Gallinée founder: Anti-dandruff hair care to see ‘big shift’ to pro-bacterial

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

A clinical study on Gallinée's prebiotic-postbiotic Soothing Cleansing Cream shows a reduction in dandruff that could prove important to future R&D in the space [Image: Gallinée]
A clinical study on Gallinée's prebiotic-postbiotic Soothing Cleansing Cream shows a reduction in dandruff that could prove important to future R&D in the space [Image: Gallinée]

Related tags Gallinée Scalp care Dandruff anti-dandruff Hair care microbiome skin microbiome prebiotics postbiotics

The anti-dandruff hair care category has long focused on antibacterial formulations, but microbiome-friendly blends that promote scalp bacteria balance may be as effective, says the founder of French indie brand Gallinée.

The skin microbiome specialist recently completed a small-scale clinical study on its Soothing Cleansing Cream scalp care shampoo product after widespread consumer feedback suggested it helped prevent dandruff – beyond its design to soothe scalp irritation and strengthen hair.

Initially formulated to help balance the scalp microbiome, the product contained a high concentration of Gallinée’s patented prebiotic and postbiotic complex that had now proven efficient in reducing dandruff. Results from the clinical study showed that, over a four-week period, use of the Gallinée shampoo reduced the number and size of dandruff flakes, leading to an overall 60% reduction in dandruff.

“What I like about Gallinée is we are discovering new indications for existing products,” ​said Marie Drago, founder of Gallinée. “It’s the pharmacist in me that really likes to do that: discover new indications,” ​Drago told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

‘It’s a lot more gentle but as efficient’

And the discovery that Gallinée’s blend could reduce dandruff was an important one for the wider hair care and scientific industry, she said, because product development and research thus far had largely focused on fungicides and bactericides.

“So far, the technique for anti-dandruff products [has been] to kill the yeast so you can reduce the dandruff. What we are trying to do instead is bring the bacteria up, so it keeps the yeast under control. It’s a lot more gentle but as efficient,”​ she said.

And as scalp care became more widely recognised, amongst industry and consumers alike, Drago said it made sense to address dandruff by working to balance the scalp microbiome instead – like how skin care formulations worked on other parts of the body for dry skin.

“Hair care is a massive market and I think it’s a really good opportunity to look at how to formulate again for dandruff,”​ she said. “…Maybe we can look at what you’re trying to achieve – killing the yeast or supporting the microbiome. It’s a perfect opportunity, I think.”

Gentler and microbiome-friendly scalp care – a ‘big shift’ for anti-dandruff

Drago said many parts of the beauty industry had already started to focus on gentler and ‘microbiome-friendly’ formulations – a central focus for Gallinée – with brands and manufacturers investing in new product development across skin care, hair care and oral care categories. And the transition in anti-dandruff hair care was also on the horizon, she said.

“I think dandruff is going to be such a big shift – going from something very antibacterial to something pro-bacterial,” ​she said. “I think it’s going to come first from the scientists, then it has to reach marketing, but the big companies are already starting to talk about the skin microbiome more – like the Sanex launch​ – so it should transition to the scalp more easily.”

Gallinée was certainly more focused on the scalp microbiome, she said, with an educational section on its website dedicated to this topic to help drive wider consumer understanding.

“More and more at Gallinée, we promote a holistic way of protecting your microbiome. It’s your skin, scalp, mouth – everything,”​ she said.

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