Shampoo's Indian Origin
The Sanskrit language has mothered innumerable words in the English colloquial. From "pantaloons", to "trigonometry", India has said it all first. Well, even when it comes to "shampoo", our dear Sanskrit language, which is one of the richest assets to the Indian culture, pioneered the word that is popularly used today. In everyday language, most north Indians come in contact with the word ‘champi’. Mothers run after their children crying if they had done a champi and a tired man sits at the barber’s asking for a nice champi before he heads home. This word, originates from the word "Champo", which means to soothe and massage, which then mothers the much used term, Shampoo.
Starting out as a word, it meant first to cleanse and massage your hair. The ages that have gone by remember a Bengali man called Sake Dean Mohammed, who started a small parlour called Mohammed’s Indian Baths which specialised in shampoos. It got many accolades as the practice of a head massage while cleansing your hair became exceedingly popular. He was later appointed as the Shampooing Surgeon to George IV and William IV.
It was only later in the 1900s that the meaning shifted from a mere massage to a real application of another substance on your hair to cleanse it successfully.
Shampoos moved on from being just cleansers to larger concepts that specialized in different types of hair, length and texture. Today we indulge in shampoos that are custom made for our type of hair, be it wavy, dry, and long or straight, oily and short. India however, still religiously believes in the fancy idea of champi. Our elders still recommend a nice wholesome champi before we indulge in a long head bath. One must understand that champi is a highly scientific practice of increasing the blood circulation and your hair’s natural oil circulation for hair that can breathe, and hence partake in it’s share of nourishment.
If you liked reading this post, you might also like our post on Caring for Your Hair the Right Way.