It is with great sadness that we report that Paula Kent Meehan died peacefully at her home in Beverly Hills midday today, Monday June 23, 2014, at age 82.
Meehan made an impact on the professional salon industry in the 1960’s when she took $3000 of her own money to co-found (with Jheri Redding) Redken Hair Care. Since then her efforts have touched millions of salon professionals and their clients with innovative products and techniques. Meehan established the “Scientific Approach to Beauty” based on her dedication to developing products that respect the natural pH of the hair and skin. She also pioneered the concept of teaching chemistry to hairdressers, enabling them to better serve their clients.
A life long resident of Beverly Hills, California, Meehan built an empire and earned recognition both in and outside the beauty world. She was named among the “top 50 women business owners” by Working Woman magazine; #1 on Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of women-owned businesses in LA for four consecutive years; and one of Entrepreneurial Woman’s eight most powerful business owners. Her philanthropic efforts were numerous including generous donations to industry charities as well as several animal related charities in and around Los Angeles.
According to Maggie Mulhern, Modern’s Beauty and Fashion Director, “There are thousands of reasons to love and respect Paula, but the fact that she was one of the most powerful women running a powerful company is important. She inspired so many, including working salon professionals as well as other entrepreneurs wanting to share a product, tool or technique with the salon world. She had a ‘can-do’ approach to any endeavor. “
“Paula brought more than science to the salon professional,” says Modern’s West Coast Manager, Gregg McConnell. “She brought love, passion and fun to the beauty industry.”
On a personal note, Mulhern adds, “One of my favorite lunches, both professionally and personally, was with Paula at a small restaurant in Greenwich Village in the early ‘90’s. It was just the two of us. We spent most of the time talking about the importance of beauty to the individual and how she was proud that she could help women around the world. She had an amazing spirit and she will be missed.”
Although Meehan was no longer involved in the day to day operations of Redken, her influence is still felt. “Today, we lost a true legend in the professional haircare industry,” says Redken US General Manager, Leslie Marino. “The legacy that she has left sustains the brand today. Paula created products and education programs that propelled the industry’s transformation. Her pioneering ways will be missed but her spirit will be in our hearts and minds forever.”