Shampoo: an essential hair product
Shampoo is both a noun and a verb, in the former case referring to a usually viscous formulation containing a specific type of detergent for washing and cleaning hair, in the latter it’s the action of washing and cleaning hair with the above liquid preparation. It also comes in spill-proof bars, like soap, but it’s not as popular as liquid, while gels are slightly more manageable than liquids and more common than solid bars. There are also versions in paste or cream.
The term comes from Hindi “champo” which in turn comes from Sanscrit “chapayati” meaning “to soothe”.
It’s clear that it’s a basic hair care product that’s been in use for centuries, in various formulations of various effectiveness, which has evolved greatly since the very first recorded examples in the history of hair beauty and cosmetics.
Modern shampoo as we know it, using synthetic ingredients, differentiated from generic soap in the 1920s thanks to German inventor Schwarzkopf. His name went on to become a very famous brand in the cosmetics industry.
Shampoo comes in variations which can address specific issues such as dandruff, others clean specific types of hair such as oily hair, for specific categories like babies, and there’s also shampoo for pets which often contains insecticides. There are organic versions which should contain all-natural ingredients, although the term “natural” is not regulated thoroughly enough to guarantee that the final product is made only with natural ingredients, like herbs, in the form of extracts or oils.
Washing hair with shampoo, or “shampooing”, is obviously a necessary routine that avoids build up of the natural products of the scalp like sebum and the effects of others like sweat, other than external matter of any kind. However, aside from external contributions to any build up, the necessary frequency differs from one hair type to another, with some needing it almost everyday, like with scalps which are very active producers of oils, which eventually attract unwanted “guests” who feast on them and leave by-products and cause flaking, to others who could go a week or two without shampooing like those with dry hair with low production of oils in the scalp.
Every person can easily figure out what frequency suits their specific needs, keeping in mind that they change, like in the case of the natural change in hormonal levels of pregnant women.
There’s a type of shampoo and a time and way to use it for everyone, and if there are doubts, just ask your trusted hair stylist for tips as how to wash your hair at home.