By  on November 12, 2004

NEW YORK — Hairstylist Edward Tricomi of Warren-Tricomi fame is bursting with tailor-made solutions. Frustrated by not finding form-fitting suits that struck his fancy, Tricomi commissioned a friend in the fashion business to custom-make his wardrobe. When clients bemoaned that despite their best efforts they could not replicate a salon-quality blow-dry at home, Tricomi and his business partner, Joel Warren, created a tension clamp hairbrush specifically for the task, as well as an entire hairbrush collection, and began selling them in their salons. Tricomi has also partnered with artisan pals to create everything from candles to incense.

In recent years, in between interior design pursuits, guitar-playing and haircutting, Tricomi and Warren, the master colorist of the team, have been working on the formulation for their first hair care collection, one that adds a third step to the everyday wash-and-condition regimen.

“We’ve been in business for 15 years,” said Tricomi in between cuts at Warren-Tricomi’s 57th Street salon here. “So, we’ve waited a long time to do this.”

This February, the pair will clear room in their three (soon to be four) U.S. salons for their debut collection called PureStrength Three-C System: Cleanse, Close and Condition. Close, which as its name suggests falls between the traditional steps of shampoo and condition, is a heptahydrate formula said to repair hair by sealing the cuticles along the follicle. When used as part of a system, the Close strengthener gives hair shine and the fortitude to withstand abuse inflicted by blow-dryers, flatirons and color treatments, explained Warren.

PureStrength will be available for three hair types — fine, normal and extremely dry or damaged. Each contains essential oils, which Tricomi frequently works into clients’ hair after a cut. For example, the shampoo and conditioner suitable for all hair types feature notes of neroli and bergamot, and the strengthener has a subtle fig scent.

Square packaging, inspired by billboards, feature black-and-white headshots of models with carefully coiffed hair. Tricomi anticipates he and Warren will periodically cycle in new images from well-known photographers to keep the packaging fresh. The three items in the nine stockkeeping unit collection range in price from the $22 Cleanse shampoo to the $28 Close strengthener. A total of 18 items are currently in development.The stylists expect their first entry into hair care to generate nearly $2 million in their salons alone. However, they are aiming to get distribution in boutique department stores as well.

Warren-Tricomi developed the line with Z-Cosmetics USA, the Farmingdale, N.Y.-based manufacturer of dermatologist skin care brands, among other products. After coming up with a formula, Warren-Tricomi began testing it on their salon clientele, tweaking and refining the concept over several years. As Z-Cosmetics president Philip Zellner explained, they tried combining the middle step with conditioner, but found it worked best alone after shampooing and when fully rinsed from hair. Unlike the strengthener, conditioner does not repair the hair, it simply makes it more manageable, he explained.

Following on the heels of the launch, Warren-Tricomi will open their first West Coast salon in West Hollywood. The 2,300-square-foot location, nestled close to Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue, will have a casual, Los Angeles-lounge vibe, noted Tricomi, who is designing the space, as he has done with all Warren-Tricomi salons.

The West Hollywood salon will follow the same business model as their one-year-old Greenwich, Conn., salon, which includes a sizable retail space. Tricomi estimated that boutique items, such as watches from Jacob & Co. and Bronti Bay bags, in this 7,000-square-foot location account for 30 percent of the salon’s revenue.

The new salon is slated to open its doors in April.

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