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The Hair Equation on the Shelf

Nancy Jeffries

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The New Hair Care Equation
as published in GCI magazine August 2007

Complementary to her article The New Hair Equation, Nancy Jeffries highlights products that demonstrate that consumers are showing an increased willingness to pay more for hair care products that address specific needs.

Shampoo, Styling and Vegan, Too
Jonathan Product introduced a collection of products to rid hair of frizz and flyaways, cleanse and control, and the products are 100% vegan. Called Weightless Smooth, the products expand the Jonathan Product line, and continue to maintain the key principles upon which the entire line was built. In addition to being 100% vegan, the products contain no alcohol, mineral oil, DEA or MEA. Like their predecessors, each of the Weightless Smooth products contain essential water (water that has been purified, de-ionized and botanically infused) as their base. Macadamia nut oil provides smoothing without the weight of heavier oils, butters soften and condition, while natural soy and rice proteins strengthen hair and improve manageability. 

The company's IB Shield Humidity Lock-out Shine Spray is designed to minimize frizz, lock out humidity and add shine while protecting both the hair and scalp from damaging environmental effects. With the proprietary Ionic Balance Technology at the base of these products, Jonathan Product is said to present the first luxury hair care product collection formulated with ionic crystals and mineral peptides. These are designed to address the key concerns of aging, damaged and lifeless hair. The products offer both UVA and UVB protection, and the are packaged as a fine mist aerosol using the Truspray Aerosol System, whose dispensing technology is said to reduce VOCs and provide more uses per bottle than traditional aerosol packaging.

Berries and Botanicals
Bain de Terre, which just re-launched a complete line of hair care products leveraging the company’s natural positioning, utilizes botanicals extracted from ethically harvested plants using only pure water, and is featuring a leaf logo and color-coding to visually distinguish the products in this 19-SKU line. The company's approach to botanicals as therapeutic treatments for the hair, which the company refers to as “botaniceuticals,” is integral to the line. For example, in addition to such specific treatment products that exfoliate and deeply penetrate hair to protect against external stresses while providing smoothing and restructuring benefits, the products emphasize the full spectrum benefits delivered by such botanicals as goji berry (antioxidant benefits), magnolia bark (protection from chemical aggressors), black currant (a source of vitamins) and wild jujube (for moisturization).

The Jasmine Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, for example, is a hydrating shampoo and separate conditioner said to leave hair soft, silky and healthy; with jasmine extract designed to restore moisture and add shine to dry, damaged or color-treated hair.

Natural, Gentle Ingredients
The new line of hair care products from Ecco Bella is another example of nature’s appeal. According to the company, its hair care products retain the integrity of essential oils and nutrients, do not use synthetic chemicals commonly used in shampoo, and work with alternative ingredients that are designed to improve the condition of hair and scalp.

Essential oils of neem and green tea help relieve itching and flaking. Organic safflower oil and soy proteins provide protection and body for the hair; while Biotin, inositol, panthenol and B Vitamins improve hair flexibility, help prevent damage from blow-drying and reduce split ends. The Ecco Bella does not test on animals, uses no animal ingredients and emphasizes the use of herbs, oils and proteins. Its Penetrating Hair Conditioner, one in the Ecco Bella Holistic Remedies series, is clearly labeled 50% organic, and features such ingredients as organic aloe vera, organic jojoba oil, sunflower extract, organic extracts of lemon balm, marshmallow, cornsilk and vanilla extract.

High Performance Extracts
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Smooth Shine Anti-Frizz Cream combines the ingredients needed to act as an effective frizz control product and a leave-in conditioner in one. Especially designed for hair that is dry, extra-frizzy and/or damaged, the high performance smoothing cream is said to diminish frizz and impart brilliant shine while delivering up to 24 hours of conditioning. The result, according to the company, is soft and smooth tresses all day.

The product was developed with a blend of naturally derived extracts, and was designed to penetrate and moisturize all three layers of hair. It is also, according to the company, shown to improve hair quality with each use. The lightweight lotion will work on all hair textures, without weighing hair down, plus the formula contains a UV shield to protect the hair from sun damage. With micro-fine conditioning agents to tame the hair for frizz control and sleekness, the product addresses one of the most important consumer demands for hair care: reducing frizz. According to results gleaned from a recent study, 75% of consumers with dry/damaged hair claimed that reducing frizz was important to them, and 49% of women describe their hair as “damaged,” according to an Attitudes and Usage study cited by Neutrogena.

Clearly, special hair care needs and a consumer population that has come to expect real results continues to drive this dynamic market. Whether technology based, nature bound or a combination thereof, specific hair care needs are driving the creation of targeted products in this dynamic market.

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