Byline: Andrea M. Grossman

NEW YORK — In celebration of hair’s return to curls, Umberto Giannini Hair Cosmetics is launching Curl & Twirl, a hair care collection designed to keep curly and wavy hair full of volume — without the frizz. The collection is the fourth line introduced to the United States by the London-based company.
Curl & Twirl is comprised of six stockkeeping units — a shampoo, a conditioner and four styling products — each formulated with a moisture serum to keep curls in place. Lisa Shepherd, creative director of Umberto Giannini Hair Cosmetics, explained that the serum works by keeping outside moisture — a main frizz culprit — from penetrating locks.
“This range encourages any amount of curl for permed and naturally wavy hair. It provides hair with moisture so it doesn’t absorb the moisture in the air,” said Shepherd, who also serves as a stylist and colorist in one of nine Umberto Giannini salons in the U.K.
Each styling product is designed to help create some of the latest hair trends. Curl & Twirl Scrunching Gel is designed to give hair a tousled look, for example. Curl Developer Mousse aims to make curly hair more “voluminous and shiny, but not too sticky,” Shepherd said. Curl Saver Spray and Gloss Pot are designed to calm frizz and add shine, respectively.
Curl & Twirl launched in the U.K. nine months ago. According to Maribeth Cleary, head of marketing for MarketX, Umberto Giannini’s U.S. distributor, Curl & Twirl has generated $3.2 million in sales there so far. It is sold exclusively in Boots drugstores. Cleary estimates Curl & Twirl will ring up $3.5 million in sales its first year on U.S. mass shelves. Each shampoo and conditioner retails for $5.99; styling products retail for $9.99. A $6 million print advertising campaign, which will focus on the entire Umberto Giannini range, will help support the collection.
Inspiration for Curl & Twist apparently came from more than one front. First, there was a need in the marketplace. “Within the last 12 months curl has come back big time, and we didn’t have a range to support it,” Shepherd said.
But Cleary also speculated Claire Shread, one of the founders of the Umberto Giannini hair care business who wears long, curly hair down to her waist, may have had something to do with it.
Shread, creative director of Umberto Giannini Hair Cosmetics, was the lifelong partner of Giannini, the British stylist who died in January of a rare viral disease. He was 33.