Non-medicated shampoo can help promote healthy scalp: Henkel study

By Olivia DeSmit

- Last updated on GMT

© skynesher / Getty Images
© skynesher / Getty Images

Related tags Shampoo Scalp care Skin health skin microbiome Henkel

Shampoos without antimicrobials can contribute to a healthy scalp, a study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found. The study showed two different commercial shampoos resulted in increased structural bacterial diversity on the scalp, showing quantitative changes.

While the results were not qualitative, the authors summarized that there was no adverse reaction and the shampoos could be stimulating microbiota.

The two main microbiota found on the scalp are prokaryotic (bacteria) and eukaryotic (fungal). An imbalance in these microbiota can lead to scalp conditions like dandruff. The authors sought to study whether non-antimicrobial shampoos would affect scalp microbiota.

“Interestingly, hardly anything is known about the effect of non- antimicrobial/non anti-dandruff shampoos on the scalp microbiota,” wrote researchers from Furtwangen University and Henkel AG & Co KGaA. “So far, the use of shampoo has not been regarded as a major factor in determining human scalp microbiota composition.”

Participants used one of the two shampoos for two weeks and their scalps were swabbed before and after daily use. There was a total of 50 participants, who were evenly divided into two groups: shampoo one (p1) and shampoo two (p2). Only participants with straight hair were included and hair coloring or treatments were prohibited prior to the study.

The researchers analyzed microbiota cell counts and DNA extraction of molecular analyses and found typical microbiota on participants’ scalps, including Staphylococcus, Cutibacterium, Lawsonella​ and Malassezia​ and Demodex​.

“Over an application period of 2 weeks, the investigated shampoo induced quantitative but no qualitative changes in the scalp microbial community structure of the investigated probands, suggesting no adverse but rather preserving or even stimulating effects of the underlying formulations on the scalp microbiota.”

To determine whether the shampoos being study affected scalp microbiota, the authors analyzed aerobic germ counts and other microbial diversity parameters.

When they compared germ counts before versus after application of each shampoo, they found an increase in numbers after application. Shampoo one showed a statistically significant increase in cultivable bacteria and fungi. Shampoo two only showed a significant change for fungal numbers, not bacterial.

“As skin hydration is an important parameter for skin microbial counts,” the authors wrote, “it  might be carefully speculated that an improved skin hydration status, along with the excreted lipids from the glands, might be responsible for the observed changes.”

The authors also compared the microbial diversity of participants by age group. They classified them into three groups: Under 40, 40-55 and over 55. They found that there was a relationship between age and bacterial composition, but not one for eukaryotes. Microbiota diversity was higher for older participants, suggesting that diversity increases with age.

“Our data suggest that the studied shampoo formulations did not significantly alter the relative scalp microbial community composition during a two-week application period,” the authors wrote, “and largely positively influenced scalp  germ counts, suggesting a ‘microbiome-friendly’ character of the investigated formulations.”

Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science
2023; 00:1–9, DOI: 10.1111/ics.12895
“Effect of two shampoo formulations on the prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbiota composition of the human scalp”
Authors: S. Jacksch, et al.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Exosomes: Passing Trend or Transformative Reality?

Exosomes: Passing Trend or Transformative Reality?

Content provided by Naolys | 26-Mar-2024 | White Paper

Exosomes, microscopic vesicles naturally present in abundance within Plant Cells, have garnered significant attention within the scientific and cosmetic...

How Nutricosmetics Can Enhance Skin Beauty

How Nutricosmetics Can Enhance Skin Beauty

Content provided by Activ'Inside | 11-Dec-2023 | White Paper

In the ever-evolving realm of nutricosmetics, where inner wellness meets outer beauty, few natural ingredients have captured the spotlight quite like grapes.

Ultimate Antimicrobial Solution for BPC

Ultimate Antimicrobial Solution for BPC

Content provided by Acme-Hardesty Company | 11-Oct-2023 | White Paper

Sharomix™ EG10, a versatile broad-spectrum antimicrobial liquid blend for preserving personal care products, ensures safety at usage levels ranging from...

Acme-Hardesty Expands Product Line into Canada

Acme-Hardesty Expands Product Line into Canada

Content provided by Acme-Hardesty Company | 07-Jul-2023 | Product Brochure

Acme-Hardesty’s latest expansion into Canada includes Resplanta®, Botaneco®, and BYK from our partners Sharon Personal Care and Eckart Effect Pigments...

Related suppliers