PRO FIBER by L’Oréal Professionnel: a major breakthrough that is widely acclaimed by women and hairdressers
PRO FIBER is an exclusive range of L’Oréal Professionnel haircare products based on a unique innovation derived from sol-gel technology. Anne-Laure Lecerf, International Managing Director at L’Oréal Professionnel, tells us the PRO FIBER backstory.
Harnessing a brand-new technology
Where does PRO FIBER come from? “We wanted to address market demand with a unique product that would, for the first time ever, offer lasting repair for damaged hair”, explains Anne-Laure. Repair is the number-one concern today, with six out of ten women worldwide – that’s around 1.3 billion people – describing themselves as concerned about damaged hair. The underlying reasons for damage include the long lifespan of hair strands (four years on average), brushing, hard water and heated styling tools. “Long-lasting haircare is the Holy Grail for many women and was a need that we had clearly identified.”
R&I, meanwhile, had been working on damaged hair for years. After 15 years of research, the eagerly-awaited molecular complex was finally identified. APTYL 100, a combination of aminosilane and a unique cationic polymer, is set to revolutionise the world of hair. The work that led to asminosilane was presented and published as part of the 18th International Sol-Gel Conference held in Kyoto in September 2015.
“This is a major haircare innovation for L’Oréal Professionnel.”
“For over a year, our marketing and research teams have been working hand in hand, talking on a weekly basis and even daily.” The fragrance signature of PRO FIBER shampoos was a key concern. “Round, enveloping and enduring notes were important to show that these products offer long-lasting repair action”. To achieve this effect, the labs worked on unique fragrances that bring to mind a professional salon while adding more luxurious scents that evoke restoration. PRO FIBER products made their début in salons in July 2015. “This is a major haircare innovation for L’Oréal Professionnel.”
Developed in partnership with hairdressers
“We are a professional brand. Our relationship with hairdressers extends far beyond product and business aspects. For this reason, we developed the PRO FIBER range in conjunction with the major salons that partner with L’Oréal Professionnel”, continues Anne-Laure. The many tests conducted with hairdressers ahead of the launch resulted in adjustments, notably to textures, dosing and in-salon application methods.
Anne-Laure sees PRO FIBER as addressing two needs among hairdressers. From a business point of view, the range will help to draw more women into salons, since haircare is the segment that is set to see the greatest growth from 2018. From an image perspective, PRO FIBER will promote salons’ expertise in haircare alongside cutting, styling and colouring. Once applied by a hairdresser, the product immediately repairs hair fibres. With the single-use recharging system, homecare prolongs and reactivates the effects for six weeks. “The in-salon procedure and home routine complement each other.”
“There are different levels of hair damage. We created an individual range for each of these.”
PRO FIBER is designed to offer personalised service. “There are different levels of hair damage and not all women are equally equipped to cope with adverse factors, so PRO FIBER offers an individualised approach to reflect the level of damage”, explains Anne-Laure. To ensure no one is left out, PRO FIBER comes in three ranges: Rectify for slightly damaged hair; Restore for damaged hair; and Reconstruct for badly damaged hair. “PRO FIBER products are tailored to the individual, providing immediate and lasting care”.
Available in certified salons
PRO FIBER products are exclusively available in L’Oréal Professionnel salons that have obtained brand certification. “No matter what the salon, PRO FIBER requires training. First, hairdressers need to learn how to perform assessments so that they can select the right PRO FIBER product to match the level of hair damage. They do this by using an iPad and the Hair Profiler app to analyse the customer’s hair. They also have to learn the layering technique needed to apply PRO FIBER products”. L’Oréal Professionnel has created a special training course leading to PRO FIBER certification. This is mandatory for any salon wishing to purchase and sell the products.
“We gathered more than 2,000 customers from all over the world together for a three-day masterclass”
To help hairdressers get acquainted with PRO FIBER, training is provided by a global network of 2,500 trainers. In addition to the training, forums are also being set up, including one held in September as part of the L’Oréal Professionnel Business Forum. “We gathered more than 2,000 customers from all over the world together in Cannes for three days of presentations and masterclasses.”
PRO FIBER was presented to the media and digital influencers in April 2015 ahead of the July launch: “We created the first-ever TV haircare campaign for PRO FIBER”. Anne-Laure said she asked actress Eva Green to be L’Oréal Professionnel’s new international spokesperson: “Her long black hair is magnificent of course, but also sensitized due to continual filming. Eva embodies French glamour and chic, the French touch that so many women envy”. To unlock TV/digital synergies, the brand also developed a complete digital package.
The last word?
“Results speak louder than words. Since it hit the market, PRO FIBER has posted record repurchase rates*. The excellent feedback we are seeing from consumers on social media also augurs well.” Buoyed by the success in Europe, L’Oréal Professionnel is now working on PRO FIBER’s launch in the US and looking ahead to launching in 2016 on key haircare markets in Latin America and Asia.
* Percentage of client hairdressers who repurchase PRO FIBER at least once over the period.