You surely wouldn’t believe that the shampoo that you are using in real perspective is not a product rather it’s a process or method of giving nourishment to hairs. The roots of shampoo were found to be present in India and it’s a misconception that western countries have introduced them.
India has been accredited to a lot of inventions that are held important in today’s life.
Be it the invention of the practice of surgery, stem cell banks, or the concept of zero – you name it and we have already been there and done it since the time of the sages.
In ancient times what we were using also had an Ayurvedic touch to it. For example, we used sandalwood paste as soap. Not only was the smell enchanting and enticing, it also kept the skin smooth and fresh. We used turmeric and gram flour as natural scrubs to keep our body shining and to reduce unnecessary hair growth. We used a mix of honey, lemon, and sugar mix at warm temperature for natural waxing. And the natural products did not have any side effects. It was simple, yet amazing.
“Shampoo” , the word we are using in english scenario got its roots from the Hindi word “champu“, which itself derived itself from the Sanskrit word “chapyathi” which means press, knead, or soothe. In the olden days, herbs and their extracts were mixed and used to make a paste like component which was used to cleanse the hair.
The earliest shampoo was made of ingredients like Gooseberry (Amla), Soapberry extract(kshuna), hibiscus, Shikakai paste, etc. Each of these ingredients had natural properties that helped in thick and healthy hair growth.
Amla helped in strengthening hair follicles, and helped retain the strength and lustre of the hair. The vitamin C present in Amla helped in preventing premature greying of hair and men and women looked forever 21! Amla also helped in fighting dandruff and itchy scalp. Amla also worked as a great conditioner.
HISTORY OF SHAMPOO
In India, a variety of herbs and their extracts have been used as shampoos since ancient times. A very effective early shampoo was made by boiling Sapindus with dried Indian gooseberry(amla) and a selection of other herbs, using the strained extract. Sapindus, also known as soapberries or soapnuts, a tropical tree widespread in India, is called Ksuna (Sanskrit: क्षुण)i n ancient Indian texts and its fruit pulp contains saponins which are a natural surfactant. The extract of soapberries creates a lather which Indian texts called phenaka (Sanskrit: फेनक). It leaves the hair soft, shiny and manageable. Other products used for hair cleansing were shikakai (Acacia concinna), hibiscus flowers,ritha (Sapindus mukorossi) and arappu (Albizzia amara).Guru Nanak, the founding prophet and the first Guru of Sikhism, made references to soapberry tree and soap in the 16th century.
Cleansing with hair and body massage (champu) during one’s daily bath was an indulgence of early colonial traders in India. When they returned to Europe, they introduced the newly learnt habits, including the hair treatment they called shampoo.
WHAT SHAMPOO CONTAINS ?
Shampoo is generally made by combining a surfactant, most often sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, with a co-surfactant, most often cocamidopropyl betaine in water to form a thick, viscous liquid. Other essential ingredients include salt (sodium chloride), which is used to adjust the viscosity, a preservative and fragrance. Other ingredients are generally included in shampoo formulations to maximize the following qualities:
- pleasing foam
- ease of rinsing
- minimal skin and eye irritation
- thick or creamy feeling
- pleasant fragrance
- low toxicity
- good biodegradability
- slight acidity (pH less than 7)
- no damage to hair
- repair of damage already done to hair
HARMFUL EFFECTS OF SHAMPOO
Many shampoos are pearlescent. This effect is achieved by addition of tiny flakes of suitable materials, e.g. glycol distearate, chemically derived from stearic acid, which may have either animal or vegetable origins. Glycol distearate is a wax. Many shampoos also include silicone to provide conditioning benefits.
The dangerous effects in most of shampoos are due to surfactants called Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) and related compounds. SLS is possibly the most dangerous ingredient a consumer can find in most shampoos. So potent is SLS, studies have linked it to serious skin and scalp irritation and disease, hair loss and damage and the ability of the chemical to create nitrate compounds which have been linked to cancer and cell damage.
SLS is often disguised by a variety of chemical names such as diethanolime) (DEA, triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA). All are common in almost all shampoos. These ingredients, plus other equally dangerous cousins to SLS, such as Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosucinate are made by separating Lauric acid from coconut oil and treating with sulfuric acid, or by making lauric acid synthetically, or Lauamide MEA, Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, made from Lauric acid and ammonia. Even hair care products that label themselves as “natural” may contain these potentially fatal ingredients.