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The Wella design house has a rich history beginning in the 19th century. In 1854, its founder, Franz Stroher, was born in Saxony as one of five children. Fully qualified as a hairdresser, Stroher left for Paris in 1872 to explore the latest hair fashions. He started his own company in 1880 making tulles, the bases for wigs. By 1894, the demand for Stroher's tulles was so high that he opened his own factory in the East German town of Rothenkirchen. In 1924, Stroher and his two sons filed for the company name Wella which meant "wave" at the German patent office. By 1927, wigs and hairpieces had gone out of fashion. With keen business instincts, the Stroher men obtained a license to make products that gave hair permanent waves. Wella developed its first perming appliance and mass produced it, making it available to salons on a large scale. Along with the appliance, Wella also developed and sold a perming agent called Wellin. By 1931, Wella was widely known for its perm products. That same year, and in response to the high level of demand, the company produced the world's first portable permer, the Wella Junior. Wella continued to expand its business with innovative appliances and hair agents. In 1980, the company celebrated 100 years in business, and sales passed $1 billion. In 2014, Wella continued its tradition of innovation by creating ME+, a revolutionary color agent.
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