Conair’s newest hair tool, which the company calls a “curl machine,” is designed to deliver a head full of uniform curls with ease.
This story first appeared in the June 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“For a hundred years it’s been the same way [to curl hair]. This is truly a different method,” said Vito Carlucci, director of engineering for Conair Corp. “With a traditional curling iron, you clip the hair and you roll it. The first turn gets the most heat, the second less because it’s insulated by a layer of hair and then the third even less. This one heats from both the inside and the outside, so you get a nice even, long-lasting ringlet.”
Available in both consumer and professional iterations, the items — Curl Secret from Infiniti Pro by Conair and MiraCurl from Nano Titanium by Babyliss Pro, respectively — feature a proprietary brushless motor technology, which draws hair into a heating chamber. There hair is given a “surround sound” blast of heat, without the possibility of snagging.
“Part of the draw is the ease of use,” said Alan Stockman, vice president of marketing for Babyliss, adding the items are well-suited for older customers with arthritis or hair stylists, who are lifting their arms all day.
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MiraCurl, $249.99, began shipping to salons and professional outlets earlier this month. The $99.99 Curl Secret, which is slated to hit stores in mid-August, will launch to more than 10,000 U.S. doors, first in Ulta, then to additional retailers including Target, CVS, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Duane Reade, Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond. The tool will also be sold in global markets, including the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain and Russia. Industry sources estimate Curl Secret could generate more than $30 million at retail in the first year in the U.S.
According to brand executives, another benefit of the appliance is that the method of curling hair is designed to be easier on the strand than other irons because it doesn’t stress the scalp or the damaged hair ends. “The way the hair is handled is very gentle,” said Jim Roberts, director of shows and education for Babyliss.
Curl Secret features a 30-second heat-up, two temperature settings and three timer settings for waves, curls or ringlets, and a tourmaline ceramic technology for shine and flyaway control. The professional version is slightly larger in size, offers a directional curl control and heats up to higher temperatures.
Both products feature safety mechanisms designed to stop the device and release hair if they detect if there is any tangle or if too much hair is pulled into the chamber. Additionally, if the heat is left on, the product automatically cools down after 20 minutes, then shuts down after one hour.
To generate awareness for Curl Secret, Conair will air a 30-minute infomercial in late July, offering the product at a debut price of $149.99. When the tool launches two months later, it will retail for $99.99. Curl Secret will also be shown on July 18, during HSN’s Thursday-night beauty event called Beauty Report.