When it comes to hair products, high performance and natural have not always been synonymous. Hairstylist and New York-based salon owner Sam Brocato is aiming to change that with his new line Together Beauty, a joint venture with Maesa Group.
Together Beauty will debut on sephora.com on June 25 and in 270 of the retailer’s doors on July 12, with plans to rollout to all doors in September. The products have achieved the Clean at Sephora seal. The 15-sku assortment of clean hair-care and styling products is meant to the improve on the efficacy and performance of fixatives in traditional professional hair products with Brocato’s background in aromatherapy and natural ingredients. Almost all of the products are silicone-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free and formulated without a long list of “no-no” ingredients such as sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, petroleum derivatives and synthetic fragrances. Active ingredients are natural and plant-based, such as lavender, quinoa, mongongo and coconut.
Brocato has been into natural ingredients for years — he’s a vegetarian and competitive runner, and as far back as 20 years ago was mixing hair products in the back room of his salon using various oils, avocado and protein powders. “I was always trying to find ways to be able to say, ‘You can almost drink the stuff and it makes your hair wonderful,” Brocato said.
In the Eighties, he came out with a natural shampoo and conditioner but they were, “a total flop,” he said. “People weren’t ready at all.”
That sentiment is changing. Hair care has been an underdeveloped category in the fast-growing clean beauty space, but there is significant room now for growth, said Scott Oshry, chief marketing officer at Maesa Group. “Maesa as a company sees clean as the most important space to be in — it’s the fastest-growing segment,” Oshry said. “[Our research] says 57 percent of consumers care about what ingredients are in their hair care].”
Brocato sees interest from his clientele in clean hair, but he knows they won’t buy in if the products don’t perform as well as traditional ones. He described Together Beauty as “high-performance naturals that actually work in the eyes of the consumer who is addicted to silicones and sulfates.”
Maesa’s New York offices are close by Brocato’s Soho salon — one of two he operates in Manhattan — and Oshry first got to know Brocato and the natural line he was testing as a client. From there, the partnership was a natural fit, Oshry said.
Together Beauty’s products are a mix of shampoos and conditioners, treatments and stylers, ranging in price from $26 to $45. Flower Supply, $45, is an oil treatment comprised of organic jojoba, sacha inchi, marula, argan, borage, camellia, palmarosa, baobab and lavender oils, meant to deliver a sleekness and shine to the hair and can be used on nails and skin as well. Wash and Co., $29, is a cleansing conditioner made from coconut and quinoa protein. All of the products are color-safe and designed to be used on different types of curls.
Maesa Group declined to comment on sales figures, but the company has seen success in the hairstylist-backed brand arena. Kristin Ess, a joint venture between the company and the celebrity hairstylist, is projected by industry sources to do $100 million in sales by the end of 2019, after just three years in business.
Sephora has been expanding its assortment of skin and hair-care products. A recent visit to the newly opened Times Square store revealed that nearly half the store was dedicated to the categories.