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What Is Ginger Shampoo?

By C. Mitchell
Updated May 21, 2024
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Ginger shampoo is a hair washing lather made with or designed to smell like ginger root. A common medicinal and culinary element, the ginger root is prized in cosmetics for its drying and de-oiling properties. The warm ginger smell often also enhances the appeal of hair products, lotions, and shower accessories. Many people consider ginger energizing, and ginger shampoo is often marketed to people who shower in the mornings as a means of stimulating the senses and getting the day off to a peppy start.

There is usually a great deal of variance when it comes to how different ginger shampoos are made. The simplest examples usually involve little more than adding ginger scent, whether real or artificial, to ordinary shampoo. More complex versions actually incorporate ginger particles or infuse the root’s essential oils in the early phases of the manufacturing process.

No matter the specifics, the main goal of any ginger shampoo is to clean and wash hair. Most ginger hair products are made for people, but some dog, horse, and other animal-directed products exist as well. The smell of ginger is found pleasant by many, and in concentration is often strong enough to cover other more animal-like scents, at least for a time.

Ginger shampoo usually comes in a bottle and looks at first like any liquid soap. Once exposed to water and rubbed into hair, however, it normally creates a foamy lather. The tiny bubbles of that lather carry off dirt, oils, and other impurities from hair follicles, leaving locks shiny and clean.

Fresh ginger root usually has a very spicy smell reminiscent to many of nutmeg or cinnamon. It is commonly used in cooking and can also be taken as a medicinal supplement for indigestion or motion sickness. The essential oils derived from the fibrous root also have some antiseptic and healing qualities. When applied directly to the skin, ginger root has drying effects. This makes it popular in types of shampoo targeted to people with oily hair and itchy scalps.

In order for a ginger shampoo to have any noticeable effect on hair and scalp, it must contain actual ginger in significant concentrations. Most ginger hair products are far too diluted to deliver any direct benefits. Ginger shampoo with a lot of essential oils should typically only be used a few times a week to prevent damage or irritation to the scalp.

With the exception of specially-marked therapy shampoos, the main point of including ginger essence is for aromatherapy. Ginger shampoos often create a sensational smell during lather, and can leave hair scented for some time after washing. Even a small amount of extract is usually enough to make a ginger shampoo. Synthetic or artificial ginger scent is also common amongst less expensive brands.

Ginger lovers who want a natural experience without paying brand-name prices can often make their own shampoos at home. The easiest approach is to add grated ginger, concentrated powder, or bottled essence to an existing shampoo, preferably one without much of a smell. More sophisticated crafters can bottle their own products from scratch, using shampoo bases and soap shavings.

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Discussion Comments

By turquoise — On Jan 14, 2014

@donasmrs-- I recommend getting a ginger shampoo with natural oils and moisturizers like aloe vera, coconut oil, avocado oil or vitamin E. I've been using an all natural ginger shampoo with coconut oil and it's great. It makes my hair super soft and smooth.

Also, keep in mind that the most abundant ingredient in a product appears first in the ingredients list. So depending on where in the ingredients list ginger root extract is mentioned, you can figure out how much ginger the shampoo contains.

By stoneMason — On Jan 13, 2014

@donasmrs-- Ginger shampoo does not burn or irritate the scalp!

Shampoo with ginger either has ginger extract or ginger fragrance and they're used in minimal amounts. So it's doesn't irritate the scalp. On the contrary, ginger shampoo is revitalizing and hydrating. It makes my scalp and hair feel great.

Of course, when you buy a shampoo, you should read all of the ingredients. A ginger shampoo doesn't just have ginger, it usually contains other natural or synthetic ingredients. This may be good or bad depending on the state of your hair and scalp. For example, my ginger shampoo also has keratin which strengthens hair.

By donasmrs — On Jan 13, 2014

Considering the strong, spicy, peppery flavor of fresh ginger, I don't know if I would want to put something with ginger on my scalp. Won't it burn and irritate?

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