Propolis shampoo is a hair-care product that includes a natural substance found in tree resin, often harvested by honeybees. The propolis ingredient is meant to make hair shinier and stronger. It is also used in other commercial products for its sealant and textural properties.
Honeybees use propolis, found in tree sap and also other plant sources, to fill small holes in their honeycomb. They use beewax to fill larger gaps. Natural propolis is brown and has a sticky texture. There are likely many reasons why bees use propolis on their hives, including keeping out bacteria, strengthening the structure, and protecting it against the elements. Many types of trees and plants produce propolis, including cedar trees, fir trees, sunflowers, and spices such as dill and fennel.
Hair-care manufacturers have harnessed the properties of this resin to create propolis shampoo. Similar to how propolis is effective for strengthening a bee hive, it can protect and strengthen the hair as well. It has antibacterial properties that many find effective for treating scalp infections. It can help remove build-up from other hair-care products and is good for decreasing oil in hair that is naturally greasy and for treating dandruff.
Many claim that propolis shampoo helps hair grow faster and prevents hair loss. Honey is often infused with the shampoo, helping to increase hair's fullness and shine. Those who prefer to use chemical-free products often turn to propolis shampoo, which is largely based on natural ingredients. Various propolis shampoo types and formulas exist, some for specialty uses, such as maintaining the color of dyed hair.
Propolis shampoo is typically more expensive than regular, drugstore-purchased shampoo. Users are able to use less of the shampoo per wash, allowing a bottle of propolis shampoo to often last longer than regular shampoo. The shampoo can be difficult to find at regular stores, but it is sold in some beauty shops and can easily be found through numerous online retailers. Propolis is also included in some conditioners.
Shampoo is far from the only commercial product that contains propolis. The resin can be found in wood varnishes, especially those used on musical instruments. It can be found in some foods, including chewing gum, and in car wax. In the wax, propolis is often combined with other shine- and strength-enhancing oils to give a vehicle maximum sheen. Propolis becomes hard when kept in cold temperatures but is otherwise chewy and soft.