David Berglass grew up in the hair-care business. His grandfather owned the companies that produced Aqua Net and Faberge. His father acquired Dep, a pioneer in styling gels. Berglass directed his focus to the $65 billion professional sector of the market. He purchased a brand called L’Anza Healing Haircare in 2003 at an important juncture in hair care.
Retail products had made inroads into the professional landscape with more sophisticated formulas that siphoned consumers from salons. Berglass aimed to change that.
“I sprinted toward the professional business because I was intrigued with the relationships of distributors and stylists and wanted to rebuild that personal touch in professional,” recalled Berglass. “In 2003, we started on a journey to reposition the [L’Anza] brand. Everyone had treatment so we decided to reformulate to be a healing brand versus a treatment brand.” At that time L’Anza had achieved some success, but had plateaued in sales.
The healing positioning resonated with salon owners who were tired of hearing too much of the same pitch from the major professional players. It struck a chord with stylists looking for ways to build transactions, too. Within 10 years, L’Anza’s sales grew 400 percent. L’Anza (lanza.com) is now sold in more than 20,000 professional outlets spanning 45 countries around the globe.
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With its hair-care products clicking, Berglass directed efforts to color — another category where advances at retail were driving consumers to “box” colors in mass doors rather than in the hands of professionals. Berglass’ solution was to create colors that could be customized for each client’s needs. But there was more than just personalization to the offer. L’Anza was able to cut down on inventory needs, while still offering a wide array of shades by making one tube that could be mixed with the developer to achieve permanent, demi-permanent or translucent coloring. “It offers low inventory that doesn’t choke the financial burden of the salon,” he said.
Transaction-boosting items were added that also helped consumers keep their color fresh, such as a spray used before and after shampooing.
With the products in place, L’Anza staffed up to train salon stylists to properly use and sell its portfolio. Berglass attracted talent from nameplates such as Redken and Matrix. “We pounded just about every dollar into building an educational platform,” he said. Those efforts were recently awarded as Brand Education Team of the Year at the BTC Awards (Behindthechair.com Awards) this June in Orlando, as well as Salon Team of the Year at NAHA Awards (North American Hairstyle Awards) in Las Vegas.
His latest act is helping salon operators build add-on styling and dry shampoo sales. One item is a Keratin Healing Oil Brush Thru Hair Spray. As the newest addition to L’Anza’s Keratin Healing Oil Collection, the flexible-hold hair spray brushes through hair easily and features “rebound memory” to hold hair in place. Berglass calls the Healing Style Dry Shampoo the “next-generation dry shampoo formula” because in addition to cleaning and adding texture, it provides an invisible natural mineral powder for extra absorbency, and a non-clogging formula. The final addition is a Healing Style Thermal Defense Spray, a lightweight styler providing medium to strong style support while providing hair protection during the styling process, without leaving sticky residue on hair tools.
Consumer interest in salon-based hair care is on the rise. According to NPD, as of May, prestige hair care expanded 13 percent over the year before, putting it ahead of even makeup as the fastest-growing segment in the beauty category.
“Professional will continue to thrive. There are those who want to come in, get a haircut and go to a drugstore to buy, but there are those who want to experience the artistry of a stylist, so there is a place for those stylists to have success,” he said. Moreover, to help with that, L’Anza is giving stylists, who are often rich in creativity with little business background, the chance to understand the financial responsibilities of managing a business.