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Business

Hijab shampoo a hit with young Indonesian women

A saleswoman makes a pitch for special shampoo at a supermarket in suburban Jakarta.

JAKARTA -- The image of the hijab is changing from an outmoded religious garment into a fashion accessory for many young Muslim women in Indonesia as a new generation of designers is making the traditional headscarf in modern colors and patterns. 

In a country where temperatures reach above 30 C throughout the year, however, wearing a headscarf can cause excessive sweating leading to unpleasant odors. 

Companies have been responding with specially developed products that are becoming popular. The local unit of Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch daily goods producer, has introduced a shampoo under its Sunsilk brand. It has a fresh scent, one slightly stronger than ordinary shampoo, according to a shop clerk. It is designed to make the smell of sweat less noticeable. 

Different types of the shampoo are available depending on hair type. A 170-milliliter bottle of the product sells for 19,800 rupiah ($1.50) at a large supermarket in Jakarta, which is around the same price as other Sunsilk products.

Hijab shampoo is popular mainly among women in their 20s, a shop clerk said. It is also available from local brands such as Sariayu.

In Indonesia's big cities, Muslim fashion is booming as many younger women visit hijab shops and other stores selling traditional clothing. A door has opened for new goods and services catering to them. 

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