Your hair is our speciality Every year, we collect hundreds of kilograms from the four corners of the globe - enough to go to the moon and back twice – in our 5 dedicated hair research centres worldwide where we design and develop products and services for the industry. It’s analysed by our specialists - Microbiologists and biochemists, mathematicians and computer scientists, toxicologists and environmentalists, mechanical, industrial and electronic engineers... We study its composition and quality at different stages of life. We analyse cuticle damage, pigment loss, breakage and split ends. And we rigorously test the performance of our new products.
We form curls and test their hold for up to 48 hours. We comb it at a constant speed when dry and wet to test smoothness and strength. We measure shine and volume using meticulous methods, like teasing it through different-sized rings to assess thickness and weight. We magnify it up to 1 million times using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to look at hair health and the bonding capacity of our sprays. And then our products are tested in our global network of salons where professional hairdressers work with you to create the hair you’ve always wanted.That way, we can guarantee that you and your hair always receive the best possible treatment for passionately professional results.
In the Beginning - Its 1880: wigs and hair pieces are the height of fashion and 25-year old stylist Franz Ströher is at the cutting edge. He sets up his own company and launches Tullemoid Waterproof - a revolutionary new product that makes wigs both secure and waterproof. It’s a best-seller. In 1904, Stöher opens a factory in RothenKirchen, East Germany and builds a business founded on two key values: vision and innovation.
1920S - The Twenties - The war is over and wigs are out. Ströher's sons Karl and Georg start developing products to create permanent waves - and give the company its name: Wella (derived from the German for wave). Salons jump on the first Wella perming appliance, offering their clients a short, stylish, curly look that defines the decade. A new era in hairdressing is launched. The Thirties - The perm is top of the fashion agenda and Wella is leading the way. The company invents Wella Junior - the world's first portable perming machine - and sales soar. Wella focuses on building partnerships with salons and hairdressers. Salons that buy Wella appliances are given hair care products too. The company's full support service is born to help salons flourish continually. Wella launches its famous logo and the business expands into Europe and America. A year later, the Wella Corporation is founded in the USA. Then in 1939, World War 2 breaks out and production is discontinued. The Forties - After World War 2, under the GDR, Wella's East German factory and all its patents are seized and declared state-owned. Refusing to give up, the Ströher family and 12 loyal employees start over in Hünfeld, Hesse. Production begins in 1945 and the company thrives. Wella Junior becomes a hero product once again. By the end of the decade, Wella has 50 employees and hairdressing is back on track.
The Fifties - Business is booming and Wella pioneers an industry revolution with the invention of Koleston Perfect - the first cream colorant that also cares for hair the hair. An immediate hit with hairdressers, color is seen everywhere. Wella innovates again with Accord, the first coloring and setting product, then Wella Form and Lifetex Concentrate, a conditioner ahead-of-its-time. Trade begins in South Africa, Australia, Brazil and moves further across Europe. In 1954, Welonda Salon Equipment is created and salons and stylists become Wella's permanent partners with the development of industry-acclaimed training programms throughout the decade.
The Sixties - It's a time of self-expression and experimentation and women change their hairstyle at unprecedented rates. Wella directs the trend with the launch of Wella Privat, a professional line available in salons only. Clients take Wella's expert hair care home with them for the first time and the brand's salon retail business is born. Wella is exclusive supplier at the Olympic Games and takes centre stage at international hairdressing events - inspiring salons and stylists throughout a decade of iconic style. R&D investment intensifies and trade spreads into Japan, New Zealand, Mexico and Iran..
The Seventies - Wella's passion for innovation sees the launch of Perform, a new perming product allowing hairdressers to create the fabulous Afro looks of era. System Professional and Wella Balsam become must-have salon products and the brand's For Men range breaks down barriers and marks the emergence of male grooming. In 1972, Wella's produces the first shampoo specifically designed for retail purchase (department stores, supermarkets, chemists and perfumeries). In 1976, Wella makes a breakthrough discovery with Chitosan. A hairspray ingredient that improves hold without stiffening, it spawns a new generation of styling products. The Eighties - Strong, powerful hair is the story of the decade and Wella sets the scene with its High Hair Professional Styling range. New Wave (ShockWaves's predecessor) transforms hair fashion and puts the 'wet-look' on the streets while the launch of eco-brand Sanara demonstrates the company's growing environmental concerns. Male grooming is firmly on the agenda with the expansion of System Professional For Men. Wella celebrates its 100th birthday. Trade expands through Chile and America and production begins in the former USSR. Wella acquires scissor and equipment maker Tondeo as well as French luxury goods manufacturer Parfum Rochas S.A: hairdressing is Wella's heartland, but beauty is fast-becoming the bigger picture. The company is publicly listed on the German Stock exchange for the first time.
The Nineties - Wella discovers more new ingredients, including fruit wax, and wins an important award for technical innovation. The company develops the use of keratin to repair damaged hair and continues to focus on products that nourish and protect. SP Liquid Hair hits the market and becomes another world first. Wella acquires glamorous U.S. designer brand Sebastian and broadens its beauty portfolio with the acquisition of Muehlens KG - famous for fragrances such as 4711, Gucci Rush, Dunhill Desire and Naomi Campbell. The iron curtain falls and the gateway to Eastern Europe opens. Wella buys back Londa, its original operation, from the former GDR. Hairdressing has come full circle.
2000s - The new Millenium - Wella's beauty business booms with the licensing of brands including Trussardi, Mont Blanc, Marc O'Polo, Max Mara and Gerry Weber. The company expands throughout Asia/Pacific, bringing hair innovation to the four corners of the globe. Trend Vision, a showcase of Wella's annual hair fashion collections becomes an inspiration to stylists everywhere and generates the much-acclaimed Trend Vision Award: a global hairdressing competition encouraging visionary creative style - in the image of Wella's core values. In 2003, Wella is acquired by Procter & Gamble and the hair and fragrance businesses are combined. With its salon business under P&G Salon Professional, Wella is now part of the biggest consumer goods company in the world.