Pro-Line launches first hair care line for African-American men

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Pro-Line International has launched its first complete hair care
line for African-American men, as a means of targeting a variety of
specific hair care requirements under one brand name and tapping
into rising demand.

Pro-Line​, which is a subsidiary of Alberto-Culver and is the second largest manufacturer of ethnic beauty care products in the world, said that the new line- Barber Select- was developed through recommendations by hair care professionals as well as feedback from consumers 'with real hair issues and concerns'.

"We talked to men who told us they are now looking for targeted solutions for their hair and want to turn to one brand for all of their hair care needs,"​ said Greg Johnson, marketing manager, Pro-Line International.

"Those men also told us that their number one concern was dry-flaky scalp and products that cause build up. Pro-Line Barber Select addresses these concerns."

The new product line offers cleansing, conditioning, styling and finishing products. These include a 2-n-1 shampoo/conditioner, a light oil moisturizer, a hair and scalp conditioner, a wave and styling gel, a light pomade and an oil sheen finishing spray, all specifically targeting the specific needs of Afro-Caribbean hair.

The range also includes professional product offerings for barbershops and salons that include texturizers and a neutralizing shampoo. Uniquely a hybrid brand, Pro-Line developed Barber Select products specifically for consumers and others for professionals.

As part of the marketing campaign for the brand launch, Pro-Line has planned the "Barber Blitz," which aims to acquaint barbers in the largest African-American markets with the product. The campaign will also include The Pro-Line Barber Select 'Twisted & Faded Tour', a US-wide promotion that includes a mobile unit that doubles as barbershop on wheels.

Pro-Line's move into the ethnic hair care market for men forms part of a general trend whereby there are an increasing amount of products on the market that cater to the specific needs of men. Goldwell for men is another brand that has risen to the forefront of the male hair care market in the US in recent years, which has also happened to the Vitalis brand from Idelle Labs.

In tandem with this, the ethnic hair care category has also been growing, although almost all offerings have catered to the female market. In recent years launches such as Formule Latina from Joss Claude have risen to the fore on the back of significant increases in both the Latina and Afro-Caribbean populations in the US.

According to market researcher Mintel​, the black haircare market increased by 13 percent from 1999 to 2004, a factor not unconnected to the black population increase.

The 38 million blacks in the US currently account for just under 13 percent of the nation's population, and the black population is estimated to grow by 13 percent from 2000 to 2010.

The report says that shampoos and conditioners were the only items in the black haircare sector to experience increased sales in supermarket and drug store retail channels, increasing by 11 percent from $42.5 million in 2002 to $47 million in 2004.

Pro-Line's new brand adds to established ethnic hair care names such as Soft & Beautiful, Soft & Beautiful Botanicals, TCB and Soft & Beautiful. Other big players in the ethnic hair care category include Wella, Hawaiin Silky, Dax and Africa's Best

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