Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about a liquid for washing hair. For other uses of the word Shampoo, see Shampoo (disambiguation).
A shampoo is a traditional Indian and Persian body massage given after pouring warm water over the body and rubbing it with extracts from herbs. It can be used in conjunction with a conditioner for optimal results, but it is not a necessity.
Since the early 20th century, the term "shampoo" has also been used for commercial liquid soap products for washing hair. Shampoo is designed to produce plenty of lather that removes dirt, without removing the natural oils that protect the hair. The product is made slightly acidic to cause the hair to contract slightly, giving it a shinier appearance. It is possible to make mild shampoos at home with natural ingredients for daily wash. Shampoos should be chosen according to hair types. Some shampoos also contain hair conditioners.
There are shampoos available specifically for those who have dandruff. Such shampoos contain zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide etc. These chemicals are fungicides, and reduce dandruff by killing Malassezia furfur.
Many shampoos contain one or more of the following four 'base' chemicals : ammonium laurel (or 'lauryl') sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. The order in which they are listed above is from the most to the least harsh, chemical-wise. Even ALS, in the amounts in shampoo, is not terribly damaging to one's health.
Some companies use "all-natural" or organic ingredients, such as flowers and the like, often combining these healthy additions with a harsher base.
A rumor sprung forth in the late 1980s and early 1990s that sodium laurel sulfate, etc. was more hazardous than it actually was. It is true that it is a somewhat abrasive chemical, however reports that it caused cancer and the like were highly exaggerated. This substance also appears in many toothpastes, among other things, and is largely a foaming agent.
Alternate shampoos, sometimes labeled as being "No SLS" (or SLS with a line through it) have been created which contain much less harsh chemicals and none of the sulfate family. Company Trader Joe's, among others, has a store brand. Because people incorrectly associate "foaming" with "cleaning" many continue to use more mainstream brands.
Shampoo for animals (such as for dogs or cats) often is formulated so as not to irritate their eyes — so baby shampoo is often an excellent substitute — or might contain insecticides or other medications for treatment of skin conditions or parasites such as fleas or mange.
Shampoo is also available in solid form that is rubbed onto the hair: this has the advantage of having the shampoo easily carried, but also has the disadvantage of working less efficiently on longer hair.
List of Shampoo brands
- Head & Shoulders
- John Frieda
- Paul Mitchell
- Trader Joe's
- Wella Balsam
- Judith Jackson
- Ales Groupe
- Kao Brands
- Shampoo is a 1975 motion picture
- Shampoo is also a fictional character in Ranma ½
- Shampoo is UK's idol group.
- Sham poo, made of plastic, is a gag item favoured by children.
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