I listened to a short blurb on Madame C.J. Walker this morning and something they said tweaked my curiosity. According to the piece, she was the first one who created liquid shampoo. Yes! She created liquid shampoo.
I wondered about that so I did a quick search on the history of shampoo. Although shampoo has been around for a few centuries, it was not turned into a liquid until the 1900's.
Supposedly, shampoo originated in India where they mixed soapberries with herbs and flowers for this purpose. The idea spread to Europe but shampoo was still not a mass produced item. In fact, up until the 1900's, shampoo was actually sold in bar form, much like a bar of soap! The thing is, most people did not wash their hair more than once a month!
I agree. I cringed when I read that but then I realized they did not have indoor plumbing for most of that time. They had to heat the water and wash it in a small bowl or container. It can be done but it takes a special technique. It is not easy and I'm not sure how clean your hair is when you're finished.
Back to shampoo. I've seem where three different people have been attributed with inventing liquid shampoo.
1. Madame C.J Walker. She is said to have invented liquid shampoo but I've found more information on her hair straighteners, combs and other products. She created an empire and became a millionaire.
2. Hans Schwarzkopf - a German who created a brand of shampoo in 1927 after having invented a water soluble shampoo powder. I gather the powder made a good shampoo but it still left the hair lack luster.
3. Dr. Breck is reputed to have created the first PH balanced shampoo in the 1930's and he created his own version of a liquid shampoo to market in the United States. He felt that using bar shampoo lead to thinning hair.
Over the years people have improved the shampoos until we have some great ones to use today. I found this whole thing really interesting.
The first modern liquid shampoo was produced by Proctor and Gamble back in the 1930's using synthetic ingredients.