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SHAMPOO CHĀMPO (चाँपो) - THE BEGINNING

Updated: Dec 17, 2018


Did you know that possibly the first ever shampoo was created in 1762 England?

The hair stylists boiled shaved soap in water and added herbs to give the hair shine and fragrance.

Commercially-made shampoo became available at the beginning of the 20th century.


The word shampoo came from India during the colonial era.

It dates to 1762, and is derived from Hindi chāmpo itself derived from the Sanskrit root chapayati, which means to press, knead, soothe).

Cleansing with hair and body massage (champu) during daily strip wash was an indulgence of early colonial traders in India.

When they returned to Europe, they introduced the newly learnt habits, including hair treatment they called SHAMPOO.

Magazine ads in 1914 featured Harmony Hair Beautifier and Shampoo by Rexall, as well as young women in a camp washing their hair with Canthrox shampoo.


Hans Schwarzkopf developed the first powder shampoo in 1903 and introduced the first liquid shampoo in 1927. He also opened the first training centre for hairdressers.

The development of cheap synthetic surfactants after World War II enabled the development of superior performing shampoos, versus the soaps that had been used previously.

The next major shampoo development occurred in 1987 when Procter and Gamble launched Pert Plus, the first broadly successful conditioning shampoo. The technology used in Pert Plus was enabled by the development of a cationic polymer (Polyquaternium 10-Polymer JR, Union Carbide) combined with a high molecular weight Dimethicone which provided conditioning properties that weren’t previously possible. Pert Plus revolutionized the shampoo market and created the two-in-one conditioning shampoo category.

Statistically the average European washing their hair three times a week, and 80 percent of North Americans and 90 percent of Japanese washing their hair once a day.

The shampoos are the largest personal care category, representing around 37 percent of the total hair care market.

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