Sometimes, the best ideas come at 35,000 feet in the air. At least, for Teca Gillespie, P&G beauty scientist, an “ah-ha!” moment occurred on an airplane. “I was talking to the woman next to me about haircolor and hair care,” she says. “The woman claimed she didn’t color her hair, but it was undoubtedly dyed blonde!” Though Gillespie explained to the passenger she did in fact color her hair, it was this discussion that lead Gillespie to realize that a fair amount of consumers don’t believe they color their hair—if they bleach it or get highlights, that is. “Unless they were depositing color on their hair, they didn’t really think they were ‘coloring’ it,” she explains. Thus, they don’t seek out hair care for color-treated hair.
Armed with this intel, Gillespie and Sebastian Professional sought to develop a line of shampoos and conditioners that cut a clear line between two different types of haircolor clients: those who opt for one hue (Single Tone), and those who seek multidimensional or highlighted color (Multi Tone). The result: Color Ignite (available March 2011), which takes into consideration the specific color processes and what needs color-processed hair has. The Color Ignite products consist of a shampoo and unique mousse conditioner, which the company claims spreads more evenly throughout the hair. The innovative formulas contain Smart Color Complex, a polymer technology that allows conditioning agents to seek out especially thirsty hair (read: color-treated and roughed-up) to replenish, moisturize and seal the cuticle of those specific areas.
As one of the beauty editors invited to test-drive these shampoo-and-conditioner duos at The P&G Salon Professional Studio in NYC, I sat down to an ombré haircolor design by Sebastian Professional artistic stylist Christina McCarver. My hair, usually a brittle mess due to various color adventures, came out especially silky smooth after McCarver shampooed and conditioned it with the Multi Tone Color Ignite products. Though I may not have looked as hair-splendent as the new Sebastian Professional Color Ignite visionary—Maja Ivarsson, frontwoman for The Sounds—I felt my new color certainly was ignited, and extremely soft...no confusion there! —Karie L. Frost