Do Your Own Thing

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | March 1, 2012

With no clear-cut style holding sway these days, marketers must offer a variety of products to give consumers an array of holds and shapes.

When a kid pierces her ears, nose or mouth or dyes purple streaks in her hair, the abnormal appears almost, well, normal. But when soccer moms start sporting tattoos? Well, it’s a sure sign that individuality is back in style. Nowhere is that more evident than in hairstyles, where new twists on curls, bobs and ponytails arise from a mélange of hairsprays, mousses, muds and gels.

And while it may never be worn on soccer sidelines, the ‘do shown at right was developed by Guido, Redken’s creative consultant for the McQ collection during London’s Fashion Week. According to Guido, the hairstyle for McQ’s London show was meant to be “strong, forceful and structured and reaches back into brand’s heritage, referencing its own aesthetic of beauty.”

Um, okay. For those who prefer a look that is a tad less extreme, marketers have introduced a wide range of products. According to stylists who work with Pureology, the look for 2012 is softer and more feminine, with wider curls.

“Pureology products are more about shine and volume, we’re less hard and edgy,” explained Leena Jain, assistant VP-marketing. “Even the up-dos, they are done a softer, wispier way.”

A modern look from Redken.
No matter what the style, or lack thereof, these days, styling product sales are holding their own. Sales of sprays and spritzes rose 1% to more than $420 million in food, drug and mass merchandisers (excluding Walmart) last year, according to SymphonyIRI Group, Chicago. TreSemme from Alberto-Culver, nee Unilever, is far and away the No. 1 brand in the segment with a 15% dollar share. That’s well ahead of the 5.55% share for Suave, the No. 2 brand (see chart, p. 78).

A Boost in Salons?

Mass sales within the gel/mousse segment rose more than 2% to nearly $646 million. In this highly splintered group, American Crew leads the way, with a dollar share just north of 4%. Got2B is in second at 2.5% (see chart, p. 80).

The unemployment rate is down. The stock market is up. Even the beleaguered US housing market is showing signs of life. If things continue at this rate, it won’t be long before women start returning to hair salons on a regular basis again. Sales in hair and nail salons reached $41 billion (retail) in the US last year. Heady stuff, but not when the CAGR is just 0.1% from 2006 to 2011, according to IBISWorld.
Through 2016, the salon industry is expected to grow 3.1% a year, which is in line with the US economy.

That’s good news for companies, such as Regis Corporation, which is the global leader in the $160 billion salon hair care industry. The company reported a 1.9% decline in US sales ($492.1 million) during the second quarter of fiscal 2012. International results were worse, as sales fell 8.1% to $34.1 million.

When it comes to what women are wearing these days, it’s all about grip, lift and shine, according to Laure Lafforgue, Redken’s marketing director. To obtain grip and lift, in December, Redken rolled out Powder Grip 03, a mattifying powder that provides texture without buildup to prep hair for updos and extend the life of a blowout.

“It gives you texture in a matte finish with an instant lift,” explained Lafforgue.

Also last year, the L’Oréal division launched Tousle Whip 04, a soft texturizing cream-wax that delivers feather-light control with mild hold and frizz control. In August, Redken for Men added Loose Ends liquid pomade, which is said to provide natural shine with the texture and hold of a pomade.

Just last month, Redken launched Powder Refresh 01, an aerosol hair powder/dry shampoo that absorbs oil, neutralizes odors and extends the life of a blow-dry as it refreshes hair.

Meanwhile, over at Pureology, another L’Oréal brand, three additions were made to the repackaged Colour Stylist line: Illuminating Curl 24-hour shaping lotion, Anti Breakage Twist shine texturizer and Spray hair mousse. In addition, the Radiance Amplifier anti-frizz shine spray and Rootlift were repackaged.

“The main focus is on color-treated hair,” explained Jain. “Color-treated hair becomes weaker. The styling products return strength and radiance to hair.”

In a couple of months, Pureology will roll out a High Hold Collection that includes a spray and a wax. Two more styling products will launch later this year. The introductions come at a time when Pureology’s 100% vegan positioning is resonating with luxury consumers. These high-income shoppers are returning to the salons more quickly than lower-income customers and Pureology is well-positioned to take advantage in the upturn in salon visits, according to Jain.

Color & Hold

The folks at Aloxxi International did more than repackage a brand—they revamped an entire company. OPI Founder George Schaeffer acquired Aloxxi, a salon hair care company, in April 2010, because he loved the hair color formula; but the packaging? Not so much, according to Kim Donovan, the company’s marketing director. Little more than a year later, the packaging was upgraded, distribution was expanded and momentum is building. An aggressive, $16 million advertising campaign started rolling out in January magazines.

“George loved the color formula quality and the consumers were diehard fans, so we didn’t touch it,” recalled Donovan. “We added products like Colour Prime, which preps hair for the color process, and Colour Lock, a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and pH balancer to seal cuticles, stop oxidation and prolong color.”

But Schaeffer and his team aren’t completely focused on color. Aloxxi’s new Flexible Hairspray is billed as an anti-humidity working hairspray that provides long-lasting, natural, flexible hold that adds a light shine and protects color from UV damage.

“It provides a very flexible, medium hold thanks to a different kind of resin,” explained Donovan. “And then, because we’re a hair color company, we added a UV protectant.”

To Your Health

Lots of products promise to style hair, but keep it healthy too? That’s the premise of Macadamia Natural Oil (MNO), a Chatsworth, CA company that specializes in all things macadamia. According to Michael Cain, educational director at the company, macadamia contains the highest concentration of omega-7 in the plant kingdom. Omega-7 is found in skin, hair and sebum, so it is highly absorbent.
As a result, all of the MNO products are said to be ideal for solving problem hair whether it’s damaged, dry, frizzy, lifeless or hard to manage.

“All of our products are designed to maintain, heal and repair hair,” explained Cain. “There is a misconception about what a lightweight oil can do.”

The MNO care line includes oil treatments and sprays, leave-in creams, shampoo and a masque. The styling line includes reviving curl cream, aerosol spray and No-Tangle Pre-Styler, one of the newest items from MNO, which promises to eliminate tangles with its macadamia and argan oil-based formulas.

“It can be used for all hair types, and it solves the problem for people who are trying to detangle fragile, knotted, super curly or kinky curly hair,” said Cain.

Last month, MNO rolled out Control, a lightweight hairspray that also contains macadamia and argan oils to provide a residue-free hold that’s easy to brush out. Also new is StraightWear, a new straightening system that is 100% formaldehyde free that reportedly keeps hair straight for up to four months. The StraightWear Smoother contains a blend of macadamia oil, quinoa seed, ginkgo biloba and other botanical extracts that are said to work together to envelop hair strands for a smooth finish. StraightWear Purify contains citrus extracts to remove residue. In the pipeline is Flawless, a surfactant-free shampoo.

“We wanted to get into the styling arena and create products that fit the Macadamia profile,” explained Cain. 
After getting its start in 2009, MNO has been undergoing a rapid expansion and is now available in more than 80 countries. The growth has made MNO executives hungry for more.

“Every company wants their products in every bathroom,” said Cain. “We’re young, the products we offer are very beneficial to hair and there is a lot to be excited about.”

Take It Off

After applying all of those sprays, spritzes, mousses and gels, there comes a time when hair just has to come clean and that’s where Malibu-C comes in. The company’s products contain L-ascorbic acid, a form of vitamin C, to revitalize, rejuvenate and revitalize hair. When applied weekly, Malibu C Hard Water Natural Wellness Treatment leaves hair clean and clarified through a combination of L-ascorbic acid, panthenol and betaine. The treatment crystals eliminate the mineral, chlorine and copper deposits on hair.

“The mineral content in water affects styling, coloring and bleaching hair,” explained Malibu-C founder Tom Porter. “We’re trying to tell consumers that their hair is in good shape. It’s not about putting things on hair, but taking things off of it.”

According to Porter, when consumers complain about their hair being dry, what they really mean is that hair is rough, which is caused by hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

“They create a translucent film on hair,” explained Porter. “Blondes lose their vibrancy and go muddy just by washing their hair in water.”

To keep blondes looking bright, this month the company launched Malibu Blondes shampoo, treatment and conditioner. Similarly, iron causes hair to look brassy and copper can inhibit perms, colors, highlighters, relaxers and straighteners.

“So consumers start putting silicones on their hair, which only covers up the problem,” said Porter, who called resins the No. 1 cause of buildup on hair.

To get hair back to normal, Porter insisted that Malibu-C should be applied before every service. Other customers use it once a week in a shower to keep their color bright and their hair looking good.

“Consumers are becoming more ingredient savvy,” explained Porter. “We want them to realize that their hair is affected by water and how important it is for them to remove those elements from the hair.”
As the salon market and the styling segments search for solid footing, R&D teams are always on the lookout for the next big thing. The Redken team is looking at ways to make hairspray, that essential item in every stylist’s toolbox, do even more.

“We see opportunities for innovation in hairspray,” said Lafforgue. “And a big trend is managing course, frizzy hair. We see serums and oils being mixed with other products.”

With the economy rebounding, unemployment declining and consumer confidence building, salon sales of hairstyling products should see a rebound too.

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