History of Shampoo | 12 Popular Shampoo Types & Significance

Have you ever had those moments when a random taught crosses your mind such as ‘why was something given this name, and not that?’ Who named combs, and why does shampoo sound like a ‘sham’ and ‘poo?’ isn’t that such a weird combination for a hair wash?

If you’ve ever had these thoughts, or even if you haven’t, there’s an interesting story behind the term shampoo, its origin, and the product. 

Let’s find out how shampoo got its name when shampoos came into use, and the different types of shampoos out there.

Why is it called shampoo & How did shampoo get its name?

If you’re thinking there’s an Englishman somewhere who we’ll hold responsible for this odd-sounding word, you might be disappointed.

The term ‘shampoo’ originally comes from the Hindi word ‘champo’, which means to knead or press. So, before now, to shampoo, a person meant to massage them. Yes, shampooing was a part of a bath ritual many years ago.

It was sometime in the 19th century the word ‘shampoo’ began to be used as a noun; that was when liquid shampoo was produced. Before that time, Indians used herbs and soapnuts for shampooing.

Let us go back in time and uncover the origins of Shampoo in India and how it made its way down to present times.

A Brief History of Shampoo 

As we earlier stated, the English word ‘shampoo’ was coined from the Hindi term ‘Champo’, with its origin in India as far back as the 1500s. Back then, shampooing entailed using a mixture of herbs, flowers, or fragrant oil to massage the head.

Colonial interactions are responsible for the transfer of the act and practice of shampooing to the rest of the world.

An Indian surgeon, traveler, and businessman, Sheikh Din Muhammad has also been hailed as the first person to introduce the act of ‘champoing’ or as we would call it now, shampooing, to Britain in 1814.

Over the years, shampoo evolved from spices to bar soaps, until 1972 when the first version of liquid shampoo was invented by Hans Schwarzkopf. Further down the line in 1933, Schwarzkopf removed the soap factor in the first liquid shampoo and produced a soap-free liquid shampoo.

 Procter and Gamble followed closely in 1934 when they made the first synthetic, detergent-based shampoo. In the next while, P&G released the first 2-in-1 shampoo, which they called conditioning and cleansing shampoo, which we still see today.

In present times, we have many industries and manufacturers involved in shampoo production, and we’re trying to keep up with the different kinds of shampoo in the market and their uses.

We even have new generation beauty brands that are customizing shampoo products for individuals using hair quizzes and observation.

Let’s go on to explore the different types of shampoos we have right now, their uses, and their benefits.

12 Different Types of Shampoo the are Popular

If you need evidence of how much shampoo has evolved, the fact that we now have so many shampoo types for different purposes and hair types is a testament to that.

Rather than walking into a salon and purchasing a shampoo without much thought, you need to understand and differentiate the different kinds of shampoo to find what best suits your needs.

1. Regular Shampoo

Regular shampoo is the most common shampoo suitable for persons who desire to wash their hair every few days or every day without any special shampoo needs. 

Regular shampoos are often mild and contain a little number of cleansing agents. Some regular conditioners contain a small number of conditioning ingredients while some don’t.

The benefits of regular shampoo are simple; to remove sebum and dirt from all hair types, whether normal, oily, or dry.

Regular shampoos contain between 10% and 15% active matter, and could sometimes contain extra ingredients that offer soothing and fortifying benefits.

It is important to note that people with curly or wavy hair might suffer more frizz if they use only regular shampoo.

Top 3 Regular Shampoo Recommendations

2. Protein Shampoo 

Also called anti-breakage shampoo, this shampoo is specifically made to repair or prevent breakage. The shampoo contains keratin, a protein that helps to maintain the structure of the hair and prevent damage.

Keratin is a natural protein found in the hair, which protects it from breakage and damage. However, when there is a shortfall of keratin, you need this shampoo to restore it.

The shampoo is great for rough, breakage-prone, and fragile hair, and it restores a healthy shine to such damaged hair.

The anti-breakage shampoo is also formulated for long hair, to ensure thorough cleansing and prevent breakage when combing. It helps in restoring the pH balance of the hair.

Frizzy hair, thin hair, lifeless hair, and hair that breaks easily due to exposure to bleach, perms, or harmful chemicals, all stand to benefit from protein shampoo as often as you wash your hair, which depends on your hair type.

Top 3 Protein Shampoo Recommendations

3. Clarifying Shampoo

A clarifying shampoo is formulated to remove the build-up of products from the hair, thereby leaving a clean scalp. People who use lots of products on their hair often end up with a lot of residual products, oil, and grease, which the clarifying shampoo removes.

Clarifying shampoo carries out deep cleansing on the hair and protects the scalp against damage that can be caused by the extensive use of products like styling gel, silicones, and conditioners.

Clarifying shampoos contain a large amount of sodium lauryl sulfate and are often harsh on the hair and scalp because of their function as an extractor. As a result, always ensure to use a conditioner after every wash with a clarifying shampoo.

Also, its harsh nature means it can sap all the oil on your scalp and cause your hair to be dry and frizzy, so you shouldn’t use it more than once a week. 

Top 3 Clarifying Shampoo Recommendations

4. Volumizing shampoo

From the name, you can tell that the shampoo’s function is related to adding volume to the hair. This shampoo is designed for thin, dry hair and those prone to breakage and falling out.

People who suffer hair dryness due to weather conditions like winter can also use it in those times to protect their hair and prevent it from becoming lifeless and flat.

Volumizing shampoos sometimes come in variants with additional functions. For instance, some volumizing shampoos can also improve hair shine, while others have added protein to strengthen the hair as well.

Going further, some volumizing shampoos protect hair color and prevent color treatment from fading.

When using volumizing shampoos, ensure that you massage it into your scalp where it improves your hair volume as the hair dries. If you use a conditioner alongside this shampoo, apply it to your hair and not the scalp so that it helps to detangle the hair and not mess with the scalp.

Top 3 Volumizing Shampoo Recommendations

5. Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo comes in several forms, including aerosol spray, powder, and liquid, and its purpose is to refresh your hair when you go for days without washing it.

A dry shampoo maintains the freshness and oil in your hair, leaving you with clean, fresh hair, all without a wash. You simply need to apply it, comb your hair, and you are good to go.

Although dry shampoo is great for all hair types, it is especially good for greasy and oily hair as it absorbs and extracts excessive grease and oil.

 All you need to do is take a small amount and spread it through your roots to clean your hair and absorb excess oil and grease.

Note that a great dry shampoo should get absorbed quickly, shouldn’t leave residue behind, and should not feel sticky. 

Top 3 Dry Shampoo Recommendations

6. 2-in-1 Shampoo

2-in-1 shampoos comprise both cleansers and conditioners in the same bottle. It contains the ingredients needed in shampoo and those in a conditioner all in one and is great for people who want to spend less time washing their hair.

2-in-1 shampoos are great for busy weeks and traveling, and are especially good for hair types that don’t demand much attention or any repairs.

Although 2-in-1 shampoos are practical and convenient, they could make your hair greasy after using them for a while. You also cannot control how much shampoo or conditioner is in the mix, so you might be using more than your hair needs.

Top 3 Two-in-One Shampoo Recommendations

7. Organic or Natural Shampoo

Natural shampoos are made from plants and are also free from artificial ingredients and preservatives. It is a deviation from shampoos with harsh and potentially harmful ingredients like sulfates, silicones, alcohol. parabens, and phthalates.

Organic shampoos are a safer alternative to their chemical counterparts, as they are formulated with organic ingredients and essential oils. Organic shampoos improve hair root strength, provide moisture to your scalp, and maintain hair color.

They are great for all hair types, and their natural formation makes them free of side-effect, and good for people with sensitive scalp. 

Top 3 Organic Shampoo Recommendations

8. Color Protecting Shampoo

Amongst the ton of shampoos out there, people with colored hair often find it hard to get the best shampoo for their hair nature, color, and type. As a result, manufacturers came about this shampoo created solely for colored hair.

The color-preserving shampoo helps to cater to colored hair and prevents issues like chemical damage, color fading, and the absence of moisture.

These shampoos don’t contain harsh and potentially harmful chemicals like sulfate and paraben that often rid the hair of its vibrancy. Instead, it contains ingredients that protect the hair color and maintains a healthy hue for a long time.

Color protection shampoos come with varying ingredients, so look for the ingredients that supply what you need, such as protein and vitamin E for vibrancy and damage protection. Vitamins, essential oil, and Keratin should also be in the mix for ultimate color preservation.

Top 3 Color Protecting Shampoo Recommendations

9. Hydrating Shampoo

Hydrating shampoos were designed to improve hair and scalp moisture and prevent dry scalp and hair. In many cases when the scalp doesn’t produce enough oil to moisturize the hair, the result is a dry scalp, dry hair, and dandruff.

Naturally, age results in less oil production on the scalp, which leads to dryness and weak cuticles. Exposure of the hair to heat, over-washing, and excessive blow-drying also poses a dryness problem for the hair. 

Hydrating shampoos come in to maintain the right pH level balance in the scalp. They help to manage frizzy, dry, and brittle hair and improve their moisture and hydration.

Top 3 Hydrating Shampoo Recommendations

10. Sulfate-Free Shampoo

One interesting thing about sulfate is that it is responsible for making shampoo foamy, which is why many shampoos cannot do without it.

Sulfates also help to remove dead cells and dirt, but when they do this, they strip your hair of its natural oil, leaving you with dry scalp and brittle hair.

However, sulfate-free shampoo exists to leave the natural oils intact, moisturize the hair, and improve its strength. It also reduces frizz, scalp, and skin irritation, and makes the hair softer. Curly hair can benefit from sulfate-free shampoo because it protects and defines the curls better.

Top 3 Sulfate-Free Shampoo Recommendations

11. Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

Anti-dandruff shampoos are formulated to prevent and treat dandruff, prevent flaking, and ease itchiness. 

The primary ingredient in anti-dandruff shampoo is ketoconazole, which conditions the hair, treats dandruff, and prevents hair loss.

These shampoos are suitable for all hair types but should be used by people treating dandruff. The shampoo focuses on the scalp where this problem originates and solves the issue of dandruff.

Anti-dandruff shampoos offer anti-fungal and anti-microbial solutions alongside soothing and cleansing of dandruff-prone hair. You can find essential oil such as tea tree alongside salicylic acid and aloe vera powder, for proper protection.

Top 3 Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Recommendations

12. Curly hair shampoo

Naturally curly people cannot just use any shampoo they need because the wrong shampoo can make a mess of their curls and turn the hair into a bunch of frizzes.

A curly hair shampoo comprises highly hydrating ingredients that cleanse frizzy hair, improve its shine, and make it smooth.

These shampoos comprise ingredients that boost hydration, such as amino acids and moisturizing and curl-defining ingredients like hydrolyzed protein.

Top 3 Curly Hair Shampoo Recommendations


I’m sure it has been fun to realize that there’s a lot to shampoo than you had imagined. From its interesting history to its various kinds, uses, and benefits, I hope you can use and enjoy the best shampoo for your hair needs.