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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 center 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.
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.
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.
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.
With the launch of Wella Professionals Care and Styling, Wella Professionals reaches the final step in the total rebirth of its brand. The two high-performing product ranges bring a new dimension to the salon experience: hair care that you can experience with all your senses and iconic styling products that help to boost the personal charisma of each client.