What Is Solid Shampoo
For solid shampoo, we mean the cosmetic formulation used to cleanse the scalp and hair, which, instead, being in liquid form, is found to be in solid form. In other words, solid shampoo could be seen as a kind of bar of soap whose use, however, is suitable for the scalp and hair. For a solid shampoo to meet the needs of this body area, it must have specific characteristics different from those of the classic soap.
Composition Of Solid Shampoos
Visually, the solid shampoo resembles a bar of soap in all respects, depending on the type of product, as well as depending on the manufacturer, shape, and color may vary depending on what is dictated by the imagination, by marketing, or by what the manufacturer himself wants to communicate with his product. Leaving aside the aesthetics, let’s now go to see in more detail what are the components of solid shampoo. Being a product that must cleanse the scalp and hair, removing dirt consists of the sebum produced by the glands present in the hair follicles and residues of hair products – the main ingredients can only be the surfactants.
Surfactants are molecules that, in their chemical structure, have a hydrophilic part (defined as “head” and soluble in water) and a hydrophobic part (defined as “tail” and soluble in oil). Thanks to this characteristic, the surfactants can bind the dirt and sebum present on the head and hair and take it away with them when they are rinsed with water. The types of surfactants that can be used are many.
Some have a high cleaning power and produce an abundant and dense foam, while others are more delicate, tend to make a less thick foam, and are easier to rinse. The choice of surfactant to be used naturally can depend on various factors, including the type of shampoo to be obtained. The solid shampoo also contains water, although, of course, the quantity of this ingredient is much lower compared to liquid shampoos.
Solid Shampoo With Basic pH
On the market, it is also possible to find products called solid shampoos obtained through saponification processes. In other words, shampoo is received by the method used to produce those we know as ordinary soap. The solid shampoos obtained in this way have a slightly basic pH. For this reason, after their use, the manufacturers always recommend carrying out the so-called ” acid rinse, “i.e., a rinse with substances having a slightly acid pH to avoid the hair taking on a “dull” or “dull” effect.
This phenomenon occurs with the use of solid shampoos with a slightly basic pH to be found in the structure of the hair itself. By transversally dissecting the hair shaft – that is the outer part we see – it is possible to distinguish three different layers: an innermost one called the medulla, an intermediate one called the cortex (where the pigments responsible for hair coloring are present), and an outermost part known as the cuticle, consisting of cells flattened arranged as small flakes in a similar way to the arrangement that the tiles have on a roof.
These flakes are hydrophobic, i.e., they do not absorb water and cause it to slide over the hair. When they are arranged in an orderly manner and are well adherent to the stem, they reflect the light giving the shiny effect and “healthy hair”; on the contrary, when they are open, not arranged along the shaft or in any case set in a disordered or damaged way, the hair takes on a frizzy or stringy appearance. Therefore, a solid shampoo with a basic pH, therefore, opens the cuticles and the manufacturers recommend performing an acid rinse after their use to close them again.
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How Do I Use Solid Shampoo?
The use of solid shampoo is effortless and does not require particular actions. It is sufficient to rub the product on the hands until foam is formed, then proceed to wash the head and hair; or, you can rub it directly on wet hair and, once the foam is obtained, proceed with regular handwashing. In this regard, please note that – to avoid irritation of the scalp and damage the hair – cleansing should be done by massaging the skin with the fingertips and in a delicate manner.
In other words, the nails should not be used to rub the skin, and the movement should not be excessively energetic. At the end of the wash, a liquid conditioner or a solid conditioner can also be applied. However, some solid shampoos have a 2 in 1 formulation – that is, a shampoo + conditioner formulation – whereby the application of the conditioner can be skipped.
How To Store The Solid Shampoo And Useful Tips For Its Use
To guarantee an excellent duration of the product and proper conservation of the solid shampoo, it may be helpful to follow these few simple tips:
- Do not expose the solid shampoo directly to the water jet, but let it foam in your wet hands and then immediately place it in a dry place in the shower; or, pass it on damp hair, but only for the time necessary to transfer the minimum quantity required to wash the hair onto the head.
- Alternatively, it is possible to expose the solid shampoo to the water jet for a short time and then let it foam in your hands. Of course, the operation can be repeated until enough product has been taken to wash all the hair. Avoiding prolonged contact of the solid shampoo with water reduces the risk of waste, and that part of the product is “carried away” by the water, ending up in the drain without being used.
- Put the solid shampoo on a soap dish that prevents the stagnation of water, but rather, which favors its removal (for this purpose, there are unique soap dishes that have small holes in the bottom to drain excess water, some are also equipped with a container that allows you to collect the water without wasting it). The stagnation of the solid shampoo in the water would dissolve a part of it, preventing its use and favoring its faster consumption.
- After use, the solid shampoo should be allowed to air dry completely.
- When the solid shampoo is almost finished and fragments into smaller pieces, to recover it and not waste it, you can combine these pieces with a new solid shampoo: just wet both shampoos (old and new) and compress them with your hands to compact them, let everything dry well and proceed with regular washing the next time.
Advantages And Disadvantages
It is understood that the advantages and disadvantages of buying and using solid shampoos may vary from person to person. We will try to make it below.
Benefits Of Solid Shampoo
- When used correctly, solid shampoos tend to last longer than their equivalent liquid shampoo.
- Solid shampoo is easy to use, and in most cases, it is sufficient to use a tiny amount of product to wash.
- They are easy to carry, as they are “leakproof” and “bypass” the problem of the limit of liquid products to carry in cabin baggage when traveling by plane.
- In many cases, the packaging is plastic-free.
Possible Disadvantages Of Solid Shampoo
- The need to dry and store solid shampoo away from water to avoid wasting it could disadvantage many people.
- When used on the go, solid shampoos should be allowed to dry thoroughly before being sealed in the packaging in which they will be transported. When time is short, this could be a disadvantage.
- The price of some solid shampoos may be too high for some people compared to traditional shampoos.
- The reliable format may not appeal to everyone.
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