Hair care covers a vast spectrum of categories from simple hygiene and maintenance to aesthetic enhancements and forms of self-expression and creativity.
Various methods have been used throughout various cultures for thousands of years. For instance:
- Indians would use hair masks made from an oil base, such as olive, castor or almond oil, mixed with herbs. Other hair treatments included egg whites, yogurt and tomato cleansers.
- Ancient Greek women would use a yogurt, olive oil and rosemary mixture.
- Japanese used camellia oil.
- Ancient Polynesians used the fluid from Pinecone Ginger as a base.
Modern shampoo is actually rooted in India, as it was an Indian named Sake Dean Mahomed who first introduced the concept of massaging the hair and applying vapor treatments to the hair and body to England in 1814, although main-stream liquid shampoo was only invented in 1927 by Hans Scwarzkopf. That’s not to say that some form of hair-cleaning did exist before then, as the French has access to a dry-hair powder shampoo and many western and Mediterranean countries would use some form of either animal fat or plant-oil based soap that was mixed with herbs and sometimes flower essences.
Since then, regularly washing one’s hair has become mainstream in the West, and has developed into an entire industry, with various hair products that are produced with specific hair types in mind. In addition to this are hair masks, dyes, volumizers, styling products such as hair and silicon sprays and hair gel, to name but a few.
Nowadays, there is even a movement to go back to using the natural remedies mentioned above in order to avoid the toxins that might be present in modern mass-produced hair care products. Of course, they should be pure and unprocessed to be effective.