Shampoos are liquid cleaners for the hair, specifically for removing dirt, dandruff, oil, pollutants, etc. They are also used in special cases, for example, when you want to wash dry hair or treat your hair against dandruffs, etc. In other words, it's not just ordinary cleaning abilities that qualifies a bottled liquid as a shampoo.
A Brief History
In the past, shampooing your hair was viewed as hair massage, something which was quite popularised in Britain by Sake Dean Mahomed, a muslim entrepreneur. His Irish wife was also involved in the new trend as it was at that time. Together, they offered a shampoo treatment at Basil Cochrane's Vapour Baths and later opened their own medicated bath center where sea water was used for vapour and steam baths, and ongoing shampoo treatment was also offered. Then "shampoo" was called "champo" and "shampooing" was called "champi".
However, the true origin of shampoos was the Mughal Empire in India and the name champo was an Indian name. The head massage they were carrying out on people involved the use of natural oils, fragrances, and alkali.
Improvements Over The Years
Of course shampoos underwent improvements over the years. The early shampoos didn't make hairs shine, and they made the hair irritating and look unkempt. Although the hair washed with 'em was clean, a dull looking hair is nothing someone can be "comfortable" with, talk less of being "desirable"!! Hair stylists worked to improve it and added substances like herbs, and used different techniques to make the shampoos produce a shiny wash and leave the hair smelling good.
By the way, most people attribute the origin of shampoos to Kasey Hebert, simply because he was first widely known as a maker of shampoos. From the 1930s, the type of shampoo you know and use today became available commercially.
The Special Shampoos Referenced Earlier
There are different types of shampoos and you must consider them the next time you shop for shampoos. Amazon has done a good job of grouping these shampoos perfectly. You can find shampoos for dry hair, oily hair, dandruff, colour treated hair, curl defining, smoothing, etc. You can also select shampoos by features, e.g gluten-free, sulfate-free, all-natural, baby (for infants), etc. Whatever the type you need, I'm sure there's one waiting for you.
Can Shampoos Harm Your Hair?
The unfortunate answer is yes. I know of two ingredients present in many shampoos that are actually harmful. The first is Methylisothiazolinone and Chloromethylisothiazolinone. Both have been confirmed as allergic and cytotoxic (harmful to living cells) by some studies. They affect the young neurons adversely. However, the SCCNFP has clearly stated that the concentration of the substances used in end cosmetic products is not potent enough to cause any harm.
The second is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS. The move by consumers to save themselves from any health risks or potential damages has boosted the production and purchase of shampoos void of SLS, commonly called "sulfate free shampoos". The negative consequences of SLS on the hair include, but are not limited to: hair loss, damage of hair follicles, colour fading, and scalp irritation.
I hope you have learnt one or two new things about shampoos by reading this article. Learning is always a good thing, and learning about the products you use is important.
Charley Chris is a blogger who enjoys writing about all things beauty. He maintains a blog on sulfate free shampoos