Hair dye products are everywhere and to be honest with you: we love them! There are plenty of colors to choose from, plenty of styles to create, you can even wear many colors at the same time. The possibilities are endless. But, have you ever wonder when did people start dyeing their hair? Some studies show it started in ancient Egypt, others in ancient Greece. Let’s find out!
The truth is that people have always searched for new ways to decorate, transform and improve their appearance. Since the beginning of documented history, we have records of body transformations, tattoos and body paintings. Throughout the years, technology improved these procedures and people continued to transform their bodies in different ways.
Dye history started with men and women searching for colorful plant extracts to make dye. Ancient texts show that back then dyes were not permanent and color options were limited to black or red. Henna was the most common natural dye used for body art. It was also used as a hair dye to cover gray hair.
Later, permanent colors were developed in Rome, where black was the only color available; luckily, Romans were able to eventually create new options.
– In the Roman Empire, prostitutes had to be blonde, so many dyed their hair to meet the requirement.
– Some civilizations used to dye their hairs before battles so they could show ranks in the battlefield and frighten their opponents.
– The base substance used in hair dyes (Paraphenylenediamine – PPD) was discovered by accident when a scientist was trying to find the cure for malaria.
– Currently, 60% of women and 10% of men in the world dye their hair.
Today’s Hair Dye
At the beginning of the 20th century, Eugene Schuller launched the first hair color designed for commercial purposes under the name of Aureole which then became what today we know as L’Oréal. They were recognized for being harmless hair dyes. More than a century has passed and nowadays hair dyes are more popular than ever.
Today, people not only use it to cover gray hairs but as a way of self-expression or even a way of art. At the Orlando Premiere 2017, one of the greatest beauty industry trade shows of the world, hair dyes were the main attractions setting a new trend of applications.