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Helen of Troy unveils Laila Ali styling tool line for multicultural hair

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL PASO, Texas — Helen of Troy has teamed up with four-time world champion boxer Laila Ali to develop a new line of styling tools for multicultural hair.

The Laila Ali line of styling tools is designed specifically for multicultural hair, with multiple heat settings to personalize styling, high heat up to 450 degrees, and ceramic and titanium technology. The line focuses on the concept of natural hair and provides the tools necessary to keep hair moisturized, healthy and free from breakage. The collection includes:
 
Dryers
Ionic dryer ($22.99)
The Laila Ali ionic dryer is designed for reliable, everyday use to keep hair looking shiny and frizz-free. There are two heat settings, two speeds and a cool temperature setting for customized styling. The concentrator nozzle and pik attachment make it easy to straighten hair while drying.

Ionic turbo dryer ($24.99)
The ionic turbo dryer uses ionic technology to dry hair fast while keeping moisture and frizz at bay. There are three heat settings to allow for precise styling control, and a cool air setting to set hair in place. The dryer comes equipped with a concentrator attachment to direct air flow from the dryer and a pik attachment for straightening hair while you dry.

Ionic styler dryer ($29.99)
The ionic styler dryer is perfect when you are looking to style, smooth and quickly dry hair. With its infused ionic technology, hair is left moisturized and free from breakage. For optimal styling control, the dryer has three heat settings, as well as a cool setting. The dryer has three attachments to meet any styling needs, including a brush to add body and smooth hair; a fine-tooth comb ideal for fine, short hair; and a wide-tooth comb to use on coarse or thick hair.

Ionic soft bonnet dryer ($44.99)
The ion-infused airflow of this dryer dries hair quickly and efficiently. Its design is perfect for drying roller sets and braids, as well as processing chemical conditioning treatments. The adjustable soft bonnet can accommodate a set of jumbo hair rollers, and the three heat and speed settings allow for styling control. The product comes with a storage case that holds the entire unit, including the power cord.

Ionic salon dryer ($49.99)
This stand-up dryer hydrates hair to retain moisture and keep away frizz. The balanced airflow design of this dryer and its ionic technology provide for an even blow dry. With the dryer’s ion indicator light, consumers can see when the ions are turned on and hydrating hair. The product has two heat settings, a cool setting and a round hood large enough to accommodate a jumbo set of hair rollers.

Straighteners
Ceramic root styler ($24.99)
This root styler has small, 0.5-in. ceramic plates that not only smooth and straighten hair but are ideal for managing new root growth. The small plates also are great for styling flips and curls, and the ceramic technology works to retain moisture and keep hair frizz free. This straightener works well for any hair type or thickness, has multiple heat settings and can reach up to 450 degrees.

Ceramic straightener ($34.99)
The slim and sleek design of this straightener features 1-in. ceramic plates that smooth thick and lively hair with one pass. The ceramic plates straighten even the thickest of hair from the inside out to retain moisture by providing a high, even heat that can reach up to 450 degrees. With its multiple heat settings, this straightener is ideal for any hairstyle or thickness.

Curling irons
Ceramic curl stick ($24.99)
Wrap hair around the three-quarters of an inch barrel and release it for frizz-free, shiny, spiral curls. The ceramic curl stick is clamp-free, so curls are salon quality and left without creases. This iron can heat up to 450 degrees and its instant heat recovery feature keeps it hot after each curl.

Titanium curling iron ($24.99)
With a 1-in. titanium barrel, this curling iron creates long-lasting, frizz-free, medium-sized curls. The iron heats up to 450 degrees and provides a constant, even heat to penetrate hair and retain moisture. The instant heat recovery feature keeps the iron hot, curl after curl. It also features multiple heat settings for styling any hair type.

Specialty
2-in-1 ceramic styler ($26.99)
This styler can do it all. Use its 1-in. barrel and plates as a straightener or as a flipper-less curling iron. It uses ceramic technology and high, even heat to condition hair and keep frizz away. It can heat up to 420 degrees in 30 seconds, and is guaranteed to stay hot. This product is built to work on any hair type and thickness.

Titanium 3-barrel waver ($29.99)
For long-lasting, frizz-free waves, the titanium 3-barrel waver is the perfect tool. Its titanium technology makes it ideal for any hair type to condition and lock in moisture. The barrels heat up in 30 seconds and can reach up to 450 degrees. The instant heat recovery feature keeps the barrels hot as you style shiny, defined waves for any hair type or thickness.

Conditioning heat cap ($29.99)
The Laila Ali conditioning heat cap works great on any hair type, with a penetrating heat technology that activates deep conditioners and henna treatments to restore damaged hair. After 20 minutes, hair is left soft and manageable. The product features a handheld heat control switch with low, medium and high heat settings to provide versatility. It has an adjustable chin strap for a perfect fit.

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Walmart learns social media lesson for BTS

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Classrooms by Walmart is the name of a new social media initiative the retailer launched Tuesday to simplify back-to-school shopping for millions of moms who view the season as an opportunity for a fresh start.

Walmart digitized every school supply list it could get its hands on to create an online compilation of thousands of lists representing schools in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The online list offering complements the availability of lists the retailer also provides in stores. Classrooms by Walmart is the latest innovation to come from the retailer’s @WalmartLabs online and social media think tank. The company said it is the first major retailer to digitize thousands of school supply lists and said new lists would be added throughout the summer as they become available.

“For the moms who shop our stores, back-to-school isn’t just about checking items off their lists. It’s about a fresh start, changing routines and getting children ready with products that match their personalities and budgets,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S. “We’re committed to setting our customers up for success this back-to-school season by sticking to our plan — offering everyday low prices and the broadest assortment of the right merchandise their families need.”

Walmart is approaching the back-to-school season with a slightly different mindset this year based on a survey of 1,000 moms conducted in June by the company’s shopper insights group. The results of the research determined that moms view the new school year in much the same way as people view the New Year. It is an opportunity for a fresh start with nine out of 10 of those surveyed making some type of resolution.

Some familiar behavior modifications topped the list. For example, 78% of moms said they plan to get organized while another 75% said they anticipate trying to save more money. In addition, eating healthier was identified as a school year resolution by 61% of respondents, half of whom indicated cost was a factor in achieving that goal.

The findings reinforce Walmart’s merchandising strategy, which is to offer unbeatable prices on the broadest range of merchandise available, including key back-to-school categories. Accordingly, Walmart said it would offer more than 100 items including pencil pouches, lunch totes, notebooks, gel pens and dry erase boards for 88 cents. The company also touted the affordability of its clothes, shoes and backpacks, noting those are the three most important purchases moms make for the school year.

Later this month, Walmart plans to leverage the capabilities of its @WalmartLabs organization further when it launches the Back to School Closet Creator. The online resource is designed to help families on a budget mix and match outfits.

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Food Lion launches new brand strategy for N.C., S.C. stores

BY Allison Cerra

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion has implemented its new brand strategy in the retailer’s North Carolina and South Carolina stores.

The new brand strategy — first launched in the Raleigh and Fayetteville, N.C., markets, as well as Chattanooga, Tenn., in May 2011, followed by an additional 268 rebranded stores located in Virginia, West Virginia and the outer banks of North Carolina that were overhauled in March — offers customers lower prices on 6,000 items throughout the store and access to quality store-brand products at lower prices, including the company’s My Essentials value tier, as well as enhanced produce and an easy and convenient shopping experience, such as faster checkout.

Food Lion said it launched the new brand strategy in stores located in the greater markets of Salisbury, N.C., the company’s headquarter city; Charlotte, N.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; High Point, N.C.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Hickory, N.C.; Asheville, N.C.; and Rock Hill, S.C., and the upstate of South Carolina, including Greenville, S.C., and Spartanburg, S.C. Food Lion also remodeled 28 stores in North Carolina.

"[Today’s] launch is a pivotal turning point for our company as we have implemented our new strategy in more than 700 stores," Food Lion president Cathy Green Burns said. "We invite customers to visit their local Food Lion, where they will experience firsthand the enhancements we have made in our stores. We are committed to being recognized as a price leader, making our stores easier to shop, offering the greatest value in store brands and providing the freshest produce. We are pleased to bring the strategy to our hometown markets, where we have served Food Lion customers for 55 years.

"We are very pleased with the reaction from our customers since we introduced our new brand strategy," Green Burns said. "During the past year, we have continued to refine the strategy based on additional customer feedback and have made new enhancements for our customers. We look forward to winning new customers and continuing to serve our existing customers with enhanced Food Lion stores in our home markets."

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