Launched over 140 years ago by hairdresser and beauty professional, Franz Stroher, the Wella Company has developed into a leading beauty company compromised of a family of iconic brands.
Franz Ströher establishes his self-named business for the manufacture and sale of hair tulle in Rothenkirchen, Germany. Used as the base for wigs, Ströher capitalized on his experiences in fashionable Paris and the technical training of the Vogtland lace-makers to drive the business (later known as Wella).
Kadus is founded by hairdresser Ludwig Kegel in Freiburg, Germany. The first patent gave Kadus its name: Kegel Automatischer Desinfektor Und Spüler [Kegel’s Automatic Disinfection and Rinsing Machine].
The Wella brand name is introduced (inspired by the German word for waves) and trademark is patented. The product line is extended to include perming and wet-perming agents, bleaching agents, hair coloring, soaps for head hygiene and other products. Wella products are now exported to the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Morocco, China, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, the USA and Canada.
The Clairol Company is established by Lawrence & Joan Gelb in New York, USA after discovering a revolutionary new hair coloring formula on a trip to France.
Introduction of Wella’s Blondor bleaching agent.
Clairol introduces the first one-step hair color, marking a revolution in hair coloring with launch of Miss Clairol Hair Color Bath.
Wella Koleston is launched as the first cream hair colorant to worldwide success.
Vidal Sassoon opens his first salon in London, England.
Clairol introduces the first at-home hair color kit, offering women “hair color so natural only her hairdresser knows for sure.” This was Clairol’s first salon-to-retail permanent color, sold in both venues.
Part of the post-war Wella company situated in Rothenkirchen (Eastern Germany) adopts the new brand name “Londa” while still using the Wella logo.
Clairol is acquired by Bristol-Myers.
Londa now uses its own exclusive trademark.
Clairol introduces Nice ‘n Easy, offering women natural looking color and 100% gray coverage as the first at-home shampoo-in hair color.
Geri Cusenza and John Sebastian introduce the Sebastian Professional line in Los Angeles, USA. The business is founded on the principle of fearless hair fashion.
Vidal Sassoon launches his first three-step system of products, sold exclusively to hairdressers.
Kadus becomes a subsidiary of Wella AG.
System Professional is established by Wella as a range of hair and scalp treatments used by professional hairdressers and based on clients’ personal hair and scalp needs.
OPI is established by George Schaeffer in Los Angeles, USA. Suzi Weiss-Fischmann soon joins. Although the business originally sells dental supplies, OPI quickly pivots to meet the growing demand for acrylic nails by professional salons.
Sebastian’s revolutionary Shaper Hairspray is launched at a trade show in Los Angeles. The massive can was introduced on stage as the first hairspray that could be sprayed upside down.
The Sassoon Professional product line is acquired by Procter & Gamble.
Nioxin Research Laboratories is founded by Eva Graham and its first products arrive at salons as part of “The Science of Living Hair.”
OPI expands its portfolio to nail lacquers and other nail products.
Procter & Gamble acquires Clairol from Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Good Hair Day (ghd) is established by three entrepreneurs who bring a new and innovative straightening iron from Korea to the UK, quickly becoming a must-have styling tool. Originally sold exclusively through salons, ghd’s fan base explodes through the recommendation of personal stylists.
Procter & Gamble acquires Wella AG and its subsidiaries.
Nioxin in acquired by Procter & Gamble.
OPI is acquired by Coty.
Coty acquires Procter & Gamble’s beauty portfolio, including its professional brands.
Coty acquires ghd.
SEB Man is introduced for the first time in the Netherlands.
weDo/ Professional is first introduced in Sweden.
The Wella Company is established and divested from Coty. A new chapter begins.