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Shampoo, condition and treat the hair and scalp


In this chapter, you will learn to:
› understand the products, tools and terms used when providing shampoo and conditioning services
› shampoo, condition and treat clients’ hair and scalp
› provide aftercare and advice.

You will be assessed against your knowledge and ability to:

1 Understand your salon’s processes and procedures with regard to promoting products and   services.

2 Understand your legal and health and safety responsibilities when carrying out these services.

3 Understand your personal obligations to other team members and know when and from whom   you should seek advice and assistance.

4 Maintain effective and safe methods of working, and shampoo and treat hair and scalps in a   commercially viable timeframe.

5 Communicate effectively with clients, using positive listening skills, body language and verbal   communication.

6 Consult with clients, diagnose hair and scalp conditions and consider other key factors when   deciding on shampoo and conditioning services.

7 Carry out a variety of shampoo, conditioning and treatment services.

8 Know the shampoo area and understand the specific tools, techniques and products required in     shampooing and conditioning.

9 Recognise adverse results and deal with them effectively.

10 Provide aftercare and product advice.


Why do we shampoo hair?

Hair is shampooed to remove dirt, grease and product build-up, to make the hair both clean and easier to work with.

Why do we condition hair?

Conditioner is used to improve the look, health and manageability of hair.

What are treatments?

Treatments are specific formulas used to repair hair damage and treat various hair and scalp conditions.

What does this chapter cover?

This chapter covers Unit GH8, showing you how to provide quality shampoo, conditioning and treatment services that meet the needs of today’s clients. The art of the shampoo As a trainee hairdresser, the first interactive client service you will probably be called on to provide is the shampoo. This does not mean it’s unimportant and only to be given to those with little or no
experience. Not at all – a good shampoo is an integral part of the service the salon provides. A good shampoo forms the base of all salon work and, more than anything, it is a crucial element of the client’s enjoyment of the salon visit. The shampoo is your chance to show your skill as a technician and your expert product knowledge. It is also your chance to earn tips; a skilful shampoo technician will get requests and more tips!

The shampoo area

While shampoo areas will vary in shape, size and location, they will fundamentally consist of the same features:

basins, reclining chairs, towel and product dispensers and waste receptacles. Hair is most commonly shampooed from behind (backwash), but there are some salons that use a ‘sidewash’ system. The basin itself may be adjustable, as may the height and recline angle of the chair.

Many salons use integral, all-in-one shampoo units that have various manual or motorised positional adjustments. The shampoo area may be on a raised platform or in a sectioned-off area of the salon. Dim lights and soft music are often used in shampoo areas to aid relaxation.

Knowing your shampoo area

In order to deliver a quality shampoo and to ensure the health and safety of you and your clients, it’s important to know your shampoo area well.

Before you can start providing shampoo services, you need to learn:
› how to operate the shampoo chair and basin to position clients
comfortably and correctly
› how to operate and control the water temperature and pressure
› how to use and apply the shampoo and conditioning products
› how to replenish stocks of towels, products, and so on
› what is required to maintain a clean and safe working

Shampoo, conditioning and treatment products

There are countless products on the market, for both professional and home use, each with its own specific function or feature. Some salons will use a single manufacturer’s full range of shampoos and conditioners at the backwash, while others will mix products from various ranges to enable them to cater to all their clients’ needs. This means that it is important that you take time to learn the names, functions and quantities of the products used in your salon and any new ones that are introduced.

Confusing names…

You will soon notice that product manufacturers often use different terms and names for shampoo and conditioning products. Sometimes it can be difficult to judge if these are words that actually relate to the product’s function or the result it produces, or if they are terms thought up by marketing departments.

Shampoos are sometimes referred to as:
› cleansers
› baths
› scrubs
› washes
› emulsions.

Conditioners and treatments are sometimes referred to as:
› creams
› milks
› rinses
› repairers
› reconstructors
› rejuvenators.
Therefore, it is vitally important that you know the primary use and function of your salon’s   products.


What is it?
A shampoo is a detergent-based liquid that is used to remove dirt, grease and product build-up from the hair and scalp.

Are all shampoos the same?
While the basic principle is the same, there are many different shampoo formulas created for specific hair types, colours and scalp and hair conditions.

The detergent molecules in shampoo are attracted to both grease and water and work in the exact same way as washing-up liquid. Detergent molecules have two ends: one is attracted to water
and one is attracted to grease. When you wash a client’s hair, the detergent in the shampoo combines with water on the wet hair and is able to spread throughout the hair and scalp. As these molecules are also attracted to grease, when they come in contact with it the other end becomes stuck to this as well. This means they are stuck to both the grease and the water. When you rinse, the detergents run off the hair with the water, taking the grease and dirt with them. (This is why the dirt stays in the bowl with the water when you wash up.).

While the basic principle is the same, different concentrations of detergents and additives help the shampoo to do different things:

› Shampoos for dry hair will have a light/weaker detergent.
› Shampoos for greasy hair will have a stronger or more concentrated detergent.
› Shampoos for scalp conditions like dandruff and psoriasis will contain certain medications to   alleviate or soothe symptoms.
› Shampoos for pre-colouring or pre-perming will contain few additives and will balance the hair’s   pH and/or porosity to aid the even processing of the hair.

Product build-up

One of the major jobs a shampoo has to do is remove productbuild-up. Product build-up is when the continual and long-term useof a product results in a residue being left on the hair. This residue can cause the hair to begin to look lank, greasy and heavy. It can also affect and dry the scalp, as well as ‘blocking’ and interfering with chemical services such as colours and perms. Salons will have between four and eight shampoos, so take time to learn the correct use for those in your salon.

Note: If shampoo or conditioner gets splashed in your or your client’s eyes, rinse immediately with cold water and check the manufacturer’s advice on the product for any further procedures. You may also need to enter this in the accident book.