History Of Shampoo - 5 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know


The history of shampoo is actually quite interesting. Did you know that before shampoo there was the bar soap. People used bar soap to wash their hair in a one shot type of deal.

Bar soap however was an irritant to the scalp and really did not do a lot for the look of the hair.

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The history of shampoo begins in the 1930’s when the very first cleaning liquid for the hair was created, it was a synthetic blend that frankly was not much better for your hair.

Dr. John Breck is credited with creating a PH balanced shampoo for the hair in 1936 when the popular “Breck Girls” were born as the face of the newly formed hair care company.

History of shampoo - A few interesting facts

By the 1960’s and about 1000 improvements later what we think of as shampoo today was born. Shampoo is made up of several different ingredients.

The primary ingredient in any shampoo is water which is also the main ingredient to which surfactants are added as are a full range of other chemicals all meant to get your hair squeaky clean and a promise of a host of other traits you want for your hair.

Shampoo Science:
Since Dr. Breck’s inception of what a shampoo should be there has been an entire corner of science dedicated to improving upon shampoo. It is a very precise science that looks at the composition of the hair shaft and the chemical reaction of the hair shaft to specific chemicals.

Essential Oils:
Long before shampoo made the seen AND before people were scrubbing their heads with bar soap people kept their hair and scalp clean by using essential oils to clean their hair. One of the major draw backs of course of using oils to clean the hair without a surfactant is that hair was a little bit too greasy back in the day!

Today’s Options:
For about 40-50 years shampoos were created with a bevvy of chemicals. Until the last decade no one was really paying attention to what those chemicals can do to the body. There has been some indication that the chemicals in shampoos can have many very serious side effects and consequences.

Today people are moving back toward formulas that are all natural and that depend heavily on essential oils and other things found in nature to get their hair sparkling clean and healthy to avoid exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Are You Washing Your Hair Right?
How many times have you seen the “lather, rinse, repeat” instructions on shampoo labels. These directions have even taken on a life of their own. Is it necessary to lather, rinse and repeat to get your hair clean or is that just a tradition that started because a guy wanted to sell his shampoo.

You guessed it, it is in fact bad advice that is attributed to none other than Dr. Breck himself. It is not necessary to lather rinse repeat. You can leave the repeat part out. Washing your hair one time is sufficient.

You also should not be washing your hair everyday. Washing your hair everyday is actually very bad for your hair. You hair needs the natural oils from your scalp to stay shiny and to grow. Washing away the oils from your scalp does not help you hair.

Proper Washing:
Yes you need to lather and rinse well but avoid repeating because all you will do is dry your hair out. Start by wetting your entire head and instead of adding shampoo directly to the scalp (which may be an irritant) make a cup with your hand and squirt the shampoo into your hand.

Image Credit: Mister GC via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Credit: Mister GC via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shampooing your hair is really an act of washing both the hair and the scalp. You want to start at the top and work your way down and gently massage the scalp as you go.

You do not need a lot of shampoo to get the job done. A quarter size amount is typically good for any length of hair.

There is no need to scrub vigorously. Your scalp can easily become irritated so you do want to be gentle with it. A gentle massaging motion is sufficient and will revitalize your scalp and actually stimulate hair growth.

A gentle massage will also get the blood flowing in your scalp. One of the key mistakes that many people make is that they do not rinse their hair enough. Shampoo residue can leave hair looking lack luster. So be sure that you rinse all the shampoo our of your hair.

Always take steps to protect your eyes from shampoo unless it is a formula that is made especially with eye protection in mind.

Children and babies with very fine hair only need a very small amount of shampoo, a dime size amount will suffice for them. In some cases you can actually just use some shampoo on a wash cloth to wash very fine hair to avoid any scalp irritation. The history of shampoo is a very interesting subject when you give it some thought!