BEAUTY CARE

Hair care segment 
relaxes into sales boost

BY Antoinette Alexander


The wider availability of relaxants and perms — which largely are geared toward African-American hair — coupled with consumers seeking greater value due to a challenging economy has helped fuel sales of the niche segment.


“Due to the economic downturn, African-American women are also visiting the salon less frequently and using more at-home products,” stated research firm Euromonitor International in its 2010 U.S. Hair Care report. “The natural/organic trend has been prevalent in this subsector, as such products are gentler on African-American hair than traditional hair care products, which tend to be heavily chemically formulated.”


Euromonitor International noted that relaxants and perms — which tend to be sold in barter shops and specialty beauty supply stores, but have gained greater interest among drug stores and mass merchants — were the fastest-growing subsector in 2009, with a 2% boost in value sales. For example, Namasté Labs’ Organic Root Stimulator with olive oil averaged double-digit growth between 2005 and 2009. According to SymphonyIRI Group, sales of Organic Root Stimulator hair relaxer kits rose 7.5% for the 12 weeks ended April 17 at food, drug and mass (excluding Walmart).


In October 2010, Namasté Labs expanded the brand portfolio with the launch of its new Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Girls built-in protection plus no-lye conditioning relaxer system. The kit retails for $7.99. There’s also Olive Oil Girls hair pudding for $5.99 and moisturizing styling lotion for $5.39. The products are sold at Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Target, Rite Aid and beauty and barber supply stores.


Earlier this year, ethnic hair care brand Soft Sheen-Carson, which is part of the consumer products division of L’Oréal USA, launched its new Dark and Lovely Healthy-Gloss 5 relaxer and maintenance hair care system. The Healthy-Gloss 5 Relaxer (regular, super and color-treated) promises to preserve all five signs of healthy hair with a silk keratin serum and exclusive SatinOil (for color-treated hair).


The Healthy-Gloss 5 lineup, available in mass market outlets and beauty supply stores, also includes shampoo, conditioner, leave-in treatment and hair cream for intense moisture. To help promote the new products, SoftSheen-Carson tapped Bria Murphy, daughter of celebrity Eddie Murphy and model Nicole Murphy, to be the new global ambassador for Dark and Lovely.


Meanwhile, on a slightly different note, ethnic hair care company Johnson Products Co. is targeting the “urban trendsetter” man with the launch earlier this year of its new Ultra Sheen Men collection. The collection includes Super Hold hair dress, Wave Conditioning pomade, Lite Crème moisturizer with shea butter and grooming gel.

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BEAUTY CARE

FIT graduates discuss mass market beauty predictions during Target-sponsored event

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — To better connect with today’s beauty consumers, mass market retailers should consider implementing a multisensory playground or a "BeautySphere," engaging them with a calendar of in-store pop-up activities and implementing a "roving endcap" as a cost-effective way to execute new ideas and highlight new products. Those were just some of the ideas that emerged Thursday evening during the Fashion Institute of Technology Class of 2011 Capstone presentations and graduation reception in New York.

Each year, the graduating class of the Master of Professional Studies degree program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management at FIT researches and forecasts trends or growth concepts within a specific area of the beauty industry, which they then present to an audience of industry executives.

Target sponsored this year’s presentation, titled "Beauty For All: Innovations in Mass Retail." On hand to deliver keynote remarks during the event was Will Setliff, VP marketing for Target.

Setliff told attendees that Target, in order to remain relevant to its consumers, must anticipate consumers’ wants and needs. He added that innovation and risk-taking are vital to Target, and he stressed the retailer’s commitment to being a beauty destination.

Throughout the semester, executives from Target challenged the FIT graduate students to research trends, technologies and customer needs currently being used and then demonstrate how these can be applied to three mass beauty growth areas: prestige, naturals and cosmeceuticals, as well as bridging beauty and fashion.

  • Prestige: This group examined all areas and aspects of the luxury market and presented concepts that will appeal to the current consumer, who is value-driven and seeking a cross-shopping experience.

  • Naturals and cosmeceuticals: This group explored the growth potential in the beauty sector for this area of the beauty market and discussed how the health-and-wellness culture can cross over to the mass consumer, and how brands can impact the education of the mass market consumer about naturals and cosmeceuticals, including possible adjacency to an in-store pharmacy.

  • Bridging beauty and fashion: This group looked at the inextricable link between fashion and beauty, focusing on how fashion can be leveraged in new and interesting ways to entice and drive the consumer to beauty purchases.

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New bath care line touts organic oils, extracts

BY Antoinette Alexander

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Joseph Mercola, a doctor that is board-certified in family medicine and trained in both traditional and natural medicine, has introduced a new bath care line that is made from certified U.S. Department of Agriculture organic oils and extracts.

The products include a foaming hand soap, bath-and-body gels and lotions, a bar soap and bath salts. A volumizing shampoo and revitalizing hair conditioner also are part of the new line.

"We’ve teamed up with a phenomenal natural soap company that is dedicated to crafting healthy, organic alternatives to chemical- and detergent-based personal care products. From our sweet orange moisturizing bath and shower gel to our handcrafted shea butter bar hand soap that takes a full month to make, you no longer need to settle for chemicals and dangerous synthetic ingredients just to feel clean," Mercola said, founder of Mercola.com, an alternative health website.

Mercola’s bath care products are available in multiple-item kits, as well as individually, at Bathcare.mercola.com.

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