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The Double Effects Alpecin shampoo works in two stages. Stage one works to help clear your scalp of dandruff thanks to a complex of piroctone olamine and salicylic acid while stage two of the shampoo works to penetrate the hair follicles with caffeine to strengthen them against hair loss.
It is recommended that you use the shampoo by massaging it into your scalp and then leaving it on your hair for 2 minutes before rinsing it off. The scalp massage is supposed to get the blood flowing to the scalp while leaving it on for 2 minutes is supposed to give it time to penetrate the follicles.
The shampoo itself is fairly pleasant smelling. I am not sure what I expected but I did think it would probably smell very medicinal but it was quite a fresh smell. You only need a small amount of the shampoo to get a really good lather going and I found that there was enough of a lather to massage it into my scalp for a minute or so. I always tried to leave it on for longer than 2 minutes as I wanted to make sure and give it the longest possible time to hopefully get to work.
First of all this is not a gentle shampoo by any means. I actually felt it sting my scalp when I had it on to the point where I worried that I might be allergic to it as it was quite painful but apparently this is very common when using this shampoo so I wasn't overly worried. It did actually help with the dandruff that I had though. I never really get severe dandruff but I can get a few white flaky bits and this just lifted them right off and I noticed a considerable improvement afterwards.
The thing that I noticed most about this shampoo was that I thought it was very drying on my hair. This wasn't a big problem for me as my hair is short and I use wax on it anyway but I can imagine for long hair that it might be a problem. My hair was definitely thicker looking when I used this but it wasn't anything to do with strengthened hair or the caffeine it was because the shampoo had dried my hair out so much it looks fuzzy and almost cotton wool like which wasn't exactly the result I was hoping for. As I wear wax I could flatten most of this fuzziness out of my hair but it wasn't a good look and had this been just a normal shampoo it would have been thrown straight in the bin.
Unfortunately after using it for a few weeks I didn't really notice any dramatic improvement in my hair . There might have been a slight difference in the thickness of my hair but I am not even sure if this was the case or if it was just wishful thinking on my part.
Alpecin Double Effect Shampoo helps fight against dandruff and hereditary hair loss / By thoroughly cleansing away all dandruff from the scalp in the first instance the caffeine complex is able to deeply penetrate into the hair root and strengthen it against hereditary hair loss /