Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Alberto-Culver Co.
Alberto-Culver Co.

Alberto-Culver Co.

Testing Hair Dye, 1966
In 1955, Leonard and Bernice Lavin bought Alberto-Culver Co. from Blaine Culver and moved it from Los Angeles to Chicago. Before the move, Alberto-Culver already had become a leading supplier of hair care products to the entertainment industry. The company built a new plant and headquarters in Melrose Park in 1960, and annual sales of products such as shampoos and deodorants rose from $25 million in 1961 to $100 million in 1964. In 1969, the company bought a 10-store retail chain called “Sally Beauty,” which would grow over the next 30 years to a network of over 2,000 stores. By 2002, still based in Melrose Park, Alberto-Culver grossed about $2.6 billion in annual sales and employed about 1,400 people in the Chicago area and almost 17,000 worldwide.