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Dyeing to Get it Right
By: Sara Mason
Posted: September 2, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.
page 2 of 6
About two-thirds of women, for whatever reason, color their hair. But the growing social acceptability of coloring one’s hair for purely fashion purposes, rather than to conceal gray, says something about how women perceive hair color as part of their personality. At the same time, consumers are looking to enhance those aspects of their hair that they find desirable while also taming the undesirable ones. These consumer needs represent product opportunities that deserve consideration by marketers and ingredient suppliers alike.
To accommodate the trend for multidimensional hair color, Revlon Custom Effects Highlighting and Lowlighting Kits, launched in January, provide subtle or dramatic highs and lows that give hair color depth and movement. In this two-step process, either highlighting cream or lowlighting hair color is applied using a comb applicator. Then the patented shampoo-in Smart Toner, formulated with a low level of oxidative hair dye, cleanses the hair and deposits brightening color to the highlighted/lowlighted strands. The oxidative dye in the Smart Toner reacts with the residual peroxide left in the highlighted or lowlighted strand after rinsing.
The key to great highlighting is proper placement of the highlights following the removal of melanin—the hair’s natural color. Innovations in how the highlighting products are applied make it easier for consumers to use them at home. Herbal Essences Highlights from Clairol offers a unique color-indicating formula so consumers can see where they are placing the highlights. In this case, the success of the product also goes beyond the formulation. Since June, three Herbal Essences Highlighting kits also include a newly designed two-in-one comb, giving consumers the option for either fine or bold highlights. The comb has two chambers on one end and a single chamber on the other end, further enabling users to vary highlights.
“Today’s beauty consumer is much more savvy and experimental than in the past—even eager to try different products to create a variety of looks and styles,” said Mercedes Orpin, product development manager, Bumble and bumble . Bumble and bumble Hair Powder products, launched in March, provide temporary color that’s applied directly onto the roots and hair, and then can be brushed through the hair. The powders feature a unique blend of iron oxides for color and aluminum starch, magnesium carbonate and silica for oil absorbency, volume and texture. “The powders provide a subtle hint of color while providing a dry texture so styles stay put,” said Orpin. Bumble and bumble’s interest in powder stemmed from session stylist Laurent Phillippon’s frustration that only white versions, which were noticeable on all but blonde hair, were available.
Three technical considerations in product development were significant. The first was finding the appropriate tone for each shade. Submissions were tested on a variety of hair colors to see if they blended, enhanced or shifted the color. Second was striking the balance of powder base to propellant. “We needed the right amount of powder for the product to perform properly, but we had to take into consideration spray pattern, amount of powder dispensed, force of propellant and overall drying time,” said Orpin. The third consideration was packaging components—specifically finding the best combination of valve and gasket options for optimal product application.