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Clairol Color Crave Targets Gen Z

The brand is homing in on the mermaid and unicorn hair trends with its January 2018 launch.

Clairol is making moves toward a younger consumer set.

The Coty-owned hair-color brand, one of the 41 companies acquired in last year’s Procter & Gamble divestment, is launching this month a new semi-permanent and wash-off color line targeted at Generation Z.

Color Crave consists of two key items — the Color Crave Hair Makeup and Semi-Permanent Color. Hair Makeup is a wash-off product that comes off with one shampoo — it is available in six metallic shades and meant to be used as a playful accessory that can easily be washed out at the end of the night. Semi-Permanent Color comes in a range of bold colors — think lavender, emerald green and teal — and lasts for about 15 shampoos. The wild colors are a nod to the current unicorn and mermaid hair trend seen on Instagram users. 

Shocking colors are a step out of the box — literally — for Clairol, which has always had a reputation as a traditional at-home color brand offering shades that resemble natural hair colors.

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“It’s a start of a new era for us,” said Heather Carruthers, vice president of Clairol Global and U.S. marketing at Coty. “It’s time for us to really innovate with the Clairol brand under a new company.”

The brand is doing a soft launch of the product online and in a few retail doors this month, and will do a sampling campaign at the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival in Las Vegas the weekend of June 16. In January, the line will roll out to all of Clairol’s mass distribution.  

Carruthers noted that the products are designed to be easy to use and impart minimal damage — there’s no bleach involved — on hair, which is a concern for younger consumers when it comes to at-home color kits. The temporary hair makeup is deposited via a sponge-like applicator, and the formula contains 3-D microcrystals that temporarily bond to the hair’s surface, creating a shimmering effect.

Under Coty, Carruthers said, the brand has more freedom to develop trend-driven lines and bring them to market faster than Clairol was ever able to under Procter & Gamble.

“Before, there was kind of a separation of church and state between what we were seeing in the salon world and what we were able to bring to mass,” said Carruthers. “That kind of restriction has been lifted.”