Believe it or not, I had never heard of HeadOn until recently.  If you’ve seen their ads on TV, you may count me lucky.  NBC’s Brian Williams called it "the most annoying ad on television".  Apparently, the repetitive "Apply directly to the forehead" line was designed to first create a need for the product and then offer a solution!  🙂

Seriously, though, between 2005 and 2006, sales rose by 234%.  After all, when you have a headache, you may be ready to try something new, and the HeadOn people are trying to ensure you see the ad when you need to.

But HeadOn has come under criticism.  The so-called active ingredients are diluted.  That’s normal, of course.  But they’re very diluted.  On their website, they explain how there’s very little of the active ingredients in the product, and then they add:  The active ingredients in HeadOn are diluted much more than the minimum required dilution dictated by the monograph of the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States and therefore represent no health risk whatsoever.

Ok, so they’ve put even less of the active ingredients than required – "much" less!  So that means it’s very safe.  Because it’s almost 100% wax.  But is there any benefit?

Dr. Seymour Diamond, founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago, said simply:  "I see nothing in this product that has any validity whatsoever."  The Council of Better Business Bureaus tended to agree, asking the company to remove any claims that HeadOn cured headaches.  There just isn’t any evidence.  And they were caught without it.

The wax stick does apparently contain menthol, an ingredient is also in Tiger Balm (we’ve talked about Tiger Balm as a possible headache relief).  But you can get a lot more menthol a lot cheaper, if that’s all that it’s got going for it.

Sorry, I don’t think I want to encourage these guys by giving them my money (they now also sell ActivOn for pain relief, FirstOn anti-itch, PreferOn for scars, and FREEdHem for hemorrhoids).  Like you, I may be willing to try strange things when a migraine comes on.  But maybe I should plan ahead a little more, instead of listening to too many commercials.

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9 comments… add one
  • Angel Oct 10, 2007

    I’ve been a fan of Headon, but it just takes the edge off. It seems to help my daughter with her headaches. I have to say, I like the ActiveOn as well (my neck pain is connected to my headaches).

    It’s good to know though, and this is only one tool in my headache magic box.

  • James Jan 23, 2008

    Thanks for the input, Angel! It’s good to hear from people who have used it. I still suspect you’ll be able to find something better for less $, but I’m open to being proved wrong. 🙂

  • Nikki Jul 16, 2008

    Hi, I have never trid HeadOn, but I have tried a product called Headache Stay Gone. I know that alot of people are sceptical about natural products, but this stuff worked for me. I suffered with migraines for years 3-4 times a week. I took it for about 5 months in 2006 and have been migraine and headache free since. It is definitely something to be looked at for sufferers.


  • Tim Jan 15, 2010

    I have to say that HeadOn has been a wonderful product.
    It takes the edge off and also stops those slow growing headaches from taking the day over.

    I’ve also used it in a Migraine and very nice to have some added relief when I didn’t have ZoMig (my prescription)

    As for price saving…not an issue, I can get it at many stores and sure beats downing more ibuprofen.

    I do take issues with the claims that all these things don’t have research. As far as I can see the only research done is by the big Rx companies and they have huge rewards like the price I pay for the migraine pill. I don’t think there is solid research that shows eating some ‘food’ say an orange is really a good idea.

    Getting relief is about making it better so one can function for the day. HeadOn helps me do that.

  • Lori Sep 3, 2012

    I bought it once when it first came out. All it did for me ,is leave a cool spot where ever I applied it. I get better relief from my ice pack.( I think I still have it in my junk drawer.)

  • Travis Sep 3, 2012

    What a crock. There is NO evidence for homeopathy. Whining about a hypothetical big pharma conspiracy doesn’t change that. If someone proved homeopathy actually works that person would win the nobel prize for overturning many of the known laws of physics, which homeopathy violates. HeadOn is so dilute that there is not a single molecule of active ingredient in it. They claim magic makes it work. You’re paying for menthol that is overpriced, and supporting a lying company that preys on sick people like us migraneurs. “Big Pharma” does research to prove their products work. Homeopaths say magic makes it work and lie about efficacy. If you think that is moral and “Big Pharma” is evil, I’d suggest your moral compass is skewed. We have a responsibility to each other not to support liaers and scam artists that prey on migraneurs.

  • Nikki Sep 4, 2012

    That is cool to know. It is literally the most annoying commercial I have ever seen… and I think it has actually given me a migraine. But as far as relief is concerned… I would say it is not the best on the market and that must be because it does not have as much menthol. I have used my bf arthritis medication before which has Alot of menthol and I like it quite a bit… I’ve been meaning to get a script for it. It is just a little stronger than OTC rubs is all. But I have used one that I really liked, I’ll have to find it to see the name… it is in a container that looks like lipstick (accidently used it on my lips ones… bad idea… bad fibro fog moment.)… it is stronger than Headon for sure and it is stickier so it really stayed where I put it. Seemed to get right into that spot. I know it has menthol not sure if it had something else. Most of these topical ones are not great because they are so limited on where you can put them… I feel like soaking my whole head and neck in them. But they are nice and help a little. Sort of one part of our arsenal I guess. So nice to know Headon is a little cheap on the ingredients.

  • Pamela Jun 1, 2013

    I had been a long-time user of HeadOn. It never made my migraine pain go away, but it made it MUCH more tolerable. However, because of the controversy (I believe), you can’t get it anymore (unless you want to pay over $40 per tube).

    I have tried NUMEROUS other products that contain menthol and/or similar ingredients – Vicks, Tiger Balm, BioFreeze, Cryoderm, Blue Oil from Aveda and others. None provide the same relief that HeadOn did. I’m really sad its gone!

  • Sue Aug 10, 2017

    When this product came out it was a life saver for me it had helped me with my migraines.
    Now I just watch what I eat and mostly rely on anything peppermint and tension excedrin along with my prescription meds.

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