Unlike conditioner, the main purpose of shampoo is to remove dirt and oil from the scalp and the surface of the hair.
Hence the practice of giving our scalp a good massage to apply the shampoo, then quickly rinsing it out.
It is no coincidence then that the word shampoo comes from the Hindi, champo, meaning press or kneed.
Shampoo is typically made up of surfactants (often they are sulfates, a type of detergent), along with cocamidopropyl betaine, or related ingredients, and water.
It is basically a gentle, liquid soap which is especially designed for your scalp and hair, to combat grease.
Of course, you can get speciality shampoos that focus on treating dandruff or colour-treated hair, as well as shampoos for babies and pets.
Dandruff shampoos contain fungicides that kill fungi, such as malassezia furfur. This fungi is naturally occurring on the skin, but when you have a lot of it, it can lead to loose dander.
Shampoo for babies is made to be more gentle, especially for if it accidentally gets into the child’s eyes.
Meanwhile, animal shampoo will often contain insecticides to kill flees, or other medications, and therefore should not be used on humans.
Shampoo bars are made from natural ingredients, and aim to include conditioning properties as well.
They come in a solid bar form, somewhat like a bar of soap.
Their basic format was used before shampoo became mainstream. But today, more thought may go into the composition of soap bars.
One advantage of shampoo bars is that less packaging is involved. They are generally easier to carry around and if you’re travelling, they won’t leak in your check-in luggage!
However, the main reason people choose shampoo bars is for their ingredients.
We stock a variety of shampoo bars in different fragrances and colours:
The Ethique Heali Kiwi Shampoo Bar For Touchy Scalps for example, contains karanja oils for scalp issues, as well as kiwifruit oil, coconut oil, neem oil, and oatmeal.
By running the bar down your hair from root to tip around four times, the bar will help with a soothed scalp and silky hair.
We also sell the Ethique Tip To Toe Shampoo & Shaving Bar which can be used for both shaving and washing your scalp.
Its soft lather helps lift hairs for a close shave, and it uses ingredients such as mint oils and cocoa butter for a nice finishing scent.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to hair loss or to slowed hair growth. These include things like ageing and stress, as well as how vigorously you brush your hair, along with the state of your scalp.
While shampoo cannot address many of these factors, it can be used to address a flaky or itchy scalp.
Use shampoo on wet hair, and focus more of your attention on the roots of your hair and your scalp, where oil can build up, than on the rest of your hair.
Rinse straight away with warm to cold water – the colder the better. That should be enough, unless you have used a lot of product on your hair, such as hair spray. In which case, a second shampoo can make all the difference.
Then, follow with a conditioner, and let that cover all of your hair thoroughly. Leave it in for three to five minutes.
Some people may be sensitive to ingredients such as sulfates or just prefer shampoos with more natural ingredients.
Sulfates are used to create a lathering effect in shampoos, however they have been known to cause dryness for people with sensitive scalps. Other people find that shampoos with sulfates strip the natural oils on the scalp and hair and make it dry or brittle.
While this is often counteracted by using conditioner after shampoo, you can also seek out shampoos without sulfates.
Sulfates are what cause the lathering when you use shampoo, so a lack of lathering is a good indication the shampoo has none, or only a small amount.
We provide a range of shampoos for those who don’t wish to use sulfates on their hair. For example, Afrocenchix - Swish Sulphate Free Shampoo was made especially for curly and kinky hair.
It is based on raw shea butter as well as aloe vera, so it can help soften dry hair.