The Hair Texture Water Treatment was launched in September 2022. The product is a leave-in treatment that was developed “to address hair concerns unique to modern hair trends”, this includes the trend of hair dyeing, as well as hair straightening or curling treatments.
The brand has observed a rising trend of consumers dyeing their hair in bright hair colours. This would require, in most cases in Asia, heavy bleaching. According to its own research, hair bleaching services at salons have almost doubled year-on-year.
In addition to this, the use of hair tools, such as straightening and curling tongs has increased, contributing to consumers’ concern of hair damage.
Essential The Beauty said that the product “has been well received by many customers”. Its own survey highlighted praise for the product efficacy and ease of use.
The brand said that the design of the packaging also attributed significantly to the success of the product.
It explained that the packaging’s mermaid-inspired sparkly design was intentional to attract attention on social media.
Furthermore, it created a hashtag, #mermaidhairwater, which gained traction and spread rapidly across social media.
An essential change
Essential The Beauty debuted in 2021 as a new range under the Essential banner.
Kao developed this line in response to the growing interest in hair treatment products in wake of the pandemic, when consumers started seeking out for high efficacy products that can be used at home.
Before the launch, Kao president and CEO Yoshihiro Hasebe highlighted the significance of Essential The Beauty.
“For Essential, we have taken all the various technologies and products that we have deployed in our brand and distilled those values into Essential The Beauty. These are new products that we have created with all of our hair care technology.”
He emphasised that this upcoming launch was critical for the health of its hair care business.
“If this brand is not revived, our hair care business may stay stagnant for a long time to come. That is how seriously we are banking on this.”
The hair care category has been a significant area of interest for the Japanese cosmetic giant.
Last August, Hasebe highlighted the immediate need to revitalise its declining hair care business as its market share in hair care dipped by an average of 0.1% from the previous quarter.
“The haircare business used to be a high margin high share business. Kao’s regeneration cannot be achieved without the turnover of this business. So, we are going to change the existing strategy dramatically.”