NEW YORK — Thick is in.

Thickr, the new hair care system by Rusk, is the company’s response to the thick, chunky layers being seen on more heads of late, replacing straight locks as the newest must-have hairstyle.

Rusk was tipped off to the thick hair explosion not only by style trends but also from sales data within its

existing portfolio. A product called Thick, which is part of Rusk’s Internal Restructure styling line, was launched eight years ago and remains the number two best-selling product among the company’s 100-plus stockkeeping units, behind Calm, a 60-

second hair revival conditioner. The success of Thick showed marketers that consumers wanted an entire thickening system. The Thickr system now falls under the Internal Restructure umbrella.

“We found that 70 percent of women complain that their hair is fine and limp. They are always looking for a product to increase volume,” said Courtney Black, senior marketing manager at Rusk.

Thickr, the first product launch by Rusk since being acquired by the Conair Corp. in March, has five products designed to add thickness, strength, lift and texture to hair. The line is estimated to generate approximately $5 million in first-year sales and will be supported by a $250,000 TV ad campaign, tentatively scheduled for December, according to Black. It will be sold in approximately 4,000 salons nationwide and will appear on shelves in September.

Thickr thickening shampoo and conditioner “are loaded with keratin wheat proteins” and are designed to cling to thin hair to create air pockets so formulas don’t rinse out, Black said.

A leave-in thickening spray served as the inspiration for the entire Rusk Thickr line. The spray contains a higher concentration of thickening agents than other spray products, including thermaplexplus, a heat-activated, patented technology that penetrates hair fibers to deliver body.

The Thickr system is rounded out with a light foam mousse and a hair spray formulated with UV protection.

Products also feature panthenol for body and shine, and dimethicone copolyl meadowfoamate, a versatile, heat-activated conditioner that penetrates the hair fiber.For the color-treated-hair set, formulas have been designed to have a low pH level so that cuticles stay closed to keep in color and shine.“Many other products have a high pH level, relying on an aggressive pH to rough up the cuticle, resulting in artificial body,” Black said.

Thickr shampoo and conditioner will retail for $7.95 each; the leave-in thickening spray will retail for $7.50;the mousse,$10.95, and the hair spray, $11.95.”

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