Know your shampoo !

Have you ever wondered what goes into making these shampoos? we decided to dig deep and found some very interesting facts.


The concept of shampoo was first introduced in England in the 19th century. An enterprising man from West Bengal, Sake Dean Mohammed, was renowned in Britain for his ‘champi’ baths before he was made ‘shampooing surgeon’ to George VI. But the first commercial shampoo was manufactured in the 1930s with synthetic liquids. Shampoos contain certain ingredients in varying qualities. Here is a list of the most basic ingredients:


Also known as surfactants, these are basic ingredients in shampoos. The science behind a good shampoo is the one that cleanses well, but not too well as to wash away the natural oils in the hair. A shampoo with strong detergent properties is not good for scalp. There are both harsh as well as mild surfactants, opt for mild ones. There are few surfactant-free shampoos in the market. For example, Dove shampoo has a milder surfactant than most other brands.


All the shampoos contain conditioning agents which help in keeping hair soft, manageable and moisturised. Some shampoos also contain oils. Products like the Garnier ‘two in one’ shampoo have a higher percentage of moisturising elements compared to others.


Shampoos contain water and hence preservatives are added to it to increase its shelf life.

Thickening agents

Salt is added to give shampoo a thick consistency. Shampoos also contain foaming elements. So, unlike the popular belief, it does not necessarily mean that if your shampoo gives you a good foam, it’s good.

Special ingredients

Shampoos are of various kinds — like anti-dandruff, herbal or hairfall rescue. So depending on the kind of shampoo, some special ingredients are added to enhance its quality. For example, if you’re looking for an anti-dandruff shampoo, look for those that contain Aloe Vera and tea tree oil.

What do you think?

Written by Smita Diwan

Smita Diwan is a Media & Communication evangelist with 15+ years of steady growth. She has served across diverse verticals of Broadcast Journalism, Corporate Communications, Digital Media and Public Relations. A fitness enthusiast, Smita devotes her ‘rare’ free-time to yoga and meditation. As she strongly believes that the right balance is the key to steady growth.

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