The Martelli family, founders of the Proraso shaving line, have been asked for years to expand the company’s shave logo into hair care. Proraso is the leading shave brand in Italy and is growing at a fast pace in the U.S.
“Until recently it was a polite absolutely not. They wanted to focus from the nose to neck and do one thing better than anybody else,” Daina Nadler, vice president of sales and marketing for Bigelow Trading, which distributes Martelli’s brands in the U.S.
Now, after vetting formulas in barbershops, the company is rolling out a hair-care line under a totally different logo from Proraso. “The name Proraso literally translates to ‘pro shave.’ The opportunity came up for the Tenax name that stands for strength, tenacity and staying power,” Nadler said. “They wanted a name that can stand on its own.” With men looking for more premium hair choices along with American consumer interest in nostalgic packaging, the market was fertile for a salon hair line, according to Nadler.
The tightly edited selection includes a Revitalizing and Energizing shampoo, strong hold Gelatina Hair Gel, medium hold Brillantina Hair Cream and two water-soluble Pomades — Strong and Extra Strong. Prices range from $12 to $16. More product launches are in the pipeline, but new items won’t be launched “just for the sake of new,” she said.
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Tenax bowed last year in Italy but is now rolling out to Bigelow’s network of prestige barbers including New York’s Haar & Co. “We’re going first to the best barbershops to leverage our existing relationships and legacy of the Martelli brands,” Nadler said.
“We are a multigenerational, family-owned business and we are fascinated by other family-owned companies [like Martelli] that are best in their categories,” Nadler said. “Four generations have learned to shave with Proraso.”In addition to Proraso and now Tenax, Bigelow also distributes The Martelli’s Marvis toothpaste.