NEW YORK — You could call it a hairy business: Lancôme is out to shift the shopping patterns of consumers buying high-priced hair care with its new collection, Hair Sensation, set to hit U.S. department store counters in March.

Lancôme is entering what it hopes will be a profitable sector, which as yet is uncrowded in this channel of distribution in the U.S. A few other upscale brands peddle shampoo in department and specialty stores —?among them, Clinique, Origins, Frédéric Fekkai and Philip B. —?but the only ones with major department store muscle currently are Clinique, Origins and now Lancôme. Most shoppers buying high-priced hair care in the U.S. purchase it at salons, a pattern that Lancôme hopes to alter, said Dalia Chammas, senior vice president and general manager of Lancôme USA.

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