Is one shampoo worth the other? The importance of proper cleansing

mellis cap shampoo


We are inclined to think that the term “shampoo” is of English origin, actually it comes from Hindi, a language in which the word “Chaanpo” is the imperative of the verb to press, because originally “to shampoo” meant “to give a scalp massage.” It was in later centuries that the concept of massage was joined by the concept of scalp cleansing, which was later introduced in the 1930s into our common language as well. So the historicity of the word shampoo in our language is rather recent, less than 100 years old!


Today’s shampoos generally consist of washing substances, which may have greater (anionic surfactants) or lesser (non-ionic) cleansing power; conditioning agents, which improve post-wash combability; additives to ensure formula stability; preservatives to prevent microbial contamination; possibly specific ingredients for shampoos intended for specific uses (e.g: keratolytics for scalps with psoriasis, seboriducents for seborrheic dermatitis), and fragrances and colorings to make cleansing a pleasant experience.


What accumulates on our scalp is called “self” dirt and “non-self” dirt. The former refers to what the scalp physiologically produces, such as sebum and cellular debris resulting from epidermal turnover; “non-self” dirt includes the set of micro-dusts and nanoparticles that result from air pollution and that in contact with the scalp are capable of activating oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as disturbing the homeostasis of the scalp microbiota.


Less frequent washing results in a greater accumulation of secreted sebum. Sebum begins to be chemically altered as soon as it reaches the surface of the scalp; the longer its residence time, the greater these changes are. In particular, altered sebum contains free fatty acids and oxidized lipids, which are known to be skin irritants. This means that the longer the residence time on the scalp, the greater the likelihood that the skin will become irritated and develop or feed inflammatory processes.


In a very recent study, Professor Tosti et al. evaluated the epidemiological and controlled data in the literature regarding the effect of washing frequency on hair and scalp conditions, as assessed by experienced practitioners and self-tests; the conclusions showed that a high washing frequency was preferable to a lower one on the study population, that a washing frequency of 5-6 times per week allowed the level of patient satisfaction to be reached, and that daily versus weekly washing led to improvement in all parameters considered, without compromising the well-being of the hair shafts.


Choosing the right shampoo is important for at least 3 main reasons:
1. The infundibulum, the outermost section of the follicle, has unique characteristics compared to the isthmus and bulb (such as the absence of epithelial sheaths and cell shunt), making it an area of increased permeability; given the high concentration of immune cells in this area, contact of the infundibulum with irritants can activate the immune response and inflammation, compromising the homeostasis of the entire follicle.
2. The outermost layer of the hair shaft, the cuticle, consists of adherent keratinized structures that impart shine and softness to the hair. Shampoos with too high a pH or with overly aggressive surfactants can compromise the compactness of the cuticle, increasing the porosity of the shaft, which will appear dull and rough to the touch.
3. The scalp possesses a microbiota residing in a state of equilibrium that is mainly played out between 2 bacterial species (Cutibacterium and Staphylococcus) and one fungal species (Malassezia); the use of shampoos with old-generation preservatives (which by definition aim to eliminate any microbial species) can compromise the eubiosis of the scalp, favoring colonization by pathogens, a potential cause of trichological pathology.
Based on these considerations, there are characteristics that a shampoo must always have, regardless of the specificity of use and the age of the patient:
– Contain state-of-the-art preservatives (lactic acid, for example, obtained from bacterial fermentation) or be enriched with pre- or post-biotics, which preserve the eubiosis of the scalp;
– Have a weakly acidic pH, such as that of the scalp;
– Possess gentle washing substances;
– Contain high-quality, dermatologically tested actives that are not capable of triggering the infundibular immune response and compromising follicle homeostasis.
Once the shampoo is chosen, the implementation of a proper hygiene routine remains essential: hair should be washed daily or, if this is not possible, no less than 3 times a week.


SEBORROIC DERMATY: This is a very common scalp condition due to hyperseborrhea, an alteration of the scalp microbiota, and a defect in the scalp skin barrier, which together promote the triggering of inflammation. This means that the appropriate shampoo in this situation must be able to restore the correct microbiota, repair the scalp barrier, and control sebaceous secretion and inflammation.

MELLIS MED shampoo contains:

– Cyclopyroxolamine, a useful substance for combating recurrent dandruff conditions.
– Honey-Quat, a honey derivative with moisturizing power.
Adjuvant in the treatment of seborrheic desquamative forms accompanied by irritation and intense itching.

SENSITIVE SKIN: Sensitive scalp corresponds to the localization at the level of the scalp of sensitive skin, defined as “A syndrome characterized by the appearance of unpleasant sensations (burning sensations, pain, itching and tingling) in response to stimuli that should not normally provoke such sensations. These unpleasant sensations cannot be explained by lesions attributed to any skin disease. The skin may appear normal or be accompanied by erythema. Sensitive skin can affect all areas of the body.”

MELLIS BIO SHAMPOO contains some simple natural extracts give it important properties:
– Honey moisturizes, protects the hair by replenishing its barrier and restoring its physiology.
– Cornflower and calendula extracts have a soothing and moisturizing action, in association with honey they restore a correct response of the scalp to external stimuli.

Because of its high tolerability, it can be used for frequent washing, even daily. Also ideal in alternation with specific treatments of a dermatological nature. For its soothing action it can be used in all forms of scalp irritation.

PSORIASIS: is a chronic-recurrent inflammatory skin condition that can also affect the scalp, leading to the formation of erythema, scales and intense itching. A shampoo for psoriasis will need to be able to restore proper scalp turnover, control inflammation and itching, and respect the physiological microbiota.

MELLIS CAP contains a mix of synergistic ingredients:
– Ichthyol, is a derivative of mineral tars, consisting of fossilized aquatic organisms. It helps reduce manifestations of excessive skin flaking.
– Sichuan pepper, or mountain pepper, is a plant used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. It contains a valuable substance (Zanthalene) that helps relieve itchy sensation.
– Mandelic acid, is an organic acid found in bitter almonds. It is used in dermatology for its recognized exfoliating properties.
– Honeydew Honey, is a special type of honey with important moisturizing and stem softening properties.

Indicated as an adjunct in the treatment of psoriatic desquamative states.

The biological characteristics of the scalp, which make it a specific entity with respect to the skin and which change in the different stages of life, make it necessary that the choice or suggestion of hygiene product be made with the greatest possible care and awareness, because shampooing, associated with its adequate frequency, is the fundamental starting point for maintaining the well-being of the scalp and hair.

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