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The Hair Care Market



Hair care will never go out of style with the latest choices in hair protection and color.



Published November 9, 2005
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The Hair Care Market


Hair care, historically, can withstand difficult economic times. Though the results are not in yet for the fourth quarter, many industry observers expect results to be in-line with the rest of 2001.

According to Information Resources Inc., Chicago, shampoo sales for the year ended Aug. 12 rose 1.2% to $1.79 billion and conditioner sales increased 9.1% to $1.1 billion in supermarket, drug store and mass merchandisers. Hair color increased 3.6% to $1.42 billion. Some call hair care a staple, items that are purchased with the bread and milk. Other say due to the slumping economy, people are turning to small pleasures to feel better about themselves and the circumstances. Either way, you look at it, the category has always been considered recession-resistant.

"Bread, butter and shampoo will not be affected by the market—shampoos and conditioners are staples," insisted Stephen Musumeci, founder of Stephen est. 1985, Swiftwater, PA, and formulator of hair care products. "Though the market is in a state of shock, everyone wants to look and feel good. Until we establish faith in the system again, people will be taking baths in the home or doing things that were not thought of as luxuries in the past."

Though prestige sales are more elusive, many executives insist consumers are heading to the salon more often these days to indulge themselves.

"Business went down a bit since many clients have to travel into the city. From that respect, I have lost business," said Gil Ferrer, owner of the Gil Ferrer Salon, New York, NY. "But the people that do come in are pampering themselves more and ordering soothing treatments. Many of these customers are also deciding to go for higher-priced treatments with the attitude that life is too short."

Some executives said in difficult economic times, people are concerned about their jobs and try to stay as healthy and refreshed as possible. A big part of that is grooming, and many are looking to today's fashions not only to stay hip, but also to give the best impression. The hair care market is looking colorful this winter with new colors and hairstyles, while hair care is all about preserving color and healing damaged tresses.

A Hair Care System That's Just for You
Procter & Gamble, the No. 1 player in the shampoo and No. 2 company in the conditioner mass market, launched several new products in the past two years, in addition to reformulating some of its strongest brands.

The Pantene line, which held the No. 8-10 spots for conditioner, saw incredible growth in its Pantene Smooth and Sleek conditioner sales, up 3,120%, and Pantene Constant Care hair conditioner rose 4,057%, for the year ended Aug. 12, according to IRI. This is largely a result of P&G's Pantene initiative launched in Sept. 2000, spotlighting five regimen-based collections.

Each Pantene collection contains customized shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments, styling products and finishing sprays specially designed to work together for breakthrough health and style benefits. The regimens include the volumizing, smoothing, curl, color care and basic care collections. Though its traditionally strong-selling Pantene Pro-V conditioner was down nearly 80%, P&G executives insist the overall strategy is working.

P&G's Head & Shoulders restaged the brand with a new anti-dandruff formula and several shampoo options.
"This initiative has increased our market share overall," said Kimberlee Vollbrecht, spokesperson for P&G hair care. "Pantene continues to be the global leader in hair care, in addition to the leading brand in the U.S."

The regimen idea is not something P&G takes lightly. After extensive consumer research, regimens were built into the Pantene line to make shopping quick and easy. Head & Shoulders too was reformulated with a new anti-dandruff ingredient, pyrithione zinc, and divided into shampoo groupings of Classic Clean, Classic Clean 2-in-1, Dry Scalp Care, Extra Fullness, Smooth & Silky 2-in-1 and Intensive Treatment, to simplify selection. Head & Shoulders is the No. 4 shampoo with sales of $84.8 million for the year ended Aug. 12, according to IRI.

"Consumers have varied and specific needs, and are looking for a brand or a product that's right for them," Ms. Vollbrecht said.

"We found versioning products by hair type—dry hair, oily hair, normal hair—left consumers confused about which version was right for them, and they often Ômisdiagnosed' their hair type, leading to poor results."

P&G discovered 36% of women use 2-in-1 products. Consequently the company introduced the Pantene 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, Ms. Vollbrecht said. Although this market segment is not in the majority, "Each of our brands is specifically designed to appeal to a distinct consumer audience and to meet their needs," opined Ms. Vollbrecht.

While P&G tinkers with Pantene, the big news in hair care has been its acquisition of Clairol. At press time, the government review process was complete and the deal was nearly closed. The acquisition launches P&G into the profitable and growing hair coloring market and adds a hefty $1.6 billion to the company's global beauty care product sales annually. Clairol's Herbal Essences shampoo is the leader in the category with annual sales of $147.7 million, and will allow P&G to build more on its position in the natural beauty category and tap a younger audience.

Healthy Sexy Hair products include soy milk to moisturize hair.
L'Oréal, ranked by IRI as the No. 4 contender in the mass hair care market with annual sales of $95.6 million, recently launched CurlVive, a collection of care and styling products specially formulated for curly hair.

About 23% of women aged 12-64 have naturally curly hair, yet have not been able to find a product range at mass, executives said. "Consumers with curly hair are highly involved in their hair care routine, and are very concerned with the shape, definition and condition of their curls," said Shelley Saville, senior vice president, L'Oréal hair care. "The CurlVive system utilizes hydrating proteins to help curl formation, and reduces frizz by 95%."

Don't Forget to Water the Hair

Introductions of moisturizing products have surged in the past year. Some believe that chemical processes and styling aids are to blame for dry, damaged hair, while others point fingers to ingredients traditionally found in hair care. Former Kiehl's chemist Stephen Musumeci founded Stephen est. 1985, Swiftwater, PA, to create ingredients and formulations that are natural to the body. The damaging agent in many hair care products, Mr. Musumeci insisted, is the traditional surfactant.

"Most surfactants in shampoos include sodium or ammonia laureth sulfate," Mr. Musumeci noted. "They clean the hair and skin, but they strip them of their natural oils. I discovered one surfactant, however, that does not remove the cholesterol layer from the skin—sodium methyl cocoyl taurate."

No matter what the skin type, a disrupted balance will cause increased oil production, he said. Stephen est. 1985 formulations are much less aggressive.

The hair care products use gentle and light conditioning agents. Healthy Hair Cleanser with Mandarin and Sandalwood (for fine to normal hair) contains more surfactant than the Healthy Hair Cleanser with Lavender and Juniper (for dry hair) to lift fine hair. Healthy Hair Conditioner with Panthenol combines PCA humectant with panthenol and silicone to make normal and fine hair soft and manageable. Healthy Hair Conditioner with Panthenol and Avocado has panthenol, avocado oil and lanolin derivatives to combat dry hair. These ingredients are clinically proven to repair hair and keep it healthy, he said. "Hair gets abused from styling and the environment, so it constantly takes a beating," Mr. Musumeci explained. "Hair is like skin; it needs to protect itself."

Soon, the company will introduce oil-based shampoos and conditioners that mimic the oil on the skin to increase oil retention and remove dirt. Stephen est. 1985 products are sold in Henri Bendel, Apothia and online at www.stephenest1985.com.

No one can walk by the dairy aisle in the supermarket without seeing an abundance of soy products. The same may soon be true for hair shelves in both the salon and mass markets. Sexy Hair Concepts, Chatsworth, CA, introduced the Healthy Sexy Hair line. The products contain soy milk which provides a different base and texture from traditional water-based products. Executives chose the ingredient for its super-moisturizing effects to replace the drying ingredients found in most styling aids.

"Soy moisturizes the hair and deposits protein," ex-plained Michael O'Rourke, founder and chief executive officer, Sexy Hair Concepts. "Dry hair should be moisturized and flexible, and soy allows for that flexibility."

The Healthy Sexy Hair line includes SoyMilk shampoo, SoyMilk conditioner, Soy Tri-Wheat leave-in conditioner, Soy Smoothie Straightening tonic, Soy Paste Texture pomade, Soy Fuel Power (conditioner booster), Soy Salvation (hair masque treatment), Soy Butter, Soya Want Flat Hair and Soya Want Full Hair. The average SKU price is $7 in salons. Mr. O'Rourke said that innovation is key in the market, whether with hair care ingredients or hairstyles.

"The only way to get through this economy is to be innovative, in addition to having the best value for your product," insisted Mr. O'Rourke. "Innovation cannot be an option, or the economy won't grow. Sexy Hair Concepts always looks for new technology to keep hair healthy from the inside out."

Sexy Hair Concepts also introduced a collection of hairstyles, All-American Girl, to reinforce the free and independent spirit of American women. The increasingly popular "shattered" look is included, where the hair is layered and "broken" at the cheekbones and mouth. Mr. O'Rourke said that these hairstyles are closely interwoven with the times.

"On Sept. 11, the country was shattered," he said. "Fashion works along the same mode. Fashion, hair and architecture all build around this. We are seeing wonderful colors, because people don't want to feel drab and depressed."

Alberto-Culver is launching several new VO5 moisturizing products in January. The first, a line called VO5 "Milks," features three shampoos and three conditioners with edible fragrances and ingredients that moisturize the hair: Strawberries & Cream, Pi-a Colada and Creamy Fresh Peaches. The formulas contain soy milk protein extract, an ingredient sought by consumers from class to mass.

"Consumers are looking for more soy-centered hair care products. It began at the prestige level," noted Heather Bennett, brand associate of VO5, Alberto-Culver, Melrose Park, IL. "This was a great opportunity for VO5 to marry this trend with fabulous VO5 fragrances and bring it to mass consumers."

The VO5 "Milks" feature pastel colors and pearly formulations. Also in January, VO5 will launch two new herbal shampoos to build on the success of current fragrances such as Kiwi & Lime Squeeze and Sun Kissed Raspberry. The new fragrances include Jasmine Tease and Tangerine Tickle and will be available in shampoo and conditioner. Although fruity fragrances tend to attract younger consumers, Alberto-Culver insists it is targeting a much broader group. "VO5 herbals do appeal to a younger consumer, but in reality, our fragrances and value appeal to all consumers," said Ms. Bennett.

Alberto-Culver was founded in 1955 with just one product, VO5 Conditioning hairdressing. Today, Alberto-Culver's VO5 hair conditioner products are the No. 3 best-selling hair conditioner/cream rinses in the U.S. mass market, according to IRI. VO5 shampoos also did well with sales of $46.3 million last year, making it the No. 9 shampoo brand in the mass market. Alberto-Culver as a whole ranked fifth in mass with combined shampoo sales of $86.4 million, which includes brands such as St. Ives, VO5 and Tresemme, IRI reported.

Rusk, a company once known for its styling products, has come a long way. The company now offers several different hair care lines infusing both hair care and styling (foundation) products. The most recent is Being, targeted for modern men and women and designed to improve the health of hair.

"The line itself was created to take foundation products one step further with a healthy hair complex, Tri-X," explained Tatjanna Czypionka, Western technical director, Rusk Inc., Stamford, CT. "It gives a cosmetic effect as well as creates strong and resilient hair fibers and manages oil on the scalp. It works below the scalp to the hair follicle to make the hair shaft healthier."

Color and chemical services are an important part of the salon business, Ms. Czypionka explained, but treatments compromise hair and affect the ability to style it. Tri-X is a blend of soy, rice and wheat proteins to condition hair. Panthenol strengthens hair, panthequat smoothes the hair shaft and extracts of burdock, ivy and lappa root act as scalp astringents. Tri-X also contains fenugreeks, an extract derived from the Mediterranean, which is said to strengthen hair follicles and fibers. Ms. Czypionka insists Being transcends age, gender and class with its product formulations and simple graphics and square packaging.

Meadowfoam seed oil, a highly moisturizing ingredient that has been used in skin care formulations for years, has been added to hair care products too. Satinique, a Quixtar product line owned by parent company Alticor, features the Ceramide Infusion Complex combining meadowfoam seed oil, ceramide and protein to combat dry, damaged hair.

"The Ceramide Infusion Complex penetrates deep into the layers of hair to replenish the membranes lost in the hair shaft and on the scalp, or the cell membrane complex," said Brandi Huyser, brand manager of Satinique, Grand Rapids, MI. "Satinique is exclusive to this system that repairs, strengthens and protects hair in as little as one use, or your money back."

Executives said the complex closely replicates the natural binding ceramides found in the hair that smooth down the cuticle, which is altered by styling products and the environment. The Ceramide Infusion Complex was designed to restore hair to its natural state.

The Satinique hair care collection contains five hair cleansers and five detangler and treatment products: Gentle Daily hair cleanser, Revitalising hair cleanser, Volumising hair cleanser, Daily Balance 2-in-1, Dandruff Control hair cleanser, Volumising detangler, Moisturising detangler, Hi Gloss serum, Hair Repair masque and Leave-In protector. Styling products include a mousse, spray gel, styling gel, finishing spray and styling spritz. Executives noted that movement and shape are more important this season.

Alberto-Culver's VO5 brand will introduce new  fragrances in January, such as Strawberries & Cream.
Zotos International, Darien, CT, offers the Serenitea hair and body collection formulated with green tea and essential oils to soothe, protect and strengthen hair. The hair care collection includes Moisturizing shampoo, Nourishing conditioner, Cream gel and Shimmering pomade. The products can be found in beauty supply stores nationwide.

Archipelago Botanicals recently launched its Milk shampoo and Milk conditioner, utilizing the benefits of dried milk solids and soy, rice and oat proteins to gently cleanse, strengthen, soften and detangle the hair.

The shampoo also features arnica flower, chamomile, ginger root, vitamin E, grape, rosemary and sage extracts plus jojoba oil. The conditioner contains aloe vera, jojoba oil, vitamin E and willowbark in addition to the milk solids and proteins. The line's 16-oz. apothecary bottles retail for $9.50 in salons.

Hair Color Armor
When professional hair color fades quickly, many women want to know what happened. PureOlogy, a new company that addresses the preservation of hair color, insists traditional hair care maintenance ingredients are to blame. Jim Markham, chief executive officer of PureOlogy in Irvine, CA, said many shampoos today contain sulfates, animal proteins, synthetic fragrances and color depositing ingredients that are both harmful to the body and strip the hair of its color. "There are very few choices," insisted Mr. Markham. "And they are all using technology that was developed in the 1950s. The same harsh ingredients are used to clean engines and floors."

Satinique offers the Cermide Infusion Complex with ceramides, meadowfoam seed oil and protein to repair the hair membrane.
This technology is also found in high-end hair care lines, he said. The answer, PureOlogy executives insist, is getting rid of sulfates and using much milder ingredients to minimize color fade. The PureOlogy line contains ingredients such as heliogenol, melanin, UV inhibitors and vitamins C and E to protect and nourish the hair.

"We set out to make a sulfate-free, mild and non-stripping shampoo," Mr. Markham noted. "To that we added potent antioxidants and UVA/UVB sun protectors to keep color-treated hair in good condition."

The products include Hydrate Shampoo, Hydrate Condition, Bodify Detangle, ReConstruct Repair, Power Dressing, Texture Twist, Root Lift and In Charge. Mr. Markham said the line is a pioneer in the prestige hair color market by being the first high-end line of its kind and promising both 100% vegan ingredients and a color preservation guarantee.

Neutrogena introduced the Clean for Color line in February. The products are designed to help defend against the three most common threats to hair color: wash-out, fade-out and dry-out. This launch may have helped Neutrogena's shampoo sales slightly, which were up 0.4% to nearly $74.3 million for the year ended Aug. 12, according to IRI. But Neutrogena's conditioner sales paint quite a different picture—they were up 7%, reaching $19 million, partly due to the plethora of new conditioning products. The line contains Clean for Color Color-Defending shampoo, Color-Defending conditioner, Color-Defending leave-in foam,

Replenishing 60-Second Hair Repair and Replenishing Instant Shine detangler. All utilize color-locking moisturizers and UV filters. Neutrogena's Clean for Color retails for $4.99-5.19.

Salon brand John Paul Mitchell offers the Modern Elixirs Color Therapy line to preserve color and maintain vibrancy and health. The line features a unique color-locking system with vegetable-based ingredients to eliminate buildup, maintain body and volume, restore the hair's lipid content and add strength.

Color-Crazy

Forget the makeup, some executives say, and go crazy with hair color. According to Andre Viveiros at the Garren New York for Clairol Professional and spokesperson for MC MAX, "Vibrant colors are in. People look to color to hold up their look; they are not wearing as much makeup."

Clairol Professional's MC MAX offers patented red dye and iridescent base technology, a high retention color complex and light-reflective color to give hair vibrancy. The line has five tonal families, with 17 shades in all.

Two-toned hair is also making an appearance on the catwalks. The style is achieved by dividing the hair into two sections and making the top layers two shades lighter than the bottom. Different colors or shades can be used. This process requires less time than highlighting and creates depth and dimension to the hair. "In fact," Mr. Viveiros said, "people with straight hair can create the illusion of more hair."

For spring 2002, hippie looks are in as well as bowl cuts, Mr. Viveiros said. But the one thing that everyone will have is color, which is a reflection of the times. "Women are certainly willing to take more risks," Mr. Viveiros revealed. "They are in a mode where they want to feel good and do not take anything for granted."

Color maintenance is just as important as making a fashion statement. Mr. Viveiros suggests using a recognizable brand that is specifically for colored hair. Clairol Professional offers Clairol Renewal 5 and Clairol Color ProTec. Color ProTec is an advanced system of shampoos, conditioners and styling aids designed to protect and maintain hair color's vibrancy. The line contains protein, Pro-vitamin B5, antioxidants and sunscreen. The shampoo reduces friction to minimize cuticle stress in the shower and removes residue. ProTec's Daily Replenisher is a lightweight conditioner that smoothes and seal the hair shaft.

For colored hair, the PureOlogy product line offers alternatives to traditional sulfates and other color-stripping ingredients.
Redken, a name synonymous with daring hair color, recently launched several new lines in both hair color and hair care. The Shades EQ line offers the Vintage Violets collection, an extension of the existing Shades EQ Conditioning Color Gloss. The four violet color families include: Merlot, Sangria, Grape Sorbet and Violet Kicker, which can be used to achieve hues of fire red, icy purple and red tone variations, executives said.

"These colors are hot in fashion, especially for people with dark hair, and they not only give great color, but they cover gray," said Karen Fuss-Zipp, vice president, U.S. marketing, Redken.

The Shades EQ Soho Spice collection's new copper shades were launched in October for highlighting and lowlighting. The three family color glosses include Chili, Curry and Cayenne and can achieve results ranging from soft cinnamons to fireball reds, executives said. The new color introductions are closely intertwined with the latest hair fashions, executives said.

"Hairstyles this winter have texture," Ms. Fuss-Zipp said. "They are both short and long with only one requirement, they are not the same. The cuts have strong shattered ends and bold color. You can create a lot of dimension and texture with these cuts. It's all about versatility and individuality."

Redken's latest hair care line is So Long, a line dedicated to long hair, featuring xylose sugar to protect the internal hair fiber from the effects of heat. The formulation also delivers ceramides and proteins to the hair cuticle to strengthen hair, in addition to silicones to soften hair. "When it gets long, all the washing, blow-drying and brushing can really weaken the hair," noted Ms. Fuss-Zipp. "So Long helps strengthen and protect the hair with xylose sugar, a natural carbohydrate found in the hair."

Blond is Beautiful
In addition to bold hair colors, blond is as popular as ever. Highlights are particularly popular in this segment. Rusk recently introduced three optical brightening conditioners for natural, color-treated and highlighted blond hair under the Blondes line—Baby Blonde, Golden Blonde and Platinum Blonde. Each formula contains protective keratin amino acids, hydrolyzed soy protein, sunflower seed extract and UVA/UVB absorbers. The featured ingredient, an optical brightener, removes mineral buildup in the hair to brighten dull, washed-out and mousy blond hair instantly. "Blond hair is becoming more and more popular all the time and consumers are double-processing their hair with bleach and color," noted Ms. Czypionka. "Blondes prevents brassy tones and nourishes and protects the hair."

John Paul Mitchell introduced The Color Blonding System, which includes versatile products such as Dual-Purpose bleach, the High-lift series with four levels of lift and clear, customizable tones (platinum, ash, neutral, beige and gold) and the Ultra Toners 11 Series for permanent toning.

John Frieda doesn't think winter should stop beautiful beach blond hair. His new Beach Blonde Sun Streaks adds highlights or covers roots in a flash with the use of a blow-dryer.

The peroxide-based formula allows for exact application in its gel form. Heat should be applied for a total of 30 minutes, ideally broken up over a three-day period. John Frieda also offers the Sheer Blonde line containing blond maintenance products such as Highlight Activating shampoo, Moisture Infusing shampoo, Instant conditioner, Blonde Hair Repair deep conditioner, Blonde Ambition mousse, Funky Chunky texturizer, Spun Gold shaping balm, Crystal Clear hair spray, Spotlight detangling glosser and Dream Creme instant silkener.

Away with the Gray
Former American Crew executive Chad Murawczyk told Happi that the men's hair coloring market lacked quality professional products. Identified as the first professional-only hair color for men, Mr. Murawczyk founded Min, a line that only takes "minutes" to cover up gray. Company research indicated that the majority of men don't want to change their natural hair color, they just want to cover gray.

"Min takes three to five minutes to achieve gray coverage," said Mr. Murawczyk, now chief executive officer of parent company Salonclick LLC, Marlton, NJ. "It solves the problem of gray. And that's what the men's market is all about—problems and solutions."

Many drugstore products feature metallic dyes that continually build up on the hair shaft, leaving an oxidized coating. Enough oxidation will cover the gray, but the results can be unpredictable and messy, executives said. Min's new formulation technology actually penetrates the cuticle for a translucent, natural appearance. The products do not use ammonia and impart a clean smell. The resulting 12-SKU Min product line offers the newest technologies available to cover gray hair. Min offers cool shades, not warm or red undertones, which tend to show when those products fade. Mr. Murawczyk developed the line to tap the elusive men's market and to answer the concerns of graying men.

"The line was developed out of a pragmatic need," said Mr. Murawczyk. "The category was driven by female baby boomers who wanted to cover their gray. But half of the baby boomers are men and their only choices were to go to the drug store or buy women's hair care. I liken at-home hair dye application to at-home dentistry—if you have no experience, you will find out soon enough if you did a good job—usually at the office on Monday morning," he joked.

Keeping the male client in his comfort zone is important, Mr. Murawczyk said, as well as staying true to a promise. The male consumer has changed during the past decade into an educated and less intimidated shopper. "There is a brand new level of awareness in the market. Men are more educated and less insecure about perspectives that define male sexuality," Mr. Murawczyk revealed. "Those taboos have flown by the wayside." Min is distributed in salons throughout Canada and the U.S. and on www.salonclick.com.

Not to be outdone, American Crew launched the Classic Gray collection of hair care products for men, designed to enhance the look and feel of gray or graying hair. The line consists of a three-part system—Classic Gray shampoo, conditioner and styling conditioner—to remove yellow, brassy color while conditioning and controlling unruly hair.

The shampoo contains hydrolyzed milk protein to moisturize and soften hair. The conditioner has hydrating linseed oil, aloe and comfrey. Lastly, the styling conditioner features sage and ginseng to stimulate and nourish the scalp while styling. The Classic Gray system is available in salon and barbershops worldwide for $9.75 for each product or less than $30 for the system.

Flaky Scalp Woes
With its Head & Shoulders brand, the anti-dandruff market is a stronghold for P&G, but others are stepping up to the plate to offer dandruff control to both men and women with new ingredients. Jingles, one of the newest entries in the competitive salon hair care market, offers the new Scalp Rejuvenating line, using tea tree oil to treat dandruff. The line currently has a shampoo and conditioner. The company plans to introduce a tea tree gel product under the same line in the coming months.

"The Scalp Rejuvenating line has a lovely peppermint smell that stimulates the scalp," noted David Leib, chief executive officer, Robanda International. "It is aimed at people who have a flaky, dry scalp."

Redken offers a bounty of new hair colors under its Shades EQ line.
The Jingles brand has five shampoos: Nourishing, Healthy Hair, Workout Clarifying, The Ultimate and the new Scalp Rejuvenating shampoo. For January, the company has added high quality surfactants to the formulas for enhanced performance and moisturization.

Robanda also offers the Eclectics hair care line, featuring seven nourishing SKUs. The products contain botanicals to treat severely damaged and color-treated hair. Harmonic, Eclectics' conditioner, was recently launched. It features three highly moisturizing ingredientsÑsoy protein, citric acid and hydrolyzed collagenÑin addition to wheat protein, panthenol, vitamin E and sun protectors. Currently, Jingles is available in 16,000 salons nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The company expects to add 6000 more locations next year.

Philip B, Los Angeles, CA, offers Rejuvenating Oil for Dry to Damaged Hair (and Scalp), which closely replicates the scalp's sebum oil with a blend of essential and carrier oils derived from 10 plants and flowers. The treatment can be left on dry hair from 20 minutes to 24 hours. Philip B also launched Peppermint and Avocado shampoo to refresh the scalp with peppermint, 16 plant extracts and 11 oils.

Simplify, Simplify

The direction of the hair care market, whether it is moisturizing or coloring, is heading towards making life easier. Gil Ferrer, owner of the Gil Ferrer Salon, New York, NY, notices a prevalent trend towards simpler hair routines and styles. "Styles have become more and more simple," Mr. Ferrer said. "Perhaps this is a reflection of the times."

Another trend in the market is for more natural products. And Mr. Ferrer insists the goal of any hair care line should be healthy hair, because in the end, that is what matters. Mr. Ferrer's new shampoos include: Pine Tar, a gentle and conditioning shampoo to treat flaking scalp with chamomile and nettle extracts; Lift shampoo to build volume and sheen in fine hair and Exfoliating shampoo which contains witch hazel and citrus extracts to remove residue. The 8-oz. shampoos retail for $14.

Executives at DePasquale, Fair Lawn, NJ, decided the time was ripe to enter the hair care market, and not with just any hair care line, but a unisex cosmetic hair care line with strong ties to New York fashion, and of course, simplicity. "Right now, simplicity is the word on the street. Sleek and simplified hairdos that can be taken from the day into the evening such as ponytails with accessories," said Dee Mattos, managing director, DePasquale The Spa. "Ecru then becomes an accessory too."

Ecru has gentle, nourishing ingredients that are found in skin care lines. The line was based on the countless concerns employees heard over the years from both stylists and consumers. The line has just eight SKUs to simplify shopping for the hurried consumer: Luxe Treatment shampoo, Sea Clean shampoo, Protective Silk conditioner, Silk Nourishing leave-in cream, Silk Nectar leave-in serum, Marine styling balm, Volumizing mist and Sunlight holding spray.

Time-saving techniques are a plus, but the development of Ecru was largely based on a shift in the market from power in the 1980s to balance in the 1990s. "In the 1980s, everything was about power and money," she said. "Fashion today is not as power-lifting, but rather empowering. The psyche is different; consumers are more focused on balancing life." Ecru is found exclusively in New York metropolitan area salons.

Min gets the gray out of hair in just minutes, according to company executives.
The White Rain Company, Danbury, CT, is ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the White Rain brand and introduce many new products too. The new White Rain Co. re-staged its hair care lineup to include Naturals, Classics and Select Effects brands. In February, Naturals will introduce Pear Berry Boost shampoos and conditioners which revitalize color-treated hair, and Freesia Spirit to hydrate dry, damaged hair. Both contain aromatherapy and proprietary complexes for healthy hair. White Rain is expanding the Select Effects line with styling products to cater to modern working women and young consumers who want to simplify the beauty routine.

"Young women define themselves as successful based on how busy they are during the day," said Maureen Gregory, vice president, marketing, The White Rain Company. "In hair care, they look for power and control, especially long-hold products that don't need frequent reapplication, since they don't have the time."

Today's value brands are also positioned well to deal with consumers who are pinching their pennies with every purchase, especially after feeling the ripple effects of Sept. 11. "Once the initial shock wears off, we will fall back on what is important and what we value," said Ms. Gregory. "We are all finding small ways to comfort ourselves."

Suave too has not been adversely affected by the economy, citing the $14 billion value-minded consumers spend each year on health and beauty care products. According to Suave's 2000 Equity Tracker, the value mindset extends to 39% of consumers for shampoo, 38% for hair spray/styling aids and 33% for conditioner. Suave shampoo sales reached $87.4 million in the last year, according to IRI, both up slightly from last year.

In 2001, Suave introduced Suave Aromabenefits shampoos and conditioners in Energizing Citrus & Ginseng, Refreshing Cucumber Melon and Soothing Green Tea & Jasmine. Also, under the Suave Naturals line, the company introduced Ocean Breeze and Sun-Ripened Raspberry scents for shampoos, conditioners, antiperspirants and deodorants, body washes and body lotions. The new foaming tear-free shampoos for children, under the Suave For Kids line, feature Tropical Punch and Bubble Gum flavors. Suave executives insist consumers are eager to hole up in their homes and use fragrant personal care products in tough times to retreat and relax.

"Consumers are shifting their priorities to focus more on family, friends and a simpler life in general," said Ralph Blessing, Suave category director. "In the shopping arena, this translates to buying more things that go hand and hand with a desire to nest more. As a result, attention is being paid to the smart, responsible, value-focused consumer."


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