correct. Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo is medicated and as it uses 1% zinc pyrithione is FDA approved to claim anti-dandruff.
Note: Zinc pyrithione is considered a sensitive skin friendly active when used at approved concentrations, therefore, it’s a perfect pick for your kid’s scalp.
There’s a plethora of evidence that demonstrates the efficacy of Zinc Pyrithione. Among the most prominent studies are:
- A trial published in 2002 followed 160 people using 1% zinc pyrithione anti-dandruff shampoo over 4 weeks. 67% showed a significant improvement in total dandruff severity score.
- A research study published in 2001 concluded scalp changes which induce dandruff i.e. hyperproliferation (skin making more skin cells) and amount of intercellular lipid (i.e. oily scalp) can be improved with zinc pyrithione shampoo i.e. regular use of a zinc pyrithione shampoo can help control dandruff.
- An in vitro antifungal activity study published in 1990 confirmed zinc pyrithione to have significant benefit against fungus and yeast in concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 100ug/ml. The same study showed zinc pyrithione to have antifungal activity equal to selenium sulphide however inferior to ketoconazole.
- A 2011 study showed 3 weeks use of zinc pyrithione shampoo (head and shoulders) significantly reduces the perception of itch.
Does Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo live up to all of its claims?
Claim 3. Yes, Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo is likely to help give your kid anti-itch effects.
Claim 4. Yes, Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo is likely to reduce your kids scalp flakes as it reduces symptoms of dandruff and itching i.e. kills off the yeast which overgrow in dandruff prone scalps.
To answer our last 2 claims ‘cleans and conditions’ plus ‘moisturizers and softens’ we need to look at Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo inactive ingredients.
First up are a few not so helpful ingredients to be aware of:
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine – a cleansing active named Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society
- Benzyl Alcohol – a preservative and EU listed allergen
- Methylisothiazolinone – a preservative named allergen of the year in 2013 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Responsible for an unprecedented epidemic of contact dermatitis.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone – a preservative sold under the trade name Kathon CG when used in conjunction with Methylisothiazolinone. A cause of severe contact dermatitis in sufferers.
- Fragrance – a potential source of irritants for especially sensitive scalps
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – A less irritating alternative to SLS. It has a larger molecule so is less likely to get stuck between scalp cells and upset your kid’s scalp biology
- Ammonium Laureth Sulfate – A less irritating alternative to SLES.
Other than the lack of SLS (a common shampoo cleanser) Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo does not, in our opinion, contain enough helping ingredients to claim it can condition or moisturize your kid’s scalp.
It can however clean.
Would I recommend this shampoo?
On the bright side, Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo contains a sensitive skin friendly FDA approved anti-dandruff active ingredient. It’s an active ingredient that is proven to work, particularly in cases of mild seb derm – more severe cases warrant a trip to the dermatologist. Somewhat surprisingly, it does not contain sulfur as the name suggests.
That’s where the good news ends. The rest of the formula is basic at best and very poor in places. It doesn’t really do anything to warrant the kid’s friendly tag, and I’ve reviewed much gentler adult shampoos than this.
There’s also a few not-so-helpful surfactants and preservatives which may cause contact dermatitis. Potentially severe outbreaks too.
This isn’t for children with sensitive scalps.
Find a dandruff prone scalp that isn’t sensitive…
For a small price Sulfur8 kid’s anti-dandruff shampoo may be worth trying if your kid or kids do not have hypersensitive skin/easily allergic skin – but there are better shampoos out there.
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.