Hard as it is to believe there was once a time when those who colored their hair were looked down on by "respectable" women. Some would sneer, "She gets her color out of bottle, you know." Making it sound like that was a bad thing.
Another thing that's changed from when your mom used to color her grays away under the cover of darkness is the quality of the products available. It's been a long time since anyone has gotten even a whiff of any strong, offensive smelling products in salons. Those have long since disappeared or been replaced by gentler formulations that are free, or mostly free from ammonia, peroxide or other harsher chemicals.