Indias answer was to use boiled Soapnuts with sun dried Indian Gooseberries and other herbs to make a delightfully scented hair shampoo that would cleanse the hair and leave it clean and manageable.
Early Europeans took inspiration from many of the newly established trade destinations and the act of massaging the scalp with scented oils and soaps. The word hair shampoo is taken from the words Champi, Champo, and Capayati, which means to knead, soothe, and press. Later on around the mid 1800s the term became known more for cleansing the hair with soap, than for the act of massage.
In the early 1900s hair shampoo was made by boiling shaved soap flakes in water and adding fragrant herbs and salts. The earliest recorded commercially made hair shampoo was advertised around 1914, but what we know as hair shampoo today, did not come about until the mid-1930s when Proctor and Gamble developed the first non-soap derived surfactant.
Presently there are hundreds of hair shampoos on the market, many made with modern chemicals and artificial fragrances. These chemicals can cause severe skin reactions and this prompts many consumers to seek a specialist who can diagnose which chemical causes the reaction and help guide them to a brand that does not contain that ingredient. These chemicals are also extremely damaging to the environment when rinsed from your head and down the drain.
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There are also manufacturers that do not use the chemicals and seek to use natural ingredients and herbal formulas similar to ancient recipes. With many organic ingredients from around the world formulated to achieve benefits that would never have been possible in the past, modern scientific understanding of these herbal properties, and how best to pair them has been increasingly improving over the years.
However, the only way to ensure proper hair health is to produce your own homemade herbal hair shampoos, rinses, and treatments.
Creating your own hair shampoo is a fun and relaxing process that will help you better understand what you are putting in your hair and down the drain.
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