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A History of Our Rosemary Shampoo & Conditioner

21, May 2024

Since the Seventies: A History of Our Rosemary Shampoo & Conditioner

Rosemary Shampoo & Conditioner are two of our most-loved products – and a TikTok sensation. But we’ve been making rosemary haircare since long before TikTok was a thing. We caught up with our founder, Rivka, to find out about the origins of this favourite range.

When did Faith In Nature first start making Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner?

Rosemary Shampoo and Rosemary Conditioner first came into the Faith In Nature range in the late seventies, a few years after I started the company in 1974. Our first shampoo was Organic Seaweed Shampoo. I hand-collected the seaweed from the beaches near where I lived in Scotland and put it in an old-fashioned press to obtain the beautiful black extract. In those days, calling something ‘organic’ was unusual; hardly anyone in the UK knew what organic was, and not many people had organic products, or understood what organic was. But our Organic Seaweed Shampoo was very successful, and I decided to expand the range. So, next came Marigold Sunshine Shampoo, Rosemary Rainbow Shampoo and Rosemary Rainbow Conditioner.

Great names! Where did they come from?

At that time all the ‘flower power’ stuff was happening and I had a lot of eco energy. I thought those names were really cute and described well what I was trying to do with the products. Those shampoos (Organic Seaweed, Marigold Sunshine and Rosemary Rainbow) became our three sweethearts. They were a big hit!

Rivka Rose in the 70sRivka with the range in the seventies


Why Rosemary?

Rosemary has been renowned for being beneficial to the hair and scalp for centuries. It’s excellent for stimulating the scalp, and therefore for promoting healthy hair. Our Rosemary Rainbow Shampoo was (and our current Rosemary Shampoo still is!) gentle and beneficial to hair and scalp. There wasn’t much competition back then; most other companies that made shampoo were using synthetic fragrances and artificial colours and I just thought “That’s not what I want to do, it’s not why I’m in business.” Rosemary Rainbow Shampoo was good for people with scalp conditions, those with skin and scalp sensitivities, those with skin irritations. The essential oil is packed with skin and haircare benefits, and it was a real relief for people to be able to find something that worked so well for them, and for it to be affordable.

The vintage shampoo labels from that era are beautiful! Can you tell us a bit more about them?

Those original labels were reproductions from ‘Of the Historie of Plants’ by John Gerard, which is also known as ‘Gerard’s Herball’. It’s a very old, fascinating guide to plants that was first published in 1597 and is illustrated with these amazing woodcuts. I went into libraries to do research and they allowed me to take photographs of those original prints. That’s where the early labels came from.

Vintage rosemary shampoo labelsThe original Rosemary Rainbow Conditioner, with the woodcut design from Gerard's Herball


Today, our Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner are manufactured in our Greater Manchester factory. Where and how did you make the original Rosemary Rainbow Shampoo and Conditioner?

At that point we were in our first Manchester factory, but the company was still tiny and I was doing a thousand jobs myself. I made all the skincare products and my husband made the shampoo – he mixed it by hand with a long paddle in a 200-litre drum. We used pure rosemary extract, pure rosemary essential oil and chlorophyll, the natural green colouring, in the recipe. Our brilliant assistant, Tim, helped us by doing the filling using a semi-automatic filler. We were a tiny team, and at the same time, we were travelling around the country, knocking on health food store doors to introduce the idea of natural products and tell people about the brand.

These days, our Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner has a lot of fans – what did people think of it back then?

Both the customer and retailer feedback for Rosemary Rainbow Shampoo and Conditioner was always very positive – people loved it! People vote with their feet, and they kept buying our Rosemary Shampoo. Even now, we have customers who’ve been our loyal customers for decades. Generations of people love what we do, we’re a generational company – and our Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner have always been firm favourites. Our products and labels have evolved many times in the last 50 years, but here we are, still making Rosemary Shampoo; it’s still beneficial, people still love it and we’re still making it with active natural ingredients.