Clairol Hopes Going Green Will Get Hair Color Business Out of the Red

Clairol is putting effort behind a reformulated version of its Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color that is cleaner and greener in hopes to turn category sales back to black.
At-home hair color sales have been in a slump for several years. The category continues to produce lethargic sales, down almost 2 percent for the 52-week period ended Dec. 2, as tracked by IRI. Natural Instincts, for that same period, declined 8 percent. Compounding the issue — consumers are putting ingredients under the microscope, a perplexing issue for hair color where a certain level of chemicals had been useful in effective coverage.
Under the ownership of Coty, Clairol hopes to change the trajectory. Rolling out this month to mass doors including Walmart, Target, CVS and Rite Aid is a new Natural Instincts that is made with 80 percent naturally derived ingredients, no parabens and eco-friendly packaging. There is also the addition of ingredients consumers associate with being “good for you,” such as coconut oil and aloe vera. A special complex Clairol calls ME+ makes the product more allergy-gentle and was the result of more than 20 years of research and the screening of hundreds of molecules to find a replacement for existing hair color dye molecules.
Coty expects the new formula will attract more users, many first-timers, to at-home coloring. “The new Natural Instincts is an improvement on our already beloved formula. We expect to attract a new generation of hair colorers, such as Millennials, new to DIY hair color because it allows them to boost their natural hair color with mostly naturally derived ingredients without added ammonia, parabens, and PPD/PTD,” said Ukonwa Ojo, chief marketing officer of Coty Consumer Beauty.
Also, the new Natural Instincts has an extended shade range of 37 choices, especially deeper color hair colors. For those looking for on-trend products, there are also choices such as Rose Gold tones.
Clairol, according to IRI, is the second-largest hair color franchise behind L’Oréal Paris. L’Oréal’s Superior Preference is the top seller. Last year, Clairol rebooted Nice ‘n Easy, the biggest update in the brand’s 60-plus year history. The focus was to transform at-home coloring from a chore to an experience.
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