Shampoo is the term given to hair care products that are applied
to eliminate oils, dirt, skin particles, environmental pollution
and other particles that may contaminate and that gradually build
up in hair. Not only is the basic aim to remove the unwanted build-up,
but to do so avoiding to make hair unmanageable because of so
much stripping out.
When shampoos are lathered with water, they are a surfactant which cleans the
hair and scalp and, alternatively, can remove the natural oils that lubricate
the hair shaft. Surfactants are wetting agents. At the same time surfactants
lower the tension between two liquid and make spreading easier. The term surfactant
stands for “surface active agent”.
Shampoos as hair care products clean the hair by stripping sebum,
the oil that the hair follicles secrete and that is absorbed by
the strands of hair. In this sense, sebum forms a protective layer
on the protein structure of hair against damage. However, although
sebum protects hair, it tends to collect dirt, styling products
and scalp flakes. Shampoos' surfactants work by stripping the
sebum from the hair shafts and removing the dirt built up on it.
Both soaps and shampoos contain surfactants. But while soaps
removes too much oils when it used on hair; shampoo avoids removing
too much oil from the hair by using a different type of surfactants.
The process underlying hair care products resembles that of traditional
soap. Skin lipids, such as sebum, stick to the surface of undamaged
hair, but water is repelled. When the hair is rinsed with plain
water, the lipids do not came off easily. Shampoo that is administered
on wet hair is absorbed into the hair interfaces. Surfactants
let the sebum be removed from the hair shaft.
Thirty years ago, shampoos rich in astringent surfactants were
used for dermatological practice in order to do away with messy
treatments applied to the scalp .Retail shampoos comprised aqueous
solutions of surfactants conceive to clean the hair by emulsifying
oils and dispersing solid material. The outcoming hard sediments
were eliminated with lemon juice. However, the irritation potential
of hair care products was so strong that bath was almost a nightmare.
Luckily, modern mild synthetic surfactant systems were introduced
making hair washing a more comfortable experience.
Nowadays, hair care products offer a delightful amount of articles
intended for a wide variety of hair types and conditions with
supplementary components that involve: cleansing agents (surfactants);
lather foster; conditioning agents; functional options (adjust
PH and viscosity); preservatives; and aesthetic agents such as
fragrance, colorants, and pearlescing agents.
The surfactants that shampoos apply are syndets, which stands
for synthetic detergents. They lather abundantly with hard water
and wash without leaving a dulling film. They succeed in dispensing
greasy materials in water because they contain a water-soluble
component and a fat-soluble natural component, which wraps and
encloses impurities and sebum. In this way, the hair drives away
the dirt and is water soluble.
Current shampoos include a combination of surfactants, frequently
between 2 and 4, in order to provide various cleaning degrees
depending on hair type and demands-normal, permed, or deteriorated
As regards the special ingredients hair care products nowadays
contain, they most usually provide physiological benefits to the
hair shaft. The variety of ingredients included improve hair quality
or, at least, prevent deterioration, something not even imagined
ten years ago.
Reduced amounts of panthenol have been proven to infiltrate the
hair shaft and improve moisture content of the cortex. Amino acids
can also penetrate into the cortex and help decrease protein deterioration
after repeated washing.
A number of anti-dandruff shampoos are available to control pityriasis
simplex. This is a near-physiological condition that affects lots
of people all over the world and that, in serious cases, involves
radical and unpleasant treatments. Selenium and imidazole shampoos
are usually helpful.
Zinc pyrithione shampoos are widely available as retail hair
care products. Cheaper than prescription or OTC products, they
are equally effective though. Not only can deposition of zinc
pyrithione micro-fine crystals reduce the condition, but can also
provide a high equality, conditioning shampoo.
Other kind of specialized shampoos are those designed for infants
or frequent users. These are hair care products in which mildness
has been specially improved so that it is less irritating to the
eyes. Most contain sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate,
the softest surfactants.
Shampoos are required to be preserved because, as they are essentially
aqueous-based products, they have a high chance of getting contaminated.
The frequency with which you wash your hair is not what damages
your hair. Instead, it depends on whether the hair care products
used are properly formulated or not.
People who suffer from hair disorders should seek recommendation
on hair cleansing regimens. Those who undergo reduced hair density,
fragile hair or acute telogen loss might be concerned that their
hair care products are either damaging or contributing their condition.
They must probably need washing didactic advice. It has been demonstrated
that well-formulated, mild hair care products do not interfere
mitosis in the growing matrix of hair and may in fact help fragile
hair through decreasing grooming force. That is why regular washing
and conditioning should not be discouraged.