International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 136-137  

Prevalent practices and perceptions in hair cleansing

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, JJM Medical College, Davangere, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2017

Correspondence Address:
N Asifa
Room No. 9, Skin OPD, Bapuji Hospital, MCC B Block, Davangere, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_41_16

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How to cite this article:
Asifa N, Kusagur MS, SugaReddy. Prevalent practices and perceptions in hair cleansing. Int J Trichol 2017;9:136-7

How to cite this URL:
Asifa N, Kusagur MS, SugaReddy. Prevalent practices and perceptions in hair cleansing. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Mar 29];9:136-7. Available from: https://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2017/9/3/136/213342


As the saying goes that “life is too short to have boring hair.” Healthy gorgeous looking hair denotes healthy body. Attitudes toward hair styles and hair cleansing have been varied since history across different cultures, but it is often used to indicate a person's beliefs or social position, depending on their age, sex, or religion.[1]

Hair cleansing is a mere act of cleansing scalp and hair. The age old debate continues that which cleanser to be used to wash hair, in a scenario wherein there are a lot of commercial products available such as shampoos, soaps, conditioners, herbal shampoos, and miscellaneous products such as egg and fruit extracts.

We conducted a cross-sectional study on fifty males and fifty females in dermatology outpatient department in a tertiary care center, to assess the level of understanding of hair care and hair cleansers and expectations of what an ideal cleanser should be, as shown in [Table 1].
Table 1: The basic understanding of cleansers

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Shampoos are liquids that are used primarily to clean the scalp of dirt and other pollutants, sebum, sweat, scales, and other greasy residues.[2] Accessory function of shampoo is conditioning and beautification process. Shampoos were used as main cleanser in more than half of the patients in our study, mainly for removal of oil, dirt. The people who dint use shampoo as main cleanser cited the reason that shampoos may cause graying of hair, cost, and religious values to use other herbal or fruit products.

Conditioners are viscous liquids with low pH, functions to impart easy manageability, add gloss, and for its antistatic properties to the hair, it may be included with shampoos.[3] They also reduce the friction between hair fibers. Conditioners were used by less than half people in our study the main reason cited for not using it was that it may lead to dry hair.

Soaps were used mainly as cleansers due to low cost. Herbal shampoos were used due to cultural beliefs, miscellaneous products such as egg were used as it was known to add shine and to impart strength to hair, but there is no supporting literature to these beliefs.

The frequency of hair washing is based on individual preferences and often influenced by sex, length of hair, culture, and social pressure.[3] Regular and frequent cleaning with well-formulated shampoo will not damage the hair; thus, there is no limit for frequency if a conditioner is regularly used. Hence, there is no upper limit of frequency provided regular conditioner is used.[4] There is also ample evidence to show that shampoos do not interfere with growth of hair.[3],[5]

On the one hand, the base of trichology is evolving in developed countries such as development of professional shampoos, conditioners with moisturizers, oil, sunscreen, and various cosmetic agents for hair care but the situation is not same in developing countries particularly India where age-old cultures are still prevalent. Dermatologists should take a lead to abolish the various myths regarding cleansers and hair care products.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Victoria S. Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press; 2006. p. iv.  Back to cited text no. 1
Robbins CR. Interaction of shampoo and crème rinse ingredients with human hair. In: Robbins CR, editor. Chemical and Physical Behaviour of Human Hair. 2nd ed. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1988. p. 122-67.  Back to cited text no. 2
D'Souza P, Rathi SK. Shampoo and conditioners: What a dermatologist should know? Indian J Dermatol 2015;60:248-54.  Back to cited text no. 3
Gray J. Hair care and hair care products. Clin Dermatol 2001;19:227-36.  Back to cited text no. 4
Dawber RP. Shampoos-Scientific Basis and Clinical Aspects (International Congress and Symposium). London: Royal Society of Medicine ISCD; 1996.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Table 1]


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