This Day, That Year

40 years on

China Daily - - PAGE TWO -

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.

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