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Does Head and Shoulders Cause Hair Loss? | Not Exactly

Many people use Head and Shoulders to fight dandruff, but does it cause hair loss? 

What Is Head and Shoulders, and Does It Cause Hair Loss?

Head and Shoulders is a brand of shampoo and conditioner products. It is known for its anti-dandruff properties. Head and Shoulders’ products are unlikely to cause hair loss but may indirectly cause hair thinning or hair loss. 

If you have been struggling with dandruff, you have probably heard of Head and Shoulders. It is America’s #1 dandruff shampoo brand. Head & Shoulders is clinically proven to reduce dandruff, giving up to 100% dandruff protection for users.

With such high ratings, it’s a no-brainer to use Head and Shoulders for dandruff control, right? There has been some concern about the ingredients used in the Head and Shoulders and whether they are healthy for your hair.

Concerns about unhealthy scalps and the potential risk of hair loss have come from users. To get the best results for dandruff control and keep your hair and skin healthy, we have dove into whether Head and Shoulders cause hair loss.

Types of Hair Loss

To understand the correlation between the concerns of hair loss and Head and Shoulders products, first, you want to be familiar with the growth cycle of hair and different types of hair loss. Your hair grows in cycles.

There are four phases to the hair growth cycle:

  1. Anagen Phase: The anagen phase is the growth stage. Your hair follicles begin actively growing in this phase.
  2.  Catagen Phase: The catagen phase is the transition phase. The end of this phase signals the end of the anagen phase.
  3. Telogen Phase: The telogen phase is the resting stage. In the resting stage of the hair growth cycle, no new hair follicles form. Hair starts forming in the hair follicles released in the anagen phase.
  4. Exogen Phase: The exogen phase is the shedding phase. During this phase, hair sheds from the scalp from everyday activities such as brushing and washing your hair. 

When the hair growth cycle is disrupted, it can lead to hair loss. Many diseases and factors contribute to hair loss. Some are environmental factors and some come from within the body.

Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic alopecia is also known as male pattern hair loss. Heightened sensitivity to male sex hormones, called androgens, causes this type of hair loss. Testosterone produces a major sex hormone called DHT.

When a person becomes sensitive to DHT, it causes the growth phase of a hair follicle to shorten. The DHT binds to the hair follicle and weakens it. This binding doesn’t allow the hair follicles to penetrate the surface of the skin. This leads to hair thinning and hair loss.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder. Your body does not recognize your hair follicles as your own but instead recognizes them as dangerous intruding follicles.

Your body then turns on itself and attacks the hair follicles. In the anagen phase, your body attacks the hair follicles. They enter prematurely to the catagen phase, causing hair loss.

The stem cells that produce hair follicles are not targeted, so hair follicles will regenerate and enter into the anagen phase. As the disease continues, more hair follicles are targeted and damaged. This will eventually lead to hair loss all over the body. 

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a temporary hair loss situation that stems from stressful situations. If you experience a stressful point in life, your body will trigger a large number of hairs in the anagen phase to stop growing. 

This results in excessive shedding and temporary hair loss. Within a few months of the stressful or traumatic experience, your hair should return to growth.

Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is hair loss caused by environmental factors like tension and pulling. Tight hairstyles or rough handling of the scalp will result in traction alopecia.

If you experience small bald spots or thinning on your scalp after tight ponytails or dreadlocks, you are experiencing traction alopecia.

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Dandruff Control Methods

Guy with dandruff for a piece on does head and shoulders cause hair loss

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Head and Shoulders are known for their effective dandruff control. How does it control dandruff? There are multiple ways Head and Shoulders cures and prevents dandruff. First, you must understand the causes of dandruff.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is one of the biggest contributors to dandruff. Your skin lacks moisture, causing it to die and flake off. 

Irritated Skin

If your skin is irritated by something like harmful UV rays, it can flake off. It is important to protect your skin when you are out in the sun for extended periods.

Sensitive Skin

Some people are more sensitive than others. It can be sensitive to hair products or lack nutrition from within. If it is being bothered by-products, the skin can die and flake off.

Bacterial and Fungal Skin Conditions

Many skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis will cause the death of the skin, resulting in dandruff. Head and Shoulders products are packed with ingredients to help treat and cure all causes of dandruff.

It is produced to agree with even the most sensitive skin. It has vitamins and minerals to give your hair and skin the nutrients it needs to become strong and hydrated.

Controversial Ingredients

The ingredients of Head and Shoulders are what make it so effective. There has been some concern about the ingredients and whether they cause hair loss. Head and Shoulders has not been found to cause hair loss.

Zinc Pyrithione

Zinc pyrithione has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that aid in the reduction of dandruff. These properties cause a decrease in fungus on the scalp and reduce fungal infections that cause dandruff.

When zinc levels are increased in your body, the zinc binds to proteins that are necessary for bacterial and fungal activity. Because these proteins are no longer available, the bacteria and fungus can no longer grow.

Selenium Sulfide

Selenium sulfide prevents the growth of Malassezia. Malassezia is a yeast that causes dandruff. Reducing the amount of Malassezia and other fungal infections causes a decrease in dandruff on the scalp.

Other Ingredients

There are other ingredients in Head and Shoulders products that are inactive in reducing dandruff. They are used as preservatives, detergents, and to thicken the shampoo.

Read Next: Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid in 2024

Studies about Head and Shoulders Causing Hair Loss

Why is there concern about Head and Shoulders causing hair loss? Some people may experience unrelated hair loss after starting Head and Shoulders products.

Many people change more than one variable in their life at a time, and then attribute their hair loss to Head and Shoulders. Rumors have spread about Head and Shoulders causing hair loss.

However, there is not enough scientific evidence that suggests that Head and Shoulders cause hair loss.

However, there are some ingredients in Head and Shoulders that may cause hair to be unhealthy. Artificial fragrances, sulfates, and non-water-soluble silicones are all found in Head and Shoulders products. Because of the nature of these ingredients, they can lead to less healthy hair.

The silicones found in Head and Shoulders can cause your hair to be unable to receive moisture, drying out the hair. This drying out could lead to hair loss. But, again, studies have not found Head and Shoulders to directly cause hair loss.

Nonetheless, ingredients in the products can indirectly lead to hair loss. The best thing to do is to be mindful of the products you are buying and to pay attention to your hair health before and after using the products.

So, Does Head and Shoulders Cause Hair Loss?

Head and Shoulders is a product made for dandruff control. It is clinically proven to reduce dandruff at many root causes. While there are no studies proving that Head and Shoulders causes hair loss, some ingredients in the products may indirectly cause hair thinning or hair loss.

We think that their products will be fine for most people, but if you have fragile or damaged hair or a sensitive scalp, you should look for a natural dandruff remedy. Happy styling!