Schwarzkopf: Over 120 Years Of Innovation
More than 120 years ago, the German chemist and pharmacist Hans Schwarzkopf laid the foundations for a brand that stands for quality, reliability, expertise, and innovation. Today, Schwarzkopf is one of the pioneers in the field of hair cosmetics worldwide and the largest brand at Henkel Beauty Care. Hair color brands, such as Palette and Color Expert, and hair care and hair styling brands, such as Schauma, Gliss Kur, Taft, and göt2b all belong to the global brand.
The Schwarzkopf Story
The first dry shampoo, the first hairspray, highly-acclaimed hair dyes, and a new definition of beauty that is second to none – Schwarzkopf’s history is characterized by innovation. Over 120 years of Schwarzkopf – that means more than 120 years of passionate commitment to individuality, creativity, fashion, and zeitgeist.
It all began just over 120 years ago with a small drugstore in Berlin. Here, Hans Schwarzkopf invented the first groundbreaking hair care products, which would soon be in demand worldwide. Today, Schwarzkopf is part of Henkel and is one of the most internationally successful brands. The innovations in the fields of hair care, hair styling, and hair color are groundbreaking. But it’s about much more than just the products: the brand is about individual beauty, a positive perspective, and about expressing the best version of yourself in the most beautiful way possible – with unlimited possibilities.
Join Schwarzkopf on a short journey through time!
Hans Schwarzkopf, chemist and pharmacist, opens a "dye, drug, and perfume store" in Passauer Strasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Did he know at the time that he was laying the foundations for one of the most important hair cosmetics companies in the world?
It doesn’t take long for the first innovation to come along. Hans Schwarzkopf launches a shampoo in powder form. It costs 20 pfennigs (around 12 cents) per bag and is used by being dissolved in water. In no time at all it becomes more popular than the hair washing soaps available at the time. The shampoo is in high demand.
The Schwarzkopf company achieves another feat with the introduction of the first liquid hair shampoo on the European market.
This is followed by the world’s first soap-free/alkali-free shampoo. "Onalkali" is considered the mother of all modern shampoos. In addition to hair care products, the popularity of perms expand the product range.
Schwarzkopf introduces the first cold perm, "Onaltherma", to the German market. It creates waves without having to heat your hair to over 200°F. Around this time, the hair coloration "Poly Color" is also launched on the market.
Schwarzkopf launches "Schauma Creme-Schaumpon" tubes on the German market. The product is a great success and "Schauma" becomes the epitome of shampoo in West Germany, establishing the mass market for shampoo in Germany.
From now on, neither wind nor weather is a concern thanks to Taft, the first "liquid hairnet". In Germany, the country of the economic miracle, a new verb was even created – "taften", which means "to spray hair with hairspray".
Schwarzkopf launches the "Palette Color Shampoo". Hair colors from the Palette series are still available today and provide expert coloration.
The "Schwarzkopf Method" is introduced – a new systematic concept to do with the perm, consisting of consulting, technology, and training.
For the sake of the environment. Schwarzkopf is the first international cosmetics manufacturer to react to socially relevant issues such as environmental protection. "Taft" hairspray becomes completely CFC*-free.
*Chlorofluorocarbons are gases that can cause damage to the ozone layer.
The Dusseldorf-based Henkel Corporation acquires Schwarzkopf and becomes one of the leading European manufacturers of the hair cosmetics sector.
Schwarzkopf celebrates its 100th birthday with another product innovation, of course. "Re-Nature" is the first re-pigmenting hair color for gray hair, whose formula, in combination with the oxygen in the air, brings back your natural hair color.
göt2b – a young brand that incorporates street styling trends originates in the US in 2001. In 2004, the brand is launched on the European market.
Armin Morbach creates the new "Schwarzkopf Looks". The hair professional translates hip trends into wearable hairstyles that are both glamorous and modern. The looks are photographed by international stars like Patrick Demarchelier.
Henkel Beauty Care brings its global hair color expertise to the US, introducing Schwarzkopf Color to the retail market with the brands Keratin Color and Color Ultîme.
Empowering Women: Schwarzkopf launches the "Million Chances" charity initiative. Together with local and international aid organizations, Schwarzkopf implements projects that help girls and women around the world to build a successful futures.
Schwarzkopf brings the latest color care hype from hair salons straight to your home. ColorExpert combines exciting hair colors with intensive hair care. The 3-step system with OMEGAPLEX® technology protects the micro-bonds in your hair during the coloring process and ensures brilliant color results and intensively cared-for hair at the same time.
Schwarzkopf is a driver of innovation par excellence. For its 120th anniversary, the brand celebrates individual beauty with the #createyourstyle campaign – far from beauty ideals or beauty hype. Diversity, authenticity, and self-confidence are the main focus. The most important thing to take from this is that styling should be fun for all. And this is exactly what Schwarzkopf wants to continue to inspire.
The US Schwarzkopf Color portfolio grows with the launch of göt2b Color, bringing with it a spectrum of bold color shades.
Henkel Beauty Care launches Simply Color in the US, a color that's better for your hair with 0% ammonia, silicone, and alcohol.
After opening his drugstore in Berlin in 1898, company founder Hans Schwarzkopf used the iconic Schwarzkopf silhouette as a unique identifier for the first time around 1904, depicting a Berlin-based actor. As of 1904, Hans Schwarzkopf delivered his products with the famous silhouette to all major drugstores in the German capital, and in 1905, the silhouette became a registered trademark. The technique used for creating the silhouette is referred to as papercutting and has been a widely used artisan technique in Germany since the 16th century. Ever since its first appearance, the Schwarzkopf silhouette has been adapted to changes in style and fashion, thus moving from a sharper shape and depicting a male character until the 1920s, to a rounder and softer form from the 1950s onwards.
Schwarzkopf and Diversity
The Schwarzkopf brand first began when state-certified chemist Hans Schwarzkopf took over a dye and perfume shop, and five years later, in 1903, launched the first shampoo in Germany. Today, the Schwarzkopf umbrella brand unites numerous branded products for cosmetics and personal care as well as professional hair and hairdressing products worldwide. Social responsibility and basic ethical rules such as integration and diversity are at the heart of the Schwarzkopf brand.
In 2005, Schwarzkopf paired up with hair expert Armin Morbach and he became brand ambassador. Sharing the same beliefs as us, and also standing up for these issues both in his professional and personal life, it’s easy to see why he fits in well with the brand. He is the creative mind behind our "Looks" campaigns, and as editor-in-chief, artist, and photographer he is particularly committed to the topic of diversity.
In 2018, this vision was brought to life in a campaign:
Together with international Schwarzkopf influencers and various members of society, the 2018 #createyourstyle campaign embodied the vision of the brand and set new standards. #createyourstyle was a worldwide homage to the very personal expression of beauty – far removed from past beauty ideals. #createyourstyle included progressive campaign motifs such as LGBTQI+ models and showed various Schwarzkopf influencers and authentic people of different age groups, communities, and sexual orientations.
Evolution has been constant as the Schwarzkopf brand has grown over the last century. From being the first company to invent powder shampoo, liquid shampoo, hairspray as well as many other products, Schwarzkopf continues to keep on inventing exclusive hair care products and improving its formulas. In the future, we will continue our promise to innovate, grow, and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual.