Born to Dye: Aging Baby Boomers Join in Hair Color Craze

By Jackie White 1994, The Kansas City Star | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 3, 1994 | Go to article overview

Born to Dye: Aging Baby Boomers Join in Hair Color Craze


Jackie White 1994, The Kansas City Star, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


YOU'VE HEARD about the graying of America. Don't bet your house on it as long as there is a hair-color product on the shelf.

Dyeing is a growth industry these days.

First, credit the aging baby boomers. They may be edging up to middle age, but they're hedging on the outward signs.

Thanks to the likes of Madonna and model Linda Evangelista, who flaunt new hair colors as nonchalantly as most people try new lipsticks, we've come a long way from the days of Clairol's "Does she or doesn't she?" ad campaign of the '50s.

Then, too, the magazines are billing color as a fashion accessory as surely as, say, a new floppy beret. "It's an easy way to change your appearance," said Louis Licari, a Los Angeles colorist with a star-studded clientele and salons on both coasts. "It makes you look more vibrant. It's a quick fix."

Kerry McIntosh, 25, a Kansas City occupational therapist, agrees. She lightens her brown hair in the summer and goes to deeper brown in the fall "because it goes better with my clothes," she said.

No one seems to have a handle on exactly how big the trend is. Mary Atherton, editor in chief of Modern Salon magazine, said the salon color business has been increasing 10 percent to 15 percent annually since 1985. In Kansas City, Brian Borders, the business manager at Hair Style, said color is up almost 25 percent over last year. David Mansour of Moda Bella in Kansas City figures the salon now does 10 color treatments for every one permanent treatment.

Sales of home hair coloring products have been increasing about five percent a year the last five years, according to Lenka Grskovic, a representative for the Kline Co., a market research company that tracks the cosmetics industry.

Hair color has been moving up since the 1950s introduction of Miss Clairol, the first one-step bleaching and coloring process, says Robert Oppenheim, a New York publisher of two salon newsletters. He thinks it's because stylists have improved their artistry over the years. …

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