Head and Shoulders Fine & Oily Hair

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Head & Shoulders, And Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dandruff

Aug 14, 2001 (Updated Aug 17, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It does control dandruff, lathers nicely.

Cons:I don't care for the smell.

The Bottom Line: This did manage my dandruff, but left my hair dull and lifeless. It was recommended by our dermatologist because it contained the active ingredient pyrithione zinc, that effectively fights dandruff.

Since this review is on Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo for Fine or Oily Hair I will start my review on this product. Then I will share with you what we have learned about this common condition from our dermatologist, and what to do about it - then I will suggest some natural, homeopathic remedies for dealing with dandruff and other related conditions of the scalp.

~The Stigma of Dandruff~
Remember the old commercials? Boy meets girl. Boy flirts with girl. Boy notices those telltale white flakes on girls shoulder!! Egad!! She has dandruff! Fortunately, having dandruff is not as horrific as that old melodramatic commercial would have us believe. It is a very common condition.

~Active Ingredients~
Everyone in our family suffers from an oily, flaky scalp. Mine is a fairly minor problem, while my husbands is more severe. He suffers from more than simple dandruff, but also has a few red sores and pimple like lesions on his scalp. His dermatologist recommended Head & Shoulders. The Dr. did give us some latitude in choosing an anti-dandruff shampoo, but he said the key ingredient to look for was pyrithione zinc. Head & Shoulders contains 1% of this key, medicinal ingredient. Most other anti-dandruff shampoos on the market also contain the same percentage of pyrithione zinc.

~Inactive Ingredients~
Water, ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauroyl, sarcosinate, glycol distearate, sodium sulfate, fragrance, DMDM hydantoin, disodium phosphate, sodium phosphate, lauryl alcohol, PEG-600, sodium chloride, polyquaternium-10, and FD&C Blue #1.

~Directions for use~
After wetting hair, massage onto scalp (massaging helps rid your scalp of all those tiny flakes of dead skin). Rinse, repeat if desired. Now I must say, my hairdresser once told me that you don't need to shampoo twice. Especially when my hair is squeeky clean after the first sudsing. I hardly ever repeat wash when I use my regular shampoo, BUT we were also informed via our Dr. that washing twice with a dandruff shampoo does actually serve some benefit. The first washing gets rid of the oil and flakes, while the second washing concentrates on the scalp. For best results use at least two times a week (or as your Dr. directs). To control dandruff, use Head & Shoulders every time you shampoo.

~Product Information and Performance~
Head & Shoulders lathers great, just a small dab of the thick blue liquid will result in a head full of suds. We purchase the large size (33.9 oz) at Costco for about $8.00, by far the cheapest price in town. Since we all have oily hair, we purchase the formula for fine and oily hair. My husband is very happy with Head & Shoulders, and can't understand why I don't care for it. He likes the way it leaves his hair, clean and manageable. My experience with it has not been overwhelmingly positive. Sure, it has controlled my occasional bouts of dandruff, but my hair just doesn't seem to shine as much as it used to. I don't care for the smell either. When I smell it straight from the bottle it smells okay, kind of sweet and flowery - but when I shampoo my hair with it, the smell lingers on my hair all day long, and it is not at all pleasurable.

The bottle states that Head & Shoulders will "thoroughly clean fine or oily hair without drying". Although I wasn't pleased with the scent, this claim is true, it didn't dry out my hair or scalp. It also claims to be gentle enough to use every day. My husband can attest to that, but I only use it twice a week. Lastly, Proctor and Gamble claim that it can be used on permed or colored hair, this is also true. I have tried it with permed hair, and I have blonde highlights in my hair. I have not had any problems in this area while using Head & Shoulders.

One complaint I have about the bottle is the way the cap is designed. I prefer flip top caps, but this particular large bottle has a small area on the top of the cap that you must press down on. When you do, a wedge shaped section of the cap pops up, about 1/4 of an inch in height, and the shampoo comes out of a small rectangular hole. This hole gets gunked up with dried on shampoo and when that happens the cap doesn't open and shut properly.

Since the bottle is so large, it is also quite heavy - (you don't want to drop this bottle on your toes while you're taking a shower!) When the shampoo is nearly gone, it is hard to get the remaining amount out of the bottle, and it's so tall that tipping it upside down doesn't always work - it falls over. I usually simply prop it up on my counter top against a newer bottle, and let the excess shampoo drain into the new one. I hate waste!

~Health Advisory~
According to the "Safe Shoppers Bible", Head and Shoulders for Fine or Oily Hair was rated as having "minimal risk" as far as having any ingredients that are carcinogenic. The only product listed in this book that was listed as "little or no risk" was "Ecco Bella Dandruff Therapy Shampoo". I will add that there were two brands listed that were under the "caution" category as far as risk is concerned. This is good news for Head & Shoulders lovers!

~Other Head & Shoulders Products~
Head & Shoulders now makes a whole new line of anti-dandruff shampoo. The new products are:
* Classic Clean
* Classic Clean 2 in 1 (contains a conditioner too)
* Dry Scalp Care
* Extra Fullness (adds volume)
* Smooth & Silky 2 in 1
* Refresh (gives a tingling sensation and soothes itching)
* Intensive Treatment

I guess they have to put warnings on everything these days! Some warnings are so silly! This product is for "external use only". I'd like to know how many people were planning on drinking this?? I'm sure this warning is put there for the benefit of curious children, they do tend to get into everything, but really - a child that is old enough to read this warning should be smart enough to know that you don't drink it!

Avoid contact with eyes. This makes sense, since some shampoo's do say "no tears formula". If you do get it in your eyes, you are to rinse them well with water.

If your dandruff problem doesn't get better using Head & Shoulders, you should see your Dr.

Keep out of reach of children.

~Manufacturer Information~
Head & Shoulders is made by the Proctor and Gamble company, (who by the way, also makes Pantene True Confidence Dandruff Shampoo).

~Proctor & Gamble Customer Service~
I visited the Head & Shoulders website and requested a free 4 ounce bottle of one of their new anti-dandruff shampoo. I also called the 800 number on the bottle, and asked some questions about their different products. During the conversation I mentioned that I did not care for the smell of what our family is using, but that my husband liked it just fine. She was so nice, she said "since you can't use it, I will send you a coupon good for a free bottle of any of our shampoos, which one would you like to try?" Wow! After reading mellisasrn's opinion on Pantene True Confidence Anti-dandruff Shampoo I asked if Proctor & Gamble also made that version, and she replied yes they did. I asked if she could send me a coupon to try it instead of the Head & Shoulders newest products, and she happily agreed. I could not believe how accomodating and helpful she was!! When I get the two products in the mail, I'll come back to epinions and let you know how I like them!

~What Is Dandruff?~
According to Websters Dictionary, dandruff is "little scales or flakes of dead skin formed on the scalp". Dandruff can make our hair look drab and lifeless. I have read that over half the US population is affected with a dry scalp at some time in their lives, it's a very common problem. There are several conditions related to dandruff, some are more severe and harder to treat than others.

~Dry Scalp~
This condition is caused mainly because of a loss of moisture to the scalp, which results in a dry, itchy scalp. The flakes of dead skin normally tend to be smaller than the flakes associated with dandruff. Many of us have experienced a dry scalp, and it is often worse in the winter when the air is dry and cold and we spend more time in closed up houses and offices. The over use of hair dryers and hair care products containing alcohol also contribute to this condition.

~Seborrheic Dermatitis~
This is evident by a more serious flaking of dead skin cells, combined with itching and red, irritated spots on the scalp. If we have dry skin, our bodies answer to that problem is to produce more oil (sebum), but if too much oil is made it prevents the cells from forming the way they should. This over production of oil causes Seborrheic Dermatitis. It is thought that this condition may be related to a skin condition called psoriasis.

~What Causes Dandruff?~
Everyone's scalp sheds dead skin (our whole body does). In fact, did you know that about once a month all the cells on our body are shed and replaced with totally new cells? However, people with Dandruff shed more dead skin than normal, which results in flakes that are then visible to us and to others. Many factors contribute to dandruff - including diet, hormones, weather, stress and oily skin. Hormones are involved because the amount of oil our bodies produce is controlled by our hormonal changes. Infants offen suffer from "cradle cap", a problem very similar to dandruff, which is caused by the infants exposure to his mother's hormones.

Some researchers believe that dandruff could be caused by either Malassezia or Pityrosporum, which are both a form of fungus. A fungus? Ewwww! Don't worry, from what I have read this is also a common condition that occurs on most peoples scalps. It is thought that the regular use of shampoo's containing harsh cleansing ingredients can contribute to this problem, along with possibly causing the overgrowth of yeast.

When our scalp has more than normal amounts of oil and dead skin, baceria and yeast thrive on this added nourishment. To take care of these problems, one must find a way to decrease the production of oil and dead skin, and the bacteria and yeast that result from them.

~Treatments for Dandruff~
The scalp needs to be washed often to remove the dead skin, oil, bacteria and yeast. The FDA recognizes five anti-fungal ingredients that are effective in the treatment of dandruff. They are: pyrithione zinc, selenium sulfide, ketoconazole, climbazole, and octopirox. Coal tar is often found in dandruff shampoos as well. This slows down the production of skin cells. I don't know about you, but I have used products with coal tar in them and they made my head tingle and my eyes burn! I think I will shy away from a shampoo that uses industrial oils as one of their ingredients! Still other component of dandruff shampoo is a keratolytic ingredient, which fractures the keratin that bonds skin cells. This can help control the flaking, but it doesn't get to the underlying cause of the problem. Two common keratolytic ingredients are sulfur and salicylic acid.

We were also recommended to leave the dandruff shampoo on for a full five minutes (after the second washing), so that the medicine can penetrate the skin and start to do it's job.

Our dermatalogist also explained that frequently using cosmetics such as hair gels, hair sprays, and conditioners can actually aggrevate the problem. Since my husband started using Head & Shoulders daily, along with using his regular hair spray, his scalp looks 95% better!

~Natural Remedies~
I know that many people in the epinions community would rather go the "all natural" route whenever possible. I am one of those people. Unfortunately, the only truly natural anti-dandruff shampoo I was able to find is just too expensive, costing almost $20 for an 8 ounce bottle (plus shipping)! There are, however, some things that can help. If you have a mild case of dandruff you might try the following:

* Quassia Bark - natural antibacterial
* Jojoba Oil - natural antibacterial and moisturizer
* Zinc - natural antifungal
* Cedar Leave Oil - antibacterial & antiseptic
* Lavender Oil - antiseptic
* Jasmine Oil - good for dry skin

~~Shampoo every day to rid the scalp of excess oil and flakes.

~~DON'T ITCH, this just makes more flakes (and could make your scalp susceptible to infection).

~~Cut down on your use of hair care products.

~~Try not to over stress about things. This just aggrevates the condition!

~~Avoid greasy, fried, and fatty foods.

~~Try nutritional therapy using vitamins C, E, B Complex, Betacarotene, Kelp and Zinc. Primrose capsules may also help.

~~Topically apply vitamin E oil to scalp.

~~If you must use a "dandruff" shampoo, try a selenium based shampoo.

I hope this information will be helpful to you!!

Recommend this product? Yes

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