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|Parent||Procter & Gamble|
Wella AG is one of the world’s largest hair care and cosmetics companies. Founded in 1880 by Franz Ströher, Wella is a German company that has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The brand specializes in Haircare, Styling & Colorants.
In 2003, Procter & Gamble acquired a controlling interest in Wella AG.
Wella was founded in 1880 by Franz Ströher, a hairdresser from Saxony, Eastern Germany. The company originally made tulles, the base used for making wigs. In 1890, he invented the Tullemoid Waterproof, a technique that allowed the scalp to breathe. In 1894, he opened his first factory in Rothenkirchen, Germany and his sons Karl and George Ströher joined the business soon after.
In 1924, the Ströhers registered the name Wella at the German patent office. As wigs and hairpieces fell out of fashion, the company turned to permanent wave products. In 1927, they introduced the first perming appliance and supplied it to salons.
In the 1930s Wella developed the first hairdryers with built-in motors and movable tubes that allowed head movement during the drying process.
After World War II, the German Democratic Republic seized the Wella factory and all its patents were declared state-owned. The Ströher family and some members of staff decided to start the business again from scratch in Hünfeld, Hesse. Production began again in 1945 and by the end of the decade Wella had 50 employees.
In 1950, Wella introduced Koleston, the first hair balm designed to protect and nourish hair.
In 1954, Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor appeared in Koleston advertising.
In the 1960s, the company launched Wella Privat, a salon-exclusive product range that let customers take professional-style products home for the first time.
In the early 1970s, Wella introduced Perform a new perm product that allowed hairdressers to create Afro style looks.
In 1972 they released Wella Balsam, the first shampoo specifically produced for retail sales. The advertising campaign featured the stars of TV show Charlie’s Angels: Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd. Wella also launched For Men, their first ever product line exclusively for men.
In 1995, Wella re-launched the Koleston line as Koleston Perfect. The new product included natural ingredients including fruit wax.
2002 saw the launch of Wella TrendVision, an annual presentation of Wella’s haute couture hair collections. The event is now known as the International TrendVision Award, or ITVA: a global hairdressing competition encouraging high-level craftsmanship and creative vision.
Wella founded Making Waves in 2011 – a socially responsible programme that teaches hairdressing and life skills to disadvantaged young people. The program started in Brazil and has since expanded to include Romania.
Major milestones and innovations
Wella Junior In the 1930s, Wella introduced Wella Junior, a portable perming machine.
Color.Id Released in 2013, Color.ID is an additive that prevents bleed during hair colour application, thus removing the need to use foils.
Me+ In 2014, Wella patented a new molecule called ME+. This molecule is a substitute for PPD, also known as P-Phenylenediamine, which is present in most colouring products to fix the colour. PPD has been known to cause mild to severe allergic reactions. The ME+ molecule is currently used in the Wella Professionals colour brand Koleston Perfect Innosense, which is the first permanent colour product to be approved by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF).
Annual Events & Competitions
Wella currently hosts the International TrendVision Awards, or ITVA, a platform presenting Wella hair styling and colour creations. It is one of the hairdressing industry’s largest yearly events.
Each competition, Photo Vision and Live Vision, contains two categories: Colour and Young Talent. Entrants are judged on their technical excellence and creative vision in interpreting the trend, as well as their skill in creating the colour and styling.
The jury is composed of industry experts including Wella Global Creative Directors, top international stylists and media representatives
|Date||Publication & Award||Category||Brand & Product||Scope|
|April 2012||Total Beauty 2012 Beauty Awards||Hair Gel/Rising Star Editor’s Pick||Wella Professionals||North America|
Acquisition by Procter & Gamble
In 2003, Wella was acquired by Procter & Gamble, further expanding the group’s beauty portfolio across Eastern and Western Europe, and Latin America. Reuters reports that P&G is exploring a potential sale of Wella.