Lately I seem to be receiving lots of press releases and/or product announcements about more and more celebrity hairdresser products lines. I was asked once by an editor at the now-defunct Shop, Etc., Magazine (I adored that publication from Hearst) who started the celebrity hair and beauty product line craze in the United States.
The first celebrity hairdresser that I remember with a full blown line was Vidal Sassoon. In fact, I was in love with his line, which was sold in drugstores in St. Louis where I grew up. It seemed to have a special mystique because it was from Vidal. I remember that his line was color coded and the really good stuff came in a different color than the average stuff. Of course I sprung for the really good stuff because if it was from Vidal, it had to be good.
Was he really the first celebrity hairdresser to come out with his own line? It's hard to know for sure. Of course Jheri Rhedding who has a professional hairdresser also had his line. Was he before Vidal? I don't know for sure but maybe he was...or maybe not. And yes, Paul Mitchell was creating his famous hair care line while hanging out on a beach in Hawaii so many years ago.
But it was Vidal who really took it to the hair consumer masses.
Over the years there have been a dizzying array of celebrity hair and beauty product lines that it's hard to keep up. Many of the very popular French (Phyto, Rene Furterer, JF Lazartique, Leonar Greyl) and British hair care lines were created by "celebrity" hairdressers.
Is it just me or does it seem like the floodgates have recently been opened even further? The charming Laurent D originally had a line named after him, but then it changed over time and now has a different name, but it is still his line. Jose Eber had a line which I believe he still has available at his salons.
Ken Paves had his Paves Professional line, Robert Hallowell had Prawduct and of course John Frieda had his line. Philip Pelusi who is on a smaller scale in the celebrity hairdresser world had his own namesake line. Hairdressers Phillip B is a well-known celebrity on the West Coast and Oscar Blandi is big on the East. They both have their own lines.
There was also celebrity hairdresser Paul Brown's line, called, Paul Brown. Oribe had a line at one time and may still have it. Ted Gibson,Jonathan Antin, Christophe, Mark Anthony and David Babaii all have their eponymous lines. Celebrity girlygirl stylist, Ouidad has her line for curly girls. And the list goes on and on.
Now the chase is on to be a celebrity hairdresser and have an "all natural" product line. Robert Hallowell is already playing in the all natural arena and David Babaii is right behind him.
The issue for me is mass product confusion. While I adore many of the celebrity hairdressers I have mentioned above, it is hard to truly differentiate between their various product lines. Maybe I have become jaded. Afterall, studies have shown that the average consumer receives 1 million advertising messages of some kind every year. This includes a wide range of advertising mediums. As consumers, we are literally bombarded night and day with new messages to buy new products.Much like the celebrity and designer fragrance market, the celebrity hair product market has become overgrown and unyieldly. When will it all end? When hair consumers decide to stick with the hair care products that really work, without any special celebrity endorsement or name. Yep, just like in the men's hair care market. Hair consumers will deal with the confusion by sticking with the tried and true products that offer guaranteed results at a fair and reasonable price.
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