By  on January 19, 2007

Sexy Hair Concepts teamed up with "American Idol" star Katharine McPhee to create Strong Sexy Hair, a line of hair care and styling products designed to strengthen hair and protect it from damage.

Being launched next month in more than 50,000 salons, the five-item collection comprises Strengthening Shampoo, Strengthening Conditioner, Strengthening and Revitalizing Treatment, Plaster Strong Holding Shaping Balm and Strong Hold Hairspray.

"Today, there's a higher percentage of people coloring, bleaching and tinting their hair, so you need something stronger when maintaining your hair's condition," said Michael O'Rourke, founder of Sexy Hair, who added that Strong Sexy Hair is the company's first line designed to strengthen hair for all ethnicities, ages and hair-types.

According to industry sources, Sexy Hair Concepts will generate $200 million in retail sales by year's end, and bring in between $3 million and $5 million in first-year retail sales.

O'Rourke wanted to find something that could repair the hair instantly and looked to McPhee's thick and wavy hair for inspiration.

"Since she has to have her hair done every day, I wanted something that would have immediate results in repairing the hair," said O'Rourke, who added he once had to redo McPhee's hair 14 times in one day.

As for McPhee, keeping her hair moisturized was essential.

"Since I'm always getting my hair done, my hair is really dried out. I've been looking for products that would make my hair feel really strong," said McPhee. "Strong Sexy Hair is great for women who are really busy and don't have time to get their hair cut all the time since it makes your hair feel thick and healthy."

Strong Sexy Hair contains the proprietary ingredient Tritanium Complex, designed to improve the condition of damaged, weak or fine hair by penetrating the cortex and moisturizing hair from within while also providing a protective seal that reinforces the hair's cuticle.

"This complex helps repair and condition the hair through the everyday stresses we put it through," said O'Rourke. "There's a huge percentage of women out there who have weak hair."

McPhee was involved in testing product formulas and selecting packaging. She chose "floral" scents for each fragrance, giving each its own combination of passion fruit, jasmine, guava, apple and raspberry."I was told that I have the most expensive taste," said McPhee. "During the fragrance trials, I would always choose really rich things."

As part of her two-year contract as spokeswoman, which ends next year, McPhee will continue to appear in company ads and promotional materials such as salon collaterals, displays and brochures. Strong Sexy Hair will be supported by an online and print advertising campaign that breaks next month in two-sided inserts in Allure, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue and trade publications.

Donna Federici, Sexy Hair's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the company was distributing half a million samples in CD cases that will be available in national chain salons, trade shows and fan clubs. The company is in discussions to do other promotional tie-ins with the release of McPhee's first CD on Jan. 30. Company executives are negotiating to extend her contract to future projects.

Strong Sexy Hair is available in 25 markets, and the company plans to expand into South America and Asia, hoping to increase business 25 percent by the end of this year.

McPhee is still unsure whether she'll go on tour to promote her new CD. "I'd like to go on tour, but we still have to wait and see what happens with the record," she said.

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