What is Shampoo?
Shampoo is a hair care product used for washing hair. It is usually in liquid form and is made from chemical or organic ingredients that are effective in cleaning or removing dirt from the hair. This shows the importance of shampoo in hair care because it can be formulated for many important aspects of hair care.
I guess you are wondering why you need to use shampoo when you can easily wash your hair with ordinary soap. The problem is there are several things that ordinary soap cannot clean out effectively, especially if you have a lot of hair.
You may have to use a shampoo to wash out dirt and oil from your hair if you have active sebum secretion in your scalp and your hair is exposed to harsh environmental conditions.
There are several benefits of using shampoo in washing your hair besides the removal of oil and dirt. You can see the various reasons why it is important to use shampoo below.
Importance of Shampoo
There are several reasons why using shampoo is important for your hair. Some of the benefits of using shampoo include:
1. Cleansing Properties
Water alone with soap may not be effective in removing dirt from your hair. This is because water or most soaps may not have the ability to dissolve dirt materials from your hair. It can even be more difficult when the dirt gets mixed up with oil that your hair follicles secret in your scalp. This is where the importance of shampoo becomes evident.
Shampoos contain ingredients known as surfactants which have the ability to dissolve dirt and oily substances. Once the surfactant dissolves the dirt and oil, it is then washed out hair leaving the hair clean and fresh.
2. Improving Hair Hygiene
Have you ever thought about what can happen if you don’t wash your hair properly? Your hair could develop an unpleasant odor and that can affect your personal hygiene and grooming. The odor may be the result of the accumulation of oil, dirt, dead skin cells (corneocytes) all mixed together with your sweat especially if you have not washed your hair for some time. This the the importance of shampoo in your daily life!
Of course, this is not the kind of odor you get from a nice cologne, and the odor from dirty hair can be so terrible that it may be difficult to mask it even with the best colognes.
This is one importance of shampoo that you should appreciate (even if you don’t like using shampoo). Washing your hair with the right type of shampoo for your hair will clean out the accumulated dirt in your hair along with all the mixture of dead cells and sweat. This will get rid of the smell and you can treat your hair with other products to make it smell good and nice.
3. Treating Scalp Conditions
There are many beneficial features of shampoo. Another way the importance of shampoo is demonstrated is in the treatment of various scalp and hair conditions that cannot be treated with the use of ordinary soap or water. For instance, dandruff is caused by dry hair and one of the obvious signs of dandruff is itching of the scalp with dry (whitish and brownish) flakes.
Shampoo can be used in treating hair affected by dandruff as well as other conditions like seborrhoeic dermatitis (inflammation) etc. Nowadays, there are specific shampoo formulations that have been created specifically for the treatment of dandruff including those that are made with only organic ingredients.
4. Treatment for Greasing or Oily Hair
People with oily hair usually tend to have a number of challenges which only the use of shampoo can help them address some of these issues effectively. Oily hair is caused by excessive secretion of sebum (oil) on your scalp. This makes it easy for dirt to get trapped in your hair.
Shampoo can be used in cleaning out the excess oil and dirt that may be trapped in the hair. However, it is not just the regular shampoo that you should use in treating oily hair. This is because when the shampoo removes the oil, the sebaceous glands respond by secreting even more oil. Hence there are special shampoos that have been formulated to take care of oily hair without worsening the condition of your scalp.
5. Treatment for Hair Loss
Hair thinning and eventual loss is usually attributed to an increase in a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT). There are various shampoo formulations that have been developed with ingredients that tend to inhibit the effect of this hormone, especially in men.
This is one importance of shampoo that many people really love. Most of these shampoos that are formulated to prevent or inhibit the process of hair loss tend to have a lot of good reviews from consumers who have tried them.
6. Treatment for Dry Scalp
Dry scalp is another big problem that some people have to deal with because the sebaceous glands in their scalp do not have the ability to secrete enough oil. Dry scalp usually results in itching that could be accompanied by flakes and may result in dandruff, and inflammation if it is not treated. Another importance of shampoo is how it is used in treating dry scalp and dry hair.
One of the ways dry scalp is treated is with the use of special shampoo formulations that contain oil-infused ingredients and supplements which could be natural or inorganic. Some of the common oils used in shampoos that are specially formulated to treat dry scalp and dry hair include argan oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, tea tree oil etc. Common supplements and ingredients for dry scalp and hair include omega-three fatty acids among others.
7. Hair Styles
You are likely to know this if you regularly style your hair in beautiful colors. When you wash your hair and its clean, it brings out the shine in the color styling, but your hair does not look beautiful (as much as it does when you wash it) when you don’t wash your hair.
Most people do not want to wash their hair because they are afraid of the shampoo washing out the color. This only happens when you use the wrong shampoo for colored hair. This cannot happen when you use specially formulated shampoos for colored hair when washing your hair.
Most people don’t take the importance of using shampoo for colored hairstyles seriously until they have unpleasant experiences. Your hair will look more beautiful and brighter when it is washed clean with the right color-locking shampoo.
Shampoo Ingredients and What They Do?
One of the reasons why shampoo is very effective for use on a wide array of hair care issues is because of the different types of ingredients used in making it. The attributes that showcase the importance of shampoo in hair care are derived from the different component ingredients used in making. Some of these ingredients and what they do include:
Primary Surfactants: These are shampoo ingredients that make oily dirt in your hair to become easily soluble to make it easy for such accumulated dirt to be washed out of your hair. Surfactant ingredients are often combined with other ingredients that produce lather and make it easy for the shampoo to perform its cleansing function.
Examples of surfactants include sodium Laureth sulfate. Other surfactants that are primarily used for lathering include Cocamidopropyl MEA and Cocamidopropyl betaine.
Pearling Agents: These are used mainly to create a beautiful appearance of the product for aesthetic appeal. Without these ingredients in shampoo (and most cosmetic products) the appearance of the shampoo or product may not be appealing.
This is why pearling agents are utilized to give shampoo and most cosmetic products a nice appealing presentation. Pearling agents are most times inert and do not interfere with the active ingredients in shampoos (surfactants). Examples of pearling agents include Glycol Distearate.
Conditioning Agents: Typically, after the shampoo has cleansed the hair of dirt and oil (sebum), the hair shaft becomes dry clean and dry because of the cleansing process. This can cause the cuticle on the hair shaft to become brittle and rough which causes the hair to break easily.
To prevent the cuticle on the hair shaft from becoming dry and brittle, ingredients that are conditioning agents are included in shampoo formulations. These components normally coat the hair shaft to make it smooth and prevent it from getting dry and brittle. This is another good importance of shampoo. Examples of conditioning agents in shampoo include Dimethicone, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride.
PH Adjuster: PH adjusters are generally used in keeping the ph level of any medium stable. Shampoos have PH adjusters too because of the chemical ingredients that are used. PH adjusters keep shampoo ph very stable and safe for your hair.
Preservatives: This shampoo ingredient does not really play an active role in cleansing your hair but it is important all the same. Preservatives prevent microorganisms from growing in the shampoo medium keeping it clean and germ-free.
Fragrance: The role of fragrances is quite obvious. It masks out the unpleasant odors that some of the ingredients can have with pleasant good odors. Shampoos are typically available in various nice smelling fragrances.