Hair dye first came about in the 1500 BC. This is because the Egyptians used henna dye to cover their grey hairs. More than a few years later, the Greeks and Romans used plant extracts and created permanent black dye to use. However, they changed the dye due to toxicity levels and made it with leeches which were left in a lead vessel to ferment for 2 months. In 300 BC, the Gual and Saxons used dye to intimidate their enemies on the battlefield. They used different colours which were vibrant, and this also showed their ranks.
The first chemical dye was discovered by accident when William Henry Perkin, a chemist from England, was trying to create a cure for malaria but instead synthesised the purple mauve colour in the 1860s. After this was created, a chemistry professor named August Hoffman used the mauveine to create para-phenylenediamine which became a foundation for the dyes and is still used today. Eugene Schueller founded the company L’oreal in the early 1900s, and chemical dyes were sold for commercial uses.