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How botanical hair care pioneer PHYTO is staying on trend today

By Deanna Utroske

14-Sep-2016
Last updated on 14-Sep-2016 at 18:05 GMT2016-09-14T18:05:20Z

a model walking in the Zero + Maria Cornejo show at New York Fashion Week (image courtesy of CMM PR)
a model walking in the Zero + Maria Cornejo show at New York Fashion Week (image courtesy of CMM PR)

With product formulations that include plant extracts, a company philosophy that respects the body’s ecosystem, and partnerships that have stylists using PHYTO to create trendy eco-friendly looks at New York Fashion Week, the decades-old brand is holding its own.

PHYTO is clearly not a new brand. Stylist Patrick Alès launched the hair care company in 1967 on the belief that “the ecosystem of the hair and scalp is alive and precious.” And it has since been “PHYTO’s mission is to treat them [, the hair and scalp,] with care and respect,” according to the company site. 

Runway ready

By partnering with Zero + Maria Cornejo for the designer’s fall Fashion Week show on Monday in New York City, PHYTO aligned the brand with Cornejeo’s sophisticatedly simple designs, which are made locally and, when possible, with “ecological and sustainable fabrics.”

Teaming up with an ethical, sustainable fashion company makes sense for PHYTO, Jenna Muller, a brand consultant with a long history of collaboration with PHYTO, tells Cosmetics Design. The hair care brand is building carefully on its legacy, keeping some formulas the same over the years as well as introducing some new ones, explains, Muller. The brand is both “eco-friendly and still edgy,” she says.

The look

That edge comes across in the hair style that James Pecis created for Zero + Maria Cornejo. Showcasing a selection of the products from the PHYTO portfolio at Fashion Week shows professionals, influencers, and consumers just what the botanical brand can do and where it fits in the current marketplace.

While checking out all the backstage beauty at the show Monday evening, Cosmetics Design learned that the look the models wore was made possible thanks to these products: Phytovolume Actif Volumizing Spray, PHYTO Professional Fiber Paste, and PHYTO Professional Phytolaque Soie Light Hold Hairspray.

Natural match

Many of today’s beauty consumers love naturals. And botanical ingredients are especially popular in hair care. At the Indie Beauty Expo last month in New York City for instance, brands like Hydro Hair, a care and styling collection (intended for curly hair) formulated with organic aloe, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and avocado was attracting attention. 

And natural ingredients in skin care and anti-aging products are changing consumer expectations. “Consumers are embracing healthy, holistic living, and our research shows that these lifestyle changes are driving the facial skincare and anti-aging market,” Shannon Romanowski, category manager for health, household, beauty, and personal care at Mintel, recently told the press. It stands to reason that this lifestyle trend is impacting consumer’s hair care preferences too.

Right in line with that, PHYTO’s product portfolio is formulated with 500+ plant-derived ingredients. The “products are 95% natural overall and up to 100% natural, while avoiding the use of chemical substances like parabens, silicones, mineral oils, and synthetic alcohols. As an example, PHYTO replaces synthetic alcohol in all its hairsprays by beetroot alcohol – less drying for the hair,” according to the company site.

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