Why mint shampoo? It’s because it soothes your scalp, relieves any itching and for mint lovers, it’s simply fun to have! It’s fine to use alone for one or two days per week because it cleanses the hair and scalp and it is not as drying as you think. It’s also available in different brands such as the Face Shop, Aveda, Suave, Organix and is found in different mint variants/combinations: applemint, rosemary mint, lavender mint, etc…
How does mint work?
Our skin, including the scalp, has sensory neurons that detect a wide range of temperatures. Menthol, an active ingredient in mint plants, is an example of a natural product that is capable of eliciting the psychophysical sensation of coolness. Menthol from mint (and capsaicin from chili) played a huge role in the discovery of certain thermal detectors from the transient receptor potential (TRP) family of cation channels. TRPM8 has now been determined to be the receptor for mint and is responsible for detecting environmental cold. So now, people could use mint shampoo as a refreshing cool mental alarm clock to jumpstart days especially in the summertime! On the other hand, some studies have shown that menthol can also cause the sensation of heat through activation of a heat receptor TRPV3; this may explain why some people would notice a slight warmth of the skin after using a menthol –containing ointment on the area. This, however, is minimal and it’s actually quite a welcome sensation after the almost ice-cold experience. Menthol also has a lot of uses such as a relief treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, as an anti-inflammatory agent, and as an analgesic through inhibition of TRPA1. Caution with the use of dermatologic products though: if patient is allergic to menthol, urticaria (itchy embossed pink patches on skin) may form. Irritation may also occur.
The message of this article is simple: you can include a shampoo you like in your hair care regimen without thinking if it has cleansing or conditioning properties. Include it simply because you enjoy the smell or the sensation it gives you. I’d like to think of this as a philosophy similar to having a cheat day in your diet plan; it’s sort of a reward and a breath of fresh air from your daily routine, in this case, your hair care regimen. This means you can have other kinds of shampoo as well—the sweet-smelling strawberry, the milky vanilla, refreshing lemon and others. Whatever puts a smile on your face on a dreadful Monday morning is worth a spot on your bathroom countertop. Never mind if it doesn’t fit in the routine or pattern of your hair care regimen; it was meant to break the boredom and loosen things up a bit. 🙂