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The History of Hair Color


When did we start using hair dye? What’s the most common color? Discover these answers and more in our fun, fact-filled Hair Color Report.


Who knew there were so many fascinating statistics and numbers behind the age-old art of dyeing hair? Here are a few of our favorite factoids:

3400 B.C.:
Era in which ancient Egyptians began using henna to camouflage their gray hairs.

17:
Age at which Marge Simpson went gray, according to her hubby Homer.

100 A. D.:
Century in which Roman doctor Galen described a recipe for black dye. Scientists re-created the formula in 2006 and found it actually works.

11,000:
Number of years ago scientists believe the genetic mutation for blond hair appeared.

60:
Years since Wella invented Koleston Perfect professional hair color, used in Regis Salons.

Regis Salons Wella Image Color Facts Trend

1860:
Approximate year hydrogen peroxide was first used as hair bleach, kicking off decades of broken strands and burned scalps.

92%:
Women who have ever colored their hair, according to a Wella survey.

1907:
Year the first synthetic hair dye was invented.

20:
Number of minutes you must simmer crushed marigold flowers to make a rinse that adds reddish-gold highlights to hair, according to herbalists.

12:
Number of hues of Regis clip-in hair extensions, including pink, purple, blue, red and green.

1931:
Year “platinum blonde” was coined to describe Jean Harlow, star of the movie … wait for it … PLATINUM BLONDE.

4,000:
Number of people attending last year’s Roodharigendag (Redhead Day), an annual Dutch festival.

1953:
Debut of Marilyn Monroe’s hit, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Its 1955 sequel, Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, was a bomb.

Regis Salons MM Color Trends

1–2%:
World population with naturally red hair.

1968:
The last year Americans were asked to list hair color on their passports. (People were dyeing their hair so often, the information was worthless.)

# 1:
Rank of black among most common hair colors.

9%:
American women who are natural blondes.

# 1
: Rank of blond among best-selling hair colors.

$51,000: Grant awarded to an Australian grad student to study whether or not blondes are actually dumb.

76%: U.S. women who think the first woman president will be a brunette, according to Allure magazine.
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