Head & Shoulders is one of the most popular hair care brands that have launched shampoos, conditioners, oils, styling gels, and whatnot for the consumers. Even though the popularity of Head & Shoulders is ubiquitous, the authenticity of its quality is often in question.
While the brand speaks of caring about the hair and majorly targets dandruff, people complain of hair loss after its use. So, the question arises if there is really a link between this well-recognized brand and hair loss?
To know the answer, let’s look at the major causes of hair fall and the ingredients used to formulate Head & Shoulders. It will help us understand the topic of discussion more clearly.
Does Using Head and Shoulders Cause Hair Loss?
Types of Hair Loss
The three major types of hair loss are-
- Hair thinning
- Receding hairline
- Bald patches
No matter what affects you, the condition is frightening because when it comes to hair loss, every hair strand counts.
Hair grows in four different phases- growth phase (anagen), transition phase (catagen), resting stage (telogen), and shedding phase (exogen). Each phase holds an important place in a hair growth cycle. If any of the phases disturb, the cycle disrupts, leading to hair loss.
Reasons for Hair Loss
A person can experience hair loss due to different reasons. Hormonal imbalances, certain medical conditions, stress, family history, and irrational use of chemicals are to name a few.
Sometimes hair loss occurs due to an autoimmune disorder, Alopecia areata. In this condition, the body’s defense mechanism starts acting against healthy hair follicles, eventually eliminating them from the scalp. Likewise, hair loss due to androgens, a male sex hormone, is called Androgenetic alopecia.
Hair loss due to extreme stress refers to Telogen effluvium. People susceptible to it experience excessive shedding whenever a stressful situation triggers around them. Fortunately, this condition is temporary and can be managed.
Apart from these, hair loss may also occur due to unhealthy scalp conditions like-
- Not washing hair for many days
- Use of low-grade hair treatment products
Ingredients in Head & Shoulders
Head & Shoulders claims to manage and reduce dandruff from the head and its flakes from the shoulders for decades. To achieve this, the brand included two major active ingredients in its shampoos and conditioners- zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide. Let’s check how these chemicals work against dandruff.
Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT)
It is one of the most important ingredients in every anti-dandruff treatment due to its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. Apart from this, the ability to manage seborrhoea, a condition that causes scaly skin on the scalp, makes it more prominent.
How ZPT Works to Reduce Hair Loss?
- Reduces the amount of fungus and prevents the appearance of dandruff flakes
- Increases the level of zinc in the body and binds to proteins essential for bacterial and fungal activities.
- Starves the microorganisms of iron and prevents their growth.
- Increases the level of copper in the scalp and keeps fungus at bay.
Selenium Sulfide: In some cases, yeast is the major reason behind dandruff. Selenium sulfide is effective in such cases as it reduces yeast growth. It also has anti-seborrheic properties like ZPT.
How Selenium Sulfide Works?
- Relives itching and flaking of the scalp
- Removes dry and scaly particles
- Treats seborrhoea
Besides these two active ingredients, the inactive ingredients in Head & Shoulder are-
- Methylisothiazolinone, used as a preservative.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate and Sodium laureth sulphate, work as detergents for hair.
- Zinc carbonate thickens the shampoo’s appearance.
Is Head & Shoulder Linked with Hair Loss?
The answer is probably not. The reason behind this is the presence of active ingredients ZPT and Selenium sulfide that has nothing to do with hair loss. On the contrary, they are useful against dandruff that may cause hair thinning and bald patches in severe cases.
Several studies have been conducted to know the effect of ZPT and Selenium on hair. While ZPT in combination with minoxidil came out to be highly beneficial against dandruff and hair growth, Selenium in high concentration got linked with hair loss.
However, since in Head & Shoulders, Selenium sulfide is only 1%, it is fairly safe to use. So, what we conclude is there could be plenty of reasons for hair loss, but the use of Head & Shoulders shampoos and conditioners couldn’t be one of them. One can use it without any second thoughts; this is what the studies suggest.
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