I was in the shower washing my hair and thinking about the show for this week when the thought crossed my mind that I had seen paintings of women bathing.
Women Bathing in the Sauna Anders Zorn
Bathing in lakes,
Bathing by Edvard Munch
"The Morning Bath" by Edgar Degas
communal areas and in basins
"Woman Bathing" by Mary Cassatt
but, I had could not recall seeing any art dedicated to a woman, washing her hair. Combing her hair,
"Combing hair" by Osman Hamdi Bey
adjusting her hair, braiding her hair
Woman Plaiting Her Hair by Pablo Picasso
but not washing.
Hair produces a natural oil which attracts dirt, dust and hair product residue. Shampoo is an emulsifier which captures these things and allows you to rinse them from your hair.
Shampoo comes from a Hindi word that looks like this Śaimpū which comes from a word champi through the Chinese. It means to coerce, bear down, allay and was more closely related to massage. Women who preformed these massages, where special attention was paid to the hands and wrists were called Shampooers. They were employed to perform this form of massage in the bath houses of London. Soon it was their skill with scalp massage during the bathing that had people hooked and the word changed to mean wash hair. The year was 1860.
In 1908 Dr. John Breck introduced Shampoo to his native New England. In 1930 he created a pH balanced shampoo. In 1936 his son Edward took over management and soon partnered with illustrator Charles Sheldon the artist responsible for the beautiful pastel portraits of the "Breck Girls".
The first Breck girl, Olga Armstrong, from 1936 by Charles Sheldon
There are 107 oil and pastel portraits. Roma Whitney being one of the "Breck Girls" and her portrait is the face of Breck. Her profile became the registered trademark on the bottle. Ralph William Williams also painted several portraits that were used in later campaigns.
This week enjoy Washing Her Hair.