Hair gloss is poised to have its shining moment within the hair category.
Redken is proclaiming August 3 as National Hair Gloss Day, a marketing holiday dedicated to the salon product that will be an annual event for the brand moving forward. Hair gloss, also called a hair toner or glaze, is a semipermanent dye treatment designed to help neutralize, brighten or tone down a permanent hair coloring based on hair pH levels. Glosses, which can come in clear form, also help to add shine back into the hair and last for about four weeks. L’Oréal-owned Redken offers a gloss product called Shades EQ, which comes in over 150 shades. Redken is sold through 100,000 salons.
Redken is placing big bets that it can position gloss as an in-demand service, increasing its annual advertising spend for gloss by 5x-10x compared to ever before, said Candy Gebhart, gm of Redken. According to NPD Group, hair care continues to be the smallest yet fastest-growing category in the beauty market, growing 24% to $741 million in sales in the second quarter of 2022. Sales revenue grew across almost all segments, including hair care, styling and color.
“Hair is very emotional, but the hair’s health is ignored. Whatever hair type you have, whether it is coarse or curly, hair gloss will work for it and make it look better and shinier,” said Gebhart. “We believe that we still have a lot of opportunity for Shades EQ [sales to grow] across the salons and professionals in the U.S.”
As a semipermanent service, glosses allow customers to cut down on beauty maintenance time, similar to eyelash extensions, microblading and gel manicures. But glosses also have the potential to be untethered from the salon environment the way Olaplex was, which started as a salon-only treatment before selling products DTC and in specialty retail in 2018. Olaplex is now a public company that earned $598.4 million in 2021. Gebhart said Redken does not plan to offer at-home gloss treatments, while other brands are already doing so. Gloss treatments by John Frieda, Kristin Ess and Gen-Z hair brand Hally are widely available at mass and specialty retailers.
“My clients love this service between their full-color salon visit, which takes a few hours, at times,” said Tracey Cunningham, celebrity hairstylist and Redken brand ambassador. “A gloss is perfect for refreshing color and enhancing hair’s natural shine. This treatment leaves you with healthier-looking and -feeling hair.”
The declaration of August 3 as Redken’s own gloss marketing holiday helps the 62-year-old brand stake a claim on what could be the next buzzy hair trend. Redken will kick off the inaugural holiday by offering free glossing treatments at Redken flagship salons in L.A. and NYC to members of the media, as well as influencers and non-Redken employees of L’Oréal. Aside from the marketing holiday, Redken will focus on gloss at other times of the year, including its dedicated monthly talks with salon professionals on different topics. On the consumer side, Redken will advertise the Shades EQ product throughout August via OTT ads on streaming platforms like Hulu. The ads will direct viewers to book gloss appointments.
“Many women don’t know about hair gloss at all, let alone the benefits of it. If everybody knew that it’s non-damaging and leaves your hair beautiful and shiny, [they would use it],” said Gebhart. “It’s been in the market for a long time, but it was maybe a professional secret. It’s the only way to fine-tune somebody’s hair color once you’ve gone through a couple of [dye] processes.”