Celebrity hairstylist Kevin Murphy is moving beyond styling aids with the launch of paraben- and sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners and treatments.

This story first appeared in the March 7, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

After finding that many products he used in editorial photo shoots resulted in allergic reactions, Murphy decided to apply skin care products like moisturizers to the hair. This led him to do an all-natural hair care line he refers to as skin care-inspired.

“I started using makeup artists’ moisturizers because they were more absorbent and lighter on the hair,” said Murphy, a native Australian, whose hair care formulas contain ingredients like omega 3, essential oils and hydrosols featuring herbal and green tea extracts. “Hair products contain petrochemicals, which have large molecules that never absorb into the hair.”

Designed to regenerate, moisturize and strengthen the hair on a cellular level, formulas have high concentrations of amino acids and plant extracts. Murphy also incorporated ingredients such as rose hip oil, evening primrose oil and olive oil esters. He used lecithin phospholipids, biotin and bamboo extracts to help keep the hair shaft from breaking. The line features products designed to give volume to finer or longer hair and daily hair care items intended for someone on the go, said Murphy.

“Too many botanical lines out there are a little bit ‘hippie-ish’ — almost too green,” he said. “It’s about incorporating natural ingredients but making it more for a modern consumer.”

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Murphy’s 18-item product assortment ranges in price from $22 for styling items to $25 for shampoos and conditioners. Packaged in 100 percent recyclable materials, the line is designed for colored hair, but includes specific products for thick and thin hair.

The line, which is called Kevin.Murphy, is being rolled out to the U.S. market now. It arrived at about 250 upscale salons in late February and its distribution is expected to increase sharply this year.

Rick Kornbluth, president and chief executive officer of Kevin Murphy North America, said he sees Kevin Murphy products reaching more than 2,000 high-end salons with retail sales exceeding $16 million by the end of this year.