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Good Health and Bad Medicine:
 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 1

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 2

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 3

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 4

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 5

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 6

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 7

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 8

 Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 9

 Feminine Hygiene

 Read More Articles About: Good Health and Bad Medicine

Care Of The Skin And Its Disorders - Part 4

( Originally Published 1940 )

Shampoos and Care of the Hair

In the absence of actual disease of the hair or scalp, the single, total purpose of a shampoo is to cleanse. No matter

what the price and no matter what the claims on the bottle, that is all a shampoo can do.

Shampoos are of two types: the soap shampoos and the soapless. The great majority of both types are liquids which contain from 50% to 90% of water. It is, of course, much cheaper to use an ordinary toilet soap. (See below for list of acceptable toilet soaps.) However, liquids can be applied more evenly to the scalp and they are less apt to leave solid soap particles in the hair—advantages more important to women with their longer hair, than to men.

A good shampoo should have a high dry-soap content and be free from excessive free alkali. The latter may irritate the scalp and make the hair dry and lusterless. Many shampoos contain pine and tar oils, sodium perborate or alcohol in excess of 40%. All such shampoos are not acceptable for normal scalps, since they are hard on the scalp and hair and are not necessary to the effectiveness of a shampoo. Tincture of green soap, which contains about so% alcohol, is much cheaper than most alcoholic commercial shampoos, and is sometimes helpful in the treatment of dandruff. But it should be used only by people with oily hair and its use should be discontinued at any sign of irritation. Coconut or palm-kernel oil in a shampoo may cause irritation of the scalp in some people. Medicated shampoos, containing tar oils, are useful in treating many scalp conditions, including dandruff (see page 283), and are employed by skin specialists in the management of certain diseases of the scalp and hair.

The soapless liquid shampoos advertised and distributed most extensively are "sulfonated oils" and "sulfated alcohols." In contrast to the slightly alkaline soap shampoos, these products are very nearly neutral—a fact made much of by the manufacturers who, without any particular scientific justification, have raised a great clamor about the importance of avoiding alkaline preparations.

Sulfonated oils, which are practically latherless, are good cleansing agents. So, too, are the sulfated alcohols, which produce a definite, but "thin," lather. The chief advantage of the sulfated alcohols, however, is their effectiveness in hard water—probably the only justification for their use, in view of their high price.

Drene, best known of the sulfated alcohol shampoos, usually has been found in use tests to have a drying effect on the hair; it should be used, if at all, only by people with oily hair.

Special Drene for Dry Hair seems to have less drying effect. But some physicians have reported undesirable reactions from the use of sulfated alcohol shampoos.

Shampoos not otherwise described are liquid soap shampoos. Soaps with high coconut oil content are preceded by an asterisk (*). Ratings are based on tests made by CU in 1938.


CD Liquid Castile (Cooperative Distributors, NYC).

Palmolive Shampoo (Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, Jersey City, N. J.).

Marchand's Castile (Charles Marchand Co., NYC).

*Wildroot Instant (Wildroot Co., Buffalo, N. Y.).


(In order of increasing cost of dry soap content)

Macy's Olive Oil Shampoo (R. H. Macy & Co., NYC).

Macy's Castile Shampoo.

Almay Tar Shampoo.

Packer's Tar Shampoo.

Mary Scott Rowland Liquid Castile (Mary Scott Rowland, NYC).

Kreml (R. B. Semler, NYC).

Conti Castile Shampoo (Conti, NYC).

Laco Castile (Lockwood-Brackett Co., Boston).

Daggett & Ramsdell Perfect Oil Shampoo (Daggett Sc Ramsdell, NYC).

Klenzo Cocoanut Oil (United Drug, Boston).

Edna Wallace Hopper's Fruity (Edna Wallace Hopper, NYC). Canthrox (H. S. Peterson & Co., Chicago).

Mulsified Cocoanut Oil (R. L. Watkins Co., NYC).

Barbara Gould (Barbara Gould, NYC).

Packer's Olive Oil Shampoo (Packer Mfg. Co., Mystic, Conn.).

Woodbury's Liquid Castile (John H. Woodbury, Cincinnati).

Most alkaline of liquid soaps examined. Contained more coconut oil than most "Castile" soaps.

Van Ess (Van Ess Laboratories, Chicago).

Pinaud Shampoo (Pinaud, NYC).

The following are liquid shampoos of the soapless type, listed here without recommendation:

Sulfated Alcohols

Drene and Special Drene for Dry Hair (Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati). The company has agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to stop certain misleading representations about the two Drenes. (Special Drene is less "drying" than Drene.) Ward's Glisteen Cat. No.-66n (Montgomery Ward).

Sulfonated Oils

Venida Oil Shampoo (Reiser Co., NYC).

Marrow's Mar-O-Oil (J. H. Marrow Mfg. Co., Chicago).

Hairtone Soapless Oil (McKesson & Robbins, NYC).

Admiracion Olive Oil Shampoo (Admiracion Laboratories, Harrison, N. J.).

Admiracion Foamy Oil.

A good toilet soap will provide an excellent shampoo for men, whose short hair does not require the even dispersion of soap particles that is necessary for women and that is afforded by a liquid shampoo.

The following soaps, tested by CU in 1939, are considered of good quality because of absence of excess free alkali and impurities, and are fairly cheap. The order is alphabetical.

Cashmere Bouquet
Cooperative Cold Cream Soap
Kirkman's Floating Soap
Cooperative Palm & Olive
Macy's White Toilet Soap—Milled
Octagon Toilet Soap
Montgomery Ward's Montroy
Sears Roebuck L'Adore Cold Castile Soap Cream Soap

Note: Even good soaps can irritate sensitive skins. If any of the above soaps is unsatisfactory, try another until a satisfactory, non-irritating soap is obtained.

How often should the hair be washed? The question has no single answer. Some people with much-admired hair wash it daily, and other people for whom shampoos are rare events have hair that is no less luxuriant. One dermatologist tells of a pair of lovely Southern ladies who were famed for never shampooing at all. Probably a safe rule to follow is to shampoo your hair enough to keep the scalp dean.

If you live where the air is heavily contaminated with dirt and smoke (as it is in almost any sizable city), or if your hair is oily, you should probably shampoo comparatively often—say, at least once a week. Frequent shampooing is not likely to harm the hair, so long as a good soap is used, although expert opinion differs on this point.

It is better to apply a small amount of shampoo, wash and rinse the hair, and repeat this process two or three times, than to wash only once with a heavy application of the shampoo liquid. Rinsing is best done under a shower or spray. Begin the final rinsing, which should be especially thorough, with water at least as warm as any used during the shampooing, and end it with cool or cold water.

If only hard water is available, vinegar or lemon juice added to the rinse water will remove the mineral salts de-posited on the hair by the combined action of the soap and water. These rinses leave some free fatty acids on the scalp and hair, but the acids are generally considered less harmful than the mineral salts they replace and certainly their use leaves the hair softer. Some beauty parlor operators claim that acid rinses injure permanent waves, but we have no in-formation to substantiate this point.

After drying the hair, persons with dry or semi-dry scalps may find it advantageous to apply a little lotion made by dissolving one part of castor oil (tasteless type) in three parts of pure alcohol.

Beauty parlor shampooing possesses no advantages what-ever over good home shampooing, and may be definitely inferior. The use of rather intense artificial heat to produce rapid drying—a common beauty parlor practice—is anything but beneficial to the hair.

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