By  on August 17, 2007

The number-one professional hair care brand in global sales, L'Oréal Professionnel, is taking the meaning of haute couture and applying its definition of personalized high-end luxury to a new styling line for hair.

Launching at salons in October is Texture Expert, a series of 16 styling products in four ranges customized to different hair types. According to industry sources, the line is expected to generate between $25 million and $35 million in first-year sales. Texture will be the styling element to Série Expert, a hair care line that L'Oréal Professionnel launched in 2002.

"We followed the Série Expert model to launch Texture Expert," said Rachel Stroback, marketing manager for L'Oréal Professionnel. Série Expert is an estimated $85 million subbrand under L'Oréal Professionnel, the fifth largest professional hair care brand in the U.S.

"L'Oréal Professionnel always looks to fashion. Haute couture is about customization, technology and creativity. That is what we have with Texture Expert," she continued.

Texture Expert comprises four collections: one to boost volume, one to smooth hair, one to fight frizz and another to create definition. Within each collection are products made for fine-limp hair, medium-thick hair and course or hard-to-manage hair. "Most styling brands are set up by end results. They don't consider the canvas they are working with," said Stroback.

Products use Texture Expert's exclusive Double Zone Technology, which is designed to provide hold at the hair's surface and internal strength at the cuticle.

Packages are color coded in muted metallic hues in accordance with hair type: Products for fine hair are in silver containers, products for thick hair are in a champagne packaging, items for coarse hair are in bronze containers and hair sprays are in a lavender package.

"Premium salons want everything to say elegance. This doesn't look like a circus. We concentrated on luxury packaging that is premium and sophisticated, yet still shoppable," explained Stroback.

There are five products for limp hair: Densité, a thickening styling primer; Volume Elévation, a volumizing serum; Expansion, a mousse; Smooth Essence, a smoother, and Architexture, a matte defining paste.

For medium-to-thick hair, five products also have been formulated: Smooth Velours, a smoothing lotion; Mousse Volupté, a mousse; Shine Perfection, an antifrizz shine serum; Fixatif, a firm hold gel, and Lumi Contrôle, a shine defining polish.For coarse hair, there are three products: Fluid Intense, a straightening serum; Spirale Extréme, a curl defining creme, and Gelée Riche, an antifrizz styling gel.

Three manageable hair sprays also have been created, building on the Infinium hair spray L'Oréal launched last year. There's Infinium 2, a regular-hold spray; Infinium 3, a strong-hold spray, and Infinium 4, an extreme-hold spray. Prices range from $19 to $24.

Imagery for Texture Expert is indicative of what the collections have been formulated to deliver. With hair styled by Malcolm Edwards, the images show glamorous women with meticulous coifs. Recine, L'Oréal Professionnel's artistic partner, will use the products backstage at Zac Posen during next month's New York Fashion Week.

Education to support the line will begin in October. About 100 people across the U.S. already have been trained in how to best use Texture Expert, and will hold classes in October at various salons around the country.

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