Shampoo is a hair care product, typically in the form of a viscous liquid, that is used for cleaning hair.
It is generally made by combining a surfactant, most often sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, with a co-surfactant, most often cocamidopropyl betaine in water. The sulphate ingredient acts as a
surfactant, essentially heavy-duty soap that makes it easier to trap oil and grease.
The typical reason of using shampoo is to remove the unwanted build-up of sebum in the hair without stripping out so much as to make hair unmanageable.
Specialty shampoos are marketed to people with dandruff, color-treated hair, gluten or wheat allergies, an interest in using an organic product, infants and young children (“baby shampoo” is less irritating).
Less commonly, shampoo is available in bar form, like a bar of soap.
The word “shampoo” entered the English language from the Indian subcontinent during the colonial era. It dated to 1762 and was derived from Hindi chāmpo – (चाँपो) , itself derived from the Sanskrit root chapati (चपति), which meant to press, knead, or soothe.
In the Indian subcontinent, a variety of herbs and their extracts have been used as shampoos since ancient times. A very effective early shampoo was made by boiling Sapindus with dried Indian gooseberry (amla) and a selection of other herbs, using the strained extract. Sapindus, also known as soapberries or soapnuts, a tropical tree widespread in India, is called ksuna in ancient Indian texts and its fruit pulp contains saponins which are a natural surfactant.
Ancient Egyptians preferred to skip the hair care routine altogether. Instead, they would shave their heads and don wigs to avoid lice. But these wigs were washed meticulously with citrus juice, then coated with almond oil to keep them soft and shiny.
The Greeks and Romans used olive oil to condition their hair and keep it soft, and vinegar rinses to keep it clean and to lighten the color.
Certain Native American tribes used extracts from North American plants as hair shampoo – for example the Costanoans of present-day coastal California used extracts from the coastal woodfern, Dryopteris expansa.
During the Middle Ages, baths were a lot of work, and were even considered unhealthy, so people rarely took them. In some parts of Europe, though, it was advised that women mix burnt barley bread, salt, and bear fat together and put that on their hair. It was supposed to make it grow! Some other women liked to make a tea with goat milk or water, and elm bark, willow root, and reed root and use that to wash their hair. It was supposed to make it thicker. Other hair-washing methods included vinegar, rosemary water, nettles, mint, thyme and several other herbs.
Sake Dean Mahomed, an Indian traveller, surgeon, and entrepreneur, is credited with introducing the practice of shampoo or “shampooing” to Britain. In 1814, Mahomed, with his Irish wife Jane Daly, opened the first commercial “shampooing” vapour masseur bath in England, in Brighton.
During the early stages of shampoo in Europe, English hair stylists boiled shaved soap in water and added herbs to give the hair shine and fragrance. Commercially made shampoo was available from the turn of the 20th century. A 1914 advertisement for Canthrox Shampoo in American Magazine showed young women at camp washing their hair with Anthrax in a lake – magazine advertisements in 1914 by Rexall featured Harmony Hair Beautifier and Shampoo.
In 1900 german perfumer and hair-stylist Josef Wilhelm Rausch, develops in Emmishofen, Switzerland the first liquid hair washing soap and names it “Champooing”. Later in 1919 J.W. Rausch develops an antiseptic Chamomile Shampooing.
In 1908, a New York Times article specially aimed towards women specified that washing one’s hair as often as every 2 weeks was acceptable.
In 1927, liquid shampoo was improved for mass production by German inventor Hans Schwarzkopf in Berlin, whose name created a shampoo brand sold in Europe.
Originally, soap and shampoo were very similar products – both containing the same naturally derived surfactants, a type of detergent. Modern shampoo as it is known today was first introduced in the 1930s with Drene, the first shampoo using synthetic surfactants instead of soap. Shampoo is also more beneficial for the hair roots.
In the 1950s, plastic bottles meant easier usage in the shower. Shampoos were also becoming more sophisticated and came to be a vehicle for pleasing scents and were marketed accordingly.
In the 1970s, shampoos began to market themselves for everyday use since oily hairdressing was out of fashion. Not long after shampoos with conditioners became available and now there is practically any type of hair washing product one could want available at drug and grocery stores.
Today, some of the most popular shampoo brand names include Pantene, Dove, Garnier, John Freida, and Clairol’s Herbal Essences line. These shampoos combine solid cleaning ability with an affordable price, attracting consumers time and time again.
The most expensive shampoo in the world is Ten Voss. It costs $300 for a single bottle. It’s definitely worth a try even though it has a ridiculous price tag. Packs of this world famous brand include a shampoo and conditioner. Ten Voss contains Voss water, which retains the shine in your hair and makes it look perfect.
The largest bottle of shampoo measured 5.91 m x 1.79 m (19 ft 5 in x 5 ft 10 in) and was produced by CLEAR, Binzagr Unilever Factory, and displayed at Red Sea Mall, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 28 March 2012.
The most shampoo sold on a single online platform in 24 hours is 116,158 litres (25,551 UK gal / 30,686 US gal) and was achieved by Yihaodian (China) on 7th July 2014.