Healthy not harmful.
That’s the message OPI wants to convey about its new ProHealth Technology Base and Top Coats, launching in salons next month.
And the Coty Inc.-owned OPI has tapped a big voice to spread the word — influencer Hannah Bronfman, founder of the health, fitness and beauty blog HBFIT and nail art enthusiast.
The base and top coat, used in conjunction with OPI’s GelColor, address the vexing problem of removing gels, a time-consuming process that’s deterred some women from the service — or reduced the incidents of application.
With ProHealth, gels can be soaked off in as little as seven minutes, more than half the time of existing options. The technology also removes the barrier for salon operators who want to speed up the gel removal process to see more clients.
“Gels have reinvigorated the salon business,” said OPI cofounder Suzi Weiss-Fischmann. “The service isn’t going away.”
Although OPI would not comment on sales, industry sources estimate ProHealth will add $15 million to $20 million in sales.
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Indeed, gels have been a welcome addition to the salon menu as they drive up average sales and encourage return visits. According to Nails Magazine, soak-off gels average $30.05 for the first visit versus the average traditional manicure price of $19.53. Salons typically decide whether to upcharge for the faster gel remover formula.
Weiss-Fischmann acknowledged that OPI research found women clamoring for faster removal and the elimination of any fear that gels damage nails. “It’s not the application [that causes damage, it is the removal,” she insisted. “It does not ruin your nails when removed correctly.” That’s where ProHealth’s more efficient removal comes into play and will eliminate scraping or drilling technicians often employ to clean off gel residual. ProHealth has a built-in protective barrier for the nail. For salon technicians, ProHealth encourages them to promote gels because they can soak off the old gel polish faster and thus turn more clients.
The fusion of health and speed attracted Bronfman to ProHealth. In addition to her blog, Bronfman is an established disc jockey with Coachella on her résumé, as well as a global ambassador for Adidas.
She frequently posts her nail art on her Instagram which has more than 383,000 followers. Before her wedding in May to fellow disc jockey Brendan Fallis, she showed off nails that spelled out “soon to be wifey.”
Tapping her is somewhat unique in the salon world as it represents marketing directly to consumers who could then request ProHealth, while also feeling good about a gel manicure.
Bronfman discovered that gel nail manicures helped her quell a nail-biting habit, while nail art gave her a creative outlet. “But I am also very health-focused and using gels all the time left my nails not in the most optimal of health. So partnering with OPI on this ProHealth technology was a no-brainer. It still allows me to be the gel nerd that I am, while improving the health of my nails,” Bronfman told WWD. “And, the quicker soak-off time is critical for someone like me who is on the go all the time and likes to change my nails frequently.”
Bronfman will tout ProHealth on her social platforms and, presumably, help the brand broaden its reach to the coveted Millennials. “OPI is such a cult favorite it allows me to connect to my fans on a deeper level. No matter where you live, you have access to this product. It is fun I will be able to talk about specific colors I love.”
ProHealth Technology Base Coat and Top Coat system aims to help maintain damage-free nails during wear and after removal. ProHealth Base Coat helps protect nails and ProHealth Top Coat shields manicures and pedicures from damage while locking in chip-free color and shine. Eighteen months in the making, ProHealth has been tested on more than 20,000 nails. In clinical studies, 80 percent of consumers saw a significant improvement in the condition of nails after removal.
Additionally, OPI is introducing a new bottle look and smaller size. The updated bottle look allows for customers to easily find corresponding lacquers for pedicures. The new size, (7.5 ml versus 15 ml) is an incentive for salon operators to offer more GelColor shades.
There is also a new LG lamp providing faster “curing” of the gel with two light frequencies reducing the need for multiple lights to complete the gel finish.
For her part, Weiss-Fischmann explained that nails will remain a major beauty ritual. “This is something you can’t get on your iPhone,” she said referencing that so many tasks such as banking can be accomplished with a cellphone.
The popularity of gels has been fingered for the drain in retail color sales. According to NPD and IRI data, the lacquer market is down substantially in class and mass.
“People used to buy 10 colors, now maybe the buy two from a collection,” admitted Weiss-Fischmann. But she’s quick to add OPI has all aspects of nail covered. Beyond ProHealth, OPI has traditional lacquer, Infinite Shine (a gel like polish that doesn’t require a lamp), Powder Perfection (dip) and Gel Break, a product for those who still prefer to take time off from gels. “I encourage technicians to recommend what is best for each clients’ lifestyle,” she concluded.