hair,” explained celebrity stylist Kevin Murphy. “They are after
natural results with healthier choices, but still want 100% gray
coverage. We’re not talking about a translucent color, but a multi-
dimensional color that makes you look like you have the hair of a
child, with all the natural highlights. Hair should be left shiny and
intact after being colored, not damaged.”
Consumers demand products that are healthy and good for
them and their hairstyles, agreed Mary Pergoda, national training
and promotions director, JF Lazartigue.
“Consumers are very into health, and using healthy products
that really work,” she explained.“There has been a big resurgence
with taking care of yourself, so more consumers are looking for
formulas that are ammonia- and peroxide-free.”
Going a step further, Bulsara noted that L’Oréal, P&G and all
hair color leaders are moving away from paraphenylenediamine
(PPD) based formulations as they sometimes cause allergies for
What They’re Buying
Head-turning hues such as Katy Perry’s purple (or red, green or
blue for that matter) or Kylie Jenner’s aquamarine may capture
headlines, but when it comes to mainstream America, consumers
are well, pretty mainstream.
“Around 50% of all traditional hair color is still used for gray
coverage and whole head transformation fashion color,” explained Bulsara.
Similarly, about 40% of hair color is used for highlights, tonal/
“Only around 10% of hair color is used for vivids, vibrants
and pastels,” noted Bulsara.
But according to Pergoda, consumers are taking more risks
with hair color.
“Look at ombre,” she advised, referring to the graduation of
color that’s transcended the fashion world.
For those willing to take risks, as long as they’re reversible,
JF Lazartigue offers color-reflecting conditioners that shampoo
out, but still have plenty of pigment for consumers looking for
“They help maintain hair color, too,” Pergoda explained.
For example, if a user’s hair color gets a bit drab before a big
event, she can use the Color-Reflecting hair conditioner to intensify color and restore hair at the same time. Or, at the professional
level, if a client is looking for a model with a certain look, she can
use Color-Reflecting hair conditioner to achieve it.
“It’s makeup for hair,” explained Pergoda.
When women do decide to make up their hair, Pravana is
making a killing. The company is widely regarded as the fastest-growing player in the salon hair color segment and recent results
do nothing to dispel that title. According to company founder
Steve Goddard, Pravana’s hair color sales surged 32% in March.
“Our Vivids business is up 50% this year,” he told Happi.
“Nobody cares what a tube of Vivids costs; it’s all about fashion
and being on the cutting edge.”
When the Vivids range of bright, reds, violets and blues debuted 11 years ago, it was just a tiny part of the marketplace;
but the fad had legs. More recently, in 2014, the Vivids brand was
expanded with the introduction of Vivid Neons and has played
a key role in Pravana’s success—along with the company’s ability to provide superior color at an attractive price point for salons. Pravana’s unique formula enables salons to stock just one
color that can be used to create permanent and demi-permanent
shades, according to Goddard.
“I’ve been in the industry 43 years. Up until 20 years ago, the
lion’s share of color was to cover gray hair,” recalled Goddard.
“Then there was a small boost for highlighting. Now, the
most popular color service is hair painting. Color is a form of
Self-expression that is reversible. Goddard noted that two
decades ago, only jailbirds and servicemen sported tattoos in the
US. Today, 35% of people in their 20s have skin ink.
“Hair color is a form of self-expression without the commitment,” he explained.
Enter Kevin Murphy
Kevin Murphy’s initial foray into hair color came with the development of Color.Bug colored hair shadow, which provides a fast
easy way to add a splash of color to hair.
“A few seasons ago, color became very important in fashion,”he
recalled.“I was coloring models for my shoots and shows. I invented
Color.Bug, so that I was able to instantly create this transformation.”
After that success, Murphy wanted more. He noticed that the
world of professional color was full of words like“intense,” “bright,”
and“vibrant,” yet he didn’t know any women who woke up in the
morning and were using those words when describing their hair color.
Kevin Murphy expanded
his presence in hair color
with the Color.Me by Kevin.