For a better, Microbiome-friendly world!

MyMicrobiome Standard 19.10 – Scalp Microbiome

A healthy scalp is the basis for beautiful hair. While the fight against dandruff has thus far mainly focused on combating excessive fungal colonization, current studies show that an intact scalp microbiome and a balanced microbial upkeep are essential for scalp health. The microbial population on the scalp is responsible for the metabolism of amino acids, B vitamins and biotins - important elements for healthy hair growth. The basic requirement for a bacteria-friendly environment is the correct ratio of sebum, moisture content and degree of evaporation, as well as the pH value of the scalp.

Scalp Microbiome

There are four key microbes found in a healthy and balanced scalp microbiome:

Malassezia furfur

Malassezia furfur

Malassezia furfur

Malassezia globosa

Malassezia furfur

Cutibacterium acnes

Malassezia furfur

Staphylococcus epidermidis

The test criteria for Standard 19.10 – Scalp Microbiome

The hair care product goes through four test runs as part of the "Microbiome-friendly" certification:

1. Quality test

This step ensures the greatest possible microbiological purity of the scalp product. The product is analyzed for contamination by mesophiles and aerobic microorganisms i.e. bacteria, yeasts or molds (TAMC and TYMC). The limit is ≤ 1 x 103 cfu/g.

2. Balance test

The balance between S. epidermidis (the most common skin bacterium) and the harmful effects of the S. aureus bacterium should not be disturbed by the product. A co-culture with both bacteria is mixed with the product for a certain duration and then the ratio of the two microbes is compared with the untreated control group. Under the influence of the care product, the balance must not tip in favor of S. aureus.

3. Diversity test

We begin by culturing microbes typical to the scalp region. For Standard 19.10 - Scalp these include M. globosa, M. furfur, C. acnes and S. epidermidis.

The co-cultures are exposed to the product to be tested for a specific duration and the change in diversity is compared with the untreated control group—this is done analogue to the balance test.

The diversity found in the the scalp microbiome must be preserved with regard to the most important key microbes.

4. Vitality test

A Microbiome-friendly scalp product should both preserve microbe diversity and pose no detriment to microbial growth. The test uses a model to simulate skin contact. Each key microbe is placed in direct contact with the product; in a further approach, the microbe is covered with an agar layer and the care product to be tested is applied to this layer. This simulates the product's potential penetration into deeper layers of the skin. The microbial growth of the two approaches is compared to the untreated control group: there should be no signs that microbial growth is significantly inhibited.

Dr. Lisa Bäumer - Laboratory management


"A hair care product that meets the MyMicrobiome Standard 19.10 receives the "Microbiome-friendly" quality seal and is thus demonstrably not in conflict with a balanced scalp."

Dr. Lisa Bäumer, Laboratory management

A selection of our customers / awards

Numerous brands in the cosmetics industry, with over 600 tested products, place their trust in our seal:

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