Story of Us, 1910-1920: Dyeing For It

People have been coloring their hair since ancient times, but this was the decade that the service became more accessible.

Balayage, ombré, tortoiseshell, babylights—all some of the biggest trends in hair color this year. With over 75 percent of American women coloring their hair, hair color is big business with at-home coloring expected to reach $2.2 billion in 2016. The sheer quantity and variety of at-home coloring products on the market is largely responsible for today’s huge numbers, and it all began in the early part of the 20th century when hair dye was made readily available to the general public.

As the number of magazines, journals and newspapers grew exponentially around the turn of the century and a new model of persuasive advertising arose, so did an awareness for the products available on the market. Suddenly, there was a whole new world of hair dyes that went way beyond basic black, from tints to hennas to permanent coloring. They were available for six dollars per dozen. Furthermore, the new hair coloring preparations produced more consistent and safer results than their predecessors, without staining the scalp and with longer lasting results.         

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