Shampoo- Who Invented it ?

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 Sake Dean Mahomed
Sake Dean Mahomed

The word shampoo in English is derived from Hindustani chāmpo (चाँपो ) and dates to 1762. The shampoo itself originated in the eastern regions of the Mughal Empire that ruled erstwhile India, particularly in the Nawab of Bengal where it was introduced as a head massage, usually consisting of alkali, natural oils and fragrances. Shampoo was first introduced in Britain by a Bengali entrepreneur from Bihar named “Sake Dean Mahomed”. He was a Bengali traveller, surgeon and entrepreneur, Born in 1759 in Patna, Bihar. His father was in the employment of the East India Company. He had learned much of Mughal alchemy and understood the techniques used to produce various Alkali, soaps and Shampoo. In 1794, Mahomed published his travel book, The Travels of Dean Mahomet and became the first Indian to have written books in English. He was one of the most notable early Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

He also introduced the Indian curry house restaurant in Britain. Before opening his restaurant, Mahomed had worked in London for nabob Basil Cochrane ( A nabob, might have come from Nawab, is an Anglo-Indian term used for a  wealthy man). Basil Cochrane (born 22 April 1753) was a Scottish civil servant, businessman, inventor, and wealthy nabob of early 19th century in England who had installed a steam bath for public use in his house in Portman Square and promoted its medical benefits. Mahomed may have been responsible for introducing the practice of “shampooing” or Indian massage there.

In 1814, Mahomed and his wife moved back to Brighton and opened the first commercial “shampooing” vapour masseur bath in England, where he offered therapeutic massage. He described the treatment in a local paper as “The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath, a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when everything fails; particularly Rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame less, aches and pains in the joints”.

This business was an immediate success and Dean Mahomet became known as “Dr. Brighton“. Mahomed died in 1851 at 32 Grand Parade, Brighton. He was buried in a grave at St Nicholas’ Church, Brighton.