Retailers are gearing up to serve the needs of the 46 million women facing some form of hair loss.This month, Sephora will roll out 10 stockkeeping units from Keranique to 20 physical stores. That comes on the heels of a successful launch online last year that features the clinically proven hair regrowth treatment. The brand is also in the works of launching on e-commerce with Sephora Canada.The Atlantic Coast Brands-owned line will also broaden its reach with its full lineup making its debut in all 68 Beauty Brand doors in April. Lord & Taylor is currently adding the brand to its expanding hair-care assortment online, as well.The latest distribution joins an existing presence in Ulta Beauty stores, ulta.com, nordstrom.com and HSN.Industry sources estimate Keranique is growing at a double-digit rate with yearly sales exceeding $48 million.What’s attracting merchants to Keranique, said Tom Shipley, the company’s co-chief executive officer, is that it is targeted specifically at women, a market that had been overlooked in a category dominated by male remedies. For women in particular, thinning hair had been a “taboo subject,” Shipley explained. “Women want to buy a beauty product backed with science and made just for her.”Added Andrew Surwilo, co-ceo, “While most brands trying to address women’s hair loss slant towards a more medicinal look and approach, we’ve created a solution that not only works clinically, but doesn’t neglect the beauty aspect of haircare.”The confluence of proven results and feminine packaging struck a chord with Beauty Brands, which sees the line as a way to build confidence for women facing a difficult condition. “We’re pleased to bring Keranique into our locations, a line specifically formulated with her in mind. To be able to partner with a brand that provides her with renewed confidence supports our core foundation of empowering women,” said Mike Tokarz, vice president merchandising, hair care, for Beauty Brands.As important as the category has become for retailers, Shipley thinks this is only the tip of the potential. Keranique made its debut in 2009 in the direct-response channel and with the backing of $35 million pumped into it via advertising and education, the brand has helped bring women’s hair loss out into the open. While the stigma has been reduced, there are still only two million women using the product. “We’ve made hair loss a more normal subject but the category is only in the early stages. It is a market that is going to explode,” Shipley said.Joel Goldsmith, Keranique’s head of sales, thinks there is also tremendous opportunity in getting younger audiences on board. He said that by the time women notice their hair is thinning, “you’ve already started losing your hair.” Younger women are embracing skin care to proactively fight wrinkles and he thinks the same will happen in hair.The Keranique portfolio includes a three-part system including Scalp Stimulating Shampoo and Volumizing Keratin Conditioner formulas and Regrowth Treatment, along with a variety of styling and preventative treatment products for women with fine or thinning hair. The products are said to promote scalp health, which leads to hair regrowth. Prices range from $20 to $60. To help women understand the concept, Keranique features numerous brand videos and testimonials on its web site, Keranique.com and retail partner links, such as sephora.com.Recently, Keranique unveiled a 30-minute commercial highlighting real results from actual users.Three new items are set to bow this year including a Damage Control Shampoo and Conditioner and a new volumizing kit featuring the brand's Follicle Boosting Serum.
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