Ask an expert. It’s good advice when your car engine stalls, your knee gives out or your hair color fades, which is why Seven Haircare’s formulators go right to the salon’s 60 in-house stylists and colorists to get their input when creating new products.
It’s a formula that works as Seven has posted double-digit gains for the past few years even as the overall salon hair care industry struggles. Seven relied on this tried-and-true method to create Rinzu Helio violet shampoo and conditioner, which will debut on Sept. 12. The violet-tinted formulas promise to keep color bright without brassiness, while neutralizing yellow undertones.
That’s a lot of promises from a shampoo and conditioner, but Seven president Ryan Sieverson says he has the team in place to create breakthrough products.
“What sets us apart is new product development; the way we develop products is unique,” he explained. “With more than 60 stylists in a single location, our NPD begins with fulfilling their desires.”
These days, Seven stylists are servicing a lot of high-lift blondes who need toning and care. After the bleaching process, the stylist is trying to control brassiness and bring warmth to the hair color, Sieverson explained. Adding cool tones to hair requires maintenance between salon services, and that’s the reason behind the launch of Seven Haircare’s Rinzu Helio shampoo and conditioner. The formulas’ violet pigments tone down yellows, while other ingredients protect hair from UV, environmental and styling damage, according to the company.
The violet-toning shampoo is AOS-, SLES- and SLS-free and contains surfactants derived from coconut and palm kernel oil. The shampoo also features a patented, 15-ingredient, amino acid complex designed to strengthen, moisturize and increase color retention.
“Moisture and luster are casualties in high-lift bleach blondes,” explained Sieverson.
The shampoo formula also contains green tea leaf extract to improve scalp condition, pro vitamin B5 to add strength, body and shine to hair; silk amino acid to rebuild and protect hair; goji berry extract to promote healthy hair growth; sunflower seed extract to protect against UV-induced free radicals; and white tea leaf extract, which is said to have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties to protect and strengthen hair follicles. The conditioner contains hydrolyzed quinoa that imparts film-forming properties; pro vitamin B5 tostrengthen hair and add body and shine; organic jojoba seed oil to add shine, softness and elasticity; chia seed oil to nourish hair; and organic argan oil to seal in moisture, reduce flyaways and increase shine.
Sieverson said that the fragrance, Seven Luxe, is unique, too.
But what truly sets Rinzu Helio apart is the pigment, which imparts color and tone to hair. The shampoo has a significant pigment load, while the conditioner’s pigment level is somewhat less. According to the company, Helio is formulated with a “mistake proof” level of pigment that won’t turn a client’s hair purple if she leaves it in too long. The most dramatic brightening results are seen on level 8-10 blondes, while softer results and warmth reduction is seen on darker blondes. The Rinzo formulas were named after a silk damask, which was the preferred fabric for kimonos during Japan’s Edo Era (1603-1868).
Rinzu Helio’s roots may be 150 years old, but the Seven is taking a modern approach to product launch. In a pre-promotion, salons received samples and Sieverson told Happi.com that Rinzu Helio is “blowing up on social media.”
For example, the first post came from a colorist in Seattle who tested Rinzu Helio on herself and posted before and after images that were absolutely stunning, according to Sieverson.
“She didn’t expect such a dramatic improvement in warmth and brassiness, and placed an order right away,” recalled Sieverson. “The reviews are rolling in and there hasn’t been a single negative comment.”
There’s certainly a need for hair color care. Nearly every stylist and customer is trying to repair damaged hair. Clients want to go from Kardashian brown to platinum blonde, and streets and runways are filled with aggressive colors that require a great deal of chemistry to achieve—an achievement that causes problems and leads to raised cuticles, lack of volume and lack of shine.
These days, a lack of volume—that is sales volume—is hindering the overall salon industry. According to Cyrus Bulsara, president of Professional Consultants and Resources, Plano, TX, the overall salon industry is weak and in very low growth mode, due to multiple factors that include salon retail moving to Ulta, Amazon and other online outlets, more women opting for cheaper cuts at family-economy chains and, finally, high costs and lower salon visit frequencies.
Professional hair coloring services grew just 2.6% last year, driven by Boomers needing gray coverage and young adults’ demands for fashionable looks like blonding, highlights, baby-lights, balayage, sombrés and shadow roots. However, according to Bulsara, demand slowed for vibrants, vivids and pastels during the past year.
“Plus, a growing number of women are embracing their natural gray, silver or white,” Bulsara added.
But Sieversoninsisted that the premium, prestige professional hair care market is growing double-digits and that Seven is outpacing that growth, as sales doubled last year and will double again as distribution expands nationally. Once the brand goes national, the company plans to make international expansion a priority.
“We understand the needs of the stylists and one of the most effective ways we can deliver education is through video,” Sieverson explained. “It is very convenient for the stylist to get the information they need any time they want it.”
A new way to disseminate product information is just one way how Seven has modernized its approach to education, business and marketing, which has in turn helped the salon become the leader in the Northwest US.
“We have something to share and we are an open book with all of our partners,” concluded Sieverson. “We are sure of who we are and what we have to offer and the beauty of the products we offer.”