Dye Hard! For April 2017

Hair is one of the most important aspects of a person's appearance. They shape the face, look gorgeous, and the right hairstyle can instantly elevate a person's self-confidence and image.

Natural hair colours tend to be shades of black, brown, red and blonde. While one often gets tired of sporting the same colour forever and seeks a change, did you know that these changes are in no way recent?

An early instance of man colouring his hair is of the Gauls and Saxons colouring their hair vibrant colours to scare off their opponents in a war. Around 1500 BC, in the Egyptian civilization, henna was used to cover unsightly grey hair. Centuries later, the Greeks and Romans used plant extracts to colour their hair too. The Romans had then created a more permanent hair dye which was later discovered to be very toxic, making them search for alternate resources with which to make hair dye.

It was only in the 1800's in England that hair dyes ceased to be as toxic or dangerous as in the earlier centuries, due to a chemist named William Henry Perkin. While his discovery of the synthesized hair dye was accidental, it forever changed the scene of hair colours, which until then had been predominantly black.

In the early 1900's, Eugene Schueller created the first chemical hair dye commercially called Aureole. This would later change to L'Oréal, the namesake of the company he founded. The 1930's ushered in the era of the Platinum Blondes. It was first seen and loved on a popular Hollywood actress, Jean Harlow. The 1950's strode even further with Clairol launching the first hair dye that did not require any harsh bleach to be used on one's hair. All these inventions led to hair colour being more and more common and increasingly accepted socially.

Now in the 21st century, there is no dearth of hair colour trends. From the Ombré trend which involves a gradual lightening of the hair from the skull to the roots, to dip-dyes which is all about colouring the lower part of one's hair a vibrant shade. The number of trends in hair colour can only go upwards from here and how!

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