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The ‘skinification’ of the hair and the rapid rise of scalp care are nothing new. In fact, luxury hair-care brand Oribe was an early adaptor in 2018 when it launched its timely Serene Scalp collection, with of-the-moment millennial pink packaging. The products made dealing with dandruff look almost desirable, given the chicness of the branding. Since then, products catering to dandruff, even in the luxury sector, have exploded, with brands including Ouai, Briogeo and Kerastase all introducing formulas to address the common concern.
The collection became a bestseller for Oribe, too, leading the brand to realize the demand for a modern category catering to scalp concerns. By 2021, it had started working on an extension, which launched Monday. Dubbed the Serene Scalp Oil Control collection, the three included pieces cater to customers who struggle with a chronically oily scalp, but do not necessarily have dandruff. Oribe found that an oily scalp is the second-most searched scalp concern after dandruff. The new collection includes an oil control shampoo ($49), an oil control treatment mist ($58) and an oil control dry shampoo powder ($46). Oribe did not introduce a dedicated conditioner, given an understanding that this target customer often has different needs from scalp to strand — and wants to control oil at the root, while maintaining color or hydrating ends via conditioner. The brand offers a robust offering of conditioners which includes the Balancing Conditioner that’s part of the existing Serene Scalp collection.
“All the formulas in the products work to control excessive oil and rebalance the scalp’s microbiome,” said Michele Burgess, Oribe’s executive director of product development. The shampoo and treatment mist use a blend of green marine algae and a sugar-derived prebiotic to help achieve balance. Meanwhile, the dry shampoo includes a starch blend and kaolin clay to absorb oil. Included mango leaf extract is meant to support a healthy microbiome, she said.
“This is the first collection that addresses oily scalp in a luxury segment,” said Andreea Diaconescu, Oribe’s vp of global marketing. The current landscape includes products you can buy in the drugstore or more clinical products.” The brand is sold at Sephora, Blue Mercury, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman, in addition to its own site. Oribe continues to have high growth with double-digit revenue increases year-over-year. It ended 2022 as a #10 hair-care brand, based on sales, according to NPD U.S. data.
That said, Oribe has put more time and money into clinical-testing products under the Serene Scalp franchise, compared to some of its other collections. “Serene Scalp is one of our most clinical collections. We do a lot of clinical data testing and consumer data testing,” she said. For example, Oribe enlisted a consumer panel of 101 women to use the Serene Scalp Oil Control Shampoo and Serene Scalp Oil Control Treatment Mist at least three times in 10 days. Afterward, 90% said they saw a “noticeable reduction in oiliness on the hair and scalp,” and 91% reported their scalp being “less oily for 72 hours after use.” After just one use, 90% of panelists said their hair was “cleaner at the roots.”
In conceiving the collection, Oribe referred to data from digital trend-spotting agency Spate, showing customer concern around scalp oiliness. Glossy connected with Spate about current TikTok searches around oily hair. During the week of March 19, hashtags associated with oily hair including #oilyhair and #greasyhair saw 883 million total views, which was a month-over-month increase of 11%. #Oilyscalp saw 93 million total views. On Google, “oily” hair as a concern was searched 182,000 times per month, on average, in the first two months of this year, though that was an 11% dip year-over-year.
To promote the collection, Oribe has tapped three influencers to create content: Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth (110,000 Instagram followers), Mandy Madden Kelley (160,000 Instagram followers) and Gigi Goode (1.3 million Instagram followers). They will post across Reels and on TikTok. TikTok is a growing priority for Oribe. To launch the new collection, it created its own content. It was shot with an iPhone to feel less produced than its typical campaigns, with the intention of resonating with the TikTok user.
The larger brand campaign centers on a “here comes the sun” concept. That’s based on the fact that people prone to oily scalp and strands feel forced to wear it up or cover it with a cap by the day after washing, Diaconescu said. The new collection is meant to free them of this feeling.
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