Shampoo is the single most important factor for the increasing hairloss across the World. This page is about the overlooked dark side of the Shampoos. Just study the contents below and decide for yourself.
1. Shampoo destroys the crucial hair supports
The human body provides only 2 nutrients to a hair at the live part of the hair. The hair outside the skin, that we see, is a chain of dead non dividing cells. Body provides some nutrients at the hair roots / follicle. The exact contents are unknown. If only this is known, hair loss can go out of the World in months. Sebum glands join the hair strand at a level above the roots. This oil / lipid, being lighter, comes out on the skin using the circumference of the hair shaft.
Shampoo has the power to wash out the nutrients as well as Sebum. And the Science has not advanced enough to replace / substitute them. So how can shampoo be beneficial to the hair?
Hair is not connected to the blood routes. When we pluck a hair, we do not see blood on the hair.
2. Shampoo is the major pollutant for the hair due to above facts
The space between the hair hole / passage and the hair shaft is filled with Sebum and air. It is much thinner than the hair which is why hair is held tight by the skin. In that very minute narrow gap, solid and gas particles cannot enter.
Only a shampoo, a surfactant solution, with low surface tension can slide through that space and go to the roots. Once in a while, a shampoo advertisement shows how the shampoo cleans up all debris around the root / base area. Are there debris? No one asks.[experiment: take a mirror. Sprinkle water. Wait for water to drain out. There will be water droplets here and there sticking to the mirror. Wash the mirror with domestic detergent or shampoo. Now sprinkle water on the mirror. You will note that the sprinkled water forms a uniform film and slides smoothly down the mirror to drain out. You now know why Shampoo can be a slippery, overlooked, rogue]
Shampoo is the pollutant that we feed to the hair to reach the roots and live area. In the last 25 years, I have not seen any normally hairy animal, going bald, in National Geographic or Animal Planet TV channels – seasonal shedding, yes, but bald, No. Alopecia term was coined after Fox by Greeks ages back. But for that, the World would not have got foxed without much clue till date. Blame them
3. Questaionable Safety
The Long Term impact of Shampoo on the Scalp Hair is a poorly Researched Area of Dermatology / Allopathy. That is, its impact on Hair life, premature greying, strength, itching, skin’s weakened suppleness, sebum production, hair growth, toxicity if any, etcetera are not categorically known or studied. [Keep this in mind and go through some experts’ advices on the web. It would be educative]
4. Lacks historical proof for impact
Shampoo was introduced around 1930. Like a match box, it is now a widely used, packaged and perfumed, Consumer product nearly in every house. 90 Years have passed. Is there any study or proof that Shampoos helps the hair, controls the loss or aids growth? NO
5. Vitamines washed out
Shampoo removes the skin produced Vitamin D. Vitamin D is water and heat resistant. Its removal is unhealthy. [B complex and C vitamins are water soluble. VitaminA and E areoil soluble]
6. Rough and dry skin
Shampoo washes off Sebum, the body produced Lipid. This fatty material forms a smooth layer over the skin and keeps it soft and supple. Removal can affect the suppleness of the skin. Shampoo turns the hair, rough and dry.
7. Conceded weaknesses of Shampoos
a] 'Shampoos and boy friends are a bit similar in approach. They say one thing and do another. 'Can't fully bank upon'
Hindustan Lever's advertisement for Sunsilk Shampoo. Hindustan Unilever is the major seller of Shampoos in India.
b] Hindustan Lever's Sunsilk conditioner's advertisement: Sony TV channel, 6-4-2009
'Shampoo cannot reduce hair fall and will make the hair rough'.
c] 'It is immaterial what shampoo you use. It will make the hair dry and harsh.'
Ms Marino - Paras Pharmaceuticals - TV advertisements during December 2005 ODI Cricket Matches.They introduced 'Livon' in India. Now it is sold as 'Livon Hair Gain', by M/s Marico, the current sellers [the informed the public some years back that stress is the 22nd reason for hair loss. Check with Mussolini in the ‘Alerts’ page]
8. Risky Chemicals in shampoo
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate / SLS / SLES are the normal detergents used in Shampoos. The safety was not checked. They were used by Cosmetic companies because they were cost effective. These can stunt growth as per one report that I read around 2008.
Convenience and ease of use are the only favourable points of shampoo. Basically, shampoo is a detergent solution to remove the oil / grime and dirt from the outside head hair by making all these unwanted things, dispersible in water. But it trespasses further and reaches the live area. [wait, do not panic, damage has been done: Perhaps by 2019, shampoo sellers may come out with a AI enabled Shampoo that would not enter the hair shafts / live area of the hair]
It is naive and unwarranted to assume that Sulphate free shampoos are safe or Sulphates are dangerous. One cannot generalise like that. Surfactant Chemistry is a much developed field now and over 100, 000 surfactants are available. [In 1966, one Professor told our M.Sc class that available Organic compounds may be around 100,000. Now in one field alone, we are having that many formulations / variants]
Soap contains unreacted / under reacted fatty acids and alkali in the form of scum which gets into the hair and leads to tangles. That is why shampoo is a better hair cleaner compared to a toilet soap.
8b. Quarternary ammonium salts / Hair breakage
They are very common in hair conditioners and creme rinses. It helps make the hair more manageable by depositing a fatty conditioner and fighting static. They may give an initial soft feel to hair but may eventually make the hair dry and brittle
It is a highly glossy, water insoluble / resistant compound that can provide 'slippery effect' also. It is used in Shampoos, Conditioners, serums and such others for gloss, slippery effect, removal of static electricity / no clubbing and Gloss. So, why make it go inside the hair and make 'convoluted excuses'?
Is natural hair Glossy? NO. You can check that with a new born / less than 6 months old baby.
Silicones can be made water dispersible with some surfactants. Dispersible means mixable with water.
This also poses a problem in coming days. Serums are becoming popular nowadays with advertisements, as people naively believe that a costlier product is a better elixir for hair / hairloss problems. Many serums contain the Silicones - undesirable
9. Cosmetics Act
Detergents cannot be used in Toilet Soaps in India even in low quality Toilet / Bathing Bars. Such a rule is there because of safety consideration for the skin. Scalp is also skin only.
Some simple precautions
- Buy Shampoo in bottles. Dilute it. Apply oil lightly on your palms. Use the diluted shampoo and check whether the oil is removed. Repeat the trial with further dilution of shampoo to judge the extent of desirable dilution for your shampoo. Never use shampoo more than twice a week or in excess. Never buy in sachets for regular use as the quantity is decided by the seller and not by you. [a bit of oil on hair is better than dry hair]
- Apply 2-3 ml Oil on the head at night one day before the planned shampoo bath. This oil will act with shampoo and dilute its power.
- Wash off the shampooed head with Lemon juice - half a lemon in 5 litres of water. [Body makes Citric Acid, the acid in Lemon. It is called TCA cycle] So this Lemon wash would not harm the hair. It would remove the trace of alkalinity, left by the shampoo. The hair would become a bit smooth and silky
- Apply oil / watery oil after the hair is dried. Not using oil is also bad. [You can refer dry hair style for that.] You can use one or more of the above tips together or any one as convenient.
If shampoo cleans the bath room sinks, then perhaps it is a 2 in 1 bargain for some. For others, it is just a hair cleaner.