is head and shoulders bad for your hair

Is Head & Shoulders Bad For Your Hair? +4 Anti-Dandruff Shampoos (CG-approved)

We all had that point in our lives where we had to use Head & Shoulders shampoo. You can’t deny that this brand is known worldwide and is popular until this very day. However, as we tend to care more and more about what we are putting on our skin and hair, this shampoo doesn’t appear as a very good option. Is Head & Shoulders bad for your hair? Or maybe it is great, and you doubt it for no reason?

Nevertheless, while being created particularly to improve hair condition and help you get rid of dandruff, claims have surfaced over time that Head & Shoulders products (especially shampoo) may cause hair thinning and hair loss.

SubjectCurls is here to help you understand the science behind the shampoo label and if this product is good or bad for your mane. 

Is Head & Shoulders bad for your hair?

This anti-dandruff shampoo has Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in it, making your hair squeaky clean. It also contains dimethicone, a silicone that tends to buildup on your hair. Both these things can lead to dull and weak hair in the long run.

However, we have had this shampoo in the market since 1961, and many people have used it since then. There are a few ingredients in its ingredients list that are proven to be helpful if you have dandruff. Zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide are the stars of this shampoo. Keep in mind that the newest version of this Head & Shoulders Classic shampoo might not include selenium sulfide.

The problem is that if you are using such shampoo every day or very often, it might take the moisture out of your hair. These active ingredients, sulfates, and silicone will strip your hair and make it brittle.

Aside from making your hair super dry and brittle, this shampoo will result in color fading if you are coloring your hair.

If you are using Head & Shoulder to get rid of dandruff, it can even worsen your situation. It will dry out your scalp, and you will notice even more dandruff and flaking.

Is Head and Shoulders good?

Hair care products don’t have to cost a fortune, and I understand that Head & Shoulders might appear as a good option as it only costs a few dollars. However, if you are struggling with brittle, breaking hair and split ends, this shampoo will make the situation worse.

Drying alcohols, silicones, sulfates, and parabens are all bad for your hair health, and you should avoid these ingredients if possible.

If your hair is already damaged (I’m talking about hair coloring or heat damage), the Head & Shoulders will not help to restore the good hair condition. Although we only apply shampoo to our hair roots for a few minutes, it is best to look for mild products with oils, butters, and various extracts.

Does Head and Shoulders work?

It might work if you use this shampoo only once in a while. However, if this is your daily shampoo, I have some bad news for you. Silicones and sulfates in the Head & Shoulders will make your hair weak and brittle and you might even notice more split ends.

head and shoulders ingredients list

It is an effective hair cleanser, but if you don’t have dandruff, there is no point in using it. There are many better options for hair clarifying than this. If you are looking for an excellent shampoo to remove product buildup, check this article where we discuss the best product for hair clarifying.

What to use instead of Head and Shoulders? 4 anti-dandruff shampoos (CGM-approved)

If you are struggling with dandruff but don’t want to invest hundreds of dollars into hair care, I have a few solutions for you. Here are my favorite anti-dandruff shampoos for healthy and strong hair.

Note: If you click on any link & decide to buy it, I may earn a small commission.

WOW Green Tea & Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Natural cleansing shampoo and conditioner set moisturizes the dry scalp and provides immediate relief from flaking and irritation brought on by dandruff
  • Gently removes product buildup and helps to unclog your hair follicles
  • Balances pH levels on the scalp and add volume
  • Shea butter and argan oil combats frizz and makes your hair stronger
  • For all hair types. Suitable for color-treated and gray hair.
  • Vegan & cuelty-free
Txtr By Cantu Soothing Shampoo
  • The TXTR by Cantu Soothing Shampoo, formulated with ACV and tea tree oil, effectively dissolves buildup without damaging the hair
  • Leaves your mane significantly softer
  • Free from mineral oil, silicone, parabens, or sulfates
  • Cruelty-free
Puriya Scalp Clarifying Shampoo
  • Your dry scalp will be moisturized by the best proprietary herbal blend of tea tree oil, arnica, sage, and rosemary
  • Noticeable results after one wash
  • Intensively hydrates hair and scalp
  • Gently removes all the buildup
  • Rejuvenate your scalp while hydrating your hair and retaining moisture
  • Free from sulfates, sodium chloride, parabens, and other nasty stuff
  • Vegan & Cruelty-free
Briogeo Scalp Revival Dandruff Relief Shampoo
  • This shampo is for those who experience dandruff, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis-related flaking, itching, and redness of the scalp
  • Suitable for straight, wavy, curly, and coily hair
  • This shampoo gently cleanses and detoxifies the scalp and hair without drying it out
  • 3% salicylic acid and moisturizing lactic acid gently exfoliate the skin
  • Tea tree oil and detoxifying Binchotan charcoal are also used in this shampoo
  • Safe for relaxed, color-treated, keratin-treated, and chemically-treated hair.
  • Cruelty-free & gluten-free


Does Head and Shoulders dry out your hair?

Yes, it most definitely does. Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are both drying and will destroy your natural hair pattern. You should avoid these ingredients, especially if you have curly hair.

Is it bad to use Head and Shoulders every day?

As this shampoo has a potent active ingredient (zinc pyrithione), silicones, and harsh sulfates, it is best to avoid using Head and Shoulders shampoo daily. If you are struggling with dandruff and see that only this shampoo works for you, try using it once a week or bi-weekly. 

Do dandruff shampoos cause hair loss?

No, dandruff shampoos itself doesn’t cause hair loss. Always read the label before using a shampoo and follow it precisely to avoid any nasty side effects.

Does Head and Shoulders cause hair loss?

It is very unlikely for a Head & Shoulders shampoo to cause hair loss. As you might know, your hair is growing in phases, so if after using this shampoo you’ve noticed more hair loss than usual, you are probably in the exogen phase.


Head & Shoulders shampoo is not the best option for you if you are trying to get that magic shine and strong hair. It is also not suitable for those who are following the CG method as this shampoo contains sulfates and silicones, which will lead to brittle and weak hair.

It is not the worst shampoo but most definitely not the best as well. If you have dandruff, I would recommend looking for better options.

Get the hair you deserve!

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