Hair Through History: 10 Popular Looks of the 1980s


This changed when William Henry Perkin accidentally invented the first synthetic dye while attempting to generate a cure for malaria. A lovely purple hue, he named it Mauveine, which later became the foundation for modern-day hair dyes. In 1907, chemist Eugene Schueller developed the first ‘safe’ chemical hair dye for commercial purposes and went on to name it L’Oreal. Other hair dyes dating back to the sixteenth century included preparations of lead, quicklime, and salt, or silver nitrate and rose water. Before the invention of modern dyes, Europeans and Asians used different plant extracts for hair dyes. Indigo, a fabric dye, was combined with henna to produce light brown to black shades.

Ad slogans like L’Oréal’s “Because I’m worth it” showed a change in attitude toward outward beauty. As a research professor, Lewis acted as a consultant for cosmetics companies, but he always felt uncomfortable about their insistence upon using the same old oxidative formulas. Lewis retired from academia 10 years ago to launch Green Chemicals, avoid hot roots a company that aims to develop safer consumer goods. His company introduced a more environmentally friendly flame retardant, and now Lewis wants to overhaul hair dyes. Different methods have been proposed, but beauty manufacturers have yet to accept a permanent hair-color formula without PPD or its related compound, p-aminophenol.

It would later be called L’Oréal, as would the company he founded. This modern, slightly shaggy style with bangs has recently been worn by the likes of Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, and Dianna Agron. Its flattering layers make it the perfect haircut for heart-shaped faces.

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. If you wanted clear, acne-free skin in the ’80s, you had to have Noxzema in your medicine cabinet. (No, Proactiv didn’t exist.) There’s no feeling like digging into a fresh tub of the creamy white stuff and massaging it on your T-zone.

Let’s witness the evolution of hair coloring and trends through the decades. The choice of hair colors may have changed through the years, but the idea of playing with colors and experimenting still stays the same. Hair coloring today plays a huge role in the lives of several people and helps them experiment with their hair the way they want to. So, the next time you head to a salon to get your hair colored, don’t forget to draw inspiration from hair coloring trends over the past few decades. But natural dyes only coat the hair temporarily, and people wanted chemically altered tresses. Analyzing hair samples has revealed that the Greeks and Romans used permanent black hair dye thousands of years ago.

Consider supporting our work by becoming a member for as little as $5 a month. We had a gentleman’s agreement with them that we were an exclusive, then we would find boxes that were marked for our competitors and our customers. It got really, you know, they weren’t really nice people. Everybody loved the way we dressed, so after we were out of the band, we decided to open a store with our friend Gina, because rents were so cheap. So you were singing mostly, and then you got the idea to start the store. In some cases, certain ingredients in the second mix are not added during the mixing process.

An extract of chamomile flowers used to lighten hair color is still used in many hair preparations today. Hair dye was also obtained from the wood of some trees—brown dye from the brazilwood tree and yellow dye from the fustic, a tree in the mulberry family. Some of these plant-derived dyes were mixed with metal, such as copper and iron, to produce longer lasting or richer shades. China and South Korea have all seen a huge increase in demand for hair color products, mostly darker dyes, both for men and women. In Japan, the beauty ideal attached to black hair is so strong that some schools force students to dye their hair black, though in recent years the rule has provoked backlash. The rise of the digital age led to more and more people opting to color their hair.

Dip dyes and rainbow hues spanning pink, turquoise and violet have become fashionable for young women across the world and, to an extent, men . Bright shades also began appearing on armpit hair, notably by Miley Cyrus. Bleached hair became popular, along with spikes, mohawks and innovative uses of hair color.

An influential client, Lady Elsie De Wolfe Mendl, took up the same style and this started a new fad. Later in the 20th century, mature ladies had a blue rinse to conceal grey hair. The Queen Mother was the trend-setter and the peak of popularity for this fashion was the period following World War II. Other studies suggest there is no relationship between hair dye and these cancers. While early humans may not have had a lot of options when it came to coloring their hair, by the time of the Ancient Egyptians, methods had changed and improved. First, they shaved, then they braided their hair and curled it into wigs.

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