Herbs are the Nature’s best gift to the Human Kind. Herbs have been used in treatment and management of many ailments and have also been reported to be used for self-grooming. This fact remains undoubted from ages.
Before the dawn of modern era, people were found to be in constant touch with nature for beauty care requirements. Even now if we just pullout our drawers, we can find at least a couple of items from natural origin that are used in day to day grooming schedule. Then there was a lot of western influence on this segment where in the natural ingredients were slowly replaced by some synthetic and chemical ingredients.
The major reason for this shift of trend from Nature to chemicals was the aesthetics and sensorials that these chemicals induce when used. Though sensorially great, these are potentially hazardous.
The natural ingredients that are / were used in hair segments are Amla, bhringaraj, Soapnut, Hibiscus, Neem, Tulasi, Shikakai etc., to name a few.
These ingredients when used as herbs give the essential nutrition that is required by Hair and make them strong and healthy from roots. However, the modus operandi to use these natural ingredients is time consuming and non user friendly.
Hence the modern hair care segments make a blend of synthetic cleansers and the herbal extracts and present it to the consumer as a ready to use pack.
Herbals shampoos are a better choice for some of the reasons given below
1.A conglomeration of modern science and traditional knowledge system to give the consumer the benefits of both.
The herbs / herbal extracts have the same efficacy and results when used in modern dosage forms as that of those when used alone (As a herb alone)
2.The solubilisers / emulsifiers used in the product makes it more efficient as these are known to increase the availability of the active constituents at the site of action, ex., the scalp, hair shaft etc.
3. The conditioning effect that is provided by herbs is more beneficial to the hair in a system as whole whereas, the synthetic conditioners play with different types of charge inducers which may in turn damage the hair permanently.
4.The cleansing action of the synthetic cleansers / shampoo aims basically to remove oil content from the hair leaving the hair dry and damaged, whereas herbal shampoos aim at delivering essential nutrients to the hair and at the same time have a mild cleansing effect to remove the unwanted oily content.
5.In the anti-dandruff shampoo sector, majority of the brand use an anti-microbial agent called as “Climbazole” which acts like an anti-biotic and helps in getting rid of Dandruff temporarily. Whereas, the herbal shampoos make use of the goodness of Ginger, Neem and Tulasi like ingredients which help in removing the dandruff causing organisms.
6.Repeated use of Climbazole based shampoo may render the organism resistant to it and the Dandruff may turn out to be a permanent problem. Where as herbal shampoos using Ginger like stuff contains antimicrobial constituents like Gingerols and shagols, which are known to manage the dandruff causing organisms without causing any resistance.
7.Modern shampoos use Silicones to give that silky rich feel on the hair, but unfortunately these silicones though not bad for human at current times, are reported to be hazardous to the environment as they are not easily decomposed. However, the same silky rich feel is given by certain herbs like hibiscus which are from the Nature and of course nature friendly.
8.The preservatives systems that are engaged in the modern shampoo are known to interfere with the normal biological functions of the human body and may lead to some unwanted health risks, the best example is Parabens. Hence ,the world is moving away from paraben. Herbal shampoos aim at providing a stable and robust products without the use of such parabens. Hence you see a claim such as paraben free on such shampoos.
9.Last but not the least the use of these herbal shampoo will help in generating revenue to many of the farmers atleast to earn their livelihood through whom the herbs are sourced. Which is a rare case scenario in case consumers start using the synthetic shampoos.
Vadiraj G Bharadwaj, Sr. Manager, Projects, AyurCentral