The history of degradé: a dream turned into reality


The history of degradé: a dream turned into reality


The work of a hairstylist is in constant evolution and it is made of never-ending experiments on haircutting and coloring techniques. It is very easy to think about a hairstylist working on a dummy head, trying to master their technique before offering it to the customers in the salon. However, the Degradé technique was born in a completely different way.

The first Degradé

25 years ago, Claudio Mengoni was working in his salon as usual. Among his customers, that day, there was a mother accompanying her 13-year-old daughter. The girl was about to be Confirmed and asked her parents for highlights, as a gift. The mother was more than glad to second her daughter’s wish, although the girl’s father was absolutely opposed, since he didn’t think it was appropriate for his daughter to go around with a visibly treated hair at just 13.

Claudio Mengoni rapidly understood that the mother wanted to make her daughter happy, without risking her husband to get upset. The only possible solution was to color the hair in such a way that the final result would look absolutely natural and would not alter the girl’s original hair color. That day, Claudio applied his first Degradé: he started applying the colors using tinfoil, only trusting his sensitivity as a hairstylist and choosing color shades that were very similar to the girl’s natural hair color.

A surprising result

After the shampoo, the results was almost unnoticeable, like the hair hadn’t been colored at all. The more the hair dried, however, the more the effect turned out to be amazing: the hair looked like they were lightened up by natural light, giving the hair that lighter tone that only sun, sea and salt can give to the hair of 13-year-old girl.

That day, Claudio hadn’t simply granted the wish of a little girl who wanted highlights without upsetting the father, he understood that was the beginning of his fight against fake and glossy hair coloring.

To result obtained on the girl’s hair reminded him of the movies from his teen years, especially films like “Sapore di Mare”, where a wonderful Isabella Ferrari flaunted natural hair, kissed by the sun and the wind. From that day onward, Claudio’s goal was to turn those wonderful images in reality.

Degradé today

Over the following years, Degradé has been perfected and made more formal, in order to become the hair coloring technique we know today. Now, Degradé is a complete, comprehensive technique, that allows to lighten, darken, cover gray hair or even completely change color. In order to be certain to always get an optimal result, the Joelle group, today just like yesterday, trust the quality of Wella products, which have allowed to carry out the Degradé technique in all the Joelle’s salons for over 20 years.

Although it is out of doubt that ability and precision are required in order to carry out this technique, the most peculiar thing about Degradé is not its complexity, but the actual natural effect that this coloring technique can give to the hair. This characteristic of Degradé managed to win even the more skeptical women over, especially those who were afraid to dye their hair out of the fear of a fake-looking final result.

The goal of Degradé, in fact, is not to completely overturn people’s image, but too exalt it, starting from their natural color. Each woman is special and deserves to be valued for what she actually is. The magic of Degradé is that really every woman, after coloring her hair, can recognize herself in the mirror, while feeling at the same time different, brighter, more beautiful.

Joelle group, thanks to Claudio Mengoni’s intuition, managed to win the fight against fake hair coloring and, over the years, granted the wish of thousands of women who wanted to refresh their image while remaining true to themselves.

Now, 25 years later, the memory of the first Degradé is still intact, just like the gratitude for that little girl who, by following a dream ahead of her age, inspired this extraordinary hair coloring technique, a technique that made the Joelle group everything that it is today.