Why Shampoo Claims Need More Body


Men’s coffee shampoo Alpecin has been forced to drop its claim that ‘it can help to reduce hair loss’ by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), following a complaint from a professional trichologist that the company could not substantiate its hair restoration claims.

The German shampoo brand stated that its marketing followed the guidelines of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and that claims made for its products implied only cosmetic effects, though the firm had carried out eight separate studies into the product’s benefits.

The ASA’s investigation found that the studies conducted by Alpecin only focused on one of the many causes of hair loss, and that most failed to use control groups.The watchdog concluded that the brand must not state or imply that its product could reduce hair loss without providing evidence first.

However there are plenty of shampoos out there which remain open to complaint and challenge. For example Fitoval claims to:

  • Help solve the  problem of excessive hair loss and thin hair.
  • Stimulates & enhances hair growth. Encourages stronger, thicker growth
  • Provides hair with energy & strengthens hair roots
  • Improves blood supply to the scalp
  • Regular use provides a long-term solution to reversible hair loss & thinning hair

How does a shampoo provide hair with ‘energy’ exactly and how does this translate into a measurable real life benefit?

Pantene Pro V Miracle Repairing Shampoo claims to ‘visibly erase the damage of up to 100 blow dries’ and ‘fight up to six months of damage’ and that it ‘restores hair’s strength and helps to prevent split ends’ What scientific tests has it been put to though?

In reality the only product proven to strengthen/thicken hair would be a fattening shampoo or conditioner which coats each hair strand with silicon and this is a cosmetic effect insofar as if you stop using the product, the effect disappears.