Online Exclusives

What's Old Is New Again

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | July 27, 2010

Idelle Labs reformulates and reintroduces the classic Infusium 23 hair care collection.

Infusium 23 is getting a 21st century makeover, courtesy of its Danbury, CT-based owner, Idelle Labs. Created in 1924 as a product that infused vitamins in the hair for optimal hair health, the brand became a staple in salons in the early 1970s.

In 1986, Clairol bought Duart, the parent company, and Infusium 23 was brought to the mass market. For the better part of the past decade, Infusium belonged under the Procter & Gamble umbrella, which also included Herbal Essences, Pantene and Head & Shoulders. In March 2009, P&G sold Infusium 23 to Idelle Labs, the personal care division of Helen of Troy.

All products in the line have been relaunched and revamped just in time for Summer 2010. It rolled out five collections, including: Frizz Controller, Color Protector, Volume Builder, Repair & Renew and Moisture Replenisher—targeting specific consumer needs. The company even updated its packaging, adding additional colors to the classic silver bottles to distinguish each line within the brand.

According to vice president of research and development, Uma Tripathi, Infusium 23’s conditioners have been completely reformulated using a “new generation” of conditioning ingredient, cationic quaternary ammonium compound (made from canola oil) that conditions hair without buildup.

“New Infusium 23 conditioning technology is designed to restore hair to its natural state,” he told Happi in an interview. “Arachidic and glutamic, essential fatty acids, penetrate the cortex to improve hair health from within.”

As for the expanded collections, each of the” formulas variants” are customized to balance and provide enhanced benefit in the specified segment, said Tripathi.

“While every variant will provide all of the desirable benefits such as moisturizing, volume building, frizz control, repairing and protecting; the ‘Frizz control’ formula, for instance, has been optimized to deliver better antistatic properties than others.”

Tripathi noted that the hair care products still contain the brand’s classic “i23 complex,” which features pro-vitamins, panthenol to strengthen hair, amino acids/proteins and dimethicone compounds for shine enhancement and damage prevention, to name a few.

Idelle shipped out the new versions of Infusium 23 in Spring 2010 to 20,000 mass market retailers such as Walmart, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.

“The Infusium23 brand promise is to make every head of damaged unmanageable hair look healthy and shiny,” said Tripathi.

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