How popular is the baby name Shasta in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Shasta and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Shasta.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Shasta

Number of Babies Named Shasta

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Shasta

Finesse, Another Shampoo Baby Name

Ad for Stopette and Finesse from Life Magazine, 1953
The baby name Finesse debuted on the U.S. baby name charts in 1953, then disappeared again (until the 1980s).

  • 1954: unlisted
  • 1953: 7 baby girls named Finesse [debut]
  • 1952: unlisted

What inspired the debut?

Finesse, the “flowing cream shampoo” that was introduced to American consumers in late 1952.

It was the creation of cosmetic chemist Jules Montenier, whose first product had been the best-selling spray deodorant Stopette, introduced in the late 1940s.

Advertisements for both Stopette and Finesse ran in major magazines and also on television, which was still relatively new in the early ’50s. The print ad to the right appeared in LIFE magazine in early 1953, and here’s a Finesse commercial from the same year. Here’s another Finesse commercial that aired as part of the game show What’s My Line? in late 1952. (For most of the 1950s, Montenier was the main sponsor of What’s My Line?)

Both products were notable because of their innovative plastic packaging. Stopette’s squeeze-bottle allowed the product to be sprayed upward (as opposed to being dabbed on manually, like most deodorants of the era) and Finesse’s accordion-like squeeze bottle and flip-cap were much safer in the shower than typical glass shampoo bottles.

In 1956, Montenier sold his brands to Helene Curtis. Stopette was eventually taken off the shelves, but Finesse is still available today. (The brand is currently owned by Lornamead.)

Curiously, Finesse wasn’t the first shampoo-inspired name on the baby name charts. The earliest was Drene, which debuted in 1946, and next came Shasta, which was given a boost in 1948.

The word finesse has several definitions, including “refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture.” It can be traced back to the Old French word fin, meaning “subtle, delicate.”


Image: Ad from LIFE 9 Feb. 1953: 32.

The Week Of Hair Poll

Let’s wrap up the Week of Hair with a poll. If you were having a daughter, and you had to name her either Shasta, Tamba, Brilliantine, Danderine, Harlene or Venida, which which would it be?

Which name do you like best?

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I don’t vote in my own polls, but if I were going to vote this time, I’d go with Tamba so that I could embarrass my daughter with that “Oo, oo, Tamba!” RuPaul lyric in public on a regular basis.

Week of Hair: Babies Named After Shasta Shampoo

shasta shampooThe baby name Shasta began appearing regularly on the SSA’s baby name list in the 1950s.

  • 1956: 9 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1955: 10 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1954: 14 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1953: 10 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1952: 6 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1951: 9 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1950: 5 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: 8 baby girls named Shasta
  • 1947: unlisted
  • 1946: unlisted


Because Procter & Gamble (makers of Drene) introduced Shasta Cream Shampoo to the market in 1948 and promoted it heavily throughout the 1950s.

Shasta print ads claimed Shasta “spark[ed] your hair with brighter, richer color.” Shasta television commercials promised Shasta was the “softest of the cream shampoos.” (Competing products included Lustre-Creme Shampoo and Rayve Cream Shampoo.)

But sales must have been unimpressive, as P&G stopped selling Shasta Shampoo at end of the ’50s.

The baby name remained in use, though. It even became moderately trendy in the late ’70s. In 2013, 12 baby girls in the U.S. were named Shasta.

(Another product named “Shasta,” Shasta Soda, also existed during the 1950s. But I think it’s far more likely that the pretty women in the Shasta Shampoo ads were a bigger influence on ’50s parents than a random line of soft drinks.)

Source: Shasta Cream Shampoo with Improved Lanolin | National Museum of American History

The Week of Hair!

I like to keep things as quirky as possible around here, so I declare this week the Week of Hair — a week of posts about baby names inspired by hair products.

So far we’ve already talked about Bandoline Fixatrice and Drene, so today through Friday we’ll check out Shasta, Tamba, Brilliantine, Danderine, Harlene and Venida. (Those will become live links as I put the posts up.)

Enjoy it, hairy people!