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Shampoo Formulas & Descriptions

Karen Marie Shelton - Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved 
Revised Date:  01/01/09 - Original Publication Date: 04/15/06

Introduction

Keira Knightley
The Jacket Premiere
02-28-05

The most important function of all shampoo products is to remove sebum, dirt, debris, oil and other toxins that have attached themselves to the outer surface of the hair shaft.

The word shampoo is derived from the Hindu word champo which means simply to massage or to knead, which is one of the principle techniques used when cleansing the hair.

The first commercial shampoos were introduced in the 1930s and consist primarily of water combined with various detergents and/or surfactants.

Although shampoo is designed to cleanse the hair, as hair marketing gurus discovered hair consumer concerns, they have built additional promises into basic shampoo formulas.  Those promises include everything from plumping up wimpy strands to adding color or eradicating dandruff or itchy scalps.

Do all those shampoo additives really work?  Like everything else in the hair world, it all depends on whom you talk to.  In some cases extensive testing has verified claims made to extended shampoo formulations.  In other cases, claims have never fully been verified.

As hair consumers, it is up to you to determine for yourself what works for you and your type, texture or current condition of your hair.  Meanwhile, I have laid out the different shampoo formulas that are available and their claim to differentiation.

Continued below ↓
 

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The different types of shampoo formulas have been organized alphabetically.

Type Of Shampoo Differentiation Advantages Disadvantages
Baby Shampoo Gentle on eyes - no tear formulas are common. Designed for babies, small kids & folks w/sensitive eyes Many formulas that fall under the "baby shampoo" title still contain various chemicals.  Baby formulas may no be strong enough for adults.  May not contain conditioning properties.
Clarifying or Detox Shampoo Does not usually contain conditioning agents. Designed to help remove product build-up, detox tresses or good for oily strands. Must be used with care and on an irregular basis or else these types of shampoo products are strong enough to strip away natural hair oils.  Too harsh for colored hair.  No conditioning properties.
Color Shampoo Contains various forms of color to enhance existing colors. May deepen, enrich or prolong current color-treated hair.  In some cases may add back color. A temporary color additive, some experts believe that these type of color shampoos have very limited benefit since a lot of the color may be washed down the drain during the rinse cycle.  In some cases color shampoos may stain porous strands.
Dandruff/Itchy Scalp Shampoos To fall into this category must contain FDA regulated ingredients proven to relieve dandruff. Helps to contain, control or greatly minimize itching from dandruff or related itchy scalp conditions. Dandruff shampoo products are infused with ingredients which may be quite harsh on the hair and may be very drying. 

The aroma of dandruff products can have an unpleasant odor.  Should not be used by consumers with delicately colored hair.

Dry Shampoo A powder based product that cleans w/out water. Cleanses the hair instantly without water.  Preserves existing style. Dry shampoos work well as a bridge between wet shampoo sessions.  Dry shampoos may be messy to use depending on the type of dry shampoo.
Fast Drying Shampoo Designed to clean while adding ingredients that replenish hair's moisture. Excellent for hair that is naturally dry, chemically damaged or processed. Should never be used on hair that is fine or thin since the added moisturizing ingredients can cause tresses to stick together and lay flat or limp.  Not a great choice for hair that is naturally oily.
Gray Hair Shampoo Also known as blue shampoo because it contains blue or violet pigments which are made for gray hair. Designed to counteract the yellow cast that may develop on gray hair. Similar to color shampoos these type of products can strip away needed oils. 

It may be too harsh for daily use by most hair types.

Moisturizing Shampoo Designed to clean while adding ingredients that replenish hair's moisture. Excellent for hair that is naturally dry, chemically damaged or processed. Should never be used on hair that is fine or thin since the added moisturizing ingredients can cause tresses to stick together and lay flat or limp.  Not a great choice for hair that is naturally oily.
Moisturizing Shampoo Designed to clean while adding ingredients that replenish hair's moisture. Excellent for hair that is naturally dry, chemically damaged or processed. Should never be used on hair that is fine or thin since the added moisturizing ingredients can cause tresses to stick together and lay flat or limp.  Not a great choice for hair that is naturally oily.
Normal Shampoo Is a basic shampoo with no special properties. Is a basic shampoo with no special properties. Does not provide any conditioning properties.
Oily Shampoo Formulated specifically for oily hair and to help dry excess oil. Helps to remove oil from the scalp and roots to give hair a fluffier appearance. Since the goal is to remove oil, it can leave some hair types dry.
Silver Hair Shampoo Also known as whitening shampoo because it contains white pigments which are made for silver hair. Designed to counteract the yellow cast that may develop on silver hair. Similar to color shampoos these type of products can strip away needed oils. 

It may be too harsh for daily use by most hair types.

Two In One Shampoo Shampoo that also contains conditioners in the formula. Good for anyone that doesn't want to bother with both shampoo and conditioner. Does not provide the full benefits of either shampoo or conditioner.  Shampoo may not be strong enough to remove deep dirt and debris.  Conditioner may not moisturize hair the way an independent conditioner will do.
Volumizing Shampoo Few or no conditioning properties.  Contains water-attracting ingredients to swell the hair shaft. Increases thickness of the hair but does not weigh down hair. May or may not provide more volume than a thickening styling product when used with a hair dryer.
       
       

Summary

As hair consumers, it is up to you to determine for yourself what works for you and your type, texture or current condition of your hair.  Meanwhile, I have laid out the different shampoo formulas that are available and their claim to differentiation.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on HairBoutique.com or anywhere else, please post a message on  HairBoutique.com's Hair Talk Forums.

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