By  on June 5, 2009

Procter & Gamble Professional is launching a third pillar of innovation in its effort to restage the Sebastian brand.

The latest wave targets hair texture and consists of an in-salon treatment designed to provide texture, as well as three retail products.

“As we have continued to talk to stylists and consumers as to what they are looking for, they still have challenges in finding products that provide flexibility and texture in long hair,” said Reuben Carranza, director, North America Professional Salon

for P&G.

The hero retail item is MicroWeb Fiber, which, Carranza said, “was inspired by the silk that is spun by a spider.” The design challenge, he explained, was formulating a product that gives hold and texture to long hair but also has flexibility properties. The application of MicroWeb Fiber is different from others, Carranza said, as it should first be emulsified in hands, then the user claps her hands, and the fibrous, weblike matter that’s created is then settled and nestled onto hair.

“When you see this happen in the salon, customers ask what stylists are doing,” said Carranza. “It generates excitement.”

The two other retail items are a Liquigel Texturizer and a Matte Putty. The Texturizer is designed to provide hold and form; the putty is a soft, dry texturizer for touchable hold. MicroWeb Fiber will sell for $18.95, the Texturizer will sell for $15.95 and the Putty will be $16.95.

The in-salon service, which is estimated to sell for about $25, will allow stylists to create texture at the back bar.

The Texture collection enters 10,000 salons nationwide in July. Ads supporting Texture will feature the hero product MicroWeb Fiber and singer Micky Green, who hails from Sydney.

The brand’s initial debut included more than 30 hair care and styling products in July. In January, it launched a shine collection called Flaunt.

Green fits in well with Sebastian’s past spokespeople, who include stylista Cory Kennedy, who was featured in ads for the Whipped Creme styling product when the brand was reintroduced last year, and designer Charlotte Ronson, who was in ads for the Trilliant styling item, which is within the shine collection.

Images featuring Green will be in both consumer ads as well as on salon displays.

This strategy, said Carranza, in the past has generated purchases from consumers who typically don’t buy their products in a salon.

Carranza said that, while the overall salon industry is suffering approximately 5 percent sales decreases, “we are seeing double-digit growth…and innovation is driving that growth. In fact, the Sebastian reinvention and the Wella Koleston Perfect innovation are helping salons win in a tough environment. As we look at industry share numbers, P&G Professional is growing their share.”

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