How does shampoo get to the form that the consumers can use?

Expert Answers
ophelious eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shampoos are made out of a lot of different materials, and those materials vary depending on the brand.  Each brand has its own "recipe" for how to make shampoo.

Generally, though, all shampoos have some common ingredients:

  1. Water (makes up 70%ish of the bottle.)
  2. Detergents (do the cleaning...surrounds and traps oily surface materials.)
  3. Foam Boosters (allow the shampoo to be nice and bubbly.)
  4. Thickeners (you don't want your shampoo to be too watery.)
  5. Conditioning Agents (supposed to make sure the detergent isn't too harsh on your hair)
  6. Preservative (shampoos contain a lot of organic compounds that bacteria can mess with. The preservative prevents that.)
  7. Special Additives (make the shampoo look a certain color and smell a certain way.  Things like Zinc might be put in to help control dandruff.)

Then it is made.  This process isn't too complicated:

  1. All the ingredients are mixed in a giant tank, sometimes heated or cooled to speed up the mixing.
  2. Someone takes a sample from the giant tank and checks it to make sure everything mixed properly
  3. The goo from the tanks is squirted into bottles and caps are put on.

So there you go...shampoo!

michelle1121 | Student

sulfates are typically added which is a chemical that some believe to contribute to cancer even though there has not been a direct link.  But the sulfates are what makes the nice lather.  Some organic shampoos are now leaving that out like WEN.