Who Invented The Word Shampoo?

history of word shampoo


Ever wondered about the hair product which we all use on a daily basis? Yes, the word Shampoo. It is a very funny name though. If one just sits and thinks on this word for more than two minutes, it is hard to decipher the meaning for it, simply because we have gotten used to the word so much that everyone takes it for granted. There are many such words in the English language which all of us are completely accustomed to. The shampoo is a beauty product being used in every beauty salon and even it has become a household item. Check here to find out a salon near you that uses shampoo. Let us get into more details of Shampoo in general.

What is Shampoo?

The answer is very simple, it is a hair product usually in liquid form which is used to apply to hair during the showering or bathing or cleaning process. This shampoo acts as a cleansing agent getting rid of all the dirt we have stuck on our hair. If you visit a retail store, there would hundreds of variants to this product. All of which eventually do the same job of cleaning the hair. It is marketed to clean off dandruff, which is dead skin on the hair, along with of course dirt which comes with pollution.

shampoo sample
Shampoo bottle sample

Where did the word shampoo come from?

India was under British colonialism for a pretty long time. The British who were in India for governance and other business-related work got used to several Indian words which in their own accent anglicized it. One such word was champu, which in Hindi or other Indian languages meant cleansing body and hair massage. Soon, the British started to use it in their day-to-day usage referring to the process as champuing. The thick English Brit accent made it difficult to pronounce cha or champu consistently and hence over a period of time, the word turned into shampooing.

Who made the word shampoo famous?

It was an Indian Mr. Sake Dean Mohammed who was a traveler, surgeon, and later an entrepreneur who emigrated to the UK in the early 18th century. He was an avid traveler who traveled the entire Europe before settling down in the UK. He married an Irish woman and they both started a salon and a spa store. It was him who marketed shampoo for the first time. Sake Dean Mohammed was working in the British army while back in India and was used of the word shampoo being used by the British. Now, he used this word shampoo which was easier to understand and pronounce for the brit folks, eventually over generations the shampoo became a household name and in the early 19th century with the advent of the industrial revolution, a whole lot of cosmetic companies made the word international and hence, the word shampoo came to existence in the world that we live today. Below is the exact quote from his marketing campaign in the local newspaper.

The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath (type of Turkish bath), a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when everything fails; particularly Rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame legs, aches and pains in the joints.

As printed in a local news paper in the UK around early 18th century by Sake Dean Mohammed

If interested please purchase to know more about the travels of Dean sake Mohammed- Source

Who coined the word Shampoo?

It was the British colonialists who anglicized it from Champu to shampoo but it was an Indian Dean Mohammed who really brought the word to the west

How old is the word shampoo?

The name shampoo was originated in the early 18th century, so it is about over 200 years old.

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