2-Methoxymethyl-p-Phenylenediamine (know as ME+) was developed as a replacement ingredient for pPD (para-phenyleneadiamine) and pTD (paratoluenediamine) in permanent hair color formulations.
P&G patented ME+ in 2014 and reformulated its Wella Professional hair dye products to include the molecule shortly thereafter.
Both the Wella brand and Nice’n Easy were part of the 2016 deal in which Coty acquired dozens of personal care, cosmetics, and fragrance brands from P&G. And so the ME+ technology is in the hands of a new team.
The Nice’n Easy formulation update includes several changes. But the brand remains focused on realistic color. As James Corbett, Clairol color director, tells Cosmetics Design, “Natural-looking color means hair color that looks like it was created by nature! Nice’n Easy gives 100% gray coverage, rich, layered tones and contouring highlights.”
The new formulation promises less mess, less odor, and less damage. “Copper is a major culprit contributing to damage in the hair coloring process and in post care,” explains Corbett. “Clairol’s new patented permanent hair color technology helps block this damage with EDDS technology. EDDS encapsulates copper and prevents it from reacting with water and other free radicals to keep the cuticle healthy and smooth, resulting in superior conditioning and color results. The benefit of this technology is threefold: Less protein damage at the surface of the hair; More predictable, even color root to tip; and Longer lasting color results.”
To make Nice’n Easy smell better, the Clairol team has endeavoured “to bring the soothing scents of a fragrance to the color experience.”
“In the new Clairol Nice’n Easy Care Color formula, Clairol has added foaming technology that slows the rate that the ammonia evaporates, significantly reducing odor. The ammonia smell is replaced with a fresh, lily scent (yes, really!), that is further enhanced by accent notes of green apple, mimosa and pear,” says Corbett.
And the product has been formulated as cream this time, rather than a liquid. “The no-drip, cream Color Care formula also features conditioners and antioxidants at every step of the coloring process, alleviating the feeling of dry, brittle hair,” notes Corbett.
“Additionally,” he says, “the crème formula stays in place during application – no more liquid dripping down your forehead! I also like to add that the application process of the color is smoother and easier due to these additives in the cream.”
The ME+ molecule
For Coty, it made sense to move the ME+ technology from the pro space to the consumer market: “After seeing the success of ME+ with Wella Innosense it was exciting to share this same technology with our Clairol Brand and our at home consumers,” says Corbett.
But that doesn’t mean it was a straightforward process. “The formulation swap took a lot of research, as we’re changing the key molecules used in hair color for decades – PPD or PTD,” he says. “In terms of providing that combination of reduced risk of developing a new allergy and great permanent color performance within a full color spectrum, there has been no substitute for PPD or PTD. ME+ is the first primary intermediate in 100 years of the permanent hair color category to strike that balance,” he emphasizes.
When asked if Coty will be reformulating other hair color products to include ME+, Corbett tells Cosmetics Design, “The plans for all Coty color products are being defined, we expect the total conversion in the next few years.”
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.