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.
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.
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.