We all do it quite often. If I said we do it every day, it would not be an overstatement. And how often do you wash your hair? And do you know what your shampoo is made of? And why?



  • What are the criteria you consider when selecting/buying your shampoo?





  • harness – a set of straps and fittings by which a horse or other draught animal is fastened to a cart, plough, etc. and is controlled by its driver
  • lather  – a frothy white mass of bubbles produced by soap, washing powder, etc. when mixed with water
  • scalp – the skin covering the head, excluding the face
  • grime – ingrained on the surface of something
  • gunk – an unpleasantly sticky or messy substance
  • dandruff – small pieces of dead skin in a person’s hair
  • fluctuate – rise and fall irregularly in number or amount
  • uncanny – strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way
  • dab – a small amount of something


Think about it

Answer the questions below. Pause at times indicated in brackets to find the answers.

  • What was so special about Slidall’s Soap ? (0:30)
  • Why does hair get greasy? (1:00)
  • What are surfactants? How do they work? (1:30)
  • What have you learned about the royalty from the past? (2:00)
  • What is the role of silicone in shampoos? (2:46)
  • How do astronauts wash their hair? (2:58)
  • Why does shampoo differ from country to country? (3:56)
  • What is the Kaye Effects? (4:18)
  • How can shampoo be used practically in museums? (4:45)
  • How are baby shampoos different from the ones for adults? Why?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words.

bar   –    as   –    follow    –    combining    –    combining    –    rinsing    –    combining   –    remove   –    for    –    treat 

Shampoo is a hair care product, typically in the form of a viscous liquid, that is used ________cleaning hair. Less commonly, shampoo is available in ________ form, like a bar of soap. Shampoo is used by applying it to wet hair, massaging the product into the hair, and then ________ it out. Some users may ________ a shampooing with the use of hair conditioner.

The goal of using shampoo is to ________ the unwanted build-up in the hair without stripping out so much sebum ________ to make hair unmanageable. Shampoo is generally made by ________ a surfactant, most often sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, with a co-surfactant, most often cocamidopropyl betaine in water.

Specialty shampoos are available for people with dandruff, color-treated hair, gluten or wheat allergies, an interest ________ using an “all-natural”, “organic”, “botanical” or “plant-derived” product, and infants and young children (“baby shampoo” is less irritating). There are also shampoos ________ for animals that may contain insecticides or other medications to ________ skin conditions or parasite infestations such as fleas.



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