By  on July 13, 2007

LOS ANGELES — Cosmeceuticals might be the big thing in beauty these days, but they have only scratched the surface in hair care.

Todd Marmet, president and chief executive officer of Anuva, based in Beverly Hills, is joining the small but growing group of hair care pioneers — names such as Frédéric Fekkai and Warren-Tricomi liken their shampoo formulas to certain cosmetic and skin lotion innovations — with a new line touting antiaging formulations.

Anuva is being launched nationwide this month to about 120 salons, spas and specialty stores.

"We wanted to bring the ideals of cosmeceuticals to hair care, and to come up with a line that fights the visible signs of aging in the hair and scalp," said Marmet, who previously worked at the South Africa offices of John Paul Mitchell Systems, which is based in Beverly Hills.

"I saw a real need for it among Baby Boomers who want to see real results in their hair care."

The six-stockkeeping-unit collection includes two shampoos, two conditioners and two serums, all designed to treat thinning, dull and brittle hair. Priced in the $20 to $22 range, the products contain ingredients such as antioxidant-rich white tea, reishi and turkey tail mushrooms, wild yam and saw palmetto — regarded as phytoestrogens — and complex amino acids that help stimulate healthy growth.

In clean and simple packaging, the Tonifying Shampoo targets follicles and aims to protect against color fading, while the Bodifying Conditioner is designed to add lift to hair. The sulfate-free Rebalancing Shampoo is meant to lock in hair color with UV filters, and the Enriching Conditioner is specifically made for color-treated hair, helping to tone the scalp. The Hair Nourishing and Scalp Vitalizing Complex help deliver micronutrients to the scalp, and vitamins to increase blood flow to the hair follicle.

"We just wanted to make a really great product that would be chosen for its properties, and where all the ingredients work synergistically," he said. "It's a treatment line and not a trend line."

Anuva — Sanskrit for knowledge — is being positioned as a premium product and will be sold in "A" type salons, as well as in renowned beauty retailers including Planet Blue in Malibu, Calif. By the end of this year, Marmet expects Anuva to be sold in about 350 doors nationwide. He plans to double that number by the end of 2008. He has recently signed on with a distributor in Australia to bring Anuva there by the end of the year. A deal with distributors in Switzerland and the Netherlands will bring Anuva in those markets beginning in 2008. The line is already sold in stores in South Africa, Marmet said.Over the next year, Marmet wants to expand the line to include other treatment products as well as styling tools.

"We want to complete the story, but keep the collection tight," he said. "If we see a need in the market, we want to be able to meet it in a way that is real and authentic and backed-up."

Marmet said he expected the retail strategy to shift somewhat within the next year, and that the collection might be stocked in high-end boutiques.

"It's a reality of the marketplace," he said. "It's all about the consumer, so we have to start looking at niches."

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