The History Of Shampoo

The History Of Shampoo

A Brief Overview Of Shampoo

Shampoo is a hair care product that you'll find in almost every single home in the developed world. Whilst shampoo is probably regarded as a pretty bog-standard product to many people that they take for granted every day, It's got a very in-depth history and there's more to shampoo these days than just how clean it can get your hair. 

What Does Shampoo Do?

Shampoo is designed to remove dirt, oil, and debris from the surface of the scalp and hair. Most shampoos are made with chemicals called surfactants. These are soaps that actually do the removal of the debris and oils etc.

Most of the mainstream shampoos on the market currently contain Sulfates, This is the ingredient that produces the rich lather and helps the hair to look cleaner, However, if you've read our blog post on sulfate-free shampoo, You'll understand that these are sometimes best to avoid. 

When Was Shampoo Invented?

So, Whilst people have been washing their hair for many hundreds of years and presumably longer, Shampoo as we know it today, wasn't actually invented until the 1930s, That's when Drene, The first shampoo to use synthetic surfactants instead of soap was invented. 

There are previous mentions of shampoo made as early as 1914 however these were different from the modern shampoo we speak about above. It was known as Canthrox Shampoo and from what we can tell, was rather popular for the time, being sold in a variety of shops, even offering free trials! 

According to the National Museum of American History, The Canthrox Shampoo was originally marketed as a cure for dandruff quoting "Entirely Removes Dandruff, Excess oil and dirt" I guess you could say that this was one of the early dandruff shampoos! Though we can't find anything to say what the active ingredients would have been for this claim. 

Why Is Shampoo Called Shampoo?

The word "Shampoo" is derived from the Hindi word "Champo" and dates all the way back to 1762. The word originally referred to a head massage, usually with some form of hair oil. The spelling has changed over the years leaving us with the word "Shampoo"

Where Did Shampoo Originate?

So, this actually fascinates me! Shampoo actually originated in India! It was originally made up of a variety of herbs and their extracts that have been used since ancient times. A very early form of shampoo was made up by boiling Sapindus with dried Indian Gooseberry and a selection of other herbs. Sapindus is also known as soapberries or soapnuts. 

It's interesting to know, that even looking back all those years, the idea of a hygiene product lathering was a big deal! The ancient form of shampoos contained another ingredient known as ksuna, The fruit pulp of this contains Saponins which is a natural surfactant. The extract of the soapberries even creates a lather, like what you would expect from a modern-day shampoo. 

References to the Soapberry tree have been found dating back to the 16th century! 

Why is Shampoo Called Shampoo?

The word Shampoo entered the English language in 1762 and was derived from the Indian Subcontinent during the colonial era. It originally came from the Hindi word "Champo" and that word was originally derived from Sanskrit Root Chapati which meant to press, knead or soothe.

How Many Shampoos Are There?

Nobody knows an exact figure as you have to take into account all the small startup companies or the smaller businesses selling at places such as fayres, markets, and on online platforms such as Etsy where they may make shampoo at home. It has, however, been estimated that there are basically eight billion shampoos on the market right now! 

That's right! Eight Billion! This can of course make finding the right shampoo for you incredibly hard, How would you ever even read descriptions of all of those shampoos! 

Is Professional Shampoo Better? 

For as long as there have been hair salons, there have been professional shampoos and the battle between professional shampoo and store-bought shampoo is as vicious as the fight between cats and dogs. It has always been a two-sided argument where one may stress that spending £1 on a budget drug-store shampoo is perfectly fine for one's needs, then there is the other side, where that just isn't acceptable.

Personally, I may be a little bias, You are after all reading this blog post on a hairdressing website, that does run an active hair salon in Wolverhampton. So we're always going to side with the professional shampoo. 

Is Professional Shampoo Worth It?

This is the big question, There are many that swear by it and many that don't. Our personal opinion on the question is yes, Professional shampoo is worth the money and it's worth looking at. You wouldn't say that all cars are the same. Sure they may get you from A to B but sometimes you want that extra comfort, You want the refrigerated glovebox and heated steering wheel. 

Shampoo is very much the same. If you have coloured hair, you can find a fantastic range of professional shampoo designed for better care for coloured hair, Most of the time you'll find that these are Sulfate-Free shampoos Or they may contain pigments of colour to keep your colour looking refreshed. 

One of the key things that we have personally found with Professional Shampoo is the value it gives, Currently, I'm using a 1-liter bottle of Maria Nila Structure Repair Shampoo, Now I daren't say I have a lot of hair but just a tiny pea size of this shampoo spreads incredibly far and a 1-Litre bottle is going to last me a very long time indeed!

Not to mention the money that professional shampoo can save you! In our blog about Sulphate-Free shampoo, you'll read a little about the benefits and how professional shampoos can increase the longevity of your salon service, whether it be a Brazilian Blow Dry Straightening Treatment or a complete colour change! 

Professional Shampoo Is Nicer To Your Hair & Scalp

Professional shampoo tends to contain fewer chemicals than drugstore shampoos, This isn't across the whole range of drugstore shampoos, of course, you can't put everything into the same basket. However, as a general rule that tends to be how it goes. And as a benefit, you find that professional shampoos are healthier for your hair, your scalp and your skin because of not containing harsh chemicals.