Online Exclusives

Redken at 50

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | February 2, 2010

The company celebrates its golden anniversary.

During the past five decades, hair care marketer Redken has built its “professional edge” and has led the way in shaping the industry. This year, marks an exciting milestone for the company: its 50th anniversary.

To celebrate the company’s colorful heritage and to inspire the future of the industry, this year Redken is holding a non-stop anniversary celebration throughout the year. Karen Fuss-Zipp, vice president and general manager, Redken and Pureology U.S., took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Happi about the brand’s past, present and future.

Happi: How are Redken products different from others in the marketplace?

Karen Fuss-Zipp: Redken differs from the marketplace on all aspects of our business: hair care, styling, color and men’s. When it comes to hair care, Redken features an exclusive Interbond Conditioning System that delivers and binds conditioning ingredients to the hair to improve product performance and efficacy. Our formulas, as a whole, deliver the most advanced science and technology, based on the principles of moisture, protein and pH to improve hair health. In addition, our products are segmented by hair type and condition, providing simple solutions to the most specific hair needs.
Redken Styling products help to create the styles seen at New York Fashion Week every season, and they offer strength, protection and control so hair benefits at every step of the styling process. And, we’ve made them easy to shop as they are organized under two pillars: end-result and specialty to allow for ultimate layering and blending.

From the color perspective, Redken has a fashionable signature color result that sets it apart from everyone else in the marketplace. With Color Fusion, the multi-dimensional taste of permanent color provides natural, reflective results that is unmatched in the industry; and with Shades EQ, our demi-permanent haircolor, the shine result is unprecedented.

Lastly, through exclusive new technologies, Redken For Men products lock in on a key need among men today: focused care for both hair and scalp with styling products that are divided by mild, medium, and maximum control to create the most high-fashion men's looks.

Redken Founder Paula Kent Meehan
Happi: What have been the biggest developments in hair care products at Redken over the past 50 years and why?

KF-Z: Shades EQ was a true technical revolution, being the first ever acid-pH hair color when it was introduced in 1989. It changed the industry and how hair color is done and invented the entire demi-permanent category. Being able to use it to glaze, refresh, and correct, it became an incredibly versatile tool for the colorist.

Also, the introduction of the Interbond Conditioning System—launched in 1999—was a breakthrough in hair care. It is a patented mix of targeted ingredients that deliver and bind conditioning ingredients to the hair.

Redken was one of the first hair care brand to address the concerns of hair at the molecular level. Also, our hair care formulas were one of the first to deliver balanced pH for optimal hair health through our focus on protein, moisture and pH. Redken’s Body Full hair care system was the first system to incorporate styling polymers for voluminous, full-bodied hair.

Our Real Control hair care system, launched in 2008, was the first hair care system to provide customizable solutions that enable clients/stylists to adjust the amount of moisture, repair and control supplied to their hair. Also Redken was the first to address “high-maintenance hair,” a growing concern in the marketplace. The introduction of the Chemistry System, and later, Redken Chemistry, provides customizable solutions since the different shots can be mixed to provide exactly what the hair needs.

Since styling products evolve quickly and innovation is key, Redken Styling keeps ahead of the pace with many blockbuster formulas. This past year, Redken Styling introduced Aerate 08 Bodifying Cream-Mousse, which was the very first bodying cream-mousse on the market. It provides volume to all hair types without compromise.

Happi: What are the company’s plans to celebrate its 50th in 2010?

The Redken Anniversary logo.
KF-Z: To honor our 50th Anniversary, we’ve planned exciting events and promotions throughout the year to celebrate this milestone with the industry. Each month, the salon community will have the opportunity to enter a featured sweepstakes for the chance to win some amazing Redken prizes.Some of the prizes Redken will be giving away include:

50,000 product samples; $50,000 worth of education encompassing Golden Education Tickets to The Redken Exchange and trips to the 2011 Redken Symposium; $50,000 worth of scholarships to The Salon Professional Academy; Redken Education On Demand videos and subscriptions
We are also planning a global Redken day this Fall, where salons around the world will join together to celebrate our anniversary and give back to our communities by hosting cut-a-thons.
Lastly, we will be launching a dedicated website for our 50th anniversary where everyone in the industry can check in for updated news, promotions and giveaways surrounding the celebration. Log on to for more information.

Happi: Future plans for Redken?

KF-Z: Redken will continue to produce innovative products, initiate groundbreaking programs and create educational tools that will shape the future and anticipate the needs of the salon industry. We will continue to leverage our seasoned stylists to inspire aspiring ones and evolve our unsurpassed business education to help stylists and salon owners to be the most profitable they can be and succeed in this industry.

More info:

50 Years of Inspiration—A Timeline

Redken has come a long way in 50 years—and continues to develop new ways to inspire and enhance the talents of salon professionals.

1960s: Beauty Through Science Attracts a Cult Following
•American actress Paula Kent starts Redken with $3,000 and three products.
•Each formula iss grounded in the science of proteins and pH and was highly effective
•Educating the stylist about the science behind the products creates a cult following.
•World-renowned hair stylist Vidal Sassoon tours the country on behalf of Redken, giving birth to Redken’s artist network and fashion heritage.

1970s: Redken Takes Its Message on the Road
•Redken pioneers education, teaching stylists about hair and science—boosting their confidence in their artistry and Redken products.
•Answering calls for larger seminars, Redken hosts 500 salon professionals in 1974 – in essence the first Redken“Symposium,” which today inspires more than 8,000 salon professionals (annually?).

1980s: Redken Changes the Hair Color Business
•Redken introduces revolutionary products, patented innovations and begins international distribution.
•One of the biggest breakthroughs in haircolor, Shades EQ Conditioning Equalizing Color Gloss, is introduced in 1983. Today, it remains the No. 1 demi-permanent haircolor in the U.S. for eight years and counting.
•The Extreme hair care collection is strengthened throughout the decade, by introducing products that combine protein with moisture to recondition and strengthen weakened, distressed hair.

1990s: Redken Adds “5th Avenue NYC” to Its Name
•In 1993, Redken is sold to L’Oréal.
•After a devastating earthquake destroys Redken’s facility in California, the team moves to L’Oréal headquarters on 5th Avenue in New York City.
•Redken establishes itself at the forefront of the trends and creativity of the city.
•The Redken Exchange, the industry’s leading resource for learning, opens its doors in 1996.

2000s: Redken Becomes the Runway Authority
•New product innovations and exclusive partnerships are established to help salons grow their business.
•Redken partners with world-renowned hair stylist Guido.
•Redken becomes a leader in backstage beauty, sending a team of artists to fashion week in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
•Redken becomes the first manufacturer to develop online video education available to salon professionals 24/7.