Combe

brand-profile-thumb

Company Headquarters

1101 Westchester Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605, United States

Driving Directions

Brand Description

Since 1949, Combe brands have been part of people’s most personal moments. When a man faces his first gray hairs in the mirror — or a woman wonders how to care for the most intimate area of her body — Combe brands are here to help people feel like themselves again: Confident. Comfortable. Looking and feeling their best.

We put people’s personal care needs at the center of every thing we do. These aren’t niche needs. They are universal needs, but often kept private. We respect that. At Combe, instead of shying away from these very personal Personal Care problems, we aim to solve them. We believe that’s the right thing to do for people and the smart thing to do for business.

Remaining true to our consumer-oriented innovation and marketing platform, Combe markets a portfolio of established brands that include Just for Men, Vagisil, and Sea-Bond in major international markets and Aqua Velva, Lectric Shave, and Brylcreem in the U.S. and Canada. Building upon its success in the United States, Combe has grown steadily in international markets over the last almost four decades, and generates approximately one-third of its revenues from markets outside of the U.S. and Canada including the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.

The company has transitioned to its third generation of Combe family leadership, under the direction of Keech Combe Shetty and Akshay Shetty.

Brands

BRANDS
MARKETS

Key Personnel

NAME
JOB TITLE
  • Keech Combe Shetty
    Executive Chair
  • Michele Resbir
    SVP, CFO
  • Kyle Stenzel
    SVP-Sales North America
  • Dr. Padmaja Prem, PhD
    SVP-Global Research and Innovation
  • Tim Williams
    SVP-Global Operations
  • Danielle Arnone
    Global Chief Digital & Technology Officer
  • Meg Rogers
    SVP-Worldwide Creative Director
  • Stacey Feldman
    SVP-Marketing North America
  • Anthony Santini
    SVP-General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Jorge Meszaros
    SVP/GM-Core International Markets
  • Jason Friedlander
    SVP

Yearly results

Sales: 425 Million

Sales: $425 million

Combe Inc. is the manufacturer of “the world’s most personal care products” including Just For Men hair color, Vagisil intimate health care products and Sea-Bond oral care products. Founded in 1949, Combe, is a privately held multinational company that is in its third generation of Combe family leadership.

Earlier this year, Combe’s top-selling hair and beard color brand Just For Men was expanded with a new formula designed just for facial hair.

Launching 1-Day Beard and Brow Color, Just for Men introduced the category’s first temporary brush-in and wash-out color, growing its already extensive line of men’s hair and beard color products. Carrying a hypoallergenic formula, 1-Day Beard and Brow Color transforms and defines men’s beards and brows, instantly eliminating grays with a natural-looking color that lasts all day until washed out, according to company executives.

“Just For Men has dedicated over 30 years to innovating and transforming the men’s hair and beard color category to provide products and tools that effortlessly elevate our consumers’ personal grooming routines,” said Stuart Hendrickson, senior director of men’s care at Combe. “With 1-Day Beard and Brow Color, we’re excited to introduce an easy-to-use, temporary color product into the growing men’s grooming category, and empower our consumers to achieve real transformations that support their lifestyle.”

Sales: 405 Million

Sales: $405 million

Ivan Combe launched the company with the idea of making products that addressed the unmet needs of consumers in categories that either didn’t yet exist, or that the big companies simply ignored. Today, the privately-held personal care company has a proven track record of successful category and brand development.

More recently Combe stepped up to the plate in the realm of digital technology. In late 2021, Just For Men launched what it calls the first-ever AI-powered virtual try-on experience for beard color. Using Perfect Corp.’s newest AI technology, the Combe-owned brand offers “hyper-realistic” virtual try-on solution for men’s hair color and facial hair color.

According to Stacey Feldman, senior vice president of North American marketing at Combe, the new virtual try-on tool for facial hair is “specifically calibrated to Just for Men shades to make it even easier for the customers to find their perfect shade match.”

Just For Men launched an AI-powered virtual try-on experience for beard color.

 

Sales: 380 Million

Sales: $380 million (estimated)

In December, Combe Inc., the maker of Just For Men, increased its investment in Virtue Labs. It is now the majority owner of the fast-growing prestige hair care company.

“Combe has invested in Virtue’s growth and development since its launch in 2017, and we are excited to continue to partner with the Virtue team in its mission of leveraging a differentiated technology to provide game-changing haircare products and solutions to women. Virtue’s mission, its ethos, its proprietary and disruptive technology, and transformative results are unique in an ocean of product-sameness, and we look forward to supporting its continued growth in the rapidly expanding prestige hair care market,” said Keech Combe Shetty, executive chair of Combe.

Virtue’s most recent launch is Flourish (below), a product line specifically to target female hair loss. Products online as well as in Sephora and Bluemercury.

Last summer, Vagisil rolled out OMV!, a line of intimate washes and cleansers designed for teenage girls. The three-product line has been criticized by some doctors and others on social media for being an unnecessary product for this age group. The brand said worked with intimate health experts and engaged with 2,500 teen girls and their mothers to develop the gynecologist-tested product line.

Last August, Combe Shetty was named board chair of the Personal Care Products Council.

Sales: 200 Million

Sales: $200 million

Combe is the company behind powerhouse brand Just For Men, which is the leading men’s hair color in the US. According to IRI data, Combe accounted for $197 million of the $205.7 million in men’s hair color market sales in US multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2019.

But Just For Men isn’t the company’s only activity in hair care. Combe has a stake in Virtue Labs, a self-described “biotech firm” that repairs hair. Virtue’s key technology is Alpha Keratin 60ku, a protein that battles frizz and more. The North Carolina-based company, which Combe invested in back in 2017, has a cult following and its ColorKick hair filler earned a spot on Popular Science’s list of “2019’s most exciting personal care products.”

 

Sales: 400 Million

Sales: $400 million (estimated).

Combe Inc., “the most personal personal care company in the world,” is a privately held manufacturer and marketer of personal care, grooming, and over-the-counter drug products. Combe is in the third generation of its family leadership with the founder’s granddaughter and her husband leading in partnership.

Just for Men released line extensions of its major new franchise, Control GX, a line of breakthrough shampoos that gradually reduce gray. These were fast followed by the launch of Control GX Beard Wash, which is the first and only beard wash that gradually reduces gray. The Combe R&D team spent more than eight years researching and developing the multiple patent-protected Control GX formula. It was voted Product of the Year for 2018 in the annual consumer-voting contest for product innovation.

“We are honored that Control GX has been selected as a 2018 Product of the Year Award winner,” said Ralph Marburger, VP-gray care and men’s grooming at Combe. “To stand out among the competition in a survey of 40,000 consumers is a distinguished honor, and we are thrilled men are turning to Control GX for the easiest possible way to gradually and subtly reduce their gray.”

In other news, Vagisil launched the Scentsitive Scents line, a collection of gynecologist-tested products expertly formulated for sensitive intimate skin with skin-friendly scents. The line includes intimate washes, a dry wash spray, wipes and pH-balanced bath bombs.

 

Sales: 282 Million

Sales: $282 million (estimated).

The accolades, not to mention dollars, keep rolling in for Combe and its newest hair colorant. Earlier this year, Just for Men Control GX shampoo won Product of the Year 2018 in the hair category. Winners are selected based on the votes of 40,000 consumers in a national representative survey conducted by Kantar TNS, a global leader in consumer insights.

The overall men’s hair color market is growing 6% a year, according to some experts and in mass, Just for Men dominates the category with more than a 94% share. Now, Combe is attempting to take control of the mass beard care category with this year’s launch of Just For Men The Best Beard Care Ever. The line beard balm, beard oil and face and beard wash.

 

Sales: 259 Million

Sales: $259 million (estimated).

The founder’s granddaughter and her husband are sharing C-suite duties these days at Combe, maker of Just for Men and Aqua Velva—two venerable brands that added new SKUs earlier this year.

Just for Men released a major new product, Control GX, a shampoo that gradually reduces gray. Billed as a “smart shampoo,” it doesn’t require any extra steps and can be used instead of their usual shampoo for a couple of weeks until they reduce their amount of gray to achieve the look they want.  The R&D team spent more than eight years researching and developing the formula, which resulted in two patents.  The shampoo mimics the universal pigment held within a strand of hair to create every person’s natural hair color.

Aqua Velva—which is marking its 100th anniversary this year—has a new product too. Aqua Velva 5-in-1 Sensitive After Shave Balm solves common shaving issues with five key benefits: non-burning, all-day moisture, helps prevent bumps, soothes redness and helps fight ingrown hairs, according to the company.

 

Sales: 400 Million

Sales: $400 million (estimated)

The maker of medicine cabinet staples such as Just For Men, Scalpicin and AquaVelva is on the selling block. Privately-held Combe has hired Morgan Stanley to look at a possible sale of the company. But industry observers say it is unlikely that suitors will purchase all of Combe. Instead, the company may be broken up by brand. For the record, Just for Men is said to account for 40% of sales.

Combe comes to the rescue of consumers who have specific, but still ubiquitous personal care issues to contend with, albeit itchy scalp, graying hair or smelly shoes. Take, for example, Trinette Robinson. The 11-year-old from Connecticut won the 35th annual National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker Contest, which was held in March. Her kicks beat out the tennis shoes and running sneakers of eight other kids ages six to 16 to win the coveted $2,500 prize and a place in the Odor Eaters“Hall of Fumes”in Montpelier, VT.

Fast Fact:
In January, Combe began shipping its venerable Aqua Velva aftershave in shatterproof plastic bottles.

Sneakers were judged on the conditions of the sole, tongue, heel, toe, laces or Velcro, eyelets/grommets, overall condition and most importantly, odor, by a panel that included “master sniffer”George Aldrich, a chemical specialist for NASA space missions, and Rachel Herz, author of“The Scent of Desire”and professor at Brown University.

Sales: 350 Million

Sales: $350 million (estimated).

Happi estimates that sales rose 6% at privately-held Combe, which offers a wide array of products to solve some very common (but still troublesome) personal care problems such as gray hair, itching and lice.

For example, according to the company, at least one out of five Americans suffer from scalp itch. Combe already offers Scalpicin, but its newest addition is Scalpicin Anti-Itch Medicated Wipes with skin-soothing aloe and vitamins E, A and D. The wipes, perfect for people on-the-go, help relieve itching on the scalp, neck and around the ears. The wipes are fragrance free, portable and individually wrapped for added convenience.

Now Combe is taking its personal care solutions to India. In May, it formed a strategic alliance with Elder Health Care to launch Just For Men hair color.

“Hair color is one of the biggest personal grooming categories but most of the products are women-centric. The launch of Just for Men will create a revolution in the male grooming category,” Elder Health Care managing director Anuj Sexena told reporters in India.

Sales: 330 Million

Sales: $330 million (estimated).

Privately-held Combe owns a roster of well-known brands. For years, dermatologists and cosmetic chemists have worked to solve the problems of an itchy scalp. But according to Combe’s Scalpicin website (www.scalpicin.com), stress can trigger scalp itch! In fact, some 43% of the population, both men and women of all ages, suffered from at least one scalp stress symptom in the past 12 months.

In April, the company launched LiceMD, a pesticide-free, dimethicone-based liquid gel treatment that eliminates head lice, eggs and nits in three steps.

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