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Personalities and Research: Today’s Professional Hair Care Brands

By: George T. Eliades
Posted: June 4, 2013, from the July 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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But a funny thing happened on the way to professional salon distribution. Blandi’s salon clients bought his brand as quickly as he could make it, and he became a darling of the beauty editors. Why? Because he had something fresh to say about hairstyling to the editors and his brand was rewarded. While planning a roll out to salons, a relatively new player in the beauty distribution channel at that time—Sephora—came calling, After continued success in this retail channel, Blandi’s brand recognition level grew so dramatically that he was ultimately approached by a brand development company, and he is now sharing his passion for hairstyling around the world, and the Oscar Blandi hair care brand is poised for global expansion.

Advanced Research Brands

The second category in the professional salon market would be considered a standalone hair care brand inside of one of the many major worldwide beauty companies. These brands are based ongoing research, innovative technology, new raw materials (natural or engineered), new delivery systems, and/or new advancements in ingredient performance.

Unique packaging also plays a role in visibility and placement in a somewhat crowded salon retail field, and this type of brand may play that up. In fact, complementary in many cases for this type of brand is the fact that the products themselves can represent an entirely new salon service and revenue stream for professional stylists and salons. Think the Brazilian straightening method and its related services and products.

The excitement at the salons level is that consumers are being exposed to new and exciting ingredients that have taken a huge investment to bring to market, including ingredients like Dead Sea minerals, exotic oils and newly patented, age-defying compounds that enhance the overall health and longevity of the hair and perform in new ways that answer the evolving needs of professional hairstylists and their client’s expectations.

And although these brands aren’t associated with a certain personality or location, they are often well-known brands that have built up their brand trust and consumer loyalty after many years.

Being a Professional

The good news is that salon owners and discriminating stylists are supporting and benefitting from the efforts of both types of brands, professional stylist brands and professional advanced researched beauty brands. Both segments are working and investing more than ever in their areas of expertise. They are bringing the latest technologies to salons around the world, leading the charge back to salons for unique new service treatments and the latest trends in hair fashion education. And this can only be good news for the world of beauty at all levels.

George T. Eliades is executive director of Madison Avenue Beauty, LLC, a company dedicated to providing business development consultation and business resources for beauty professional sand their aspiring brands. With over 25 years in the professional salon and spa industry, Eliades’ experience includes working as a professional products distributor, and director of marketing and vice president of business development for L'Oreal Professionnel, as well as vice president of business development for Aveda and Unilever brand Tigi. Eliades also has served on the board of directors for the Beauty and Barber Supply Institute (BBSI), the predecessor of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), as well as chairman of the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA).