Beauty Blog

SHE & HE Fashion is an endless topic. Wedding dress, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics etc are all now more than essentials and winters call for a more technical subject, the Winter hair care. The warm water used continuously not only dries the skin but also leads to a significant impact on the scalp & hair. The hair wash industry has undergone a sea change due to fashion & quality of water used to rinse (wash) the hair.

The word shampoo is derived from the north Indian classical hair approach of champo (champi ), which is a form of hair massage including pressing, kneading, soothing of the hair, head & sclap & covering the forehead, eyebrows & eye lashes. This gradually matured from massage to cleaning the hair with boiled soap noodles (natural surfactants) & herbs like dried amla, ritha, triphla, rose fragrance etc & latter graduated to the current day detergent based (sodium lauryl sulfate) shampoos. Story of shampoo goes long back.

The use of shampoo increased after the women joined the out of home job market in America (circa 1930) as commuting lead to array of dirt, skin particle, oily nature of hair + dandruff & environmental pollutants catalysed to strip of the sebum, causing the hair to be unmanageable.

Specialised shampoos are of interest to the marketers for product differentiation & skin care to  the user. The most common hair problem is dandruff & companies have developed shampoos to address this issue with selenium sulfide & zinc pyrithione which acts to reduce dandruff. Hair color is a major area for the young generation & to protect the color, gentle cleansers are used in shampoos. Baby shampoos are also an elite market, the product has to be at neutral pH (7) & should be less irritating & burning to skin & constitute monoanionic sulfonated surfactants & foaming agents are reduced in the baby product.

Marketers have taken the product shampoo to veterinary use also. Shampoo for vets contain insecticides with medications to treat the skin & parasite infestations. It should be noted that pet care shampoos should not be used by humans & human shampoos are a strict no for pets as some of the chemicals are toxic to pets.

Selection of shampoo is not to be influenced by above the line advertisements or point of purchase danglers/free demonstration, the list of chemicals are to be reviewed. The selection criteria for purchasing a shampoo is based on the need of individual’s skin, hair & type of hairdressing (hair grooming). But the basic points to consider are- the product should be from a reputed brand with pleasing & easily replaceable cap, heavy foaming, minimal skin/eye irritation, pleasant fragrance, low toxicity & no damage to hair. Ingredients & toxicology to hair is also an important parameter for shampoo selection & your hair stylist is the best guide for shampoo selection to suit your hair & style. Winter hair requires a different shampoo and one must spend ample time in buying the shampoo as per hair need and condition.

Image courtesy of maya picture / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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