LAS VEGAS — While product orders and distribution deals were taking place inside the Las Vegas Convention Center during the Cosmoprof North America trade show, many companies, while not officially exhibiting, set up meetings at various sites around town to get down to business.

L’Oréal Professionnel and Wella AG held meetings for distributors at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino and the Las Vegas Hilton, respectively. The world’s two largest hair care companies were noticeably absent from Cosmoprof, opting to skip the show’s debut in favor of discussing their 2004 business plans. L’Oréal Professionnel, for example, is ramping up for an image and distribution boost for the brand, beginning next year.

Clairol Professional also skipped exhibiting at Cosmoprof and instead held a press conference along with the National Cosmetology Association to promote Cut It Out, a program that teaches stylists the warning signs of domestic abuse in their clients, and subsequently the appropriate methods of getting them help.

PureOlogy Serious Hair Colour celebrated its second birthday at a distributor lunch on Sunday. One of the newest companies to enter the hair care fray, PureOlogy has set itself apart from the big boys by positioning itself as the only prestige hair care company making products specifically for color-treated hair. In just two years, PureOlogy has achieved $15 million in sales.

Jim Markham, chief executive and founder of PureOlogy, said he will spend much of August visiting beauty editors from consumer magazines to promote PureOlogy. Markham added that the company will double its advertising and promotional budget in 2004 to nearly $1 million.

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