Head & Shoulder is probably the most popular anti-dandruff shampoo. This article will introduce heads and shoulders and explain how it works against dandruffs. Also we will reveal the truth does Head And Shoulders Cause Hair Loss?
One question many head and shoulder users have is whether it can contribute to hair loss. We will discuss the evidence for and against it. Finally, we will give some alternative suggestions for treating Dandruff.
Overview of Head and Shoulder Shampoo.
The Head & Shoulder brand was launched in the early 1960s. It was the first commercially available dandruff treatment that was easy to implement. Before the head and shoulders, dandruff sufferers used coal tar or egg oil.
These were the unpleasant treatments and could damage hair. Head and Shoulder was easy to use thus left the hair smelling pleasant and soft. In that sense, it was a significant advance in hair care. Presently, it is one of the most recognizable shampoo brands in the world.
The head and shoulder range presently includes various hair care products, such as conditioners, oils, styling gels and many others. Shampoo also comes in different versions. For example the clinical strength line was for heavy dandruff and the Supreme Line was for women.
All these head and shoulder products contain a variety of materials. However, most of them contain the same two basic active elements. We discuss them below.
There has been a significant controversy over the effectiveness of head and shoulder products. Many men claim that head and shoulder products caused or increased their hair loss and thinning. Before we investigate these claims, it is important to understand what A) is actually dandruff and B) how head and shoulders treat it.
Does Head And Shoulders Cause Hair Loss?
Head and shoulder is one of the most recognized brand names when it comes to relief and prevention from dandruff and dry scalp. It is the most popular brand for most people suffering from these conditions, but it has convinced some that the chemicals present in shampoo are causing their hair loss. But perhaps it is not so.
Using head and shoulders is usually the result of trying to get rid of some kind of dry, flaky, itchy scalp.
Even Sophia Varghese can be seen with her son showcasing her long, flowing, shiny, layer-free hair in advertisements announcing its benefits.
Dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis can all cause these issues in the scalp, but all of them affect in a different way on our hair, causing the illusion that head and shoulder shampoos are the cause of hair loss.
Dandruff is not harmful to hair in itself and does not even cause your hair loss. It is the acceleration of cell turnover rate in your scalp. Generally you don’t see that cells die and get out of your skull because they are too small, but when they die at a high speed and they collide, you will start to notice them.
Seborrheic dermatitis is another common skin condition – more severe than just dandruff, which can affect the face, ears, chest and waist, but mainly the skull, it is characterized by a waxy or greasy scale and redness in patches. If you have ever seen a newborn with a cradle cap, you have seen seborrheic dermatitis.
Psoriasis is even more inflammatory and can have thick silver or white crust or red plaque on the scalp and ears. Psoriasis is often found in other areas of the body such as elbows, knees, hands/feet, buttocks and waist.
These conditions of the scalp can be treat by using shampoo like head and shoulders, but if not treated properly, it can cause hair loss, which again can cause confusion for some people assuming that the head and shoulders are causing hair loss.
Most likely we need to check the root cause of what is causing your hair loss or thinning of hair, not shampoo.
What About Chemicals In The Head And Shoulders?
Some studies have been conducted on the relationship between hair loss and the use of dandruff shampoo, and these studies may also be the reason why some people believe that the head and shoulders are causing hair loss, but let’s take a look at one of them.
In this study, selenium sulfide was applied to the skull of a 37-year-old man and then the hair was examined and it was determined that many of these hairs were in a weak state, with anything broken on the shaft.(1)
The problem with finding out using this study is that the head and shoulders are damaging hair, that a solution containing 2.5% selenium sulfide was applied on a subject for four minutes and that subject had not washed its hair for more than a month.
Most head and shoulder products have zinc pyrithione as a 1% active ingredient and the new “clinical strength” version contains 1% selenium sulfide.
Most Americans wash their hair at least 1 time a week. Both zinc pyrithion and selenium sulfide are known as anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial which is why they help in many skin conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. These elements actually reduce oxidative stress which can hinder hair growth.
Like anything in life, when chemicals are used properly and with the right dose, they can be beneficial, while using too much or incorrectly can have adverse effects.
Finally, head and shoulders or any other reputable shampoo, perhaps not causing your hair loss or thinning, although if you suffer more than only normal dandruff, seek for proper medical advice on how to treat the underlying cause.
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- Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852869/