By  on May 23, 2008

Mizani, the prestige salon hair care brand for textured hair, is slated for 29 percent growth in 2008, a strong double-digit projection on the heels of 33 percent growth in the prior year.

According to Maria Cerminara, vice president of marketing for Mizani and L'Oréal Technique, growth this year will be driven by increased distribution, as well as by a new in-salon treatment targeting dandruff and sensitive scalps. Last year's increases were due to additional distribution — Mizani is sold in approximately 20,000 salons in the U.S. — as well as an in-salon high-conditioning process, Butter Blend, and a smoothing treatment for curly hair, Thermasmooth. Other 2007 milestones included new imagery and more education, such as a 40-minute DVD for stylists, a first for the firm.

Mizani, which means "balance" in Swahili, is sold in the U.S., U.K., France, South Africa and the Netherlands, with approximately 94 percent of the business done in the U.S. Industry sources estimate Mizani generates approximately $100 million in sales. The brand launched in 1991 via a joint venture with SoftSheen-Carson (then operating only as SoftSheen, before being merged with Carson) and Redken (a leading professional brand). Redken was subsequently bought by L'Oréal USA in 1993, and SoftSheen was absorbed by the beauty firm in 1998. Now operating within the L'Oréal Professional Products Division, Mizani is the fastest-growing brand under the professional umbrella, B. Fae Canty, senior marketing manager, said. Mizani's distribution includes chain salons (29 percent), full-service distributors (42 percent) and professional stores (29 percent).

The brand's focus is on making products that moisturize hair as well as provide protein for strength. Innovation for new products comes from L'Oréal's three different labs, one in Paris, one in New Jersey and L'Oréal's Ethnic Institute in Chicago.

Company research shows that African-American women represent 30 percent of hair care spending, while the group spends 47 percent more than other groups and about 82 percent use black hair care products almost exclusively.

Mizani's new Scalp Care System is one of the brand's latest offerings, hitting salons this month. The treatment starts off with an exfoliating pre-shampoo formulated with 3 percent salicylic acid, as well as peppermint oil and cucumber extract to lift excess epidermal cells and to prepare the scalp to absorb dandruff-fighting ingredients. The Scalp Care Shampoo, with 1 percent pyrithione and zinc content, aims to remove excess bacteria that causes flaking and scaling. Finally, Scalp Care Conditioner, also with 1 percent pyrithione and zinc content, aims to restore moisture balance to hair and scalp. A shampoo for $10 and conditioner for $12.50 will retail at certain salons. Price for the in-salon treatment will vary by salon, but will average between $50 and $75.

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