Hair Products

All Head and Shoulders Ingredients: Functions and Effects Explained

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There are many anti-dandruff shampoo brands all the world and each has some special derived ingredients that helps the shampoo fight dandruff efficiently. But in this post I will go with head and shoulders ingredients, their functions and effects.

Quick Bites:

Head And Shoulders Ingredients

Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Benzyl Alcohol, Water, Fragrance, Blue 1 and Red 4, DimethiconeCetyl Alcohol, Glycol Distearate, Zinc Carbonate, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Pyrithione Zinc.

This the updated list of ingredients in head and shoulders shampoo as said by the giant manufacturer as at 2019

Truth to be told:

One thing you should know is that almost all the hair products and cosmetics production brands hide some of the ingredients used.

You might be asking “why are they hiding it?” The answer is “They are governed by laws and regulations.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone (INACTIVE)

Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI) is a powerful preservative with antibacterial and anti fungal within the group of its kind (element). In pure or high concentration, Methylchloroisothiazolinone can cause allergy in some person. It is however concluded and accepted that concentrations of 15 ppm in rinse-offs products and 8 ppm in other cosmetics is safe for use.

Functions In H&S: Protect shampoo the shampoo after use .

Methylisothiazolinone (INACTIVE)

Methylisothiazolinone is a synthetic biocide and preservative. It’s main responsibility is to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Functions In H&S: Works with Methylchloroisothiazolinone to protect the shampoo after use.

Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (INACTIVE)

Research so far shows that Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride is confirmed to be very safe, biodegradable and a non-irritant. It is very beneficial to hair care products. Because it is positively charged, or cationic, it neutralizes the negative charges on hair strands that cause hair to become static or tangled.

Better yet, it does this without weighing hair down. With this ingredient, you can have silky, non-static hair that retains its normal volume.

Functions In H&S: Help to stop hair tangles and make it manageable.

Sodium Xylenesulfonate (INACTIVE)

Sodium Xylenesulfonates is a surfactant used in detergents and shampoos in amounts of up to 10% of the product. They are surfactants, but they are usually added to thicken a mixture like shampoo, and to help keep some other ingredients in solution.

This makes the product clear or transparent, as the cloudy precipitates are put back into solution.Sodium Xylene Sulfonate is considered a low hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database , which has mild concerns regarding organ system toxicity and skin and eye irritation.

Functions In H&S: Helps adjust shampoo thickness i.e it stabilises it when it’s too thick.

Sodium chloride (INACTIVE)

Sodium Chloride in shampoo or cosmetics is majorly used to increase the thickness of the aqueous (water) portion of the cosmetic, shampoo and personal care products.

Functions In H&S: Sodium chloride Helps adjust shampoo texture when it’s too watery until it’s stabilized (not too thick).

Magnesium Sulfate (INACTIVE)

Magnesium Sulfate is a non-reactive, solid ingredient that is used to dilute other solids, or to increase the volume of a product.

Sodium Benzoate (INACTIVE)

Reports so far shows that sodium benzoate do acts as preservative, fragrance ingredients and corrosion inhibitor in hair products and cosmetics. In the United States, sodium benzoate is designated as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration .

Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide (INACTIVE)

Magnesium Carbonate Hydroxide is an inorganic basic carbonate. It usually serves as bulking agent, pH Adjuster; binding, viscosity controlling agent.

Functions In H&S: Helps stabilize zinc carbonate in the shampoo.

Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (INACTIVE)

ALS is classified as an alkyl sulfate and is an anionic surfactant found primarily in shampoos and body-wash as a foaming agent. In high concentration or eye contact, this molecules may cause severe irritation.

Benzyl Alcohol (INACTIVE)

It is used in a wide variety of cosmetic formulations as a fragrance component, preservative, solvent, and viscosity-decreasing agentit. Furthermore, it sometimes acts as a local anesthetic and antimicrobial agent.


It’s not something that really worth explaining. Water (Aqua) is the most important ingredient in any product, be it solid or liquid.

Fragrance (INACTIVE)

Fragrance in head and shoulders shampoo constitutes of multiple ingredients which includes include amyl cinnamal, benzyl salicylate, citronellol, hexyl cinnamal, limonene, linalool, and menthol (This is stated by the official website)

Blue 1 and Red 4 (INACTIVE)

They are both synthetic colorants combined together to act as color agent in head and shoulders shampoo.

Cetyl Alcohol (INACTIVE)

Cetyl Alcohol acts as emulsifying agent or an emulsifier, that is, It helps two
components to mix together especially water and oils.

Dimethicone (INACTIVE)

Dimethicone acts as hair conditioning agent. that is, ingredients that enhance the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment.

Glycol Distearate (INACTIVE)

Reports so far has shown that Glycol Distearate is added to any cosmetics or hair products to increase the visual appeal of their products. It may also act as a skin moisturizer, emulsion stabilizer and viscosity increasing agent.

Zinc Carbonate (INACTIVE)

Zinc carbonate is an inorganic salt that serves as opacifying agent and skin protectant.

Functions In H&S: Helps keep anti-dandruff ingredients active.


Cocamide MEA and other cocamide ethanolamines such as cocamide DEA are used as foaming agents and nonionic surfactants in shampoos.

Functions In H&S: Acts as lathering or foaming agent.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (INACTIVE)

SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent and surfactants that are used in many cosmetic products for their cleaning and emulsifying properties.

FAQs On Head And Shoulders Ingredients

Q: What is the active ingredient in Head and Shoulders shampoo?

The most active ingredient in head and shoulders shampoo is Pyrithione Zinc, because it fights the dandruff-causing microbe, Malassezia globosa and stops them from forming scalp irritants.

Head and shoulders ingredients



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