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There are a lot of myths surrounding dandruff, including the new idea that not using shampoo will prevent it completely

New trends like the “no poo” movement and homemade remedy movements now claim that not only are anti-dandruff shampoos ineffective, they may even cause dandruff themselves.

It’s something we hear a lot – ‘Head and Shoulders actually CAUSES dandruff’.

Fortunately, we’ve conducted more than 200 clinical studies of dandruff and dandruff treatments, so we can prove this one’s completely false.

In fact, shampoos like Head & Shoulders are very effective. But just because you used it once, it doesn’t mean that dandruff won’t come back.

So we’re going to look a bit at the science behind what causes dandruff, and why dandruff shampoos are effective.


The cause of dandruff is the microbe, malassezia globosa.

This yeast-like fungus occurs naturally on the scalp. For around 50% of people, it causes dandruff because their scalp is bothered by a substance  it creates called oleic acid.

This leads to the itching, flaking and irritation associated with dandruff.

Head & Shoulders dandruff shampoo is specifically formulated with pyrithione zinc to combat malassezia irritants.

Used regularly, it helps get rid of dandruff and get your hair back to its best.

It will also help keep your hair healthy, and wash away any excess oil on your scalp.

Combine this with a conditioner and you’ll have happy, healthy hair in no time, with no worries about flakes.


The great problem that malassezia causes is that it never really goes away – is commonly called a chronic condition.

What that means is that even if dandruff shampoo is effective, if you stop using it, the malassezia will cause the symptoms to flare up again.

So once you have your dandruff under control, keep using Head & Shoulders.

Using your dandruff shampoo every time you wash your hair will help keep the symptoms at bay.

Since we have a wide range of options, from our ultra-conditioning Smooth & Silky shampoo right through to our range of anti-dandruff 2-in-1s you get all the benefits of a regular shampoo like smooth, healthy looking hair.

But because it’s Head & Shoulders, you’re free from worries about flakes, itch and dryness ² too.

More hair care tips and advice

¹ visible flakes, with regular use ² dandruff