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Information @ a Glance


  • Shampoo is a common hair care product used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair.

  • The goal is to remove the unwanted build-up without stripping out so much as to make hair unmanageable. Shampoo, when lathered with water, is a surfactant, which, while cleaning the hair and scalp, can remove the natural oils (sebum) which lubricate the hair shaft.

  • Hair shampoos are highly formulated products based on a limited range of cosmetically acceptable surface active agents, plus conditioning agents, pearling agents, antimicrobials, colours and fragrance.

  • Shampoos are typically viscous liquids, either clear or opaque (pearlised), containing 2040% solids, adjusted to approximately pH 5.5. Most, but not all, have viscosities in the ratio of 5001500 centipoise.

Manufacturing Process

  • Shampoos are manufactured by simple blending in a stirred vessel, sometimes equipped with low pressure steam heating coils. Vessels are typically constructed from stainless steel, although glass-lined vessels are still used in some processes.

  • Ingredients are weighed or metered incrementally into the mixing vessel, with thorough mixing between each addition. A moderate amount of heat is used to reduce the viscosity and so facilitate ease of mixing.

  • Some pearlising agents are waxy solids at ambient temperature and require melting in a drum oven or similar before use. Demineralised water is most commonly used in order to minimise contamination of the product.

  • No further processing is required after blending, and the product may be packed off directly from the mixing vessel.


  • Science has transformed shampoos from simple soaps to complex chemical products employing deposition technology that allows agents within the shampoo to perform independently at different stages. Formulators have reengineered ingredients to consist of smaller particles, allowing for better coverage, a lighter-feeling shampoo and higher ingredient concentrations to provide maximum efficacy.

  • With coacervate-aided deposition technology, the coacervate can trap other active ingredients and deposit them onto the hair. This allows for the addition of ingredients to shampoos and conditioners, such as pyrithione zinc, pro-vitamin B5, amino acids or botanicals.


  • For a market with high potential, the shampoo market in India is dominated by just a few players. From scores of brands five years ago, the shampoo market has now been whittled down to a handful. Hindustan Lever (HLL), with a 65 per cent volume share (68 per cent share by value), dominates the market with brands such as Sunsilk, Clinic Plus and Clinic All Clear. Cavin Kare Limited, an unlisted company from Chennai, with brands such as Chik and Nyle follows with a 19.8 per cent volume share.

  • Players have also tried other routes to expand the shampoo market. Fighting the perception that shampoos are essentially glamour products, marketers have tried to add a utility value to shampoos by offering functional benefits. Anti-dandruff shampoos represent this attempt. Clinic Plus, one of the first anti-dandruff brands, is the largest shampoo brand today, with a market share of 31 per cent.

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