Paula Kent co-founded Redken Laboratories in 1960. As a young actress in the late 1950s, when hair was highly bleached and teased, Paula was challenged with baby fine hair and sensitive skin. On set in Hollywood, she constantly experienced allergic reactions to the products used by hairdressers and makeup artists. She visited dermatologists and hairdressers to find a solution, but no one could explain to her the science behind the products.
In a moment of inspiration, Paula realized that she could help millions of other people who needed gentle, high-performance products – and that professional hairdressers needed to know the chemistry of hair and skin, product ingredients and their relationship to beautiful, healthy hair.
Using $3,000 she earned from appearing in a beer commercial, Paula Kent and her hairdresser, Jheri Redding (forming the name “REDKEN”) started Redken with three products and an intensive education program for hairdressers. The formulas were developed based on three principles:
- Protein technology (since hair is composed primarily of protein)
- An acidic pH of 4.5-5.5, complementing the natural pH of the hair and skin
- Products recommended exclusively by licensed cosmetologists in professional salons
With this, Paula Kent revolutionized the professional haircare industry for both stylists and clients. Her pioneering spirit is cherished and she leaves behind a legacy that sustains the brand today.