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[I have written this section, Haircare abc, as a Hair Care Scientist with reasonable experience and interest. I have academic background in Chemistry and Business Administration]



Shun Shampoos  



1. Shampoo is the biggest Pollutant for the hair. Whether it is good, bad or immaterial is a matter to be decided by an individual

Shampoo sellers show us the hair root and the speed with which a shampoo cleans up the unwanted things in the 'root' area. We do not know as to what the body provides to the roots or to that area. If that is known, hair loss would have become a dead subject long back

Body has ensured that Sebum glands join the hair strands above the root area - mezzanine floor. Sweat glands are adjacent to the hair strand on the scalp. That is, body does not allow these 2 body produced, seemingly safe items, to loaf about in the sensitive zone.

And we inject into that area, a detergent solution / shampoo. Is it safe?


2. Detergents cannot be used in Toilet Soaps or even in low quality, Toilet / Bathing Bars. And shampoos are detergent based. Scalp is only skin, covering the important part of the body, brain


3.  Shampoo removes the skin produced Vitamin D. This  removal is unhealthy.

4. Shampoo washes off Sebum, the body produced Lipid.

This fatty material forms a smooth layer over the skin and keeps it soft and supple. Removal can affect the suppleness of the skin.

5. The Long Term impact of Shampoo on the Scalp Hair is a poorly Researched Area of Dermatology / Allopathy. That is, its impact on Hair life, premature greying, strength, itching, skin’s weakened suppleness, sebum production, hair growth, toxicity if any, et cetera are not categorically known to be safe]

It is a failure of Dermatology to this day. The failure is not broadcasted or well known. Whatever it is, it should not have been construed as an implicit endorsement, which is what has been done unethically


Reality Check

Number of persons suffering from dandruff was less than 40% in 1996 as per survey results - tidbit news published in Business India in one 1996 issue

2012:  Number of persons suffering or facing Dandruff is over 62% of the population. A figure accepted by Unilever and Proctor & Gamble, two biggest sellers of Anti Dandruff shampoos in the World. The above percentage is accepted by some Dermatology Researchers as well.

Does that say something about Shampoos and more?

The figures say that 50% more people seems to be sufferers of dandruff and hairloss despite higher sales of Shampoos, anti dandruff shampoos, dyes and other decorative nothings for the hair


Interesting / Illuminative  / educative Claims


1.   Hindustan Unilever's  TV Advertisement for Sunsilk shampoo

Shampoos and boy friends are a bit similar in approach. They say one thing and do another. 'Can't fully bank upon'

Despite such an open message, if one looks upon Shampoo as a wonder product to offer easy solutions to Hair problems, it is a baseless assumption.

Hindustan Unilever is the major seller of Shampoos in India. They make Clinic Plus, All Clear, Sunsilk, Tresamme and Dove Shampoos.

2. . 'Shampoo cannot reduce hair fall and will make the hair rough'. Hindustan Lever's Sunsilk conditioner's advertisement:  Sony TV channel, 6-4-2009

3] 'It is immaterial what shampoo you use. It will make the hair dry and harsh.'  Ms Marino - Paras Pharmaceuticals - TV advertisements during December 2005 ODI Cricket Matches. They introduced 'Livon' in India. Now it is sold as 'Livon Hair Gain', by M/s Marico, the current sellers

4]  'Shampoo and Oil in one' -  

Garnier Fructis Shampoo [brand of L'oreal] - advertisement in Set Max TV - 8th May 2011 - IPL Matches

Does it not mean that Shampoo is a bit harsh for the hair and has to be toned down with Oil?

Shampoo discolours the hair for many. Premature Greying is spreading / has spread. Check the Sales of all 'Hair Dye' Sellers.


Risky Chemicals in a Shampoo


1. Detergent, like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, [SLS] a skin penetrative chemical, is the most common detergent used in Shampoo.  SLS in powder form is a skin, eye and lungs irritant, used also in hair removers.

2. Quarternary ammonium salts / Quats:

They are very common in hair conditioners and creme rinses. Much like a fabric softener, it helps make hair more manageable by depositing a fatty conditioner and fighting static - They may give an initial soft feel to hair but may eventually make the hair dry and brittle

Conditioner can undo or mitigate the damage by a shampoo,  is a baseless assumption. No one has provided any proof so far.  You do not know what all is removed. Putting back fat / oil is no answer.

3. ZPT / ZPTO is Zinc Pyro Thione / Oxide, a pesticide - can cause severe allergic reactions, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness and lack of concentration.


Cleaning the Hair


With Shampoos

Cleaning the hair with Shampoo is very convenient. It is easy and simple. One feels fresh after shampooing. One becomes an addict to shampoo. So whatever be the drawbacks I have stated above, it may be difficult to give up shampoo. I have the following suggestions to minimise the damage

1. Always buy Shampoo in bottles. One can control the quantity to use. In a sachet, the quantity bought has to be used as it cannot be stored

2. Wash the hair well with plain water first. It is good enough except for oily grime. If the hair has been washed first with water, the needed shampoo quantity will be less.

3. Do not soak the hair with shampoo for more than a minute. Damage time is reduced

4. Buy a plain shampoo. Treat it as a cleaner and not as a cure.

5. Wash the hair finally with 2 - 5 litres of Lemon water. Just squeeze half a lemon. Lemon is to remove the alkaline effect of detergent. 

7. Once the hair is dry, apply a bit of Coconut oil. - so that the hair do not get clubbed

8. Pre dilution:  Mix 10% Coconut Oil / vegetable oil used at home for cooking. Make the palm oily. Check whether the mixture cleans it well.  If harsh, increase the oil by further 10%. That is a simple way to adjust the pH as well as harshness of the shampoo


Options other than Shampoos


1. Just use water / warm water. It is safe and economical

2. Use Aritha / Soap nut powder. Shampoo started in the West also with Soap nut powder only..

3. Use Shikkakai powder or Besan powder. These are safe and natural products.

4. Do not assume that Herbal based shampoos are safe. Detergent is very economical. The cleaning action in a herbal shampoo may be because of detergent and the herbal part only having ornamental / labeling feature.  In such combinations, it is safer to assume that the bad features of the detergent would prevail.


One Blunder by Cosmetic Industry for your information


Around 1970, Iso Propyl Myristate was used in Hair Oils in the West. By 1990, it was realised that it is not good and can have negative effect on hair. It has been discarded.

Colgate versus Lever fight details in a separate page in this site. Xylitol, which Colgate claimed to be good for the teeth, is now an item to be gradually phased out from use in Tooth Paste

Given these instances, it is unwarranted to blindly believe in a 'product claim' if it is not supported by proofs . [ not untraceable manufactured reviews]

Every individual has to test the product in a meaningful way - assess the benefit and note unwanted effect, if any. We do that for Medicines, we do that for food


Errors and Omissions exempted.  If there be any unwanted oversights, mistake in content or suggestions for improvements,  kindly let me know
swapna hair Enricher/ saver, Cocolite, Silvershine, Autoshine and  Metashine are our brand names
Personal website of R. Ranganathan M.Sc., [ MBA - IIMA]    Main / original content: around 2000: last minor modification: Sep 21, 2017