--Lawrence M. Gelb, Clairol Founder
For millions of people everywhere, the name Clairol is synonymous with beautiful hair color and healthy-looking hair.
, part of Procter & Gamble Company
, is an acknowledged leader in the research and development of professional salon beauty products.
The founder of Clairol, Lawrence M. Gelb, actually introduced hair color to salons over sixty years ago.
Today, salon hair color is a billion-dollar business nationwide.
How It All Started
In 1931, while the US was in the midst of the worst depression in the country's history, Larry Gelb, a chemist from New York, set off to Europe with his wife Joan and their two sons, Richard and Bruce.
was on a mission to find a new product to launch and market in the United States.
This was not the best of times to begin a new business, but Gelb
was an energetic entrepreneur and was determined to beat the depression odds.
extended trip, Gelb
examined dozens of cosmetic and fragrance products, but his
interest was captured when he
came across an intriguing European hair color preparation named Clairol
As the years went by Gelb
worked to improve his
knew that if hair coloring was easier, if it could be done in one step rather than the long and tedious five-step process that existed, more women would want the service and more hairdressers would embrace the art.
In 1950, after seven years of research and development, Clairol
introduced new Miss Clairol Hair Color Bath.
Within six months of Miss Clairol's
introduction, the number of women going into the salon for permanent hair coloring services increased by more than 500 percent.
Now hair was lightened, tinted, conditioned and shampooed in only one step, in only 20 minutes!
understood that professional education for the hairdresser was the key to ensuring the best possible results for salon clients and for selling Clairol
and Joan traveled the country, lecturing and demonstrating the technique to hairdressers and the press.