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Oscar Blandi Enters Hair Care Fray

NEW YORK — Father knows best. <br><br>At least coif-master Oscar Blandi thinks so, as he turned to good old dad to test whether his new hair care line would pass muster. Blandi, who operates the Oscar Blandi salon in the Plaza Hotel, reportedly...

NEW YORK — Father knows best.

At least coif-master Oscar Blandi thinks so, as he turned to good old dad to test whether his new hair care line would pass muster. Blandi, who operates the Oscar Blandi salon in the Plaza Hotel, reportedly received flying colors on the new line from his father, an old-school hairstylist, chemist and owner of three salons in Naples, where Blandi spent the holidays.

His dad chose the new Crema shampoo and balm for chemically treated hair to test on Blandi’s mom. After applying the balm, he let it sit, then rinsed with cold water. Blandi senior ran his fingers along the hair and saw that the product didn’t slip off. “That’s a good sign,” Blandi noted, who admitted he breathed a sigh of relief when his dad gave the thumbs-up. “He comes from where things don’t go on technology, they either work or don’t.”

Oscar Blandi hair care consists of two shampoos, two conditioners and two styling products. Pura shampoo and hair balm is designed for normal to dry hair and uses wheat protein as a key moisturizer. Crema shampoo and balm is designed for chemically treated hair and features sea algae. Curl Acception, designed to add body, and No Gravity, a heavy-duty volumizing spray, are the new styling products. Prices begin at $18 for shampoos and styling products, and go to $20 for the balm. Blandi’s year-old product, Fango Earth Mud mask, is still available at Barneys New York in Manhattan and retails for $24.

Product development for the hair care line has taken between three and four years. Blandi became interested in creating his own line after serving as a spokesperson and creative consultant on brands such as L’Oréal’s Kerastase, Zotos’ Bain de Terre, Senscience and Iso Multiplicity, as well as several Wella brands.

Blandi intends to keep the line tight, as well as distribution, at least for now. Barneys New York in Manhattan and in Beverly Hills have committed to buying the regimen, which begins shipping next week.

“I don’t want to fight John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease or Paul Mitchell’s Straightening Balm. This line was made for my salon and for my customers,” Blandi said.

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.