Is Head and Shoulders Bad For Your Hair?

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Have you ever had to deal with a flaky snowstorm-type situation on your shoulders? Then, you know that this is one of the embarrassing results of dandruff.

You may even have an itchy and irritated scalp to go along with it. This scenario has the potential to drive you crazy.

At some point, you would have grabbed a bottle of Head & Shoulders off the shelf at your local corner store. But now you’ve heard the rumors. Is Head and Shoulders bad for your hair?

In this article, we’ll take a close look at Head and Shoulders, and what it does to your hair.


Is Head and Shoulders Bad For Your Hair?

Since 1961, Head & Shoulders has become one of the most recognized shampoo brands. This is because of the effective way in which it fights dandruff. It prevents flakey dandruff while helping to maintain a healthy scalp and hair.

You can guarantee that almost everyone who had to deal with dandruff bought a bottle of Head & Shoulders.

Over the years, Head and Shoulders has improved on the original dandruff formula. It now counts as one of the most popular ranges of hair care products available worldwide.

Along with its anti-dandruff shampoo, there are also conditioners, oils, and styling gels in the Head & Shoulders lineup.

Head & Shoulders is safe to use when eliminating the hair of excess oil and greasy flakes. These flakes are from the dead skin cells that accumulate on your scalp. And it does this job very effectively.

But, if you don’t have dandruff, and if your hair is already dry and damaged, the Head & Shoulders can be bad for your hair. Like other popular hair care products like Pantene, there are potential downsides to these lines as well.

If you don’t have dandruff, or your hair is already dry and damaged, then in this instance, the Head & Shoulders can be bad for your hair.

It’s All About The Ingredients

The ingredients in Head & Shoulders shampoo in a formulation that works to help you. This eases your flakes.

If you don’t have dandruff, this chemical mix can work to make your hair worse. Thus, resulting in breakage and dry, dull, and lifeless hair.

Let’s look at the main active ingredients that make Head & Shoulders:

Zinc Pyrithione

Head & Shoulders uses a highly effective and unique form of zinc pyrithione. This mineral complex has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties.

Zinc pyrithione is a popular addition that support tackling dandruff, scalp acne, and psoriasis. It kills all bacteria, fungus, and microbes that can cause an itchy scalp.

Selenium Sulfide

This chemical is a powerful antifungal medication. It works by stopping the yeast that causes dandruff from growing on your scalp. This prevents severe flaking from occurring.

It can cause some people to have unusual oiliness or dryness instead. If this is the case with you, try our natural dandruff alternative recommendations.

Zinc Carbonate

Head & Shoulders is the only anti-dandruff shampoo on the market that uses zinc carbonate. You might know zinc carbonate better as calamine. Scientists have now changed its name again to smithsonite.

This mineral works as an astringent to dry skin lesions leftover from itching and scratching. It also works to moisturize the scalp.

The combination of these three key active ingredients helps to reduce your dandruff. It also conditions your hair to prevent it from becoming weak and damaged.

However, as we know, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Some people have bad reactions when using Head & Shoulders, even if they suffer from dandruff. The most common adverse reactions include patchy hair loss and breakage.

Thus, it may be of benefit to you to look for alternatives that you can use that will help you get rid of your dandruff.

This may interest those of you who have used Head & Shoulders in the past, and it didn’t work as you would have liked.

So let’s take a look at some more natural alternatives…

Natural Dandruff Alternatives

If you have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in your cupboard, then you may be surprised to discover that it has abilities that go far beyond adding it to your salad dressing.

Apple cider vinegar contains properties that help to soothe the scalp by lifting dead skin cells. So that they can be rinsed away.

You may be surprised to discover that apple cider vinegar has abilities that go far beyond adding it to your salad dressing — it’s great for dandruff, too!

It even balances the pH level of your scalp. When the natural pH of your scalp is balanced, its function is boosted to prevent hair loss and bring the shine back to your hair.

An Apple (Cider) a Day

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse before shampooing. When used this way, it acts like a clarifier, which will help strip any product buildup from the hair shaft. This chemical detox will allow your hair to breathe.

It can also stop breakage from heavy product accumulation.

This magical liquid even hydrates your hair by preventing moisture loss. It becomes healthier, stronger, and has a thicker and less frizzy appearance.

Apple cider vinegar also works to balance your scalp’s pH levels. This helps to reduce itching and flaking.

Last, but not least, apple cider vinegar is a great matted hair detangler. It is a great help when you want to keep your scalp from becoming even more irritated.

WOW, Skin Science’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner Set 

WOW Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo & Conditioner Set with Coconut & Avocado Oil - Men and Women Gentle Shampoo Set - Hair Growth Shampoo for Thinning Hair & Loss - Sulfate & Paraben Free
  • Nourishing Detox Treatment - Our hair...
  • Fight Flakes and Defeat Dandruff - A...
  • Strong Hair: This antioxidant boost will...
  • Plant-powered ingredients: Pure acv from...
  • WOW Skin Science Promise - At WOW Skin...

WOW’s Skin Science Cider Shampoo and Conditioner will provide your hair with nourishing detox treatment.

The inclusion of apple cider vinegar supports the condition of your hair. This is because it opens up clogged hair follicles to remove itchy build-up.

The formulation of both products also includes a nourishing blend of oils. This includes Argan and vitamin E. They are intended to restore elasticity. It also adds a healthy shine to your hair.

Skin Science Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and conditioner are both colors safe. This is for all hair types. They are also silicone, sulfate, and paraben-free. This helps your scalp heal without the use of harsh chemicals. And it’s vegan, too!

Pura D’or’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner 

PURA D'OR Apple Cider Vinegar Thin2Thick Set (16oz x 2) ACV Shampoo & Conditioner, Clarifying, Detox - Biotin, Keratin, Caffeine, Castor Oil, Aloe - All Hair Types, Men & Women (Packaging may vary)

Pura D’or’s set are among the best natural dandruff shampoos and conditioners available. This due to its inclusion of botanical active ingredients. One of which is apple cider vinegar, which helps to clarify damaged hair and restore it to vibrancy.

The other active ingredients of this duo include castor oil and biotin. This helps reduce hair from shedding and combat the thinning of hair. Whether it’s from blockage of your hair follicles, overuse of other products, or toxins from the environment. Both cruelty-free products are also free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones. It is also free of fragrance, and other harsh additives.

Spilling the Tea Tree

Another natural ingredient that is very effective at getting rid of dandruff is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil will manage dandruff from fungal infection or psoriasis.

Its tingling effect will also help to soothe any inflammation. This is caused by itching and scratching.

Giovanni’s Eco Chic Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo 

GIOVANNI Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo - Cooling Peppermint, Eucalyptus & Rosemary, Helps Strengthen & Rejuvenate Hair & Scalp, Salon Quality, Paraben Free, Tea Tree Shampoo - 24 oz
  • DEEP CLEAN - Enriched with Botanical...
  • COLOR SAFE CLEANSER - Invigorating...
  • VEGAN FRIENDLY - GIOVANNI products use...
  • ECO CHIC - GIOVANNI has been bridging...

The Eco Chic Tea Tree Shampoo will make your scalp tingle so much! You’ll feel it from your head to your toes. This certified organic shampoo will increase your scalp’s circulation and give you a bright, magical sensation. This is to stimulate your head and mind, as well as clarify, condition, and strengthen your hair.

Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Shampoo 

Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Shampoo, pH Balancing Formula To Calm Dry Itchy Scalp While Moisturizing & Nourishing Hair, With Tea Tree & Sage Oil, Natural, Vegan & Cruelty Free, 12 Fl Oz
  • HOW TO USE massage a generous amount of...

Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Shampoo is a moisturizing shampoo that will gently cleanse and soothe a dry and itchy scalp.

Containing tea tree oil, as well as salicylic acid and sage oil, it will calm your scalp with little tingles. This is effective in washing away your dandruff.

This shampoo also works to balance the pH level of your scalp and provides a fresh scent that will last all day. It’s a cruelty-free product. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemical agents like parabens, silicones, or sulfates. It is formulated from 97% natural ingredients.

Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Relief Soothing Scalp Treatment 

Yes To Tea Tree Scalp Treatment, Soothing Formula To Remove Build Up, Leaving Scalp Cleansed & Calm, With Tea Tree, Witch Hazel, Apple Cider Vinegar & Sage Oil, Natural, Vegan & Cruelty Free, 3 Fl Oz
  • HOW TO USE: Use 1-3 times per week as a...

This liquid gel scalp treatment will help to calm and soothe any dry and itchy scalp. It is safe for use on color-treated hair. This treatment can be used up to three times a week before shampooing. It helps alleviate scalp buildup.

Containing tea tree oil, witch hazel, sage oil, and apple cider vinegar, it also helps to clarify, cleanse and rebalance the hair while working the scalp.

And, like the shampoo from the same haircare range, the gel is free from harmful chemicals. It is cruelty-free and is made from 99% natural ingredients.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).