In the 1700’s people cleansed their hair very infrequently, using no shampoo,just simply rinsing with water. Any undesired aroma between rinsing was covered up with perfume. This was conducive to the feminine styles of the day as hair flowed naturally downward or was styled in variations of braiding and pinning. Washing hair began to gain popularity in the 1800‘s. Some would cleanse with lye, and rinse with a vinegar mixture. Pomades made the hair shiny, but was only necessary if you washed your hair with lye. Powder (consisting of potato or rice flour, coloring pigments and fragrant oils) was used to blend in the color of one’s wig (mostly worn by men), but could only be used if the hair was oily or a pomade was applied. The precursor to modern detergents were discovered in the mid-late 1800’s, yet shampooing and conditioning as we know it was unheard of until the 1900’s.

The major shift to shampoo use occurred in the 1950‘s. The major reason for the change was the selling of hair care products in the market place; most notably, frequent exposure to advertisements touting the benefits of using the products.

In the 1950‘s advertisers took advantage of societal peer pressure. As it was most desirable for a young woman to be married prior to end of her early 20‘s, advertisements encouraged women to use the right hair products to keep their man interested. Several companies launched new shampoos and conditioners during this beauty-conscious decade. In the 1960’s, women were still content to have their hair shampooed and professionally placed into a flattering style one time each week. Then, with the invention of the blow dryer in the 1970’s along with Vidal Sassoon’s avant garde precision haircuts, women opted once again for a wash and wear style.

In the 1970‘s Vidal Sassoon, a premier hairstylist and budding manufacture, sold us the need for “Silky sexy, shiny hair”, and a “ three step daily plan” to achieve it. With Farrah’s flowing mane came the subsequent release of mouse and various sizes of curling irons. Then in the 1980’s came the first (regretfully foul smelling) protein and moisturizing conditioner that eventually replaced the hot oil and mayonnaise conditioning treatments for adding “life” back into one’s hair after a “curly” or “ spiral” perm.

There are numerous professional products available on the market. Each is specifically formulated for different hair types and also varying conditions and style options. There are products to address oily, fine limp, thick course, dry frizzy, volumizing and curly hair; the list goes on and on. Some products are best for chemically treated hair, others for hair effected by minerals (such as chlorine in pools or rust from natural wells) and even for keeping hair in the best shape when exposed to the salt and surf in the Florida sun.

Resist the urge to follow the advice of television or print advertisements. One must use the proper shampoo on a schedule to solve his or her individual needs. The proper shampoo and frequency of use is dependent on the following variables: the hair type and texture, condition of the scalp and hair, the style one wishes to maintain, and one’s lifestyle and budgeting of time.

The shampoo and frequency of use must be based on one’s hair texture, style, and history of services one has received. Only one’s personal stylist is qualified to provide one on one advice on what is ideal.

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