This Day, That Year
40 years on
Editor’s Note: This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up policy.
In 1978, Beijing’s most popular hair salon, Silian Hairdressing, began offering perms with the approval of the central government.
The shop’s brand-new, cutting-edge perm machines attracted crowds of customers, as well as numerous foreign reporters. The news that China had started to allow its citizens to curl their hair quickly spread throughout the world.
The country’s hairdressing industry has witnessed rapid growth over the past four decades, and now offers a variety of services and trendy styles to customers.
In the late 1970s, permed hair, such as afros and long-permed waves became trendy.
By the 1980s, perms were common, along with short bobs — always a favorite of Chinese women.
By the late 1990s, hair dye became more popular. Women in China embraced more possibilities for their hair shapes and colors.
The nation had about 3.6 million hair and beauty salons as of the end of last year, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
These salons employed 16 million people and generated more than 760 billion yuan ($120 billion) in turnover last year, the data showed.
The huge market attracted a growing number of local and international-branded hair salons to open their doors.
Toni&Guy, a hairdressing company in London, entered China in 2003 and has since opened 40 stores across the country.