More than 120 years ago, the German chemist and pharmacist Hans Schwarzkopf laid the foundations for a brand that has been at the forefront of innovation ever since. Combining quality ingredients and the latest haircare technology, reliability, expertise and craftsmanship are the cornerstones of everything the brand does and stands for. From developing the first liquid shampoo to becoming a globally recognised salon colour, today Schwarzkopf’s portfolio includes brands such as LIVE, Oleo Intense and got2b. Instilling confidence in both professionals and consumers worldwide, they allow everyone to express themselves in their own unique way. Creative, compassionate, exciting and empowered. That’s the Schwarzkopf way.
Schwarzkopf: Over 120 Years Of Innovation
The Schwarzkopf Story
A brand of firsts, Schwarzkopf’s rich history is defined by innovations. The first dry shampoo, the first liquid shampoo, the first hairspray, the first cold perm, the first home colour product. Over 120 years later and the brand is still striving to improve the consumers’ haircare experience with every new product they create. Leading where others follow and encouraging people to showcase the best version of themselves, they proudly provide the tools needed for everyone to embrace and celebrate their individuality.
Where it all began...
The Schwarzkopf success story began in this store.
In a small drugstore in Berlin, Hans Schwarzkopf had no idea when he was crafting groundbreaking products and discovering new haircare innovations that his name would one day be known worldwide and his products would reach over 150 countries. Now part of Henkel, Schwarzkopf is one of the most internationally successful brands.
SCHWARZKOPF’S INCREDIBLE TIMELINE
The year it all began - Hans Schwarzkopf, chemist and pharmacist opens a ‘dye, drug, and perfume store’ in Passauer Strasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg. An enigmatic new brand was born.
Hans Schwarzkopf unveils a revolutionary shampoo in powder form that needs to be dissolved in water to use. The crowds go wild and in no time at all it becomes more popular than the hair washing soaps available at the time.
The Schwarzkopf company achieves another feat with the introduction of the first liquid hair shampoo on the European market.
Wanting to stay ahead of the game, the next world first is a soap-free/alkali-free shampoo. “Onalkali” it quickly becomes considered the mother of all modern shampoos.
Allowing women to create waves without having to heat your hair to over 100°C, Schwarzkopf introduces the first cold perm, ‘Onaltherma’, to the German market. Around this time, the hair colouration ‘Poly Color’ is launched - the first at home hair colour.
When Schwarzkopf launched shampoo tubes on the German market known as ‘Schauma Creme-Schaumpon’ it was such a success that ‘Schauma’ became shorthand for the ‘shampoo’ in Germany creating a whole new haircare category.
Described as a ‘liquid hairnet’ aka hairspray, this was the first product of its kind that could protect hair from wind and wild weather conditions that could disrupt your style. Called Taft, the Germans even created a new verb - ‘taften’ which means ‘to spray with hairspray’.
This is the year that the Palette Color Shampoo was invented. With some hair colours from the series still available, it’s proof how forward-thinking the brand was.
Following its passion for experimenting and expertise, the ‘Schwarzkopf Method’ is introduced. Focusing on the perm it consists of consulting, technology and training.
With the world alerted to greenhouse gases, Schwarzkopf is the first cosmetics manufacturer to react and ‘Taft’ hairspray becomes completely CFC*-free cementing the brand’s commitment to the environment.
*Chlorofluorocarbons are gases that can cause damage to the ozone layer.
The Düsseldorf-based Henkel Corporation acquires Schwarzkopf, propelling it to become one of the leading European manufacturers of the hair sector.
Schwarzkopf celebrates its 100th birthday with another product innovation. ‘Re-Nature’ is the first re-pigmenting hair colour for grey hair Re-Nature’s formula reacts with the oxygen in the air to return your hair back to its natural colour.
Incorporating street style, diversity and energy into its products, göt2b arrives in America in 2001 and is rolled out to the European market in 2004.
Super stylist Armin Morbach creates the new ‘Schwarzkopf Looks’. Showcasing what the brand is famous for, high fashion looks are transformed into wearable styles. Photographed by international photographers like Patrick Demarchelier, the collection showcases hair that is both glamorous and modern.
Henkel Beauty Care brings its global hair colour expertise to the US, introducing Schwarzkopf Colour to the retail market with the brands Keratin Colour and Colour Ultîme.
Keen to implement projects that help girls and women to build successful futures, Schwarzkopf launches the ‘Million Chances’ charity initiative working with local and international aid organisations around the world.
Transporting the latest colour care hype from hair salons straight to your home, ColorExpert arrives. Combining exciting hair colours with intensive hair care the 3-step system with OMEGAPLEX ® technology protects the hair’s micro-bonds during the colouring process ensuring amazing colour results and intensively cared-for hair at the same time. A true revolution.
To mark its 120th anniversary, Schwarzkopf unveils the #createyourstyle campaign celebrating individual beauty. Diversity, authenticity and self-confidence are the main focus alongside how to have fun with your hair. Encouraging everyone to become their own stylist, Schwarzkopf refuses to stop inspiring.
This is also the year that göt2b Color launches in the US, bringing with it a spectrum of bold colour shades.
Embracing digital technology, Schwarzkopf creates an app - Choicify - that allows consumers to ‘try before they buy’. A mobile colour consultation, users upload a photo to see which Schwarzkopf shade suits them best. A gateway to experimentation, it instils yet more confidence in the customer.
More exciting things to come!
You might think that the famous silhouette depicted on all Schwarzkopf products is the man himself, founder Hans Schwarzkopf, when in actual fact it was a Berlin-based actor. Created using the artisan ‘papercutting’ technique famous in Germany, it was further testament to the craftsmanship of the Schwarzkopf brand. Now considered iconic, the silhouette that first appeared in 1904 is recognised around the world, although it has been given a makeover throughout the years to reflect the changes in style and fashion. Until the 1920s the shape was sharper and depicted a male character but from the 50s onwards it took on a rounder, softer form.
Schwarzkopf and Diversity
Recognising, respecting and celebrating all types of hair, diversity is at the heart of the Schwarzkopf brand. Acknowledging that everyone is unique, in 2005 Schwarzkopf collaborated with legendary fashion photographer, Armin Morbach to create a series of ‘Looks’ that would reflect their diverse beliefs. An advocate for embracing all ethnicities, ages and abilities, he also became a brand ambassador for Schwarzkopf.
But the vision didn’t stop there and in 2018, Schwarzkopf’s #createyourstyle campaign was launched. Leaving behind beauty stereotypes it was a homage to personal expressions of beauty. Including LGBTQ+ models and showcasing people of all age groups, communities and sexual orientations, it shone a light on how passionate Schwarzkopf is about giving everyone a voice and providing a place to be free, have fun and express themselves.
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, Schwarzkopf continues to keep on innovating and elevating its hair care products and formulas. In the future, we will continue our promise to inspire, grow, and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual.