How to Make Root Touch-Up Products a Business Builder

Touch-up powders and sprays have taken the industry by storm—but how can you make these miracle products a business builder and keep color clients in your chair every six weeks?

If you keep an ear to the ground where new and innovative products are concerned, you have likely noticed an insurgence of re-growth cover-up products in the past few years.  What started with a few key innovative brands focused entirely on the color-saving tool has expanded into many brands adapting the product into their ranges.

“It’s a major jump in technology because it binds to the hair using a positive charge against hair’s neutral charge, so it stays in place and lasts until it is shampooed out,” says Giles Robinson, senior stylist at John Frieda Salons and Color Wow global director of training and education. Robinson is talking about Color Wow’s Root Cover Up powder specifically, but does sum up the underlying theme of these product—they are temporary pigments designed to mask an unpleasant aspect of haircolor: new growth.

For many years, new-growth concealers have been on the market, but they were unsatisfactory in one way or another, Robinson says. Some left hair dull; others made hair sticky or cakey to the touch. This was the touch-up reality until recently, so the product was not retailing well. With formulation improvements this is no longer the case.

Before and after with Color Wow


In the Beginning

It seems as if these concealers came about as a combination of a market demand (new growth exists) and some existing technology (dry shampoo becoming commonplace). Bumble and bumble was at the forefront of embracing and retailing the product, and for that team, editorial stylists played a part.

“We were working with Laurent Philippon, Bumble and bumble global artistic director, on the original loose hair powder to absorb oil at the root area and also provide texture and body,” says Fadi Mourad, VP of product development and innovations for Bumble.

“During development, we noticed that the powder adhered very well to the area. The hairdressers requested we find a way to blend new growth area at the same time, which was important for their editorial work and client requests.” From there, Philippon and the product development team worked on the color and level of pigments, and now the powder is available in aerosol form.

Style Edit, another brand championing concealers, simply listened to stylists and clients, saw the need for the product and provided.

“We worked very closely with talented hairstylists, who helped our innovative scientists understand the real issues women face when it comes to their hair,” says Miki Hilburger, Style Edit senior marketing director. “What we found was that the speed with which gray grows in was a top concern on their list.”

Style Edit developed a touch-up spray aerosol instead of a powder, which is a mode of product application clients and stylists alike are comfortable with.


Keratherapy Perfect Match


Sharing is Caring

Research and technology has made touch-ups viable at last, and stylists shouldn’t miss the opportunity to share with clients. That might be disconcerting to some. After all, a tool that masks new growth will be used to do just that, and retailing a product that allows a client to stretch her time between appointments doesn’t seem very lucrative. But, Robinson says, roots can appear as early as 10 days after a color appointment—and even you might tire of seeing a client every 10 days.

“As a professional, I always want my clients to be happy with my work for as long as possible,” Robinson says. “Root camouflaging is a tool that will keep the client feeling satisfied with her color/highlights longer and keep the colorist’s work looking perfect until the client returns for her next appointment.”

Robinson raises a valid point. A happy client is a loyal client, and these products can easily be worked into an initial color consultation and sent home as aftercare. Clients are so frequently a stylist’s best advertisement that it would be foolish not to equip clients with the means to keep color looking its best until she’s back in your chair.

And sometimes there are other factors—such as travel—that might keep clients away longer than both stylists and clients would prefer. Visible new growth in vacation pictures is not the best representation of a colorist’s work.


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