In 1949, John Parran Jr, a chemical engineer and bacteriologist from the University of Tennessee, joined Procter & Gamble. His task was simple – free the world from dandruff.
Back then the solutions to remove dandruff, like coal-tar and egg-oil, were unpleasant and even if they worked, they would damage your hair.
Dr Parran wanted to create an effective solution to the problem of dandruff that didn’t harm your hair and was a lot more pleasant to use.
The eureka moment
In 1961, after ten years of clinical trials, Dr Parran and his team of scientists singled out a potent compound that proved successful in removing dandruff.
Their product, codenamed Head & Shoulders, was finally ready to test in the market. It proved so successful that it was launched across America the following year.
When the product came out, it was a cream formula – but we knew we could make it even easier and more pleasant to use. So we went back to the lab and spent years reformulating the product.
By 1975, we had crafted a shampoo clinically-proven to remove dandruff with a pleasant fragrance. In fact, it was so effective and enjoyable to use that it soon became the world’s number one shampoo – and it still is today.
Scientific research has always been a key part of our work to rid the world of dandruff, but new technologies have allowed us to go further than Dr Parran could have imagined.
In 2002, we cracked the genetic code of the dandruff-causing fungus, Malassezia globosa. That meant we could go beyond getting rid of flakes, and treat the root cause of dandruff.
Since then, we’ve expanded our goals. Now, we don’t just fight dandruff – we aim to give everyone a healthy scalp and great-looking hair as well.
Our story doesn’t finish there, though.
Even now, we’re constantly striving to improve our formula because we’re dedicated to making it better and better with every new scientific discovery – something we think Dr Parran and his original team of pioneers would be thoroughly proud of.