The History of Breck Shampoo

breck shampooWomen have been dissatisfied with their hair it seems… forever. As far back as the 1800s, women were complaining that plain soap just wasn’t doing the job. They simply couldn’t rinse it out and as a result their hair was stringy and sticky. John Breck turned his attention to the hair care problem in 1898, probably because he was a 21 year old who was already going bald.  Unable to find information that could help him, he enrolled in Amherst College to study chemistry. During his years at the college he unfortunately didn’t learn how to stop his hair from falling out, but he did discover what was making hair stringy  and in 1930 introduced the first pH balanced shampoo as well as shampoos formulated for both oily and dry hair.  If you are old enough, you just might remember how popular Breck Shampoo would become. It even boasted an ad campaign for Breck Girls which included Kim Basinger and Brooke Shields. I went looking to see if the shampoo is still available and apparently, it been sold several times and is presently owned by Dollar Tree. I did however locate it at

Photo Credit: Amazon

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    • Deborah Armstrong

      I literally remember Breck Shampoo since I was a baby–my Mother–Roma Whitney Armstrong–was the Breck trademark model (the only model with a blue background) and I was one of the monthly models when I was about 5–pre-Brooke,Kim, Erin, etc. My Dad worked for Charles Sheldon and my Mother modeling was “for fun” and turned into the trademark!!

      Our artist oils were in the Breck Hall of Fame in Phoenix until they were moved to the Smithsonian where they are presently stored. Would love to see Breck make a comeback!!

      • John Jennings

        I’d like to see it back too, as the former manager of the Breck products for
        American Cyanamid Co. Starting with Breck in 1961 in Springfield MA
        and moving to the N.Y. area with the acquisition by Cyanamid carrying on
        selectimg models for Sheldon> famous Breck Pastels. In fact Mr Sheldon
        and my product team presented me with painting of my wife when I left
        the company. Istill have it and am pleased to know that the others are
        preserved at the Smithsonian

      • Russell Fish

        Hello Debbie. I was in love with you in the fifth grade (I think!) in Voorhesville.

    • Debby

      OMG Russell!!!!!
      I remember you!! We moved to CT but I now live in upstate NY in the Adirondack Park. I have always thought about taking a Sunday drive to Voorheesville to see if I can remember anything from back in those days!!!!!!