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Jheri Redding

Jheri Redding (March 2, 1907 – March 15, 1998) was an American hairdresser, chemist, hair care products entrepreneur and businessman.

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Redding is credited with being the inventor of modern day hair conditioner. He was the first to make "pH balanced" shampoos, to put vitamins in hair care products, and to market added minerals. He developed the perm product Jheri curl, as well as numerous other beauty products. He founded the international beauty products business that bore his name, along with three others.

Born as Robert William Redding in Rantoul, Illinois, his interest in the beauty industry began during the Depression of the 1930s when it appeared to him that hairdressers and makeup artists had the best paying jobs. He was one of the first men in the U.S. ever to become licensed as a cosmetologist.

As a young man in Chicago, Redding was teaching chemistry and working as a hair stylist using beauty products that did not perform to his expectations. He began experimenting with chemicals and other ingredients he found in his kitchen, such as mayonnaise, vinegar, et cetera, to make his own shampoos, rinses and hairdressing solutions to improve the hair of his clients. From that grew the innovative treatments, styling creams and gels, that became known as Jheri Redding Products.

Redding moved to Los Angeles, California, shortly after WWII was over. Having adopted his unusual nickname along the way, he founded Jheri Redding Products Company in 1956, selling a cream rinse he developed. He later co-founded three other major national hair care companies, Redken in 1960, Jhirmack in 1968, and, in 1979, Nexxus, which he said stood for "Nature and Earth United With Science." These companies continue to operate with different owners.

He had four wives, Ms. Silverman; Linda Ann Fein (married January 6, 1963); Irene J. (divorced March 16 1979); and Cheryl Shirleen Lugo (married October 21, 1979). He and Silverman had one son, Stephen Redding (born July 11, 1946 in Los Angeles). He and Fein had two sons, Robert William Redding (born August 23, 1963 in Los Angeles) and Thomas J. Redding (born March 30, 1970 in Los Angeles).

As he succeeded, the recognized authority on hair color put his ideas into print when he wrote The Anatomy of a Permanent Wave. Redding also assumed a leadership position in the cosmetics industry and founded the Hollywood Design Council.

In 1990, Redding was inducted into the National Cosmetology Foundation's Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the North American Hairstyling Association's Hall of Leaders in 1997.

Redding retired from active involvement with his Nexxus company in 1991. His wealth allowed him to own a variety of race horses, including one named ItsAllGreekToMe that placed a close second in the Breeders' Cup in 1990 and 1991.

Jheri Redding died at age 91 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. He is interred at the Santa Barbara Cemetery, in Sunset Section, Lot 70, Grave 08.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jheri_Redding". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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