The ancient history of haircolor; past and present.

Haircolor mixed in a bowl

History Lesson

Coloring hair is such a common thing, especially now with younger kids changing their haircolor for fun. We mix the color and apply like second nature, but have you thought about when people started coloring hair, and when it became commercial? Lets explore the history of haircolor this time.

Ancient Egyptians and Romans

Before modern haircolor, the Ancient Egyptians are credited for using henna to color gray hair. So, thousands of years ago!!! Ancient Romans are the first to create permanent haircolor, unfortunately jet black was the only color choice for a long time… It took a few hundred years for the Greeks and Romans to come out with more color choices extracted from plants. Can you imagine the excitement when a new shade was introduced after 100 years??

The origin of L’oreal Haircolor

Modern haircolor is credited to L’oreal, which is true, but the story is a little deeper. The scientist that discovered the first synthesized dye is named William Henry Perkin, and he accidentally got to this while trying to cure malaria. Then, chemistry professor August Wilhelm von Hoffman enhanced Perkin’s discovery, creating para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which is still the base for many permanent hair colors currently. Then finally in 1907, French chemist Eugene Schueller took PPD and created the first hair color for commercial purposes, dubbing the new product Aureole, which soon became known as L’Oréal, the company that Schueller founded. The rest as you know is history.

What’s next??

Women and men have always colored their hair for centuries, but more common than ever. With more open minds and creativity, the beauty industry can continue to evolve. What do you think the next big invention in the beauty industry will be?? Could you be the next L’oreal??

With much love,