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Chemistry Taps Into Science of Hair Care

With their sights laser-focused on further penetrating the mass market hair care category, Beautology Brands ? the makers of Charles Worthington...

With their sights laser-focused on further penetrating the mass market hair care category, Beautology Brands — the makers of Charles Worthington London — has launched a new problem-solution hair brand designed from a chemist’s perspective.

Beautology president and chief executive officer Stuart Straus tapped former colleague and scientist Joe Cincotta to create a range the two thought would best meet consumers’ needs. The result is Chemistry Salon Labs, which entered Walgreens stores in February as one of the chain’s two exclusive hair care brands for 2008. The other exclusive line it took on is by celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger.

Straus and Cincotta both once worked for Kao brands; Straus was formerly general manager of international and vice president of sales and Cincotta was director of research and development.

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For Chemistry, Cincotta created Pro-KeraGen Complex, a proprietary technology that aims to simultaneously infuse and protect hair with a variety of ingredients, including keratin, panthenol and UV absorbers.

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Products are packaged in white and red containers — with two items even resembling lab flasks and one looking like a test tube.

“The element of the brand is apparent as soon as [consumers] see it,” said Straus.

Chemistry includes Cleanse, a daily shampoo; Condition, a daily moisturizing conditioner with vitamins A, C, E and pro-vitamin B-5; Repair, a heat-activated hair and scalp mask; Hydrate, a leave-in conditioner; Prep Hair, a hair primer to be used prior to blow-drying; Thick, a gel to help boost thinning hair; Volume, a root lifter, and Tame, a shine serum. Products are sulfate- and paraben-free.

Items packaged in white bottles sell for $7.99; red items sell for $9.99. First-year sales of Chemistry in Walgreens’ 6,200 stores, according to industry sources, could reach $4 million.

In addition to Chemistry, Beautology is working on other efforts to grow its estimated $10 million in overall sales. Last month, the Big Hair and Big Waves ranges entered several hundred Wal-Mart stores, based on the success Big Hair has realized in 16,000 retailers nationwide.

And last year Beautology received a cash infusion from Lake Street Capital Group, a Cincinnati-based investment firm. Funds from the deal will go toward a $4 million TV ad campaign beginning May 5 on Bravo and E network, promoting the Worthington London brand.

The company is also investigating a proprietary deal with at least one retailer, which Straus would not name, as well as licensing opportunities with celebrities for a new hair brand. Beautology has doubled Worthington’s sales since Straus’ company purchased it from PZ Cussons in 2006. Sales are expected to grew from $7 million then to an estimated $15 million by the end of 2008, Straus said.