What does shampooing mean? Just a cleansing process of hair or something else? It’s simply way more than this. Ayurveda has much more to offer in this matter. In today’s blog let’s discover some ancient theories of shampoo.
Although ‘shampooing’ or cleansing of hair has became a new fad in today’s world but it has been practiced for years. But it became so popular when this practice was introduced to Europe by Bengali barber-surgeon Din Muhammad and his Irish wife Jane Daly who opened a bathhouse in the 1700s in Brington, England. And as we all know English people are great adopters (from Indian words, like, ‘loot’, ‘dacoit’ to Indian properties and what not :/ ), they adopted the necessary components and created (as if) their own ‘shampoo’ which is basically a soapy, slippery fat combined with another fat to make a viscous liquid that be easily moved around the scalp, just like a bar soap. Sometimes they also added salt to thicken the slippery nature. And in modern beauty industry, fragrance, colour and preservatives are added to make it a ‘appealing product’.
The concept of shampoo or cleansing hair derives from the Sanskrit root ‘capayati’ which means to press and knead with the intention of soothing. If we see in Hindi, there’s a similar word called, ‘champo’ which is the imperative of ‘champna’. It means smear, knead the muscles of the body and oil massage the head and hair. Europeans traders who traveled to India, came to know about the rituals of the bath and their hair oiled and cleansed with herbal mixtures which astonished them. Because Europeans were all about perfuming their heads and covering them with wigs. Unfortunately now we coming back to these practices using products like, dry shampoo, head perfume etc.
A thick paste of herbs are commonly used to rinse out oil from the hair. These herbs are green gram powder, powder of amlaki, shikakai or hibiscus flowers. These make hair soft, shiny and healthy. Soapberries, soap nuts has added to create lather. This called ‘phenaka’ or extract of boiled Sapindus.
I hope you guys have fun reading this. We, Indians have an engrossing history with individuality. All we need to do is stop for a moment and think while choosing products.



Photographs courtesy: Swarnendu Ghosh
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