How shampoo really works?

Medical & Health General Health How shampoo really works?

Shampoo is derived from a Hindi word, "Champo", meaning to knead or to massage. It is now designated for hair care products used to clean the scalp and the hair. Most shampoos are sold as thick liquid, but you can also find shampoos in cream or gel form. They are often formulated with surfactants (surface-active agents) that provide detergent, foaming, emulsifying and wetting properties. Shampoo is the most common hair care product you can find, which comprises about 50% of the hair products sold worldwide.

Originally, soaps are used strictly for its detergent functions and eventually they are replaced with synthetic surfactants and when shampoo become less detergent, they tend to be softer on the scalp. Later, shampoos contribute in hair styling and other efforts to beautify the hair due to the growing consumer demands. At the same time, other hair styling products developed, such as permanent waving and hair dyes. Based on researches, most consumers simply want to have "normal" hair, instead of getting "perfect" hair that they always see in TV commercials.

The frequency of shampoo use increases in parallel with the improvements in hygiene levels and living standards. For example, 80 percent of people in United States wash their hair every day and the figure rises to more than 90 percent in Japan. The act of washing hair with shampoo has become a standard hygienic activity on a level with brushing one's teeth or washing one's hands. Constant development in shampoo formulations has led them to become one of important beauty products. All shampoos can be used repeatedly and are designed to improve certain properties of hair.

When purchasing a shampoo, you should be aware that cosmetic ingredients often interfere with the cleansing effectiveness. For example, liquid hydrocarbon was once used in shampoo when consumer wanted brilliantine; however it reduced the efficacy and action of shampooing. Today, manufacturers are focusing on formula that can eliminate poorly soluble material from the hair.

Average human scalp has an area of about 650 cm2, bearing about 125,000 hairs. This figures alone show that the act of washing hair with shampoo that takes only a few minutes is equal to rapid cleaning of so many shafts. However, you should be aware that the hair surface is actually consisted of numerous superimposed layers. In addition, hair fiber porosity can be influenced by chemicals (such as alkaline and reducing agents), rough weather and sun rays.

The main function of a shampoo is to clean porous and rough areas of the hair surface. However, because hair often varies in type, the effectiveness of a shampoo product can vary considerably.

These are things that you'll get rid with a shampoo:

  • Sebum. It is produced continuously by the sebaceous glands and some bacteria Sebum a complex mixture that varies in composition, based on time of the year, diet, sex and age. These lipids may also be affected by chemical reactions such as oxidation, hydrolysis and peroxidation.
  • Keratin debris. They are produced by scalp desquamation.
  • Particles. They are deposited by pollutants from the air, minerals from water, tobacco, dust and hydrocarbons.
  • Residue of hair styling products. Sebum behaves like trap that can capture these elements.
  • Due to their adhesive properties and consistency, it is nearly impossible to remove contaminants by only mechanical efforts and water. Shampoo formula is developed to break the bond between contaminants and; the hair and scalp . Surfactants in shampoo have special affinity to lipid and water, which means they try to make themselves more "attractive" to sebum and water.

    Lather forms when we mix shampoo and water vigorously and it happen when surfactants catch water and sebum on your hair. The constant pushing and pulling effects of lathering can lift contaminants from the hair. While soap and shampoo both contain surfactants, you shouldn't use soap to wash your hair. Surfactants in soaps have stronger affinity to lipid, which can remove too much sebum from your hair. The extreme dryness can damage your hair. Shampoo use more balanced surfactants, which subtract just the right amount of sebum from your hair.

    About the Author

    Monina recommends Syneris Hair care products. A 100% natural hair lotion with evidence-based plant extracts, a new herbal approach to scalp and hair care for men and women.

    Article By: Monina Burn

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