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L’Oréal Professionnel Introduces Botanical Hair Color Into Salons

The Botanēa range is due out in Europe beginning in May.

PARIS — L’Oréal Professionnel is surfing the swiftly swelling beauty trends of natural and personalized products with Botanēa. The botanical hair color for salon use, due out in Europe starting in May, is a first for parent company L’Oréal.

It’s also a game-changing innovation for the industry, according to Marion Brunet, managing director for international at L’Oréal Professionnel. She said the line with 100 percent plant-based formulas gives a natural yet professional result — which, up until now, was impossible.

“Our objective was to make no compromise on those two key dimensions,” said Brunet, who called Botanēa a “milestone.”

She added: “There is a strong demand from women — and beyond that, there’s a need to turn toward [product] formulations that are simpler and healthier.”

Botanēa’s pared-down formula involves three powders derived from botanical ingredients sustainably culled in India: cassia, henna and indigo, with each coated in coconut oil. In salons, hairdressers will mix the trio of powders in concentrations depending on the desired hue. Water temperature is to play a role in the color obtained, as well.

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From the Botanēa line.
An item from the Botanēa line. Courtesy Photo

“There’s a very large palette,” said Brunet, explaining the colorants range runs from light blonde to dark brown, and allows for shiny tresses, plus both warm and cold highlights — a first for natural hair color.

“There is an infinity of possibilities,” she said. That includes entirely tinting white hair, versus the 30 to 40 percent coverage natural dyes tend to offer.

Overall, natural colorants are billed to be less harsh on hair fibers than traditional coloring, and since the Botanēa powders are coated they are not uncomfortable on application like other natural colorants can be, and are easier to wash out, L’Oréal executives claim.

Botanēa, which is compatible with other hair treatments, is generally left on for 30-minute or 60-minute stretches for a dye job. To specifically cover white tresses, it’s kept on for two successive 30-minute periods.

Prices for a Botanēa color treatments will range from 50 euros to 80 euros in France, where a classic coloring tends to be priced at 30 euros.

The line will not be launched in full L’Oréal Professionnel distribution. Rather in France, it’s expected to be introduced in about 30 percent of the brand’s salon distribution, for instance.

L’Oréal laboratories worked for more than 10 years on conceiving natural hair color and focused for some five years on sustainably sourcing and screening its ingredients.

Also in May, L’Oréal Professionnel will launch its debut professional natural, vegan hair-care line — Source Essentielle — that is refillable in salons, marking another first for the industry, Brunet said.

From the Source Essentielle line.
From the Source Essentielle line. Courtesy Photo

Within the range, there are two lines: one for dry and another for colored hair, each with a shampoo, balm and oil, which range in price in France from 19.50 euros to 32 euros. For normal to fine hair and for a delicate scalp are shampoos, going for 19.50 euros.

Transparency was the buzzword in the creation of the Source Essentielle collection, which comes in see-through, stackable square bottles — eco-designed for space-efficient transport and a minimum amount of plastic used; ingredient lists including suppliers, and sustainably sourced paper sachets for refills.

The line will be carried in L’Oréal Professionnel’s full distribution in Europe.

Both Source Essentielle and Botanēa are in step with L’Oréal’s Sharing Beauty With All program, which includes sustainability targets and philanthropic activities, noted Brunet.

They will be among the latest entrants in the rapidly growing natural beauty category. Today its sales, including all segments and channels worldwide, are estimated by L’Oréal at 24 million euros, up 12 percent on-year. Of that, natural hair care represents about 4.3 million euros, with growth at around 10 percent.