Product Review: Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

by Gio

head & shoulders classic anti dandruff shampoo sample

Name: Head & Shoulders
Brand: Classic Anti-dandruff Shampoo
Size: 500ml
Price: £4.99

From Head & Shoulders’ website:
7 Benefits: fights dry scalp, calms itchy scalp*, relieves irritation*, reduces redness*, great scent, controls flaky scalp* and leaves hair looking great (*associated with dandruff)

What I liked:
– cleanses hair well, removing all traces of oil, dirt, and buildup
– fights dandruff effectively
– nice texture and scent

What I didn’t like:
– can dry out hair, especially when used too often

I hate flying. I’m not scared of being on a plane. It’s airport security checks that annoy me. Just packing for them is a huge pain. All these strict regulations are supposed to make us safer, but they also make us feel like criminals, and travelling very stressful. And do they even work?

While I was preparing for a recent trip to London, I carefully selected a bunch of beauty essentials I could bring with me on the plane. I decanted my favourite skincare products in small jars and bottles. I put them all in a small plastic zip bag and showed it at security. At the last minute, I realized that my purse was too big to be allowed on the plane together with my small trolley, so I quickly stuffed it inside it.

It was only once I arrived at my friend’s place in London that I discovered an old forgotten sample of Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-Dandruff Shampoo was inside my purse. I hadn’t declared it. The purse, inside the trolley, had gone through the x-ray machine. No one, not even the machine, noticed the shampoo inside it. No alarms rang.

Boy, was I annoyed! Not that I would have liked to be held at security and questioned for an honest mistake. But, if it is so easy to slip liquids through airport security, why all the strict regulations? What’s the point of stressing people so much?

Now, of course, I’m not suggesting you ignore the rules. But my experience does shows how pointless all these paranoid regulations are when anyone can easily break them with security not even noticing! Just come up with a better plan to keep us safe and allow women to bring on planes all the beauty products they want, already!

head & shoulders classic anti dandruff shampoo

Rant over. Let’s talk about the shampoo now. I don’t have dandruff, which is why I hadn’t used this before. The trip seemed the perfect time to do so. But it wasn’t. The London weather made my hair dirtier and dryer than usual, and this shampoo only made it worse (I mean dryer, not dirtier).

Ina fact, Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-dandruff Shampoo cleanses hair extremely well. It contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidropopyl Betaine, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, a pretty potent combination, able to remove all traces of oil, dirt, and product buildup. But Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is harsh and can dry out hair. Not even the addition of Dimethicone, a silicone with hair conditioning properties, was able to counteract its drying effect, probably because there is so little of it in the formula.

Just because this combination of surfactants was too strong for me, it doesn’t mean no one can use it. It may benefit those with very oily hair or who use a lot of styling products and so have a lot of buildup to remove. But, unless you have dandruff, I would recommend that, even then, you use it only every 10 days or so, and always follow it up with a good conditioner.

But does it get rid of dandruff? Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-dandruff Shampoo contains Zinc Pyrithione, an antibacterial and anti-fungal compound. Zinc Pyrithione can stop the growth of malassezia, the fungus that causes dandruff by increasing copper uptake and activating proteins that inhibit its proliferation.

The shampoo is white in colour, has just the right consistency (not runny but not too thick either) and lathers well. Easy to rinse out, it smells fresh and clean. The formula sold in Europe is slightly different from that sold in the USA, so there may be some differences in the texture and scent between them I’m not aware of. But both use the same main active ingredients, so they perform the same: they get rid of dandruff and cleanse hair well, but can also dry it.

Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-dandruff Shampoo effectively fights dandruff and cleanses hair, removing all traces of excess oil, dirt, and buildup. But the strong mix of surfactants can dry out hair.

Rating: 3/5

Disclosure: the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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Richa Saxena November 19, 2014 - 3:54 pm

I loved the detailed take on this! I have never used this shampoo but it seems to work very well with dandruff..Lovely Review Babe 🙂

Gio November 19, 2014 - 9:47 pm

Richa, it is very effective against dandruff indeed. 🙂

Trisha November 19, 2014 - 6:06 pm

1. Yes! I hate the airport checks, too!

2. I love Head and Shoulders. I use it sparingly, though. Only when I feel like my scalp needs it. Lately, that’s been about once every two weeks. Really does the trick.

Gio November 19, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Trisha, they’re so annoying, aren’t they? And, apparently, pointless. I get it they are trying to keep us safe, but if it is so easy to bring liquids on planes, then they’re not working that well.

I’m glad it’s working well for you. This is definitely best used when needed rather than every few days or so. 🙂

Chic Readings November 20, 2014 - 2:25 am

I actually like Head & Shoulders and it’s performance, but sometimes it feels a bit too strong for my skin and I hate the fact that if it falls into your eyes, it burns so much and at the end is even painful:/

Gio November 20, 2014 - 9:44 pm

Helena, it is very strong, isn’t it? Better use it in moderation. 🙂

Nancy Larke August 19, 2016 - 11:15 am

Head & Shoulders Classic Anti-dandruff Shampoo effectively fights dandruff and cleanses hair, removing all traces of excess oil, dirt and buildup. I found this product at an affordable price on and it really works.

Gio August 29, 2016 - 11:49 pm

Nancy, glad you’ve found something that works for you. Thank you for sharing.


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